International Students Coming to Ireland – Everything you Need to Know

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know

Where do they come from?

The biggest increase has been international students from other EU states, jumping from 1,934 in 2017 to 6,383 in 2022.


According to the Irish Times, the total number of full-time, non-EEA international students reached nearly 18,500 in 2018. The Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) states that the main non-EEA sending countries for Ireland are the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Canada. Asia sends the largest share of students (43% as of 2017/18), followed by North America (30%), and the EU (20%).


As reported by this report, applications from British students increased by 9 per cent this year. In 2021, Ireland was home to 25,000 international students. India is the second-biggest source of international students on the island. 


International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know
Photo by Javier Trueba on Unsplash

Top tips for International Students arriving to Ireland

Rental scams

September has approached, and students are heading back to college. The rental market has never been busier. With the surge in demand for accommodation, hopeful tenants are being advised to be cautious of a variety of rental scams.  HomeHak has put together some useful information about scams related to renting.

Bank account

One of the first things you should do is open a student bank account. Each university usually has a banking partner on campus.

Budgeting for international students

To enable you to enjoy your university experience to the fullest, you need to learn to manage your money correctly. One of the biggest ways to save money in university is through your grocery shopping. As an international student in Ireland, you can enjoy a range of great discounts and savings. These will make your finances easier to manage.

Shopping and discounts

Ireland has several student discount cards. They range from freebies to money off. Below, we list the cards we recommend adding to your student wallet.


iConnect Card

    – You can save up to €450 on MacBook iPad ranges with a valid third-level student card.

>Student Leap Card

    – Ireland’s primary student travel card.


    – ISIC has been the mainstay discount card for international students for over 50 years. They offer exclusive discounts on a vast range of products and services in over 125 countries.

Affordable Supermarkets

Grocery shopping will eat up a large part of your student budget. It pays to shop around to find the cheapest supermarket in your local area. Here, we list the supermarkets that are the cheapest.



Dunnes Stores




Manage your time

As you settle into the swing of things, your time in Ireland is going to fly by. Plan Your Next Adventure with Discover Ireland.

Ireland’s Weather

Ireland is the type of place where you can experience the four seasons in one day. Ensure to pack wisely for cold, warm and wet days.


HomeHak International students
Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Student Travel Card

A student travel card will get you discounts on your travel throughout Ireland. Also, giving you great savings is the Student Leap Card.


For more information on these tips, check out our article International Students Studying in Irish Universities Top Tips.


Full details of all Diplomatic Missions in Ireland or accredited to Ireland on a non-resident basis can be found in the link below. This has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It includes information on the index of missions and representations accredited to Ireland. Diplomatic List July 2022

Irish Banks

To open an Irish bank account as an international student, you will need:

    • Valid passport/ID card

Certificate of Attendance

These are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank. Each offers a student account with differing service fees and added extras.

Mobile phone

Ireland has a reliable phone network. The country is covered by several major network providers. There are a number of options available to you, depending on your budget and requirements. These include a fixed-term contract, sim-only plan or pay-as-you-go tariff.


The main operators we’d recommend in Ireland are


The INIS visa service offers information on the process of finding health insurance in Ireland. On average, health insurance for international students costs around €100 – €120 per annum.

Working in Ireland

Here are the conditions you need to be aware of:

EU Students

    If you’re travelling from the EU, you can work in Ireland without registering for a GNIB card.

Non-EU Students

  • Non-EU students can seek casual work of up to 20 hours a week during term-time, provided they have a card. In June, July, August and September, non-EU students can work up to 40 hours per week.
    You cannot work in Ireland if your course is under six months in length.


Start with the university careers portal. These list a range of term-time positions available on and off campus. Then, check job sites such as Monster, Jobs and Irish Jobs. Distribute your CV to local businesses, as not all positions are advertised online.


Why use a Tenant CV?

  1. It’s an easy-to-read document.
  2. HomeHak tenant CV shows off information a landlord would need to know.  Head to our article What is a Tenant CV? for more information.
  3. It promotes you as a suitable tenant.
  4. A tenant CV takes some frustration out of the rental application process.
  5. It provides all valuable and essential information for the homeowner upfront. Check out our article on 6 Reasons to Use a Tenant CV.

Landlord References

A landlord recommendation letter (rental reference) is an crucial component of your rental application. In a competitive rental market, a good reference can make a huge difference. Check out our article Importance Of a Reference for Irish University Student Accommodation.

Important links for international students

Revenue office


Irish Newspapers

Travel in Ireland

Irish Council for International Students

Link to University websites In Ireland For International Students

Trinity College Of Trinity

University College Dublin

University College Cork

Dublin City University

Technological University Dublin

University Of Limerick

Maynooth University

Galway National University Of Ireland

Athlone Institute Of Technology

Carlow Technology Institute

Dundalk Technology Institute

Limerick Institute Of Technology

Letterkenny Institute Of Technology

Waterford Institute Of Technology

Cork Institute Of Technology

Sligo Technology Institute

Institute Of Technology, Tralee

Dublin Business School

Griffith College Dublin

Useful articles for international students

Study in Ireland: A Guide for International Students

International Students

Student visas to study in Ireland

Study in Ireland

Top recommended websites for international students 

Irish Council for International Students

Irish Universities Association

Citizens Information

Education in Ireland

Embassy World

The Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service

Google Maps


Key Items Every Irish Student Needs To Survive University

Writing a list

Getting ready to pack and move off to college is incredibly exciting. HomeHak has compiled a list of tips must-have key items and random things that no one thinks of!

