Trinity College

Collegeliving are working with Trinity College and their Accommodation Advisory Service to facilitate the large number of International Students who attend Trinity each year. Each year Trinity College have in excess of 1,500 students who Travel to Ireland from every corner of the globe. Unlike Irish students who can view accommodation and meet with landlords during the summer, the International student is hampered by their location and must try to organise accommodation often without seeing the property in person. Our goal is to communicate with the student prior to their arrival in Ireland, understand the accommodation needs and to be the liaison between the student and prospective landlords. We will also advise students on renting in Dublin, their rights and any queries they may have in regard to tenancy law.

Cost to be a student in Ireland? Every year estimates are published which give an indication of how much it costs to be a student for one academic year (nine months) in Ireland. Recent figures for Dublin have ranged between €8,000 to €12,100, largely depending on the type of accommodation chosen. These estimates include rent, electricity, food, books and laundry and medicine as well as travel passes and social expenses, but exclude tuition fees. Rents and many prices are cheaper for those living outside of Dublin so lower overall costs can be expected. When moving to Ireland for study, you should also budget an additional sum for one-off start-up costs – such as buying kitchen items, bedding, a television, mobile phone, etc – and also for any international travel you plan during the year.

How much will I have to pay for accommodation? Rent is likely to be your largest item of expenditure but prices can vary greatly depending on the type of accommodation chosen. The amount could be as little as €400 per month for a shared room up to around €800 for a modest self-contained flat. On campus accommodation is in heavy demand and is priced at the higher end of this range.

How much will I have to spend on food? For food, including some meals bought on campus or in cheaper restaurants, you will probably spend between €70 – €100 a week on these items.

How much on average will I have to spend on transport? The cost of an average journey on a bus in Dublin is about €2.50 and will depend on the number of fare stages travelled. Exact money is needed – no change is given. Weekly and monthly Dublin Bus passes will save money for regular travel. They can be bought at a discounted price if you obtain a Student TravelCard. Many students also cycle in Dublin and there are road lanes dedicated to bicycles only. Cycling in the city centre can be quite dangerous, particularly at peak times, so if you do decide to cycle you should wear a bicycle helmet.

Is socialising in Dublin expensive? Cinema tickets cost between €7 to €12 depending on what time and where you see the film. Student discounts are usually available during the week on production of a student card, but most cinemas do not offer student rates at the weekend and there is no discount at the expensive soft-drink and snack counters! Entrance fees to nightclubs generally vary between €7 and €15 depending on the venue, On average, a pint of beer in Dublin costs about €4.50 and a glass of wine costs about €5. However, prices can vary quite significantly between bars. If cigarettes are part of your lifestyle, you are likely to find them expensive in Ireland at around €10.00 for a packet of 20. There is a ban on smoking in any workplace, which means that it is prohibited to smoke in bars and restaurants.

How can I make my budget stretch further? Food: Supermarkets offer the best value for most, but not all, ordinary groceries. Street markets, e.g. on Moore Street and Camden Street in Dublin offer the best value in fruit and vegetables if you choose carefully, while meat is usually cheapest in butchers’ shops. Supermarkets have “own brand” food, e.g. St Bernard’s in Dunnes, Euroshopper in Superquinn. These are cheaper than regular brands and are usually of good quality. Shops such as Aldi and Lidl offer cheaper goods then the other supermarkets. They often have bulk buy bargains, which are handy if a group of people go shopping together and the cost can be split for items like rice, pasta etc. Convenience foods and ready-made foods are not as nutritious as fresh foods. So although they may appear cheaper and easier to cook, in the long run, they are not good value. When cooking for yourself, you could cook a little extra and have it for lunch the next day- much cheaper then eating out or buying a sandwich. It is a good idea to buy extra packets of basic foods that last, e.g. rice, pasta, beans and spices.

Clothes and Bedding: Shops vary greatly in price so it is best to shop around. Best value is likely to be found in Penney’s (Primark), Dunnes Stores, Guiney’s (especially for household items like sheets, duvets etc.), and the shops in the Henry Street/Mary Street/Talbot Street/North Earl Street/Parnell Street area. In order to keep warm, it is often cheaper (and more effective) to wear a few layers of clothes, e.g. a few T-shirts rather than one heavy jumper. Thermal underwear is extremely effective against cold and is widely available in many of the shops mentioned above. It is advisable to avoid buying clothes labelled ‘dry clean only’ as these may be expensive to take care of. There are also a number of second-hand clothes shops located around the city, in Rathmines, on South Great George’s Street, Wexford Street, Camden Street and in Temple Bar. If you look carefully, you may find good value, especially for more expensive items like coats. In addition there are a number of charity shops such as Oxfam, Enable Ireland, St. Vincent de Paul located throughout Dublin and Ireland.

Transport and travel: If you plan on travelling by public transport, it is advisable to purchase a Student TravelCard (see above). USIT offers travel options specifically for student travellers, including low cost flexible fares, tailor-made insurance policies and budget accommodation.

Telephone Calls: Public and college phones will be the most expensive place to make international calls. If you are considering a fixed phone line, there are several companies offering landline services in Ireland so you can shop around for the best international calling plans. Similarly, mobile phone companies will offer different international rates and all offer the chance to buy credit in advance (a way of controlling your costs more effectively). Another option is to buy a phone card – most newsagents will offer a selection – which can offer very good rates on international calls, especially if you are able to call from a landline (using cards with public telephones will be more expensive). Some internet cafes also have phone booths where you can make cheap long distance phone calls – normally you are given a rate per minute and you pay when you have completed your call. It may also be possible for you to make very low cost calls via a computer, using ‘VOIP’ services such as Skype. With all services, it is important to be sure you fully understand the pricing structure – for example, phone cards generally have both connection and per minute charges.

Entertainment: From time to time all students need to take a break from their studies, to relax and to meet other people. Social life can be expensive but there are many social activities that are both enjoyable and reasonably inexpensive. On campus – Participation in college clubs and societies is a very effective and cheap way of getting involved in college social life. In all colleges, there is a range of clubs you can join at any time of the year. These include sports clubs, academic societies, dramatic societies, political societies and much more. For example, there may be a Film Society in your college which shows films at a reduced rate, so check the college notice boards for screening times etc. Some are more active then others, however they are cheap to join and a definite way to meet new people and have fun. The Student Handbook produced by the Students’ Unions provides a guide to the various clubs and societies. Off campus – Some shops and restaurants will offer discount on production of your college card and it is always worth asking. If you buy an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) it can be used more widely and you will receive a list of places which offer reductions for students, both in Ireland and abroad. Most discounts are offered for entertainment or student-oriented leisure, but also for some music stores and book shops. Clubs and bars often run student nights – usually midweek like most student discounted events. Cinema and theatre tickets are usually on sale to students at a reduced rate and further savings can be made by opting for preview performances, matinees and early screenings.

ISIC Student Card: The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is an internationally recognised proof of full-time student status available, available during enrolment at most colleges.

How can I claim tax back on items I purchased in Ireland? Cashback/Tax-Free Shopping: Non-EU/Non-EEA visitors to Ireland may be entitled to tax-free shopping on some goods being taken home, especially those purchased through department stores, provided they have been purchased within the final two months of the stay. Refunds can be obtained via the Cashback system at the airport before leaving Ireland. The scheme requires that you get a form stamped by a participating merchant at the time of purchase. This should then be kept safe until the day of your departure.

Languages While Irish is the first official language of the Republic, English is the first language of the majority of the population.

Weather Ireland has a mild, temperate climate with summer temperatures ranging from 16-20 degrees Celsius. In winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing point, but it can feel quite cold because of frequent rain and wind.

Time Ireland observes Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the winter. However, Irish summer time is GMT plus 1 hour. The dates of change are the last Sunday of March and October. The clock goes forward by an hour in March and back by an hour in October.

Public Holidays There are 9 public holidays (called Bank Holidays) in the year. These are composed of the first Mondays in May, June and August and the last Monday in October, plus New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (17th March), Easter Monday, Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day (26th December). Any dates which fall on a weekend will carry over to the Monday following. Transport Ireland has five international airports (Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Belfast and Knock). It also has a low-cost network of bus and train routes linking cities and towns across the island. » More

Electrical Current The electrical current in Ireland is 220-240 AC volts AC. The plugs most commonly used are 3-pin flat and occasionally 2-pin round. Shopping Shops are generally open Monday-Saturday from 9am/10am until 5.30/6pm. Some also open for more limited hours on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Smaller grocery stores and newsagents will normally open at 8am and remain open until 9 or 10pm each day, though these shops tend to be more expensive than the big supermarkets. Bigger cities will have a late opening night on Thursdays where many shops stay open until 9pm. There is a levy (tax) on plastic shopping bags to encourage people to reuse their old bags and cut down on litter in the countryside and cities. If you require plastic bags you will be charged 22c each for them, so it is advisable to bring your own bags when you go shopping.

