We want to reassure you that we are working hard to ensure that we manage any impact that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) might have on you joining us for the academic year 21/22. NUI Galway is here to support you during this time of uncertainty in order for you to commence your studies.

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Important Travel Information for International Students

Whether you are a new student to NUI Galway, a returning NUI Galway student or a current student joining us on campus for the first time. The information below still applies for you, on arrival in to Ireland.

COVID-19 is making planning for travel very difficult for everyone at the moment. It is important to note that the current requirements for entering Ireland may change before August/September when many of will be planning to travel to Ireland. We have set out below the requirements so please ensure to examine this information carefully.

You can now determine your necessary actions easily using this Education in Ireland infographic. Our education partners will be keeping their website up to date so you can always check in there for the latest information.

  • Education in Ireland COVID Chart

    Education in Ireland COVID Chart PDF (166KB)

  • Before Your Travel - Irish Government Essential travel requirements?

    • You must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form and present it to an immigration officer at your point of entry. This form is available at COVID-19 Passenger Locator FormAfter you complete this form you will receive an email which contains a receipt. This receipt proves you have filled out the form. You will be asked to show this receipt when boarding your plane or ferry. When arriving into Ireland you may also have to show this receipt to border officials. If any of the information you provide on this form changes, you must send an email with your complete and updated information to the following email address: passengerlocatorform@plf.ie
    • You also have to have appropriate valid proof of vaccination or recovery, OR present a Negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive into Ireland.
    • All travel-specific public health guidelines related to your journey are available here.
    • Click here to Book a COVID-19 test if your circumstances require oneYou can book online from 2 days before you arrive and up to 4 days after you arrive. The nearest COVID-19 testing centre is on Forster Street, just a 10 minute walk from campus. 
    • You must provide your travel information in the mandatory form to arrange for your arrival and this information will also be provided to the Greet and Transfer Service Team. Complete this Greet and Transfer form as soon as your travel details are confirmed and at least 7 days before your scheduled departure. This is a mandatory form for all students to complete, even if you will not be taking this free transport. In this case, when filling out the form, you should choose the 'no transport required' option. 

    We understand that some of our international students will not be able to travel to Ireland in September due to the uneven roll-out of vaccines internationally and other Covid-related factors. We wish to reassure our international students that, while we wait to welcome them to Galway, we are committed to providing access to online learning at the beginning of Semester 1.The staff here at the International Office continue to consult with current and incoming international students to ensure that we can best address their needs and concerns at this challenging time.

    We recommend that you should avail of an approved Vaccine before your departure for Ireland.  

    Arrival in Ireland and Transport to Galway

    • All International Students can avail of the Greet and Transfer Service. The Greet and Transfer Service desk will be located in the Arrivals area in both terminals of Dublin Airport. This will commence from August 1st 2021 and run until October 4th.
    • All students arriving from overseas, including, new and returning students from the EU and from non-EU countries should present to the Greet and Transfer Service Desk at Dublin Airport should they wish to avail of onwards travel arrangements.
    • You must identify yourself with a copy of your offer letter/letter to confirm enrolment/acceptance at NUI Galway.
    • The Greet and Transfer Service desk will direct you to coach transport, which will bring you to Galway. This transport will be provided free of charge to those who have completed the form. 
    • If you need to change any information that you have already submitted on the Greet and Transfer form, you must complete the Travel Data Change Form which you’ll find on your receipt e-mail from Club Travel and resubmit your information. 
    • The bus service will stop at a number of drop-off points to facilitate your arrival in Galway. We will also provide a local taxi voucher which will contribute towards the cost of any onward taxi service you may require to get to your accommodation. This will be emailed to you.
    • Students of Shannon College will be directed to coach transport to Bunratty, County Clare and met upon arrival there by staff members.
    • Students must adhere strictly to the following according to their country of travel origin and their vaccination profile.
    • It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations. 


