Welcome to Cork City, known to the locals as the true capital of Ireland. Friendly and cosmopolitan, Cork has a vibrant student population of around 36,000. Of these, approximately 10% are international students visiting from over 100 countries around the world. Wherever you call home and whatever big ambitions you bring to Cork, this page will guide you through everything you need to know as a student living and learning in this amazing city.
For many students, studying at a university or college would not be possible without financial support. Here are a few options which may be available to you as a student in Ireland.
Cork City is well connected by a local airport, city centre railway station, city centre bus station, a ferry terminal and a motorway. Here's the local experts' guide to arriving in the "True Capital of Ireland"...
Cork is served by an international airport with connections to 49 European destinations. The airport is just 8km from the city centre and is well served by local taxis and buses. Flights from non-European cities are only possible via Dublin or with a European stop-over. Taxis from the airport are available directly outside the terminal. Details for the airport-to-city bus service (journey time: 10-20 mins, bus numbers 226, 226A and 252) can be found here.
Travel from Dublin Airport to Cork City (journey time: 3.5 hours) is very straightforward via the GoBe Expressway service (direct) or using the 704 Aircoach service (direct). We recommend you buy your ticket on-line as it is usually much cheaper and you will be boarded first. This means you are far more likely to get a seat. Don't worry if your flight is delayed, your ticket is usually accepted on a later services.
The easiest way to get from Shannon Airport to Cork City (journey time: 2 hours) is via bus. You will find details of the Shannon-to-Cork bus services here.
Kent Station is Cork city's only railway station. It is within easy walking distance of the city centre (journey time: 10 minutes walking). You will find information about trains to and from Cork here. Top Tip: Tickets are much cheaper online so it is worth booking ahead.
Arriving into Cork by car is quite straight forward. The city is well serviced by motorways and there is a clear ring road around the city. The best city centre location to aim for in a car is Parnell Place bus station. This is close enough to the edge of the city to not be stuck in traffic and also close enough to the centre to make it an easy walk. There are a number of multi story car parks in the centre (see here). Alternatively, if you do not want to go into the city centre, there is a park-and-ride system which is available here.
There are two primary places that buses and coaches stop in Cork. The first is Parnell Place bus station. This is the main bus terminal for all of the state-run buses in and out of Cork. The other location (Patricks Quay) is just across the river via footbridge from the main station. This is where all the private bus companies pick up an drop off passengers. Both of these are right in the city centre. Both are also an easy walk to Patrick Street – the main street of Cork and also the ideal place to catch buses for local journeys. Top tip: Make getting around Cork a breeze by claiming a Student LeapCard through your Students Union.
There are direct ferry services to Cork harbour (20 minutes from the city) from France and Spain. There are also ferry services to Ireland from the UK and the Isle of Man. These arrive into places like Rosslare (3 hours from Cork) and Dublin (3.5 hours from Cork). You will find on Ferry routes to ireland here.
Cork is well served by a reliable bus service and you're well advised to look into bus routes before making any final decisions about student accommodation.
The most common bus routes for UCC and CIT students are the 205, 208 and 219.
The city benefits from an affordable bike hire scheme which can be a very cost-effective (and eco-friendly) way of getting to and from your places of study. Cork has a total of 32 pick-up and drop-off stations, two of which are in the vicinity of UCC.
An annual pass costs just €10. Thereafter, the first 30 minutes of each journey is free and trips lasting up to one hour cost just €0.50. Find out more...
A good taxi cab service is in operation throughout Cork and you can find the main taxi rank situated conveniently in the centre of Patrick Street. Some taxis are licensed to pick up passengers on demand (known as hackney carriages), others are for advanced bookings only.
A taxi from Patrick Street to UCC might cost in the region of €5-8 depending on traffic. The same journey to CIT's Bishopstown campus would be more like €8-12.
As a student in Cork, there is lots of provision and support available to you. To get the most of this support when you arrive, you are well advised to register in advance with the Disability Support Service for your university or college. If you have any concerns about access to buildings and amenities, you can ask their team for a tour of campus buildings.
Depending on your circumstances, wishes and requirements, you may be elligible for support with the following:
Keep in close contact with the Disability Support Service for your college or university.
Cork is a vibrant tourism hub attracting 1,600,000 visitors per year. And with so many fascinating destinations and attractions, it's little wonder that the city is among Ireland's best-loved tourist traps. Here we've offered some of our favourites. For a more complete list, visit our Cork and Kerry travel guide.
