An Americans Guide on moving to Ireland

Alright, so you’ve always dreamed of living in Ireland, have ya? It looks so plush and green, does it? The people seem so friendly and fun loving, do they? So I posted a blog about moving to America from Ireland and just had this Eureka moment. Why not post a blog about moving to Ireland from America. I only moved just over a year ago, so might as well post this before everything I know about Ireland is irrelevant. First off, you may think the Irish brogue is like listening to a sweet, sweet song but you should beware, even though the country is the size of me right testicle, we have a very diverse set of accents. You may be able to figure out what somebody from Galway or Clare is saying to you, but you might be completely lost when somebody from Cork, Kerry or Donegal talks to you. Also be prepared to concentrate and focus when somebody speaks to you, we speak much faster than you and we, all over the nation pronounce certain words differently to you guys. And this is NOT reason to make fun of us. Just because you say shit differently, it does not mean you say it the right way!

You may expect people to be very friendly and outwardly friendly at that from meeting Irish people on a night out somewhere or from meeting an Irish person at work or some shit. Well, the Irish are friendly but we are not very outwardly friendly. You may even think we are rude when compared to people in America. Not everybody in Ireland will try to make small talk, people won’t project their voices boisterously when greeting you. Don’t expect people to say Welcome to Macys or whatever, in every establishment you go into. Some may say hello, most, will not. The level of customer service in Ireland has improved in the last 3 years or so but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Ireland went through a meteoric rise in terms of wealth and prosperity. During this reign of greatness, Tourism and Service was neglected in favor of skilled labor jobs and pretentiousness. Some of this still lingers. But it’s getting better all the tiiiiiime!

If you are looking to rent a place. You are in luck. Ireland has very stringent rules for landlords to follow to ensure the tennants have a certain quality of living in their dwellings. Apartments and homes come fully furnished with all the necessities and even with some luxuries in most cases. Most places are pretty new (due to that economic boom as noted earlier) If you live in Dublin, you should try to get somewhere located close to some form of public transport. For anywhere else in the country, you should plan on either living within walking distance of work or buying a car. Luckily due to the massive collapse in the countries economy. Cars are currently very cheap to buy. BUT beware, if you are buying a car the size of the engine really matters. We are not a muscle car nation. Our ‘Green” party, the party who represents environmental policy changes got some power and since then cars with big engines have had their yearly tax hiked. I was paying nearly 1,000 euros a year for my 2.2 litre engine when there. So be warned!!

What can you do for fun in Ireland? You can do anything you want! Be warned, the weather is pretty bad all year round. We might get 3 weeks in the summer with decent weather and that’s a big MIGHT. In my last 2 years living in Galway we had about 3 weeks of sun. 2 days during the summer and a few weeks of dry weather (not hot) in November!!! If you are an active outdoorsy type person, you will need all weather wear. We have world class fishing, surfing and golf locations. Dublin is the only city in the south of Ireland that gets big name acts playing all year round. Other parts of the country may get big acts playing one weekend a year. If you befriend Irish people and expect them to be active and want to go do fun things. You should also beware that a large number or Irish people, young and old spend their weekends in the pub. Ireland is what you make of it. Do not rely on others if you want to go do something fun that involves driving far away or being active. (I will get shit for this part but it is so true!)

The work life in Ireland is much more relaxed than in America. We do have an infamous streak of begrudgery so be successful and ambitious at your own risk. If you are the type that goes that extra mile in your job, many will take jabs at you for this. Ireland has a unique complex of begrudging those that stick their neck out and work hard and are successful whilst also at the same time clinging to anybody success if it’s deemed admirable on a global scale. If you work in a call center, don’t be suprised to hear things like “Feckin Yanks” or “Feckin Indians” etc. It’s not racism, it’s just part of this complex. On the plus side you will likely already have a better work ethic than most, so you could carve out a nice little place for yourself. I base this on growing up in Galway, so it may not be fair as we call Galway ‘The Graveyard of Ambition”

The Hospitals are terrible. Most roads outside of Dublin city are shitty. Public Transport outside of Dublin is fairly shite. You can expect to pay much, much more a year in taxes and you will notice different trends in cities than you may be use to seeing in some of the non-major cities in America. I got out of work one day around 2 in Phoenix and went to a mall to get some food. The place was practically empty. This in a city of nearly 2 million people, the mall being in an area with more people living in apartment blocks within a few miles than the entire population of Galway. Any day of the week, if you go through Galways shopping centers you will see crowds of people. This is due to social welfare in Ireland. Your taxes will be very high but in turn you will see what your taxes are going towards walking around the city every day. Really, that aspect is what you make of it too. You can go to work knowing that as bad as things get, you don’t have to be terrified of becoming broke, having to live on the street and giving handjobs for crack.

A difference that won’t be apparent right away is when you go to a grocery store we have different terminology for certain items. I’m not going to mention these because well, there should be some suprises and learning curves. Leave a comment here the first time you go into a place and ask for Pebto 🙂


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235 Responses to An Americans Guide on moving to Ireland

  1. Cal says:

    My husband is an Irish national and we have recently just bought a home in Kilmaley, Co clare, near where his family lives. Any words of wisdom or encouragement for making the single most important decision of my life? I’ve lived my whole life in Massachusetts, my family is from here, my job is here, I love Tom Brady, we have 4 separate seasons, I can’t drive stick and I can’t hold my guiness or cider very well!! I have loved visiting Ireland for the passed 4 years and had always said how much I would enjoy living there, in the country, raising our daughter with wide open spaces and desirable education, and I’m certainly not having second thoughts- I just want a feel for Ireland from a third party source! Because this is really happening.

    • Don’t move there for money. Move there for lifestyle. My wife had a day off work today for Columbus Day. I did not. I went from Jan 1st to July 4th without a holiday this year. I was fired without warning. Our insurance company was charged $39k for the birth of our son. A 3 year old was brutally murdered across the street from us. I know I’m talking about my situation but I’ve come to realize, it’s not just here…this is America. Ireland is so much better in terms of safety, work\life balance and just general wellness.

      I think you’ll be somewhat close to Limerick. Personally, I love Clare but I’d rather be closer to Galway than Limerick.

      I think you may struggle for the first few months and then might find it hard after a couple of years but you just need to keep things in perspective. It’s much better for your family.

  2. Ryan Ghallichi says:

    I am Iranian American, who have lived in Ireland for about few years now. I moved to Ireland for my leaving certificate which is equivalent to American SAT university entrance exam. Being from California things are very challenging if you would like to move here. Ireland is a great place to study or come here for short terms or perhaps if you would like to retire. However if you are planning to come and relocate and work here, I would highly not recommend you to do so. The country is somewhat developing and its still very much lacking to 21st century lifestyle and facilities. The services are awful, customer service is a disaster, health care is close to any third world country. Expect to go to the bank and a simple task may take up to 3 to 4 weeks. Homes are not very decent specially when it comes to the heating system. Many houses here are still running 18th century infrastructure. Cost of living is expensive and you will surely have less money than you could imagine, Did I forgot to mention public transport and taxi services are terrible, the worse of all and if you complain about the terrible services, they will simply tell you FUCK OFF in your face.

    Great things about Ireland is very easy going country, fantastic education system, great nightlife if you are big into drinking, entertainment here especially in Dublin the capital city is mainly based on drinking and getting drunk which is great, friendly and lovely people, however beware they do not become your close friend, expect 10 to 15 years or so, they will say they love you and how much they admire your culture but the minute you leave the room, they will talk about you for 5 hours and how you are here stealing their jobs.Dating scene sucks and sex culture is not so great either, don’t be trapped by Hollywood of how fabulous Irish people are for dating ‘ its a myth’. Doing fun things in Ireland involves drinking and most likely most Irish people are always broke with no money, average health development of the citizens is relatively low compare to the rest of the EU. One last thing not least Dublin and most cities are relatively safe, however if something happens to you the police would not do much to accommodate you, in fact they would blame it on you as a migrant not on their own citizens who just stole your wallet or punched you in the face. Be aware of a minority here called ‘ knackers’ they have more rights than anyone and they will do whatever it takes to bother you. Currently I am doing my Masters in UCD and hoping to migrate to Asia afterwards.

    Enjoy your journey in Ireland, its still a great experience to live here for your studies or the simple experience.

    • I agree with pretty much all of what you said. Though, I prefer the lifestyle there to here. Service in Arizona is excellent and the real strength of the country is the workforce, people here work so hard…but that’s my bugaboo…there’s no real life in the lifestyle at least in my area of work there is not. I posted a blog recently about this and was saying how things were better for me now that I’m contracting…unfortunately that only lasted a few weeks. I’m back to working crazy hours again and I’m being put on call over Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the “he is taking our jobs” mentality seems to becoming the norm everywhere…though, I live in Arizona so it’s probably more so here! When I was in Galway last, there were solidarity marches to bring refugees in and there’s graffiti around WoodQuay saying Welcome Refugees….

  3. Cathy Flaherty says:

    I have Irish ancestry and America is a mess. I love Christ! And I’m 48 husband 50. I found out I can longer walk ever! My husband has been my care taker (bless his heart) had multiple health issues starting with a tumor in his head the Lord blessed it gone in 3 months! So I’m looking to live out the rest of our days(maky they be many!) in Ireland. Can this be done and we will own a car lol. Thank you

  4. Cathy Flaherty says:

    I have Irish ancestry and America is a mess. I love Christ! And I’m 48 husband 50. I found out I can longer walk ever! My husband has been my care taker (bless his heart) had multiple health issues starting with a tumor in his head the Lord blessed it gone in 3 months! So I’m looking to live out the rest of our days(may they be many!) in Ireland. Can this be done and we will own a car lol. Thank you

    • If you have Irish relatives, father, mother or grandfather or grandmother. It’s much more possible. Otherwise, you’ll have to apply for a visa and that criteria is pretty stringent. Also, be warned…care in Ireland is pretty good..ONCE you get it. It can talk a while to get public healthcare.

  5. Jaz says:

    Im 20 and i want to move to ireland
    I live in california…i didnt finish high school…and dont have job experience
    I get $120.00 every two weeks for babysitting a kid… Do you think it a good idea to move to ireland or any place i general?

    • No, in your current situation, I would say it’s not wise to move anywhere right now unless you have a support structure behind you. Ireland is quite tight for giving out visa’s. You have a good shot if you have Irish relatives. Otherwise, it will be based off your age, job and basically the value you would bring.

  6. KmBurke says:

    I have dual citizenship since my father was born and raised in Galway. I’m planning on moving with my spouse and two children. We saved up some dough but wondering about the job market. I have a degree in Early Childhood education and my spouse is skilled mechanic, carpenter, and masonry. Anyone know the best place to reside?

  7. Lexi says:

    Oh man I only read one of your replies, didn’t see the whole rest. Thank you so much!

  8. Lexi says:

    Hello mate, after finishing highschool I plan on taking a year off from school before going into college, and I’m interested in staying in Dublin for that year. I’m from America and I’d like a few tips on living in a small apartment and if it’s a good idea to get a bike rather than a car, and anything else you’d be willing to say to a “beginner” lol.

    • The rental market in Dublin and a couple of the other cities is beyond crazy. Check out…I would advise you to do your research because that might be enough to put you off. I would suggest commuting in rather than living in the city.

      Dublin is nice but it’s probably the least ‘Irish’ part city. It could almost be any large city.

      • Lexi says:

        Ohh alright thank you. what would be considered paying a LOT in Ireland for a one to two bedroom place? Rent for where I’m staying now ( three bedroom, two bathroom apartment ) is a little over 900 dollars, monthly. I’d be willing to pay around 1,000 to 1,500 euros but I’m not sure if that’s a good offer, ya know?

  9. Bridget says:

    I’m getting my degree in History, and ever since I was little and learned that my family migrated to America, I’ve always wanted to move back. the only thing stopping me is that i have no idea if the degree that I’m getting would be of any use there I know that my mother whom would want to go with me would have to take some courses ( she has a law degree).

    • No offense meant but a degree in History is likely as useful there as it is in the US. You’d be looking at teaching jobs or reearch positions…which of course there aren’t that many of.

      Your degree would carry over. Though, history seems to be different depending on the country you are from.

