1) Dublin is home to prestigious, internationally recognised universities

With more than 100,000 people studying here, Dublin is one of the world’s most student-friendly cities. It’s a tradition that goes back a long way.

Trinity College, one of the oldest English-speaking universities in the world, was founded here back in the 16th century. Trinity students have included superstar writers Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, one of the university’s several Nobel prize winners.

James Joyce, author of Ulysses, went to University College Dublin. More recently established are DIT and DCU.

Today, medicine, data analytics, biotechnology, cloud computing and business and finance programmes are all strongly represented in the city.

2) It’s rich in culture and history

In Dublin, the city’s streets are alive with its rich historical heritage. Once a major Viking city, today you’ll find medieval fortifications next to a Gothic cathedral. There are entire streets of elegant architecture from the Georgian era. Plus the rejuvenated docklands district, where repurposed Victorian warehouses house the European headquarters of dot com giants.

Dublin’s cultural riches are inspiring too. A former UNESCO City of Literature, it has been the birthplace of many great writers (Wilde and Beckett are just the beginning). George Bernard Shaw was another. Cutting-edge productions of their works and many others are a regular draw at the city’s many theatres.

The city’s National Gallery houses works by Caravaggio, Velazquez and Vermeer. The Chester Beatty library has one of the world’s greatest collections of oriental and Islamic art. Music is also a big part of Dublin life with everything from traditional Irish to the orchestral classics being performed regularly. The National Concert Hall, the Three Arena and the Bord Gais Theatre provide the venue for world-class touring shows.

3) There’s so much to do

Dublin has all the amenities you would expect from a busy capital city. In addition to Dublin’s famous and not-to-be-missed pubs and nightclubs, the city boasts a thriving cafe culture plus a vast array of hipster-filled tea shops, artisanal eateries and trendy restaurants.

Shopping ranges from the very high end at department stores like Brown Thomas to markets like the Dublin Flea held on the last Sunday of every month on Newmarket Square.

Don’t want to spend money? Check out the city’s free art galleries, its parks – including the massive Phoenix Park, the biggest in Europe – and its botanic garden with its magnificent Victorian glass houses.

4) It’s base camp Europe

Dublin is the perfect base for exploring Europe. Its international airport is the headquarters of Ryanair, one of the world’s biggest budget airlines.

Dublin is also home to Aer Lingus, the Irish national airline and is served by many other airlines. So if you fancy spending the weekend in Paris or Prague, Vilnius or Vienna, flying from Dublin is easy and surprisingly cheap.

Of course, because Ireland itself is a relatively small country, it’s also very easy to explore the rest of the island from Dublin. Ireland’s other cities like Belfast, Cork and Galway are all within easy reach by bus or train. The spectacular scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way is on your doorstep too.

5) It’s an English-speaking city

It’s true – Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and the Irish are soon to be only native English-language speakers in the EU. English is Dublin’s first language – and some say it sounds better here than anywhere else is in the world.

The city’s English language colleges are recognised around the world as offering world-class facilities and the highest standards of education.

But perhaps your competency in the language does not reach the level required for direct entry into your desired programme. Never fear. Many of Dublin’s higher education institutions also offer foundation courses in English to prepare you.

6) It’s safe, it’s friendly and it’s fun

Missing safety info and references

One of the reasons why Dublin is such a great study-abroad destination is Dubliners. They are famously welcoming and surprisingly ready to talk to people they don’t know. Oh yes, and they have a pretty lively sense of humour too.

The city is the capital of Ireland, a place that’s twice been voted the world’s friendliest country by Lonely Planet. The city is increasingly multicultural and at the forefront of campaigns for LGBT rights.

7) It’s got stunning scenery on its doorstep

With stunning scenery and dramatic landscapes on its doorstep, Dublin is the perfect base for getting back in touch with nature.

Unspoilt countryside, beautiful hills and valleys, a glorious coastline – it’s all here. Check out Phoenix Park, for instance, the largest enclosed park in Europe.

And if high-adrenaline adventure is more your thing, everything from kite surfing and mountain biking to kayaking and rock climbing is close to hand.

8) It’s home to many world-leading companies

Forbes magazine has ranked Ireland as one of the best countries for business. As a committed member of the European Union, the country provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market. The European headquarters of many multinationals are now located in Dublin.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, Google, Pinterest, Twitter are all here – and that’s just the social media ones.

Other leading high-performance companies with bases in Dublin include Microsoft, Intel, Pfizer, Citi, Huawei, Takeda, Fujitsu and Novartis. The internet of things, big data, ICT, energy efficiency, health innovation, cloud computing…? If you’re interested in a career in any of these areas, then you might find yourself staying-on in Dublin after you’ve graduated.