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Killarney, Ireland
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney, Ireland

Living in Ireland Guide

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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International Relocation Guide

Summary: The passion that expats in Ireland have for their adoptive land is often truly amazing. Many get absolutely absorbed in the culture, the people and everything else that Ireland has to offer. But it's not always easy. Here are the Pros and Cons for living as an expat in Ireland.

Expats that have moved to Ireland generally enjoy their experience living there, but there are also some challenges that make adjusting to life a... process. Most people seem to find their way to love it, but it takes time. Here are some of the Pros and Cons of living in Ireland.

Pro: Ireland is a Beautiful Country

In a living in Ireland culture shock report, one expat wrote that she love "the history and the beautiful scenery. The Dingle Peninsula made me cry from the absolute beauty of it. Store staff are always willing to chat, ask you where you're from, and try to find connections."

Another expat in Ireland shared: "We also love the history and have spent a lot of time exploring the country learning as much as we can. It's a gorgeous place to live, especially when sunny!"

Con: The Weather and Climate Can Be Dreary in Ireland

One expat share in a culture shock report wrote, "The lack of sun can take a toll. Get away during the summer for a vacation somewhere hot."

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On our Ireland forum, expats discussed the weather, one expat advised that "the West Coast is dramatic and it's natural beauty for sure is 5 Star. There is a price to pay. Wind and weather. If one has no issues with that, it's the best of Ireland."

Even though the weather can be less than sunny, many expats find that they can manage just fine with it. One person wrote: "We have lived in the North West region of the USA and find the weather to be very similar to Ireland and very tolerable."

Another person wrote that "The cool, rainy weather is vastly superior to that of New England."

An expat advised: "I understand the South East has much better weather and more temperate in general. Waterford, Wexford, Dungarvan etc."

Pro: Travel While Living in Ireland is Relatively Easy

Expats in Ireland have remarked that the size of Ireland makes it easy to explore Ireland, and beyond. Its proximity to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe gives expats the opportunity to do some serious traveling. One expat said that they like the "ability to travel more, possibilities seem to be expanded here as compared to Argentina/Latin America."

Con: Friendships Can't Be Made Quickly in Ireland

One expat in Dublin advised: "Be careful not to talk too much about yourself and reveal too much about yourself too early. It will takes weeks and months of getting together with an Irish friend to learn personal details about them. Only reveal one or two personal details per visit or it will overwhelm them. They will respect the friendship more if it is earned and learned over time."

From another expat in West Clare: "Trusting new friends who are bit difficult to get truly close to. Though everyone is always there to smile and be kind. Small villages consist of only a hand full of families who all seem to be related. If you do get it thigh you'll know it. You'll feel it. And you're in for life!"

Yet another expat in South Dublin wrote: "It took us a while to make real friends, but we eventually did and it makes all the difference in the world to have a social circle and people you can do things with and rely on."

Pro: The People of Ireland Are Amazing Once You Get to Know Them

An American expat in Ireland shared that "once we moved in we were adopted by our village, invited to parties, wedding receptions, funerals, all within weeks of landing. Within 3 months, we had far more good friends than we had in the US after a lifetime. We wave as we drive down the road and they wave back. They call in for tea and share news, just as the Irish have amongst themselves for generations."

Con: Bureaucracy

As with just about every other country in the world, expats in Ireland complain about the the bureaucracy: "Worst was the bureauracy getting documents needed. I had never worked in Ireland so I needed a PPS card and TV license. Took 4 months to get both. PPS is three step process and should have been only two. Had to make 2 trips to Social office in Wexford, when the first day all they did was make appointment for a month later. But when we made the appointment, there was about 6 office windows open and nobody waiting. They could have taken our information and pictures then and sent it off for completion, but we had come back a month later."

Pro: Ireland has a Robust Economy

The economy of Ireland is robust and, as of 2018, the 14th biggest economy in Europe.

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While not considered one of the biggest hotspots in the world, digital nomads in Dublin find quite a bit of freelance and contract work available there, particularly in the technology and financial sectors.

Con: Things Take Longer in Ireland

expat in Enniscorthy advised: "Be prepared for long waits to get anything. Workers promise and then never show up or arrive days later. Phone and internet took me 3 months to get and the house was already prewired into the central exchange. Of course in some areas of the US, the same thing can happen."

Pro: Ireland offers a Lot of Options for Expats

Expats who want to move to Ireland will find a lot of options... both in terms of where to live and things to do.

In terms of the 10 best places to live in Ireland, there are options in various sizes of cities, on the coast, and more. So many options for so many situations.

This also includes a variety of places to consider in terms of cost of living. The difference in the cost of living in Dublin vs. Galway is quite significant, and the same can be said of Dublin vs. Cork.

Another expat in the west of Ireland wrote: "We were most drawn to the rural west of Ireland, both because of the beauty of the countryside and the slower pace of life. We knew we'd be sharing the road with tractors, and that the weather here can be miserable, so I think we were well prepared and our expectations realistic."

Con: Getting Kids Into Schools Can Be difficult

An expat-to-be asked about finding schools for her children in Ireland. Have you contacted the school she will be attending? Ireland is extremely generous, excessively so. It permits children from any country in the world to enroll in an Irish school, regardless even of language ability of educational background All for free. And guess what. As a result of that open doors policy Irish schools are overcrowded and underfunded.

