Ask Brian: My son in China wants to go to college in Ireland. What are his options?
Universities offer a range of foundation programmes for international students
Ireland is a good location for international studies, as it has a proven record as a friendly, social and academic environment to study and live in. Photo: iStock
Question: I’m a Chinese mother based in Shanghai and my son is completing the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGSCE) next September. I am considering sending him to do a foundation pathway to an undergraduate degree in Ireland. Could you suggest one?
Answer: Ireland would be an ideal location for you son’s international studies, as it has a proven record as a friendly, social and academic environment to study and live in.
Given that it will soon be the main English-speaking country within the European Union, Ireland offers a good location for international students who want to immerse themselves among English speakers for a period, while studying in high quality universities.
Irish universities also have the added advantage of being integrated within the network of European universities for academic partnerships and research funding, which will enable your son to continue his studies to PhD level to the highest international standards.
Among the options open to your son in Ireland is the “3U pathway university foundation programme”, which offers international students a pathway to undergraduate studies in Ireland.
This would develop his knowledge of English for academic purposes and chosen discipline as well as his communication and study skills.
It also equips international students, like your son, with the knowledge, skills and confidence to flourish in his undergraduate study at Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University or other Irish universities.
A second option is University College Dublin (UCD), which offers a three-term international foundation year programme, specifically designed for international students who need additional study before starting an undergraduate degree at the university.
Depending on the course he wants to access, he can choose from two routes: business, economics and social studies; or science, engineering and biomedical.
The programme combines study skills, English language training and academic study to prepare him for degree-level study.
He can apply for the programme online. For further details and application information, he should visit the UCD international study centre website (www.ucd.ie/international or email: email@example.com) .
Trinity College Dublin also offers a year-long international foundation programme designed to allow students to develop the skills required to succeed and excel in a competitive university environment.
This is is delivered at the campus of Trinity’s associated college, Marino Institute of Education, where excellent student facilities and guaranteed on-site accommodation are available.
Accepted students to the programme are also given a conditional offer to study as an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin the following academic year. During the foundation year students study English language; maths ; critical thinking; communication skills; as well as subject-specific courses in their chosen stream.
Students who successfully complete the programme and achieve the required grades are guaranteed entry into their chosen degree stream the following academic year (email your enquiries to : firstname.lastname@example.org).