Category Archives: Before you arrive

Purchasing a Mobile (Cell) Phone in Ireland

There are 6 main mobile phone service providers in Ireland.  The relevant websites are listed below. Please refer to the websites for information on special offers, price plans and free web text service.

These service providers offer the option of “pay as you go” phones or an account option (i.e. contract with monthly bill).

The “pay as you go” option is ideal for international students, as there are no contracts and you can top up with credit as and when required.  Credit can be purchased online, at ATM machines, in shops or in dispensing machines.

There are several shops in Galway which sell mobile phones including The Carphone Warehouse (branches in the Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Rd and the Eyre Square Shopping Centre), the Vodafone Store, Eyre Square, 3Store, Shop St, O2 Store, Shop St., Meteor Shop, William St. It is a good idea to shop around to find the best deal available.

It’s still advisable take your existing mobile phone with you, in case you need access to your contacts etc., or for your first couple of days in Ireland, but please be aware that international roaming fees are very expensive.

It may also be possible to purchase an Irish SIM card to use in your existing phone, however this may depend on the model of your phone and the type of network used in your home country (e.g. GSM or CDMA).


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Filed under About Ireland, Before you arrive

Spring Recruitment Week – USA

We are delighted to announce that NUI Galway is taking part in the forthcoming Education in Ireland Spring Recruitment Week in the United States.

Representatives from NUI Galway and the other Irish universities will be visiting high schools in Chicago and Boston. In addition, there are two public events, where students, parents and college counselors can come along to learn more about studying in Ireland.

Saturday 6th April – Irish Universities Open House (Chicago)

Chicago Open House, April 2013‌ – All Welcome!
Doubletree Oak Brook Hotel
1909 Spring Road, Oak Brook, Illinois, 60523, USA
<<Download the Poster>>

Sunday 7th April – Irish Universities Open House (Boston)

Boston Open House, April 2013‌ – All Welcome!
Boston College High School,
150 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125
<<Download the Poster>>

These events are a great opportunities for US students to find out about majors on offer at NUI Galway, admissions requirements as well as financial aid and scholarships.

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, please contact

Brian Hussey
International Affairs Office
NUI Galway
t: +353 91 495358

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Filed under Academics, Before you arrive

Our Top 5 Blog Posts of 2012

2012 was a busy year for the Study in Galway blog with over 19,000 views from 114 countries around the world. Here are the posts that received the most views in 2012.

Making the Grade

1. Making the Grade
This post looks at how the grading system used at universities in Ireland compares to other countries.

Corrib Village Student Village

Corrib Village Student Village

2. A Guide to Student Housing at NUI Galway for International Students
A brief introduction to the different housing options available to international students at NUI Galway.

Volunteering at NUI Galway

3. Fall Recruitment Week in the USA
Details of a recruitment trip to the US. NUI Galway representatives regularly attend college fairs and other international education events in different countries around the world.


4. The best Galway Songs for St. Patrick’s Day
Galway and its surrounding countryside has inspired many songs over the years. Here are some of the better and less well known.


5. Packing for College
Finally, some practical advice on packing for college in Ireland.

Happy New Year!!!

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Filed under About Ireland, Before you arrive, In Your Country

Getting to Galway… Dublin or Shannon?

Most international students arrive in Ireland via either Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport before taking a bus to Galway.


by Thomas Becker (Flickr)

We’re often asked which is the better option. It’s difficult to say, as both airports are generally convenient, with good bus links to and from Galway. Also, it can obviously depend on where you’re travelling from.

While a cheapest flight may be the deciding option for most, one other factor you may wish to consider, if you’re deciding between the two airports, is the ease with which you can get to (and from) Galway.

Shannon Airport is approximately 85 kilometres from Galway and is well served by flights from North America, the UK and a number of European destinations.


by Fred Dean Jnr (Flickr)

Bus Eireann currently operates a service between Shannon Airport and Galway. The journey takes almost two hours as it’s not a direct service. However, there are no late night/very early morning services, so you’ll need to check you can get back to Shannon in good time, if you have a morning departure for your flight back home.

Dublin Airport is approximately 200km from Galway. It is the largest airport in Ireland, with services to and from North America, the UK and mainland Europe.

Citylink, GoBus and Bus Eireann provide frequent services between Galway and Dublin Airport, pretty much 24hrs a day, including late night/early morning services, which are convenient if you have an early arrival time or departure back home. The direct bus journey to Galway takes approximately 3 hours, with buses departing from outside the Terminal 1 building.

For more information about travel within Ireland, please refer to the International Student Pre Arrival Guide.