    • A US degree is the equivalent of a secondary school education here. We do not have a shortage of History teachers either.

  10. Anya says:

    Hello! Glad to find this article 🙂 My ex-husband, although he has never been to Ireland, got Irish citizenship because he had Irish Grandparents on both sides of his family. He would like to take our two daughters there to finish up their high school years and possibly attend college there. I am wondering how his status as a citizen affects our daughters (easier to get citizenship? automatic citizenship?) And if it would make it easier for me to be allowed to live there (I have an online business)? Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • It makes it easier for you and the kids. It’s also a great idea to go over there to finish up school. My friend moved to Galway from New York when he was 17. Finished school and went to college. Much cheaper than the US.

      You will need to figure out how long you and the kids have to be there to get your citizenship. You should be able to get a visa but in order for college to be cheap, the kids need to be citizens when applying for college.

      I’m not sure what the policy is for an Irish citizen that was not Irish born…I think it’s different. I think the kids are not entitled to citizenship right away but can get visa, stay for 3-4 years and get citizenship. Ditto of you but by all means contact the embassy to clarify.

  11. Jackie says:

    My husband is going to be leaving the US Army soon and we are in love with the western coast of Ireland. Kerry, especially. My husband is a skilled aviation mechanic and is looking for work there. I am also curious in regards to pain management doctors. I have a congenital spinal disease, but I am mobile and able to work. (With the help of pain medication). Any information or places I can look for a move whilst being able to see a doctor for my required medications would be fab. Thank you!

    • Sorry for the delay in responding. My dad has pain issues too…the best care is in Dublin unfortunately. I’m not sure what would be available in Kerry. You may need to investigate what’s available in Cork, Limerick and Kerry and then live a reasonable drive away.

    • poultree says:

      best hospital in the country is tullamore, offaly. Health care is great compared to US. sad to say commuting to hospitals can be an issue roads can be less than stellar

  12. gabbiechats says:

    Hello I’m 21 planning on moving to Ireland in january with a degree in computer science. I’m going on a working holiday visa. I’m going alone. My question is what is the likely hood I will.find a job in the tech field as a young American woman?

    Another thing for a apartment what’s the range of prices?

  13. I don’t understand why someone shouldn’t be worried about being homeless and broke there,I know that everywhere in the world has has problems whether it be people or jobs or crime,and I don’t believe everything in ireland would be perfect ,meaning easy ,I just feel guilty for wanting to live there cause I feel I would be what is happening here ,meaning I’d be another immigrant only irish in me is by ancestors,it’s not just being looked at like another’s that’s feel bad for adding to possibly a problem which is a sad feeling to have when I believe if there are any people left in the world who are somewhat untarnished by perversion ,and feel deeply in there hearts it’s people in ireland ,my name is Jeanette harvey and I’m glad I got to explain my worries hopefully it’ll help some irish people understand if they don’t that there’s some of us in the world that just loves things about Ireland and it’s people.

  14. Chris says:

    We are in our late 60’s, husband has Irish Passport (we both are US citizens) and think often of retiring in ireland – have visited often and love it. But very concerned about healthcare and your remarks about hospitals…. Is there a better level of medical care/hospitals/clinics if you are able to pay privately? Thanks!

  15. Alex says:

    My girlfriend and I are trying to move to Ireland at some point next year and this has been a great read! We are both American, 25, and have graduated college more than 12 months ago (don’t qualify for the working holiday visa).
    We don’t have any jobs or employers lined up, just looking for a change from corporate America. Does anyone have any help/advice on how to get started with a visa to live and work in Ireland for at least a year? I understand this is not an easy process but any help would be much appreciated. (don’t know if this was already posted)

    • Jena says:

      Hey Alex. If you happen to get an answer for this at any point in time, LET ME KNOW! I’ve been searching for ways to live with my boyfriend in Dublin and I as well do not qualify for the working holiday visa due to the 12 month post- grad rule. Such a tricky process

    • Ivonne says:

      Alex, me too. I just feel like it’s time to explore new things with my family. And to be honest, this election has really opened my eyes.
      Good luck

  16. Alex says:

    My girlfriend and I are trying to move to Ireland at some point next year and this has been a great read! We are both American, 25, and have graduated college more than 12 months ago (don’t qualify for the working holiday visa).
    We don’t have any jobs or employers lined up, just looking for a change from corporate America. Does anyone have any help/advice on how to get started with a visa to live and work in Ireland for at least a year? I understand this is not an easy process but any help would be much appreciated.

  17. Liz says:

    My fiance and I are long distance currently, I live in new york and he lives in dublin. We plan on getting married soon, curious on if we were married if I would be able to move over there for a year or so/what I would need to do so.

  18. Pat Carroll says:

    I am retiring in 6 months and lived in Ireland many years ago. My wife and I would like to spend a year after retiring near Dublin, perhaps Co Wicklow (Bray?). Rents are a bit higher but it’s close enough to Dublin by DART. Any suggestions?


  19. Tiffany says:

    Question…I’m an RN-BSN and I just applied to a post for American nurses to come work in ireland. How would that work w visas? What would I need for my husband and 3 children? Is the pet charge by weight (we have a Great Dane)? I’m excited for the opportunity but overwhelmed by the logistics. If I’m picked I think we will more than likely sell/store everything and try to rent somewhere furnished. Where are the biggest hospitals?

    • All of the biggest hospital in Dublin. Which of course is the most expensive place to live. There’s a really nice hospital in Galway called the Galway Clinic. Theres a decent hospital in Cork too. Have you looked into the Irish Healthcare system? It’s got a lot of problems. Some of my ex’s, friends and relatives are nurses and I have friends who are Doctors. It’s pretty brutal. The hospitals are completely overwhelmed and from what I understand the pay is pretty poor compared to here.

      Moving with a dog is tough. I have no idea if they will move a Great Dane…I’m not even sure of the logistics involved with that. Only one airline currently Flys pets transatlantic to Ireland. That’s Aer Lingus. You have to go through a third party company to transport your pet. So you are kind of at their mercy in terms of policies. They ensure he’s flown over, they take care of the documentation. You just have to bring him to the vet to get all necessary Irish doses e.g. we have a standard on a certain type of worming.

      Furnished apartments and houses are the norm. So that’s ok. Your husband and kids are also going to need visas. You should contact the Irish embassy ASAP!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tiffany, I am in the same boat as you are. I have also applied for one of these positions. Where are you moving from? Have you checked out everything to make sure this is a legitimate opportunity? I am in the process of that right now as there seem to be some red flags. I am super excited about the prospect of moving to Ireland so I really hope it is a legitimate offer 😀

  20. Amy says:


    My husband and I visited the beautiful country of Ireland a couple years back and never wanted to return home. The small children left at grandmas for the week, however required us to return. Everything I have read makes moving to Ireland seem impossible. Is it really much easier than it appears? I’ve read we would both have to have jobs prior to coming over or with in a month or so and that getting citizenship or even being allowed to stay for an extended period of time is quite difficult. Thoughts?

    • Yeah, it’s as difficult as getting to America legally. The US changed the J1 visa program to require young Irish people to have a job before flying out. Ireland is possibly even more difficult. In America it’s pretty easy to get a job, in Ireland it’s much tougher. College is so affordable that most people are very qualified. There’s already fewer good jobs and then you’re guaranteed to compete against a lot of qualified people for any job that comes up. If you get a visa and don’t mess up, they’ll continue to renew. Once you’ve been there for 3 years as a resident you can apply to become a citizen..that process can take 1-1.5 years. Then you’re sorted. It’s just getting that initial visa that’s the tough part. You’re competing against a pool of very qualified Irish people. You need to bring something different to the table, imo.

  21. Brennan Schneider says:

    Hi, I am currently a college student in America looking to go to graduate school at the University of Limerick in 2017 for Occupational Therapy. I have been looking at the Occupational Therapy Association of Ireland but I did not know if you had any infomation about moving to Limerick for 2 years for schooling. Anything would help really because I am just trying to figure things out on my own and do not really know about legal stuff to work and live in Ireland for two years. Thank you.

    • This I honestly know nothing about re: education. There’s a website and twitter account setup to handle questions for people who would like to study in Ireland:

      Finding a place to rent is best through, Limerick shouldn’t be too expensive. Have you been to Limerick before? The school is pretty good but the city is kind of meh.

      From what I recall, you claim education benefits in the US for studying in Ireland…

  22. Amanda says:

    HI, I am a 25 year old Canadian, who has been managing and serving in a restaurant/ pub for 6 years. I recently just came back from my vacation in Ireland, and after many conversations with my family I am currently in the process of applying for a holiday work visa. I have decided to wait till Sept to move there ( summer months are super busy and easier to save money)
    I am looking at moving to Galway or Ballina ( fell in love with the town).
    I was wondering how much money do you think I should have saved before I go?
    Is it easy to find a pub job? I know the min wage and the no tipping so it will taken some adjustment.
    Also what do you know about bringing pets over? Is it hard to find a landlord that accepts cats or dogs?

    • It would be easy to rent with a pet in Ballina..a little trickier in Galway city. Do you plan to get a car?….it’s pretty expensive to drive but you might have more luck finding a place to rent near Galway city that accepts pets, rather than in the city itself. It’s also cheaper outside the city.

      Ballina would be cheap to rent in but your love might wain pretty quickly. My co-hort on this site, Steve, is from Ballina. He’s living in Galway now…

      Galway would be more the scene for your age group too.

      It’s pretty easy to find pub work if you have experience. Which, obviously you do.

      Brining your pet will be expensive. As I understand it, there’s only one authorized carrier for international pets to Ireland. You have to pay for the service. For my dog it could run me about $2,000 US Dollars!

      When moving over, the money you’ll need will depend entirely on where you want to pick…Galway or Ballina?…in Galway city or outside?…If you plan on living in Galway city, I suggest you get over BEFORE the CAO results come out….those are the points for students to find out if they got a college place. There’s a huge rush on rentals at that time.

      You may also want to make peace with the idea of having room mates, if you haven’t figured that our already.

      You need to have a months rent as a deposit. And obviously pay the first month in advance. If you’re buying a car, the car tax for cars older than 2008 is high. Petrol is very expensive.

      If I was you. I’d move over in August and book a room in a hostel. (Maybe Kinlay in Galway). Go around during the day and put in your CV to every pub in town. When you get a job. Find a room to rent or possibly a place to rent (some may rent you a room in an empty house, planning to rent the other rooms to students when the college year commences).

      I would probably leave my pet in Canada for a couple of months until you get yourself settled. Traveling that far is traumatic on a pet. If you decide it’s not for you after a couple of months. No harm done. If you love it even more than expected, you’ll have saved some money to get the pet shipped over.

      I would personally move over with 5-6k euro. But I’m the time to try and be over cautious. If you’re sharing a shouldn’t be all that expensive for you. But still, better safe than sorry.

    • Kayla Weiss says:

      Hi Amanda!

      I’m a 22 year old American trying to do the same thing! I’ve recently settled on going to Galway during my year on the Holiday Work Visa. I was planning on going in early to mid August. I was just wondering if you were doing this visa through a program or just on your own. Maybe we could chat?


    • You cannot bring your pet to Ireland. They would have to go into quarantine for 6 months before even being considered being allowed into the country.

  23. acking says:

    My family and I will be moving from The US (Florida) to Tuam within the next year. My husbands job is relocating us there. We are very excited, but have a few concerns. For example, we have two small children ( both under the age of 3) and we really want to be within easy driving distance to a good hospital should the need arise. Schools will not come into play for a few years, but we want to take that into consideration too. Is it better to rent or buy in this area and how far out for Tuam would be too far of a commute for my Husband. If we lived in Galway, for instance, would the daily trip to Tuam be an easy one?
    Thank you for his blog. It has been the most helpful thing I have come across so far.

    • If you lived in Galway the commute would not be too bad. Most of the traffic would be going from Tuam to Galway but there would still be some traffic closer to the city. Tuam leaves a lot to be desired to be honest. I would not suggest it to a friend 🙂

      You could try ClareGalway, Anaghdown etc.. on the Tuam side but close to Galway.

      I really would avoid Tuam.

  24. Taylor D says:


    Great article! I did have some questions I was hoping to have answered (my online search has been difficult). I’m an American, and a recent University graduate (within the last few months). I am going through the process of obtaining the Irish Work Holiday visa, which I have been told by the Irish Consulate here in Boston I am eligible for, I only need to submit my flight itinerary and proof of insurance and then I am good to go! I am having trouble finding out how far in advance I should be looking for a job, or when (and where) I should look for housing. I might be a bit early, as I don’t expect to leave America until the end of April. Any suggestions on when I should start looking, or any other information that might help me?

    Thank you!

    • Honestly. April may be a tougher time to find accommodation..depending on where you plan to live. The college year doesn’t end until May-June…once that happens, the students clear out for the summer which frees up some places. If you want to find temp work for the summer…you’re never too early. If you want to find something permanent, may want to wait a few weeks…as saying you can’t start for 2 months may be a bit much.

      • Taylor D says:

        Thanks for such a quick response! I did think I might be a bit early in my search haha. Seeing as I’m looking for a place to stay/ a job on a more long term basis (1year), I will start looking again in a couple weeks. Would you say it’s impossible to find a place to rent for the year come April? Or just difficult? What’s the best area of Dublin to look in (safe, close to shops, etc)? Sorry for the bombardment of questions, this is the most help I’ve received so far!

        • Dublin is fucked for rentals. Do you have your heart set on Dublin? I would suggest Galway. Dublin us easier for jobs. Galway is easier for accommodation.

          In Dublin, I would suggest not being too central. I had a friend that lived in Milltown. It was a great location and right by the light rail. Or you could look even further out and take the DART in and out. It depends in your preference but just know…homes to rent are like Gold dust

          What I’d your qualification in?

          • Taylor D says:

            I would be okay with Dublin or Cork, I know I’m being a bit ambitious in my location preference, but those are the only two places I’ve been in Ireland. I’ve heard Galway is gorgeous though!

            I’ll take a look in the Milltown area to see what I can find. Hopefully I strike gold.

            I am currently working as an HR Coordinator at Harvard University.

            • The name Harvard holds water in Ireland too…pretty much just because from TV shows and movies but still, name recognition. I’d imagine if you wanted to pursue an HR job in Ireland, you’d be a shoe in….I think Dublin will still be rough for a place to rent. Cork would be much easier. Do you plan on starting work right away?…if you aren’t married to the idea, maybe you could visit other cities before making up your mind. Galway is gorgeous, it’s the best place to be during the summer too…there’s a big festival season. After the summer, it’s hopping with students. Dublin is great in small doses…there’s some very unique aspects to it but underneath it all, it’s a major city just like many other cities of a similar size in the US, Canada or place in Europe.

              Cork is alright. I find it a little boring..I like Cobh and Kinsale but the city itself is a bit meh.

              Galway is great fun and a cool place.

              • Taylor D says:

                Glad to hear the Harvard name will hold up for me! Gives me a bit of confidence going into this. From my research I’ve seen the job market in Ireland can be pretty competitive.

                I did want to start working right away, simply because I would rather know I’m settled, however, if it doesn’t look possible I’ll take your suggestion and visit other places first. Galway will be the first stop!

                At least I know not to be too set on Dublin, though I love the city itself because it reminds me of home (Boston). Cork was nice, I like the city centre, but you’re right it can be a bit dull. Galway sounds amazing, I’ll definitely focus my search more toward that area if the other places don’t work out. The festival sounds great! I know a lot of people who have parents or grandparents from Galway and they are always giving it the highest praises. Thank you again for all of your advice! This has been such a big help. 🙂

                • There ya go…it is very much like Boston. I would agree with you there. If a big city is your thing, it’s the only choice. Cork is the second biggest city and is nowhere near to the size of Cork. Limerick is 3rd and is tiny compared to Cork. Galway is 4th, it’s not too far off the size of Limerick. One good thing about any city is that they are all very well connected to Dublin e.g. Galway has two regular express bus services to Dublin…when I lived there, one or the other ran every 30 mins. GoBus (the better of the two, leaves at :45 of every hour)

                  There’s also the option of the train. It’s expensive and slow but goes to Dublin.

                  If you get a car. It’s an easy drive on our version of a highway the entire way. 2.5 hours.

                  Check out, and

                  • Taylor D says:

                    There ya go…it is very much like Boston. I would agree with you there. If a big city is your thing, it’s the only choice. Cork is the second biggest city and is nowhere near to the size of Cork. Limerick is 3rd and is tiny compared to Cork. Galway is 4th, it’s not too far off the size of Limerick. One good thing about any city is that they are all very well connected to Dublin e.g. Galway has two regular express bus services to Dublin…when I lived there, one or the other ran every 30 mins. GoBus (the better of the two, leaves at :45 of every hour)

                    Yeah, I’m used to a city more the size of Dublin, though, I’m not opposed to something a bit smaller. Especially if it makes this whole process run a bit smoother!

                    I didn’t realise the cities were all so well connected. I took the train from Dublin to Cork, and that was slow. If I end up in Galway I’ll stick to the bus system! Good thing you told me about that, because I wouldn’t know where to look haha.

                    A car would be grand, though I’m not sure about driving on the other side of the road. How was it for you changing which side of the road you drove on?

                    Thank you for the job links! I’ll look through those soon. Submitting my itinerary and proof of insurance today, so should have my WHA in a few weeks time!

  25. Theresa says:

    I’m old, 63, and would like to move to your wild Atlantic way to settle down. I can work — I’m a writer and editor (American) so I can do anything from clerking to tending bar to being a reporter. I don’t want to live in the city. What are my chances for finding work and a place to live?

  26. Taylor says:

    Hi there!
    I am currently looking into moving to Ireland! I have been reading some of the other comments and I see that it is a bit difficult to gain a visa or citizenship. I’m in a long distance relationship right now with my partner. She’s in Ireland, I’m in America. We’ve been in our relationship for over a year now and we were looking into starting our visa journey next summer (2017). I also have great grandparents from Ireland. How difficult will it be to gain access into the country? Also, what do you think it will cost me?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • I’m assuming you’re pretty young. Do you have a college education? It could be pretty difficult. I don’t think you can claim via your great grandparents. I think grandparent is as far back as they will allow. Not sure where in the US you are but flights from the West coast in the summer are about 1200 return. If you go during the offpeak, you could get as low as 750 return from the west. You’d be going one way so it would be even cheaper. If you’re close to Boston or New York, you’re in luck. Just pick a cheap direct flight and you’ll be laughing.

      Ireland is expensive. When I lived in Galway, a decent 2 bed cost 800 a month. 1 beds were very scarce and the ones on the market were barely habitable. If you’re moving to Dublin forget about it! It costs a fortune and It’s nearly impossible to find a place. Due to the housing market collapse…a lot more people renting and new homes have not been built in years.

      If you move over, you’ll love it. It’s a very laid back, slower paced life. You’ll pay a lot in taxes but will have a lot more to show for your tax money than you do in most of the US. I’m sure you’ll love it.

      My advice. Travel with several thousand euro. Keep about 600 in your account incase you need to fly back to the US. I think employers may look kindly on hiring an American…do you have any qualifications?

      • Taylor says:

        I am young, 22. I just graduated college, so I have that under my belt. Bummer on the great grandparents thing 😦 I’m in Florida so I’m able to get (relatively) cheap flights. Much less than $1200!

        Apartments around me right now are going for about $800 as well for a 2 bedroom. It wouldn’t be much different than here! I’ll be moving closer to Dublin, as she is about a 30 minute drive outside of Dublin.

        I’ve been over and I absolutely fell in love! I told her I’d much rather move to Ireland than her moving here to America. I can definitely picture myself living over there!

        Well I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. But I know in order to be a teacher over there, I need to be fluent in Irish, in which I’m not. So if have to dig into all that and figure that all out!

        • Even if you had Irish it’s really tough to get a job teaching over there. You may want to consider working some other job while trying to get citizenship. I think if you’re there for 3 years you can apply for citizenship. Then you could go back to school if you wanted for free or for very little depending on your situation when you apply.

          Even if you were guaranteed a job I would warn that you need to make peace with the fact that you likely won’t make much money over there. You might live pay check to pay check.

          If you have teaching experience in the US. Maybe you could try to get a job in special education. I doubt they have the Irish requirement.

          If you can at least get a temp visa. You’ll probably fly it.

          • Taylor says:

            Im going to try to find any work i can while Im over there. I looked into getting a Masters over there, so ill gain citizenship then go back. I dont need any more student loans. As far as jobs, I know ill need to take anything I can and then look and work my way up to jobs.

            Thank you for being so upfront with me about everything, its very helpful. Most articles just say the good and wonderful things about living there and not all the ugly ones.

            Ill look into that, i never thought of that! I just assumed all teaching needed Irish!

            I know im asking a lot, but how do i go about getting a temp visa?

        • Edwin says:

          Irish primary schools are crying out for male teachers as there are not enough, so it may not be as hard as you think. If you are serious about it, start learning Irish. It is on the duolingo app, a great way to start. Watch an hour of Irish langauge tv on tg4 everyday, buy yourself the harry Potter books in Irish and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can pick it up. It is a beautiful language and as a bonus the whole landscape will become a book of our heritage which you will then have the ability to read, very few of us can do that. The English names are meaningless.

          luck maith agus b’fhéidir go mbeidh muid ag bualadh le chéile agus comhrá as Gaeilge 🙂

  27. Ethan says:

    My fiance and I live in the U.S and because we both hate it here we plan to move to ireland in a few years once money is saved up. How difficult would it be for us to move there? I read we don’t need a visa to enter the state but we may need a work visa or something similar to work there and gain citizenship. any tips would be appreciated! and could you include any or all possibilities? neither of us have irish parents/grandparents.

    • Honestly, I think that will make it tough. That you don’t have any ties but it’s worth talking to the Irish embassy to ask for advice on how best to fit the criteria they may want. Having money saved would help your case. Also, the rate of pay there and level of taxation is awful BUT it’s a trade off. The generous social welfare ensures a high standard of living across the board, which in turn makes it a nicer environment, in my opinion. I also hope to move back in a few years once I have saved some money

  28. Erin says:

    I understood that. Ireland does better than America in that regard.

  29. Ariadne says:


    My fiance and I have been talking about/planning to move to Ireland for a while now (We’re from Alaska.) We’ve been there multiple times and we both love it. I work at a large real estate company which has a location in Dublin, so I may be able to be transferred there, but I’m not sure about that yet. We’re thinking of moving in a couple of years, once we’ve saved up enough for the cost of moving and living there for a few months with no income if we cant get jobs right away. I was wondering if you know anyone who has moved from America to Ireland and how difficult it is to gain visas or citizenship? I’ve been researching it and it seems like it might be pretty difficult. Obviously neither of us are marrying anyone over there, and we both have Irish ancestors but they go pretty far back so I highly doubt it would be possible to gain citizenship that way. My fiance has been working in general labor/maintenance/mechanical here for 5 years and is pretty much willing to work anywhere. I’m not sure if either of us would be making enough to get a work visa (what I’ve read says you usually have to have a job that pays at least 60,000 euros a year to get one.)
    I don’t want to get too excited about moving only to find out that its impossible!

    Thanks for any help you can give; trying to figure it all out online is very confusing!

    • It’s tougher if you don’t have any ancestry or marry an Irish citizen. If the mass shootings continue at the rate that they have been, maybe you could go there and claim asylum :)…Only half going.

      If you guys can get visas to live and work there. That’s most of the battle. From what I understand, once you’ve got that. As long as you keep your nose clean and contribute, you’ll keep getting that renewed and then once you’ve been living and working in Ireland for a few years, you can apply for citizenship.

      • Ariadne says:

        Thank you! Believe me, the political climate here is certainly contributing to our desire to leave.
        Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a visa, for someone with a clean history?

        • Very difficult from what I understand. It’s pretty similar to the US. You’ll be vetted based on what you can bring to the table. I don’t believe there’s a secret formula…but typically, a country is more likely to bring in younger people with qualification in a line of work that is sought after

    • Erin Kimbell says:

      Hi! I’m tagging on because I can’t figure out how to reply with new question. ugh.
      You said the hospitals are terrible. I am an RN in Houston, TX and have been researching nursing positions and moving to Ireland. Can you expand on hospitals and related nursing?
      Thank you!!

