Before You Arrive

Congratulations on receiving an offer to study at NUI Galway! We look forward to welcoming you to Galway in the near future. In the meantime, there are a number of steps to take to ensure that your arrival goes as smoothly as possible.

 

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

The Pre-Arrival Guide 2015/16 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 nuigalway.ie

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
e: international@nuigalway.ie

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.

Visas and Immigration

Study Visas

Students from EU and EEA member states do not require a visa to study in Ireland.

Students from Non EU member states are required to comply with Irish Visa and Immigration regulations.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain and maintain a valid passport and Study Visa* to enter Ireland for study purposes.

Visa Exempted Countries

Citizens of the countries listed below do not require a visa to enter Ireland, but must still register their presence in the Irish State with the Garda National Immigration Bureau after arrival in Ireland. Citizens from countries not appearing on this list are required to obtain a Study Visa to study in Ireland.

 

Antigua & Barbuda

Argentina

Australia

The Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Brunei

Canada

Chile

Costa Rica

Dominica

El Salvador

Fiji

Grenada

Guatemala

Guyana

Honduras

Hong Kong

Israel

Japan

Kiribati

Lesotho

Macau

Malawi
Malaysia

Maldives

Mauritius
Mexico

Nauru

New Zealand
Nicaragua

Panama

Paraguay
Saint Kitts & Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

Samoa

Seychelles

Singapore

Solomon Islands

South Africa

South Korea

Swaziland

Tonga

Trinidad & Tobago

Tuvalu

United States of America

Uruguay

Vanuatu

Venezuela

 

 

This list is correct as of 3 November 2011, please refer to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) for the most up-to-date list of countries.

Applying for a Visa

Student Visa – Application Requirements and Guidelines

 

Study visa applications should contain the following documents. Please note the following list is not exhaustive and applications should be supported by all information considered relevant. You should submit any additional documents that you feel will assist the Visa Officer in making a decision on your application.

Online Application

You must make your visa application on-line using the AVATS on-line facility, this Online Visa Application Facility is available worldwide and must be used by all applicants for an Irish Visa.

 

PERSONAL DOCUMENTS AND FEE

Passport, valid for 12 months. Please include 2 photocopies of the passport bio page. If you have held a previous passport, you must submit your previous passport with your application. 

Signed summary of your on-line application form.

2 passport sized colour photos taken in the past six months that meet our specifications.

A signed letter of application outlining the nature and duration of your proposed stay in Ireland and must include your full contact details. 

Original or notarised copy of applicant's family hukou with English translation.

Please contact your nearest Irish Embassy for information about applications fees by clicking here

 

COURSE OF STUDY

A Letter of Acceptance from the Irish university, college or school, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education, involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime tuition each week:

1.      This letter must name you (the applicant) and verify the title/ duration of the course.

2.      It should also confirm the amount of fees payable for your course, and that this amount has been paid. (If availing of  the “education bond” facility please refer to further details below.)

3.      If the college has taken out medical insurance on your behalf, details of this must be contained in this letter of acceptance. If it is not arranged by the college, you must organise this yourself and provide evidence with your application.

 

In addition to the Letter of Acceptance from the Irish university, college or school you must also submit:

  • Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course - You must provide evidence that you have attained the necessary level of academic achievement required to follow your chosen course. Such evidence will include – exam results, qualifications obtained and certificates proving your Level of English.
  • You must submit all exam results obtained, along with your qualification certificates - If you have graduated from senior middle school, you must supply your original graduation certificate. If you have graduated from a 3rd level course then you need only supply your most recent graduation certificate.
  • If you are currently studying, an original letter from your current place of study. This letter should include a contact name, address and phone number for the school, details of your course and its duration.
  • Gaps in your educational history - You must provide information to account for any gaps between your last period of full time education and your application to study in Ireland. If any such gap in education has been filled by periods of employment, you must give full details of your employment history.