Post Offices Services include stamps, registered post, express mail, parcel post, money orders, postal orders, international reply coupons, TV licences and savings accounts as well as bill payments. Local post offices are open (Monday to Friday) between 9am and 5.30pm approximately and close for lunch between 1pm and 2pm. Most post offices in towns and cities are open on Saturday mornings between 9am and 1pm. The General Post Office in Dublin (on O’Connell Street, Dublin 1) is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday (no lunch-time closing) and 10.30am to 6pm on Sunday.

Internet Cafes Internet cafes are now common throughout Ireland. These are places where you can use a computer (connected to the internet, with e-mail and web access) for a specified time period for a fee. Many offer cheap membership rates but shop around as it is a competitive market.

Telephone Services Mobile phones are widely used in Ireland and phone companies offer both pay-as-you go and monthly contract plans. It is important to shop around and to understand exactly what the costs will be. Mobile phones can be expensive for international calls so phone cards and call centres may offer alternatives: Call Centres: some Internet cafes now have phone booths where you can make cheap long distance phone calls. Normally you are given a rate per minute and you pay when you have completed your call. International Phone cards: these come in different values and are sold widely in newsagents. Call prices per minute can seem very low but it is important to check the small print for connection charges. Cards are best used from a landline phone as they are usually more expensive when used from a public telephone box. Public telephone boxes have become less common and more expensive. Operator assisted calls are more costly than directly dialling the number yourself.

Banks and Foreign Exchange Banks are open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, (some smaller branches may close for lunch, check locally). On Thursdays banks stay open until 5pm (Dublin area – other late opening days apply to other parts of the country). There are variations in opening hours so check these with your own particular bank and branch. Virtually all university and college campuses now have a bank branch. ATM machines are widespread and can be accessed with LINK and PASS cards. Most banks provide Bureau de Change and Travellers’ Cheque facilities. On-campus bank branches will usually waive commission if you are a registered student with an account at that bank. It is possible to change most foreign bank notes in USIT Now (19 Aston Quay, Dublin 2) free of commission with an international student card (ISIC).

Cinemas Cinemas in Ireland are very popular and large multi-screen complexes have opened all over the country. It is cheaper to go to the afternoon shows. Evening shows cost up to €10.00. There is a student discount available on production of a valid student identity card for certain shows. The Irish Film Institute (Eustace Street, Dublin 2) and The Lighthouse (Smithfield, Dublin 7) show a range of international films that will not usually be shown elsewhere.

Pubs The pub is the social meeting place for many Irish people. They serve alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Many pubs now serve meals (usually soup, sandwiches, main dish etc.) during the day, with some serving until 9-9.30pm. Pubs are licensed to open between 10.30am and 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday. From Thursday to Saturday the closing hours are extended to 12.30am. Smoking

Regulations Smoking is forbidden in enclosed places of work in Ireland. This includes office blocks, various buildings (including cinemas, theatres etc), public houses/bars, restaurants and company vehicles (cars and vans). Smoking is also prohibited on public transport e.g. buses, trains etc.

Credit Cards Major Credit Cards can all be used in Ireland (e.g. Visa, Access, American Express, Diner’s Club etc.) Credit cards are often not accepted in small shops, pubs and guest houses.

Public Toilets The male/ female designation is often in the Irish language. You should go through the door marked FIR if you are a man and MNÁ if you are a woman.

Security As in most countries, you will need to be aware of petty crime in larger cities. Don’t carry valuables, unless it is necessary. Don’t walk down dark streets on your own or late at night. Keep your wallet, purse, etc. out of sight. Generally, be aware of your surroundings, appear confident and keep your wits about you. If parking a car, make sure it is locked, and do not leave valuables where they can be seen. Don’t walk in dark areas alone at night and be aware of your surroundings. It is not necessary to carry your passport for identification purposes, however some photo ID may prove useful.

Emergencies Dial 999 or 112 from any phone for police, ambulance, fire, sea and mountain rescue services. Other emergency telephone numbers (e.g. gas leaks, personal emergencies, etc.) can be found in the first few pages of telephone directories.

Police The police in Ireland are called Garda Síochána. Full details of national and local Garda stations can be found at the beginning of telephone directories.

