Cork: Key Facts to Know As a Student

There’s far more to Cork than pretty, multi-coloured houses and a load of old history. It’s a city that’s very much geared towards modern life, and it’s got a proud personality of its own – no inferiority complex here. If you’re thinking of coming to Cork for college, we think that’s a great idea – you’ll love it. Have a read of these key facts about the city to help you make up your mind.

Its population is four-and-a-half times smaller than Dublin’s

This probably comes as no surprise. Cork (city) has far fewer people than Dublin (city) does – just 126,000 compared to 553,000.

What this means for you is a quieter and smaller city to call home, and arguably a more easy-going lifestyle in general. If that sounds like your type of thing, you’ll settle right in.

It’s home to more than 35,000 students

Although Cork is much smaller and less densely populated than Dublin, it still draws in a great many students each year, because it’s home to two major educational institutions: University College Cork (UCC, which is part of the National University of Ireland) and the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

So don’t worry: you’ll enjoy the same great student experience as those Dubliners, with plenty of fellow students to live and socialise with.

It’s Ireland’s food capital

Fan of nice food, by any chance? Yep, we had a sneaking suspicion.

Cork is considered the epicentre of contemporary Irish food, and it has a legendary foodie spot that has served the city well for centuries (literally): the English Market, where you’ll find best-quality local produce and countless world foods, plus plenty of cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops. TV chef Rick Stein says that it’s the best covered market in Ireland and that it’s better than any of the UK’s.

The English Market’s most prized eatery is the Farmgate Cafe (est. 1994), which sits upstairs and uses fresh meat and fish from the stalls below.

Then there’s O’Flynns Market Stall, which specialises in sausage-based cheap eats – perfect for the student budget.

As you can see, you’ll need to get yourself down there.

English Market aside, there are plenty more student-friendly food places – like Pompeii Pizza (part of the Franciscan Well Brewery, which is great for beers!) and White Rabbit (an American-style bar and barbecue).

It’s in Ireland’s largest county

When you come to study in Cork, you’ll be living and studying in the city, but don’t forget about the rest of County Cork. Packed with historical sights and glorious countryside, it’s well worth exploring during your weekends and your days off.

Get down to Kinsale and have a look around the 17th-century Charles Fort; head to Bantry Bay to take in the beautiful Bantry House & Garden; wander over to Cobh to watch the cruise ships come in and out of the harbour; check out Blarney Castle and its famous stone.

Now, this is a bit of a random one, but it’s true: Cork is a hotspot for whale-watching and dolphin-watching. Yeah, really. Ireland’s territorial waters have been a registered whale-and-dolphin sanctuary since 1991 – we were actually the first European country to gain the title!

Country Kerry and West Cork are considered the best places to go (from July till December), and with roughly 25 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises for you to potentially spot, it’s an experience every Cork student must try at least once – imagine catching an eyeful of a 50-ft humpback whale!

So it’s safe to say that there’s plenty to get up to outside of the city – and then when you come back to your residence after your days of adventure, you’ll feel nice and refreshed.

Have a Corker of a Student Experience

There you have it. Our quick rundown of Cork-related facts and trivialities. You’ll love your time here, especially if you’re staying in top-class accommodation where (virtually) everything is taken care of for you. Take a look our our Cork residence Amnis House, just over the river from UCC. If you have any questions about our accommodation before you book, just give us a call and we’ll chat through everything with you – or see if we’ve answered your question in our FAQs. We hope to see you soon!