We all need a helping hand at some stages in life, especially when you decide to up-roots and move to another country! In her new piece, Hyosun Kim, Student Ambassador from Korea, doles out some useful tips for those of you still finding your feet in Ireland…

Grocery shopping (photo: Olga Kriger via Canva)

Grocery shopping 

After settling down following the tips I mentioned in my previous blog posts, now it’s time for a real-life shopping spree. Check on Google Maps which store is closest to your accommodation. The most common grocery markets nearby are probably Tesco, Dunnes, Supervalu, Aldi or Lidl. It will mostly be one of these four since they are the big four. Each product and item have different prices and selling amounts in each market so compare them if you have time and you’ll get the best deals. Don’t forget that they do discount sales from time to time. Most of the time it is cheaper to buy in bulk but remember that you might not have enough space so plan carefully! 

Product shopping 

Is there Euro Giant or Dealz next to your house? If there is, you are lucky since they’re where you’ll find most of your daily necessities other than groceries. Things like pens, post-its, power plugs, staplers etc. If you need to buy bed linen and pillows for your bed, go to Dunnes Stores, they usually have a set for pillows and bed linen. Shampoo, toothbrushes etc can be bought with the groceries in the same stores.  


The delivery service from grocery stores might differ from your home country. At least it was different for me. Grocery stores here ask the customers to book their preferred hour to receive the delivery and the fee costs differ depending on the time you would like. For example, if it is the 6pm-7pm slot which is most likely the best hour to receive the package after work, it’s a little more expensive than the 8-10pm slot for example. Also, it depends on where you live but usually same-day delivery isn’t possible since all the spots are booked thus plan your deliveries 2-3 days before you actually need groceries if using delivery.  

Regular deliveries, not the groceries however have a different system. In Ireland, I found that if the recipient isn’t at home to receive at the delivered hour, the package goes back with the mailman instead of putting it in front of the door. They return another time or send you a message to pick the package up at the designated post office. Thus, plan your schedule wisely when you have a package that is about to be delivered.  

Deliveries (photo: Yuliia Chyzhevska via Canva)

Everything will feel a bit different and you’ll need time to adapt but don’t forget that you’ll have friendly neighbours and friends next to you where ever you are in Ireland! Don’t be afraid to ask for help since everyone is super helpful. We, as internationals, tend to try to solve all the problems by ourselves but do not be afraid to ask whatever the need – that would be the best advice for an easy experience of studying in Ireland.  

Irish Residence Permit  

This differs a lot depending on your nationality so I recommended that you check this website: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/Pages/irish-residence-permit for further information. It involves processes with many documents and going back and forth to the Immigration Office if you are in Dublin and if you are living outside of Dublin, visit your local Garda Station.  

More tips regarding the accommodation  

Before renting a house, you should check if the house rent includes a utility bill or not, if it doesn’t, the gas and electricity bill will be charged in addition to your rent and it could be quite a big amount if service usage is high. Especially be aware of it’s an electricity-powered heating system and not gas-powered. It would cost much more than using gas since it will need at least 30 minutes to heat the water before using the shower.  

I hope these tips are useful and help you find your way in this wonderful country!

Hyosun is doing a Bachelor of Commerce in International Hotel Management at Shannon College of Hotel Management, NUI Galway.