Biggest Culture Shocks in Ireland for International Students

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Biggest Culture Shocks in Ireland for International Students

Ireland is a country that allows foreigners to access the best education, apply for permanent residency within 2 years, and offer a post-study work visa to help them lay the foundation for their careers. Another great reason is the age gap as the admissions are taken irrespective of age, the cost of study in Ireland is lower as compared to other countries and the country’s geopolitical location makes it closer to Asia, Europe, and the USA! According to the reports, there are more than 26,000 Indian students residing in Ireland but you are likely to experience your fair share of some of the biggest culture shocks in Ireland for international students that will bowl you over!

culture shocks in ireland
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Also Read: 10 Reasons to Study in Ireland

Biggest Culture Shocks in Ireland for International Students

Here are some of the biggest culture shocks in Ireland for international students to brace themselves against:

Everyone Speaks Accented English

The major cultural shock while pursuing studies at universities in Ireland is dealing with and getting used to the language. Of course, Ireland is an English-speaking country but the accent and way of using it are quite different from American or British English.

Dramatic Weather

It is very common to see people talking about the weather as the weather in Ireland is dramatic, however, there are only two seasons. The country has warm summers and mild colds which is a welcome change for people across the world.


Irish people are known to be polite, charismatic, and friendly! This welcoming and polite society can help you make friends easily at university, your dorm, or even your apartment! 

New Grading System

As a student another culture shock you would find while studying in Ireland is the new style of the grading system. The country and its universities use the alphabetical grading system with A being the first honor while E signifying the worst grade!

Annoying Administration

Another secret of universities in Ireland is annoying administration which tends to be frustrating for everyone. From seeking different licenses to getting simple administrative work for travel, medical, dental reasons, you are bound to run into a few inconveniences.

Well Connected yet Complicated Public Transport

Especially in Dublin, the bus system is very confusing, you may find it difficult to find the correct bus for your route because no one knows the exact schedule. However, you can go anywhere by other means of transport.

A Catholic Society 

Ireland is quite conservative and predominantly catholic. The country is replete with beautiful Roman architecture, catholic churches and cathedrals that spell history and culture that can be dated back to centuries!

Also Read: Student Life in Ireland

Best Universities in Ireland

Many universities in Ireland are known for their quality of education, amazing infrastructure, enrollment, and much more. Some of the best universities in Ireland are:

Name of the Universities Location 
Trinity College Dublin College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
RCSI Institute of Leadership Ballymoss Rd, Sandyford, Dublin, Ireland
University College Dublin University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
University College Cork College Rd, University College, Cork, Ireland
National University of Ireland, Galway University Rd, Galway, Ireland
Dublin City University Dublin City University, Collins Ave Ext, Whitehall, Dublin 9, Ireland
Maynooth University Mariavilla, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
University of Limerick west coast of Ireland along with the picturesque River Shannon
Technological University Dublin Park House, 191 N Circular Rd, Cabra East, Grangegorman, Co. Dublin, D07 EWV4, Ireland
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 YN77, Ireland

Tips to Manage Culture Shocks

Now to help you understand culture shock here are some tips to manage and deal with culture shock:

  • You can get involved with the local community as this might help you with the emotional ups and downs. These local communities include sports teams, festivals, churches and much more.
  • Make friends as much as possible, at this time you will need friends to help you and with their help, you can solve every query about culture.
  • You need to explore healthy distractions, these can be cooking meals, a solo dance party at your home or watching television series.
  •  By this time you must set learning goals for your Ireland study trip and this also includes research about Ireland. Don’t forget to learn as much as possible about this country.
  • There are some international officers in your college also known as abroad coordinators and you can take advice from them.

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Ireland

Do You Know? 

  • One of the amazing facts about Ireland is that the first potato was planted here. It is known that Sir Walter Raleigh is the one who brought potato crops from America to Ireland many years ago.
  • Have you ever wondered where Halloween originated? The answer is Ireland, The festival of Halloween originated in ancient Ireland.
  • Another amazing fact about Ireland is that this place is known for no snakes. Yes, indeed, there were never any snakes in Ireland. 
  • The oldest lighthouse in the world is located in Wexford, Ireland. It is known that this lighthouse had been there for the last 848 years.
  • Puck Fair is the longest-running festival in Ireland. The amazing fact about this festival is that in August every year a goat is caught from the Kerry mountains and is caged in the village of Killorglin. Then the goat is crowned as a king for three days. However, after three days the goat is safely sent back to the mountain.


What can I do to understand Irish English better?

1. Listen to Irish music and podcasts: Immerse yourself in the sounds of the language!
2. Watch Irish movies and TV shows with subtitles: This will help you match pronunciations to words.
3. Strike up conversations with locals: Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat themselves or clarify what they mean. Most Irish people are friendly and happy to help you learn.
4. Enroll in an Irish language course: This is a great option if you want to truly deepen your understanding of the culture.

How can I prepare for the ever-changing Irish weather?

1. Pack layers: This way, you can adjust to the temperature changes easily.
2. Invest in a good raincoat and umbrella: These will be your best friends!
3. Check the weather forecast regularly: Be prepared for anything!
4. Embrace the rain: There’s something undeniably cosy about sitting in a pub on a rainy day with a warm drink.

How can I find international food in Ireland?

1. Explore ethnic neighbourhoods in larger cities: Dublin, Cork, and Galway have vibrant multicultural communities with plenty of restaurants.
2. Look for international supermarkets: These stores stock ingredients from all over the world.
3. Cook at home: If you’re feeling adventurous, try recreating your favourite dishes from home using local ingredients.
4. Be open to trying new things: You might discover your new favourite food in Ireland!

These are some of the Biggest Culture Shocks in Ireland for International Students! If you want to pursue your goal of studying abroad then call our Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute profile consultation.

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