Organising accommodation before you depart for Ireland is essential. Some universities may pre-book accommodation for you, or you might need to organise this yourself.
The Universities will ensure that they can offer accommodation for international students for at least their first year, but this isn’t guaranteed. When you are accepted on a course, you will be sent an accommodation pack and details of an accommodation office with staff that can help you find housing. The universities strongly advise students to take advantage of this resource, as accommodation officers will have the information and contacts to help you find affordable and well-located student accommodation easily and quickly.
When researching your accommodation choices, you may wish to consider:
- How close is it to the institution?
- What public transport links are there?
- How close is it to shops and services?
- How big is your room?
- How many people are sharing your bathroom/kitchen?
- How much is the rent and bills?
Below are some of the main types of accommodation available to students:
On-campus/halls of residence – Approximate cost: €500-600 per month
On-campus accommodation comes in various forms, ranging from shared or private rooms to one bedroom flats, and can be catered or self-catered with private or shared bathrooms. The majority will have a kitchen, typically shared by four to eight students, though some accommodation is catered and food will be served in a dining hall. You may be able to choose to live in a single-sex residence.
On-campus accommodation is a popular choice for students as most campuses are located near the institution and provide services such as shops and laundry. It’s also a great way to meet people and share your experience with other students. Basic facilities and bills will be included in your rent, which varies greatly according to location and room type. Students should apply for accommodation as early as possible to secure their preferred room type
Host family –
Approximate cost: €125-150 per month
You may be offered the opportunity to live with a host family during your studies; this is the most common type of accommodation for first year undergraduate students. It’s a great way to practise speaking English and learn about Irish culture. You will be allocated your own private room and will be treated as a member of the family – sharing other facilities and being included in their activities. Students are also normally given morning and evening meals. You may be expected to help with household chores, and sometimes may also need to contribute financially to bills and accommodation costs.
Approximate cost: €125-180 per week
Private rental – Approximate cost: €380-750 per month, plus bills
Alternatively you can rent a private flat, or room in a shared house; this usually entails your own private room with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. This option often suits those wanting independence. In most cases bills will not be included in the monthly rent; you will need to agree how you are going to share these, as well as the cleaning duties, with your other housemates.
You should be aware that there may be a minimum lease; often six to twelve months, and a deposit is usually required to cover possible damage, refundable when the tenancy ends. Students wishing to privately rent are advised to arrive in Ireland a few weeks before their course starts in order to secure a place, as most landlords will not reserve accommodation without signing a contract. It is advisable to make sure you have seen the accommodation before handing over any money. Consult your institution’s accommodation office for advice about renting privately.
COST OF LIVING
Living costs can vary depending on your lifestyle, location and accommodation.
In general, you should be able to live on a budget of €6,000-11,000 each academic year (nine months), not including tuition fees. This will be considerably more if you are living in Dublin.
Sample Budget for 1 Academic Year
Apart from tuition fees, accommodation will probably be your biggest expense. See our Accommodation page for more information
You can reduce the costs of textbooks by trying to find second-hand copies and looking online for the best deal. You will usually be given a list by your institution of necessary textbooks before starting your course
Food and household: €1,500-2,500.
Food costs can vary depending where you live and shop. You may spend around €70-100 a week on food (allowing for some meals bought at cheap restaurants)
Other expenses (such as travel, social life, healthcare): €1,000-2,500.
Your socialising and travel expenses will vary greatly depending on your lifestyle choices. Student bus fare is €2.15, and caps at €5 per day or €20 per week. An average cinema ticket is €7-12 ( most cinemas do€5 tickets on a Wednesday)and an average nightclub entrance is €7-10.
Please note that these are only approximate costs – individual students’ own living expenses can vary greatly according to location, lifestyle and activities.
Visit www.itsyourmoney.ie for tips about money and budgeting in Ireland.