Study in Dublin, Ireland
Study in Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland, situated centrally on the country’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffy and at the center of the Dublin Region. Its name, which in English means “town of the hurdled ford,” is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn, meaning “black pool.” Like all cities in Ireland, the city proper of Dublin is administered by a city council, but the term “Dublin,” at least when spoken in Ireland, normally refers to the greater metropolitan area, which includes the regions Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Together with Dublin, these 3 areas combine to form the traditional County Dublin. According to the 2011 census, the population of the “smaller” city of Dublin, the administrative area, was just over 525,000, while the metropolitan area had a population of 1.2 million.
Although the majority of Dublin’s population consists of either native Irish or Ulster Scots, since the latter part of the 20th century, the city has experienced waves of immigration, particularly from the European Union countries of Poland, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. Dublin is also home to a much greater proportion of visible minority groups than other Irish cities. Nearly 70 percent of Ireland’s Asian population, for example, lives in Dublin, and the city also has a greater concentration of immigrants from Nigeria and other African countries.
The official language of Dublin is Irish, and is used for all official purposes, including education at the primary and secondary school levels. However, for centuries now, the English language has been spoken throughout Ireland, including in Dublin. Today, due in large part to a language shift that occurred in the 19th century, English has now replaced Irish as the first and most commonly used language for the vast majority of the population. Currently less than 10 percent of the population speaks Irish outside of schools, and only 37 percent of Dublin adults are classified as actual Irish speakers. Northern Ireland has even gone so far to make English the official language of the area, while still recognizing the Irish and Ulster Scottish language. Additionally, with more and more new arrivals from Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe each year, a variety of languages are now spoken in the city.
If you’re planning to relocate to Dublin, either permanently or temporarily, perhaps to pursue a business or educational opportunity, you’ll find that housing prices in the city are very comparable to those in major North American and European cities, and in some cases, much more affordable. The global recession that began in 2008 was non-discriminatory, affecting home prices around the world, including Dublin. This is certainly unfavorable to homeowners, but for those in the market for a home there has never been a better time to buy. Home values that plummeted between 2008 and 2011 are now beginning to stabilize, and are actually predicted to increase in value soon. Currently the median home price in the Dublin area is just over €237,000—nearly 30 percent lower than the pre-2008 average. The average rental rate in Dublin, which is now €765 for homes, condos, townhouses and apartments combined, has also steadied, with rates that are now significantly lower than those in North American cities of comparable size.
Within the Greater Dublin Area you’ll find a wealth of goods and services—grocery stores, banks, restaurants, barbers/hair salons, home improvement stores, automobile dealers, repair garages, and more. Dublin is a beloved shopping destination among locals and tourists. Popular shopping districts such as Grafton Street, Henry Street and the Jervis Shopping Center feature hundreds of trendy stores and discount outlets selling the latest fashions and luxury items. Boutiques, with famous names like Tiffany’s Chanel and Luis Vuitton have set up shop in Dublin, and comprehensive department stores such as Clerys and Arnotts are ideal for one-stop shopping.
Dublin County has an excellent system of highways built strategically around the city of Dublin, reaching all nearby communities. Those without an automobile, too, will find that maneuvering within the city is very convenient, as Dublin boasts a top-notch and highly rated system of public transport. Operated by the company Iarnród Éireann, the Dublin Suburban Rail Network is comprised of five railway lines that together serve the entire Greater Dublin Area, along with commuter towns in County Louth. Within the city, the Luas, a two-line light rail network, serves 54 tactically-placed stations throughout the city. Plans are also in the works for an underground intra-city subway system.
If you’d rather get some exercise while getting to your various destinations, DublinBikes, a self-service bicycle rental program, has exactly what you need. DublinBikes offers 550 French-made unisex bicycles stationed at 44 terminals throughout the city center. Users must first subscribe to the program and pay a nominal fee, after which the first thirty minutes of every ride they take is free, with a small service fee required for extra time. Needless to say, Dublin is a very bike-friendly city, ranked ninth, in fact, on the Copenhagenize Index of Bicycle-Friendly Cities. Since 1990 the city has installed over 120 miles of cycling lanes throughout the city, providing Dublin residents a safe way to ride and get some exercise, while saving tons of money on gas (petrol) in the process.
The cityscape of Dublin is steeped in tradition and overflowing with interesting landmarks, recreational space and enjoyable diversions. One of its newest and most popular monuments is the Spire of Dublin, officially known as the "Monument of Light,” a landmark that rises nearly 400 feet skyward and features a conical spire made of stainless steel. Visitors will also love the Ha'penny Bridge; an ancient iron footbridge that spans the River Liffey and one of the most photographed landmarks in the country. Lush gardens and peaceful parks abound in this earth-friendly city, as Dublin has more green spaces per square mile than any other European capital, with 97 percent of its residents living in walking distance to a park area. Finally, when the day is winding to a close, make sure you stop into one of the famous Dublin pubs for a Guinness. This is a great way to learn the culture and history of the city from people who’ve lived it, and ideal for relaxing and recharging your batteries for another fine day in this world-class city.