Ireland: 60 scholarships, €10,000 each

Ireland has announced the International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES) for 2020.

This program excludes EU citizens. If Albania joins the EU in the next 60 days, you can’t apply.

Some notes about the program:

  • like free software organizations, they value diversity. This means they will try to make sure some scholarships go to women and they may also try to include as many countries as possible.
  • they request two reference letters and you get points for these letters. You can ask people in free software communities for letters. I can write letters for people who have volunteered in events with me but it is better if you get a letter from a professor or employer.
  • they give points for extra curricular activities in your home country and in Ireland. For example, if you are a member of Open Labs or FLOSSK and you also join the Irish Free Software Organization, then you are helping build connections between our countries. Being an OSCAL or SFK volunteer is an extra-curricular activity too, you can ask the organizers for a reference letter.
  • €10,000 is a lot of money for any student in Ireland

There is a detailed guide

There are already some Irish non-profit groups active in Albania and Kosovo, you may also be able to speak to people from these groups to get additional ideas.

Some of the main benefits of Ireland:

  • education in English
  • easier to get a visa than in the UK
  • Kosovans don’t have to pay any fee with their visa application
  • for Albanians who want to travel a lot, Dublin is the home of Ryanair with €5 flights to almost every country in Europe.
  • if you find a job in Ireland, you can have a passport in just 5 years. That is a lot faster than Germany and some other EU countries. There is no need to learn German or other languages, most Albanians I’ve met already speak English at a sufficient level to gain an Irish passport.

Here are some links to the main universities:

If you have questions about universities, you can ask in the Debian Ireland group or share information here in this thread.

Even if you don’t get the scholarship, students in Ireland are permitted to work 20 hours per week to pay for their studies and it is very easy to get student visas for improving your English or attending university. It can be difficult to find accommodation in Dublin but it is easier and cheaper in other cities like Galway.

Deadline is 27 March 2020 but you need to act now to get reference letters and contact the universities and get documents necessary for the scholarship.

Some people had problems selecting Kosovo in the application form.

I contacted the Kosovan representative to Ireland last year, they contacted the education department and they replied:

They have instructed us that our students choose Albania as their country of origin this year, and clarify in the application letter that they are in fact from Kosovo. They said this will not cause a problem or any prejudice for their applications and they will be treated as students from Kosovo.

Good luck to everybody applying for the scholarship.