Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. When you see its lush green landscape and breathtaking views, it’s easy to see why. It’s a lively and vibrant country with a history deep in folklore, not to mention a rich culture in music, dance and literature.

It’s also the perfect place to come and learn English and spend some time getting to know the friendly locals.

If you’re thinking about relocating, but aren’t completely sure if it’s the right thing for you, take a look at this guide, which includes everything you need to know about moving to Ireland.


5 reasons you should move to Ireland


1. Brexit

Britain has left the European Union, and nobody knows how easy it will be for EU citizens to move there to work or study. However, with neighbouring Ireland just a boat trip away, it seems the next logical place for those looking for an English language immersion, not too far from home. Not only do they speak English (as well as Irish), but the currency is the Euro which will make your transition so much easier.


2. Employment

Thanks to a growing economy and an impressive number of multinational companies, there are lots of opportunities for you to find work. Ireland now has a serious tech industry with companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin moving their European headquarters there (click on the links for job listings).

You can find lots of big biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well – including organisations like Johnson & Johnson and Roche.

Everything you need to know about moving to Ireland | Oxford House Barcelona

View of Dublin’s Silicon Docks at night


3. The people

Without a doubt, Irish people are the best thing about Ireland. They are known for their good sense of humour, their beautiful melodic accents, and also for being extremely friendly. Three of Ireland’s cities appeared in Conde Nast’s list of friendliest cities in the world. Cork was voted third, and Dublin and Galway appeared in the top ten – so expect a warm welcome when you arrive!

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4. Low crime

Ireland is very safe. It was voted the twelfth safest country to live in the world in 2019. And although you should take precautions, the risks are quite low: just make sure you take a taxi if you’re travelling alone late at night.


5. Universities

Did you know Ireland has the most international students in the world? It’s therefore a great place if you are considering studying abroad. Prestigious universities like Trinity College Dublin can be found in the capital, making it an obvious destination if you are interested in higher education.

Everything you need to know about moving to Ireland | Oxford House Barcelona

Trinity College Dublin


Where to live


From lively multicultural cities with world-famous nightlife to peaceful walks on cliff covered coastline, Ireland has it all. Deciding where to live really depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. Here are some of our recommendations for where to make your new home.



The country’s capital is a great place for the ‘craic’ (pronounced: crack). That’s Irish for a good time. Expect to see pubs brimming with people, performers in the streets and a friendly face when you’ve lost your way. It’s a very walkable city with so much life in the city centre, but there’s more to it than that.

Dublin is now home to the biggest multinationals in tech. Named ‘silicon docks’, there are about 7,000 tech professionals working in the area. The good news is there are lots of work opportunities, but be careful of the increasing rent prices.

Rooms start at about €600 a month.

Everything you need to know about moving to Ireland | Oxford House Barcelona

Outside the famous Temple Bar in Dublin



Galway is another excellent choice if you are thinking about moving to Ireland. It’s small enough to feel welcome but there’s still a lot happening in the arts and culture scene.

In fact, it’s a very musical city, famed for its love of old folk music and traditional Irish culture. While it’s considerably smaller than Dublin it is still very international. You can walk the cobbled streets and see the colourful buildings throughout the centre. Or explore beautiful beaches like Salt Hill and even escape to the nearby Aran Islands.

Employment prospects aren’t as high as in the capital but rent is considerably cheaper.

Rooms start at about €350 a month.

Everything you need to know about moving to Ireland | Oxford House Barcelona

Galway, Ireland



Known as the rebel county because of its history of fighting for independence, Cork is Ireland’s second-largest city. Employment rates are high thanks to a boom in startups. Even better, house prices are much cheaper than in Dublin, and the cost of living is much lower too. The pace of life is slower, more relaxed and the people are very easy-going. It’s also home to lots of history, including the beautiful Blarney castle.

Rooms start at about €250 a month.