 

FINANCES

You must satisfy the Visa Officer that you can afford to complete your study plan. You must provide evidence that you have access to sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and cost of living expenses. You must show you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, or the reliance on casual employment.  In order to provide evidence of access to sufficient finances you should submit:

  • A detailed statement of your and/or your sponsors' bank account(s) covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover your costs. Evidence of savings or deposits held by you or your sponsor for a six-month period can also be submitted as evidence of finances.
  • Please supply letters from your sponsor’s employer. The letter’s should be on company headed paper with the company's address and contact details. The letters should include the following:
    • Place of employment
    • Address of work unit / company
    • Type of business
    • Position held
    • Length of employment in this company
    • Annual salary including bonus
    • Contact phone number for employer

 

Note: The estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year is €7,000. You must demonstrate that you or your sponsor has ready access to an amount of at least €7,000 for each year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years. Where NON-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months the non-EEA Student must have access to €500 per month of the stay or €3000 whichever is the lesser.

 

You must list each person sponsoring you, and give clear details of their relationship to you. Notarised certificate confirming kinship should be provided. All evidence provided must be clearly identifiable as to whom it relates. Give clear details of the financial support they will be giving you for the duration of your stay in Ireland. Their bank account must show a good credit record for a minimum of six months immediately prior to making your application.

 
Your sponsor (s) will need to show that the amount of financial support they will be giving you is available AND that they have enough funds to maintain themselves and other family members.

 

Savings records should be consistent with the income of the applicant and his/ her sponsor. Any inconsistencies must be explained.

 

Any lump sum lodgements made during the immediate three months prior to your application must be fully explained, with supporting evidence provided. For example, if such a lump sum lodgement has come from the proceeds of a sale of property or encashment of Savings Certificates, Fixed Rate Deposit accounts, or any similar type sources, then clear evidence of this must be provided.

 

If your sponsor is involved in business, evidence of this must be provided, such as a Business License/ Certificate of Registration from the authorities in your country.

 

All bank statements should include the name of the account holder, and the account number. Handwritten entries or details on bank statements will not be accepted. Any documents not in English must accompanied by an  translation. Bank statements and letters must show and include full contact details of the bank – name, full address of branch where account is held, telephone number (landline, not mobile), e-mail and website addresses (where available). Where this information is not normally available on a bank statement, it should be accompanied by a letter from the bank, on official bank stationery, giving these details. Where a bank statement or a letter from the bank is submitted giving only a mobile phone number, post box number as address, or an email address of Yahoo, Hotmail etc, this will not be considered as evidence of finances, and may in fact raise an issue of credibility over the whole application.

 

Alternative Evidence of Finance – Degree Programme Students

A pilot programme has now been introduced that would allow degree programme students to provide an alternative to bank statements as a method of proof of finances.  The alternative method is an "education bond" with a minimum value of €7,000.  The bond must be lodged to an approved student fees payment service (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep [formerly International Student Payments Service, ISPS])*

 

The bond must be held continuously from the initial visa application through to the time the student registers in Ireland with the immigration authorities.  This is to ensure that the necessary funds exist and are reserved for the personal use of the student.  The bond will be cashable when the student arrives in Ireland or if for any reason the visa is refused or the student decides not to take up their place in the college.

A receipt showing that a bond has been paid by the applicant will generally be accepted by INIS as evidence of finances.  However, the applicant should be aware that they may also be asked to provide additional evidence of finances if that is considered necessary.  Upon their arrival in the State the funds will be released to the student.

You can find out more information about the Education Bond here

NOTE : Students who participate in a bond payment scheme should note that this is a contractual arrangement between them and the bond service provider.  INIS is not a party to any contract entered into between a student and a bond service provider.  Students who are enrolled on the type of courses listed below are not obliged to participate in a bond payment system, and may prefer to provide the normal evidence of finances as set out above.

 

Types of Courses and Colleges eligible for participation in the Student Bond System

Degree programme courses are defined as courses which lead to an award of

  • Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  • Honours Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral degree

 The ‘award’ as set out above must be made by one of the following types of awarding body:

 A recognised Irish awarding body i.e.

