Getting to Galway


Most international students arrive in Ireland at one the two main airports: Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport.

Dublin Airport is approximately 200km from Galway. Citylink, GoBus and Bus Eireann provide frequent bus departures from outside the Terminal 1 building direct to Galway. The direct bus journey from Dublin Airport to Galway takes approximately 3 hours.

Shannon Airportis approximately 85km from Galway and is a popular option for students arriving from North America. Bus Eireann operates a regular service from outside the main terminal building to Galway. The bus journey from Shannon airport takes approximately 90 minutes.

Ireland West (Knock) Airport is 70 km north of Galway and offers connections to some UK and European hubs.


Irish Rail provides a train service from Dublin to Galway. The Galway train station (Ceannt Station) is located just minutes from Eyre Square in the city centre and is a 20 minute walk from the NUI Galway campus.


Galway is well served by national bus operators including Bus Eireann, City Link and GoBus.


Useful transport links include:


When to Arrive

New international students are strongly advised to arrive in Galway in time to attend Orientation.

All other students are required to arrive in time to attend the first week of classes. Please refer to the Academic Calendar or contact the International Affairs Office for your specific term dates.

What to Pack

Ireland has a temperate climate, which means it may by cooler and damper compared to your home country. Temperatures are relatively mild for most of the year and snowfall or freezing temperatures are comparatively rare compared to mainland Europe and North America. Galway has numerous shops and you should have no difficulty finding anything you need after you arrive. Students are advised to pack clothes that can be worn in layers, for example thermal underwear, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweaters.

You may also wish to consider taking the following with you, bearing in mind your airline luggage allowance and what you can realistically carry:

  • light raincoat with a warm lining
  • ski jacket (for colder weather)
  • light weight jacket or windbreaker (for warmer weather)
  • comfortable walking shoes or sneakers - Galway is a compact
  • city and students tend to walk most places rather than take a
  • bus or drive
  • hiking boots (if you plan to hike in the Irish countryside)
  • pajamas
  • jeans
  • shorts (one or two pairs) for warm weather
  • hat, scarf and gloves
  • bathing suit
  • underwear and socks (at least two weeks’ worth)
  • gymwear (Sweats)
  • musical instrument or specialist sports equipment

An umbrella and an electric blanket are highly recommended, and both can be purchased in Galway after you arrive. Sheets and towels can also be bought in Galway. It may be advisable to purchase electrical appliances in Ireland, as the electrical current here (240 volts) may differ to your home country. If you do take your own appliances, remember to take an adaptor with you or purchase one when you arrive in Ireland.


Pre-Arrival Checklist
1. Download the Pre-Arrival Guide

The International Student Pre-Arrival Guide provides detailed information for accepted students, including study visas, student housing, registration and getting to Galway.

2. Accept your offer

Refer to your offer letter for instructions on how to accept your offer. If you are not sure about how to accept your offer, please email international

3. Pay your deposit or tuition fee

Refer to your offer letter for instructions on how to pay any deposit that may be required by the University. The rules regarding payment and deposits may vary depending on the programme you have been accepted to. Your initial deposit will be deducted from your tuition fee, which unless otherwise stated in your letter of offer, is to be paid in full before you can register as a student. Please see the tuition fees section for more information.

4. Purchase Health Insurance

Proof of medical expenses insurance is required for all non-EU students for immigration purposes. Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more information.

5. Prepare your immigration/travel documents

All non-EU/EEA nationals are subject to immigration control at the point of entry to the Irish State, so please ensure you comply fully with Irish Immigration Regulations and that you have all the required documentation ready for inspection immigration officials. 

6. Book your accommodation

Please refer to the accommodation section of our website for information on how to book student accommodation.

7. Make travel arrangements

Check the Academic Calendar for your Term Dates refer to the "Getting Here" tab above for information and advice on getting to Galway.

8. Pack your things

Check out the list of useful items to pack for Galway. The most important thing to remember is to pack light. Make a list of things you will actually need to see you through the first few weeks in Galway and discard everything else.

9. Plan your budget

It is important to understand all the costs involved, including tuition fees and day-to-day living costs. Budgeting is one of the key skills you will develop during your time at university and once you learn how to manage your money, you will be able to enjoy university life to the full.

10. Keep in touch :-)

We hope you find this pre-arrival section of our website useful in helping you prepare for your stay at NUI Galway. If you are unsure about anything, please contact the International Affairs Office

t: + 353 91 495277

You can also reach out to fellow international students over on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates.