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Famous for its lush green countryside and natural beauties with a warm temperate climate, Ireland has taken its place in the lists as one of the most preferred countries for those who want to study abroad in recent years. The country, where students from various countries of the world are greeted friendly also has a different reputation with its international quality education system. In particular, the fact that the European headquarters of companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple, which are among the world's leading technology and information companies, are in Dublin, increases internship and job opportunities.

Ireland offers modern and multi-purpose campus options for students and various undergraduate and graduate programs tailored to the abilities of individuals. You can read the story of our student Ceren, who went to Dublin Business School to get her master's degree with Collab International and graduated last year and get all the details from choosing a school and program, to accommodation and finding a job after graduation, in the interview below!

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Collab: Why did you choose Dublin Business School in Ireland, what was it like?


Ceren: I applied to Collab International, being sure that I wanted to get my master's degree in Ireland. Afterwards, we had a meeting about the school and program options, and as a result of this meeting, I decided to apply to Dublin Business School (DBS). The main reason I chose this school was that DBS offers students very comprehensive programs in terms of MBA programs and course content. The fact that there are different options as finance, project management, marketing, data, or general MBA helps students on choosing the right program in line with their business life and their own potential.


Collab: Did you work while studying in Ireland? How were the rules?


Ceren: During my master's program, I worked as a waitress in a centrally located pub for 11 months. While doing a master's degree in Ireland, students are given the opportunity to work 20 hours a week, except for 3 months a year. It was not difficult to find a job, I left my CV to the pubs while visiting. After that, some of them wanted to meet and I had interviews. There is an hourly wage system that facilitates students to easily afford their rent. Since most of the working people are undergraduate/master students, pub/restaurant etc. places provide understanding and convenience to students for their weekly working hours. I can easily say that this is a huge advantage, being able to save money for rent or daily life while studying gave me financial relief.


Collab: How did your job finding process develop after the completing your masters, did you find a job easily? How are the working conditions?


Ceren: The process of finding a job after graduation can be more difficult than finding a job while studying, unfortunately I have observed that there is a system that is not very welcoming to NON-EU students like me, who have limited visas, while there are European citizens. But I have had many international friends who have proven otherwise – I can say the same for myself. For 3 weeks, I applied to more than 250 companies and different departments and received many rejections, however, I had the chance to go through many interviews and gain experience. LinkedIn is a very powerful channel. Keeping your LinkedIn up to date, and researching who opened the posted job positions, or who are the Human Resources people in the companies is important - I got more efficiency from the applications I took initiative, such as reaching these people directly, sending messages. In addition, since I completed my master's degree, when looking for a job, masters graduates are always 1-0 ahead, which increased my chances. I worked full time in 2 different companies in 12 months after graduation, and I continue to work today.


Collab: It is said that it is difficult to find accommodation in Ireland, may I ask your observations?


Ceren: It is difficult to find a house in Ireland. Usually, rooms are rented instead of whole houses – it's much easier to find a room outside of the city center. There is a system in which you must have an interview with the landlord or the real estate agent. The landlord wants you to provide your bank account information, documents from your workplace if you are working and some other documents. The system usually proceeds in the form of 1 month rent deposit + 1 month rent in advance. In my experience, it is best to start researching consistently and early and proceed through many different channels. Generally, collective meeting times are arranged to see the house - 50 people are called to a meeting to see a room, you leave your information, then a return is provided, or not provided. There are certain Facebook groups and websites for this. As someone who has changed 6 houses in 2 years, I have had a lot of experience in this regard, and now I live in a more beautiful house 1 hour outside of the city center, for a more affordable price. Rents are usually €750+ per room. Bills vary from house to house, sometimes it is included in the rent, sometimes paid on top of it. You do not see your landlord most of the time, when there is a problem, they usually contact and help you solve the problem with the house. It is a challenging process but not impossible. Of course, I would not recommend waiting for the comfort you had in your home country, it is useful to be prepared psychologically J.


Collab: How long did your visa process take, did you have to do any extra procedures after you graduated or when you got the job while you were there?


Ceren: First, I got my study visa that is called STAMP 2 visa. After graduation, another 2-year work visa is granted to you that is called STAMP 1G visa. While waiting for this work visa, they give you a residency card called IRP. After making an appointment through the system, you take the necessary documents to the immigration office and then receive this card by mail. Immigration office does not return to phone and e-mails very often, I have not personally witnessed them return, there is a slow system. In general, I did not have any problems in the process, and neither did my friends around me. When I finished my master's degree, I applied online while converting my visa, as I coincided with the post-Covid19 period. The required documents are very simple, they are all available on the internet (health insurance, graduate transcript, official document from the school, your residence card etc.). You can work in most places with the Stamp 1G visa. There is no problem with this. The arrival of your Stamp 1G visa takes between 2 weeks and 6 weeks, but this period varies. I think it is logical to enter the interviews without waiting for the card to arrive. Before you graduate, start looking for a job during the thesis period so that you learn about the sectors and the market. If you can talk to the company, explain your situation, and they agree to start working with you, you will save time.


I applied to Stamp 1G in March 2022, went through the job interviews at that time, and explained my situation that my visa was coming. They agreed to wait for my visa to arrive. My interview process was over at the beginning of April, and when I received my card in the second week of April, I started working in the sales department of a Fintech company.


There are 2 ways to ensure a job visa here – first, you can apply via Critical Skills if your field of work is compatible or the company hiring you must sponsor your visa. Sponsorship is much easier for engineers/IT students. I was eligible for the Critical Skills visa category because I work for a software company. Unfortunately, not everyone falls into this category of visa, it is a type of visa for job openings in specific areas in Ireland. The main goal should be to convert your Stamp 1G type visa to Stamp 1 type as soon as possible. While obtaining a permanent residence permit, the length of time you work with the Stamp 1 visa and the criteria are more considered than the work you did with Stamp 1G visa. I'm currently in the Stamp1 visa application process – I worked for 2 different companies in the last 12 months after my master's. I am working with an agency that I have found here in Ireland for this visa application process.


Collab: Lastly, what would you like to say to foreign students coming there, what are your recommendations?


Ceren: My advice to foreign students coming here is to know that it will be an intense process and to prepare themselves for not finding the comfort of their homes. It is very important to be positive, to strive, to communicate with your teachers at your school, to create a circle of friends, and it has helped me a lot. A lot of information is shared on the Internet, in Facebook groups, in WhatsApp groups, of course there is uncertainty from time to time, but there are many sources from which you can get information in general. It's a tough fight, but I'd say it was definitely worth it. I am currently in my third year in Ireland, and I would like to say that I have gained incredible experiences and I am grateful for that! Thanks to the Collab International team for all their help and correct guidance as I started this adventure!

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