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Filed under Before you arrive

International Student Pre-Departure Checklist

You’ve been accepted – Congratulations! So now what? Preparing to study overseas can be somewhat daunting, but the following step-by-step pre-departure guide can help make it as stress free as possible…

    1. Accept your offer. Sounds obvious, but the first thing to do is to confirm your place by formally accepting your offer of admission. Refer to your offer letter for instructions on how to accept your offer. If you are not sure about how to accept your offer, please email
    2. Pay your deposit or tuition fee. Refer to your offer letter for instructions on how to pay any deposit that may be required by the University. The rules regarding payment and deposits may vary depending on the programme you have been accepted to. Your initial deposit will be deducted from your tuition fee, which unless otherwise stated in your letter of offer, is to be paid in full before you can register as a student. Please see the tuition fees section of our website for more information.
    3. Purchase Health Insurance. Proof of medical expenses insurance is required for all non-EU students for immigration purposes. Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more information.
    4. Prepare your immigration/travel documents. All non-EU/EEA nationals are subject to immigration control at the point of entry to the Irish State, so please ensure you comply fully with Irish Immigration Regulations and that you have all the required documentation ready for inspection immigration officials. If you loose your offer letter, email the International Affairs Office for a replacement as soon as possible.
    5. Book your accommodation. Please refer to our accommodation section of our website for information on how to book student accommodation.
    6. Make travel arrangements. The Travelling to Galway section of our website provides information and advise about getting to Galway.
    7. Plan your budget. It is important to understand all the costs involved, including tuition fees and day-to-day living costs. Budgeting is one of the key skills you will develop during your time at university and once you learn how to manage your money, you will be able to enjoy university life to the full.
    8. Pack you bag. Please refer to our previous post on Packing for College for tips and advice.
    9. Be prepared. Download the NUI Galway Pre-Arrival Guide
    10. Keep in touch. If you are unsure about anything, please contact the International Affairs Office (t: + 353 91 495277, e: You can also reach out to fellow international students over on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and information from NUI Galway.

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Webchat with the NUI Galway International Office

Prospective international students can now chat online with the International Office at NUI Galway using Skype (username:

A member of staff from the International Office staff will be on hand each week up until Christmas to answer any queries you may have about studying at NUI Galway.

Here is the schedule for December:

Day Date Time
Thursday 1 December 2011 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Wednesday 7 December 2011 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Thursday 15 December 2011 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Tuesday 20 December 2011 3.00pm – 4.00pm

So, if you have any questions about applying, programmes of study, fees, housing etc., (or you just want to say hello :), we’ll be delighted to chat with you online.

How it works:

  1. Log on to Skype (you’ll need to create a free Skype account if you don’t already have one)
  2. Find us on Skype username:
  3. Send us your questions via the Skype chat/Instant Message (IM) tool

We look forward to chatting with you!


Filed under Before you arrive

5 Top Tips for applying to NUI Galway as an international student

1. Do your research

Applying to a university in another country requires a great deal of preparation and research as not only do you have to find the right programme for you, you also need to ensure that the location of the college suits your individual needs.

The obvious first place to research programmes at NUI Galway is the university’s website. You could also look further in to programmes by making contact with a current student or a professor who teaches on the programme.

When you start compiling lists of colleges to apply to, be sure to also look into non-academic matters like the size of the city, the makeup of the student body, sports clubs, students societies, housing, the night life etc. These other aspects of college life might have just as much an influence on your overall college experience than what you learn inside the classroom.

Federal Aid (US Citizens)

NUI Galway

2. Follow the correct application process for your programme

The Application process for applying to NUI Galway varies depending on the programme you’re applying to and where you’re applying from.

  • Undergraduate applications from outside the European Union (EU) are made directly to the International Affairs Office. The one exception is the Medical programme, which is administered by the main Admissions Office at NUI Galway.
  • Undergraduate applications from other EU countries are made online at
  • Postgraduate applications from EU and non-EU countries are made online at
  • Visiting Students (both Non-EU Study Abroad and ERASMUS) are made directly to the International Affairs Office

Refer to the University website for further details.

3. Apply on time

Application deadlines can also vary depending on what programme you’re applying to. Make sure you check when the relevant closing dates are that your application is received in good time.

4. Submit a complete application

Again, this sounds rather obviuos, but students sometimes forget to include certain supporting documents which can lead to delays in processing their application. If certain information is not available when you’re submitting your application, be sure to indicate this to the University and include dates of when outstanding information will be supplied.

Also, when submitting further documents to the University, ensure you include a cover note indicating your name, application number (if applicable) and the name of the programme you’re applying to so that the admissions staff can quickly identify your documents.

5. Keep in contact with the University

Finally, the University may need to correspond with you after you’ve made your application. Remember to check your email or your online application account (where applicable) regularly in case there is an important message from the University regarding your application.

If you have any questions regarding the application process for your chosen programme or for students from your country, please contact the International Affairs Office at NUI Galway for more information.

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Filed under Before you arrive, Students