    Logo for Meet and Transfer Service

     Look out for this logo at Dublin Airport to guide you to the Greet and Transfer desk

    Arriving from EU/EEA (and not outside the EU/EEA in 14 days prior to arrival in Ireland):

    • With Valid EU Digital COVID Certificate (DDC): observe standard public health measures.
    • If you have valid proof that you have recovered from COVID in the past 180 days, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary.
    • Without Valid DCC/No DCC or proof of recovery: As above plus required negative PCR test (<72 hours before arrival).

    Proceed to Meet and Transfer Service Desk for onwards travel arrangements.

    Arriving from outside EU/EEA not on the designated state list:

    • Proof of Vaccination: observe standard public health measures, as above.
    • No Proof of Vaccination: As above plus Self-Quarantine plus require negative PCR test (<72 hours before arrival).

    Self-Quarantine facilities are available at the NUI Galway campus accommodation, free of charge for 14 days. Book at the NUI Galway Self-Quarantine booking link.

     FAQs Campus Accommodation Starting My Studies, Covid 19

    • You can end your period of self-quarantine if you receive written or SMS confirmation of a ‘non-detected’ PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival. Book a PCR test online from 2 days before you arrive and up to 4 days after you arrive.

    At the airport proceed to Meet and Transfer Service Desk for onwards travel arrangements.

    Arriving from outside EU/EEA on the designated state list:

    • Proof of Vaccination: observe standard public health measures, as above plus Self-Quarantine plus require negative PCR test (<72 hours before arrival) plus Post-arrival HSE PCR test.

    Self-Quarantine facilities are available at the NUI Galway campus accommodation, free of charge for 14 days. Book at the NUI Galway Self-Quarantine booking link.

     FAQs Campus Accommodation Starting My Studies, Covid 19

    At the airport proceed to Meet and Guide Desk for onwards travel arrangements.

    • No proof of vaccination: Mandatory Hotel Quarantine plus Require negative PCR test (<72 hours before arrival) plus Post-arrival HSE PCR test.

    Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ) is managed by the State and must be Pre-Booked (before arrival) by traveller. You will be guided to MHQ after arrival at Dublin airport.

    Once you have completed MHQ you may then report return to the Meet and Transfer service Desk at Dublin airport for onwards travel arrangements. No further self-quarantine is required.

    Mandatory Hotel Quarantine

    If you are travelling from or via a designated State then you must also pre-book and pre-pay for a place in a designated facility for mandatory hotel quarantine.

    See here for charges and booking information (€1875, 12 nights inclusive of all services).

    We emphasise strongly that all students should prioritise and make every possible effort to be fully vaccinated before departure for Ireland in order to avoid costly and lengthy Mandatory Hotel Quarantine.

    Conditions of Self-Quarantine

    You may only leave your place of residence during the self-quarantine period to take a COVID-19 test, or for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, or to leave the State. If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine, you are committing an offence. 

    The conditions attaching to self-quarantine include:

    • Not going to campus facilities such as libraries/lecture theatres etc. or a workplace;
    • Not using public transport;
    • Not having visitors in your place of residence;
    • Not visiting others;
    • Not going to shops or pharmacies unless it is absolutely necessary. A face-covering must be worn.

    You can end your period of self-quarantine if you receive written or SMS confirmation of a ‘non-detected’ RT-PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival. You can book a COVID-19 test online from 2 days before you arrive and up to 4 days after you arrive.

    Students Requiring Self-Quarantine

    The Irish government requires you to stay in appropriate accommodation that enables you to comply with the conditions of restricted movement, as listed above.

    Unless you have accommodation already arranged for the academic year which is suitable, you will need to source alternative accommodation to spend the self-quarantine period.You will find a list of potential providers here if you have not sourced accommodation already. There is also a list of local hotels in Galway where you could complete this period of self-quarentinte before you move in to your permanent address. You must have this accommodation booked in advance of your travels, and will be required to provide this information in both the COVID-19 Passenger Declaration form mentioned above, and the mandatory form for NUI Galway’s reference.