  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Higher Education and Training Awards Council
  • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority to make awards
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Universities
  • Other bodies that have statutory powers under Irish law to make awards

 

Certain ‘awards’ offered by international universities which satisfy the above definition will also be regarded as Degree Programme courses. See document Internationalisation Register New Arrangements to Apply from 01 January 2011. Section 1 A (ii) and (iii) for further information available athttp://www.nqai.ie/documents/InternationalisationRegisterCriteria01.01.11.pdf

 

* The Department of Justice and Equality is at all times willing to consider proposals from other providers of student fee payment services to have their services accepted for visa purposes

 

EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT OF FEES

Evidence that all fees have been paid prior to the visa application being submitted to the Visa Office must be provided. These applications should contain either:

 

1.      a copy of an Electronic Transfer of Funds from the applicant to the Irish Bank of the college, showing details of beneficiary's name, address, bank details and the same details for sender and a copy of a letter/receipt from the Irish College confirming that the fees has been received, or

2.      a valid receipt showing that the course fees have been lodged to an approved student fees payment service.  (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep [formerly International Student Payments Service, ISPS] )

 

Where the course fees are less than €6,000, fees must be paid in full to the college. Where the course fees are in excess of €6,000, you must pay at least this amount. This minimum amount is an Immigration requirement. However, the college you wish to attend may require full payment of fees.

Fees paid to the college are a matter between the student and the college.  However, in the event of the visa application being refused the college should refund the fee (less any small administration charge) within a reasonable period.

 

STANDARD OF ENGLISH

Except in the case of an application which is solely for an English language course, you must show that you have the capacity to fully partake in your chosen course through the medium of English and satisfy the Visa Officer in this regard.

 

It is recommended that all applicants, regardless of nationality or educational background, undertake the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) English language test, and provide original certificate with your visa with application. Other acceptable certificates will be those from an internationally recognised test such as PTE Academic or Cambridge English Language Assessment. Any certificate must have been issued within 2 years of the expected commencement date of your course. Failure to provide such a certificate may result in delays in processing your application, and possible refusal of same. Submission of false or fraudulent certificates with your application will result in it being refused, and no appeal will be permitted.

  

Short-term Preparatory English Language Courses

If you have been accepted on a specific course of studies, but you need, or are required, to complete a preparatory course of English prior to commencing your main course, the following requirements apply:

  • English language course must be short term, and not exceed a maximum duration of 6 months
  • You must submit a detailed study plan, including the duration and dates of your preliminary English course, and details and dates of your main course of study
  • Fees for both the English preparatory course AND the first year of your main course must be paid in full to the college 

 

Students Under 18 Years of Age

Applicants who have not completed formal 2nd Level Education - if you are applying for a course of 2nd level educational studies, the requirements outlined above for the preparatory English also apply.

Any person who wishes to pursue a 2nd Level Education in Ireland must be enrolled at a private fee-paying school or college.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, which apply to all students, applicants aged under 18 years must submit:

English Language Requirement: IELTS – minimum overall band score of 4

 

Birth Certificate.

Parental consent from both parents (where applicable) is required. Signed parental consents must be accompanied by copies of the consenting parents' passports or national identity cards showing the bearer signature.

Where only one parent has total custody, a Court Order bestowing sole custody of this child must be shown.

Details of the person in whose care the minor shall be must be provided with the application.

The provisions of Part IVB of the Children Act 2001 will apply when examining such applications – see website: http://acts.oireachtas.ie/en.act.2001.0024.4.html

 

The granting of a visa to a person under the age of 18 years for the purpose of study does not give any entitlement to any other family member to accompany or join the student in the State. 

NOTES

If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given. Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused - You must provide full details of all visa applications you have made for any country, including Ireland. If you have ever been in Ireland before, whether legally or illegally, you must give details of your time there. Failure to disclose any of these details will result in your current application being refused.

