Travel and accommodation

All new first year students travelling from outside of Ireland are advised to fly into Dublin airport either on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday before your official academic year start date.

You will find the most up-to-date information regarding term dates for the 2021/22 academic year here.

As outlined in the Start dates section, classes are due to commence on:

  • Monday, 6 September 2021 for first year GEM students
  • Monday, 13 September 2021 for all other first year Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy students.

The timetables show the dates when classes start and finish. Some students may choose to return home for the Christmas and New Year holiday and complete their revision and examinations from home. The dates are shown for the teaching periods and for the revision and exam periods for all programmes. 

We advise students to book flexible airline tickets as COVID-19 restrictions can present challenges to academic and exam schedules. All efforts are being made to ensure that the published dates are fixed and not subject to change. However, we are mindful that COVID-19 can create circumstances where the requirement to change dates is unavoidable. 

We recommend on-campus accommodation for first year non-EU students, so that you have access to the full range of supports available at RCSI, and to facilitate a smooth transition to life in Dublin as an RCSI student, particularly during the first two weeks of online classes.

Accommodation options include Mercer Accommodation, New Mill Street Accommodation, Wexford/Aungier Street Accommodation and Scape Accommodation. Rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so we advise booking as early as possible. You can book your accommodation online and find out more about off campus accommodation options via the RCS Eye website.

Please note that on-campus accommodation is not mandatory for incoming first year students. Graduate Entry Medicine students, in particular, tend to live off campus. If you are a GEM offer-holder looking for off-campus accommodation recommendations, we advise you to contact a member of the RCSI GEM welcome committee via the RCS Eye website.

The cost of accommodation depends on the type and location. Accommodation can range from €700 per month for single rooms in private accommodation to €1,600 per month for top-of-the-range studio apartments in new student complexes in the city centre.

On-campus accommodation typically costs anything from €7,000 to €15,000 per year (bills included). More information is available on the RCS Eye website.

While not mandatory, we recommend on-campus accommodation for our first year, non-EU students this year. Mature and Graduate Entry students usually prefer to live off-campus. More information on accommodation options is available on the RCS Eye website.

If you plan to live on-campus this year, early booking is advisable as rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

We have enough bedrooms to cater for all new first year students within the four recommended on-campus accommodation residences: Mercer, New Mill, Scape Student and Wexford Street Accommodation. The most popular accommodation options fill up quickly so if you have a preference, we recommend you book soon. You can book using the RCS Eye website.

Mercer Accommodation, Aungier/Wexford Street Accommodation and Scape Accommodation are all within a 5-6 minute walk of the main college. New Mill Street is a 15-20 minute walk from the main college. The main college, which is located on St Stephen’s Green/York Street, is a two-minute walk to Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s most popular pedestrianised shopping streets.

The style of student accommodation readily available in Ireland, including Dublin city, is self-catered rather than catered. This also applies to the on- and off-campus accommodation options for RCSI students.

Typically, a kitchen/living area in each apartment is shared between six students, but it can be fewer depending on the type of accommodation, e.g. studio apartments have their own kitchen/living area.

Most students purchase their own groceries and cook meals using the shared kitchen facilities.

There are several supermarkets and food stores within a five-minute walk of the on-campus accommodation, and plenty of cafés, reasonably-priced restaurants and takeout options nearby. Students can also order meals online and have access to a range of restaurants within RCSI which serve meals from 7am to 3pm daily.

More information on this is available in our Student Handbook, which you can download below.

Student Handbook 2021 PDF | 15506.2 KB

Typically, students pay an initial deposit of €500 to secure their room and pay the balance by August 2021. If you require an accommodation payment plan (i.e. semesterised payments), please contact Ivan Carty, RCSI's Accommodation Manager, directly at

New Mill and Scape Aungier Street offer 51-week leases. For more information on booking New Mill or Scape Aungier Street, please visit the Accommodation section of the RCS Eye website.