    If you have not booked accommodation for the self-quarantine period or the full academic year, our Accommodation Office will be able to assist you: http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/accommodation/finding-accommodation/ 

    What if I get to campus and feel unwell?

    In the event that you should become ill while in restricted movement or thereafter, you should contact the local health unit on campus or out of hours doctor services. Please ensure you isolate your movement.If experiencing breathing difficulties, or seriously ill, you should call an ambulance immediately (dial 999 or 112). 

    The Student Health Unit (091) 492604) is providing a service to all full-time registered students as normal, though with the majority of consultations at present still being undertaken remotely, as per public health/ICGP infection prevention & control practice management recommendations. The Student Health Unit does not provide housecall visits as part of its service.The current 'outside term-time' opening hours are: 09.30-16.30, Monday to Friday.

    Outside of these hours, please continue to contact the Student Health Unit (091) 492604) and you will receive more information on the appropriate point of contact.

    Contact numbers for both are below as well as some additional emergency numbers.

    Local Medical Service Contact Information



    University Health Unit

    (091) 492604

    University Hospital Galway

    091 524222


    091 747710

    Other Contact Numbers:


    Reception, Residences

    091 527112

    Millstreet Garda Station (Police station)

    091 538000

    University Late Night Pharmacy

    091 520115

    Click here for more information on Health

    We strongly encourage all students to download the HSE Track and Trace App upon arrival into Ireland. 

    Vaccination Information

    You can find information on the vaccinations accepted in Ireland and what it means to be fully vaccinated here, under the 'Vaccination' section. 

    If you are arriving in Ireland in mid/late August, the University Health Centre’s advice is that it should be possible for you to access vaccination at that time via the national vaccination programme.Their advice is that if you don't manage to obtain your 2nd vaccine dose before you leave home, then what you will need to do after you arrive in Ireland is  register with our national Covid-19 vaccination programme.

    If you have a PPS number, you can use the online registration portal to book your vaccination: https://vaccine.hse.ie/

    If you don't hold a PPS number, you will need to use the telephone registration helpline to register for your vaccination: 1850241850 from Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm.

    You will need to be residing here in Ireland in order to book a vaccination appointment, and the health service will not permit you to book an appointment in advance, before your arrival here.You will be required to bring photo identification and proof of address with you when attending your appointment.

    Under the current rules, anyone who has received mixed vaccines is not considered fully vaccinated and will need to present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country and self-quarantine for 14 days. 

    Mobile Sim Cards

    Sim Cards: You will require an Irish number to be contactable by Irish Health Services to receive the results of your COVID-19 test. Please see information in the point above about what to do if you begin to feel unwell.

    Please ensure your mobile phone is unlocked and is compatible to accept an international SIM card. Your current network provider can provide you with your unlocking code. Your phone may be unlocked already; you can check this by putting in a different SIM card to your current network to see if it works.

    SIM cards are easily purchased in Galway City Centre from different providers. If you are self-isolating, you can order a SIM card to be delivered from Tesco Mobile. 

    Vodafone is a common option for students to get. The recommended plan is "Vodafone X" as it is the best value for money for International students. You will need to signup for the plan as follows:

    Set Up:

    1.    Pop your new Vodafone sim into your unlocked phone.
    2. Text UNLIMITED to 50222 to avail of our Vodafone X student plan.

    What do I get?

    • Unlimited data (there is no cap on data, it’s truly unlimited)
    • Unlimited any network texts
    • 100 any network minutes & unlimited minutes from 3pm on Fridays until 11.59pm on Sundays
    • Includes roaming across Europe
    • More info available here


    The plan costs €20 for 28 days. To avail of the student offer, you will need to top up by €20 in one go. If you want to add more credit and do not want to reactivate/reset your offer, you will need to top up by €5, €10 or €15.

