How many days do I have before I must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)?

You have thirty days after date of entry to register with the GNIB. 

Will the college organise an appointment with the GNIB office?

Yes, the college international student support worker will arrange dates with the GNIB office in Sligo for the first week of term.  Formal time slots will be given to each student at the Official College Induction. 

What documents do I need to bring to the GNIB registration appointment?
  1. Valid passport
  2. Original letter of offer to study at St. Angela’s
  3. Student identity card from St. Angela’s – provided on registration
  4. Proof of comprehensive medical cover – the medical insurance statement and / or medical insurance card. This medical insurance was bought already prior to arrival in Ireland.
  5. Proof of residential address in Sligo or a letter from the International Office in St. Angela’s providing a contact address for the student. (The letter to be issued will also confirm the course of study to be undertaken and the start and finish dates of the course. All these details are requested by the GNIB.)
  6. Proof of sufficient funds as outlined under Banking.
  7. Credit or debit card so that the immigration fee of €300 be paid. 
What doctor do I attend if I am sick and need to see a doctor?

The college organises consultations with the GPs at the Mall General Practicer in Barrack Street, Sligo at the reduced rate of €10. These reduced rate consultations are only available if you attend the clinic between the hours of 9.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. 

Do I need to make an appointment with the doctor if I am sick?

No appointment is necessary.  Remember to bring your college Student Card to the consultation. 

Can I see the doctor outside these times?

Yes, outside those hours you can still be seen at that practice but will have to pay the normal rate of €40. On return to St. Angela’s you can request a 50% refund of the fee from the Student Union, but you will be asked to complete a  form and have a genuine reason why you could not attend between 9.30a.m. and 10.30a.m. 

What if I need some dental care during the course?

A list of dentists is readily available from the Student Service Office at the college. Unfortunately there are no reduced rates available for these services. 

Where can I get details of the various college facilities?

You will receive a student handbook fat your induction  which includes information on the following: 

• Health – including GP visits and service
• Counselling
• Provision for students with Disabilities
• Chaplaincy
• Welfare
• Student Union 

Where can I go to relax or have lunch?

The Student Union shop, relaxation area and canteen are located on the basement level of Arus Bríd – the same building as the main reception.  You will visit the students union on your tour of the college on the first week.  

What facilities are available at the students union?

Canteen facilities
Relaxation & Recreation Area
Student Union Shop 

What does the student union shop sell?

Stationery and drinks are available at very reasonable prices.  Drinks and a selection of sweets are also for sale. 

What are the student union shop opening hours?

9 a.m. – 2.45 p.m. daily Monday to Thursday inclusive.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday 

Is there somewhere where I can make a cup of tea and relax?

Tea, coffee and hot chocolate making facilities are available in a little kitchen beside the shop. Students can make a hot drink for only 20c. A cup is left where students can leave their payment. It operates on a trust basis. 

Where can I have my lunch?

You can eat lunch (pre-packed lunch) in the students union kitchen or communal area. There is a micro-wave available to heat your lunch. IT IS VITAL THAT EACH STUDENT CLEARS /CLEANS UP AFTERWARDS. Once again the facilities operate on a trust basis. 

What leisure facilities are available?

The leisure area for students has table tennis and snooker facilities and also easy chairs and a television. 

Is there a pharmacy at the college?

No, but there are many pharmacies in Sligo town.  Like other shops privately owned pharmacies tend to close at 6 p.m. and are in general only open Monday to Saturday. Boots of O’Connell Street and Cara Pharmacy in Quayside Shopping Centre on Wine Street are open every day, including Sundays. Both are open until 8 p.m. on Thursday. They can dispense over the counter medicines. 

How do I contact the emergency services?

You can contact the Police, ambulance or fire brigade by ringing 112.
The International Student Tutor -can be contacted in an emergency situation at the following number:087 4185976 (00 353 87 4185976) if ringing from a foreign mobile.  It is important to keep the number for the landlord and security staff in the apartment complex on your mobile phone.  You can also contact Sligo Police Station on 071 91 42031. 