Hospitals In a medical emergency, go to the Accident & Emergency department at the hospital closest to your home. The Accident and Emergency (A&E) charge is €100 if you attend without a letter from your GP

Visas & Immigration The citizens of many countries do not need an entry visa before coming to Ireland. The Department of Foreign Affairs website lists those countries whose citizens do not need an entry visa It is advisable to contact your nearest Irish embassy or consulate before travelling to check whether you need a visa and whether you need to comply with any other requirements. The Department of Foreign Affairs contains a list of Irish embassies, consulates and missions. Even if you do not need a visa, you should have certain documents to show the immigration officer at the point of entry into the country:

  • your passport;
  • your Trinity College acceptance letter
  • your return airline ticket (helpful but not strictly necessary)

If your documents are in order you will receive a passport stamp indicating the time period during which you should visit the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in Dublin to receive your permission to stay and registration certificate. The time allowed between entering the country and registering with the GNIB usually varies between 7 days and 1 month. Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)   The GNIB is located 5 minutes walk from Trinity College at Burgh Quay (see address details below). All non-nationals who are not citizens of an EU state, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, must register with the GNIB to receive a registration certificate. To register, a student needs to present the following documents:

  • A valid up to date passport;
  • A letter from the Academic Registry (address details below) stating full tuition fees have been paid;
  • For non-EU visiting and exchange students, a letter from the Academic Registry stating you are a registered student at Trinity College. Registered undergraduate full degree students and postgraduate students can obtain this letter from the Academic Registry(address details below).
  • If you are studying in Ireland for up to six months you will be required to demonstrate you have access to a minimum of €500.00 per month of your stay or €3,000.00, whichever is the lesser (i.e. if you will be here for four months, you will need to show you have access to €2,000.00).  If you are studying for a period equal to or greater than six months and up to one year, you will be required to demonstrate you have access to a minimum of €3,000.00.  Further information can be found at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP11000003.

You will be required to provide an up to date bank statement from an Irish bank (in your own name) showing these funds.  It will need to have an official stamp on it which can be requested from the branch you open your account with.  A receipt from an ATM machine will not suffice.  Bank statements from non-Irish banks will not be accepted.

  • Application fee of €300 payable by credit /debit card or bank giro (not cash).
  • Evidence that you have private medical insurance.

Please note orders of letters from the Academic Registry for the GNIB are currently 1 week An immigration officer interviews all visa applicants and if all your documents are in order the process is usually straightforward; however the officer is entitled to seek further documentation. Address Details Garda National Immigration Bureau 13–14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 Tel. +353 1 666 9100; Email: gnib_dv@garda.ie

Each year, Education in Ireland produce a report entitled ‘International Students in Irish Higher Education’, with the most recent being the 2012 release. Those for previous years can be accessed under the Education in Ireland publications tab. Unlike the HEA data, this report includes data from independent/private colleges and seeks to capture the entire number of students at an institution during the academic year, rather than a census style snapshot. Many of the International Students based here are have used the Erasmus programme to further their studies within Ireland.

WHAT IS ERASMUS? HOW CAN ERASMUS HELP ME STUDY IN IRELAND? Erasmus is the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Under the Erasmus Programme, students from the EU, EEA and Turkey have a straightforward route to spend between three and 12 months studying in an Irish higher education institution as part of their course. Since it began in 1987, almost 2 million students across Europe have made use of the programme to broaden both their studies and cultural experiences. Successful applicants for the exchange programme receive a study grant toward the costs and do not pay fees at their chosen institution. Courses undertaken in Ireland are recognised within the student’s final degree award under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Institutions in 31 countries participate in the programme and there are variations in the applications process between them. You should contact your college’s International Office for advice. Erasmus can also support students who want to spend periods on work placement in Ireland. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON ERASMUS AND OTHER EXCHANGE OPTIONS? Check out the following websites… The European Commission – gives the history, aims and practical information on Erasmus in English, French and German. The Commission has also drawn up an Erasmus Student Charter, available in several languages.

Erasmus Student Network – non-profit that supports and develops student exchange programmes and provides comprehensive information and advice at its website, working on the principle of students helping students.

Ploteus – the Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space takes a wider view and provides a range of information about studying and working in another EU country.

International Students Reports Service (IRIS) – read what former Erasmus students said about their experiences in Ireland (and elsewhere), organised by country, college and subject area. You can view a summary of their survey answers then click through for a full report with specific comments.

WORKING IN IRELAND STUDENTS If you are from a country whose nationals normally require an employment permit and you are studying in Ireland on an approved course, you may take up casual work – a maximum of 20 hours a week in term time and full time during the holidays – without an employment permit. The Third Level Graduate Scheme allows non-EEA students who have graduated on or after 1 January 2007 with a level 7 degree to remain in Ireland for 6 months. Those with a degree at levels 8-10 can remain for 12 months. This allows them to find employment and apply for a work permit or Green Card permit.

