A survey of Erasmus Higher Education students in the greater Dublin area has found that 92% of them enjoyed the experience and would come back on holidays. They cite the friendliness of Irish people, the cultural experience and improvement in English as the most positive aspects of their experience while the weather and the cost of living as the most negative aspects.
At the presentation of the report to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague were Erasmus Students (l-r) Markus Walther (Germany), Letterina Citro (Italy) and Antonio Vélez (Spain).
Over 1,700 students from 32 other European countries attend higher education institutions in Dublin and Maynooth each year under the Erasmus programme which this year celebrates its 25th Anniversary. This programme allows for exchanges for up to one year and since it was established twenty-five years ago, 2.5 million students, including 35,000 from Ireland have undertaken a programme in another European country.
Dublin City Council, in partnership with the Higher Education Authority which manages the Erasmus programme in Ireland, surveyed 308 visiting students in detail on their experience in Dublin and Maynooth. The report is launched today (25th June) at the Mansion House, Dublin by the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Andrew Montague.
Among the findings of the study,
- 85% chose to come to Dublin to improve their English and 49% because of Dublin’s reputation as a friendly city.
- Clear majorities found the student facilities such as sports centres and libraries better in Irish institutions than in their home colleges while two thirds joined a college club or society while here.
- 97% had visited areas outside of Dublin while here with Galway (22%), Belfast (16%), Cork (15%) and Wicklow (10%) the most popular destinations.
- Over 40% took part in the St. Patrick’s Festival while 46% used a public library.
- When asked to respond to the statement, “There is always something interesting going on in Dublin”, 39% strongly agreed and a further 52% agreed compared to just 9% disagreeing and 0% strongly disagreeing.
- Cultural and sporting events in Dublin along with clothing were rated as good value for money.
There are some concerns expressed,
- 23% felt that where they lived was not safe at night
- 80% rated Dublin as more expensive than their home country, with accommodation, transport and the price of alcohol all rated as poor value for money.
European students tend to visit a lot of tourist attractions and their top ten are,
- Temple Bar (visited by 98%)
- St. Stephen’s Green (94%)
- Phoenix Park (78%)
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral (71%)
- Guinness Storehouse (70%)
- Dublin Castle (70%)
- Christchurch Cathedral (66%)
- Book of Kells (66%)
- GPO (65%)
- National Gallery (54%)
In fact, 23% had been to Leinster House, possibly a bigger percentage than of the population of Dublin!
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, said,
““These results show that the Erasmus students generally had a very positive experience in Dublin and would overwhelmingly recommend Dublin to other Erasmus students. Other results are worrying ; such as that 23% felt that where they lived was not safe at night, and this is an issue that the various authorities must continue to address in the interests of residents and visitors. The report shows that Dublin does have huge potential to be a world leader in attracting international students with all the economic and social benefits that would follow.”
Gerry O'Sullivan of the Irish Erasmus National Agency commented,
"Erasmus students coming to Dublin and Maynooth give a strong thumbs up to our higher education institutions and to our capital city. However it is also clear that there are areas needing improvement like providing more opportunities for visiting students to engage with Irish culture and to mix with Irish students as well as addressing problems relating to accommodation and public transport."