COVID-19 FAQs for International Students
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Updated Friday 23 July 2021

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

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

 

 

Arrival in Ireland

If you are travelling to Ireland, you may have to quarantine on arrival. In some cases, you must pay in advance for mandatory hotel quarantine.

All arrivals must complete a Passenger Locator Form before boarding a flight or sailing to Ireland.

Arrivals from the EU and EEA who have an EU Digital COVID Certificate do not have to quarantine, unless the Certificate is based on an antigen test.

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. 

A dedicated “Greet and Transfer” service will be available for students arriving at Dublin Airport. This service will commence on 1 August and further details, including a specific arrival form, will be circulated to students by email on 27 July. Information will also be outlined on this page.

If you are arriving via a different airport or ferry port, please indicate this on the arrival form and further instructions will be provided in relation to onward transport.

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:

  • A 14-day quarantine period may be required on arrival in Ireland depending on your vaccination status and where you are travelling from or through. This could include mandatory hotel quarantine (if you are not fully vaccinated and you’re travelling from a country which is designated high risk) and this must be booked and paid for in advance. For a list of approved vaccinations, please see the section what "fully vaccinated" means here.
  • 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

Stage 1 Undergraduate Students Living On Campus

The earliest you can move in to on-campus accommodation is 2 September. This will allow time for students to undertake a 14 day quarantine period within UCD Residences, should this be required, and then participate in orientation activities commencing on 21 September and start of term on 27 September. Updates to accommodation dates will be posted to the UCD Residences FAQs.

Graduate and Continuing Students Living On Campus

The earliest you can move in to on-campus accommodation is 19 August. This will allow time for students to undertake a 14 day quarantine period within UCD Residences, should this be required, and begin classes commencing on 13 September. Updates to accommodation dates will be posted to the UCD Residences FAQs.

Students Living Off Campus

If you are arriving from a country that is not designated as high risk, and do not require mandatory hotel quarantine - click here for further details - you can avail of a 14-night stay in UCD Residences for the purpose of the required quarantine period if you are unable to quarantine at your off-campus accommodation location. You must arrive by 15 August to avail of the on-campus quarantine option and it must be booked and paid for in advance. Please note this is a fixed charge 14-night booking only. Once the booking period has begun, refunds will not be facilitated in the event of a student wishing to leave the booking period early.  Further details and updates are available at the UCD Residences FAQs.

Yes, it is important that you communicate your arrival details to UCD once your travel itinerary is confirmed. An online arrival form will be available through this FAQ section by 27 July 2021.

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, see here.

Further information about post-arrival testing requirements for passengers arriving from the EU, EEA, UK and outside the EU is available here

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.






Currently, if you are travelling to Ireland from or through a country which is on the government list of high-risk countries and you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (with a vaccine approved by the EU), you are required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for your stay. This mandatory hotel quarantine arrangement is managed by the Irish government  and is a legal requirement. This requirement may change over the coming months and countries may be added or removed from this list, therefore we advise that you monitor the government website regularly.

If you are travelling from or through a country which is not on the list of high-risk countries, you may still be  required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival depending on your vaccination status; however this does not have to be at a designated quarantine facility managed by the State. 

Details about on-campus accommodation options are now 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 or Certificate of Attendance
  • Accommodation details (quarantine hotel booking confirmation if you are not fully vaccinated and coming from or through a high risk country, or accommodation details for where you will be quarantining for 14 days if you are not fully vaccinated and required to self-quarantine on arrival)
  • 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 (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 here.

Starting my Studies at UCD

Updated: 9 June 2021

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 here (please bear in mind the new dates mentioned above, may not be reflected on the official academic calendar as yet).

Ireland's vaccination programme is progressing well and currently aims to have all adults vaccinated by the end of September. UCD is primarily a face-to-face campus and we are planning for as much on campus teaching as possible commencing in September, however everything will be in accordance with the prevailing health guidelines at that time (both our staff and student's health and safety is paramount).

We expect an official update on the confirmed UCD teaching mode for 2021/22 by the end of July and all offer holders, commencing and returning international students will be communicated on this via email.

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. 

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 here.

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 here

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