  30. Natalie Bell says:

    Hello! I am currently in high school and have always dreamed of living in Ireland, I will be going to school to become a registered nurse and I was planning on moving to Ireland maybe a year after that! Couple of questions for you, first how the jobs for the medical field function there and if they are often open positions? Also, where is the best city for those types of jobs? And I have Irish in my ancestry but have absolutely no clue who my ancestor is, so would I have to apply for Naturalization? Or would I have to research who the ancestor is? Thank you so much!

    • Most Irish nurses that I have known have actually left the country to work in England ,UAE or Australia. The pay and schedule isn’t good in Ireland. Best cities would be Dublin, Galway and Cork. If you don’t know what your ancestry is, that could be tough. I believe you are only entitled to it through grandparents or parents…I think.

      Also, that won’t get you citizenship right away. I think it just helps towards an initial visa. You won’t get citizenship until you’ve got a few years of residency in the country under your belt.

  31. Michelle Baird says:

    I’m hoping to move to Ireland to get eventual citizenship for my daughter and I and be able to contribute and help in Ireland in any way I can. (My daughter has no father on her birth certificate) I’m hoping to move with enough savings to be self sufficient and support my daughter and I for 5 years without assistance. Any idea how much I should save? I can figure out the shipping cost myself as I only know how much I will be brining. (shipping as little as possible and selling the rest) Also would prefer to live in a small town and get a inexpensive car and get around that way. Also if I’m able to move being self sufficient if there is anywhere I could volunteer and help where I can bring my daughter with I would love to help. (I’m a american)

    • Ireland is a very expensive place. Living in a small town to an American would mean anywhere but Dublin. Cork is the second largest city in Ireland but is tiny compared to even the smaller US cities. Are you an Irish citizen yourself? I would think that’s the first hurdle. If you don’t have any claim to a visa through family ties, it could be tough. Even if you have the money to show.

      I would be weary of how you transfer your money from the US too. Exchange rates are terrible through banks and merchants. There’s some services in Europe which are great like Currency Fair but I don’t think they are permitted for transfer from the US. (The US Government does not want it’s citizens taking money away from them)

      Also, review the back of your US passport. You will find that even when you move to the US. You will be expected to file a tax return in the US. As is my understanding. If it’s to Ireland, you don’t pay back taxes to the US but you still have to file….America is a real motherfucker! I have learned a lot. I was going to move to Abu Dhabi and researched how to get my money back over here. It’s awful.

      If you want to survive for 5 years without working. You will need a substantial amount of money but it all depends on what kind of car you want and what town you decide on. For example, you could live somewhere like Headford, where I grew up for very little. Rent is cheap. It’s a small village. For a car, my advice is to look at least a 2008 model. The reason I say this is because there’s a law in Ireland in which cars after 2008 are assessed on their emissions to determine how much tax (registration) you pay. Prior to 2008, you pay based on the size of the engine and it’s a lot more. Check out for places to rent\buy. Check out for cars. We also have which is a little similar to Craigslist…so, ya can be suspect at times

  32. Sean says:

    Great article. Will consult this from time to time in the next year or so. My wife and I are planning to move in 2017. Not sure where we’ll land, but I have family in Mayo. Work will probably determine where best to stay. We will be doing a fact finding mission in February. Mostly to see if us Californians can stand the cold, wet weather. I’ve been to Ireland many times in my life, but only for short periods. Mostly, we’ve either gotten lucky with the weather, or I don’t recall it being too dreadful. Either way, our goal is to get a really bad week of weather to see if we can stand it. 🙂

    • Cool. Honestly, the rain never bothered me when I lived there. It was a bit shitty as a kid. I remember getting my first bicycle and not being able to ride it for weeks due to the bad weather but I grew to not even notice the bad weather. In fact, I actually started to like it. There’s different types of people….can you handle the darkness…as in proper darkness. I have not found an American town as dark the Irish countryside. When you walk and can’t even make out the lines on the road in front of you. I think that can affect people mentally. But just know that beforehand…know it’ll be complete darkness if you’re not living in a village, town or city center.

      Mayo is absolutely beautiful. Westport is one of my favorite places in Ireland. I lived there for over 7 years and spent 2 years living in Castlebar.

      What I’ll say about the weather. I’ve spent time in Oregon and Washington. The rain is much worse there than in Ireland, in my opinion. In Seattle, you’ll get constant, heavy rain. It seems relentless. In Ireland, you’ll occasionally get very heavy rain but most of the time it will be a light rain. There’s a joke that every weather forecast is the same no matter what time of the year. Spell of light showers with some sun breaking through.

      Ireland is a small Island. As is the case with most small Island, including tropical places like Hawaii. Rain showers can move in very suddenly and quickly and then leave just as quickly.

      Ireland is a great place. I can’t wait to move home. I really hope it happens for me.

  33. Hi there. Thank you for the detailed post! I’m 23 years old, currently taking a break from being a college student (primarily because of my debts) and working full time in a local fine dining restaurant. I’ve come to really enjoy the work-life balance of serving in a nice restaurant and living in a humble home. I’ve always been curious about travelling and/or moving to Ireland. As someone who enjoys fine dining, good pubs, cozy atmospheres, and working a humble position in a restaurant setting, what type of advice do you have on where to settle in Ireland and the difficulty of doing so. Thanks!

    • Firstly, Ireland doesn’t have the same tipping culture. Our minimum wage is about 9.15 an hour. If you’re working in an upscale place you might get a better wage than that. Also, although we don’t have a tipping culture some people will still leave a small tip out of courtesy.

      Irish patrons are a lot less demanding and you won’t be refilling drinks every few minutes.

      Some of the waiting jobs can be quite seasonal in the smaller towns or cities but Dublin is very expensive to live in on a low wage. I think you would need to move to Cork or Galway and rent a room with strangers. Galway would be best for your age. It’s a bit of a party town and there’s also better restaurants there in my opinion

      • Thank you for the info! I’ve seen some information regarding work visas, student visas, etc. How difficult is it to acquire these types of things?

        • It’s pretty difficult. It’s not as bad as for the US or Australia but it’s still tough. You’ve got to pay, wait and meet certain criteria. I don’t believe they scrutinize to the degree that other countries do. Also, once you are in, I believe it’s much easier to keep renewing

  34. So we’re an American family. I can take early retirement from my civil service job and get an okay pension. We’ll also have some residual income to get us going. Our daughter, now 14 wants to go to high school in Ireland. My husband got his Irish citizenship over two years ago, through his ancestry. Trying to research what would be a good secondary school to get our daughter into. I’ve written to a couple of the Educate Together schools, the Quaker school in Waterford (Newtown School), but haven’t heard back. Interested in living in a small city, medium size town…thinking about Waterford, Kilkenny, Ennis. I see that there are a lot of good schools in Cork. Any recommendations? Our daughter is a top notch and very serious student. She wants to be challenged. We’re not into religion and she doesn’t know Irish (but she is fluent in Spain Spanish).


    • Some Irish schools teach Spanish…most do not. I recommend you get her into a school with Spanish. Does she play music? If so, great. We’re a very musical country and that’s a graded subject in school here. I’m sure you’ve already read but our Leaving cert is weighted on 6 subjects…you usually do 7 and they take the results of your best 6. If she’s fluent in Spanish and she does that…that pretty much a guaranteed 90-100 points. If she does music and is already good that’s 80-100 points.

      From my American friends perspective that moved to Ireland. They seemed to think homework and continuous exams in school in Ireland are tougher than in the US but the exams themselves are tougher in the US.

      You will need to ask the schools about getting your daughter exempt from Irish. This means she won’t do 7 subjects and be examined on 7. She may only do 6…depends on the school.

      Cork is the second largest city in Ireland but it’s not very big at all. I would not recommend Waterford to be honest. It’s nice enough but it’s not exactly a town with much to it. Same goes for Ennis but at least with Ennis you’re a short drive to Galway. You’re by the Cliffs of Moher, Spanish Point, The Buren etc. Some of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.

      I would recommend that you work on getting your daughter and yourself your citizenship ASAP. I belive since your husband is a citizen you are entitled to a Visa. After 3 years you can apply for citizenship through naturalization but do the backlog it might take a while after that to get it.

      Citizenship for your daughter means much, much cheaper college tuition and possibly a grant payment and no tuition fees if you meet the means test criteria.

      Cork has some good schools. But is Cork where you want to live? Kilkenny is a great town too. Not sure about the schools.

      Galway has some decent schools. The best schools are on the East side of the country but if you’re daughter is smart and motivated. I’d bet she’d do great anywhere.

      • Thanks so much for your reply. She plays a wee bit of piano and learned violin when she was young, but doesn’t play it much. She loves to sing/act, but hasn’t done much (yet) in drama (this year she is doing drama production. Her passion is history (as in world history). She loves math(s) and does have a desire to learn other languages.

        It would be wonderful to find a school that either teachers or offers classes in Spanish, but mostly I see French and German being offered. Regarding where we would want to live, we are very opened. I think I would like to find the right school for her and go from there. I imagine that Dublin has great schools, but is also very expensive. Yes, the plan would be to get our citizenship. We can’t do it from here. First we have to get to Ireland, then apply for residency and then I think after year 3 or 4 we can start toward citizenship. If you have more information to share on that end, we’d love to hear it.

        So — if you had to rank schools or places to live, where would that be? Ideally my husband and I would like to do a bit of freelance work in the TEFL area (we have our TESOL and TEYL certificates, but would consider going back to do CELTA).


        • To be honest. The economy is improving but jobs are pretty hard to come by. Particularly outside if Dublin. The best bet job wise out of the places mentioned would be Cork. I would suggest taking a look at schools in Cork. Cobh and Kinsale are a short enough drive from Cork city and to me are the best towns down there. Towns like Mallow and Clonakilty are likely cheaper but have less to offer. The people in Cork are great. People in Ireland call it the Republic of Cork…they are very different to all others on the Island.

          Dublin has the most jobs, the best schools but it’s expensive and like every major city in the world has crime, poverty etc.

          I wouldn’t be suprised if you settle outside of Dublin but then your daughter goes to college there. The good thing about Ireland is that it’s so small that you can easily get to anywhere in the country by driving.

          I wonder…I’m not sure about this BUT maybe you should ask if your daughter could sit the Spanish exams even if the cool doesn’t provide it. I would hate to see her miss out on relatively easy points in her Leaving Cert due to circumstances.

          Personally my favorite places in Ireland are Westport in Mayo. Dingle in Kerry and the Coast of County Clare but the reality is that there’s very few jobs there. I’m not sure about the quality of the schools on Dingle or in Clare. Westport is pretty good but I think you need to figure out your full criteria for deciding where to live.

          When I move back..which I hope to..I really wanted to move to Ballyvaughan, Lanhinch or Spanish Point in Co. Clare. But my fiance wants to get a PhD and the commute to the Universities would be a killer. So, I’m now thinking about the area of Kinvara, Clarenbridge, Ardrahan, Spiddal and Inverin in County Galway.

          There’s Great drama groups in the cities in Ireland and usually in the small towns too but not always in the schools themselves…sometimes just through community groups

          • Thanks so much! What do you know about Drogheda and/or the Drogheda Grammar School? I like what I read about the school on their website. I also saw that there was a lovely community school in Kinsale. Do you know anything about that?

            My husband and I shouldn’t need to bring in much additional of money — but of course it depends on where we are living and the cost of living (rent, utilities, etc.). We’d like to be able to use our English language teaching skills at an English language school. Or perhaps there may be other ways for us to pick up a little bit of freelance work.

            • Not much. I lived in Galway, so neither were very close to me BUT I have been to both a couple of times. For me, Kinsale is nicer but Drogheda has some advantages in that it’s very close to Dublin. Some of the coastal area between Dublin and Drogheda is beautiful.

              Kinsale and Cobh are great places. You really need to set your criteria and decide what’s the most important thing for you.

