The application process
I applied through KOM consultants, which is a company based out of Hamilton, Ontario. They are the middle man in the whole process, and the university pays them if a student attends the college by applying through KOM. It’s really helpful to have them because they can bridge the gap by answering Canadian-specific questions. It’s also free to apply through them, so that’s also a big plus. The requirements may vary depending on the number of applicants any given year but when I applied last year, the minimum GPA was 2.0. Yeah, you read that right, you don’t have to excel in college, you just have to graduate. They did say to have a competitive advantage, you should aim for at least a 2.4 but come on people, you can do better. When I originally applied I had no intention of going, but it was free, so I figured why not keep my options open.
The cost I’m sure varies year to year, but for the 2017 Academic Year, International students are paying €7,500 for the business program. It sounds like a lot of money. If you consider the fact that transferring to a university in Canada would mean two years instead of one (twice the tuition, twice the cost of living), it actually works out to be cheaper to study in Ireland than staying at home to study, so it’s a no-brainer really. Sligo also has a lower cost of living in comparison to larger cities in Ireland. The Ontario Student Assistance Programme (OSAP) will also fund your trip abroad up to $10,000 depending on your personal circumstances.
My course, the Honours Business Program, is a fourth year add-on to an existing Canadian advanced diploma. On your first day, you’ll have the opportunity to select the stream of business you’d like to be in (Marketing, Accounting, Human Resource Management, Tourism, Sports etc.) and select your electives. There are core classes for the business program that all streams will be enrolled in which are: Business Strategy 1 and Macro Economics in semester one, and Business Strategy 2 and Micro Economics in semester two. There are then four core classes for your specific stream, and you select one elective per semester. Contrary to Canadian colleges, the electives are course relevant, so you won’t feel like you’re wasting your time learning about social sciences (no offence to my previous professors, interesting, but useful? Maybe not).
Ireland is one of the only countries that allows you to obtain not only a study visa, but also a student work visa, so if you’re worried about funding your trip, it’s a great option. It also is one of few countries that allows you the opportunity to stay after you finish school. As long as you find a job in your field post-grad, you can extend your visa. The cost for a visa here is also relatively low compared to other countries.
Please note: visa requirements are subject to change