Ready to Go to Ireland
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a passport?
YES!!! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages (www.travel.state.gov/passport) for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees.
Do I need a visa?
No. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in the Republic of Ireland. Depending on your length of stay and country of origin, you may need one to study in Northern Ireland. Click here for United Kingdom visa information.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, it is your responsibility to obtain visas and/or special entry papers or documentation required. For further information about the Republic of Ireland, please contact:
2234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
or visit their website by clicking here
Irish Consulate General
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154-0037
What about insurance?
Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a health and accident insurance plan with HTH Worldwide. The plan covers the costs of treatment for most sicknesses and injuries up to $500,000 with no deductible. Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Specific questions should be addressed to the insurance carrier. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.
Will I get the courses that I requested on my initial application or course selection form?
There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested. Students at University College Dublin and Trinity College are guaranteed courses in specific departments, but not specific course titles. Irish students do not pre-register for classes.
Will my credits transfer back home?
Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe - ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need. For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.
How soon after the program concludes will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?
We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Transcripts for fall program students are usually issued by the end of February. Transcripts for academic year and spring program student are usually issued by the end of September.
Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines, or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.
Should I make copies of my papers?
Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to students. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.
How much money will I need initially?
Take about $200 for meals and expenses during orientation and homestay. Take travelers checks in US dollars. If you purchase American Express checks, their offices throughout Ireland will exchange them without any commission! It's a good deal considering you could be charged six euros by Irish banks each time you exchange dollars for euros. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary account. For Cirrus customers, the Cirrus cash machine locator phone number is 800-424-7787. Plus customers should visit www.visa.com for Plus cash machine locator information. Both organizations provide information for cash machines located worldwide (please see the section Banking in Ireland).
Should I get an Irish cell phone?
Sure, but not until you participate in the Arcadia Orientation. During orientation, our staff will discuss the differences between each service. You may regret getting your phone if you buy it before listening to the information provided by Arcadia at Orientation.
You may be interested in buying a cell "mobile" phone while in Ireland. This is relatively inexpensive and very practical. All non-Irish residents, including yourself, must buy a "ready to go" phone which has a set amount of call credit. Once that call credit is used, you simply "top up" by buying additional credit at any convenience store or phone shop. "Ready to go" phones are great because you are not locked into a contact or phone plan.
The advantages of purchasing an Irish mobile phone (or Irish SIM card for your tri-band phone) is that you are not charged for receiving incoming calls or text messages (when you are in the Republic of Ireland), so any calls/texts from home will not subtract from your call credit. Please keep in mind for those at home, that calling an international mobile is more expensive then calling a landline.
Most companies are now offering deals, such as free calls and texts to anyone in the same network if you top up a certain amount of money each month. You may want to consider buying a phone from the same carrier as your friends in order to save money. Another benefit of having an Irish mobile number is that it will help you integrate into Irish life. Everyone in Ireland has a mobile and text messaging is very inexpensive, so everyone does it.
You should expect to pay between €60- €100 (£40- £70 in Northern Ireland) for your phone. There are three major carriers in the Republic of Ireland- Vodafone, O2, and Meteor and four major carriers in Northern Ireland- Vodafone, O2, Orange, and T-Mobile.
Should I take my computer?
If you have a laptop and work confidently with a computer, then certainly take it. Don't expect 24-hour computer centers, and there may be fewer computer terminals available. You should be able to find compatible software and printers, but most university computer systems have IBM and IBM compatible equipment. The problem is power. Electricity in Ireland is 240 volts, 50 cycles. Check your computer for a dual voltage switch. If there isn't one, then check with your manufacturer. You will need a transformer and an adapter. Finally, leave your printer at home. Fluctuating air pressures may wreak havoc with the toner. And be sure your stuff is insured!
(See the section on Security and Insurance under "What to Pack").
Is there any financial aid to study abroad?
Arcadia University has a scholarship fund for accepted students. See the Fees and Financial Aid section of our website or call our office for further details.
Ask the study abroad adviser on your campus about other financial aid possibilities and investigate the Stafford loan and the Plus loan scheme.
What's the weather like?
Unpredictable is probably the best answer. The climate in Ireland is generally more temperate than most of the United States. Seattle is the US city closest in climate to Ireland. Ireland tends to have an East/West divide in that the West generally gets more rain and cooler summers. Summer temperatures can reach the 70's, and when they do, the air is extremely humid. It gets cold and windy, but rarely snows in Dublin.
Will I feel culture shock?
Ireland may not be "shocking," but it will certainly be different. Returning students report feeling "out-of-it" when they arrive overseas and when they first return to the USA. Read the section on Culture Shock for more detail.
What happens when I arrive in Dublin?
There will be plenty of signs with instructions when you arrive inside your airline terminal. Follow the ones that say "Arrivals" and you will eventually get into a line for non-EU-nationals. You will wind your way around to immigration control officials, where you will show your passport and certification letter. Officials may ask a few questions, but nothing daunting. After the official stamps your passport and deems you fit for entry, you'll head for the luggage claim carousel. Check on the overhead monitors to see where your plane's baggage has been unloaded. The only obstacle before you now is customs. You'll head for the green "nothing to declare" channel unless you are carrying goods that exceed the duty free limit (refer to the State Department web page for customs guidelines).
After passing through customs, you're home free. If you travel on the group flight, you will be greeted by Arcadia University Dublin staff and boarded onto buses that will take you to a student hostel where you will stay during orientation in Dublin. If you're an independent traveler, you'll follow the instructions we'll send you in the newsletter prior to your departure.