              When I’m moving somewhere I do up a spreadsheet. List out criteria and then give each a value in terms of importance. You can see how many points each place gets….it’s a very robotic way to do it but it helps when I’m indecisive

              • gadshillfamily says:

                Excellent idea! For us the most important is to find the right school. That’s hard to discern from just reading websites. But something on the smaller side, the less religious the better and one that looks that the development of the entire student. Public (non-fee paying) is ideal. Right behind that is cost of living. We will have a set pension and will prefer to keep our rental costs under 1000 euros/month.

                I did learn that Drogheda Grammar School has a tuition, so that may turn out not to be feasible. I really loved the website for Newtown School in Waterford; smaller, Quaker, has an international component and no fee for day-use. When we were in Ireland, we spent less than 1/2 day in Waterford and liked it; but it sounds like you’re not too keen on it.

                I’ve been looking a bit at Ballincollig and Glanmire, which seem like nice, smaller communities outside of Cork. While we love exploring cities, we’re more of small city/town folk (we currently live in the countryside about 8 miles from town).

                In the end, I’m hoping to find some families who may have done something similar to see what worked for their son/daughter. So far I’ve not been able to find that virtual (expat) community.

      • I know you’ve away for awhile, but I have another question about secondary education. Do you know anything about the Mount Mercy College (all girls, gets ranked very high each year) in Cork? I know that the schools have their ways of admitting students, and I’m imagining that we’re not necessarily in the priority list, but then again some schools talk about having international students. Hoping to make some kind of connection from here (US) to there (a secondary school in Ireland) to get things rolling a long a bit. Any advice or suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated.

  35. Amy says:

    Hi there,
    I’m not sure if you could answer this but I thought I’d try anyway!
    I’m Irish and my boyfriend is American. We’re not married but we are very serious and he really wants to move over to Ireland permanently. How difficult will this be if we are not married? I work in recruitment/hr and he works in excavation, I know it will be near impossible for him to secure a job before moving over however we won’t have to worry about costs too much as he has savings and can move in with me straight away.
    Any help would be much appreciated! I’ve been trawling through the internet to find answers.
    Thanks! 🙂

    • As a boyfriend. There’s nothing you can do to help him get a visa. He’ll just have to apply and if he’s looking for a job in something he won’t find…he may not get one. If he’s young. He might get one easier…

  36. Danny Hunt says:

    Hello. I lived in Galway for 7 weeks this past summer with an internship and really enjoyed myself. I got to travel around the island, visit the small town my great-grandfather’s from, and learned a lot more about Ireland. I even started getting used to the weather (I actually like the cooler, mild climate there).

    I’ll have to admit moving to Ireland any time soon is a pipe-dream since it would be hard to leave everyone I know behind. But hypothetically, would someone with a law degree have any realistic chance of getting a job there? I’m in my second of three years of law school in the US and plan on practicing here once I graduate. But I’ve been known to do impulsive things, so if I got an internationally recognized degree, like an LLM, would there be any opportunity for someone to immigrate with such a degree and find work? The legal market here has been weak, but is showing signs of turning around. I don’t knew what the Irish market is like or if legal professionals often move there.

    Even if it’s unrealistic, perhaps I’ll be able to save up one day for a summer home or even retire there. I can dream..

  37. Anna J says:

    Like everyone else, I have a few questions 🙂

    1. I plan on moving to Co. Wicklow or Co. Bray in the next 5 years or so. I know you have to have a job lined up in order to apply for residency (I believe, at least, based off research). How easy is it to find a job in general? I am a Psychology major (whether I go for my Master’s is TBD), I’ve worked with kids and in the recreational entertainment industry extensively.

    2. Are taxes comparable to California? Since the cost of living is so low (comparably to where I’m at now it’s a lot cheaper), does it make that much of a difference?

    3. Is it relatively safe? I can hold my own if necessary but being in a new country seems overwhelming concerning a whole new set of people.

    4. Is it easy to meet expats? I’m so afraid I’ll be without a friend in the world when I move.

    5. Do you know what moving a pet entails? I have a cat I can’t move without and I want to know if she can fly not in a cargo hold.

    6. Is there much to do in Bray? It’s the city I’m most interested in 🙂

    Thank you so much in advance for any and all help, I appreciate it a ton!

    • Anna J says:

      *Co. Dublin, not Co. Bray. I’m in another world right now.

    • To be honest. I haven’t been to Bray since I was a kid. Wicklow is in general pretty nice. 1.) Getting a job will be tough. We also have many graduates with PhD’s in Psychology. It’s been a popular thing to do for a while. 2.) Taxes are probably about the same as California. Bray would be cheaper to live than California. Dublin might not be. 3.) It’s the safest place I’ve ever been. The only places you’ll really hear of crime are Dublin and Limerick. Out west a lot of people don’t lock their doors 4.) Yes. With the Internet and meet up sites it’s very easy but you should find the Irish easy to talk to. 5.) You can pay a company to move your pet for you. I believe we have stricter rules around worming. If you’re doing it by’ll want to research that. I believe the worming required needs to be administered a few months or possibky a year before moving. 6.) I doubt there’s too much in Bray. Personally I’d pick somewhere like Dublin or Galway if you’re looking for stuff to do.

      • Anna J says:

        I’m pretty flexible concerning the job, any that will take me will be fine. It doesn’t need to be in my college field to start, hopefully that will help! I can work nearly anywhere with the jobs I’ve held.

        Do you have any info on those pet moving businesses? That sounds much better than cargo hold to me!

        And it’s not too important for me to have something to do, just curious 🙂 Dublin is only an hour away, I can make the drive if need be. Where I am now, most major things happen in a city an hour away so nothing will change there haha!

        Again thank you so much 🙂

        • Jason Norris says:

          Anna, follow this link(if it’s accepted). This guy moved back to Ireland last year(2014) from California and detailed exactly what he went through(costs, vet, tickets, etc..) to fly his dog to Ireland. It’s sure to give you answers that these guys don’t have time to research(especially working 3 jobs now!). Hope it helps!

          • Thanks, Jason. I actually did research this before. I was considering a move to Abu Dhabi and wanted to bring my dog. I also looked into Ireland at the time.

            It would have worked out about 2k to Ireland with the company taking care of everything. But I think if you plan it out ahead of time, you can save and just do it yourself. I have Pet Insurance which covers immunizations. When my dog gets her yearly jabs, I can request the correct ones. I know the most common worming here is not accepted by Irish law.

        • No problem. Happy to help. Petrol and Cars are much more expensive. If looking for a car to drive long distances regularly, think about buying Diesel. Much more common there than here.

          There’s a bunch of companies (like pet-express) that will do it BUT it’s cargo hold either way to be honest. Also, as far as I know. Aer Lingus is the only carrier that accepts pets from the US to Ireland…

          From what I understand with the changes to regulations for Pets. If you make sure you have the correct immunizations required by Irish law ahead of time and get the correct documentation filed ahead of time then you’re Pet doesn’t get put in Quarantine…you pick them up at the airport when you arrive and off you go.

  38. Munawar Abbas says:

    Great article! Very informative. I just have a few questions that hopefully you can answer.
    1. I’m a college student who has pretty much lived his entire life in New York. What are some comparable cities in terms of access to resources, transit options, etc ?
    2. How are job opportunities in academia, specifically higher education?
    3. You mentioned to avoid Dublin in one of the comments. Any specific reason why? I was thinking I might go there for grad school and hopefully get a teaching position in the future.

    • 1.) Dublin 2.) Every person and their mother have a Masters and PhD in Ireland now so positions in Academia are hotly contested for. 3.) Dublin is fine. It’s a little rougher than the rest of the country, simply because it’s a major European city that attracts many more people…not all with good intentions. Teaching jobs are very difficult to get in Ireland…we have an abundance of qualified people and very few open positions. Unless there’s a sudden wave of retirements, it might be tough to get a teaching gig. Also, re:Dublin …it’s a major city. The real beauty of Ireland for me, is in the country side. But when in Dublin you could always explore the rest of the country using that as a base

  39. Great article! I just have a few questions that hopefully you can answer.
    1. I’m currently a student who has pretty much lived his entire life in New York. What city is most comparable to New York in terms of access to resources, transit ease, stuff like that?
    2. How are employment opportunities in academia, specifically higher education?
    3. You mentioned avoiding Dublin. Any particular reason why? I was thinking I might go there for grad school, and hopefully as an academic.

    Mostly I’m trying to leave the States because of the political climate. I would greatly appreciate if you could answer my questions. Thanks.

    • Political Climate? Is it because you are Muslim? Ireland is going through a bit of growing pains at the moment. They are not as extreme as those in the US but with the climate around ISIS at the moment and the migrant crisis (which is impacting Ireland) it might muddy the water a bit. Again, I don’t think it will be as extreme as here in the US but just don’t go thinking you’ll completely get away from the negative.

      Dublin is the closest to New York but is still tiny by comparison
      Academia is tough. There’s usually research positions available and lecturing gigs open up regularly but there’s so many people vying for those jobs that it can be tough to get one.

      I say to avoid Dublin because it’s just a big city. There’s not much that’s particularly Irish about it. It could be a city in England….but at the same time, you can get the Irish music and Irish culture there. I guess, compared to the rest of the country…it’s just a completely different vibe.

      Sorry for the delay, sir! Let me know how it goes for you.

  40. Grace says:

    Hello! I have a bunch of questions. I plan on moving to Co. Cavan in February after graduation from college. How do I go about getting a job considering I am a US citizen? Can I get a working visa before I get the job or do I need my hiring employer to fill out the paperwork? Also, how much money will it cost? If I get a working visa will I need a regular visa? I know if I do not get a visa I can only stay for 3 months. If I just come back to the US every three months would I even need to get a visa? Do you have any recommendations of places to work in Co. Cavan? Thanks!

    • You should apply for a working visa before getting a job. I don’t believe it costs much. If you have a working visa that should be your the visa type to cover you working and living in the US…I’m not sure of places to work in’s very, very remote!

      Also the leaving and coming back is risky. If you leave for a few months and come back you’re probably fine BUT not to work.

  41. Courtney says:

    I want to move to Ireland within the next two years and I’m wondering what is the best town to live in to raise a family? I don’t want to live in Dublin because I know it’s a highly populated area. I don’t want to live anywhere outrageously expensive either though. I was also wondering what is a estimated price range to rent a 2+ bedroom house or flat? What is it like for foreigners to get work? P.s I am from San Francisco, California! My husband is a construction worker. I am a barista still wanting to go to school for a career as aesthetician (skin care, waxing etc) would this be a safe career choice for your country?

    • Hi there. Check out for 2 bed apartments. I couldn’t possibly tell you without knowing exactly what city or town you’d like to live in. As for what is a good town to live in to raise a family. Really anywhere. My own preference would be out of a city…in a commuter town. Personally I would avoid Limerick and Dublin. You need to keep in mind there’s also some very isolated places.. do you want to live out in a countryside? By the ocean? By a city?…

      There’s very fee construction jobs in Ireland right now. It’s getting back a little but not to anything strong. We have lots of cafes in cities like Galway, Westport, Cork, Sligo etc. But that will not pay very well…you and your fella will need to work in order to support yourselves if that’s what you’ll be doing for your work.

      There’s a lot of beauticians businesses in Irish cities so it’s safe enough. Again, you want be making too much for that work and construction is slow right now.

      I think you may need to search jobs. Check out classifieds in local papers of where you’d like to live e.g. Galway Advertiser

      Also job sites like

  42. Jason Strait says:

    Im going to be moving from Missouri to Letterkenny in January with my mom and I was wondering what the people are like there. Whats the school system going to be like? (Im starting 9th grade here.) What fun things are there to do? Whats the age limit for a job since im 15 now? Hows the weather since its far northern Ireland?

    • May I ask why Letterkenny? The first thing i have to say is that January is probably the worst month in Ireland…so, sorry for your timing!! It’s going to be brutally cold and wet. Donegal is one of the most beautiful places in the country but you likely won’t notice that when you first move due to the weather. Around May, the weather starts to get nicer..sometimes even in March or April. Up North, you’ll likely get a lot of rain all year but it really is beautiful in Spring, Summer and Fall.

