1. Purchase Health Insurance

Proof of medical expenses insurance is required for all non-EU students for immigration purposes. Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more information.

2. Prepare your immigration/travel documents

All non-EU/EEA nationals are subject to immigration control at the point of entry to the Irish State, so please ensure you comply fully with Irish Immigration Regulations and that you have all the required documentation ready for inspection immigration officials.

Immigration officials at your port of arrival may request documentary evidence from you that you will be attending University of Galway. 

3. Review your Pre-Arrival Guide

Download the International Guide here, it has all the information you might need as you transition into life at University of Galway.

Orientation information is available on our Orientation page

4. Book your accommodation

Please refer to the accommodation section of our website for information on how to book student accommodation.

5. Make travel arrangements

Check the Academic Calendar for your term dates and How to Find Us for information and advice on getting to Galway.

6. Pack your things

Check out the list of useful items to pack for Galway. The most important thing to remember is to pack light. Make a list of things you will actually need to see you through the first few weeks in Galway and discard everything else.

7. Plan your budget

It is important to understand all the costs involved, including tuition fees and day-to-day living costs. Budgeting is one of the key skills you will develop during your time at university and once you learn how to manage your money, you will be able to enjoy university life to the full.

8. What to Expect on Arrival into Ireland

At the port of entry, immigration officers will want to ensure you meet the entry requirements as an international student. Despite being already granted your visa, you need the following documents in your hand luggage

  • Photocopies of your passport.
  •  Plane tickets.
  • Two copies of your acceptance letters.
  •  Copy of medical insurance policy.

9. Getting to Galway

Galway city is served by an extensive public transport service from Dublin, Shannon and Knock airports, including the following public transport options

From Shannon:

  • Bus Éireann provides a direct service from Knock airport to Galway. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

From Dublin:

  • Regular direct transfers from Dublin Airport operated by Bus ÉireannGo Bus and Citylink, with fully air-conditioned coaches and free Wi-Fi. Travel time is approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes.
  • Irish Rail offers a direct transfer from Dublin City. Travel time is 2 hours, 10 minutes (Note: Irish Rail does not provide a service from Dublin airport)

From Knock:

  • Bus Éireann provides a direct service from Knock airport to Galway. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

Campus Entrances and Car Parking

Click here for a guide to University of Galway campus entrances and parking.


Click here for information.

Campus Maps

 10. Mobile Sim Cards

Please ensure your mobile phone is unlocked and is compatible to accept an international SIM card. Your current network provider can provide you with your unlocking code. Your phone may be unlocked already; you can check this by putting in a different SIM card to your current network to see if it works.

SIM cards are easily purchased in Galway City Centre from different providers. If you are self-isolating, you can order a SIM card to be delivered from Tesco Mobile. 

Vodafone is a common option for students to get. The recommended plan is "Vodafone X" as it is the best value for money for International students. You will need to signup for the plan as follows:

Set Up:

  1.    Pop your new Vodafone sim into your unlocked phone.
  2. Text UNLIMITED to 50222 to avail of our Vodafone X student plan.

What do I get?

  • Unlimited data (there is no cap on data, it’s truly unlimited)
  • Unlimited any network texts
  • 100 any network minutes & unlimited minutes from 3pm on Fridays until 11.59pm on Sundays
  • Includes roaming across Europe
  • More info available here


The plan costs €20 for 28 days. To avail of the student offer, you will need to top up by €20 in one go. If you want to add more credit and do not want to reactivate/reset your offer, you will need to top up by €5, €10 or €15.

How do I top up?

  • Online on our website
  • On the My Vodafone app available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
  • In any of our Vodafone stores
  • Most convenience stores and supermarkets also offer top up (Spar, Mace, Londis, Centra, Supervalu, Tesco etc.). You should ask at the till for '€X Vodafone Credit'

How do I find my number?

  • Make a call or send a text to a friend

International Calls

You can purchase an add on that will give you international minutes to eligible countries to use for 28 days for a flat fee. Full information is available by clicking here.

Add on

Price      Validity


100 international minutes

€5           28 days

Text 5INTER to 50233

400 international minutes

€15         28 days

Text 15INTER to 50233


You can find common FAQ’s here.

There are several other mobile phone service providers in Ireland offer a range of monthly plans. By topping up mobile credit each month, students can avail of unlimited data and texts with certain mobile phone companies. See the links below for current promotions and call allowances. 

3 Mobile

Tesco Mobile

Before I arrive can I get a Vodafone E-SIM instead of a plastic SIM card?

Yes, Vodafone eSims are available for certain supported devices (check here).  You order a new number online here for free – simply choose “get a new number”, continue and then choose “eSim”. A debit or credit card is required to order a new number for security purposes but no charge is made – the sim is completely free. After the order has been placed, an email with next steps and how to connect the eSIM to the phone will be sent to you. eSim FAQs are available here .

11. Life as a student in Galway

The International Student Blog Find out about our student's experience of life and learning at University of Galway through our International Student Blog. From articles such as 'Things to do in Galway' and course experiences, you'll find lots of interesting information!

12. Keep in touch

We hope you find this pre-arrival section of our website useful in helping you prepare for your stay at University of Galway. If you are unsure about anything, please contact the International Office.

t: + 353 91 495277

You can also reach out to fellow international students over on our InstagramFacebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates.


13. Fact Sheet

University of Galway Fact Sheet 2023 Incoming Visiting Students