COVID-19 FAQs for International Students
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Updated Thursday 7 October 2021

These Frequently Asked Questions are written for international students, non-EU/EEA, who will commence their studies at UCD in 2021/22.

We will update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back regularly.

 

 

Starting my Studies at UCD

Teaching for new/commencing undergraduate students (Stage 1) will be completed over a ten-week period, commencing on Monday 27 September.

Teaching for continuing students, graduate students, and for graduate entry students in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Radiography will commence on Monday 13 September.

Formal Orientation for new/commencing undergraduate students will take place between 21-24 September. 

UCD Global will be running a series of social and cultural events for international students throughout the month of September with a mix of virtual and in-person events. 

For further information, please see the calendar of key dates.

​​In accordance with the Irish Government’s plan for a safe return to on-campus activity for universities in September 2021, we are planning a safe return to on-campus teaching, learning and assessment. We also plan to provide our students with a holistic campus experience that includes safe participation in extracurricular activities, society events and sports. The University will comply with public health requirements and will make necessary adjustments if Government advice changes. The following activities and facilities are planned on-campus in September in line with national public health advice and guidance:

 

  • Lectures
  • Laboratory teaching
  • Classroom based teaching
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Field trips (assessed on a case-by-case basis)
  • Libraries (with increased hours and capacity)
  • Study spaces (beyond those in our libraries)

 

The UCD Sports Centre, clubs and societies, and creche will also operate in accordance with public health advice and guidance. On-campus cafes, restaurants and bars currently require a valid COVID vaccine certificate for indoor hospitality. As members of the UCD Community, we ask all our students to play their part by taking the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have been advised on medical grounds not to. Students will be obliged to wear face masks for class, and we ask that they also wear face masks indoors on campus until such time as the Government relaxes that requirement. We have introduced additional hygiene and cleaning services. Extra staff will be on the ground to ensure public spaces do not become congested. Ventilation has been improved and is monitored closely. Classes will be reduced to 45 minutes to facilitate circulation and set up for lecture capture. We will do all in our power to ensure that the campus is safe as well as welcoming. As students register to their modules they will be informed of their timetable. However, if Government advice requires the University to alter our plans, it may mean changes in how students prepare for class, or in the dates and locations of lectures. Students are asked to read all university emails to keep them abreast of any updates. We will make appropriate provisions for vulnerable students who have been advised against attending campus, and any student falling into this category should make contact with their School or College Office so that the relevant people are aware of their needs.



If you are unable to travel to Ireland to commence your course, on time, in line with the academic term dates for 2021/22, please contact the UCD Admissions team supporting your application (UCD Global or School office) to enquire about a late start date, outlining the reasons for your request and providing an indication of your expected arrival date.

There are many ways that you can connect with UCD prior to arrival, some of which are listed below:

Many UCD academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise.

We have taken care to make our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place. You can find more information on the UCD SIRC website.  

In addition, UCD alongside other Irish higher education institutions represented by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, have joined together to announce their plans for a safe return to campuses this September with maximum on-site presence. Please visit the Irish Universities Association website for more information.

Ireland's vaccination programme has been moving from strength to strength over the past two or three months with Ireland having the second highest percentage of adults fully vaccinated among EU member states, as of Monday 16 August, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 90% of Irish adults have now received at least one jab, and nearly 82% of everyone above the age of 16 is now fully vaccinated. For up-to-date vaccination statistics, you can find out more information via this website.

 

Arrival in Ireland

If you are travelling to Ireland, you may have to quarantine on arrival.

Everyone arriving in Ireland must complete a Passenger Locator Form before boarding a flight or taking a boat to Ireland.

People arriving from the EU and EEA who have an EU Digital COVID Certificate do not have to quarantine, unless their Certificate is based on an antigen test or they have not been vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine.

Different rules apply for arrivals from outside the EEA.

For further information, please review the guidelines provided here.

 

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, UCD continues to operate in line with public health guidelines along with sectoral responses to supporting international students within Higher Education. 

We will provide guidance and support to incoming international students in relation to airport arrival, immigration procedures, transport, accommodation, quarantine requirements, private facilities for COVID-19 testing, and how to access student support services if required. 

Please refer to the UCD academic term dates for 2021/22 when planning your arrival in Ireland. You should also consider the following aspects when planning your travel:

  • quarantine period may be required on arrival in Ireland depending on your vaccination status and where you are travelling from or through. For a list of approved vaccinations, please see the section what "fully vaccinated" means.
  • Date on your entry visa (if you are travelling from a visa-required country).
  • Accommodation move-in dates (on-campus or off-campus).
  • Provide evidence that you have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive into Ireland, or have evidence that you are exempt from this legal requirement.
  • Complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form

 

UCD Global coordinated an airport Greet & Transfer Service during the period 1st August - 4th October 2021. This service is no longer operating as the new academic year has now commenced. You can find more information about public transport options from Dublin Airport via this website.

