Interview with Niamh Neylon, the Irish Consul, about studying and living in Ireland
Horizon: Why should students choose Ireland as a destination for their studies?
Niamh Neylon: Ireland’s worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, offering cityscapes steeped in history and landscapes lush with a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world.
Ireland has a long and honourable tradition in education. As a result of a sustained investment in this area Ireland now has one of the highest educational participation rates in the world. This dynamic, educated population has made its mark at home and abroad with international companies looking to Ireland again and again when hiring graduates for top class positions. US, European and Asia/Pacific companies demonstrate continued confidence in Ireland’s capability to house their overseas operations. Information on business in Ireland and key sectors may be found on www.idaireland.com
In addition to full undergraduate and postgraduate courses, Irish colleges offer a wide selection of study programmes specifically designed to meet the needs of overseas students. These range from summer programmes, to semester and full academic year programmes over a broad spectrum of faculties.
Horizon: What types of visas are available for students who wish to study in Ireland?
Niamh Neylon: If you wish to study or carry out research for a short period in Ireland, i.e. 90 days or less, you may apply for a short stay study visa. Otherwise, if you wish to study in Ireland for longer than 90 days, one must apply for a long term study visa. Information on the different types of visas and the application procedures is available on www.inis.gov.ie
Horizon: Can you explain the advantages of the new Irish Visa Scheme for Turkish Students?
Niamh Neylon: The Embassy of Ireland in Turkey has introduced a new scheme for Turkish students who wish to attend short English language courses in Ireland. There are two schemes; one for Turkish third level/university students and one for Turkish junior students (aged 12-18). Under these programmes, provided all the requirements are met, the Embassy will endeavour to process the visas in three working days following receipt of the application.
Horizon: Programme for English Language tuition for Turkish Third Level Students
Niamh Neylon: This visa scheme applies to students enrolled at a third level college in Turkey who wish to come to Ireland for short courses of English language tuition during the summer vacation before returning to continue their academic programme in Turkey. The English language courses are short term intensive courses of 4, 8 or up to a maximum of 12 weeks duration. Visa applications for students who fall into this category and who submit all the required documentation, will be processed in the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara. Provided all the requirements are met, the Embassy will endeavour to process the visas in three working days following receipt of the application. The maximum duration of the student’s stay in Ireland is 90 days.
Programme for English Language tuition for Turkish Juniors (aged 12-18)
This visa scheme applies to Turkish junior students (aged 12 -18) who wish to come and study English in Ireland during the summer vacation periods. Students must be enrolled in secondary school in Turkey and travel in groups to Ireland with group leaders, all of whom must be adults. Courses may range from one week to four weeks in duration. The schools they attend in Ireland should be Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) member schools and therefore NQAI (ACELS) recognised. It is permissible also for the student to combine, within the overall 90 day visit limit, a language course and more general tourism. Again, visa applications for students who fall into this category and who submit all the required documentation will be processed in the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara. Provided all the requirements are met, the Embassy will endeavour to process the visas in three working days following receipt of the application. The maximum duration of the student’s stay in Ireland is 90 days.
Further information on these schemes is available on the Embassy of Ireland website under the visa section. www.embassyofireland.org.at
Please note that if you do not fall under either of the two schemes described above, the normal short stay study visa or long term study visa process applies, as outlined on www.inis.gov.ie
Horizon: Are students allowed to work in Ireland while studying? If so, for how many hours per week?
Niamh Neylon: Since April 2001 non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the State as students, on immigration Stamp 2 permission and enrolled on courses with education providers listed on the Internationalisation Register, have been afforded the opportunity to work. This allows non-EEA Students to take up casual employment to supplement their income while studying in Ireland. During term time non-EEA students can work up to 20 hours per week and during normal college holiday periods non-EEA students can work on a full time basis up to 40 hours per week. Further information may be found under the “About Ireland” tab – “work in Ireland” on www.educationireland.com
Currently non-EEA students are permitted to take up employment in accordance with the rules set out below. However, all non-EEA Students should be aware that the student work concession is being reviewed and this may result in changes to this concession.
Note: Students attending courses not on the Internationalisation Register are not permitted to work and are registered with Stamp 2A permission.
Can I work while I am studying in Ireland?
It is permissible for Language and Non-Degree Programme students to engage in casual employment where they are ;
- Registered with Stamp 2 permission
- Enrolled on a course listed on the Internationalisation Register
- Attending a full time course of education,
- Undertaking a minimum of 15 hours day time tuition, between the hours of 8am and 6pm per week for a minimum of 25 weeks per annum
- On a course of at least one year’s duration
- Pursuing a course leading to a qualifications recognised by the Minister for Education and Skills
Students will also be required to comply with the Universal Social Contribution, Pay Related Social Insurance, employment laws and taxation requirements. As aforementioned, casual employment is defined as up to a maximum of 20 hours part-time work per week during the academic semester, or full time work (up to 40 hours per week) during normal college holiday periods. Further information is available on www.inis.gov.ie under visa types/long stay study, research or exam/student guidelines
Horizon: What is the cost of living in Ireland?
Niamh Neylon: Living expenses differ depending upon the location of the higher education institution, the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student. On average a student spends between €7,500 and €12,000 per year depending on location and lifestyle.
Horizon: How would you describe student life in Ireland?
Niamh Neylon: The best source of information on student life in Ireland is student testimonials, i.e. feedback from students. There are a range of student testimonials on the “About Ireland” tab on Education Ireland homepage www.educationireland.ie This is an excellent website providing information on studying in Ireland. Under the search function “find a great course” you can enter the subject that you wish to study and the results will present a list of the education institutions (and direct links) which offer the course. Further information on student life in Ireland is available at www.discoverireland.com
Embassy of Ireland
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