Beara offers the perfect getaway for anyone seeking total calm and relaxation.More info
This home to the original Irish whiskey is fascinating for non-drinkers too.More info
A fascinating attraction, Cork's historic gaol (or jail) has many secrets to tell.More info
There is always lots going on in and around Cork. Here is just a sample of what's coming up during the coming academic year. To see a full list of all Cork events, visit www.purecork.ie or whazon.com.
|A Taste of West Cork Food Festival||06 Sep - 15 Sep 2019||See Website|
|Culture Night||21 Sep 2019||See Website|
|Cork International Short Story Festival||25 Sep - 28 Sep 2019||See Website|
|Cork Folk Festival||03 Oct - 06 Oct 2019||See Website|
|IndieCork Film & Music Festival||06 Oct - 13 Oct 2019||See Website|
|Guinness Cork Jazz Festival||24 Oct - 28 Oct 2019||See Website|
|The Dragon of Shandon||31 Oct 2019||See Website|
|Cork Film Festival||07 Nov - 17 Nov 2019||See Website|
|Cork Science Festival||10 Nov - 17 Nov 2019||See Website|
|Ortus Chamber Music Festival||28 Feb - 01 Mar 2020||See Website|
|Cork Photo Festival||02 Apr - 30 Apr 2020||See Website|
Please note that pubs and alcohol in Ireland are strictly for those aged 18 years and above. Proof of age is required by law.
Ireland is famous the world over for its bustling pubs, full of atmosphere and good craic. Here we've picked out some of the very best - classic Cork pubs which are perfect for visitors to Ireland and anyone who wants to let their hair down. Sláinte!
Not from Ireland? You can also click here to find out more about the Irish pub experience.
Here are just a few of our favourites. For a more complete list, see TripAdvisor's Cork restaurant listings here.
If you are an international student arriving in Dublin, there are two different phone stores in the Airport building itself. In Cork, you will find Vodafone, O2, Meteor and Three all on or around Patrick Street. LycaMobile is also available in Ireland.
Non EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are staying in Ireland for more than 90 days are required to register with the Irish immigration services. In Cork, you can do this with the local GNIB. Find out more...
UCC offers its own student jobs service available here. Their part-time work guide is also well worth a look. For non-UCC students, studentjob.ie is a popular service with vacancies for diverse roles.
For international students, UCC offers its own part-time English language courses. For non-UCC students, there are a range of language schools throughout Cork offering courses as well as one-to-one tuition.
Non-EEA students are required to have health insurance and you may be required to offer proof when you register with the immigration authorities. To find out more, click here.
For many students, finding and connecting with a faith community in Cork is a key part of settling in and avoiding culture shock. To find places to worship in Cork, click here...
For second-hand bicycles, many students favour donedeal.ie or adverts.ie. There are also two main bike shops near UCC's main campus: Victoria Cross Cycles and The Bike Shed, the latter offering used cycles as well as new. Capwell Cycles is just a little bit further away.
There are countless gyms around Cork and many of them in the city centre. Perhaps the most obvious option for many students will be UCC's own Mardyke Arena. Always ask for student discount!
Planning your finances well is essential if you are to enjoy the full duration of your studies in Cork. Your university or college will offer detailed and even one-to-one advice on how to budget your money effectively. But, for students visiting Cork for the first time, here are some indicative prices so that you can gauge the cost of living in the city.
|Dining Out (2019 Prices)||Cost in Cork|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||€15.00|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||€55.00|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||€8.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||€5.00|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||€5.00|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)||€2.11|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||€1.51|
|Grocery Shopping (2019 Prices)||Cost in Cork|
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||€0.95|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||€1.81|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||€2.43|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||€2.87|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||€9.98|
|Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg)||€8.08|
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||€9.30|
|Lettuce (1 head)||€0.96|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||€1.35|
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||€10.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||€2.39|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||€2.81|
|Travel (2019 Prices, see source)||Cost in Cork|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||€2.40|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||€81.00|
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||€4.00|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||€1.65|
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||€23.00|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||€1.45|
Moving to a new city (or even a new country), it can sometimes be difficult to meet people and make friends. Sure, when you're studying, you're often surrounded by like-minded people who are very happy to meet up. But it can also be nice to connect with non-students and see what life is like for Cork's local residents who are here all year round. Especially if you're planning to remain in Cork during the holidays.
General services like meetup.com can help. But here are a few specific, local pathways to meeting people and making friends in Cork.
Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded, friendly people - plus you get to boost your CV and give something to the local community. UCC even has its own volunteer service with an annual volunteering fair.
Get free short-term accommodation and meet outward-looking people by couch surfing. To qualify, you must be willing to offer a place to stay to somebody else before you can claim your own spot in Cork. The city has various couch surfers who can be found through couchsurfing.com.