      Letterkenny itself is a nice enough town. It’s pretty small. The people are friendly. They’ve got a handful of good places to eat. You’ll be pretty close to Bundoran which is a nice resort type of town. Bundoran has a great music festival every year called Sea Sessions so you can look forward to that. It is very seasonal, however. So, when you move over it will likely be a ghost town.

      Also, BallyShannon which is even closer has the Rory Gallagher Festival which is a really great Rock and Blues Festival.

      As for fun things. Donegal is really popular with Surfers. They held the World Surfing Championships up there before. Obviously, they’ve got movie theatres and the sort of things you might do in the US. Donegal has a soccer team that aren’t very good but have GAA teams that are very good. If you’ve never been to a game, you need to go! Particularly to Hurling.

      I had a friend who moved over from America around the same age as you. He felt that in Ireland, the homework was tougher than in America but the exams were easier. Schools themselves can be a bit of a hit of miss. One great thing is, you’ll be exotic to the other people in the school 🙂 You might catch some shit from jealous guys because once you get in with your accent, you’ll get a lot of attention. Enjoy it!

      After 3 years there you can apply to become a naturalized citizen and avail of the cheap\free college education. Once you’re a naturalized citizen, the world is your Oyster. Assuming you’re already a US Citizen, when you become an Irish citizen, you’ll also be a citizen of the EU and can travel and live anywhere in Europe.

      The age limit for a job is officially 16. 14 if you’re related to the owner. BUT it’s not strictly enforced. If you wanted to, you could probably get a job in a store, no problem. If you wanted a light summer work schedule you could help out at the various festivals.

      The people in Donegal are a little crazy compared to other counties. It seems more lawless up there. There’s a high number of young guys with cheap fast cars getting into car accidents. A high rate of underage drinking and a high rate of unemployment. You’ll either love them or hate them. Personally, I love them. Also, the accent is the best in the country!

      One other cool note. Letterkenny has a college that has one of the countries only Game Development courses, if you’re into that.

      Go into it with an open mind and I’m sure you’ll love it. I’m not sure of your current situation but I know having moved a few times in my life. Sometimes, I’ve moved against my will and was just down in the dumps for months and not willing to give the places a chance. If you give Donegal a chance, I bet you’ll love it. If you don’t and you can stick it out anyways, you can become a citizen, get your Bachelors degree and then move on. Possibly just to another city in Ireland like Galway or Dublin. Or another city in Europe like London or Paris! Or even back to the states.

      I’d love to hear an update when you’ve been there a few months!

      Stay in touch!

  43. Kylie C. says:

    How does the cost of living in Ireland compare to America? I’ve dreamed of living in Ireland ever since I was a small kid, but I expect I’ll need quite a lot of money to do so.
    I really appreciate this post in general. It’s been very helpful, so thank you.

    • It’s expensive relative to how much you make there. Dublin is crazy expensive for rent or buying a place. It’s also expensive for eating out, transportation etc.

      Galway is a bit easier on rent but still a little pricey to buy.

      Rural parts like Clare are much cheaper but has very few jobs

      • Leslie Cibrian says:

        I really didn’t intend to but in on this conversation, however it really was the only way I found to ask a question here. My questions are; how difficult is it to apply for Naturalization from the US and How difficult is it to start a restaurant there?

        • It’s as difficult as it is for an Irish person to become a citizen in America. You would be at the mercy of our visa program. You would need to re-up your visa every year. If you are in Ireland for 3+years, you can then apply to become a naturalized citizen. I would expect to need to get a visa each year for at least 4 years before you become a citizen.

          Starting a restaurant could be tough. I’d advise you to look into it further. We’ve got pretty stringent health and safety regulations. You’d likely need to hook up with a local distributor for produce and meat. Depending on where you may have seasonal business or constant business. Location will be key

  44. Bren says:

    I am trying to find step one here.. I want to live the rest of my days in Ireland, as I am terminally ill.. I am not looking for treatment, and I know My great grandmothers parents were from Ulster, but I think she was born here. How would I find the family, as I have tried online and come up with nothing. And would this help me? Also I have a registered service dog that does not have to be crated, so would this be a problem over there?

    • Sorry to hear about your illness. I believe Ireland is a little more strict when it comes to immunization for dogs due to our agricultural background. Our standard for worming is a little higher. But they may make an exception. It’s also possible that your dog has the correct form of worming. Step one varies per person. You’ve got to go through the correct channels and get a visa, just like somebody coming to the US. If I was you, I’d wonder if you should disclose your illness or not when applying. I don’t know about that.

      Not to sound too crass BUT if I was you and I has my heart set on going there for the rest of your days. And if you don’t intend to work or seek treatment. I’d go for a vacation on a return ticket and just never fly back. It’s technically illegal but fuck the system. If you really want it. Go get it.

      Ulster is beautiful but it is very different to the South. Which culture do you identify with most? Irish? Or English? Many from the North identify as Irish but the English culture is more dominant there.

      Have you been to Ireland before. If I was you. I’d go for the west coast. Keep in mind. The weather is absolutely brutal for a few months in the winter but I love it.

      If you want to find family. Perhaps you could reverse engineer it. Do you know the name of parents or great grandparents? You may be able to find great grandmother’s or whatever. Then you could go find their records and attempt to trace it that way. If they were in the South it might be easier. The British kept very good records in order to control the population. So there’s large archives of census info.

      If you have any info at all about specific addresses. Names. Date of birth, date of death. You can probably find the existing family

  45. Jason Norris says:

    Hello! This is great article! I have a couple of questions, if you have time?
    1) How’s Phoenix 🙂 I have some relatives that live in the Mesa/Chandler area, visiting there next spring(when it’s “cool”).
    2) As far as the engineering sector goes, do most places require degrees? I’m currently Engineering Manager with a medical device manufacturer, but I’m not a degree holder, just earned it moving up the ladder with 17 years experience. Our goal is to possibly move to Ireland in 5 years when kids have gone, wasn’t sure if I needed to work towards a degree or technical certificate during this time to be considered?
    We are really looking towards the Cork or Galway areas as this seems to be where the medical device manufacturers like Boston Scientific seem to be(we REALLY love Blarney). Thanks in advance for your time! Again, fantastic article!

    • Hi Jason, Thanks for the post! 1.) Phenix is pretty good. Though, after almost 4 years here, I think I’m ready to move on. It’s a pretty harsh environment to live in. 2.) That’s a tough one. A college education is so accessible to Irish people that most places bumped up their minimum job requirements years ago. It’s got so extreme that many employers now look for a minimum of a Master degree. BUT personally as somebody who interviews and vets candidates for jobs. I never look at their education. I just care about experience and work achievements so it’s probably worth trying. You could check out the careers page for Boston Scientific and check out their minimum requirements.

      Co. Clare is my favorite part of Ireland. Galway is pretty great too. I’m not a huge fan of Cork city but places like Cobh and Kinsale are amazing.

      • Jason Norris says:

        Thanks for the insight! I’ve always been able to move through the ranks with skill, so I was concerned that higher education may prevent my dream 🙂 We really love Cobh & Kinsale, was just a bit concerned it may be too far of a commute. Galway is amazing, and would definitely entertain offers there!

        Are you thinking of “moving on” to somewhere else in the States? Or back home? Either way, good luck in whatever path you choose!

        • Ideally I’d like to have kids over here and then move back to Ireland. Give them the option of both like I have. America has been great to me but it’s hard to let go of the more relaxed Irish way of life. I wish you guys luck with your move too!

  46. Andrea K. says:

    My husband and I just recently came back from a holiday in Ireland – mainly Dublin. I am of Irish descent and knew I’d love it there, but my husband loved it just as much! We live in Minnesota so weather is not a problem. We are in our mid-50s and not yet ready to retire. We have both been very successful at our careers. My husband is in IT, a senior programmer and experienced in a large variety of computer languages and platforms. I taught school (English) and later did marketing, advertising and some graphic design for several different companies. I also set up and ran our local Chamber of Commerce for 5 years. We want to move to Ireland and eventually retire there. What are our chances of finding employment at our ages and any moving advice, websites, links you recommend for moving and retiring to Ireland?


    • I can’t speak much for your side of things but for his. Ireland is crying out for experienced programmers. Your husband would get a job without a problem. You’d probably struggle a bit more….but you’d get something eventually in Dublin. You will not get a job teaching English. But possibly marketing in Dublin.

    • gadshillfamily says:

      Hi Andrea,
      I just wanted to say hi and that my husband and I are in similar situations…kind of. We live in Oregon. Over two years ago he got his Irish citizenship through ancestry. We spend over three weeks traveling around with our two daughters (now ages 20 and 14). We also lived in Spain four years ago and taught English in public high schools while our daughters attending public Spanish schools. It was a terrific experience.

      I can take early retirement in less than 2 years. Our 14 year old daughter wants to finish up her high school years in Ireland (Transition Year and then senior cycle) and possible stay for university and to become naturalized. We are trying to figure out where we could live, where she could go to school and all the rest. I’d love to hear more about your musings — and we’re always up for advice or suggestions!


  47. JessiG94 says:

    I recently returned home to Michigan from my Work and Travel Visa for a year, I honestly had the best experience I could of wished for, i think its primarily down to going through the “USIT Work in Ireland program”. I was terrified going over by myself but the program really offered a community of people which I actually made some of my best friends through while in Ireland. As part of the package I booked onto I got 5 nights stay in a hostel that really helped me hit the ground running once I got there because I didn’t have to worry about where I would stay, They also offered stuff like a resource room which I could print off my Resumes, Resume advice – didnt know Resumes are actually called CV’s over there and have a completely different format, a really useful orientation at the start telling us how to get set up in Ireland – note, you do not have to do your own taxes in Ireland, how amazing is that! They also held monthly socials like a trip to Belfast for an Ice Hockey Match which you could meet people from the US, Canada, Germany, France and more!
    I managed to find accommodation in the first week of being there and then found a job 2 weeks after!
    The Work in Ireland desk was based in Dublin which I stayed in for most of the year, but they told us we can live and travel anywhere in Ireland whilst living here. I found out in the orientation theres an “Interrail Pass” that you can travel through Europe with so the travel agent part of USIT booked the Interrail ticket for me and for the last 3 weeks I have an adventure to Amsterdam, Berlin, Krakow, Prague and Budapest! The perfect end to the perfect year! Can not recommend the USIT Work in Ireland program enough, don’t think I would of coped without all the advice and close friends I met by being part of it!

  48. Steph says:

    Hi! Wonderful article. My husband has an opportunity to work at a hospital in Dublin for a year {he’s a Dr.} We have 3 kids, 2 of which are in school. I’m wondering, should I put them in school there, or do the home school thing? My research isn’t bringing up much. Either way, we are extremely excited to live in a foreign country for a year. Any places we absolutely have to visit? We are a very outdoorsy family. Thanks again for your article and insight.

    • Hi Steph, In honesty, Primary level education in Ireland is behind the US. I believe Ireland go at a slower pace when it comes to math. Our Secondary school is probably on par with American high schools. I have a friend who moved from New York to Ireland when he was 16. He said homework was tougher in America but the exams were tougher in Ireland. Personally, I’d put them in Irish primary school. If you feel they are missing out on anything in particular, teach them that. It’s a great opportunity for them to make friends with some Irish kids. If for any reason, you wind up moving back to the US, they’ll always have those Irish friends from school. For outdoorsy, I recommend you guys climb Croagh Patrick in Mayo. Take a look at Wicklow for the mountains, just outside Dublin. Phoenix Park is a nice place for a stroll. Try and get to see a Hurling match, it’s something very uniquely Irish. You need to go see the Cliffs of Moher in Clare. There’s a lot of places to go Hiking and many places to walk too. If you fancy seeing the Ocean, it’s all around you. Howth is a nice place for a seaside walk. The west coast of the country is amazing. I think you’ll love it in Ireland. Move with an open mind and you’ll be fine.

  49. Leslie says:

    My grandmother moved to Ireland in her 20’s. I’ve been thinking I need a change and have always respected my Irish background. I also have a rare muscle disease in which most of the people who have it are from Europe, healthcare is Terrible here especially since most doctors in the US don’t understand this disease. I was wanting to visit Ireland and scope out what kind of treatment they offer their patients, as well I didn’t know if since I can have a dual citizenship if that would be smart to have? Or stupid?