 

You must provide details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland or any other EU State.

 

The educational and other credentials of a college will be taken into consideration by the Department of Justice and Equality in reaching a decision on a visa application. Recognition by the Department of Education and Skills through ACELS meets these criteria in the case of English language schools. Please refer to the list of courses recognised by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland on its website: http://www.nqai.ie/internationalisation.html

 

Students who intend staying in Ireland for more than 90 days are required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).  In addition to course fees, the student must have access to €3,000 at first registration with GNIB or where Non-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months they must have access to €500 per month of stay or €3,000, whichever is the lesser.

 

Please keep copies of all documents submitted with your application. Original documents such as saving deposit certificates, marriage/birth certificates will be returned to you. However, bank statements, letters of invitation etc will not be returned.
 

Please note that any document submitted in another language other than English , must be accompanied by an English translation.

You are required to provide a copy of all original documents

 

The provision of all the documentation listed in no way guarantees that a visa will be granted. Please do not purchase travel tickets prior to a decision being made on the visa application.  Doing so may lead to unnecessary additional costs in circumstances where a visa is not granted.

 

Before you complete your visa application please thoroughly read the information contained in General Information for all Visa types.

USEFUL LINKS
www.educationireland.ie A government website which has useful information relating to the Irish education system, third level institutions, courses, learning English and further links.

 

 www.acels.ie The Advisory Council for English Language Schools established under the auspices of the Irish Department of Education & Science to control standards in EFL schools. Contains the official list of schools and organisations recognised by the Department of Education & Science.

www.irlgov.ie This site will help you to find government organisations or information by providing links, indices of recent publications and a search engine that searches all government sites. There is also general information about Ireland .

 

 

Immigration Registration

A study visa provides pre-clearance to enter Ireland as a student.  Immigration registration grants leave to remain in Ireland for a defined period of time.  All non-EU students intending to remain in Ireland for more than 90 days must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

In general Non-EEA Students studying in Ireland for a period of less than 90 days are not required to register with the Immigration Authorities. However if directed to register by immigration officials at the point of entry to the State,  such students will be required to demonstrate evidence of finance on the same basis as Non-EEA students studying for a period of less than 6 months.

The GNIB office is located at Unit 3, Liosbaun Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, Galway. The telephone number is 091 768002 and the fax number is 091 768003.  The GNIB in Galway provides an immigration registration service.   After registration students will receive an immigration certificate of registration (Registration Card).  A fee of €300 will be charged in respect of the registration certificate.

For immigration registration students require:

  • Passport
  • Current NUI Galway student identity card
  • Visiting Students/Erasmus students  should bring their original letter of offer from NUI Galway
  • Full degree undergraduate and full degree postgraduate students will require an additional letter from the International Affairs Office confirming their course of study and the start and finish dates of the course.
  • Proof of your residential address in Galway e.g. a utility bill with your name and address, or a letter from your landlord/student residence confirming your residential address.  Changes of address must be notified to the GNIB within 7 days of changing address.
  • Students must demonstrate access to sufficient funds to support themselves during their period of study in Ireland.  An acceptable form of evidence of financial support is an original bank statement which showing a student’s name and bank balance.  It is advisable to open a bank account in Ireland in order to demonstrate your financial status to the GNIB.  Student bank accounts with Irish banks are not liable to any bank charges.  Letters to open bank accounts can be obtained from the International Affairs Office.  Please note that bank statements printed from online bank accounts will not be accepted by the GNIB.   Students in receipt of funding from NUI Galway should provide a letter from their Discipline confirming their funding.  Documentation should be originals; photocopies are not accepted. 

