if you thinking of going abroad you could look at the apprenticeship schemes that the larger companies offer in Britain
balfour, laings, costain, lendlease all do them.
you'll be paid as you progress to degree standard and you gain experience on some of the biggest civ eng projects.
larger companies like this way because it gives them the opportunity to train staff to their internal systems of work. it also creates loyalty with the employees and it is probable cheaper in the long run, as graduates from uni will require the same assimilation (everyone working in large corporate companies are robots) when they start.
I've 10 yrs experience managing construction projects in Ireland and Britain and the reality is that even though I've a Civ Eng degree that was heavily invested by me, there were people at the same level in these companies that were on these schemes
it surprises me that Irish companies never really got this system, doesn't matter now.
and its only useful if you plan on working for a contractor onsite, if you have aspirations of working in consultancy. then go to college, work hard and get a 1st or 2.1.
and if you have a degree from a university you'll have more flexibility with career choice, ie( hdip etc) if you want to change to a different career path