As well as campus or private student accommodation, there is always the option of student digs. This is where you effectively become a lodger in a local person's home. They provide your accommodation and, in some cases, even meals. Plus, you can get to know them and their friendship group, too. Ask your accommodation office for more information about approved providers.
It's a cliché but, if you want to meet more people, a dog really can be a great companion. Just one problem, right? You don't have a dog. Well, here's the good news: Cork has various dog charities and dog walking services. If you are willing to give your time free then why not post your details up in the local pet shop or contact westcorkanimals.com, dogdayscork.com or collinscanines.com.
For people all around the world, religious belief is a huge part of their identity and their community, too. If spirituality is a significant part of your life, then perhaps the easiest way to find kindred spirits will be to head for your local place of worship. To find religious centres and communities in Cork, click here.
For over-18s, Cork's many pubs are great places to meet local people. Lots of Cork pubs have evening entertainment such as live music and quiz nights which are great for breaking the ice. So pull up a bar stool and buy a round! The Monday night quiz in An Brog is a good option for meeting people and breaking the ice.
Whether you're learning or helping others to master their own skills, language meet-ups are a fantastic way to meet new people and break the ice. After all, everyone is there to talk! You could try Cork's regular German Stammtisch, a local French language night or pretty much anything else!
Have a good giggle and meet friendly, outgoing people at a Salsa class. All you need is enthusiasm and a willingness not to take yourself too seriously. You can find good Salsa in Tequila Jack's on the weekend, and Counihans is known for good dancing, too. If you want to start out with more structured classes then check out Cork Dance Scene.
Teams, bands, choirs. Groups like these can be ready-made friendship circles full of people who are happy to show you what they love most about Cork. So dust off that guitar and see what happens. To find clubs and groups in Cork click here.
When people are trying something for the first time (cooking classes, rock climbing, CrossFit) they can be very receptive to someone who is friendly and equally inexperienced. So take a beginners class and say hi to anyone who looks nervous.
There is an app for everything these days. And being a young woman who wants to meet others is no exception. As an Irish start-up now gathering pace in the USA, the app GirlCrew has a local Cork meet-up service for women who want to get the best out of the city but don't want to do it alone.
Walking tours are a really easy way to meet people who don't know the area. Some will be tourists just passing through. But you'll be most interested in meeting people who, like you, are just new to the area. Check out freewalkingtourscork.com and corkcitywalktours.com to get started.
It is strongly recommended that you speak with your college's accommodation office (or international office) before organising your student accommodation in Cork. If you're travelling to Ireland to study, you might also want to consult this accommodation guide by the Irish Council for International Students. Contact your university or college below:
In addition to campus-based accommodation, Cork has a wealth of private lettings which are available exclusively to students. Click on a location on the below map to find out more about the student accommodation and who provides it.
Lower Glanmire Rd
19-22 Abbey Wharf
5-6 N Abbey St
Model Farm Rd
a.k.a Carraigbarre House
2 Bishop St
25 Washington Street West
Model Farm Rd
27 Popes Quay
Model Farm Road
For those attending a short course, or for anyone still seeking a more permanent option, hostels can provide a great stop-gap. Here are some of Cork's hostels for you to consider.
4 Belgrave Place
Shandon Street, Cork
57 MacCurtain Street
Lower Glanmire Road
Ireland is a tolerant and diverse society which is welcoming to peoples and cultures from across the globe. This section will help you to find the cultural centres and amenities which matter most to you. To find out more about religious observance in Ireland, click here...
To find out about UCC's Islamic Society, visit their Facebook page here.
00 353 21 432 0301
6 Coburg St, Victorian Quarter
00 353 21 421 7003
73 Shandon St, Sunday's Well
60 Tramore Road Turners Cross
35 MacCurtain Street, Cork
Penrose Wharf, Penrose Quay, Cork
82 Shandon St, Gurranabraher, Cork
Cork's communal synagogue was deconsecrated in 2016. Today, the nearest synagogue is located in Terenure, Dublin. At the time of writing, kosher produce is not widely available in Cork.
There are many churches in and around Cork, here are just a very few. To find out about visiting UCC's own on-campus chaplaincy, visit their Facebook page here. To find out more about immigrant services in Catholic churches, click here.
Glounthaune Community Glounthaune Cork
Liberty St, Cork
Churchyard Lane Douglas, Cork
Church Road Blackrock, Cork
Church Hill Glanmire, Cork
The Parish Centre Church hill Carrigrohane
Bishop Street, Cork
3 Connell St, Cork