The basics
Ireland: Student Finances

Student living costs in Ireland

Ireland can be very cheap or very expensive depending on where you go and the choices you make.

Dublin Quay, Ireland

Recent figures for living costs in Dublin have ranged between € 8,000 and € 12,100, including rent, electricity, food and books, as well as travel passes and social expenses. But if you plan your finances correctly, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your time studying abroad in Ireland to the full. We’ve listed some living costs below to help you get started.


Living costs might be lower for those living outside of Dublin. A student in rented accommodation should budget at least €7,803 for the whole academic year. Depending on the type of accommodation, you will have to set aside additional costs for utility bills and other charges.

As Ireland is quite a cold and wet country during the winter months you should allow about € 57 - € 140 a month for heating and related bills. Lighting for the average flat may also be higher than you might be used to: the sun in wintertime rises at about 8.30am and sets at 4.30pm!

Living Costs

As with any city, living in Ireland comes with its own set of unavoidable costs. Depending on your needs and budget, this might give you an idea of what you’re likely to spend per month.

  • Utilities (if not included in rent), per month ...€145
  • Internet, monthly (unlimited data, cable/ADSL)...€36.19
  • Prepaid mobile local tariff, 1 minute, no discount or plan...€0.23


Transport costs very much depend on your location, but you can always opt for public transport or cycle to university as cities generally have road lanes just for bicycles. Again, costs in Dublin tend to be more expensive, but you can always get a student discount if you have a Student TravelCard.

  • Student TravelCard, purchased in person...€15
  • Adult daily rail card, Dublin...€11.10
  • Student weekly rail card...€27.50
  • Student monthly bus and tail card...€119


Including some meals bought on campus or in cheaper restaurants, you will probably spend about € 70 - € 100 a week on food. However, buying things in bulk is always a cheaper option. Here are costs of a  some basic items you will need from the supermarket:

  • Full milk, 2L...€1.69      
  • Loaf of white sandwich bread, 800g...€0.69
  • Chicken breast fillet, 450g...€6
  • Spaghetti, 1kg...€2.58
  • Coca Cola (2 litres)...€ 2.29
  • White rice, 1kg...€1.19
  • Eggs, free range, 12pk...€3.99
  • Olive Oil, 500ml...€3.09
  • Big Mac...€3.50

Student health

As an international student in Ireland, you will be required by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services to obtain private health insurance that covers the length of your study time in Ireland.

However, if you will be resident in Ireland for a minimum of one year, you are eligible for public hospital treatment under the same conditions as an Irish citizen. Under this scheme, students pay €100 for a visit to accident and emergency and, if admitted to hospital, €75 per day up to a maximum of €750 for the first ten days.

No further charges are imposed if a student is in hospital longer than 10 days. Students will not be covered if travelling to Northern Ireland or other EU countries. For more information, contact their local HSE (Health Service Executive) or visit their website. Non-EU students staying less than one year are not covered under this scheme.

Misc. Costs

As a fulltime student you are entitled to discounts in shops and restaurants, redeemable by flashing your university or international student card. Here’s an idea of some costs that might relate to your social life:  

  • Pint of larger, Dublin city centre...€4.80
  • Capuccino, in expat area of Dublin...€2.90
  • Bottle of Water, 330ml...€1.28
  • Eating out, mid-range restaurant, 3 course...€50
  • Bottle of wine, mid-range restaurant...€20
  • Movie ticket...€9.50

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Now that you know how much things cost, browse courses in Ireland now and start planning your study abroad adventure!

Useful links:

Education in Ireland

Getting around Ireland

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About Author

Dublin Quay, Ireland

Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd