To do list for new international students in Ireland
Aminat Ajagbe, one of our Nigerian Student Ambassadors, has compiled a really handy list for any students coming to Ireland from abroad for the first time
Congratulations on the successful completion of the application process to study in Ireland. I want to share a list of ‘things to do’ that will help you focus on your studies while exploring Ireland. Following this list will save you time and energy.
1. Find temporary accommodation
Arriving in a new country with no place to stay is not a good start to your journey. If you have no accommodation on arrival into Ireland, I recommend booking a hotel or hostel in which to stay temporarily. Then you can start the gruesome search for a permanent residence. Your college might recommend some places.
The following websites might help too:
Temporary accommodation: Booking.com, Hostelworld, Hostingpower, Airbnb
Permanent accommodation: Daft, Let, Student Accommodation Dublin, MyHome, CollegeCribs
2. Get an Irish phone number
Communication is essential, so getting a line on which you can be reached is essential. Always submit your Irish number if a phone number is requested so you are easily contactable. There are lots of different companies available to choose from if you check in a phone shop.
3. Book an appointment for GNIB and PSC
An immigration officer at border control will stamp your passport and add a date to the stamp. That date is the longest you can stay in Ireland without registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). You will also be issued a residence permit card (known as a GNIB card) after a successful interview.
The Public Services Card (PSC) establishes and authenticates your identity. It assists you in accessing a range of public services, both in person and online quickly and safely. It will also have a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number, a unique reference number written on the card.
Click on the link to know more: GNIB or PSC
Click on the link to book an appointment: GNIB Appointment or PSC Appointment
4. Get a student Leap card
The Student Leap Card is the national student travel and discount card. It will save you money on public transport and selected brand partners. Pre-registering online makes the process faster.
To know more, go to: Student Leap Card
To pre-register, go to: Student Leap Card Pre-registration
5. Open a bank account
This was a cultural shock for me. I am used to just walking into a bank and opening an account if I have all the required documents. In Ireland, an appointment is needed to open an account with a bank; check with the bank what is required. The exception is if the college you are attending has a relationship with a bank; then they come to you (they will be on school premises).
Look at each bank website or visit in person to ask for the required documents. I also recommend having a Revolut account as it will help with splitting fees, transfers and day-to-day spending.
My personal experience with the things on my list is that finding permanent accommodation is a tedious process; I hope it’s different for you). Getting a phone number was easy because someone already suggested which one to get and where to get it.
Also, getting an appointment for the GNIB card or the PSC and opening a bank account were not possible because I didn’t start the process early.
Thank you for reading this post.
Aminat is pursuing an MSc in Information Systems with Computing at the Dublin Business School (DBS)