COVID-19 FAQs for International Students
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Updated Thursday 6 January 2022

These Frequently Asked Questions have been updated for international students, non-EU/EEA, who will commence their studies at UCD in late 2021 and in January 2022. 

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



Arrival in Ireland

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:

  • Date on your entry visa (if you are travelling from a visa-required country).
  • Accommodation move-in dates (on-campus or off-campus).
  • Any periods of quarantine which may be required on arrival.

At present, there is no requirement for you to inform UCD Global about your travel itinerary, however you may be asked to confirm your arrival date and time by UCD Residences if you will be living on campus. 

You should aim to arrive in time for the start of term and have accommodation arrangements in place for when you arrive. 

In terms of transport on arrival, you can find more information about public transport options from Dublin Airport via this website.

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 

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.

Starting my Studies at UCD in January 2022

Term dates for 2021/22 are listed on the UCD website.

UCD Global will be running a series of social and cultural events for international students who are commencing their studies at UCD in January 2022 from 10 January 2022. These events will be listed on the UCD Global website and social media pages.

​​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:

Applying to UCD

The University accepts several English language tests, and UCD will continue to accept Duolingo English Test (DET)TOEFL iBT Home Edition and IELTS Indicator for admission in September 2022 & 2023. These may not be recognised after that depending on the outcome of a review.

For information on acceptable English Language tests for via/immigration purposes please see the Irish Immigration Service website.

If you are unable to take your English Language test due to closures and find no alternative, please contact 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 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 2022 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 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.

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 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 2022, as usual. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies in September 2022, please contact 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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