After reviewing the very successful, safe, and well-received arrival of international students in 2020, and on the changes in the public health situation in the interim, The Higher Educations Institutions (HEIs) agreed a revised International Students’ Protocol with input from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS), among other national stakeholders. The document served as a framework for the safe arrival of all international students into Ireland for the academic year 2021/22. In the context of COVID-19, the protocol is designed to prioritise the protection of public health, including that of students, staff, and the wider community.
In accordance with the provisions of the Protocol, UL Global arranged a Greet & Transfer service for new and returning International students arriving at Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airport and are providing safe transport from the airport of arrival to their student accommodation in accordance with prevailing public health guidelines. This supports the overall public health approach fostered by government and has helped to build the confidence of International students to travel to Ireland to study in 2021/22.
“As one would expect, studying abroad at present time is far from easy. But fortunately, the UL Study Abroad Team had my back. From major things like accommodation and vaccinations to small nitty-gritty details, the team has always both keep us in the loop with progress and decisions while working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.” Firda Zahra Ramadhan, Indonesia.
The UL Global Arrivals team managed the arrival of all new and returning international students to UL to ensure adherence to public health protocols. The service was offered to:
- Visiting Erasmus & Exchange students
- Study Abroad students
- Full degree UG & PG International students
- Medical School new and returning students
- EU students
- PhD International students
Outside of Airport pickup this year, an additional set of considerations had to be catered for as part of this remit to include:
- Management of a UL transport survey to capture student flight arrival details and each student had to be transported directly to their term address both on and off campus
- Capturing of vaccination status for each incoming UL International student
- Capturing Digital Covid Cert status for each incoming UL student
- Communicate progress actions with students as their MHQ/PCR/self-isolation transitions to the next phase in arriving to UL
- Airport collections were offered 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm daily
- Post arrival each student will be asked to complete each day a 14-day covid tracking survey to capture any students who may have symptoms
The UL Global team worked to make sure that all aspects of the needs of the new student’s arrival are looked after. The key benefits of the programme included:
- Providing a level of reassurance for new international students in advance of their arrival to UL, especially in these uncertain Covid times
- Ensuring we offer the highest level of service to our international students as they transition to a new country
- Extending the Irish Welcome on arrival to the airport with a dedicated Meet & Greet person, and a local coach service
- Offering a dedicated Arrivals email service, 7 days a week, offered assistance to students whose travel plans may be disrupted on route to Ireland
On arrival to UL, students had access to free covid testing and vaccinations if necessary. They also had access to free health care for Covid related illness.
Feedback from International students regarding this service has been extremely positive.
“The plane ride to Dublin was fantastic, and when we got here, we were directly picked up by the UL team. The bus ride to the University of Limerick was astounding. We got to see the gorgeous scenery of Ireland. We finally arrived at the University, and it was just an incredible feeling seeing the place I will be studying for one semester. I can’t wait to study and meet everyone here at the University of Limerick. I believe that this one-semester will be an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Keisha Quinella, Indonesia.