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Rathdown School

International Admissions

We welcome international students and encourage diversity among nationalities.

Approximately 30%- of our students come from a wide variety of overseas nations giving students a global outlook in a primarily Irish school.

We are happy to liaise directly with parents/guardians.

Please note applications will not be considered via agents. 

International students will study for the Irish state exams, namely the Junior Cycle and the Leaving Certificate whilst in Rathdown School. Students sit the Junior Cycle at the end of Third Year and the Leaving Certificate at the end of Sixth Year. The Junior Cycle typically consists of 10 broad-ranging subjects whilst the Leaving Certificate allows for specialisation across 7 subjects. The Irish Leaving Certificate is widely accepted for entry to universities around the world.

An assessment of each student's English level is carried out as part of the application process. Those exempt from the study of Irish, and whose first language is not English, attend private classes in English as an Additional Language (EAL), which take place during Irish lessons at an additional cost of €2,000.  Here students develop their listening, oral, reading and use of English skills. They also acquire a more advanced vocabulary and learn how to express themselves in a range of writing styles. These English classes are taught by experienced EAL teachers ensuring the seamless integration of each student into all aspects of school life. 

Additionally, some students choose to take an external examination, such as the Cambridge English Examination, while others may take the IELTS examination during the senior cycle.


Ideally, Students must have reached the following ages by the year of entry:

Age in Years

Rathdown School Year Group


1st Year


2nd Year


3rd Year


4th Year (TY/Transition Year)


5th Year


Irish families living abroad and those from E.U. member states do not require a visa to study in Ireland.

If you are not a citizen of the E.U. you should check the visa regulations for your country here.


All students whose home is overseas or whose parents currently live abroad must have a guardian, regardless of the duration of their stay at the school.

The guardian must be resident in Ireland and, ideally, within a one-hour journey of the school, in order for them to be called upon easily in the event of sickness etc. The role of the guardian is mainly to take charge of your child and be your representative during your absence. It is the responsibility of the student’s family to arrange and inform the school of the guardian’s contact details. The school can assist you by informing you of a number of guardians (please note that these are not recommendations). Family friends and relatives based in Ireland are also acceptable guardians once they are over the age of 25.



For information on the fees and charges applicable for the academic year please review Fee Information or e-mail the Registrar or call +353 (0)1 285 3133.