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Guide for incoming students

15th Apr 2021 - Caren Lim, Jason Tee, Shao Ying, Cheryl Voon - 7 min read

Moving to Ireland can be an exhilarating and scary experience for a lot of new students, so we included some useful tips and information below so you can feel at ease in Ireland as soon as possible. This blog post will be updated frequently, so feel free to let us know if there are things that we missed!

Packing List

When moving to a new country, it's usually not realistic to carry all of your belongings with you. Without a going abroad packing guide, deciding what to abandon and what to pack can be a difficult task.

And that’s why we will be sharing our curated list!


  • Medical insurance

  • Passenger locator form ( (within 72 hours before departure)

  • Offer letter

  • Passport

  • Proof of payment of tuition fees

  • Vaccination Certificate (If fully vaccinated)

Recommend Items

  • Clothes (Sweater, Jacket, Pants, Fancy & Casual shirts, Shoes, Windbreaker, Umbrella, Grocery bag, Hat)

  • Stationery (Pens, Pencil)

  • Medicine (Paracetamol, Ibuprofen)

  • Face masks & shield (Medical or Reusable)

  • Tech Gadgets (Phone, Laptop, Camera, Charger, Power bank, Headphones)

  • Others (Thermos, Bottles, Hand sanitisers, Skin care products, Cosmetics, Contact lenses, Glasses, Instant noodles, Food pastes, Medicine, Stationery, Face masks)

Try to bring things which you can’t get in Ireland (Spices, Milo, etc.). Always bring some extra cash, since it takes a few weeks before you can get access to your new bank account!

Covid 19 Related Information:

  1. Malaysia is NOT one of the designated countries for Mandatory Hotel Quarantine.

  2. Not fully vaccinated Malaysians must present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into Ireland.

  3. The Sinovac vaccine offered in Malaysia is NOT approved in Ireland (does not count as fully vaccinated, and hence a PCR test is required).

  4. Your post-arrival PCR test should be booked in advance of arriving in Ireland and should be at least 5 days after arrival. You can only book your post-arrival PCR test up to 2 days before you arrive. Post-arrival PCR testing will be provided through the HSE (Ireland Government) and is free of charge.(

For more detailed info, please visit the following resources:

Travel guide:

More info:

Self quarantine summary:

UCD Covid FAQ:

Things to do after arriving in Ireland

Greet & Transfer Service

A national ‘Greet & Transfer’ service for international students will be running at Dublin Airport from the 1st August. There will be dedicated ‘Greet & Transfer’ desks in the airport arrival halls. The welcome teams will greet you and coordinate your transport to your desired destination. This is a free service, but you must complete your Greet and Transfer Booking Form BEFORE travelling. You should have received this form from your higher education Institution, otherwise you should contact your HEI directly.

There are also some things to do after arriving in Ireland which include:

Check your accommodation

  • Electricity (Metered or Top-up)

  • Hot water

  • Central Heating

  • Lockable doors and windows

Make sure the accommodation is in good condition (otherwise, take photos and notify the owner/person in charge.)

Get a mobile sim card

There are plenty of choices of sim card providers in Ireland such as Tesco Three and Vodafone. Typical pre-paid plans range from 10 - 20 euros a month. Unlimited data plan is best as it is cheap and there is unlimited data so you don’t have to spend money on Wifi.

Grocery and essentials shopping

You should buy essentials such as shampoo, duvet, pillows, foods, cutlery, toilet paper.

Supermarkets and stores in Ireland usually close early so be sure to get everything before they close!

Apply for a bank account

Application of a personal bank account is important as it is not safe to keep so much cash at home. Also, you will need at least 3000 euros in the bank account before applying for a IRP card and therefore you should apply for this as soon as possible.

The common banks in Ireland include the Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Bank of Ireland (BOI). An Irish phone number and address is also needed to open a bank account.

You should also apply for a student account as this helps avail of certain fees.

Make an appointment for IRP card

Malaysia nationals do not require a visa but an IRP card is required.

The Irish Residence Permit card (IRP) is not an identity card but a registration certificate. You must carry your IRP with you at all times and present it to an immigration officer or a member of An Garda Síochána (police) if requested within Ireland. (the GNIB card is the old version of IRP card)

IRP card applications must be submitted within three months of your arrival in Ireland. All students living in Dublin must make an appointment with the Burgh Quay Registration Office via their appointment booking website.

Dublin students

  1. Make an online appointment ( to book a slot.

  2. Select “All” for category and subcategory

  3. Select “no” for (new students) I have a GNIB card or I have been registered before

  4. Select “no” for family application

  5. Select “yes” and fill in your passport number for the passport column.

  6. Then click “look for appointment”.

  7. Choose “closest to today

  8. If there is no slot for the appointment date, then you have to try multiple times. Example: 10 mins before and after their working and lunch hour (13:00-14:00), until you get it.

  9. Please make sure you are able to attend the appointment in person on that date.

  10. After you get a slot, a confirmation email will be sent to you. Just follow the instructions stated in the email.

  11. Immigration office address: Garda National Immigration Bureau
    Department of Justice and Equality
    13-14 Burgh Quay
    Dublin 2
    D02 XK70

  12. Remember to bring your documents on the day of your appointment

If residing outside of Dublin, an appointment can be made by sending an email to the immigration office of your county.

If you have further enquiries about the IRP card application process, you should contact the Student Ambassador of your college or the International Office. For more information, please visit the INIS website.

For more detailed info, please visit the following resources:

More info:

DKIT Students:

Stamp Types (Stamp 2 and 2A for students):

Working permit (PPS Number)

To work legally in Ireland, you must obtain a PPS (Personal Public Service) number prior to starting work. It is only applicable if you are above 18 years old. You will need to prepare your passport, IRP card, proof of address and the letter from college. Click here to check out more information about the PPS number application process.


Public buses are a common and cheap method of transportation in most counties. Purchase of Leap Card will cost cheaper at €1.68 per adult single ticket where the original ticket cost €2.4 each. Check it out to get one: If you want to travel between counties, you can go by bus or alternatively by train.

Essential Contact Information in Ireland

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