Internship & placement

Ireland flagWork experience

Many universities in Ireland consider student placements to be an essential part of education and provides an opportunity to put theory into practice. Therefore, there are various services that help  students to find internships or placements in Ireland.

Placements in Ireland are mainly offered as unpaid training positions. However, most companies provide some allowance to help you to cover expenses such as travel costs. The key benefits highlighted by organisations are: gaining an understanding of a real work environment ; improving your English; understanding the local work ethic and increasing your cultural awareness; an opportunity to gain professional experience in your area of study as well as an entry into Ireland’s leading and successful organisations.

Students must be prepared to fund their internship if they consider coming to Ireland and many are funded by the ERASMUS Mobility programme.

Erasmus stands for the EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Under this programme, students from the EU, EEA and Turkey enjoy the opportunity to spend between 3 and 12 months studying at one of Ireland’suniversities as part of their course. Erasmus is also able to support students who wish to spend periods of time on a work placement in Ireland.

It requires a lot of patience and time to find information about student placements. Most of these are located in Dublin, although there are host companies across Ireland. There are offers of placement programmes in most sectors.

For further information please see:

Internship and placement advice

There are many practical issues related to international placements that need to be considered  either by the trainee or the host company. It must be remembered to reserve enough time for all the arrangements and the necessary formalities.  Training organisations, educational institutions, home and host organisations will all be able to help with the formalities.

 Social security and European health insurance card

 A national from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland might be entitled to free emergency health care when visiting Ireland for a short time or on business. Make sure you take your EU health card or equivalent with you. There are also special reciprocal agreements between Ireland and other countries such as Australia which help citizens of both countries to benefit from free medial cover. However,  travel health insurance is recommended, as well as  accident insurance and liability insurance.  Ireland has a number of private health insurance companies and one of the major ones is the Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI). The cost of actual care will depend on the treatment needed and some minor charges might apply.

You might find that a valid health insurance is obligatory for a visa application. If you are working in Ireland for longer than 12 months, you can be classed as an “ordinary resident” and will therefore benefit from the same level of health care as any other resident.

For further information please see:

Department of Health and Children:


Generally, Ireland is a safe place to be. As everywhere, personal safety rules apply, be aware of your surroundings particularly at night and try to avoid unlit areas, especially if you are away from tourist areas. Keep away from public demonstrations if possible and do not display signs of affluence such as using the latest smart phone.

Petty crimes such as bag snatching and pick pocketing are possible and you are advised not to carry valuables and large sums of cash. If you are using a car, make sure it is locked and parked in a secure location.

On the larger scale, there is an underlying threat of terrorist activity. This has reduced over the decades, but attacks could be indiscriminate, and take place in popular places affecting foreign travelers.

Beware of drink driving – heavy fines or even imprisonment can be the consequence if you are found over the drink driving limit. As in many other European countries, holding and using a mobile phone whilst  driving is also banned.

For more information:

Ireland Country Specific Information

Do I need visa?

Requirements for Visas in Ireland are similar to those of other European Countries and will depend on the country you are coming from – so you might need to get a Visa before you can work or study in Ireland.  As a citizen of a country within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or  Switzerland you are able to enjoy free movement in other member states and in Ireland, so there are no special requirements in order to study. It is advisable to bring an acceptance letter with you from the school or university you are attending. It may also be necessary to show this at immigration when entering Ireland. Soon after arriving in Ireland you will be required to register with the immigration authorities if you are intending to stay for more than 90 days.

For a national of a country outside of the EU, EEA and Switzerland, you  must  establish whether  you are required to obtain a visa well in advance of travelling to Ireland. The website of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade offers a list of countries whose citizens do not require visas. If you do need a visa, you will have to make an online application prior to arrival in Ireland. The online application process will create a reference number which you are advised to keep safe so that you can track your application progress online. Although Ireland is part of the European Union, it is not a member of the Schengen Area. This means that your Schengen visa or UK D visa are not acceptable for travel to Ireland, always check your visa requirements prior to making your travel plans, since these are regularly reviewed.

For more information:

Immigration and Visas – A guide for international students

Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade:

 Internship and placement salary

Students coming from the EEA - European Economic Area – are able to work in Ireland whilst studying.  Students from outside the EEA - who are undertaking a full time course of at least one year’s duration  leading to a qualification recognised by the Minister for Education and Science, are allowed to take up casual employment.

Ireland has introduced the Minimum Wage Act 2000 setting a minimum rate per hour.. For example, from the 1st of July, 2011 the minimum wage was €8.65 per hour, and these figures are regularly updated so you are encouraged to enquire about the latest rates of pay.

As with other countries, salary levels will differ depending on location, job role and your experience. Given that internships are mostly  unpaid, there is a culture of paying an allowance of around €50 per week to cover travelling expenses (approximate average in 2012/2013).

For further information:

Internship and placement accommodation

It is advisable to arrange accommodation before you come to Ireland. Hostels are generally the cheapest form of temporary accommodation; some “Bed and Breakfast” outlets also offer good rates.

There is a good selection of  rented accommodation which is available  furnished or  unfurnished. It is  normal practice to take a deposit, which is likely to be up to one month’s rent. The internet is a good starting place to find your accommodation although you are encouraged to enquire from the organisation you are planning to work for, whether they have any recommendations. Due to the costs of accommodation, lodging and flat sharing are common in Ireland. Student accommodation or residences are also available and most universities will be able to advise you about these.

For more information:

Companies responsible for the supply of gas, electricity, water and telephone services are listed below:

Water: Water supply is arranged through the local authority.

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