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    Cost of Living in Ireland for International Students

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert


    Ireland is the 13th most expensive place to live in globally, particularly for students. It is estimated that the cost of living in Ireland is INR 72,287, excluding accommodation. International students must therefore have a proper plan and budget before they go to Ireland.

    One of the ways to pay for your expenses is by securing scholarships in Ireland. You can also take up part-time jobs that conform to the regulations set by the government. Other than that, you can overall reduce your living expenses if you utilise the various discounts provided to students.

    Cost of Living in Ireland: Travel Advice

    There are 5 international airports in Ireland. You will first have to pay an airfare from India of INR 50,000-80,000 to fly to Ireland, thus arriving in one of these airports. After getting your passport and Ireland study visa checked, you will have to move to the accommodation arranged. Some universities offer transfer services for their students from the airport to the university while some don't, so you must check with the institution first. If they don't, you can easily travel to your accommodation in Ireland by bus, train or taxi.

    Ireland Travel Restrictions

    If you are hoping to study in Ireland, you will come under the non-essential category. There are a few necessary steps you have to take for non-essential travel to Ireland, due to the Covid-19 pandemic:

    • Complete a passenger locator form.
    • Provide proof of testing negative for Covid-19.
    • Undergo quarantine at your selected accommodation for 14 days.

    Cost of Transportation in Ireland

    Once you have settled in your Ireland accommodation facility and begun your offline classes, you will need to get around the city. The average student spends EUR 135 for travel every month, opting for any of these modes of transport in Ireland:

    • Buses are the cheapest mode of transport in Ireland, with Bus Eireann being the most popular bus service. Bus tickets cost EUR 1.55-3.80.
    • Trams are also used to travel within cities, the fares ranging from EUR 1.54 to 3.20.
    • Trains are mostly managed by Irish Rail, who charge EUR 1.70-7.00.
    • Ferries can be used to travel between countries, tickets costing as much as EUR 190.
    • If you are planning a small trip in Ireland, car rental may be a good option. You can expect the charges to be EUR 49.3 per day.
    • Taxis are quite common in cities, but the fares are higher than other public transportation in Ireland, coming to EUR 0.40-0.50 per minute.

    There are plenty of discounts available for students, on services like Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, DART, LUAS and Bus Eireann. The most effective way to bring down your cost of living in Ireland is by purchasing a Student Travelcard, which gets you discounts of up to 40% on these travel services, as well as in many retail stores in the country. The card can be purchased for EUR 12, and you may add any amount to it as necessary.

    One important place you have to go to, after arrival and after registration is completed with the university, is the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS). Students who are not citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland must register with the INIS. You must go to the office with the following documents to apply for the Irish Residence Permit:

    • Valid passport
    • Student ID card
    • Financial statements
    • Letter of acceptance from university
    • Proof of having purchased health insurance

    You have to pay EUR 300 by card in order to complete the process, following which you will be issued the residence permit in Ireland.

    You will also need to go to open a bank account to manage your expenses in Ireland. The following documents are required for this:

    • Proof of identity
    • Proof of home address
    • Proof of Ireland address

    Banks often have special offers for students, so you may make use of the reduced rates.

    Cost of Living in Ireland: Student Accommodation

    Accommodation and rent make up a huge chunk of the living expenses in Ireland for international students. When choosing a place to stay, you must consider whether you want:

    • Catered or self-catered facility
    • Single room or sharing
    • Fully furnished room or not
    • On-campus or off-campus location

    Your total expenses in Ireland will depend on these factors, so make sure to pick your preference wisely. Students choosing between on-campus and off-campus accommodation must weigh the pros and cons of each.