Another expat added that "I would definitely check with the school. Many Irish schools have a waiting list. People add their children to the list at birth!"

Another reported: "Schools in Ireland often have waiting lists to get in so you will need to sign your children up for a school, or multiple schools, as soon as possible. They also give priority to children with siblings in the same school which is helpful as they get older but may not help you now. I think they have officially done away with requiring a baptism certificate for school enrollment but I don't know if that's been implemented, or just passed. Sometimes there's a lag between saying they are going to do something and something being put into practice. Moving here is lovely but you will need patience because things happen slowly and in their own time."

In an expat report on South County Dublin, someone wrote that "getting the children into the local schools was extremely hard and stressful. Once we solved that things got easier."

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Ireland GuideIreland Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Ireland.

Ireland Forum Ireland Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Ireland on our Ireland forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Ireland Index Ireland Index
An index of all of our site's Ireland information.

Contribute to Ireland Network Contribute
Help others in Ireland by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Ireland.

Expat Healthcare Advice in IrelandHealthcare & Health Insurance in Ireland

Expats in Ireland offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Ireland.

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in IrelandMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in Ireland

Expats in Ireland offer advice about healthcare in Ireland.

Best Places to Live in Ireland Best Places to Live in Ireland

Expats in Ireland have a lot of options when they consider where they would like to live on the Emerald Isle. From great cities like Dublin and Galway, to more rustic areas such as Killarney, this is a good start for expats looking to explore where they will be happiest in Ireland.

Real Estate in IrelandReal Estate in Ireland

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Ireland.

Guide to Real Estate in IrelandGuide to Real Estate in Ireland

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Ireland.

Pros Cons of Living in IrelandPros & Cons of Living in Ireland

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Ireland.

Cost of Living in IrelandCost of Living in Ireland

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Ireland.

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Expats in Ireland share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in Ireland. Advice about Irish hospitals, having a baby in Ireland, medical care in rural areas of Ireland and more.

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Expats moving to Ireland have a wide variety of options in terms of great places to live. People moving to Ireland for work, to retire or for any other reason can realize the life they imagine if they do enough research before taking the plunge.

10-Best-Places-to-Live-in-Ireland10 Best Places to Live in Ireland

Expats in Ireland have a lot of options when they consider where they would like to live on the Emerald Isle. From great cities like Dublin and Galway, to more rustic areas such as Killarney, this is a good start for expats.looking to explore where they will be happiest in Ireland.

5-Tips-for-Tech-Jobs-in-Dublin5 Tips for Tech Jobs in Dublin

Expats in the tech industry in Dublin live in one of the most vibrant tech economies in the world. Ireland's favorable tax policies and other factors have made "Silicon Docks" a magnet for tech firms of all sizes.

International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide

International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide

Comments

Edvardas
Nov 16, 2020 15:46

There is no mention of the 28% VAT that has been recently introduced by their new prez. THAT would be an issue for me living retired there.

Killarney, Ireland

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Top-quality coverage for people who live, work, study and travel internationally.
GET A QUOTE

GeoBlue Expat Health InsuranceGeoBlue Health Insurance

Top-quality coverage for people who live, work, study and travel internationally.
GET A QUOTE

Ireland GuideIreland Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Ireland.

Ireland Forum Ireland Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Ireland on our Ireland forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Ireland Index Ireland Index
An index of all of our site's Ireland information.

Contribute to Ireland Network Contribute
Help others in Ireland by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Ireland.

Expat Healthcare Advice in IrelandHealthcare & Health Insurance in Ireland

Expats in Ireland offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Ireland.

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in IrelandMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in Ireland

Expats in Ireland offer advice about healthcare in Ireland.

Best Places to Live in Ireland Best Places to Live in Ireland

Expats in Ireland have a lot of options when they consider where they would like to live on the Emerald Isle. From great cities like Dublin and Galway, to more rustic areas such as Killarney, this is a good start for expats looking to explore where they will be happiest in Ireland.

Real Estate in IrelandReal Estate in Ireland

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Ireland.

Guide to Real Estate in IrelandGuide to Real Estate in Ireland

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Ireland.

Pros Cons of Living in IrelandPros & Cons of Living in Ireland

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Ireland.

Cost of Living in IrelandCost of Living in Ireland

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Ireland.

Healthcare-in-IrelandHealthcare in Ireland

Expats in Ireland face very specific timelines and rules when it comes to getting healthcare in Ireland. It's important to understand how this will impact your journey and your individual health before you decide to move to Ireland.

Pros-and-Cons-of-Living-in-IrelandPros and Cons of Living in Ireland

The passion that expats.in Ireland have for their adoptive land is often truly amazing. Many get absolutely absorbed in the culture, the people and everything else that Ireland has to offer. But it's not always easy. Here are the Pros and Cons for living as an expat in Ireland.

Digital-Nomads-in-DublinDigital Nomads in Dublin

The number of people interested in becoming a digital nomad continues to grow, and those that are interested in a thriving metropolis as a destination would be wise not to scratch Dublin - and other cities in Ireland - off your list.

7-Important-Tips-about-Healthcare-for-Expats-in-Ireland7 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats in Ireland

Expats in Ireland share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in Ireland. Advice about Irish hospitals, having a baby in Ireland, medical care in rural areas of Ireland and more.

Guides to Cities in Ireland
Dublin Limerick Tobercurry
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