The Republic of Ireland is a country situated in Western Europe. Its capital is Dublin. Additionally, around 5,031,500 residents are thriving in Ireland as of 2022. As for the nation’s official languages, there are two: English and Irish or Gaeilge. Moving on to religion, the majority of the population is Roman Catholic. On the other hand, several people are members of the Church of Ireland as well as Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches.

When it comes to tourist destinations, the country prides itself on having a long list of places that any traveler should not miss out on. This list includes Dublin’s Grafton Street, Killarney National Park, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, and Cork’s English Market. In addition to this, there are also loads of must-try Irish dishes like colcannon and champ, soda bread, boxty, Dublin coddle, and of course, a full Irish breakfast.

In 2020, there were more than 32,000 students from far and wide who chose to pursue their higher education in Ireland. In this guide, we let you in on some of the best cities to study in Ireland for international students.

Top Cities to Study in Ireland for International Students

1. Dublin

The capital of Ireland, Dublin, goes by many names. In Irish, it is called Dubh Linn. On another note, it is referred to as Dyfflin in Norse. In addition to this, it is also dubbed the “Town of the Ford of the Hurdle.” Moreover, it is perhaps Ireland’s most charming city. Aside from being popular for its lovely architecture, the area is also famed for its alcoholic drinks such as the dry stout beer Guinness.

With many colleges and universities to choose from, Dublin is among the best cities to study in Ireland for international students. A few of the best include Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Technological University Dublin, Dublin Business School, Trinity College, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

For all students who are planning to take up a technology-focused program or course, Technological University Dublin or TU Dublin is the place to go. It is the country’s first-ever technological university and at present, around 28,500 students are enrolled in the distinguished center of learning. Aside from the typical undergraduate and postgraduate study options, the university also offers part-time programs, postgraduate research, apprenticeships, and springboard courses.

As for those who aspire to be in the field of healthcare, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is highly recommended. It is also known as RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Having been established in the year 1784, it is the country’s first private university. Furthermore, in 2020, the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings tagged it as the #1 educational institution for health and well-being.

2. Cork

Cork is in the southwest region of Ireland. To be specific, it is a part of the country’s Munster province. It has been called “The Rebel County.” Other than this, it is also known for being a “Foodie Capital” due to its ever-so-famous English Market wherein you can buy artisan cheeses, cured meats, organic foods, and so much more.

On the topic of higher education institutions, University College Cork, Cork College of FET, Munster Technological University, Crawford College of Art and Design, and Griffith College Cork are among the top centers of excellence in the location.

University College Cork, simply called UCC, offers a wide range of options for all prospective students. It was founded in 1845 and in line with that, it boasts of being the country’s first five-star university. At the institution, there is a variety of undergraduate, postgraduate, adult continuing education, continuing professional development, and online courses.

Adding to that, Crawford College of Art and Design is the perfect school for budding artists. It focuses on these learning disciplines: art education, art portfolio preparation, art therapy, arts and engagement, contemporary applied arts, digital media design, fine art, graphic design, journalism and digital content creation, photography, TV production, and public relations and new media.

3. Maynooth

Maynooth is a culturally and historically rich area located in County Kildare. It is the country’s only university town. People love Maynooth for having lots of amazing pubs, but there’s more to see and do in the city than just get drinks. One can check out the Carton House, Clonfert Pet Farm, and The Kildare Gallery. Maynooth is surely among the top cities in Ireland to study in.

In Maynooth, the best-known universities and colleges are Maynooth University and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The former is also called The National University of Ireland, Maynooth. It is a leading institution for higher education and it is consistently part of rankings like Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings. Moreover, there are a handful of subject areas to choose from at the center of learning. A few of these are Accounting, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, and Law.

As for the latter, it is a pontifical university. It is also called St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, or the “National Seminary for Ireland.” Additionally, it began to welcome students in the year 1795. The institute is highly regarded for its courses and programs in the arts, Canon law, philosophy, and of course, theology.

4. Galway

Galway can be found in Ireland’s vibrant province of Connacht. Furthermore, it is the country’s festival capital. With that, some of the most-visited places in the city include Eyre Square, Wild Atlantic Way, Galway Market, Aran Islands, and St. Nicholas’ Church.

The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway Business School, Mercy College Galway, and Galway Community College Further Education are some of the city’s recognized institutes for higher learning.

NUI Galway is a public research university that opened its doors to students in 1845. Today, its future students can pick any course or program from its four colleges: College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, College of Business, Public Policy, and Law, College of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, and College of Science and Engineering.

5. Waterford

Waterford is another one of the best cities to study in Ireland for international students. Situated in the southeast part of Ireland, it is one of the country’s oldest cities. In the area, the greatest places to go to include Curraghmore House and Gardens, The Rock of Cashel, The Medieval Museum, Reginald’s Tower, and the Bishop’s Palace. As for centers of learning, the most prominent one in the city is the Waterford Institute of Technology. Up until 1999, St. John’s College, Waterford was also a reputable institution however it closed down in June of the said year.

The Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) was established in 1970. Presently, it offers courses in business, education and lifelong learning, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and science and computing.


We hope that you found this article on the best cities to study in Ireland for international students informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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