Top tips for Indian students starting their studies in Ireland for the first time

A close acquaintance of mine (referred to in this article as my student contact) provided me with great information that would be useful for an Indian student heading to Ireland for higher studies. The information provided in this article is based on her experience when studying abroad at the University College Dublin’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ireland. She completed the M.Sc. Digital Marketing and is currently working in Dublin. 


Arriving in Dublin

My student contact’s flight landed at Dublin Airport. The University College Dublin (UCD) does not arrange for any transport to the campus from the airport so you need to confirm well in advance if you have to make arrangements for your own transport. Naturally, travel expenses from your home to the University are to be borne by you.

Additional travel-related note: The University provides a shuttle from the UCD Smurfit campus to the UCD Belfield campus. You can also avail of the special travel card to travel at 50% of normal rates.

Provisions to take

While travelling for the first time, you need to equip yourself with a couple of plates, a set of cutleries, glasses, bowls, and all essential cooking utensils. Yes, these are available in Dublin as well, but obviously, they will come at a cost so it is best to carry your own stuff. In terms of food items, carrying your spices is the key as these would support you for a good couple of months! My student contact took some spices, a packet of rice, dal, some pulses, vacuumed parathas/theplas, dehydrated gravies, and breakfast items like Upma, as well as instant soups.

In fact, for that first week of survival, it is a good idea to carry some ready-to-eat or easy-to-make food packets. Later, once you are comfortably settled in your accommodation, you just need to head to the local stores. There are ample amount of grocery stores nearby for regular supplies. For cooking ingredients specific to Asian or Indian cooking, there are Asian Stores in the local markets as well as in the City Centre region. What you should do is plan ahead. That is, decide what you need for the next couple of months, and buy the provisions in one go.

Selecting accommodation

You do not necessarily have to stay on campus if you find suitable off-campus accommodation nearby. Keep in mind, though, that it can be stressful finding a rental place within budget as the prices are on the higher side in Ireland. So it would be good to just opt for the campus accommodation. Basically, the lesser the hassle the better! 

Work Options in Ireland After Postgraduation

When you are on a student visa, you can work part-time (20 hours in a week) during your course, and full-time (40 hours a week) during holidays or vacation time. There are fewer jobs available on campus, but students do not have too much difficulty finding part-time jobs in Dublin. Keep in mind, though, that as a student you will have to manage your work hours and study hours well depending on work pressure and academic requirements.

Some students secure a part-time internship during the course, while others could get a job immediately.  In fact, some do land a job within two months or even 10 months after completing the program. The thing is that there is no set amount of time that everybody needs to get a job in this market. It all depends on what channels you use to secure work and, more importantly, how early you start the application process. My student contact started early, not only by applying for jobs but also by steadily building a network on LinkedIn, talking to people in her field to understand their experience, and carrying on iterations with her resume from the third semester itself. Subsequently, she was able to secure a job one month after her M.Sc. Digital Marketing course ended. Kudos to her effective strategies in getting a work placement real quick! 

A brief footnote- Naturally, do your homework in checking out the accreditation, reputation, and whether the course you are pursuing is well worth it in terms of the time it will take and the return of investment. All the best!

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