Key Items:

  • An extra set of sheets
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • A Coffee Maker
  • A big lamp
  • A mini toolkit
  • A surplus of school and office supplies
  • A really long TV cable
  • A cosy, colourful rug
  • Trash liners
  • An umbrella
  • Twinkle lights and other decor
  • Command hanging strips and hooks
  • A pile of pillows and blankets
  • A big calendar (desk or wall) in addition to your planner
  • A backpack
  • Storage bins 
  •  Air Freshener Spray
  • Your calculator
  • A spare phone charger and battery

In this article, you will find the key must-haves voted by students. Keep reading for more tips for university students in Ireland:


Some Tips:

1. Be able to work and get around

It will be so important to have a good laptop. This should be one that is not heavy to carry around. when moving, you should also have a set of copy books with sets of dividers in them. These will be really helpful for studying. And also, don’t forget a Leap card. This will get you great discounts off travel. 


2. Key items – Don’t bring everything

It is easy to think you need every single pair of shoes in your home wardrobe but you really don’t, trust me. It might seem silly but get yourself a good pair of slippers or flip flops to wear around your apartment or accommodation. You will live in these! Also, an extension lead is always handy. A printer is also great for any last minute assignments needing to be printed off late.. 

Girl with bag
Photo by Resi Kling on Unsplash

3. Remember to get up

It is easy to just rely on your iPhone but don’t forget to pack a good alarm clock. Yes it may seem old fashioned but this device will physically make you to get up from your warm comfy bed in the morning if you put it at the other end of your room. You also wont end up procrastinating and wasting time checking your notifications. 


4. Be ready to move around

In college, you will be rushing to classes in the morning and doing A LOT of walking around campus in between lectures. That is why a travel mug for coffee, a phone power bank or portable phone charger will be key items on your moving list.


5. A4 is A1

There is nothing worse than not having a suitable bag in university. Find a sports bag or a handbag that’s big enough to fit your laptop. You will also need a bag to use for the gym so consider if you want this to be a multi use bag or if you want to have two separate bags.




To summarise

These are absolutely college must-haves to survive! Bed, Bath & Beyond also has a great variety of packing lists to make your life a lot easier! We hope you enjoyed HomeHak’s key items for surviving life in Irish University!

Here are some more articles on packing for Irish University:

University Experience in Ireland – How to Make the Most of it.



You have decided on a course, packed your bags and said your goodbyes to your family. It is now time to forge your identity and find your community in third level education. Keep reading to find out how to make the most of your university experience in Ireland.


Choosing where to go to college is important, but so are the everyday decisions about how you go to college. These are the building blocks to a great college experience where you can find your people, purpose, and career path. Here are HomeHak’s top tips to help you create a college experience that works for you.




Lead a student organisation

Whether a club, sports team, or something else, you’ll benefit greatly from leading something in college. It will build your confidence, skills, and a network. It will also help you identify and work toward your life and career goals. Have an interest in art and craft but there is presently no club for it? Create one and meet like minded people! Here is an example of setting up a society in Trinity. 


Make use of the library

In addition to using your library as a place to study, libraries can help you on a research project, write more effectively, analyse and visualise data, record and edit videos, and make better presentations. Students who use libraries do better academically and are 1.44 times more likely to graduate. Here is how to make the most of the library in university.


Photo by Trnava University on Unsplash

Find your study space

Your dorm room or apartment might not be the best environment in which to do your homework and studying. Those are the places where you sleep, relax and hang out with friends, so it makes sense that you might feel less-than-productive if you try to do work there, too.

Scope out the library or the nooks and crannies of your student union building to find your ideal working space. Most campuses have a variety of student lounges, designated quiet areas and department-specific study rooms.

Find a study space that is ideal for your noise preferences and creative inspiration and make it a habit to do chunks of your homework there. It’ll be easier for you to concentrate and you’ll retain information better.


Meet with a lecturer

It’s normal to not feel like you belong, to question your major, to doubt your abilities, and to be confused as you make your way through the complexities of college. Meeting with a lecturer can give the guidance and encouragement you need. Students who meet regularly with their lecturers are more likely to stay in third level education. Here are some tips on how to ask your lecturer for help.


Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars

Nearly every university brings guest speakers and lecturers to campus for its students. Take advantage of these unique opportunities to learn something new and maybe even meet some really cool people to enhance your university experience. Even the most famous of guest speakers who talk on college campuses are willing to shake hands and answer questions after their talk. Check out your school’s calendar of upcoming events. 


Join a sports team for university experience

If you want to make new friends while also getting some exercise, join a sports team. Most colleges and universities offer many different kinds of men’s, women’s and co-ed teams for a variety of sports.