 

Funding Requirements for Non-EEA Students at First Registration from 1 April 2011

Non-EU/EEA Students studying for a period of less than 6 months

€500 per month of stay or €3,000 which ever is the lesser

Non-EU/EEA Students studying for a period equal to or greater than 6 months up to 1 year

€3,000

Non-EU/EEA Students studying in Ireland where the second registration takes place at a time exceeding 1 year

Such students are generally not required to produce bank accounts at second or subsequent registrations unless they are requested to do so by a Supervisor

 

  • Personal credit/debit card for payment of immigration fee of €300.  If a student does not have a credit card, he/she will be issued with a bank giro form by the Immigration Officer and requested to return with the completed bank giro form, confirming payment of the fee.   Payment may be made at the student’s bank on campus. 
  • Proof of comprehensive medical insurance which must include hospitalisation cover. You must provide the original policy document in English and the policy document should state your name.  Your policy should clearly state the precise start and finish dates of the insurance cover.   You should therefore ensure that you are covered for the full length of time you are in Ireland i.e. either for the academic year or the semester as appropriate.    If you have an insurance card for your policy you should bring it with you to the GNIB office. 
  • Under immigration rules, all non-EU students must notify the GNIB of any changes to their registration details, including a change of address, change of course or withdrawal from a course, within 7 days.  The telephone number is 091 768002 and the fax number is 091 768003.

NB:  Only original documentation should be presented to the GNIB. Photocopied or faxed documents are not acceptable.

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Re-Entry Visas

If you required a visa to enter Ireland initially, you will need a re-entry visa if you are travelling overseas to allow you to re-enter Ireland (a single or a multi-entry visa can be obtained).  Please refer to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service website for information on the application process for re-entry visas. The International Affairs Office will provide you with a support letter for your re-entry visa on request.

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Renewing Immigration Registration

Students must renew their immigration registration annually by the date provided on their Garda National Immigration Bureau registration card. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they maintain their GNIB registration.  The International Affairs Office will provide you with a letter on request to renew GNIB registration provided you are registered as a student of the University and have paid your annual tuition fee.

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Working in Ireland

In relation to non EU/EEA students only students attending a full time course of education of at least one year’s duration leading to qualifications recognized by the Minister for Education and Science will be permitted to take up casual employment.  Access to employment is denied to all other students. Casual employment is defined as up to a maximum of 20 hours part time work per week, or full time work during normal college vacation periods. Such work should not interfere with your course attendance, as failure to provide evidence of a satisfactory attendance record will result in refusal of any extension to your permission to remain in the State.  The entitlement to casual employment will cease on completion of your college course.  The stamp placed in your passport by GNIB will indicate whether or not you are permitted to take up casual employment.  A Stamp 2 confers the right to work.  If you are in doubt about this you should check with GNIB before you accept any job offer. Any breach of your visa conditions will lead to a review of your case and possible removal from the State.  A complete list of approved courses can be found on the Internationalisation Register.

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Graduate Permit Scheme

The Graduate Permit Scheme was established to allow legally resident non-EEA/EU third level graduates to remain in Ireland for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a Green Card or Work Permit.  A non-EEA/EU student who has, on or after 1 January, 2007, acquired a primary, masters or doctorate degree from an Irish third level educational institution will be permitted to apply for the Scheme. The student at the time of application must hold a current Certificate of Registration issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

A person, the holder of a Certificate of Registration issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau, legally resident in the State who acquired their qualification on or after the 1 January, 2007 shall be permitted to apply for this Scheme.

An application for permission to remain under this Scheme may be made at the applicant’s local Garda National Immigration Bureau, or, if living in the Dublin area, to the Garda National Immigration Bureau, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

Documents required when making an application

  • An original letter issued by the International Affairs Office stating that the applicant has completed the course of study satisfactorily and the qualification gained. 
  • Current passport.
  • Final examination transcript
  • Current Certificate of Registration issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

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Family Reunification

Generally speaking, non-EEA students do not have the right to family reunification.  However, INIS prepared to recognise the value of some flexibility to the above policy and accordingly certain exemptions are facilitated.  As a general principle all non-EEA students coming to Ireland should satisfy themselves of what means are required to support themselves before they travel. It is equally logical to seek to ensure that dependants of students who might give rise to significant State expenditure should only be admitted in limited circumstances and where on balance it is in the State's best interest for this to take place.

