Study Abroad in Ireland: A Guide to Planning Your Finances


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

Plenty of foreign students (particularly Americans and Brits) look to study abroad in Ireland, which not only offers a rich history and culture, but also over 5,000 accredited study programs. With the US dollar’s value still close to the euro (having declined since surpassing the euro’s value in November 2022), there’s no better time to look into financing a study program overseas.

In this guide, we’re looking at how much it costs to study in Ireland, as well as other things you need to consider when planning your finances. So, let’s get started.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Ireland?

As with other countries, the cost of studying in Ireland will largely depend on where you choose to study, your country of origin and the course you choose to take. 

Students who have been living in the UK or any EU, EEA or Swiss state for at least three to five years can apply for a free fees initiative (undergrad only). Through this scheme, the Irish government will pay the institution the fees, and you’ll pay a contribution of €3,000 ($3,250 or £2,640) per year.

Students outside these chosen countries will need to pay the full fees, either from their own finances or via a student loan. Fees for courses vary depending on duration and whether they are at undergraduate or postgraduate level. For example, undergrad courses range from €9,850 to €55,000 ($10,700-59,700 or £8,680-48,450), with higher course fees being for more specialist disciplines (for example, medicine). 

While these numbers might seem a little daunting, there are a number of grants, bursaries and scholarships available for higher education in Ireland. Head to Education in Ireland for more information on scholarships and the costs of studying in Ireland.

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; 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 centre of town, you’ll most likely save money on rent. On average, students will want to budget at least €8,000 ($8,670 or £7,050) 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

Cost of Living in Ireland

Moving overseas, even temporarily, can be an expensive endeavour. 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. Bicycles are also commonly used, as Ireland’s roads typically have dedicated bike lanes. Full-time students can also get a Student Leap Card, which will give them a 31% discount on fares for Dublin Bus and Irish Rail, amongst other services.

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.

Applying for a Visa and Health Insurance Costs

If you are a non-EEA student looking to study in Ireland for more than 3 months, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. As part of the application process, 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.

students abroad pub ireland

Sending Money to Ireland for Student Expenses

Studying abroad in Ireland can be expensive. That’s 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 immediate financial assistance.

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