Guidelines in relation to students arriving in January 2022, will be provided in November 2021 and updated on this page.

Arriving in Ireland from the EU/EEA

If you have a Digital COVID Certificate (DCC), you do not need a negative RT-PCR test unless your DCC is based on a negative antigen test, or any other non-RT-PCR test. In this case you must have proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

People arriving without a DCC will also need proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Arriving in Ireland from outside the EU/EEA

If you arrive in Ireland from outside the EU, EEA or the UK, the testing and quarantine rules depend on whether you have been in a country that has an ‘emergency brake’ applied to it in the 14 days before you arrive in Ireland. For further information on testing requirements, visit this website to read more about travelling to Ireland during COVID.

Further information about post-arrival testing requirements for passengers arriving from the EU, EEA, UK and outside the EU is available on this website where you will find information about travelling to Ireland during COVID.

If you are required to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test after your arrival, this test is free of charge and is available at testing centres operated at locations around the country by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The test should be booked in advance of arrival in Ireland and must be booked for a date at least 5 days after arrival.

You may book a test by visiting the HSE Test Booking website.

You should retain the written confirmation of your booking until you receive the results of your test.

You must continue to quarantine while you await the results of your test or for 14 days after travel. You may only end your period of quarantine if you receive written confirmation of a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival.

You must retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days.






Students are not required to be vaccinated to study at UCD but we recommend that you should avail of an approved vaccine before your departure for Ireland and commencement of your studies.

Yes. Any international students that require a COVID vaccination can get this free of charge in Ireland, via the national vaccination programme. The following webpages have useful information for students:

If you have a PPS number, you can use the online registration portal to book your vaccination: https://vaccine.hse.ie/

If you don't hold a PPS number, you will need to use the telephone registration helpline to register for a vaccination appointment: 1850 241 850 from Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm. Alternatively, you may wish to avail of vaccination walk-in clinics when they are available (PPS numbers are not essential to avail of this service).

You will need to be residing here in Ireland in order to book a vaccination appointment, and the health service will not permit you to book an appointment in advance, before your arrival here. You will be required to bring photo identification and proof of address with you when attending your appointment.

Although a PPS number is currently not required to book a vaccination appointment, it is recommended that you apply for a number when you arrive in Ireland to give you better access to the Irish public health care system and other public services. gov.ie - Get a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number (www.gov.ie)

Details about on-campus accommodation options are available on the  UCD Residences website including an updated set of FAQs for international students. You can also find information about off-campus options through the UCD Accommodation Pad website.

UCD recommends that all international students have the following documents in your hand luggage when you arrive in Ireland and are ready to present them at Immigration Control:

  • Passport (with your valid entry visa if you require one)
  • UCD Offer Letter (new students) or Certificate of Attendance (continuing students)
  • Accommodation details 
  • Prior to travel, please complete the online Irish Government COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. Please note that failure to complete the form could result in the issuing of penalties
  • Written confirmation of your COVID-19 test results (if required)
  • Written confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination if you have already received a vaccine (please check that your vaccination is recognised in Ireland)

In addition, non-EU students should have the following additional documents to hand:

  • Evidence of private medical health insurance with detailed coverage information
  • Evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship or sponsorship details or US Financial Aid (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you have access to at least €3,000*
  • All documents should be originals and, if in a language other than English, accompanied by a translation. Further information about immigration procedures is available on our Visas and Immigration website page.

*Students can provide a recent bank statement upon arrival into Dublin. This bank statement can either be in paper form or produced on a device as long as the student is certain that they can access this documentation upon arrival. The translation of a bank statement is not necessary as long as the name of the student is present and the amount in the bank is clear and follows the Eastern Arabic numerical system of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.

However, if the numerical system is different such as Western Arabic, Urdu or Persian, the student will be required to translate the document. The figures can be in any currency and an English speaker should be able to see who owns the account and the amount available. The Immigration Officer can also convert this amount into Euro if they wish to do so.

All international students studying in Ireland can receive public health services for the testing and treatment of the Covid-19 virus. These services are being provided free of charge. For further information on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19, please review the information provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

If you don't obtain your second vaccine dose before you leave home, you will need to register with the Irish national Covid-19 vaccination programme on arrival in Ireland to secure your second dose. Please make sure you have documentation outlining details of your first dose. To register with our national Covid-19 vaccination programme:

  • If you have a PPS number, you can use the online registration portal to book your vaccination.
  • If you don't hold a PPS number, you will need to use the telephone registration helpline to register for your vaccination: 1850241850 from Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm or attend a walk-in clinic when available.
  • You will need to be residing here in Ireland in order to book a vaccination appointment, and the health service will not permit you to book an appointment in advance, before your arrival here. You will be required to bring photo identification and proof of address with you when attending your appointment.