If you choose to stay off-campus, unfortunately RCSI will not be in a position to provide the same level of practical, 'hands-on' care during your initial arrival and throughout the first year.

We will still provide the Meet and Greet service at the airport to take you to your accommodation, and provide all the necessary safety guidance relating to post-arrival quarantine and staying well. We will endeavour to get your RCSI laptop to you but may not have it available for day one of your teaching if you arrive very close to your start date.

Access to the RCSI campus and commencement of face-to-face teaching will begin at the start of week three when the post-arrival quarantine period is complete.


Not all international students need a visa to study in Ireland but all non-EEA students (i.e. international students not in possession of an EEA passport), will need an Irish Residency Permit (IRP) to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

You can find out if you need a visa to study in Ireland, and which Embassy or Consulate to liaise with to secure your visa, by visiting the INIS (Irish Nationalisation and Immigration Service) website.

You can check if you are a visa-required student by visiting this section of the Irish Immigration Service delivery website.

Students who require a visa to study in Ireland must apply for a multi-entry long stay 'D' visa.

You can check what information and documentation you will need to apply for a multi-entry long stay 'D' visa, by visiting this section of the INIS website.

We also recommend you read pages 18–23 of the Student Handbook below.

Student Handbook 2021 PDF | 15506.2 KB

If you are a non-EU student with dual citizenship and access to an EU passport, you may use your EU passport to travel in and out of the EU without the need for a long stay study 'D' visa or an Irish Residency Permit.

To avoid confusion and complications at immigration, please note:

  • If you choose to travel with your EU passport, you must use this passport to book your flights and carry it with you at all times when travelling in and out of Dublin airport.
  • Please do not use one passport to leave Dublin and another to return.
  • Please do not use your non-EU passport details to book flights and then use your EU passport at the airport, or vice versa.

Your Irish Residency Permit (IRP) is an important document. You are required to carry it with you at all times and present it to an immigration officer or a member of the Irish police, if requested.

The IRP indicates:

  1. that your permission to stay in Ireland has been registered; and
  2. the type of permission you have (i.e. study visa and stamp number).

After registering with RCSI, all non-EEA students, including those who do not require an entry visa, must register with the immigration authorities in Ireland to secure an IRP within 90 days of arrival into the country.

The IRP application process is straightforward and takes place via an online booking system, as outlined below.

Things to note:

  • IRP appointments can be booked online, using this link.
  • You will need your passport and email address to complete your online appointment.
  • You must be able to print your confirmation email.
  • New appointments become available daily at 2.30pm in the afternoon. Cancelled appointment slots are also released for booking at 2.30pm.
  • Cancelled appointment slots are generally available on shorter notice, so please ensure you double-check the appointment date and time to ensure you are able to attend (i.e. the appointment must be on a date after Registration Day at RCSI and after you have completed your restricted movement period on arrival into the country, if relevant).
  • If you can't find an appointment straight away, keep trying. It may take two or three days to find a suitable appointment date.
  • At the moment, all international students are required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days on arrival into the country. More information on self-quarantine requirements is available here
  • We will update this section as soon as further information becomes available.
  • Don't worry if you experience any delays in booking your online IRP appointment after Registration Day – you have three months to secure your IRP, so there will be plenty of time.

For more information, read pages 24–26 of the Student Handbook below and visit the government website.

Student Handbook 2021 PDF | 15506.2 KB

Processing times can vary between countries and during high volume periods of the year. However, you can generally expect a decision within eight weeks of the date you lodge your application at the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate.

Your application may take longer if you have not submitted all necessary supporting documentation, your supporting documentation needs to be verified or because of your personal circumstances (e.g. if you have a criminal conviction).

You can check the processing times for the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate that is handling your application on their website.

The Irish visa authorities are prioritising Long Stay Study 'D' Visa applications this year.

If you experience delays, particularly by late summer (i.e. August 2021), please email with your Visa Application Reference Number and we will do our best to assist.

We will update this section of the website as more information about the processing of long stay Study Visas becomes available over the coming months.