Malaysian Student Ambassador Irdina Jasme has some really useful advice for any student coming from abroad to study in Ireland

The twist
Of course, studying abroad is a dream for lots of students and that includes me. But what made me choose Ireland? Well to be honest I wasn’t planning for it; originally, applying for Australia and New Zealand was in my mind for years but after lots of consideration, I was happy to say that choosing Ireland has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

The course
Science, business and IT have been well-recognised as subjects to study in their country for many years. Ireland is also ranked highly for quality of education that meets the needs of a competitive economies as most of the courses are in the growing sectors and in demand. The technology and accessibility makes me even more confident. As I’m interested in pursuing a science-based course, Ireland would be the best option!

The environment
Ireland is not only known for its beautiful green countryside and cold breeze but the Irish people would be the friendliest people of the world and I cannot agree more than that. Being a minority can be scary for most people but from my experience, everyone from my classmates, lecturers to cashiers and strangers are very friendly and would greet me all the time.

The language
Of course, English is the main language here but what is unique is that Ireland has its own language which is Gaelic. That would be interesting to learn as I’m studying here. Who knows maybe I’ll learn their language too one day?

Cost of living
Finances can be a hard thing to discuss but what I can say is that Ireland’s cost of living is much lower than other countries. Depending on where you live and study, bigger cities would cost more and small towns would cost less and depending on your institute, accommodation might be included in your tuition fees like mine so that saves a lot of money. You can go to approximately €300 or lower for monthly expenses according on your needs.

Application process and visa requirement
In my personal experience, the application process is easy compared to other countries. Basic documents like passports are all you need and depending on each institute or university they may want some extra documents but the communication is good and clear.

For countries like Malaysia, a visa is not required from home since you’ll get a three-month permit as your departure so you have lots of time to prepare and make an appointment for the visa as you arrive in Ireland while studying. For EU students, visa is not needed to travel or study in Ireland.

Of course, being in another country is very tempting, but nowadays with the pandemic, even being outside of the house can be a threat to our health. But what’s good here, the staff and community took responsibility and lots of precautions were made like limiting number of customers per entry, sanitizers provided in each store, masks are compulsory every time you enter buildings and stores were all closed by 5pm. Social distancing is already a norm and emails and blackboard are used as a learning and communication platform for students and lecturers to use efficiently.

Irdina is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science at Munster University -IT Tralee