Pre-arrival arrangements

The only documentation you will need to submit to RCSI between now and Registration Day is your final high school exams (or university exams for Graduate entrants) transcript to confirm your full offer status, as well as completion of the airport arrival transport service form so we can collect you 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.

*Please note that if you can get vaccinated against COVID-19 in your home country before travelling to Dublin, we would urge you to do so. If it is not possible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel to Dublin, you will included in the Irish COVID-19 vaccination programme and receive your vaccine at the same time as other Irish citizens of a similar age.

When arriving into Ireland, we are pleased to offer all RCSI 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 an airport arrival transport form (available here later this summer) at least 10 days before arrival into Dublin. You must include your term address in Dublin to enable us to arrange your transport and for contact tracing information. 

All non-EEA* students are required to have private medical insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. The private medical insurance should provide cover for accident and/or disease and should cover the student for any period of hospitalisation. Please note that, although private medical insurance is not organised by or through RCSI, we are happy to provide advice where we can.

For newly-arrived first year students in Ireland, travel insurance may suffice where:

  • The insurance covers the student for one full year or, where the student is staying in Ireland for less than one year, for the entirety of their stay
  • The insurance covers the student at a minimum of €25,000 for Accident and €25,000 for Disease
  • The insurance covers the student for any period of hospitalisation

Note: Where a non-EEA student intends staying in Ireland for more than one year, and where they were covered by travel insurance for the first year, that student is required to source private medical insurance in Ireland for their second and any subsequent years.

If a non-EEA student's travel insurance policy does not meet the above criteria, they must subscribe to a private health insurance company.

Private medical insurance options

Three major providers of private healthcare in Ireland are:

You can access an independent price and plan comparison tool here.

A reduced annual premium may be obtained by joining a student scheme:

  • Study & Protect operates Medicover for overseas students and offers the most competitive rates.

Further information on securing private medical insurance is available in the 'Non EU' section of the RCS Eye offer-holder website.

*EEA – European Economic Area comprising of European Union (EU) member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

All RCSI students should open new bank accounts as soon as possible after arriving into the country. There are, however, strict rules and regulations in place for opening new bank accounts in Ireland. See below for more details.

To open a new account, you must:

  • Fill in the required documentation from the bank
  • Present a valid passport
  • Present proof of residence in Ireland (either a lease agreement, a current utility bill or the official registration letter from RCSI)

Banks will not allow you to open a bank account if you cannot provide proof of residence in Ireland.

Banking costs vary and many banks offer special student rates or 'free banking', so it is worthwhile to shop around before opening an account.

New international students cannot open a bank account until after completion of their (14-day) restricted movement period. You will need an appointment to open a new bank account, i.e. no walk-in service is available. A student officer is usually available on location to assist with your student-related banking enquiries, provided you are a registered student with RCSI, have completed your restricted movement period and have made an appointment with a bank.

In the meantime, if your new landlord requests your Irish bank account details, please inform the Student Services Office and they will provide you with a letter (via email) confirming that you are a newly-arrived RCSI student and are required to complete 14 days of restricted movement on arrival into the country before opening a new bank account. Please do not visit the Student Services Office or any banks whilst completing your 14-day restricted movement period.

Please be reminded that your local ATM/credit/debit cards will operate in Ireland without the need to have an Irish bank account during the first 14 days.

Finally, if you have difficulty obtaining Euro currency in your country of origin, you should buy Sterling or US Dollars, which can be converted to Euro at a bank or Bureau de Change on arrival in Dublin.

Police clearance, or '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.

You do not need to complete police clearance in advance of Registration Day at RCSI.

This process will be organised by RCSI's Student Academic and Regulatory Affairs (SARA) office after Registration Day and during your first year on the programme. You will be required to complete a form outlining all of the permanent addresses that you have lived at from birth up to your current address in Dublin.

Your own personal mobile/cell phone may operate in Ireland so it is essential that you check with your local service provider. You may, however, want to buy a new mobile phone or SIM card when you arrive in Ireland. Mobile phones and SIM cards can be purchased from a variety of shops located around the city and prices generally start at €20.

When purchasing a new mobile phone and/or SIM card, you should 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, including Vodafone, 3, Tesco Mobile and Eir. Each company has outlets on Grafton Street, which is located close to the RCSI campus.

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

The first week of semester one is known as Orientation or 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, Orientation/Freshers' Week activities, including the White Coat Ceremony, will take place online.

For more details on this year’s orientation programme, please see the admissions-related enquiries information.

Non-EU students registered in RCSI's 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 need a social security number, known as a Personal Public Service (PPS) number. More information on this will be available in our pre-arrival information booklet, later this summer.

Although RCSI does not offer meal plans, we have a number of restaurants and cafes on-campus which 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.

More information on where to shop, where to eat and how to budget will be available in our pre-arrival information booklet, later this summer.

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 lifestyle and circumstances.

Monthly budget estimate:

  • Accommodation: €700-€1,600 (depending on type of accommodation)
  • Utility bills (electricity, gas, refuse): €50
  • Transport: €120
  • Books and course materials: €30
  • Clothes: €50
  • Mobile phone (plans start at): €20
  • Social life: €130
  • Groceries: €200
  • Takeaways: €50

Estimated total: €1,350 upwards (depending largely on your accommodation choice).

More information will be available in our pre-arrival information booklet, later this summer.