If you are planning to study in Ireland, then student accommodation is likely to be one of your number one priorities. After all, if you don’t have somewhere to live, then it will be difficult for you to focus on your studies.
Like many other countries, there is a range of accommodation options available to students in Ireland. Each third level institution will have on-campus or off-campus accommodation options to choose from. If this is the option that you want to pursue, and you know what university or institute of technology you will be attending, then the best course of action is to explore the accommodation options available through the institution. Typically, official on-campus or off-campus student accommodation options are the most-sought after and may be slightly more expensive, especially for first year or international students.
That said, it isn’t the only option.
If you are looking for a more affordable student accommodation alternative in Ireland, then you may be inclined to explore private rental accommodation in the town or city where your third level institution is located. If this is the route that you choose to pursue, then you need to be prepared to enter a competitive rental market. Generally, the main go-to resource for finding a rental property is Daft.ie, but Rent.ie and Property.ie are also useful resources worth exploring. You can also find room shares on Facebook groups — just search on Facebook for the town or city you intend to rent in.
In addition, why not also take your search offline and let friends and peers know that you’re on the hunt for somewhere to live? Don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth here; much like the hidden jobs market, there is also a hidden rental accommodation market — and simply disclosing your needs to others can make you a beneficiary of this informal way of getting student accommodation in Ireland.
Finally, if you are looking for a slightly more cost effective option while studying in Ireland, then a homestay could be perfect for you. In essence, a homestay is when a student moves in with a host family. Food and laundry is typically provided, and in some ways living in a homestay makes for a home away from home. Most frequently, homestay options are located in the suburbs of major cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway, but are usually on public transport routes so getting to campus is relatively easy.
Student accommodation challenges in Ireland
Rent is more sought-after, and as a consequence, more expensive in Dublin than elsewhere in Ireland. That said, the Republic of Ireland’s three other major cities, each of which is home to multiple third-level institutions, have a demand-heavy rental market. This, in turn, has made it more challenging for students to find suitable accommodation..
Moreover, Ireland is currently experiencing one of the most acute accommodation crises in the country’s recent history. The origins of and solutions to this issue are up for debate, but one thing that is not contested is that it is affecting almost everyone in urban and suburban rental markets, including students. In fact, the shortage of adequate housing options is affecting students particularly acutely given the fact that they are often required to live close to campus in city centre locations. In addition, they may not be able to work many hours due to their studies, thereby reducing their earning potential in the short term (but, hopefully, boosting that potential over the long term thanks to their studies — it’s a trade off of sorts).
Recent research indicates that some Irish parents are currently spending over €600 a month on average for their son or daughter’s accommodation needs. However, despite 3,000 dedicated spaces being built in 2018 and 7,000 more under construction, the massive demand means that many students are forced to look to the highly-inflated and competitive private market for options.