Guide to Irish Etiquette for International Students

Guide to Irish Etiquette for International Students

Guide to Irish Etiquette for International Students
Ireland is an easy destination for international students because 95 percent of their population can speak in English, and if you’ve been to America, you will see how many of their cultures share similarities. However, Ireland may still have distinct etiquettes from other countries. 

Irish people generally value good manners, so it is not difficult to show respect for their culture by making a good impression as long as you keep some of these basic etiquettes in mind.

Handshakes are important

It is a standard for Irish people to use handshakes for starting and ending a conversation, whether it be relatives, friends, or businesspeople. 

Showing courtesy in public

People often show courtesy by saying “thank you” or “please” in public. For example, thanking the driver before getting off the bus is considered polite. 

Acknowledging other drivers in rural areas

If you are driving in rural areas, raising a hand or a finger from the steering wheels shows you are demonstrating proper etiquette by acknowledging other drivers.

Taking off your hat indoors

Whenever you enter an enclosed area such as churches, pubs, or someone else’s home, you should remind yourself to take off your hat.

Having a flexible schedule

It is usually tolerated to arrive a little bit late from the designated time, as the Irish are relatively flexible with their schedule. Just let them know if you happen to not arrive on time.

Visiting someone

Visiting someone is common, but you should typically ask the host in advance first. If they offer you a meal, it is generally polite to offer to help the host clean up after dining 

Table manners 

While table manners are often relaxed, there are still a few etiquettes to consider such as avoiding loud noises while eating or putting your elbows off the dining table.

Speak in softer tones

Some other countries don’t mind being loud, but it can be considered disruptive and rude with some locals. So keep in mind to speak in a discreet tone to avoid getting a bad eye.

Refrain from bringing up sensitive topics

Unless the other person brings up a religious or political topic, it would be better to refrain from bringing them up yourself. While some Irish people don’t mind being expressive, some locals can be sensitive about religion and their past conflicts. 

Avoid showing public displays of affection

Showing too much physical affection to others in public is considered inappropriate in Ireland.

Pub etiquettes

Normally in pubs, each person takes turns to offer to purchase around for everyone in their group, otherwise, it might be considered rude to not offer to buy around. 

Offering gifts at gatherings 

Giving a small gift, such as flowers, wine, or chocolate, is very much appreciated when invited to someone else’s home, whether you are visiting a friend or relative. 

No smoking in public areas

As of March 2004, smoking has been banned in public areas. However, many pubs have designated smoking areas for smokers to enjoy.

Swearing is common

It may come off as a shock to outsiders, but Irish people do not find it vulgar to spew out curse words throughout their daily conversations. It is certainly not meant to shock anyone, but it is just a habit that got out of hand.

Inhaling in agreement

Try not to be alarmed, because Irish people usually inhale in agreement, as opposed to nodding in other countries.

Ireland is an amazing country to study and live in. Find out how amazing it can be for you by reading our articles here at MSM Unify.


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