 

In this context and subject to the exemptions set out below, students will continue to have no rights of family reunification. Partners and spouses will be considered as applicants in their own right but cannot advance their application for entry or residence on the basis of their relationship to another student. Students will not be permitted to be accompanied or joined by children other than those born during their stay. Students will be informed of these conditions and also asked to confirm that they do not intend to be joined by dependents of any kind.

 

Exemptions from the above policy will be allowed where;

(a) The student is pursuing a course at PhD level10 (NFQ 10). In these cases the student will be required to progress academically (verified by letter from academic supervisor) and to complete their doctorate within 4 years; or

(b) The student is a participant in an academic programme agreed between the Irish State and another state whereby the student and dependents are sufficiently well funded in respect of all expenses in Ireland, or where any such agreement provides an exemption; or

(c) The student can demonstrate private means on an annual basis at a level that clearly allows them to support themselves and their family without recourse to public funds and without engaging in employment and where children are accompanying the parent has paid an immigration levy set by the Government as a means of recovering the costs of the child’s education; or

(d) The child is on a short visit to their parent(s) who can show special circumstances and can guarantee that the child will return home at the end of their holiday. Failure to comply with this condition could result in the termination of the parent’s own permission on the basis that they had breached their immigration conditions.

In the case of points (b) and (c) above prospective students will be required to show that sufficient funding is guaranteed and in place to provide for both themselves and in respect of any family members accompanying the student.

Permission to remain in the State for students will generally continue to be conditional on their ensuring that no claims for social welfare benefits are made on their own behalf or on behalf of any dependents accompanying them. Students will also continue to require private medical insurance. Breach of these fundamental conditions may render the student and any accompanying dependents liable to have their immigration permission terminated regardless of their course of study.

(Extract from the Student Guidelines - New Immigration Regime for Full Time non-EEA Students)

Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service – Student Notices Website

The INIS provides a Student Notices website where valuable information pertaining to the immigration rules for students can be accessed.

Information available on this website includes:

Accountancy Students 

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Student Accommodation

The Accommodation (Housing) system at Irish universities may be quite different to your home country. Students coming to study at NUI Galway have two main options available to choose from – you can stay in an official NUI Galway Student Residence or rent a room (single or shared) in a private house or apartment.

The first option, staying at a Student Residence, is the most popular option for undergraduate students, especially those coming to Galway for the first time. With the exception of Corrib Village, the NUI Galway student residences are located off campus. While you might find this a little unusual, if you’re used to a residential college system in your home country, it’s worth bearing in mind that Galway is a relatively small, compact city, which means most of the residences are located within a 10-20 walk from the campus.

Residences vary by size, with smaller residences such as Donegan Court (54 students), Atlantis (80 students) and Menlo Park (140 students) and larger residences such as Cúirt na Coiribe (389 students), Dúnáras (409 students) and Gort na Coiribe (657 students). Please refer to the Accommodation Office at NUI Galway for a full list of residences.

The second main difference is that student residences at Irish universities are usually self-catered. The NUI Galway student residences for example generally comprise self-catered apartment units.

Each unit usually includes 2-3 bedrooms, a small kitchen area and a shared living space. Students therefore have the option of preparing their own meals in their own apartment, which can be cheaper than eating on campus.

Applications for housing are made separately to the relevant student residence. Please refer to the NUI Galway Accommodation website at for details. The more popular residences book up fast each year, so students are strongly encouraged to place a deposit and secure their place as soon as they receive their offer of admission.

Alternatively, there is also the option to rent room in a private house or apartment, which often suits older undergraduate students and graduate students. Typically, this will entail a houseshare or apartmentshare with other students or professionals.