Is there a lost and found office at the college?

No there is no formal Lost and Found Office in the College. Generally when items are found they are brought to Reception. At your request Reception will send out an announcement to all students by e-mail to highlight the missing item. Reception also informs students by e-mail of items found.  If items are lost in Sligo town it is advisable to try the Garda Station (the Police Station) immediately. 

What do I do if I lose my passport/wallet?

• Notify the Gardaí immediately (071 91 42031) and get a police report from them. This is very important particularly if you are claiming back on Travel Insurance (not your Health Insurance!)
• If you lose your passport notify your embassy quoting your passport number. You should keep a record of your passport number in a safe place. You should also make a photocopy of the identity page of your passport and of the visa page if relevant.
• Notify your Health Insurance if you should lose your Health Insurance Card
• Similarly notify the GNIB officer if you should lose your Immigration Card
• If you have expensive equipment take note of the serial numbers in case they are lost or stolen.
• If your debit card or credit card is lost or stolen PLEASE INFORM THE RELEVANT BANK STRAIGHT AWAY. 

Do I need a special licence to drive in Ireland?

No, For the first year you must have either a current valid driving licence from India or a current valid International Driving licence. This is valid for one year after your arrival.
If you stay longer than one year in Ireland you will need to apply for an Irish driving licence.  When driving you should always have your driver’s licence ready for inspection by the police if requested to do so. 

Do I have to get a television licence?

Every household with a television or equipment capable of receiving a TV signal (i.e. an aerial, satellite dish etc.) must have a television licence. A television licence is a document that states that you have paid the appropriate fee. (€160) to the government and contributed to the cost of public service broadcasting in Ireland. Licences can be purchased at the post office. 

Is there a daily bus service to the college?

Yes, the bus leaves from outside Connolly’s Bar on Markievicz Road at 8.15 each morning. It then proceeds to pick up students from the various student residences en route including the Clarion Village (Benbulben Apartments).

Depart Sligo (Markievicz Road) Monday to Friday from St. Angela’s – 8.15 a.m.
Arrival St. Angela’s at 8.45 a.m.

Depart St. Angela’s at 1.05 p.m. to return to Sligo

Depart St. Angela’s at 5.05 p.m. to return to Sligo

*If students express a need to go to St. Angela’s in the middle of the day arrangements for pick up from Sligo town can be made with Furey’s Buses. This can be discussed with the International Student Tutor. At the moment there is no official pick up time after 8.15 a.m. from Sligo. 

Is there a local bus service in Sligo town?

Yes, there are a number of local services in Sligo. The service is not as regular as in larger cities. The relevant timetables are in the Induction Pack. 

How much is the local bus service?

Students who intend to avail of the service regularly are advised to purchase a weekly ticket. The cost of each journey is €1.50 – flat rate with no student reduction. The student reduced fare is €8.

• Tickets may be bought in either Easons of O’Connell Street or Conway’s of High Street) opposite the Friary. The ticket is valid from Sunday to Sunday. It is date stamped on purchased in order to indicate how long it will be valid.
• If buying individual tickets on the bus from a courtesy point of view please have the necessary change ready. IN OTHER CITIES NO CHANGE IS GIVEN. 

Is there a train service in Sligo?

Yes.  National Rail timetables are included in the Induction Pack. The only route operating from Sligo is to Dublin. The national rail-company is Irish Rail.
It can be worthwhile to purchase tickets where possible on line as there can be special offers this way.
YOUR STUDENT TRAVEL CARD (to be received on opening your account with Allied Irish Bank) SHOULD ENTITLE YOU TO STUDENT REDUCTIONS WHEN TRAVELLING BY EITHER RAIL OR BUS. 

Is there a bus service to different parts of Ireland from Sligo?

Yes, to travel to other towns or cities in Ireland you can travel by bus or go to Dublin by train and get a further train to the intended destination.
Bus services are operated by the National Bus Company, Bus Eireann or private bus companies.
Remember to check fares and times to see which suit the best and obviously to find the best value. Contact the International Office if you need advice or help with this. 