    • Hi Leslie, I’m sorry to hear of your illness. Irish healthcare is good BUT and this is a big BUT, our healthcare system is grossly underfunded. If you have private insurance, you can get treatment pretty readily, if you are a citizen and want to rely on the public healthcare system, it make take quite some time, at least for your first appointment due to serious backlog issues. Once you get the treatment, it’s free but you pay by waiting.

      Also, Ireland is a very, very small country, you may want to research where you can get your treatment e.g. Galway in the west of Ireland is the only county in the west which offers certain treatments within the entire west of Ireland with certain types of speciality treatments so people from Sligo, may have to drive down to Galway for certain treatments. Sligo is about 2 hours away.

      I would just say, research where you want to live and which place is best for your treatment

    • do you have to know someone living in ireland to move there. is it possible for a woman such as myself to move to ireland just because i want to spend the rest of my days there, ive spent time all over the southern coast and never wanted to leave.

      • Yes, you can move to Ireland. They’ve been making it a bit more difficult in recent years but you should be able to get a temporary visa for a few years and then apply for citizenship through naturalization

  50. Brad says:

    My wife and I have thought about moving over to Ireland for a number of reasons, but not for longer than a few years. We have visited a couple of times and have a bit of a feel for what it’s like out there. My wife teaches Irish Gaelic singing here in the US and may have a pretty cool performance opportunity with a group out of Dublin. It would greatly simplify things with this group if we lived in Ireland. Of course our two major concerns is finding a place to live and finding work for myself. I am a freelance videographer, editor, and motion graphics artist with a pretty decent resume and portfolio. I really have no idea what kind of work I could find in and around Dublin. I know we have some local film databases and groups where I live and I am curious what all resource there might be for the Dublin area.

    I am pretty sure my wife will have no interest in driving if she can help it. So it would be nice to live close to public transportation. However, we would love to live just outside of the city rather than in it. Is there decent transportation into Dublin from areas outside the city? Is living outside the city realistic for someone who would rather not have to drive? Also, I would probably want to get a car for myself, but is buying a car a big hassle? Anything I should be aware of? Thanks!

    • Dublin is the place to be if you don’t want to drive. You really can’t get away from that in any other part of the country. You owe it to yourself to see as much of the country as possible. Dublin is very much cosmopolitan, it’s not a representation of the rest of the country, which I’m sure you’ve noticed before anyways.

      Try RTE. If you have a good resume, perhaps they’d be interested. TV3 and RTE are the only two large production companies that I know of.

      Having lived in the US for a few years. I’ve started to realize, even with the low pay and huge taxes. It works out being not too much different…you’re internet there will be cheaper and much faster! You can get a pay as you go phone deal for your cell phone for 20 euros and get 5-7.5GB of Data for that. Food is a little more expensive but then you realize, the quality is much higher there. It’s like WholeFoods or Trader Joes in common grocery stores there…but is actually cheaper than either of those..

      You might find yourself staying there!

      • Brad says:

        Thanks! Oh yeah.. we don’t plan on confining ourselves to Dublin. We’ve actually visited quite a bit of Northern Ireland, Donegal, Wicklow, County Kerry… We have a friend who owns a pub in Dingle and the Irish Music School my wife teaches at now has a sister school in Letterkenny. 🙂 But like Texas, where I am from, we both have to be by the big city if we want to make a living at what we do. Thanks again for the response. I’ll try RTE and TV3.

        • omg please explore southern ireland as well, cliffs of moher, after sneeking over some fences and through fields of cattle, found views that brought tears.also climbed skellig micheal,amazing

  51. Danielle says:

    I have a possible job opportunity in Dungarven Ireland. My biggest concern ove rit all is getting my cats over there. I’ve been reading up on it and some sites say there is a quarantine time and some do not. Do you know if quarantine is a requirement? Makes me nervous to have them away from me for a month or more.


    • I believe you’ll need to go to your vet and get the correct vaccination and worming medication. I’ve read that America has looser standards than Ireland. So it’s possible your cats don’t have the correct treatments.

      Ireland is a very agriculturally heavy country, so we have extra protections in place.

      I believe if everything is met, the cats should not need to be quarantined

    • As you have rabies in the US, all animals coming into Ireland are quarantined for 6 months.

      • No, they are not. As long as you meet all of the requirements, they do not get quarantined. There are some different treatments required within 48 hours of flying that are not standard for US pets.

  52. Chris J. says:

    Hello there. I am planning on going to Dublin, Ireland in a year or so after I finish college to be with my boyfriend. He currently is in film school right now and I am almost finished with my school so I will have an CIT (Computer Information Technology) degree. I am living in Tennessee at the moment and was wondering what I had to do in order to gain citizenship so I can live with him. I have been looking everywhere for someone to answer these questions and most people keep pointing out that I need to go to a social services office or some such place. Could you point me in the right direction on what I need to do? I think I have Irish ancestry on my father’s side but I doubt that helps me any. Anything would be helpful, thanks.

  53. Bekah says:

    Hello! My husband and I are hoping to move to Ireland (outside of Dublin) for at least a few years. My husband has Irish ancestry and is a direct descendant of someone who moved here from Ireland. My husband will be a Veterinarian, certified in America, and I’ll definitely have two Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Safety-Emergency Management. I’m considering doing a Ph.D. program here in the US or waiting until we move and doing one over there. We do have animals that we want to bring! Any advice for pets, work, and homes?

    • Hi there. You’ll need to ensure your pets have all of the necessary vaccinations and workings required. You need to be aware that the most commonly used worming solution used in the US does not meet Irish standards….I believe it’s worming’s something anyways. You’ll want to make sure they have everything needed. You can even pay an agency to take care of it for you. As well as ship the dogs over.

      Jobs outside of Dublin are still pretty tough to get. Check out and…keep in mind taxes are heavy

      Doing a PhD in Ireland is actually a little cheaper than in the US.

      For homes. is the best place to look. If you know where you specifically want to look at, I might be able to give better advice on what areas are nice.

      • Bekah says:

        Thanks so much! I didn’t know about the differences in the dewormer! ‘We would want to be within 25 miles of Clareville Road, Harolds Cross, Dublin 6w Ireland. ALso, do you know what job market looks like for our specific career fields (Veterinarian and Emergency Manager/Policy/Politics/Public Safety/Public Health/Social Work). Sorry my field gives me a lot of options. I currently work for the American Red Cross, if that gives you an idea of the field!

        • You may find it tough to find a job. Both of yee in fact. Veterinarians are in high demand around the country outside of Dublin due to the large agricultural presence. My uncle is a veterinarian in Co. Mayo. The challenge you face when working as a vet in the country areas is that they are small towns and everyone gets to know you, it’s tough to ever get a break. You’ll be called on any time, day and night.

          For yourself, we don’t have all that many truly private hospitals or clinics. Social work also isn’t a privatized area. Ditto Policy and Politics. You might be best trying to get a job in one of the Universities regards Policy…Politics, you could work a local representative but the pay would be very poor and we’re in a bad social environment…nobody likes politicians from any of the main parties.

          Hospitals in Ireland for the most part are hell holes and they are terrible to work for. Most qualified Irish people move abroad for that kind of work.

          If you are interested in continuing in a company similar to Red Cross we’ve got the Simon Community, St Vincent De Paul.

          I don’t know your religious background but you may not like the fact that some of the larger institutes have a religious undertone to them…

          • Bekah says:

            Oh boy… great prospects! Haha. I personally don’t care about religious undertone. I have no religious preference or specific beliefs, but I had a religion minor in college and was raised Catholic so I do understand the practices. What about Epidemiology or Virology? Any World Health Organization labs in Ireland? I can actually research that myself. I’ll check out some of those companies similar to the Red Cross and some of the University jobs. I really appreciate the help! It is particularly difficult to find things out from across the globe!

            I know my husband and I are mainly looking to experience something different than American culture, and honestly we’re tired of the tension here, since we are personally invested in our country of origin. I think we’d like a break from it. We do know that every country has it’s problems, but it’s a NEW set of problems! And neither of us studied abroad in college so we;d love the experience. We’ve heard wonderful things about Ireland and I think it would be a really nice place to work and live in for five or so years, maybe more if we love it!

            • No problem at all. I don’t know of any WHO labs in Ireland. I think the nearest to us are in Wales. I’d still say your best bet is in a University as a Research Assistant but I will say, there’s plenty of large US Pharmaceutical companies in Ireland so you might find something with them too.

              I’d bet if you last 5 years in Ireland, you’ll never leave. It’s a very easy going, relax, slow paced living.

            • Im a medical scientist in Ireland. I work in patholgy. We have plenty of graduates to work in these areas.I work in a hospital and its not a hell hole.
              Seriously man, WTF?

              • Good for you. My dad spent 6 months in Merlin Park hospital. Was misdiagnosed with cancer in the then Galvea and got a spinal infection after the care. Then after an operation his neck wasn’t set, he rolled over and broke his neck. He was paralyzed.

                But that’s just the one person. I witness a young man bleed out and die after being left to sit in A&E in UCHG.

                As a teenager my brother had a botched tonsillectomy in UCHG. Then a boy in our class had the same thing from the same surgeon and again, a girl I worked with same thing with the same surgeon.

                A woman was allowed to die in UCHG because they wouldn’t terminate her pregnancy.

                I was diagnosed with a blood disease. The consultant was in the room with me for about 90 seconds. He didn’t even fully come into the room…he told me to ask the junior Dr. If I had any questions. The junior Dr couldn’t answer any of my questions and suggest I ask the consultant the next time I came…guess what, they never followed through on my next appointment. Over a year later I left the country.

                A Dr who was on call got on a plane and left for the weekend without telling anybody…that was UCHG too.

                UCHG designed a multi-story parking garage to take care of the crippling parking issues…the garage would actually create fewer parking spaces than they already had.

                A head in the hospital used contractors working on the hospital grounds to put an extension on his house….all billed to the hospital.

                Even at the Galway Clinic, I had a specialist tell me the X-ray machine in the hospital wasn’t accurate and he was just going to use his own judgement rather than the fucking X-Ray.

                And that’s just Galway!!

                Haven’t even mentioned the hours junior doctors are working and the general waiting times and people waiting on trolleys…

                Don’t get me started on the likes of Castlebar!!

                Your rebuttal?

  54. Melissa says:

    Hello- great post. I am in school right now going into the field of health promotion, and considering moving out of the country for awhile after I graduate. I am curious, in Ireland is there a niche for health and wellness? I unfortunately only know of the beer and pub food stereotype. Would a health educator be a welcome addition to a community? Thanks!

  55. Tyler Smith says:

    I’m a 24 year old male living in Oklahoma in the U.S. I’ve recently found that we have some family living in Galway and, upon learning of my intentions to move to Ireland, they offered to keep me for a few weeks so that I might get a feel for Ireland. I know our monetary systems are different, but over here I am paying around $500.00 a month in rent. Would you be able to tell me if that is considered a high, average, or low amount around Galway or in the south? This is such an awesome read. Very informative and outright. Thank God I found this site, lol.

    • Tyler Smith says:

      Also, I play music. Should I look towards living in the country or are folks over there ok with hearing loud wails and tormented screams at all hours of the night?

      • We’re pretty good at protecting people…so loud noises after 11pm may not be tolerated…there’s certain neighborhoods that are mostly students, you’d likely get away with more in those….know your neighbors!

    • Hey Tyler,
      If you want to rent your own place in the city, it will be more than 500 a month. Outside the city would cost less. Drinking and Driving is much more taboo in Ireland so; it’s best to not even try it. If you plan on going out a lot. Live in the city. If not, there’s plenty of nice commuter towns

      • Tyler Smith says:

        Awesome. Thank you for the info!

        • No problem at all. Check out for rentals

          • Tyler Smith says:

            Good Lord, that’s exactly what I need! I’m having a bit of trouble understanding the prices for apartments, though. Can you actually own an apartment over there?

            • Yes, you can. I wouldn’t suggest buying yet…The economic situation is very uncertain. All rentals come fully furnished unless stated specifically that it’s not. There’s very strict guidelines on rights for renters so you’re well protected against asshole landlords. Do you have a job figured out?