There is a wide range of properties available to students in Galway, which are advertised throughout the year, but particularly in August. The two most popular websites used are www.findahome.ie and www.daft.ie as well as the local newspaper, the Galway Advertiser, which publishes a weekly accommodation supplement.

While Galway is a relatively compact city, areas such as the City Centre, Newcastle, Lower Salthill and Shantalla are usually the preferred option for students who want to be close to the campus but also within walking or cycling distance from the city centre.

The staff of the Accommodation Office at NUI Galway help students find appropriate accommodation in the student residences, apartments or shared private houses. They can also assist if problems arise with property owners.

For more information, please refer to the NUI Galway Pre-Arrival Guide 2015/16 for International Students.

Getting to Galway

Airports

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.

Train

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.

Bus

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

 

Useful transport links include:

www.dublinairport.com

www.shannonairport.com

www.citylink.ie

www.gobus.ie

www.buseireann.ie

www.irishrail.ie

 

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.

Support Services for International Students

We have many years’ experience welcoming international students to Galway and provide a wide range of support services to help you adjust to your new environment.

 

International Affairs Office

The International Affairs Office provides a range of support services specifically for international students and is your first point of contact for many of the support services offered to students at NUI Galway. Services provided by the International Affairs Office include:

  • Orientation programme for new students
  • Advice on international entry requirements and application processes
  • English Language Support Classes
  • Advice on immigration requirements and study visas

 

Student Support Services

International students can also avail of the full range of support services available to all NUI Galway students.

Accommodation Office

The Accommodation Office assists students in finding housing and provides advice on general housing issues.

 

Disability Support Service

Students who have a disability/specific learning difficulty and who require particular supports should notify the Disability Support Service in advance of admission to the University.

 

Deans of Chaplaincy Service

The Deans of Chaplaincy Service provides active pastoral care and spiritual leadership for all students and can also assist in making contact with other religious denominations.

 

Student Counselling

The Student Counselling Service team of qualified and experienced counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists, offers confidential individual counselling to all NUI Galway students.

 

Student Health Unit

The Student Health Unit provides on-campus medical, psychiatric and physiotherapy care to registered NUI Galway students in a professional and confidential manner.

 

Health Promotion Service

The Health Promotion Service aims to assist students to reach their full potential by providing non-judgemental and up-to-date information to help you make informed decisions. Programmes run by the service include The Mind, Body & Soul programme and the Exam De-stress Programme.

 

Career Development Centre

The Career Development Centre is available to help students manage their career development by providing information on different career options as well as practical support and workshops on all aspects of graduate careers including CV preparation and interview techniques

 

Students Union

The Students Union (SU) is the independent voice of students representing your interests and solving your problems on campus and beyond. The SU also provides assistance and guidance in the areas of finance, accommodation, academic problems, rights, jobs, personal safety, mental health and wellbeing. There are 16 elected officers of the Union including and Education Officer and Welfare Officer who can offer confidential support and information should you experience academic or personal problems.

 

Academic Support Services

The University also provides a wide range of academic support services to help international students with their studies.

 

James Hardiman Library

The James Hardiman Library is the main library on campus and provides study spaces and the key resources you need for your study. Students can access the books, journals and electronic resources by visiting the Library in person or through the Library’s website which provides you with 24/7 access, anytime and anywhere. Library Tours are provided as part of the orientation programme at the beginning of each semester.

 

Academic Writing Centre

The Academic Writing Centre offers free one-to-one sessions on academic writing tailored to the needs of individual students. In addition to help with grammar, punctuation and spelling, the centre provides assistance with essay structure and the overall writing process.

 

Blackboard

Blackboard is the online learning system used at NUI Galway, which allows lecturers to post materials such as lecture notes, reading materials, weblinks, videos, quizzes, etc, online. Blackboard is available 24/7 from both on and off campus. There is also a Blackboard App (in iPhone and Android versions) which you can download.

 

EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Classes

The International Affairs Office also provides free writing support classes for students whose first language is not English. For more information, please email international@nuigalway.ie