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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For Incoming & Prospective International Students

Travelling to NUI Galway

COVID 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. In the meantime we are sharing the most up to date information we have available with you.

What do I need to do before I travel?

  • Covid-19 Proof of negative PCR test: Please see new important update regarding COVID 19 released by the Irish government on 12 January. The Irish Government has tightened controls on incoming travellers due to COVID 19, extending pre-departure testing to all countries. At present, arrivals from Britain and South Africa are required to provide proof of a negative PCR test for Covid-19, taken within a 72-hour window prior to their arrival. The requirement is now being extended to passenger arrivals from all countries, from Saturday January 16th.
  • Government Guidlines: Familiarise yourself with all travel-specific public health guidelines related to your journey.  Full details available at https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/  
  • COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form: 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 here.
  • NUI Galway Travel & Accommodation Form: Students must complete this mandatory form for NUI Galway to confirm their travel and accommodation arrangements. See more detail below on transport and accommodation options available.
  • Health & Symptom Questionnaire: All incoming students are required to complete an online symptom tracker for 14 days before departure for Ireland. Students who have symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not travel to Ireland until they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to departure. You will begin to receive this daily symptom tracker 14 days before you travel, based on the planned arrival date you have given us in the above-mentioned travel and accommodation form..
  • Please make sure to read the NUI Galway Complying with COVID-19 Public Health Measures Guide 

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.  

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine

We will seek to expeditiously engage with the Department of Health regarding the position of international students and we will explore what options might be feasible in this regard. We will be in touch on this.

Travel to Ireland from specific designated states is now subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. This must be pre-booked in advance of travel.These arrangements apply to any passenger who has been in any of these countries in the previous 14 days, even if only transiting through one of these countries and even if remaining airside.These arrangements also apply to any passenger who is travelling on to Northern Ireland.

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. 

Additional information on Mandatory Hotel Quarantine, including in relation to costs, is available at: www.gov.ie/quarantine . Information is also available in GermanPortuguese and Spanish

Arriving in Ireland & Galway: What facilities are in place for me?

We will seek to expeditiously engage with the Department of Health regarding the position of international students and we will explore what options might be feasible in this regard. We will be in touch on this.

Students should book their transport online using the form found here.

Accommodation for your 14-day period of restricted movement

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

Arrived in Ireland and Feeling Unwell - What to do?

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 and Travel.

Mobile Sim Cards

Sim Cards: You should order an Irish Sim Card for your mobile phone and arrange for it to be waiting for you in the accommodation where you will spend the restricted movement period. You will require an Irish number to be contactable by Irish Health Services should you begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms and require a COVID-19 test. Please see information in the point above about what to do if you begin to feel unwell.

If you wish to use your existing phone, please ensure that it 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.

Several mobile phone service providers in Ireland offer a range of monthly plans. Sim cards can be ordered online and will be sent in the post. 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

The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in the Republic of Ireland

On vaccination, we can confirm that students arriving into Ireland who are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test will not need to quarantine as long as the vaccination they have received a vaccine that is authorised for use in Ireland.  This is provided for in the Health Act 1947 (Exempted Traveller) (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No.3) Regulations 2021, which came into effect on 17 April (available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/1f150-view-statutory-instruments-related-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/).   (Note: there are certain provisions in the legislation regarding the amount of time which has elapsed since second dose/full vaccination which vary between the different varieties, which will need to be borne in mind.  We are conscious, however, that vaccines widely used in Asia and the Gulf such as Sputnik and SinoVac are not comprehended in this legislation).

Key Points:

  • will only be provided through the public health system and services(i.e. via the HSE hospitals/clinics, GPs, Pharmacies)
  • will be provided FREE of charge to all recipients
  • will not be available via any private healthcare service or other source.
  • will be rolled out on the basis of priority, related to age/medical need and risk of exposure, as determined by the HSE.

First two priority groups; elderly nursing home residents and frontline healthcare workers.  These doses are being administered in Nursing Homes and Hospitals only. 

Groups 3 to 5, whose vaccines will be administered in the community, will include all people over 70yrs old; people aged 65-69yrs old, particularly those with significant medical conditions; healthcare workers not involved in direct patient contact.

 Any student who happens to be employed either part-time/full-time in the healthcare setting, should be provided with access to the vaccine via their employer.

According to the HSE's published prioritisation plan for the vaccination programme, almost all 3rd level students (both Irish & International) are further down the list to receive the vaccine, unless they have a medical condition that significantly increases their level of priority.   

Groups 7 & below, are the main groups into which 3rd level students will probably fall, with the vast majority of them most likely being in group 14.

Any students enquiring about the vaccine should be directed to, and ensure that they fully read, all of the information available from the HSE via:


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 here in Ireland is to use one of the options below to seek to register with our national Covid-19 vaccination programme.

If you have a PPS number (https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/irish_social_welfare_system/personal_public_service_number.html), 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.

Exemption for those who have been fully vaccinated

If you are fully vaccinated and have the documents to prove that then you do not have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine when you come to Ireland. Any dependents travelling with you, including children, will also be exempted from the requirement to complete mandatory hotel quarantine.
However, if even you are fully vaccinated, you still have to have a negative pre-departure PCR test and complete a period of self-quarantine at home or wherever you specified in your passenger locator form.

What 'fully vaccinated' means

Type of vaccine

You are regarded as fully vaccinated after


7 days after 2nd dose


14 days after 2nd dose


15 days after 2nd dose

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

14 days after single dose


Starting Your Studies with NUI Galway

Term Dates for students arriving September 2021:

Provisional dates for the next academic year are as follows:

  • 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. 

What will the student experience look like at NUI Galway in this academic year?

Visit our FAQs page on Academic Year 2021/22..

Can I travel to Ireland at this time?

Irish borders remain open and there are no restrictions on travel into Ireland.

Third Level Graduate Permission Scheme (TLGPS) 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. .

On-Campus Accommodation

Are all on-campus rooms single occupancy?

 Twin rooms are available for students who are willing to share.

What happens if I am unable to start my course in NUI Galway due to Covid-19 travel restrictions?

If you are unable to start University due to a Government-imposed travel ban in place in either your home country or here in Ireland and you have already booked accommodation with us, Campus Living will refund any deposit less an administration charge and refund any rent paid.

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

Covid 19


  • Undergraduate Prospectus 2021

    Undergraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (9.63MB)

  • 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)

  • Indonesian Student Guide

    Indonesian Student Guide PDF (1.58MB)

  • Chinese Student Guide

    Chinese Student Guide PDF (1.35MB)

  • North American Guide

    North American Guide PDF (1.49MB)

  • Malaysian Student Guide

    Malaysian Student Guide PDF (1.31MB)

  • Hong Kong Student Guide

    Hong Kong Student Guide PDF (1.12MB)

  • Saudi Arabian Students

    Saudi Arabian Students PDF (1.14MB)

  • UAE Student Guide

    UAE Student Guide PDF (1.04MB)

  • Nigerian Ghanaian Guide

    Nigerian Ghanaian Guide PDF (1.16MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)