Students Abroad: An American Studying in Ireland


study abroad ireland trinity dublin
Genia Jones
Content Specialist
Genia is a writer for FXcompared. She has over 15 years of experience working in the financial industry as a writer, analyst, marketer, and content strategist. She enjoys writing about emerging trends… Read more

Studying abroad is one of the best—and most enjoyable—ways for Americans to pursue an education, while gaining invaluable international experience at the same time. Ireland, long a popular study abroad choice for Americans, offers students over 5,000 accredited study programs in a country full of cultural and historical treasures. And with the US dollar’s value drawing closer to the euro, there’s no better time to look into financing a study program overseas.

Choosing Where to Live

You’ve decided where you will be studying, but where will you be sleeping? Here’s how much you should plan for living costs while you’re in Ireland

In Ireland, it’s generally cheaper to live outside of large cities like Dublin, though cities are where universities tend to be located. However, it’s possible to find rentals that are safe and have the basic necessities covered. If you’re willing to live further from the center of town, you’ll most likely save money on rent. On average, students will want to budget at least € 8,000 for rental costs for a full academic year stay.

It’s common for utility costs to be separate from rent, so be sure to factor in what you’ll need to pay for heating and electricity, as well as other basic living costs. Keep in mind that Ireland can be cold, wet, and dark during the winter months, so make sure you budget accordingly. Here are some general cost guidelines to keep in mind when putting a budget together:

  • Utilities: € 60 - € 145 (the winter months will be colder and darker, so plan to spend more on heating and electricity during wintertime)
  • Internet access (if not covered by rent): €145
  • Mobile phone/card: €0.23 (based on purchasing a prepaid mobile card with no discount or plan)
american students on university lawn ireland

Day to Day Living

Transport, Health Insurance, Food, Miscellaneous expenses - what will it really cost?

Moving overseas, even temporarily, can be an expensive endeavor. Once you’ve figured out the most important issues, like where you’ll live, you’ll want to focus on figuring out day-to-day expenses. These costs range from transportation to health insurance to what you’ll pay for groceries each week.

Where you live will largely determine what you’ll pay for transportation, though Ireland generally has good public transportation options. If you have a Student TravelCard (€15), you’ll get a discount on transportation costs (along with many other discounts). Bicycles are also commonly used, as Ireland’s roads typically have dedicated bike lanes. Here’s what you can generally expect to pay for public transportation while you’re in Ireland:

  • Adult daily rail card (Dublin): €11.10
  • Student weekly rail card: €27.50
  • Student monthly bus and rail card: €119

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services requires all international students to have private health insurance that will cover them for the length of their time in Ireland. If you’re planning to stay in Ireland for more than a year, you will be eligible for public hospital treatment the same as Irish citizens receive. However, all students staying less than one year will need to arrange for their own private health insurance.

Food in Ireland can be expensive, though it’s possible to save by eating on campus or in cheaper restaurants. Even so, you should budget € 75 - € 100 per week for groceries or on-campus dining. For going-out costs, remember that, if you show your university or international student card, you’re likely to receive discounts on everything from movie tickets to food items.

students abroad pub ireland

Common Financial Sense & Paying Tuition

Studying abroad can be expensive, which is why finding the safest, most convenient and most cost-effective options for financing your study abroad program, is such an important part of your planning process.

To find a currency specialist who can assist you for your entire education abroad, use the FXcompared comparison tool. You can even find a transfer provider that has live agents to assist in the event of an emergency that requires immediately financial assistance - something your parents might especially appreciate!

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