Girls training in college
Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Participate in a local community project

Check out your local community and see if you can volunteer on any community projects. For example working with a group of students to create a social media plan for a local business, help with the local tidy towns committee or volunteer at local sports clubs. These projects not only give you a chance to make an impact but will make your curriculum vitae stand out among your peers. Here is more on how to get involved in your local community.


Get an internship 

In most third level institutes, you will have the option to go on placement. Please take this opportunity and do not shy away from it. It is an invaluable experience which will help kick start your career. Applying lessons from the classroom to the real-world is critical. Placements are a great way to do this. Students who have internships are more hireable when they go to get a job after education. Here is a guide to finding an internship during college.


Exercise and eat well

You need to take responsibility for your physical health and wellness by eating foods from every food group and exercising regularly. Studies have found that most college students weren’t eating even one full serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Not only is that terrible for your body, but it also promotes poor eating habits that could continue to affect you throughout your life.

When you eat well and exercise, you feel better about yourself, get sick less often and have more energy. All of these things can help you be a more productive student, but can also help you go for your dream job after graduation and live a longer, healthier life as an adult.



To summarise

Keep an open mind about new things to make the most of your university experience. Throughout your college years, you’ll be exposed to many new kinds of people, music, ideas and hobbies. If you remain open to trying new things, you are very likely to find new lifelong passions and interests.

For more reading on university life in Ireland, check out our article:

Importance Of a Reference for Irish University Student Accommodation


As a renter, moving from one home to another is inevitable. However, you may come across new landlords who want to know about your renting history. Before approving your application, they may ask for a landlord recommendation letter provided by your previous landlord. HomeHak will share our tops tips for the importance of a reference.


A landlord recommendation letter, also called a rental reference, is an important component of your rental application. In a competitive rental market, a good reference can make a huge difference. 


Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash


What is a landlord recommendation letter?

A landlord recommendation letter is a letter written to a potential landlord by your current landlord. A property manager or a supervisor can also write you a rental reference. Your new landlord will likely ask for this reference in order to complete your background check.

Landlord recommendation letters tell your landlord that you are a responsible and financially stable tenant and that you adhere to the terms of a lease. A rental reference letter can help boost your application and make up for any shortcomings, such as a low credit score. This is one of the main reasons behind the importance of a reference. It assures the landlord that you’ll pay your rent on time, respect deadlines, and not incur defaults.


What references should you include in a rental application?

Submitting a great rental application is key to getting the rental property you want. Once your personal information, proof of income and background checks are complete, the references you include with your application can make or break the deal.

A rental reference (or referral) is a vote of confidence from someone who knows you in a personal, financial, educational, professional, or prior rental experience capacity. Ideally, your rental reference will know you well enough to speak to your character and express it to a property manager/owner. Who you choose as your reference and what they say about you can make all the difference to your application. Here are a few things HomeHak recommends to consider when you get to this stage.


Importance of a reference – what relevance does your rental reference have to you?

When a property manager starts screening applicants and calling references, they will ask each person how they know you. If you include your Dad and college friend, their opinion may look a little biased. Where possible, choose people who can talk about how you’ve performed at your current job (your employer, for example). Look for a reference who can say you’ve demonstrated great personal responsibility through other means. If possible, add a previous landlord to your reference list who can vouch for your ability to look after a property.


How to approach your rental references

If you have a few people in mind but want to select the most appropriate person for your application, think about some open-ended questions for them. Things like, ‘If I were to list you as a reference, what would you say you’ve noticed about me and responsibility?’ The answers you get will give you some idea of who to include. Try to select people who know you well. You don’t want to pick casual friends or a tutor who took you for one class back in the day. Avoid including your boyfriend or family members unless you plan to include personal references. Here is an article on choosing a personal reference for a rental application.


Choose your rental references wisely.

Once you’ve thought of a few people who know you well, work out whether they’d provide a positive reference for you. Remember, some people find it hard to say no to others, or they might not tell you that the reference they provide could be less than glowing. A better move here is to offer your potential reference a way out. Let them know you won’t be offended should they prefer not to be contacted. Gauge their reaction and decide whether you still want to use them on your rental application.


Who makes the perfect rental reference? 

A former landlord/property manager: If you had a good experience with your former property manager and know they would speak highly of you as a tenant, they’re probably the perfect choice.

A career mentor: Career mentors could make an excellent reference for your rental application. Their experience with you will most likely be a professional one, and they’ll be able to speak highly of your good qualities and ability to perform under pressure.

An employer: Employers have probably worked with you for a long time and would also make an excellent reference. Top tip: Ensure they’re happy with your work ethic and attitude first!

Volunteer supervisor: Have you done volunteer work in the past? If you worked under one supervisor, they would also make a great choice.

Think about the people in your life who think best of you in terms of what is needed to be a good tenant, such as: personal and financial responsibility, professionalism and accountability.


To summarise

No rental reference? Don’t stress. Even if you’ve never rented before, you can still find people who make perfect rental application references. Choose co-workers, employers, coaches or mentors. These are the ideal people to tell your potential landlord or property manager what you’d be like as a tenant. They will base their experience on what it was like to work with, coach or mentor you. Their opinion will also help demonstrate the character of someone who would make a great tenant.