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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:
  • 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

Program participants are provided with globally-minded comprehensive medical insurance coverage for the duration of the program in Ireland. Coverage is provided through HTH Worldwide, a leader in providing quality health insurance and related services to U.S. students studying abroad.

Participants will receive an email from HTH Worldwide when enrolled in the insurance. This message will provide your insurance number, policy details and access to their website where one can set up your personalized portal. Become familiar with the policy's provisions and exclusions. In addition to the services at Maynooth, when a student needs medical attention, he or she may contact HTH for assistance in locating a doctor, getting an appointment or arranging for pre-payment or payment arrangements directly by HTH. One who obtains and pays for medical assistance directly from any facility abroad may also seek reimbursement for procedures covered by the policy. HTH also aims to help students away from home in understanding and managing low moods and anxiety through their Mood Calmer online program: Students may additionally opt to obtain travel insurance and/or extend health insurance coverage period to cover any additional days of personal travel abroad by directly contacting the insurance provider, HTH Worldwide, once enrolled in the plan.


Over fifty 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 and swimming pool which accommodate a wide variety of sporting activities including badminton, basketball, fencing, karate and racquet-ball. 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

When do I register for my spring classes and how does this work?

You will register for Spring classes on Day 2 of the required January Orientation. Students will be assigned to small groups for general information and one-on-one assistance to plan and register for spring courses. A UNCW staff member will help you navigate the University Studies course requirements, possible prerequisite courses for your intended major, transfer credits, and will approve your schedule. In order for advisors to best assist you, please complete the FYSA Information Sheet by August 1 and bring unofficial copies of your transcripts with you to advising at Orientation. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in Early-Registration and register for some classes before attending Orientation. For more information, see below.

What is Early-Registration?

Students who register for January Orientation by a particular deadline will have an opportunity to participate in Early-Registration in December. During Early-Registration, students will be given a link to an online tutorial, will have access to pre-register for classes prior to Orientation, and will be able to contact advisors with questions.

Please note: Students must register for Orientation by a certain date in order to participate. More information will be given to students via UNCW email, Transition Programs, and the FYSA newsletter and emails. All students are still required to attend the advising session at Orientation, regardless of Early-Registration. At Orientation, students will be able to complete registration and work with advisors to finalize schedules. Students who do not participate in Early-Registration will still have classes available to them at Orientation.

Will there be classes available for me to take in the spring semester?

Yes, there will be classes available, and a UNCW staff member will help you decide what courses you should take at UNCW to meet your University Studies requirements and prepare you for entrance into the academic program or major of your choice.

How and when do I sign up for housing in the Spring?

Housing application for the Spring will open up in September. More information will be given to students via UNCW email, Housing and Residence Life, and the FYSA newsletter and emails. To be guaranteed housing, those application need to be completed by October 15th. Learn more about campus housing at the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

How will I register for classes at Maynooth?

Registration for classes will take place when you are on campus. There will be a morning during orientation week (normally the Friday morning) when all study abroad students will get approval from the International Coordinators of Departments to take the classes they want. You will complete a module form (provided onsite) and the International Coordinator (Professor) will sign it. You will then take the form to registration at the Records office and the classes are added to your student record.

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. The drop/add deadline for the Fall semester is October 10.

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: 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.

Useful Links

Health and Safety Abroad

OIP Sponsored Information

Travel Guides, Transportation, Accommodations and More (External Links)

  • Student Universe
    Information on student airfares, railpasses, hostels, trips, travel guides and more.
  • STA Travel
    Information on student airfares, railpasses, travel guides and more.
    Information on affordable airfare, travel guides and more.
  • Kasbah
    A country-by-country searchable database including travel tips and cultural, accommodation, and transportation information.
  • Disability Notification Card for Air Travel
    A notification template for organizations and their constituents to use to discreetly provide information about their medical condition or disability to Transport Security Officers at airports.
  • The Rough Guides
    On-line travel guides for student and budget travelers.
  • The Lonely Planet Guides
    On-line travel guides for student and budget travelers.
  • Let's Go Guides
    On-line travel guides for student and budget travelers.
  • Backpack Europe on a Budget
    An on-line guide to budget traveling in Europe. Provides information on packing, choosing a good pack or suitcase, where to stay, keeping in touch, and guidebook reviews.
    Allows you to select a type of experience abroad (travel, volunteer, study, etc.) and a country you are going to and produces a customized on-line travel guide based on these criteria.
    Go Oversees provides a great array of study abroad-related articles.
    An on-line guide to using youth hostels. Provides a general overview of what youth hostels are and a searchable database of youth hostels around the world. Also has links to on-line travel stores for railpasses, backpacks, and guidebooks.
    Another guide to hostels, with pictures and user reviews of each location. Provides direct contact information, as well as booking services through their website.
  • Hostelling International
    International hostelling organization membership information.
    A guide to dialing abroad from the US and from any other country
  • European National Railways and Timetables
    Schedules and prices for Western Europe and some of Eastern Europe.
  • Foreign Exchange Currency Converter
    Current exchange rates for U.S. dollars into 164 currencies.
    Information on receiving refunds on value added taxes imbedded into the prices of many good and products in many countries, including most of Europe, but which may be refunded to foreign visitors upon departure.
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
    Steps on how to apply for the ISIC card at UNCW
  • Youth Vote Overseas
    Youth Vote Overseas (YVO) brings you the online tools that will make your overseas voting experience easy and fast. Register to vote, look-up election official contacts, check filing deadlines and access help desk services.
    Network, city guide and magazine for students abroad.
  • A Guide to Cell Phones Abroad
    A nice guide to some of the considerations for using using a cell phone abroad, compiled by Webster University
  • Book Review: Rick Steves' Travel as a Political Act
    The book would be an especially good read for someone who's new to travel, but it's just as likely to be enjoyed by experienced travelers.
  • Tipping Etiquette Around the World
    Features an interesting look at tipping etiquette around the globe.