Where will i find information online about public transport?

Here are some links to useful websites:
www.buseireann.ie
National routes and buses to all the airports
www.irishrail.ie
National rail
www.fureysofsligo.com
The bus to St. Angela’s and also buses to Dublin and other destinations
www.feda.ie for buses to Donegal 

Which mobile phone network offers the best deal to students?

There are 6 main mobile phone service providers in Ireland. The relevant websites are listed below. Please refer to the websites for information on special offers, price plans and free web text service. A useful website for doing a cost comparison between telephone service providers is www.callcosts.ie
www.vodafone.ie

www.O2.ie

www.meteor.ie
www.3ireland.ie
www.tescomobile.ie
www.emobile.ie
These service providers offer the option of “ready to go” phones or an account option. The “ready to go” option means you can buy a mobile phone and “top it up” (add phone credit) when you need it. Credit can be purchased online, at ATM machines, in shops or in dispensing machines. There are several shops in Sligo which sell mobile phones, e.g. The Carphone Warehouse. It is a good idea to shop around to find the best deal available. Remember that when buying a ‘ready to go phone’ that you will receive call credit when you purchase the phone. The call credit is usually delivered over a number of months.
Tesco only sell their own mobile phones within the store. They offer no information on any other providers. Carphone Warehouse give you information on all the other five providers.

1 Call
1Call allows O2 mobile phone customers to make cheap international calls directly from their O2 mobile. 1 Call is a separate add-on service which works with your existing mobile tariff by providing cheap international calls at much lower rates than your current mobile provider. Since it works as a separate service from your existing network plan, it means that there are no phone numbers to enter. There is no sign-up, no bills, no hidden charges. For further information on call costs and how to use the service please call 1800 929 298 (free phone number) or go to www.1Call.ie
for more information. 

How do you make a call from to a landline number from a mobile phone?

When using an Irish mobile to ring a land line the regional prefix must be put before the number – e.g. 071 for Sligo. The St. Angela’s number is now 071 91 43580. 

Do you need to add the area code if you are dialling a number in Sligo?

No, for example to dial the St Angela's College Reception landline you just need to enter 9143580 but if you are in Galway and want to phone the reception you need to add the area code 071. 

How do you make a call to a mobile phone?

Irish mobile to Irish mobile just requires the mobile number e.g. 086---- or 087 ---- or 089 ----
• If you are using a mobile phone from another state, the country and regional prefix must be put before the actual number –00353 for Ireland and 71 for Sligo (the 0 is dropped)  

What is the Dublin area code?

• 01 is the regional prefix for Dublin. A full list of regional prefixes can be found in the telephone directory. 

What do I dial if I am outside Ireland?

• The country prefix is 00353 before the mobile number and then the mobile number – less the first zero --- 87 instead of 087 

What photocopying and printing facilities are available at the college?

Information on these services will be provided on the Induction day. Please refer to the Student Handbook. 

Will I have full access to the library facilities at the college?

Yes, we will provide information about the library and its facilities on the Induction day. Please refer to the Student Handbook 

Do I need to take special precautions for personal safety?

While Sligo is a pleasant place in which to live it is always wise to be alert and aware of safety issues at all times and not to take any unnecessary risks.

