Orientation January 2024

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Welcome to UCD!

Welcome to UCD! UCD Global will be coordinating a series of social and cultural events for new international students commencing their studies at UCD in September 2024. 

The information below will help you settle into life in Ireland.

Arriving to Ireland

Watch our airport arrival video with Global Guide, Bo, welcoming you to Dublin and showing you how to get to UCD.
In the video, you will see what is waiting for you when you arrive and how you can get easily from the airport to our green UCD Campus. 

Another UCD student, Bridie has prepared this guide for you!

Watch the video here

UCD Student Health Service provides an on campus primary care medical service for all students of UCD. A staff of doctors, nurses and a part time psychiatrist offer professional, confidential care with a wide range of medical services available on the their website.

To learn more about the Irish healthcare system and how services operate, please read through this list of helpful FAQs.

If you are unsure about availability and costs of certain medications in Ireland, please read through the first question on this list titled 'Common Questions about Medications in Ireland'. If you cannot find an answer there you can email the UCD Pharmacy to enquire before you travel: global@procarepharmacy.ie

To find out information about the Student Counselling Service and how to access appointments, please review the information available on the counselling website.

The student Ucard is the official UCD student card. The Ucard is multi-functional, and is used for numerous services on campus i.e. ‘One card for all functions’. Your Ucard offers convenience, flexibility and most importantly, security. Each student has their own personal & confidential Ucard account.

Find out more information and request a UCARD.


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

Free SIM cards will also be provided for international students checking into UCD Residences (while stocks last!). If you do not get one at check-in, please enquire at the UCD Global Guides and Reception desk.

Alternatively, SIM cards can be ordered online directly from your preferred network provider and you can request it to be posted to your accommodation address.

Unlocking your phone

Students can purchase a new phone when they arrive in Ireland or unlock their existing mobile phones. If you wish to use your existing phone, please ensure that it 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. 

Please also ensure that you bring your SIM card removal tool in order to change SIMs between phones when you get to Ireland.

In order to open an Irish bank account with one of the main banks in Ireland, you need to have an address in Ireland, have completed your online registration at UCD and received your Certificate of Attendance. 

To make an appointment to open a bank account, see links for Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and Bank of Ireland (BOI) listed below. Whilst different bank branches can be used for opening an account, the AIB branch in Clonskeagh is closest to the Belfield campus, and Blackrock for the Smurfit campus. BOI has branches on the Stillorgan Road and in Blackrock.

On the day of your bank appointment, you will be required to show the following documents:

  • Valid Passport/National ID Card.
  • Certificate of Attendance that lists both your permanent and Irish addresses. (Please check that your correct addresses are on your SISweb account, as this information will be included on your Certificate of Attendance).
  • UCard (UCD student card) is required by Allied Irish Bank.

Allied Irish Bank 

Bank of Ireland


There is a Centra Supermarket on UCD campus. Check out https://centra.ie/beat-the-queue

Another grocery delivery option is https://buymie.ie

There are a huge range of supermarkets near UCD which you can also order from.

Lidl https://www.lidl.ie/en

Veganic https://www.veganic.ie/

Supervalu https://shop.supervalu.ie/shopping/

Tesco https://www.tesco.ie/groceries/

Asia Market https://www.asiamarket.ie/

For local take out and dining options check out https://www.tripadvisor.ie

Deliveroo https://deliveroo.ie

Uber Eats Local to UCD

Just Eat https://www.just-eat.ie

UCD Careers Network

Jumpstart - Careers Course for International Students

Gaeltacht UCD

UCD Festival

UCD Global Lounge 

Handy Map of UCD and surrounding area

For access to the Destination Ireland module (a non-credit bearing online module which will give you an introduction to Ireland’s culture and heritage), please visit the UCD Incoming Student Portal, via the link in your course offer letter. You can access the Destination Ireland module from the UCD portal homepage (SISWeb). You can also email ucdgloballounge@ucd.ie if you have question.

The UCD Dignity & Respect Support Advisers work proactively with students who disclose issues of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct and those who are reported for such issues. The Advisers, who are experienced and trained to support, respond and advise on all reports of a dignity and respect nature, will provide you with a supportive, confidential environment in which to discuss the issues and will support you to make a decision that is right for you and your situation. 


Here are some resources for online yoga, workouts, meditation, pilates, dance and other virtual experiences, which we hope you will find useful, particularly if you are required to isolate or restrict your movements at any stage during your time at UCD: Student Supports and Resources -Restricting Your Movements

The HSE has also developed a series of videos on Minding Your Wellbeing which should be helpful during this time. 

UCD Global in collaboration with Bleeper, are providing a fleet of shared bicycles for our international students this trimester.

How does it work?
  • These bikes are completely free to use (for international students only).
  • Available bikes will be visible via the Bleeper App. 
  • Bikes can be locked/unlocked using the App - no need for keys!
  • Bikes can be used off campus but must be returned to the Belfield/Smurfit Campus at the end of every journey.
How do I sign up?

For information on how to have a more sustainable student experience at UCD, and to download your copy of the Student Green Guide, please visit our sustainability page.

You can also stay up to date on UCD Green Campus initiatives via the UCD Green Campus website

The Campus

The UCD Campus has to be experienced to be believed. Our facilities include world-class teaching and research facilities, modern, comfortable student accommodation, a huge sports centre with Olympic-size swimming pool, interactive laboratories and the biggest animal hospital in Ireland! Get to know our campus a little better in our video, or take a virtual, 3D tour of the campus and experience it for yourself!

Take the Tour

The People

At UCD, our faculty and staff are focused on ensuring that all students have the best experience and receive the best education possible in an enjoyable and supportive environment. More than one quarter of our student population is from outside Ireland and the EU, and over one third of our academic staff is from outside Ireland. Our Global Guides are UCD students who are here to help you settle into life at UCD, and who organise many great events for international students in the UCD Global Lounge and Virtual Global Lounge. You can get to know our Global Guides in this video.

Get to Know the Global Guides

Take the Next Step

Contact us today for more information or to apply for a place.

Enquire Apply Now