Students FAQs

I am a citizen of a country in the EU – do I need a visa to study in Ireland?

If you are a citizen of a country in the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or of Switzerland you have free movement in other member states and there are no special requirements to study in Ireland.

What if I am a student from a visa requiring country?

You must apply online for your student visa before you come to Ireland.

Completing the form through the Internet generates a unique reference number which can also be used to track the application. At the end of the online application, you will receive a summary of the supporting documentation required, the fee payable and where it should be submitted to (often the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate).

For further information and the full list of student guidelines regarding visa requiring students, please click here.

Will my school help me find accommodation?

Our member schools are always happy to help students find accommodation during their time in Ireland.

What is it like to stay with a host family?

Many students decide to stay with a host family during their stay in Ireland, as it offers them a chance to put their language skills to use, and to meet new people. Expect a warm welcome and clean, private room with an area for you to study, and much more. Staying with a host family is a fantastic opportunity for students.

Do I need Medical Insurance to study in Ireland?

Students from EU member states who are in possession of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to public health services in Ireland.  This card is available from health authorities in your home country.

For students from non-EU countries, you will be required to have medical insurance in place in order to be granted a visa. Our preferred supplier of medical insurance is O’Driscoll O’Neil. Visit their website here:

I am a student from a country within the EEA – can I work while I study in Ireland?

All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to take up employment in Ireland while studying.

I am a student from a country outside the EEA – can I work while I study in Ireland?

Students attending a full time course of at least one academic year are entitled to take up casual employment provided that the course of study is included on the government’s list of visa eligible courses.

Casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week during standard term-times, with the ability to work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) for specified periods during the traditional summer and winter college holidays.

For further information on working in Ireland, please click here.

How can I be sure the teaching is of the highest quality?

MEI works closely with the government and relative bodies to ensure the highest standards of teaching are maintained. All MEI schools are accredited by the Irish Government Department of Education & Skills – this process ensures that the facilities and the programmes on offer are of a superior quality. In addition MEI members must adhere to the association’s own rules, regulations and standards.

Is studying in Ireland expensive?

How much you will need will vary depending on where you are studying in Ireland, on the type of accommodation you choose and, of course, your own personal lifestyle.  But, on average, it is estimate that a student will spend between €5,000 and €11,000 per year.

I am a displaced student, affected by the closure of a non-MEI school. What do I do now?

MEI, working in tandem with the Department of Education, has developed a program to assist any displaced students who have been affected by the closure of a non-MEI school. Please contact for further information.




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