Everything you need to know about moving to Ireland | Oxford House Barcelona

Cork’s city skyline at night


How to get set up


So you’ve realised your dream and you’re moving to Ireland! But before you can sample the Guinness and discover the country’s beauty spots, it’s time to get organised. Here is a list of things to consider before you arrive.



The good news is, if you’re a European citizen, you don’t need a visa to live and work in Ireland. It’s also not necessary to have a residency card and you can stay for up to three months without restriction.

But note: after the three months, you must be employed, self-employed or be registered as a student or trainee.


There is a range of different jobs you can do in Ireland. There is a demand for skilled workers in business, engineering, IT and hospitality – so if any of these match your expertise, you may be in luck. There are a number of websites you can use to find work such as:, Indeed and Glassdoor.

Casual work is also an option. You may find bar work, nanny or hairdressing jobs advertised in shop windows, shopping centres or newspapers. You can also register with an employment agency before you arrive to give yourself the best chance of finding a suitable job.

The minimum wage for working in Ireland is currently €9.80 an hour – so that’s the lowest amount anyone can legally pay you.



Excellent news if you want to study at university. Depending on the course, you can pay as little as €3,000 for undergraduate courses – that’s much less than the UK! There are also plenty of masters, doctorates and diplomas to choose from as well.

Check out some of the top universities in the country like Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University College Cork, and National University of Ireland Galway.

If you want to study English, there are also many language schools. A lot of them offer summer programmes where you can immerse yourself for a period of three months. There are also year-long courses for those looking to stay longer.

Two-week courses for learning English in Ireland start at about €200.

Want something a bit different? There are also lots of options for recreational courses in English too. From cooking courses to art classes there’s something for everyone. You can even try Irish dancing!



House shares are very common in Ireland. Especially in the larger cities where the demand for rent is high. Be proactive with arranging viewings because flats in the cities go very quickly. Property, Daft and Roomigo are the most popular sites to find rooms to rent. If you’re looking for a temporary solution, consider Airbnb and HomeAway.


Cost of Living

Ireland has one of the highest qualities of life in Europe, but with quality comes a price. Cost of living in Ireland is about 40% higher than in Spain. A beer costs about €5, a meal for two around €60 and a monthly transport pass costs at least €100. Make sure you save some money before you arrive!



Healthcare is both public and private. As an EU citizen, you are entitled to public health care but you must be able to demonstrate that you intend to stay in Ireland for one year.

Although it is public, you still have to pay every time you see the doctor (GP). This costs about €60, and you will probably pay a lot more for prescriptions than in Spain.

In the Irish public health system, there are often long waiting lists to receive non-urgent treatment. That’s why lots of people choose to purchase private health care insurance.


English level


Most jobs require a good level of English. Some jobs will ask you to prove your level, and for most graduate and postgraduate places at university, you must show a proficiency in English to be accepted.

This is why it is recommended you take the IELTS exam before applying for jobs or university courses in Ireland. Check your desired job or course to find out the minimum IELTS level required.


Prepare to move to Ireland with Oxford House


Here at Oxford House we offer an eight-week IELTS intensive course. New courses start each term and are four hours a week.

Sign up now and start your Irish adventure!

If you have any more questions about moving to Ireland visit the official Citizens Information page. Or if you are thinking about moving a little further afield, read Maria’s story about moving to Australia.

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Lush (adj) : a place with lots of green vegetation.

Locals (n): people who live in the local area.

Currency (n): The money used in a country eg. Euro, Dollars, Pound Sterling.

Headquarters (n): the main office of a company.

Brimming (v): so full something is overflowing (e.g. a cup brimming with water).

Cobbled (adj): old-fashioned streets with stones.

Beauty spots (n): a place with beautiful scenery.

Hospitality (n): the food and drink industry, including hotels and event companies.

Waiting list (n) : a wait to see the doctor or visit the hospital.


adj = adjective

n = noun

v = verb

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