Pre-arrival arrangements

The only documentation you will need to submit to RCSI between now and Registration Day is your final high school exams transcript to confirm your full offer status and completion of the meet and greet service form so that we can pick you up at Dublin Airport and bring you to your new student accommodation.

There is no need to organise vaccinations or police clearance records in advance of your arrival at RCSI. These will all be organised by the University within the first six months of the programme.

We have, however, included a comprehensive suggested packing list and pre departure list on pages 23,24 and 25 of Information Pack 3, found below. This includes a list of documentation to bring with you to Dublin airport and advice to have medical, optical and dental check-ups before you depart and organise any prescribed medication you may require including a letter (in English) from your local doctor.

Information Pack 3 PDF | 5969.6 KB

To offer you peace-of-mind and to ensure your safety when travelling onwards to your accommodation, we are investing in providing all returning students coming from overseas with a free high-quality transport service from Dublin Airport to anywhere in the Dublin area.

RCSI Travel’s free transport service is dedicated to RCSI international students and family members travelling with them only, and will greet you when you enter the arrivals hall in either terminal, reducing any unnecessary waiting times. You will be greeted by an RCSI staff member and allocated into vehicles along with your friends who have travelled with you on your flight. Even in the event that your plane is delayed, the transport will be waiting for you. The service also comes with all the necessary hygiene measures including face coverings and hand sanitisers.

We ask all students to take advantage of our free travel service, as the Government has asked that international students arriving in Ireland do not use public transport until they have completed the 14-day restricted movement period. In order to manage these transfers we will require all new students to complete this form and returning students to complete the form here a minimum of 10 days before arrival into Dublin, you must include your term address to enable us to arrange your transport and for contact tracing information.

The registration form is also available on the 'Non-EU' section of for new students.

All Non EEA students are required to have private health insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. It is a specific requirement of the long stay study visa and IRP application process. The private medical insurance should provide cover for accident and/or disease and should cover the student for any period of hospitalization.

Newly arrived first year students can use one of two options to fulfill the private health insurance requirement:

1. Purchase private medical insurance – which must be purchased in Ireland (O'Driscoll O'Neill Insurance can be purchased online from the website. See below for more details); or

2. Travel insurance, which must cover the student for:

  • The entirety of their stay up to a maximum of 1 year
  • A minimum of €25,000 for Accident and €25,000 for Disease
  • Any period of hospitalisation

Please note:

  • Travel insurance can only be used for newly arrived first year students and medical insurance, purchased in Ireland, must be used for all subsequent years.
  • Insurance policies purchased in your home country will not be accepted by the INIS.

Private health insurers operating in Ireland include:

O'Driscoll O'Neill Insurance –  Please note that although O'Driscoll O'Neill offer the most competitive rates for students, which is sufficient for immigration purposes it does not cover pre-existing illnesses or newly diagnosed illness. Therefore, we strongly recommend that if you avail of this policy, you should also take out a more comprehensive package with another provider.

The three largest health insurance providers in Ireland are:

Further information is available on the Non-EU section of the website and from Student Services.

The two main banks in Ireland, Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and Bank of Ireland (BOI) will be on campus, after you have completed your 14-day restricted movement period, to assist you with opening your Irish bank account. When you meet with the bank, you will be required to bring:

  • A registration letter, which will be available online from the RCSI SARA office through Moodle. This letter confirms that you are a registered student of the University and shows your Dublin address
  • A copy of your passport
  • Your student ID card.

If your landlord is looking for an Irish bank account, please contact the Student Services Office who will provide a letter confirming that you are a newly arrived student of the University. Please be reminded that your local ATM/credit and debit cards will all operate in Ireland without the need to have an Irish bank account.

Police clearance is not required to allow you to start your course. All students however will undergo police clearance, known as Garda vetting, during their first year. Garda vetting is required as part of your clinical teaching and is a standard protocol for all individuals working and training in the healthcare sector. Garda vetting is organised through the Student Academic and Regulatory Affairs (SARA) office and will require you to complete a form outlining all of the permanent addresses that you have lived in from birth.

Your own personal mobile/cell phone may operate in Ireland. It is essential that you check with your local service provider. You may want to buy a mobile phone when you come to Ireland. Mobile/cell phones can be purchased from a variety of shops located around the city. Prices start from €20.

Compare the cost of a ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone and a phone with a monthly bill. There are several mobile phone companies in Ireland: Vodafone, 3, Tesco and Eir. Each company has several outlets close to the University.

Credit for mobile phones can be purchased in local shops. Once you open a bank account you can also buy credit at an ATM. Most mobile phone provider websites contain information about mobile phone prices and call rates, so you can get an idea as to which phone would suit you best. Phones can be purchased online and each website gives a store locator. You may also try purchasing phones and/or comparing phone and plan prices at the Carphone Warehouse store on Grafton Street, close to campus.

The first week of Semester 1 is known as Freshers’ Week. The aim of the week is to welcome all new students and assist with the settling-in process. This year, as a result of COVID-19, the Freshers activities will be different as students will be completing the first two weeks of their programme online to allow international students to undergo a 14-day restricted movement period.

A committee, which includes representatives from the Students’ Union, are developing plans for this year’s welcoming activities. Some Freshers events will take place during the restricted movement period, while others may be postponed until after the students are back on campus, part time.

Details of the Freshers events will be outlined in more detail at the upcoming pre-arrival webinars, due to take place on the following dates:

  • Pre-arrival GEM webinar: Friday, 21 August 2020
  • Pre-arrival Medicine (6 year) webinar: Friday, 4 September 2020
  • Pre-arrival Medicine (5 year) webinar: Friday, 18 September 2020

Non-EU students registered in medicine, physiotherapy and pharmacy programmes are entitled to take up casual employment (defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week or full-time work during normal university vacation periods).

If you choose to work you will require a social security number known as a personal public service (PPS) number. For more information, go to page 48 of the Information Pack below.

Information Pack 2020 PDF | 2734.6 KB

At RCSI, our on-campus restaurant and two coffee shops serve a wide selection of freshly-made food and drinks, including vegetarian and halal-friendly options.

There is a wide choice of food shops and restaurants nearby, catering to all tastes and budgets. As the number and variety of overseas nationals has grown in recent years, so too has the diversity of food and ingredients. Students should therefore have no difficulty satisfying special religious or dietary requirements. An array of supermarkets, located close to the college and your on-campus accommodation, cater for all food tastes at reasonable prices and remove the need for on-campus meal plans. For more information, please read pages 33, 34 and 52 of the Information Pack below.

Information Pack 2020 PDF | 2734.6 KB

The cost of living in Dublin will vary from student to student. Please see below for an estimate, but bear in mind that these are estimates only and that each individual will have their own financial needs based on their own lifestyle and circumstances. 

Monthly budget estimate 

  • Accommodation: €700-€1,600 (depending on type of accommodation)
  • Food: €150-€400
  • Light, heat, bins: €100
  • Public transport: €100-€120
  • Clothes, entertainment, other living expenses: €250
  • Textbooks (once annually): €100-€200
  • Estimated total: €1,300 upwards (depending largely on your accommodation choice)

For more information, please read page 41 of the Information Pack below.

Information Pack 2020 PDF | 2734.6 KB