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Ireland: Student Accommodation - Must read

Student accomodation in Ireland

Our guide to student accommodation for international students studying in Ireland

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With a history of welcoming international students that dates as far back as the 7th Century, Ireland is considered one of the best-educated countries in the European Union. But whilst the student scene may be thriving, finding a place from which to experience it can feel a cumbersome process. So, where to start? We’ve laid out your accommodation options to make things a bit clearer.



All Irish universities have halls of residence, each with separate profiles, pricing and facilities that can be searched and applied for via a university’s website. On-campus accommodation is in high demand, and is often expensive and quite difficult to secure. Students are urged to research their accommodation options well in advance, and apply for on-campus housing as soon as they receive their offer. Typically, students will begin their housing search in April for a start in semester one (September) of the same year. Costs vary depending on the location of campus, the institution and the type of room, but very generally are around €500-€600 (US$693-US$832) per month.


For example, a room in Belgrove residence hall for the entire academic year 2013-2014 at Trinity College Dublin was €4,901 (US$6794), including utility costs and insurance fees. Halls typically have kitchens shared between four to eight students, but some have meal plan options where students eat in dining halls. Rent is paid in two instalments (in September and then February), to cover the academic year.


Many Student Unions run an accommodation service, or will at least be able to point you in the right direction in finding local housing if you’re unable to get a place in a hall. Some universities such as University College Dublin offer subsidies or accommodation schemes in special circumstances. Prospective students should check university websites for details.



Most universities provide services that help students secure off-campus housing. For example, University College Cork runs accommodation advice services to help students secure off-campus housing before they arrive in Ireland. UCC also provides an online accommodation placement service especially for international students. As with on-campus housing, demand for student accommodation is high, and students are advised to begin research and apply as early as possible.


For those who missed out on a room in a hall or prefer to live away from the rigors of campus life, you can rent a room in a shared student apartment or house. There are a number of agencies in Ireland that specialise in student housing, most of which your host university will help you get in touch with. You’ll have the option to choose between a single or twin room, with more flexible letting options than with on-campus accommodation. Very broadly, a single room will cost about €130-€140 (US$180-US$194) per week, plus an additional €20 (US$28) per week for utilities. For a twin room, you’ll be likely to pay around €110 (US$152) per person per week including facilities. You will almost always need to put down a refundable security deposit that’s around €600 (US$832) when you move in, that you’ll get back when you leave provided there’s no damage to the property.

Dublin Student Rooms



Often called living in ‘digs’, a homestay is the most common type of accommodation for first year, undergraduate international students. In a homestay, you will live as a paying guest within a local Irish home. Students have their own room and space to study, but will share the rest of the house with their host family. You won’t generally be asked to pay for utilities, but a fraction of their cost might be included in your price. Costs vary depending on size, location and particulars of the arrangement as set out by the host, but are generally around € 125- € 150 (US$ 173- US$ 208) per month.


Homestays are usually advertised on student accommodation and classified websites, and are a popular choice for those attending English language schools. Whilst living in an Irish home is a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, it is an experience that is unique in itself that will impact the way you engage with university life. Students should think carefully about the experience they’re after before committing to a particular type of accommodation. 


Learn more about Homestay


Private rentals

Ireland has a number of accommodation agencies that will help you secure housing, usually for a fee. Some agencies specialise in student housing, whilst others will generally deal in more expensive properties than as advertised in newspapers. Students will need to register with an agency if they would like to use their services.


You will have the option to rent alone or live in shared accommodation with other people, where bills are divided amongst all tenants. Rent is payable monthly, and at the beginning of your tenancy you will pay a deposit of one month’s rent which you get back when you leave, provided there is no damage to the premises. It can be difficult to secure a short-stay let, with most arrangements around 9-12 months. You will need to give a month’s notice before leaving.


Anything in Dublin will always be more expensive, with average rental costs at around €389 (US$ 539) per month, but with potential to vary from around €300 (US$ 416) per month for a shared room, or up to €700 (US$970) for something more sophisticated. Across the entire nation however, rental costs average at approximately €140 (US$194) per month for a small, single apartment, including facilities.


Extra tips

Looking for a property vacancy in the newspaper might seem old-fashioned, but in Ireland the ‘To Let/ Flat / House Sharing’ sections of the daily, evening, and local papers advertise many different property vacancies. Papers usually come out in the morning or lunchtime, so get a copy as early as you can and always ring the advertiser directly.


Irish property agents and universities are all aware that securing student housing can be difficult. The Student Union of your host institution should be able to provide you with a list of student-friendly areas, and give you a rough idea of how much you should be paying. Utilities are not typically included in rent, and students should always double check the standard of their rental property against national Minimum Standards in Rented Accommodation


Students renting privately through an agency should be sure to check whether the agency is licensed. It’s only too easy to take advantage of someone from a foreign country, so make sure not only that the agency is licensed, but be sure to check which services exactly their agency fee will pay for. Students should also check under which circumstances they would be entitled to a fee refund. Some landlords do not accept tenants who have gone through certain agencies, and so you should double-check that this won’t be the case for you. You should always get a receipt for every transaction you make, and take a copy of your housing contract to be checked by your university. If your landlord will not let you take a copy of the contract, then you should not sign it.


Now that you’re more attuned to the student accommodation options in Ireland, start browsing courses in Ireland now and plan your study abroad adventure!


Useful links

Applying to study in Ireland

Student living costs in Ireland

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About Author

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Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.