Study in Ireland- One of Europe’s Best Kept Secrets!

Most students want quality education at a reasonable price, and as an education counsellor I am always looking for the best packages. However, people can often be very conservative – the USA, UK and Australia are their top 3 choices in the English-speaking world, with Canada now increasing  in popularity, too. To some extent, people’s awareness comes from the marketing and promotions that these countries and their institutions organise, so the more money they spend, the more people know about it. The other way they find out is by talking to people who have studied or whose children are studying in these countries. Not all countries have big budgets, however. And not all countries have enough Vietnamese students yet to help them promote it. Ireland is in this situation, but  as an English-speaking country in Europe, and right next door to the UK, with a similar quality of education, it offers fantastic opportunities for Vietnamese students.

  1. Small, safe and with many similarities to the UK
  2. High quality education
  3. Opportunities for part-time work, paid work placements and post-study work
  4. Ireland is home to top IT, Financial Services and Pharmaceutical companies
  5. Lower tuition fees and living costs than the UK
  6. Many bursaries and scholarships
  7. 30 government scholarships per year for Vietnamese postgraduate students  worth 100% of tuition fees plus living costs (yes, read that again!)

If that has grabbed your attention, please read on.

Ireland map













1. The Republic of Ireland (Eire)  is a small country which borders the UK. It is the only other English-speaking country in the EU (apart from the tiny island of Malta) and it has a lot of shared history with the UK. An estimated 6 million  people of Irish descent live in the UK (more than the entire population of Ireland!)  and many British people  live in the Republic of Ireland. There is no border control between  Britain and Ireland and the 2 countries share many things in common apart from the English language – food, shopping, music, sport, popular culture, even the weather! Ireland also has its own distinct Celtic culture, which adds an extra dimension to living there.

2. However, in educational terms, Ireland is a powerhouse. With a population of only 4.5 million people, Ireland has 26 degree-awarding state Universities and Colleges  (with 2 of these in the World Top 200). 14 of these are classified as  Institutes of Technology (which offer degrees in a wide range of  subjects, including Business, Finance, Health, not just Technology, and specialise in skills for the workplace).

3. There are many part-time jobs for students in university cities in Ireland and they can work 20 hours per week in term-time and full time during vacations. Many courses at Irish universities and Institutes of Technology offer paid work placements as part of the degree course; finally, the Irish government allows international students to  stay in Ireland for 1 year after graduating in order to work.If they can get a job with a contract of at least 2 years and an annual salary of €29,000, they can stay longer.  With a small population but many dynamic industries, Ireland welcomes international graduates and encourages them to stay and contribute to the economy.

4.  Ireland  attracts many top global companies because of its low taxes. For example 8 of the world’s top ten IT companies have a base in Ireland, and Ireland is the world’s second largest exporter of ICT products. There are over 500 financial companies registered in Ireland and $1.4 trillion of funds administered. Ireland is the world’s second largest exporter of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices and 9 of the world’s Top 10 Pharmaceutical companies have a base there. For graduates, this means the opportunity to be hired by a global company right on the doorstep, and the chance to get a cutting edge degree from an institution producing top quality graduates for the current and future labour market. (TIP: having a foreign language such as Vietnamese is a big advantage in getting a job in IT, with Google, for example!)

5. Tuition fees in Ireland are lower overall than the UK. Students generally need around €20,000 per academic year to cover all fees and living costs.

6. Many institutions offer bursaries and scholarships to international /Vietnamese students. For example, Dundalk Institute of Technology, a leading institution located just outside Dublin, offers Vietnamese students up to €2,000 in bursaries, and free accommodation for up to 4 years, meaning that students would need only around €13,000 per year.

6. The government of Ireland has had an Embassy in Vietnam for 13 years and offers 30 full scholarships per year to Vietnamese postgraduates in a wide range of subjects. There are 150 Vietnamese alumni from this programme  who are now back in Vietnam and in top jobs.

Interested now?  To find out more, please visit TEC’s website . TEC is an experienced agent for Ireland and can help with any type of enquiry, especially regarding the Irish visa application process.


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