Getting into your dream school is the most amazing feeling. Then the reality of trying to arrange all the necessary things, like accommodation, hits you and it can be a bit of a challenge.
Finding suitable accommodation, especially in Dublin, can be difficult – particularly, if you are trying to do it from abroad. The challenge of getting accommodation in Dublin does not only affect students, but everyone, and this makes it a little more challenging. However, it is not impossible and that means there are ways you can be sure to get accommodation in Dublin.
So, here are my tips for securing suitable accommodation and will hopefully take some of the stress out of the process for you.
1. Know the Location of your College
It is crucial to know the area where you will be studying for the next year before searching for accommodation, because no one loves waking up very early just so they can make it in time for classes. Although, knowing the location is meant to limit your options, it is important to remember that comfort and distance are relative, Therefore, some accommodations options which are farther than others may be more comfortable.
Furthermore, you need to know if there is good direct transport links to College from that area. Again, you don’t want to be catching a train then 3 different buses just to get to class each day.
2. Find Out Your Options
Don’t start blindly googling “Accommodation in Dublin” and trawling through the pages of options available. Utilise the Student Services team in your College and find out what options are available and best suited to students studying at the College.
3. Decide On Your Preferences
There are so many options when it comes to accommodation in Dublin. Ironic right, since it they get booked out so fast? The three main options are apartments that you rent privately, student accommodation buildings and home stay.
Apartments that you privately rent appeal mostly to those who like the independent life and love paying bills on a weekly/monthly basis. These are usually very difficult to source before you arrive in Ireland and I would recommend waiting til you have arrived to look at private accommodation.
The Student Accommodation, as the name implies, appeals to students who want to get the full grasps and benefits of student life. The accommodation is, usually, based on a large campus exclusively for students and it is free of bills and a variety of options of payment – some may even come with gym rooms, laundry room, game rooms, etc. There’s a variety of options including Aparto, Uninest, Griffith Halls of Residence and many more. This is a great opportunity to mix with students from Ireland and all over the world and have the experience of living independently but in a supported environment.
Finally, the homestay is basically moving in with a host family and living with them, so they basically provide food, they provide laundry and the nostalgia of a home – a bit like a home away from home. These are usually located in the suburbs of Dublin but are usually on bus routes to getting to College is relatively easy.
4. Apply Early!
It will surprise you that accommodation options fill up very fast and some options can book out months before the semester start date. Not only are there Irish students looking, but there are thousands of international students coming to Dublin to study each year.
Since a lot of people are looking for specific types of accommodation, if you have a particular preference for accommodation, then you need to apply early and confirm your place. Application for most accommodation in Dublin is usually simple and straightforward, so it more about getting your application in early and paying the deposit as soon as you can.
5. Have Alternatives In Mind
Nobody likes the added stress of compromises and contingencies but it is good to plan for the unexpected. If you follow all the earlier tips, then you should be fine but it is wise to have other options in mind.
Simply put, you are allowed to apply to different accommodations up until deposit payment. It may also be necessary to compromise on some of your requirements, particularly if you are looking for accommodation last minute.
So, these are just a few tips to help with finding suitable accommodation when you first move to Dublin. And, of course, listen to the advice offered by Student Services as they are in the best position to help you secure accommodation.
Written by Babatunde Kehinde
Completed International Foundation Year – Health & Science with DIFC in 2016
Now studying Medicine at Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin (RCSI Dublin)