Accommodation in Ireland
There are four broad categories of accommodation available for overseas students in Ireland:
One of the best yet hardest to find accommodation is often on-campus. However, because it is so popular, it can be very difficult to find. All major universities have discounted lodgings, such as apartments built for 4 to 8 students. These lodgings usually have all the basic amenities, including a shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom. The average monthly rent for rooms in such apartments is between €550-600. Payments are usually made in two instalments, in September and February. Most campuses don’t accept monthly payments of the rent, and encourage payments of the entire year in one go, with one extra month’s rent as a deposit, which is refunded when you leave. However, make sure you ask whether they charge extra for heating and electricity.
- Long-Term Student Hostels:
A very flexible solution to the accommodation problem, student hostels are great for longer study programs. They are just as hard to find as on-campus lodging, but hostels give students access to a communal living area, utility bills, and in some cases, breakfast and dinner as well. The average rent for such hostels is around €550.
- Paying Guest:
Another viable option for students is staying with an Irish family as a paying guest, which gives you access to your own room and study space, while you share the rest of the house with the family. It works really well for students staying in Ireland for short courses, but also works for higher education students. Such accommodation is normally called living in “digs”, with morning and evening meals provided in the weekly rent. There are usually no extra charges for utilities and some of your laundry either. Expect to pay around €100-150 a week, with a month’s rent paid in advance, and one more month’s rent as a deposit.
- Private, Rented Accommodation:
Private, rented accommodation usually includes a bed-sit, an apartment, or a shared house. Such accommodations can usually be shared with other students or tenants.
- A Bed Sit:
A bed-sit is a single room unit with a mini-kitchen area, a bed, and some necessary furniture. Bathrooms are usually shared, with some bed-sits offering a self-contained shower. Costs range from €500-750 per month.
- An Apartment:
A studio apartment is usually one of the most feasible options if a student wants privacy, but multi-room apartments are usually a better option, as rents are significantly more manageable if they are shared with other people. Studio apartments usually cost a little more than bed-sits, and three bedroom apartments cost between €1,300-2,000 a month.
- A Shared House:
A shared house is often the cheapest solution, but can also cost significantly more depending on the quality of the house, and the locality. Utility bills, food bills, and rent can be divided among more people, keeping the rent to as low as €450-550 per person, per month.
- Payment Terms:
Payment terms in each case are very similar. You can pay on a monthly, advanced basis, and must pay a month’s rent in advance as a deposit, which is refunded when you leave, after any necessary deductions. Leases are usually of 9 or 12 months though, and all such accommodations require a one-month notice before leaving.
- A Bed Sit:
Assistance for Finding Accommodation
Every university and college in Ireland has an Accommodation Officer that you can contact for help in finding lodging that suits your budget and needs. Normally, accommodations are pre-booked, but in case they aren’t, the accommodations officer can help you choose which places you should go and check. To avoid having to search for lodging during your study time, try to enter the country at least a month before your course starts. This will help you get acquainted with the location and figure out the best commute options and times. You can also find apartments, house shares, and other accommodation through dedicated websites such as Daft.
Important Considerations in Choosing Accommodation
Off campus accommodations can be a hassle and very tricky to find, and to get used to. You have to spend some time to find out the best transport or commute routes and commute times. However, before you rent out that apartment you really liked, be prepared for the additional costs that you might have to pay for. These include meals and food bills, deposits and connection charges, kitchen utensils, maybe even pay for bedding and furniture. You will also need a TV license if you want to keep a television. After that, you have to choose whether you want to rent or buy a TV. Expect to pay up to an additional €500-750 after you move in to settle down and make the lodging liveable.
Rent Payment Methods
Rent is usually paid through a monthly standing order with your bank. The rent will be automatically paid from your account, to the property owner’s account when it is due. For this, you will need the property owner’s account details, but is easily done via phone banking, or by visiting your bank. Other popular methods include cheques or cash, with signed receipts.