Thinking of studying at an Irish University? There are numerous reasons students choose to study here. Vietnamese Student Ambassador Phan Anh Nguyen shares his personal experiences of studying in Ireland.


I am Phan from Vietnam. I have been living, studying, working part-time, travelling and enjoying Ireland for five years now. I am currently doing a Master of Business at Athlone Institute of Technology. Before this, I completed a 4-year Marketing degree here. My institute is ranked 18th on Webometrics at the time I am writing this. It also received the Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year Award in 2018 and 2019. 

In this blog, I will outline some basic pros and cons that I think are the highlights of my experience in Ireland. 

The Pros

  • It is true that Ireland is doing a lot of funding in the education system, my college also received a large investment sum a few years back. This created a better learning environment (class, technology, gears, etc) along with better service standards (student union’s Xbox, billiards, canteen, etc) for students. My campus at AIT was constantly being improved over the years. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the whole campus design got tweaked to adapt to safety and health guidelines. 
  • The Irish government did a great job during the pandemic, not only is the situation not as bad as other countries in the EU. But also, when I lost my part-time job due to the pandemic, I received the Pandemic Unemployment Payment despite being an international student. Which I greatly appreciated.  

    Shannon River, Athlone (photo: Phan)


  • Overall, I feel like my course’s learning process is organised and logically planned. I feel like most of my learning in this course is practical and can be applied to real life. The subjects are also divided into smaller bits to help us learn from basic to advanced. Meaning, the grind is not too bad if you have been paying attention during your study. 
  • The Irish passing grade is 40/100. That means you will probably not fail any subject as long as you put in the effort. 
  • Lecturers’ English is fairly clear and easy to understand. This is important since I am not a native English speaker. 
  • You can have your VISA extended for one year after you graduated with a Bachelor and 2 years if you graduated with a Master’s Degree. This is ideal if you are looking to stay and work after you finish your study as Ireland wages are considered good even within the EU zone. 
  • I have an overall good impression of the Irish as friendly and fun people to hang out with. Over the years, I have made friends who I now think of as family. 

Our Bachelor’s Degree graduation party (photo: Phan)

  • There is a big international community living and studying here in Ireland. This is amazing because I have met so many new friends from different backgrounds and, if you reach out, you will for sure have a great experience (just like the ones in movies).  

The Cons: 

  • Although I am generally happy with my learning process here in Ireland, I need to mention that some lecturers do not put anything online at all after their classes. So, if you miss one class, that information is gone, and you can’t access it anymore. But since COVID-19, lecturers at AIT have adapted to remote learning and all the resources can be found online which is great to keep track and revise your college work. 

    One of our lecturers dressing up for a Zoom class on Halloween (photo: Phan)


  • Ireland’s cities and scenery can be slightly repetitive in my opinion but are amazing for people who enjoy nature adventure. 
  • Irish weather can be a bit blue for students who come from a sunny climate like me – but you get used to it.

In the end, I am happy with my journey here in Ireland. This is my last year of college and everything is going phenomenally for me despite there being a pandemic. I have truly built myself a home here during the span of five years. If I were to choose whether to go to Ireland or not again, I would for sure choose to take the journey again. I really wish I had an extra year of college here at AIT as I enjoy student life so much. 

Lastly, I hope you understand that my study abroad in Ireland review is only based on my own experiences and opinions.

Good friends (photo: Phan)

Phan is doing a Master’s Degree in Business at Athlone Institute of Technology