Accommodation Options In Ireland For International Students
Ireland’s history of welcoming overseas students dates back to the 7th Century. In fact, Ireland is considered to be one of the best countries in Europe when it comes to education. A wide range of accommodation options is available to international students that come to Ireland for studies.
Students may opt to stay in the accommodation available within the campuses of many colleges or they may stay elsewhere as per their convenience. Typically, there is a great demand for on-campus accommodation and it is generally expensive and extremely difficult to find. Halls of residence are available in all universities. They are generally apartments in which 4 to 8 international students can live during their course of study in Ireland. These apartments have private bedrooms, but the living room, kitchen, and bathroom will have to be shared by the residents. Some of them offer meal plan options. In such situations, students have their food in dining halls.
It is highly recommended that students apply for on-campus accommodation as soon as the offer reaches them. Typically, they should start their search for housing in April so that they will be ready in all respects when the semester starts in September in the same year. On-campus accommodation costs vary on the basis of campus location, the room type, and institution. However, they generally range from Euros 500 to Euros 600 per month.
Payments for on-campus accommodation have to be made in two installments, the first in September and the second in February. In the case of most on-campus accommodation, payment of rent on a month-on-month basis is not allowed. Students will have to remit/deposit one month’s rental amount in advance. This amount will be refunded when the student leaves the campus on completion of the course enrolled for. Typically, additional payment will have to be made for utilities such as heating. However, some halls of residence may include the charges related to heating and electricity in the initial deposit and deduct amounts for excess usage (consumption above the average permitted levels) from the deposit when the student leaves the university or college.
Off-Campus or Rented Accommodation
Students that want to live independently may choose rented accommodation. In the case of rented accommodation, students have to pay one month’s rent in advance as a deposit and then pay every month till he/she occupies the rented accommodation. The amount paid as the deposit at the beginning of the letting period which will be refunded by the landlord when the student vacates the place. However, students have to ensure that they have not caused any kind of damages to the premises. Typically, the lease period ranges from 9 months to 12 months. A student that breaks the lease agreement without notice or fails to adhere to the terms specified in the lease agreement may most likely lose their initial deposit. Tenants are required to provide one month’s notice prior to vacating the rented premises. As in the case of on-campus housing, the demand for off-campus student accommodation is very high. It is, therefore, recommended that students start their search sufficiently early and fix up accommodation as early as they can.
When it comes to off-campus accommodation, students can choose single or twin room accommodation with letting options that are more flexible compared to the on-campus accommodation. Typically, the cost of a single room accommodation will be about Euros 130 to Euros 140 per week. There will be an additional cost of Euros 20 per week to meet expenses related to utilities. For the twin room, the cost will be approximately Euros 110 per week per person, including the cost of facilities. Students will have to make a refundable security deposit Euros 600 prior to moving in.
- Private rental accommodation costs.
- Host Family/Paying Guest/Homestay Accommodation.
Students can, if they choose to, stay with host families in their homes. This is a great way to enjoy independence. At the same time, they can also enjoy the comforts that a home provides. Of course, they will have to stick to some rules specified by the host families. The advantage of staying with a host family is that students get help to settle down in the new country and get used to a new way of living. Actually, this can be very helpful for students to find their feet in Ireland. This is the most commonly used accommodation for first-year international students who enroll for undergraduate studies.
In a homestay, students may not be asked to pay separately for utilities. However, a portion of the utility cost may be included in the monthly rental. Homestay costs vary according to the size of the room, location, and other conditions as decided by the host. Typically, it is around Euros 125 to Euros 150 per month.
How to Find Student Accommodation In Ireland
In most colleges, there will be an Accommodation Office. This office serves as the first place for overseas students to start their search for finding a suitable accommodation for themselves. Many Student Unions also provide accommodation service. They will, at least, point out to students where they can find local housing if they are unable to secure accommodation in a hall of residence. Some universities like University College Dublin make available subsidized accommodation or schemes under special circumstances. Students are advised to check websites of universities for more information.
Students can also find accommodation by going through the local newspapers and by talking to real estate agents in the towns/cities they want to stay. Websites like MyHome.ie and Daft.ie also provide a wide portfolio of advertisements rental properties. Generally, it is not possible for students to reserve long-term accommodation in advance. This is because owners of properties do not hold rented accommodation without the payment of rent.
The international student housing platform, HousingAnywhere.com, enables students to directly communicate with the room advertisers. This platform is ideally suited for international and exchange students as the selected rooms are reserved in the student’s name in the new country. This means that students can book their accommodation even before their arrival. It is the secure booking system of HousingAnywhwre that makes this possible. Another aspect is that the students that are going overseas get an opportunity to help finance their exchange by renting out their rooms to others when they are not in the country.
Classified websites and student accommodation websites advertise homestays. They are a popular accommodation choice of students enrolling in English language schools.
Points to be Considered When Searching for Student Accommodation in Ireland
- Students must start their search as early as they can
- The student must do as much search as they can online and check out as to how close they are to the campus so that it is easy for them to get to the campus by way of public transport, walking, or on cycle
- Proper budgeting is essential to avoid overextension of stay
- Students must also live within their means.
Overseas Student Renting Guide
Prior to renting out an accommodation, 10 things that students must bear in mind as regards the tenancy are as follows:
- Take time and view the property properly to make sure that it meets all the requirements. This is specifically important when it comes to a house-share. Ideally, all the tenants planning to stay together must view the property prior to making a decision.
- Record the property’s condition by taking photographs, especially of the existing damages such as cigarette burns, cracked windows, and stains.
- When visiting the property, make sure that all of the gas and electrical appliances are in proper working condition.
- If there are any outstanding repair needs in the property, it is important to get confirmation from the letting agent or landlord in writing that the maintenance issues will be rectified prior to handing over the initial deposit to them.
- Never pay the deposit in cash and demand a receipt for the same.
- Ask for a review prior to moving in so that it can be ensured that all the outstanding problems have been fixed.
- Insist on providing a Building Energy Rating Certificate prior to signing the lease agreement. This will enable students to know how cold the accommodation could get and have an idea as regards the heating cost of the property.
- Students must also ensure that they are clear as regards the duration and review the contract carefully. If it is a fixed term contract, then students must be aware that they are liable to pay rent for the entire lease period even if they leave prior to the end of the term. Further, they should also insist that the initial electricity and gas meter readings are noted down and the inventory is recorded.
- It is a good idea to take contents insurance as the policy taken by the landlord may not provide cover for their personal possessions.
- Students must ensure that they are given a rent book, particularly if they are paying rent in cash.
Finally, students are encouraged to consider carefully the kind of experience they want to have when studying in Ireland and choose their accommodation accordingly. It is very important that they take sufficient time to decide before committing to any kind of accommodation.