• Do not walk alone on ill-lit streets late at night. If you must walk then use a busy route and a walkway that is well lit. If you go out with a group stay as a group and make sure that all members of the group return home safely.
• When travelling at night taxis are a safe option and are inexpensive when a group is travelling together. Give your name to the booking office and make sure the vehicle that calls for you has your name. Always ensure that you have adequate funds to get a taxi home after a night out.
• Remember smaller taxis can only take four people whereas people carriers can carry up to eight.
• DO NOT HITCHHIKE.
• Don’t display obvious valuables – jewellery, expensive cameras etc unless absolutely necessary.
• Do not leave such items unattended.
• Keep your money in a safe, secure place – whether at home or in public.
• Be particularly careful with handbags – especially in crowds. Hold the clasp against you so it cannot be opened without your being aware of it.
• NEVER LEAVE HANDBAGS UNATTENDED in public places– even in St. Angela’s College. Request a safe storage place for your handbag if you are working and cannot attend to them.
• Only bring what you need with you – i.e. not large amounts of cash.
• Necessary documents can often be kept in pockets or on your person.
• Make sure that you use an ATM in a bank or supermarket. If you notice anything peculiar about the machine, leave the area and inform the police immediately.
• Cover the numeric key pad when entering your personal pin number. You should do this when using your debit card in the supermarket as well.
• It is always better to withdraw money during daylight hours when there are plenty of people around.
• Be careful with your phone. To determine your phone’s I.M.E.I. number enter the following code (*#06# ) The resulting 15 digit number is your phone’s registration number. If your phone is lost or stolen then give your service provider the I.M.E.I. number and the phone can be blocked.
• You should store an In Case of Emergency telephone number in your mobile phone under ICE so that an appropriate family member or friend can be contacted if you are involved in an accident.
• If at any stage you feel uneasy – being followed or harassed - go the nearest place where there are people and call the police.
• No mobile credit is needed to make an emergency call – 112.
• Help is available to you from the police 24 hours a day - 071 91 42031 

How do i make sure my accommodation is secure?

• Lock your front / back doors at all times. If leaving, check that all windows and doors are locked.
• If you live in a ground floor apartment do not leave your window open when you are not in the apartment.
• Do not give your key to anyone.
• Don’t leave your apartment keys where anyone will find them.
• Don’t leave your door open for a friend.
• Inform a trusted neighbour if you are going away for some days.
• Take care when letting in callers – ask for identification if in doubt.
• Always lock outside doors.
• Use your door chain especially at night
• Take special care of valuables, including laptops, iPads and mobile phones. When leaving the apartment put such valuables, including handbags, out of sight so that they are not visible through the window to any passerby. 

How do I secure my bicycle, car or motorcycle?

• When you purchase a bicycle, make sure you keep a receipt showing ID details.
• Secure your bicycle by using a good quality locking device.
• Leave your bicycle, car or motorcycle in an area which is supervised or where it can be seen.
• When vetting living accommodation it is always encouraging to know that there is a secure place for storing bicycles.
• Do not leave valuables in your car. If you must, keep them out of sight in the boot.
• Don’t leave personal documents, e.g. driving licences or insurance certificates in the car.
• Don’t pick up hitch-hikers.
• Consider fitting a good quality alarm and / or immobiliser as well as a chain/padlock. 

Can I work while I'm studying in Ireland?

Students from Non- EU / EEA countries must be registered as full time students on an Irish government approved course leading to a recognised qualification in order to work legally in Ireland on a part-time basis .i.e. up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time during holiday periods. A full-time course is a course of at least one academic year in duration which includes at 15 contact hours per week. Further information and a complete list of approved courses can be found on the Internalisation Register on www.ngai.ie This Register is updated monthly. 

What do I need to register to work in Ireland?

To work in Ireland you will require a PPS number. This is a Personal Public Service Number, which you will require for tax purposes. A PPS number is also required for any formal interaction with State agencies. After application, your PPS number should issue by mail within 3 – 5 working days.
Applications for a PPS number can be made to:

The Social Welfare Office,
Government Buildings,
Cranmore,
Sligo. (near LIDL) Tel: 071 91 48200.

All supporting documents must be presented, it will be necessary to call to the office in person. Public opening hours are 10 a.m. - 12 midday and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Ask the security gentleman at the office for first time PPS number applicants.
Applications need to be accompanied by the following:

• Passport
• Immigration Card – received after registration with the GNIB (Gardaí / Police)
• Evidence of Address – usually a utility bill, but because this may not be available an official letter from St. Angela’s will suffice. (as already presented to the Bank)
• Passport size photo
It is always a good idea to have a number of passport size photos ready for applications. These can be purchased in photo booths in supermarkets as well as in many pharmacies 

Do I need to register with the tax office?