    Pros of living on campus:

    • Cut down on transportation costs
    • Get cheap access to amenities like laundry, entertainment, and wi-fi
    • No need to contact many types of providers, whether it be for electricity, water, gas, or internet - everything is managed by the college
    • Get to know fellow college students

    Pros of living off campus:

    • More flexibility in terms of rules
    • Cheaper rent according to your preference
    • Get to experience typical city life in Ireland and not just campus life
    • Learn to become independent by managing everything by yourself
    • Get to know people outside college

    The different types of accommodations in Ireland and their costs will be discussed in coming sections.

    On-Campus Accommodation in Ireland

    Halls of residence are the go-to option for international students in Ireland universities. They consist of blocks and floors divided between 4-8 students, who each have single bedrooms and share some common amenities like kitchen, living room and bathroom. In the rooms you will be provided:

    • Bed
    • Desk
    • Chair
    • Mattress, pillow and duvet, in some places
    • Wi-Fi / Internet connection

    Some universities include utilities like water, electricity, heat, gas, etc in the accommodation while at others it is extra. The rent is usually paid in 2 installments, in September and in February corresponding to the two semesters. In addition to that, you will have to make a security deposit at the initial stage, which will be refunded at your departure.

    Cost of Living at Top Ireland Universities

    Although cities like Dublin have the highest costs of living in Ireland, it is possible to get affordable housing on campus. Take a look at the accommodation costs at top universities in Ireland, many of which are located in the national capital of Dublin:

    University Accommodation cost (per session)
    Trinity College Dublin EUR 2,737-3,016 + EUR 241-316 utilities charges
    University College Dublin EUR 4,384-11,962 (utilities included)
    National University of Ireland, Galway EUR 310-1,160 (utilities included in some rooms)
    University College Cork EUR 5,168-5,848 (utilities included)
    Dublin City University EUR 2,293-2,974 (utilities included in some rooms)

    Off-Campus Accommodation in Ireland

    If you are too far behind in the waiting list for on-campus accommodation, or if you want to live independently, you can opt for off-campus accommodation. This can be facilitated through the university’s Accommodations Office or through websites that advertise rental opportunities in Ireland.

    • A good percentage of undergraduate students prefer to stay at homestays, or ‘digs’ as they are called in Ireland. The benefits of this arrangement are that the costs are lower as the host family includes the cost of utilities, meals, and activities in the rent. On an average, homestays cost EUR 180 per month.
    • Private rentals are available in the form of apartments, studio apartments, houses, etc and the rent varies greatly depending on how many rooms, and what kind of facilities you want. You can estimate a rent of EUR 350-3,000 per month.
    • Although fewer in number, long-term student hostels are an affordable option for students living off campus in Ireland. The hostels are usually run by housing companies, and include facilities similar to halls of residence, costing EUR 5-112 per night.
    • Purpose built student accommodation is also similar to halls, except the number of people sharing is lesser than that in hostels. It costs EUR 150-273 per week.

    Unlike the on-campus housing, off-campus accommodation in Ireland requires rent to be paid monthly, with the normal lease period being 9-12 months. You may also have to make a deposit in advance to secure a room, which will be used for reparation of any damages caused during your stay there. You can often get cheap student accommodation off-campus because there is more flexibility in choosing what all amenities you need and how many people are sharing, and no bulk payment.

    Cost of Living in Ireland Student Cities

    The cost of living in Ireland is expected to be EUR 7,000-12,000, depending on what city you are staying in. You must budget for an average rent of EUR 427, as well as for other necessities during your stay. For example, you should budget at least EUR 168 every month for food, though the prices may vary on campus and outside.

    City Cost of Living (per month) Accommodation (per month)
    Dublin EUR 893 EUR 1,357-1,637
    Galway EUR 848 EUR 838-1,080
    Cork EUR 864 EUR 969-1,171
    Maynooth EUR 811 EUR 766-1,066
    Limerick EUR 787 EUR 865-1,016

    If you plan to work in Ireland, you will most likely not need a work permit, but you may have restrictions in the number of working hours permitted depending on your type of immigration stamp. You will need both INIS registration and an Irish bank account, as well as a Personal Public Services Number, to get employed in Ireland.