Gain International Work Experience

Study/Work Programme

Would you like to come to Galway to study at IH for 6 months and work at the same time? This programme, which is unique to Ireland, allows you to study English at IH Galway and work at the same time! You can study and work in Galway for 6 months and take an examination such as IELTS or Trinity at the end of your course, then work in Galway for 2 more months.

*Study/Work Students don’t need to book a minimum of weeks of accommodation but there’s maximum of 4 weeks in any of our options with a possibility of extension but not guaranteed. 

New students

AM Lessons


PM Lessons


Renewal students

AM Lessons


PM Lessons


This programme includes:

  • 25-week General English Course
  • 15hrs per week
  • Materials for your first course (first weeks)
  • Trinity Exam A2+ (IELTS test costs €30 extra)
  • Medical Insurance + Learner Protection (PEL)
  • Booking fee
  • Documentation for VISA
  • Support before travelling and when in Galway
  • Social Programme
  • Minimum level: A1
  • Starting date: Any Monday
  • Course length: 25 weeks
  • Maximum class size: 15
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Timetable AM: Monday-Thursday 09:00-11:00 & 11:30-13:20
  • Timetable PM: Monday-Friday 13:30-15:00 & 15:30-17:00

This Programme Allows You To:

Study and work

in Galway for 6 months and take an examination such as Trinity or, IELTS at the end of your course, then work in Galway for 2 more months

Take English lessons

in the morning or in the afternoon while working part-time (up to 20 hours per week) or full-time (up to 40 hours per week).

Renew your visa

two times in addition to your original visa: original visa + two additional visas. Allowing you to stay up to 2 years in Ireland.

The English course you need to succeed

On your English course, you will practise and develop the key communication skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as the key language skills of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. We focus on helping you to develop effective and natural communication and communicative ability in the shortest time possible. You will follow a course book and a course programme, including authentic materials and project based work. We offer courses from Beginner (A1) to Advanced (C1) levels and we will also help you to reach your individual learning objectives. 

(Non-EEA students)

Applying for your VISA:

Depending on your nationality, you may be required to apply for an entry visa prior to your departure. Some nationalities are not required to apply for an entry visa. To find out if you need to apply for an entry visa, check the link below from the Irish Department of Justice. All work-study students must enrol and pay for their courses in full before they arrive in Ireland. Once you start your studies, you will then be required to attend a face-to-face appointment with an immigration officer at Galway’s Immigration Bureau. To ensure there are no delays with your documents, these appointments should be booked 5-10 weeks prior to your arrival.

At the airport you will be asked to present the following:

  • your passport
  • your letter of enrollment to IH Galway
  • proof of medical insurance

An officer will then apply a landing stamp to your passport. This landing stamp gives you permission to stay in Ireland until the date stated (normally for a period of 90 days). Your face-to-face appointment with an immigration officer must be completed before this date expires.

At the Immigration Bureau you will be asked to present:
● your passport
● your original letter of acceptance from IH Galway (provided once you begin your studies)
● your medical insurance policy (if organised by the school, provided upon arrival) 
● proof that you have direct access to at least €3,000 (for non-visa students)
Registration costs €300 per person and can be paid by cash or credit/debit card. If approved, the immigration officer will then add an additional permission stamp to your passport and issue you an Irish Residency Permit (IRP). The permit should arrive two or three days later to the address stated on your letter of enrollment. 
All work-study students with a Stamp 2 on their passport must meet the following requirements during their stay:
● Maintain an attendance of 85% or higher on their course programme
● Register for their end-of-course exam before they finish their course of study
● Ensure that their end-of-course exam is associated with the school they have booked their work-study programme with
● Take the specific exam linked to their course (TIE, IELTS, Cambridge First / Advanced, etc.)

Finding a Job in Galway

The “work” part of your Study/Work Programme will allow you to gain valuable experience in a wide variety of job sectors, including hospitality, manufacturing, food preparation and customer service. Studying with us will give you the tools you need to improve your employability. Once you find a job, you can then start putting your English knowledge into real practice. As your English improves, so will your employment and job opportunities.

Ireland’s study-work programme offers you the incredible opportunity to gain valuable work experience while you study English. Working while studying allows you to fully immerse yourself in the English language and use it in a practical (and profitable) way. The type of work available will depend on your English first and other skills second. The best opportunities will be offered to the students with the best English skills, and those who display the most commitment to their English learning by attending classes and dedicating time to self-study. However, no matter your level, you will have no problems finding work once you arrive. Galway is a city with enough opportunities for everyone who chooses to make it their home, regardless of the length of their stay.

