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Ireland: Destination Guides - Must read

Why study in Ireland?

Learn why you should study abroad in Ireland, including academic areas the country is particularly strong in, things to do for entertainment, and more.

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Next time you’re pondering your study abroad options while perusing a map of Europe, take a little more time to consider that island just off England, called Ireland (a little confusing, admittedly). Here we want to shine a spotlight on the country as a study abroad destination, which boasts gorgeous scenery alongside world class education. So, how much do you know about Ireland as a study abroad destination? We spoke to Marina Donohoe from Education in Ireland to help introduce you to Ireland....


Strong international community

Thousands of students have already experienced international study in Ireland. In fact, 32,000 third level students from abroad are studying in the country at any one time (and this number is actually increasing!). So you won’t be the only one. Ireland is quickly overcoming a false image that it’s just a nation of large fields, with solitary buildings every couple of miles. In fact, half the population is under 30 years old, with many being current students and recent graduates. Marina tells us that Education in Ireland is focused on attracting high calibre students from India, China, the US, Malaysia, Brazil and the Gulf States, across all disciples.


Hub for the Arts

‘Ireland has a rich heritage in the arts and humanities and many students choose Ireland because of our long standing tradition and reputation in these areas’, says Marina. This is very true, with the likes of Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney and William Butler Yeats having come from Ireland; in fact, James Joyce’s ambitious adaptation of The Odyssey, Ulysses, is set in Dublin. All of this makes Ireland one of the most important locations in the literary world. Anyone studying English Literature or European Literature will find themselves thrown into the works by these authors, able to visit landmarks of significance and connect to the texts in new ways. Speaking of Dublin, both it and Cork can claim to be past European Cities of Culture too, an honour which is bestowed on cities after careful consideration.


Additionally, government strategies since the 1960s have been in place to make Ireland an ‘innovation island’ in the Biopharmaceuticals, IT and Life Sciences fields (in fact, many multinationals in these fields, call Ireland home), according to Marina.


Forward-thinking and friendly

Irish television comedy Father Ted often satirised the false perception of Ireland as a nation of traditional, even out-dated attitudes, as well as the lead characters’ attempts to appear “modern” and “cool”. Ireland’s forward-thinking and innovative nature can be seen in the GIFT American Football tournament which the country hosted in 2012, welcoming student communities from America to their shores. Marina tells us more about it:


‘The GIFT tournament was timed to coincide with a successful collaboration with Ireland and Notre Dame University where US visitors came to Ireland to see this premier team play on Irish ground.  Education in Ireland participated in the tournament to promote Ireland as a destination for International Education to the American visitors. We were delighted to be associated with the event and met many potential students and parents who showed considerable interest in choosing Ireland for part/all of their third level education.’


Meanwhile, the people are friendly and cheerful, with a wonderful accent too! If you’re ever lost or need help, you’ll always feel comfortable to ask a stranger, or even start a conversation. In fact, Ireland is ranked one of the most peaceful countries on Earth.


A European experience

Marina says proudly that studying in the country provides ‘not just an Irish perspective but a complete European outlook’. Cities like Dublin rank amongst the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, with an array of entertainment and leisure options, whether you’re looking for a traditional Irish pub for a pint of Guinness, or something a little different. As a member of the EU, travelling between countries is rather simple. You can take a ferry across to England, ranging from 1-4 hours depending on where you’re departing from and headed; or you can pick up a good price on a flight for a short break.


Things to see and do

If you already live in a crowded, over-populated area, then Ireland can provide a sense of relief from the manic crowds and routine. While Dublin and Cork are contemporary city environments in their own right, you’ll find the change of pace incredibly illuminating, while the breath-taking sceneries provide a moment of tranquillity and peace – always welcome for students buried under assignments. When asked which spots she would recommend, Marina suggests – to name a few – The Cliffs of Moher in Clare, which sit along the Atlantic coast; and Trinity College in Dublin for the incredible architecture, even if you’re not a student.


Intrigued? Search for courses in Ireland now!

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