Yes, once you have received your PPS number you may apply to the Revenue Office for a Tax Certificate. This will allow you to earn a fixed amount per week without paying tax. The contact details for the Sligo Tax Office are given below.

Sligo Tax Office (Revenue Commissioners)
Government Buildings
Cranmore
Sligo
Tel: 071 91 48600


How to seek advice from the Tax Office

It is always easier to call to the Tax Office in person as telephone lines are usually very busy. Opening hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. They do not close for lunch.
When you arrive, you will notice that the Tax Office operates a take a ticket and wait for your number to be called system. In Social Welfare there is an informal queue system.

Once you have obtained employment, applications for a Tax Certificate can be made in person or on line by completing Form 12A. It is usually easier to apply in person so that the Department official can help you with any questions you may have. You will need to supply your employer’s PAYE Registration number – which your employer will be able to provide. The possession of a Tax Certificate means that if you earn below a certain amount you may not be liable for tax. If tax has been mistakenly been deducted from your pay you may then be entitled to a refund at the end of the year on the production of your Tax Certificate.

The Tax Certificate indicates the threshold below which you will not be liable for Tax. It also indicates if you are entitled to the threshold being ever higher – because of personal circumstances. Tax Credits are awarded to people in certain circumstances – i.e. they are allowed to earn even more before tax is deducted. Tax credits can sometimes be claimed for rent expenses and for tuition fee payments.

Such matters can be explained in more depth by the International Student Office or in the Tax Office itself, where the personnel are extremely helpful. When addressing any queries to the Tax Office or requesting refunds it is important to always bring along your PPS number. Refunds are processed at the end of the Tax Year – into the New Year. The Tax Year runs from January to the end of December and in early January an employer is obliged to give you a form called a P60 which is a statement of your earnings for the previous year and of the tax you have paid. You will be asked to produce this in the Tax Office if you are requesting a refund of Tax pertaining to the previous year.

When completing the section entitled Details of Residency on Form 12A (to get a Tax Certificate in the first place) you will be asked if you are here on a permanent or temporary basis. You should state that you are here as a student on a temporary basis. As a student you will be allocated a full year of tax credits. If you have not used up your tax credits before you go home you will be able to reclaim tax from the Irish Revenue Service.

Tax refunds before returning to your homeland are applied for by completing Form P50, also available online at www.revenue.ie/pdf/p50_e.pdf  To do this you will need a P45, which your employer should issue when you terminate your employment – i.e. only issued when you are leaving the job. Your P45 will show details of tax paid while employed.

Further information on all these matters can be obtained from the Sligo Tax Office or from www.revenue.ie

Tax Certificates take about two weeks to issue. A copy will be sent to you and another to your employer to inform your employer of your tax credits and taxation rate.

How the Taxation system works for employees.

You will normally start to pay tax from your first pay-day. The amount of tax you pay depends on your level of pay and the amount of your tax credits. If your pay in any pay-week is less that your tax-fee allowances for that week then you don’t pay tax on that week. If your pay is more that your tax –free allowance, you pay tax on the difference. If you start work in the first week / month of the tax year your employer will deduct one week’s / month’s fraction of your annual tax-free allowances form your fist week’s /month’s pay and will deduct tax from the balance. 

Is there a national minimum wage in Ireland?

Yes, the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 provides that the minimum wage rate for an experienced adult is €8.65 per hour. Further information about working in Ireland can be found at www.defi.ie or www.oasis.ie

The Irish Council for International Students has produced a very useful booklet about working in Ireland which can be downloaded at the following web address:
www.icosirl.ie/eng/publications/employment_of_international_graduates_in_Ireland_guidelines_for_employers_and_international_students
 

Can I apply to work in Ireland after I finish my course?

Under the 3rd Level Graduate Scheme non-EU/EEA 3rd Level graduates are permitted to remain in Ireland for one year after completion of a course for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a Green Card or Work Permit. Please read the document online http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/GraduateScheme.pdf/Files/GraduateScheme.pdf