Choosing Accommodation After Receiving Your Student Visa

Choosing Accommodation After Receiving Your Student Visa

Basically, accommodation is very in-demand all across Ireland. As such, many of the most popular locations can become full quite quickly. It might seem like basic advice, but you should look to secure accommodation once you confirm you will be studying in Ireland. 

Finding accommodation in a brand new place can be pretty difficult, especially if you don’t know what to be on the lookout for. We are going to take you through some things to consider no matter where you stay and the different types of accommodation on offer to students here in Ireland.

Types of Accommodation

On-campus accommodation and private student accommodation are the most popular choices for students. Which makes sense as they are designed to cater to students’ needs. 

Whether you opt for college-sponsored accommodation or private off-campus accommodation depends on some pretty important factors. Location, room type, amenities and more will be the key considerations. It’s also worth noting that private accommodation typically carries the benefit of more flexible payment plans, offers and having everything settled ahead of your arrival.

A potentially more affordable option is property websites like Daft to rent a room in a private house. However, it could be a daunting process, especially for international students. 

According to a Daft.ie Report in 2021, the average rental price for a single room in Dublin City is €611 per month. However, it’s important to note that there are a number of additional extra costs and considerations. Things like electricity and internet to shared bathrooms and dated houses or apartments. Naturally, these prices drop down once you move out of the capital with other university towns like Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford boasting lower prices relative to their location.

So it can be a bit of a toss-up between the three options: the convenient location of on-campus accommodation, the on-site benefits of private student accommodation or the affordability of a rented room. It will largely depend on your personal preference and what you would like to get from your experience.

When To Look For Accommodation

Like ASAP! It’s a very in-demand time for accommodation in Ireland. Between tourism booming again and plenty of students wanting to travel abroad, you aren’t the only person in search of somewhere to stay!

Particularly when browsing private accommodation, it can become a pretty lengthy process. Between a large number of applications and high demand, you can be waiting a few weeks for in-person viewings. To really facilitate that kind of search you would need to arrive ahead of your scheduled stay (we’re saying 2 or 3 weeks in advance) and spend some time renting short-term accommodation  – which isn’t ideal.

One of the benefits of purpose-built student accommodation around Dublin is that it can be booked and paid in advance, allowing you to avoid a pretty big headache

Where To Find Accommodation

If you need to browse everything that’s available, there are a few sites to check out:

The main sites used by locals to search for rented properties are Daft and Rent, these will bring up a very wide range of properties from full rentals to guest rooms. Hosting Power is another option that allows you to stay with a host and have some guarantees included. Things like bills, Wi-Fi and essential facilities included in the price – a pretty handy budget option.

Purpose-built student accommodation like Point Campus will typically have their own websites and booking portals. These allow you to browse and make reservations on the accommodation’s own website. Alternatively, on-campus accommodation can often be found via the website of the college you are attending. A drawback to on-campus accommodation is that it’s often quickly reserved as it requires less research.

Some major colleges like UCD and Trinity also have their own portal and Facebook groups associated with the college. Some student unions, like UCDSU, will also have accommodation groups set up by other students that help freshers find suitable accommodation near their place of study – always worth a Google search!

Things To Consider

Location

Most on-campus accommodation or student halls will be close to the main buildings of the colleges they are associated with. This can be greater for getting plunged into the campus life from the moment you arrive.

Private student accommodation will typically be located within range of many of the major colleges in the area. You may prefer to be based elsewhere in the area you’re studying or you might really be into the idea of constantly being within that campus environment – that’s up to you!

Public transportation

Ireland’s small size thankfully makes moving around by bus or rail particularly quick. This is even more true of the cities around Ireland, Dublin in particular. Dublin Bus, the LUAS (tram) or DART (rail) will be the most effective ways to move around the Dublin area.

Dublin Bus

The Dublin Bus service has a hugely extensive network of routes that weave all around the city and out to the suburbs, too.

There are simply too many to list here, but Dublin Bus’ website is the best way to see what services are available near your college and wherever you might be staying.

LUAS

LUAS, which is Irish for ‘Speed’, is the light-rail service that runs two separate lines across the South and North side of the city, which now interlink in the city centre.

Not at the mercy of rush-hour traffic quite as much as the bus service, the LUAS can be a great way to get around Dublin quickly. Especially if your destination is close to the line. Fares and maps of the routes in Dublin are available on LUAS’ website

DART and Irish Rail

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a very quick way of travelling along the eastern coast of Dublin. It goes as far north as Malahide in north Dublin and as far south as County Wicklow. This train runs very regularly and can be great for discovering the coast on a sunny day.

Iarnród Éireann (also called Irish Rail) is the larger commuter rail service that owns the DART. This service provides plenty of other nationwide services that you can see on their website.

Private rooms will be located all around the area you are interested in. Of course, you may find something a bit more central, but this will typically be reflected in the price. No matter which option you are leaning towards, it’s always advisable to have a little look around the area online and see if it seems like your type of vibe. 

Facilities

A big factor for plenty of students coming to Ireland will be the facilities available to them directly on-site where they are staying. Of course, some on-campus accommodation may come with extra facilities, but this is much more typical of private student accommodation. Trinity Halls, for example, has a study room and a recreational room for residents on-site. But apart from this, you may need to leave the premises during your free time.

Luxuries like a gym, fitness studio, private cinema, games room, outside courtyards and communal areas tend to be much more common in newer, purpose-built student accommodation. These amenities can also be time and money savers as you get to spend more time closer to home with friends; saving cash on things like gym memberships and admission to indoor spaces.

Costs

Last but certainly not least are the costs and fees associated with private student accommodation, on-campus accommodation and private rentals. There is a lot to consider beyond just your monthly rental costs.

Bear in mind that many costs, like utilities and internet, can be lessened or totally eliminated depending on the type of accommodation you book. The Technological University of Dublin do an annual breakdown and overview on the costs of living in Dublin specifically – here are a few of the key items to consider.

Student Cost of Living Away from HomeMonthly (€)Annual (€)
Rent (for Dublin)5855,265
Utilities55495
Food2201980
Travel108972
Books & Class Materials74666
Clothes/Medical39351
Mobile & Internet50450
Social Life/Misc.75648
Study Costs3333,000
Total153913,827

Budgeting for initial expenses like new homeware, books, class materials, travel and social expenses is always encouraged. Mapping out any initial purchases and expenses you might need will make your arrival and the first few weeks a lot less stressful.

Some private rental accommodation may initially seem like good value at €700 – €800 per month, but there are often additional fees that need to be factored into these costs like heating, electricity, internet and more. However, purpose-built accommodation and on-campus accommodation will typically come with all bills and costs included in your monthly fee. This makes budgeting short-term and long-term much easier as you know exactly what to expect with no hidden costs involved.

Be sure to do due diligence no matter what type of accommodation you are looking for, you want to ensure you can budget appropriately before you leave for Ireland without running into any unexpected costs while renting.

So…

Well, we think that’s pretty much it! The hard part is out of the way and you should be equipped to start your journey in Ireland.

There are a few hoops to jump through but we promise it will be worth it! The Irish student culture is fantastic both in and out of the classroom.

Still got some things you’re unsure about? If you have any questions about Point Campus and the benefits of purpose-built student accommodation, you can contact us here by email or phone and we’ll help in any way we can! You can also find us over on on Facebook or Instagram for all the latest information on student life in Dublin.

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