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Visa Information

While a visa is not required for students to enter Ireland, you will need to register with Irish immigration and apply for your Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card after registration with Maynooth. This registration certificate gives you permission to remain in Ireland while studying.

Current cost for the GNIB card is €300, and is subject to change. Further information about this process will be provided upon arrival in Maynooth. You will be required to show proof of health insurance and a bank statement with the equivalent of €1500 in order to obtain your GNIB card. Please obtain a recent bank statement before departing for Ireland. It must demonstrate the amount required, be printed recently and show your name or a parent/guardian's account is also acceptable.

If you plan to do some independent travel during your time abroad, it is your responsibility to determine what documents you are required to submit to the embassy or consulate. Some countries require visa applicants to make a personal appointment, and appointment slots can fill up fast.

Passport Information

A valid passport is required for you to enter and leave the United States and other countries. The application process typically takes from four to eight weeks. One can pay an additional fee to expedite the process so that you can usually acquire a passport within one to two weeks. Congressional representative's offices can also help expedite obtaining a passport. It can often be returned to you in less than two weeks if you send it via express mail along with a pre-paid express mail envelope for its return.

When applying for a passport, you need the following:
  • Completed application (available in UNCW's Passport Acceptance Agency or the downtown Post Office or online at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html)
  • Two identical passport photos
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Evidence of identity
  • Application fee (Typically $135: $110 Application Fee, $25 Execution Fee)
If you already have a passport:
  • Check to make sure that it has not expired and will not expire for at least six months past your planned return to the U.S.
  • Keep a record of your passport number in a separate location from the passport.
  • Make 3 copies of the identification page of your passport. Carry two with you, separately from your passport and leave one with a family member or friend; this will help if your passport is lost or stolen. Of the two that you carry with you, one will be given to the University College advisor that will be with you during the first two weeks of the program.

Getting Through Customs and Passport Control

  • Carry a print out of your Maynooth offer letter with you travelling in case you are asked to produce it at immigration in Dublin airport.
  • The Immigration Official may ask you why you are coming to Ireland and how long you intend to stay. They may also remind you that you must register with the local Immigration Officer.
  • They will stamp your passport with a date which may be up to 3 months away or only a few weeks away, it does not matter really as you will register with immigration as soon as possible after registering with Maynooth and then will be free to leave and enter Ireland as you wish.

Health Insurance

Students participating in any of our education abroad programs are automatically enrolled in a comprehensive health insurance policy through GeoBlue (formerly known as HTH Worldwide). This insurance is mandatory. GeoBlue covers a wide range of conditions and events and specializes in providing health insurance to both international students studying in the United States and U.S. students studying abroad. GeoBlue's website, GeoBlue students, provides extensive information about the insurance program and its benefits. GeoBlue also has a website specifically designed for parents available here

The cost of the insurance coverage is included in the program fee; however, students may elect to extend coverage or enroll for additional days beyond the length of their program dates. Students may also continue to carry their own health insurance policy.

Additional resources:


Over one hundred clubs and societies are active in Maynooth, providing many opportunities for students to get involved in social, cultural and sporting activities. Maynooth has an indoor sports hall and fully equipped gymnasium which accommodate a wide variety of sporting activities including archery, American football, basketball, and volleyball clubs. Maynooth, one of Ireland's only university towns, can serve as an ideal location for students. Although only 25 minutes from Dublin, students don't need to go further than the campus and surrouding area for fun and excitement. A majority of the student population is involved and lives on campus.

Find more information about campus sports and activities here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I register for classes at Maynooth?

Registration for classes will take place online shortly prior to your arrival in Ireland. Before you register for classes, you will have plenty of time to discuss possible course options with a University College Advisor and your Education Abroad Advisor at UNCW.

Is there a drop/add period at Maynooth?

Yes, students have a couple of weeks to add and drop classes. Deadlines vary from semester to semester. 

What should I pack?

Before you even start thinking about packing you may want to consult this link (or something similar) to give you an idea of what the temperatures will be like: http://www.worldweatheronline.com/Dublin-weather-averages/Dublin/IE.aspx. As you can see, when in Ireland, expect the unexpected. Prepare for sun, rain, cold, heat, etc., perhaps all in the same day. Therefore, the key word here is flexibility.

PACK LIGHT! You will be carrying your own bags. The general rule of thumb is to pack what you think you will need, let it sit, and then remove half.

Airlines have become more stringent about observing their weight limits on luggage in recent years. Each airline has its own maximum amount the traveler is allowed. Check with the airline(s) on which you will be traveling to find specific baggage allowances, weight or size restrictions and a list of restricted items for both international and domestic flights. If you will be taking an in-country flight after arrival in Ireland to reach Dublin, that domestic flight may have different weight limits than the international flight. We also recommend arriving at the airport three hours before departure for international flights.

Nearly everything available in the U.S. can also be purchased abroad. A pillow, duvet (blanket) and towel will be supplied in rooms and sheets and pillowcases can be purchased in Maynooth town inexpensively so as not to use up space in luggage and also because the sizes of beds abroad may be different from the standard U.S. size. However, some students may want to purchase certain items here in the U.S. before departure because they will be either more expensive or unavailable abroad.

Toiletries are available all over the world. Consider buying substitutes for U.S. brands after arrival. Even if available abroad, U.S. brands can be very expensive. However, your host country may not carry certain products (such as hair care items, make-up, etc.) that are designed to suit your specific needs.

We do not recommend shipping boxes abroad because customs fees will usually negate any savings that you might have incurred from shipping rather than packing these items in your luggage.

Here is a sample packing list that can help you decide what to pack and what to leave at home.