Every third level institution in Ireland is committed to delivering world-class standards to students while ensuring everyone’s health and safety are protected. Your institution will be able to provide detailed information about your course, evaluations and plans for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Resuming your studies
Your health and safety are our priority. Ireland will continue to monitor the global developments of Covid-19 and respond accordingly. We understand that you need to plan forward for your course in 2020. We are committed to making this happen for you and hope to be welcoming you back for the start of the 2020/21 academic year. If face-to-face lectures are not available in September 2020, Universities and Colleges are already prepared to deliver courses via remote learning and are currently working on additional measures such as phased start dates to minimise disruption to teaching.
Paying deposits and fees
Some of you may be unsure if you should pay your deposit or fees in case there is a change to the schedule or the start date is delayed. All the Irish higher education institutions are making efforts to be as flexible as possible for students currently undertaking courses in Ireland. Please contact the International Office in your institution or school to find out more about your options.
Accessing Federal Aid
Normally, U.S. Federal Aid regulations state that any programme at a non-U.S. university which includes online teaching and learning is ineligible for Federal Aid. On Friday 27th March 2020, the US Senate passed the Third COVID-19 Coronavirus Bill (H.R. 748). Among other provisions, the Bill allows for eligible programmes that would normally be taught in a traditional classroom setting to be taught through online learning for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The Bill will be applied retroactively to all programmes that have moved online since 1st March 2020 and will cover programmes until the end of the state of emergency. Accordingly, recipients of US Federal Loans studying at Irish Colleges may continue to be in receipt of their loans even though their programmes have temporarily moved to online teaching and learning. All recipients of Federal Aid should also consult the following release by the US Department of Education on COVID-19 and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents. In particular, the Department of Education advises, “If your school has moved classes to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid. If you have questions about the online format, contact your school.
The administrative forbearance will last for at least 60 days from March 13, 2020. ED may extend that period, depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency. If the option for an administrative forbearance is extended, your loan servicer will communicate information about the extension to you.
Contracting COVID-19 in your home country
We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well. If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of the next academic year, you should not travel and you should follow all local health advice. You should wait for medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling. Contact the International Office in your institution or school to keep them informed of your situation. They will work with you to provide a solution
A safe start when you return to Ireland
You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from any other country. Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. Before arrival, people are asked to complete the Public Health Passenger Locator Form. Click here to access the form. The form must be handed to the border management staff upon arrival in Ireland. Click here for more information about travelling to Ireland.