If you are Non-EU student and taking part in a work-study programme you are only permitted to work part-time, meaning you can work up to 20 hours per week (or 40 hours during holiday periods). Employers are aware of this arrangement and are generally quite accommodating towards work-study students. The type of work available to students varies. Most of the work opportunities are in the hospitality area with many students finding work in restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes. Recent work-study students have found work as chefs, waitresses, night porters, bartenders, accommodation assistants, cleaners and delivery personnel, to name just a few positions. Further employment opportunities will become available once you progress with your English level. Some students have even found work relevant to their university degrees. Galway is also home to several multinational companies such as Boston Scientific, EA Games, SAP and Medtronic, which may be able to offer employment or work experience upon application.

In many ways, Ireland is still quite traditional when it comes to how employers advertise vacant positions. Advertisements can be found posted in shop windows around the city or in local newspapers. You are advised to apply in-person to shops with advertisements in the window (unless they are directed otherwise). The Galway Advertiser is a free newspaper which publishes job advertisements on a weekly basis and is often delivered free of charge to addresses across the city. For advertisements which appear in a newspaper, applicants are usually given a phone number to call or an email address to send their CV and/or a cover letter to. There are also a number of Facebook groups where you can find details of job vacancies or even post their own availability for employers to see. and are national job databases that can be used to apply directly to companies using a CV and/or cover letter. Of course, LinkedIn is also an option for students to advertise themselves or reach out to companies directly. For extra opportunities, you should also keep up-to-date with the different festivals and events happening in the city which often hire temporary staff to service their events.

Ireland, like any country, has customs and codes of behaviour in the workplace. These codes and customs are important to know both before you apply and during the application process. For example, when applying in-person, you should make sure to dress your best and be prepared for an on-the-spot interview. It is not uncommon for the person at the front desk to be the manager or owner of the establishment. You should be friendly in these situations and may need to make polite small talk. Social skills are important for most roles within the hospitality sector, so it’s a good idea to showcase these abilities right away. In addition, the Irish are very sociable people who value individuals they can have a decent conversation with. The most popular topic for small talk in Ireland is the weather. When in doubt, one can always comment on the rain or the welcome appearance of the sun.

If you are expecting to find a job quickly, you should invest in a black shirt, black pants and a pair of comfortable black shoes.

he recommended dress code for most jobs is all black. If applying in-person, you should be aware that weekends are extremely busy for places like hotels, bars and restaurants. As a result, it is advisable for applicants to apply on a weekday when they will have a better chance to speak to the manager or person in charge.

Lastly, you should respect the formality of the workplace, especially during the application process. During an interview you should speak respectfully and politely. Similarly, when writing an email to a potential employer, you should use formal language with appropriate greetings and sign-offs. However, on the other hand, once you have started you new job they shouldn’t be too surprised to hear employees referring to their boss by their first name. Once a relationship has been established in the workplace, this kind of address is perfectly normal.

With the right information at your disposal you should have no problems finding the perfect job to suit your work-study needs. Galway is always welcoming to students of different nationalities who want to achieve their goals. With the right attitude and a good work ethic, you can earn while you learn.

Study Opportunities

In addition to a wide variety of job opportunities, Galway is also an amazing place to study. The University of Galway has consistently been ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide and offers renowned Master’s and PhD programmes. ATU also offers some fantastic opportunities for further academic development.

For more information related to Galway’s university and third level colleges, visit their websites:

Which exam is right for you?

Choosing the correct exam for your study-work programme will depend on your English level and your motivation for studying. The cost of the Trinity Exam is included in your study-work package but you can upgrade to IELTS anytime. A short description of each exam can be found below.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a test done in four parts: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Normally recommended for students at a B2 level or above, IELTS is an internationally recognised English exam and is accepted by companies and universities worldwide as proof of language proficiency.

At IH Galway we offer IELTS preparation courses instructed by qualified and experienced IELTS examiners. We are also an IELTS testing facility, so you will feel comfortable and supported throughout your IELTS experience, right up to testing day.

Trinity’s English language exams focus on communicative and integrated language skills that people of all ages and from all walks of life need to perform in today’s interconnected world.

Trinity’s range of qualifications covers every stage of learning. At IH Galway, you can take these tests if you are a beginner to upper-intermediate student. These tests offer two skills oral assessments and four skills reading, writing, speaking and listening assessments.

Have fun and explore our beautiful city while you study

Céad mile fáilte go Gaillimh! Welcome to Galway, the European capital of culture 2020! Located in the West of Ireland and at the halfway point of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, the spectacular coastal route on the west of Ireland. You’ll be sure to fall in love with this place! Our school, a beautiful 18th-century building , is located just at the corner of Eyre Square which is right in the heart of the city so you are close to the bus and train stations, shops – everything!

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