    How do I top up?

    • Online on our website
    • On the My Vodafone app available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
    • In any of our Vodafone stores
    • Most convenience stores and supermarkets also offer top up (Spar, Mace, Londis, Centra, Supervalu, Tesco etc.). You should ask at the till for '€X Vodafone Credit'

    How do I find my number?

    • Make a call or send a text to a friend

    International Calls

    You can purchase an add on that will give you international minutes to eligible countries to use for 28 days for a flat fee. Full information is available by clicking here.

    Add on

    Price      Validity


    100 international minutes

    €5           28 days

    Text 5INTER to 50233

    400 international minutes

    €15         28 days

    Text 15INTER to 50233


    You can find common FAQ’s here.

    There are several other mobile phone service providers in Ireland offer a range of monthly plans. By topping up mobile credit each month, students can avail of unlimited data and texts with certain mobile phone companies. See the links below for current promotions and call allowances. 

    3 Mobile

    Tesco Mobile

    Before I arrive can I get a Vodafone E-SIM instead of a plastic SIM card?

    Yes, Vodafone eSims are available for certain supported devices (check here).  You order a new number online here for free – simply choose “get a new number”, continue and then choose “eSim”. A debit or credit card is required to order a new number for security purposes but no charge is made – the sim is completely free. After the order has been placed, an email with next steps and how to connect the eSIM to the phone will be sent to you. eSim FAQs are available here .


    Starting Your Studies with NUI Galway

    Term Dates for students arriving September 2021

    • Start date for First Year undergraduate students: Monday, 27 September 2021
    • Start date for all other students: Monday, 6 September 2021
    • First Year Orientation is likely to run from 22-24 September 2021 – dates to be confirmed
    • Postgraduate Research Student Orientation will take place in early September 2021 – dates to be confirmed

    Due to the late start for First Year undergraduate students, we plan to teach First Year students for the 12 weeks to 17 December, with Semester 1 exams for First Year students replaced by continuous assessment. Semester 2 will be aligned for all years following our return from the Christmas break. 

    Third Level Graduate Permission Scheme (1G) update

    The Third Level Graduate Scheme enables non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for period of time after they have graduated from their respective course. During this period of time they can seek employment and work in Ireland without an employment permit.  Entry to the scheme is facilitated by application and the start of the scheme is based on the official receipt of exam results. For a full explanation of the scheme and requirements, please visit the INIS website .

    The Departments of Justice and Equality and Education and Skills have recently held discussions on the operation of the Third Level Graduate Permission Scheme (TLGPS) and have agreed the following:
    1.  On a once-off basis, students who were residing in Ireland and attending Irish Institutions, but who returned home due to COVID-19 and completed their studies and exams online abroad, but who will receive their award from the Irish Institution will be entitled to avail of the programme and also allowed apply from overseas.
    2.  On a once-off basis those students who are due to start their studies in an Irish Institution in September, but because of COVID-19 will have to complete the first semester online and who will complete their studies in Ireland will also be allowed avail of the programme.
    The above 2 points are strictly one off arrangements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subject to the usual criteria of the programme.   
    3. Those students who intend to study for the full year online with an Irish Institution will not be allowed avail of the programme. .

     For more information, you can also visit NUI Galway Alert.

    Covid 19


    • Undergraduate Prospectus 2022

      Undergraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (8.4MB)

    • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

      Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)

    • International Student Opportunities at NUI Galway

      International Student Opportunities at NUI Galway PDF (1.36MB)

    • Mexican Student Guide

      Mexican Student Guide PDF (1.20MB)

    • Indian Student Guide

      Indian Student Guide PDF (2.81MB)

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    • North American Guide

      North American Guide PDF (1.49MB)

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      Hong Kong Student Guide PDF (1.12MB)

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      Nigerian Ghanaian Guide PDF (1.16MB)

    • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

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