              • Tyler Smith says:

                Oh, ok. No, not yet. I’m still in the hypothetical stages of planning this out, lol. I have a chunk of change saved up for when I do go over that will hopefully tide me over for a bit, but, to be honest, when it comes to a job I’m not quite sure what to do. I’m willing to work just about any job, but the ones I find on the internet in Galway don’t seem like they would pay enough to be able to support myself…

                • Yeah, Galway is a tough spot for employment right now. There’s plenty of IT related work but everything else is very thin on the ground. You can find retail work around Christmas and hope to be kept on. Other best tips are to try for Boston Scientific, Medtronic and HP. Also the University (National University of Ireland, Galway)

                  Be warned. It’s not quite like America. It’s tougher to start at the ground floor and work your way up. Degree, Masters and PhD’s are very accessible to everybody so skilled work tends to require a college education…they don’t entertain people without one. Working your way up in retails takes a long time too.

                  But there’s several advantages. You likely will spend less on healthcare over there if you go through the public system. If you move into Galway City, you shouldn’t need a car. You’ll save on that. Internet and TV tends to be a bit cheaper on average there. Be warned, you have to have a license to have a tv!!!…the license pays towards the national channels.

                  You won’t make a whole lot, you won’t have a whole lot to play with but you’ll have a much better work life balance. You’ll have plenty of paid vacation days. If you become an Irish citizen, you’ll have amazing security. Cheap education for you and your kids, free healthcare (through public), top quality meat and produce in grocery stores. And of course beautiful scenery and decent people

                  • Tyler Smith says:

                    Well, the good seems like it will definitely outweigh the bad. I can’t thank you enough for all the information you’ve provided. Wish me luck! Hopefully, in a year’s time, I’ll be able to write back and either say I am a success in Ireland or I’m living on the street, lol jk.

  56. Great blog and questions and answers.
    How about retiring from Seattle to Waterford areas? And yes, been there and the weather wasn’t that much different…ha ha !!!
    What are the food cost differences and things like home heating bills; internet fees; bringing our 2 little dogs and one old cat…cost of pet food? Vet care?
    Don’t want to live ‘in’ the city, but out a bit for garden and workshop views. Want to buy a house, detached and on it’s own land.
    Any retirees on this blog who moved from America to Ireland?
    Did I say we fell in love with Ireland when we were there? Yup!

    • You should go for it. While growing up in Ireland I knee a few American retirees who spent part of the year in Ireland and part in the US. But, if the weather is the same…maybe moving to Ireland altogether makes sense. Waterford is a ways away from most of the sites and major cities so it’s cheaper to live there but more expensive to go on excursions to other parts of the country. Seattle does have very similar weather, though it gets more sun in the summer. From what I experienced, Seattle was a little more expensive than other parts of the US. Ireland is expensive for things like food, pet food, drinks, cigarettes etc. There’s now also a property tax and water charge which we never had before. But, the quality of the food is outstanding, the country is so small that you can see different parts with ease. There’s many great festivals in the summer months and personally I enjoy the cold, dark winters…there’s something very Cosy about being inside with a fire down while it’s pouring rain out

    • Oh also…did you get the dogs clearance yet? Will they have to stay in Quarantine at all? Vet bills can be steep but I believe it’s cheaper there than in the US. We have many small town vets due to all the farmers

  57. Alex says:

    I’m most likely moving to Ireland from Texas and working with a holiday visa in a couple of months. A few questions — what are the best places for young people (I’m 22) to move and meet other people their age? Obviously Dublin is a big city and I would meet lots of people I’m sure, but I am really into outdoor stuff and I’d like to be somewhere really scenic – maybe not so city. Any recommendations? Also… how often to Irish people travel outside of Ireland for fun – to the UK and other neighboring countries?

    • Go to Galway. There’s a festival season over the summer….there’s surfing, golf, fishing, trips to the Islands. It’s got a good nightlife and it’s very close to some of the most beautiful and scenic areas of the country. There’s plenty of young people there during the summer…July and early August are fun

    • Alyssa says:

      Hey Alex! Im also 22 from San Antonio, Texas and just moved to Cork on a working holiday visa. Let me know if you need any advice or just want to chat!

      • Juliifajardo says:

        Hi Alyssa, I am thinking about getting a working holiday visa. I was looking at all the requirements and one of them is that you have to be enrolled in post secondary education or have graduated within then past 12 months. I am doing online school so i can take classes from anywhere, would that be considered enrolled in school? how did you do your school stuff?

        • Miranda says:

          Hey guys, I’m looking into possibly moving to Ireland… I have no idea how to start or where to look for more information~ Think any of y’all could give me a hand? I’m a Delaware/West Virginia/South Carolina girl age 20 and a little bit overwhelmed with what I need to do and how to start!!! Help?

      • juliifajardo says:

        Hi alyssa, I am thinking of getting a working holiday visa but you have to have graduated within the past 12 months, I graduated a while longer ago than that but i am taking online courses at the moment at well.. how did you do your school stuff? I want to know if they would accept that or not

  58. Shane says:

    I’m looking to move to Ireland the beginning of next year or possibly sooner. I’m a typical Southern Californian Caucasian male working for an accounting firm in Los Angeles. I will be transferring to an office in Dublin and I’m just wondering how this field is viewed there. Is it prestigious? Does it offer a good salary in comparison to other careers? Also, are there any other big differences between Southern California and Dublin that I should be aware? Thanks!

    • Well, there’s very little sunshine. Accounting isn’t a bad career in Ireland. If you’re working for the likes of KPMG you’ll be doing alright. Prestige in relation to a career is kind of redundant in Ireland as we are know for begrudgery. If you succeed, you’ll be talked poorly of for being a big shot…it’s best to just laugh that off though. The government is very corrupt in Ireland

      • The government is NOT very corrupt in Ireland! Are you just a Yank who lived here for a bit?

        • It is very corrupt…I lived there for 27 years. There’s a reason why Brian Cowan walked in a job with Topaz and why Denis O’Brien had a stake in Irish Water. The 26% growth figure from last week. The endless money pumped into the Univeristies the politicians went to….It’s not just the Government either…a large minority game the system as much as possible. Look at that prick at Console, the guy who had home maintenance paid for by the hospital in Galway….crooked as fuck.

          • You lived here for 27 years, Ive lived here for 40, Irish born and bred. What a crock!
            You should look towards your own country for corruption.
            The rest of the world is hoping someone bombs the US to force democracy on you! Have you seen your own government?
            Please stop telling yanks to move here. We have enough migrants here without Yanks joining the list.

            • My own country is Ireland. It sound like your are deflecting..enough migrants? Ireland doesn’t have enough skilled workers to meet the demand for the tech industry and the population has decreased since 2006…you’re talking out of your hole.

              • We have a pool of workers from all over the EU who are skilled. We do not need Yanks coming over with shitty US high school education, asking about bringing their dog over. You said earlier that Dublin is the ‘least Irish’ place in the country? Thats because its full of economic migrants, just like the ones youre encouraging to come to Ireland.
                We have plenty of unskilled labour and a shortage of housing so we certainly dont need anymore from outside the EU taking up more housing and the type of jobs that get irish kids through college, such as waitressing and bar work etc.

                • Dublin is the least Irish place because it’s the Pale. It has even more British influence than the rest of the country. It’s why the accent is so different. It’s why the architecture is so different.

                  Also, the fact that Dublin is a large city. Cork, Limerick and Galway are cities but could pass as a large town in most other countries.

                  Also newsflasg. I worked during college. My sister was a store manager until a couple of years ago and my friend was also a store manager. Simple fact is, they don’t want the jobs and when the Eastern Europeans stopped flowing into Ireland at the same rate as when they first joined the EU, places couldn’t fill positions.

                  All college students want over there is work during the summer which is not in the best interest of the business owners. Once they are trained to do the job, they leave.

              • In your own words, you left 4 years ago. You havent a clue whats happening on the ground here. Still to America. It seems more suited to you.

                • Yeah, because I haven’t spent time in Ireland since I left. I don’t have family and friends there.

                  Funny how you pass judgement on America and you don’t live here….

                  • You should probably get some facts before telling Yanks to move here especially when it comes to housing, healthcare and education. People cannot retire here unless they have a certain amount of money in the bank, this is to ensure they dont become a burden on the Irish taxpayer. A US education is inferior to the Irish one and Americans are not popular anywhere outside the US. You cannot bring your pets here unless they are quarantined for 6 months as there is rabies in the US and not here. The average house price is over 10 times the average salary and a 1 bed apartment in Dublin is about €1500 a month. FFS at least know what youre talking about.

                    • Americans are not popular with some people who are ignorant, true. My mother learned assembly language in high school in New York back in the 70’s…meanwhile, in my school technology was cancelled as a subject.

                      Anybody going to Ireland needs money. Be they from the EU or not.

                      You can bring pets in from pre-approved countries. The US is one of those. I know this for a fact because I have been in discussions with PetExpress who are the approved authority.

                      You may be surprised to find out that the rate of pay in the US is good and taxes are lower. People go over with moneu. I have also advised people about the difficulty finding affordable housing in the comments. Also, not all of Ireland is unaffordable. You can buy a 3 bedroom house in Clare for 150k. Relative to a decent city suburb in the US, that is peanuts.

                      You should practice humility or better yet. Start your own blog. Anyways, enough of your trolling for today. Time to start the weekend.

  59. Claudine says:

    Thx for the reply makes me feel like my move might actually be worth it 🙂

  60. Manu says:

    I’ve been reading your posts lately and it is really interesting to see what a local has to say about Ireland. I’m from Brazil and I intend to stay a year there (hopefully next year!), so I read lots of blogs from Brazilians living up there. Your guide was very helpful!

  61. claudine says:

    after reading this article i still can’t tell if it would be a good thing to move to Ireland or not. Is the Economy bad or good? Im a Puerto Rican from NYC and would like a change in culture ( I move where ever the wind blows me *literally ) I just wanted to know whats it like living in Ireland as far as jobs go is it hard to find one?

    • Finding a job outside of Dublin is still tough from what I’ve read. Even in Dublin, it really depends on what you want to and are willing to work as. Also, what age are you? Some places will have a younger population than others. Some of the more rural places will have an older population as many have emigrated to Canada and Australia. Ireland is a beautiful country, I’d say go for it.

      • Claudine says:

        I’m 20 yrs old and willing to work as anything really I don’t know alot about Ireland what’s the economy like?

        • If you’re actually willing to do any job you’ll be fine. The economy is terrible but there’s jobs. With your look and accent you’ll stand out but in a good way. Expect everybody to ask where you’re from and have some story to share with you. You’ll have fun

  62. Not sure if this is helping me in my moving to Ireland decision.

  63. Marjorie says:

    On our first of seven visits to Ireland we stopped in a Pub as we were chilled to the bone and my husband has a fondness for Guinness while I do not drink. I asked for hot apple cider. “You want me to heat it” the barman asked. Well he did just that, giving me a bottle of hard cider that he had carefully heated. Whoops.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Too funny! My Irish husband had the exact opposite experience at Cheers in Boston … asked for a hot whisky and got – you guessed it – whisky in a glass popped into the microwave.
      We still hope to move “home” in a couple of years, if this American wife can find a job.
      See y’all there, I hope!

  64. molly alley says:

    Also be aware that when you say “…and may the Lord have mercy on my fiancé’s dear sweet soul….well, that implies that he is dead.

  65. Taylor says:

    It’s funny, while my Irish fiance was visiting me in America for the first time I would have never thought he used different terminology at home. Cookies were cookies and ketchup was ketchup. But once I went to Belfast for the first time, I couldn’t understand why anyone would buy a tin of biscuits and no one would tell me what exactly “Red sauce” was. It was just red sauce. I also couldn’t shake that a gallon of milk came in a rectangle. I even took a picture of it. And may the Lord have mercy on my fiance’s dear sweet soul, when we went to the Cookie Box he patiently went through the entire list of sweets with me so I knew what exactly I was getting in my milkshake.
    P.S. Only the Easter Bunny carries Cadbury sweets in America. I didn’t even know they made things other than chocolate eggs.

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