Applying to UCD

The University accepts several English language tests, and UCD will continue to accept Duolingo English Test (DET) and TOEFL iBT Home Edition for admission in September 2021. IELTS indicator is also accepted for 2021 only.

The Visa Division of the Department of Justice and Equality has confirmed that it will accept results of online tests from the Test Providers including DET and TOEFL iBT Home Edition, for 2021. Further information is available on the Irish Immigration Service website.

If you are unable to take your English Language test due to closures and find no alternative, please contact internationalenquiries@ucd.ie to alert us to your situation.

We are aware that delays may be unavoidable for you in providing the information needed to support your application. We aim to be as flexible as possible. If you will need extra time to gather requested information, please just let us know by emailing internationalenquiries@ucd.ie so that we are aware of any delays.

If your examination is one which UCD normally recognises, we will continue to accept the results, provided they are formally issued by the examining body, in accordance with the timelines for 2021 admissions. 

However, we will keep the situation under review and, if there is a significant difference in grade distribution relative to Leaving Certificate results, we reserve the right to implement a system of proportionality*. Please contact internationalenquiries@ucd.ie if you have further queries.

*If there is a significant imbalance in the proportion of eligible candidates in relation to specific qualifications, places will be offered, proportionate to application numbers, and on the basis of ranking within a particular examination group.

All students in England who are entered for qualifications regulated by Ofqual and offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson, WJEC Eduqas are expected to receive official results, on the basis of teacher-assessed grades, on 10 August.

International A levels are not Ofqual regulated qualifications. For information on these qualifications, please contact the relevant exam board directly.

We will continue to accept the results, provided they are formally issued by the examining body, in accordance with the timelines for 2021 admissions. 

However, we will keep the situation under review and, if there is a significant difference in grade distribution relative to Leaving Certificate results, we reserve the right to implement a system of proportionality*.

Please contact internationalenquiries@ucd.ie if you have further queries.

*If there is a significant imbalance in the proportion of eligible candidates in relation to specific qualifications, places will be offered, proportionate to application numbers, and on the basis of ranking within a particular examination group.

See Ofqual Student Guide to Awarding: Summer 2021

No. If an interview is compulsory as part of your application, the relevant School or Unit will contact you to schedule a phone or online interview.

We are making efforts to be as flexible as possible for students who are applying to the University.

Please contact internationalenquiries@ucd.ie to explore whether an extension to your deposit payment deadline is possible. 

We are continuing to assess new applications, and are preparing to welcome new students in September 2021, as usual. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies in September 2021, please contact internationalenquiries@ucd.ie. Our Admissions Team can discuss your options with you.

UCD’s scholarships are provisioned for on an annual basis and because of this, students who defer entry cannot retain their scholarship, but must be reassessed for the scholarships for their year of entry.

Students who have been awarded a Global Excellence Scholarship and defer their entry must reapply for the scholarship.

Normally, U.S. Federal Aid regulations state that any programme at a non-U.S. university which includes online teaching and learning is ineligible for Federal Aid. 

On Friday 27 March 2020, the US Senate passed the Third COVID 19 Coronavirus Bill (H.R. 748). Among other provisions, the Bill allows for eligible programmes that would normally be taught in a traditional classroom setting to be taught through online learning for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The Bill will be applied retroactively to all programmes that have moved online since 1 March 2020.

On 1 March 2021, the US Department of Education clarified that the CARES Act Provisions (including allowances for online education) have been extended to either 30 June 2022 or the 30 June following the announcement of end of the pandemic, whichever is later. Accordingly, recipients of US Federal Loans studying at UCD may continue to be in receipt of their loans even though their programmes have temporarily moved to online teaching and learning.

Please note that loans will not be certified for programmes which are normally taught online outside of the COVID-19 emergency.

For more information on Federal Aid at UCD, go to UCD North American Loans

All recipients of Federal Aid should also consult the following release by the US Department of Education on Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents. In particular, the Department of Education advises:

“If your school has moved classes to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid. If you have questions about the online format, contact your school.

The administrative forbearance will last for at least 60 days from March 13, 2020. ED may extend that period, depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency. If the option for an administrative forbearance is extended, your loan servicer will communicate information about the extension to you.”

The Refund Policy is available on the UCD Registry website.

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