WORKING IN IRELAND – A GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Q. CAN I WORK WHILE STUDYING IN IRELAND? Students from the EEA – All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to take up employment in Ireland while studying. Students from outside the EEA – At present, students attending a full time course of at least one year’s duration leading to a qualification recognised by the Minister for Education and Science are entitled to take up casual employment (defined as up to 20 hours part time work per week or full time work during normal college vacation periods). The course of study must be listed on the internationalisation register of recognised courses maintained on behalf of the Department of Education. Access to employment is denied to all other students.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE:

  • Unless you are attending a recognised course, you will not be allowed to access employment during your stay in Ireland.
  • The right to work lapses automatically once the period of study is completed, except for a 12 month extension available to third level graduates.
  • When applying for your student entry visa, you will need to show that you have sufficient funds to cover the entire period of your course, without having to rely on income from a part-time job.

Q. AM I ENTITLED TO WORK IF I AM ATTENDING A FOUNDATION COURSE BEFORE TERM BEINGS?

If you are attending a foundation/preparatory course prior to enrolment on a full time course you are not entitled to work until you have commenced your full time course.

 

Q. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Everyone who has permission to work in Ireland has the same rights in the workplace, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. This means that you have a right to a legal contract, to lawful hours of work, to a salary at or above the minimum wage and other entitlements as set out in Irish law, including holiday leave, sick leave, parental leave and the right to join a union. However, you should be aware that an employer is not legally required to offer working hours that suit an employee’s study timetable. If there is a possibility of conflicting demands between studies and a job, it is important to discuss these issues and agree on suitable arrangements as part of accepting any offer of employment. The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) and the Immigrant Council of Ireland both offer an advice and support service on workplace issues.

 

Q. WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO WORK IN IRELAND WHEN I GRADUATE / OR AFTER MY STUDENT VISA EXPIRES?

Citizens of other EU/EEA countries generally require no special permissions to continue living and working in Ireland after their studies. Non-EEA graduates and postgraduates can apply for a green card or work permit under the Third Level Graduate Scheme on completion of their studies. In all other cases, the right to take up employment will cease upon the expiry of your student visa.

 

Q. WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR RESEARCHERS?

New arrangements to facilitate recruitment of qualified researchers from abroad to carry out research in Ireland were introduced in October 2007. These new arrangements implement a European Union Directive on the admission of third country researchers for the purpose of carrying out research. Under the new arrangements approved research organisations can recruit researchers from outside the European Economic Area (i.e. the EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to carry out research in Ireland without the need for a Green Card or Work Permit. Procedures have been put in place for accreditation of research organisations to enable them to make use of the new arrangements. Accredited research organisations can now enter into a hosting agreement with a third country researcher to carry out defined research. Once a hosting agreement is in place, the researcher will be admitted into the State for the purpose of carrying out the research, subject to normal immigration requirements.

What are my accommodation options? You will have a range of options to choose from, with varying costs attached. Student accommodation in Ireland falls into four broad types:

  1. On-campus accommodation: Campus accommodation is always in demand, can be relatively expensive and quite difficult to find. All universities have halls of residence, generally as apartments of 4 to 8 students, with a private bedroom and shared kitchen, living room and bathroom. On campus accommodation must normally be paid in 2 installments, in September and in February. In most campus accommodation, it is not possible to pay your rent on a monthly basis. You will usually have to pay a deposit of one month’s rent in advance, refunded when you leave. Utilities such as heating are usually extra, although several halls of residence include heat and electricity in their initial charge and deduct payment for usage in excess of the average allowed for from the deposit when you leave. It is important to check arrangements with your college.
  2. Long-term student hostel: This is another option with quite limited availability, but which can be quite flexible. You stay in a hostel with other students and your monthly rent provides for use of a communal living area and kitchen, along with a bedroom. Breakfast and sometimes dinner will be included in the rent, as are utility bills.
  3. Accommodation with a family: You can live as a paying guest in an Irish home, where you have your own room with space to study, but otherwise share the house with the family. This is a popular option with students attending English Language Schools, especially for short courses, but is also an arrangement that works well for many further and higher education students. In Ireland, accommodation with a family is commonly known as living in “digs”. In other countries it may be better known as “homestay”. Normally, morning and evening meals will be provided but you will need to buy your own midday meal on campus or elsewhere. There are no extra charges for heat, light etc., and some of your laundry will be done.
  4. Private rented accommodation: The options here include renting a bed-sit, a flat/apartment or sharing a house. It is usually cheaper to share accommodation with others.

A bed-sit is a essentially a single room unit with basic cooking facilities (a mini-kitchen area), a bed and some additional furniture. Toilet and bathroom facilities are generally shared with the other occupants of the building through there may be a self-contained shower. A flat or apartment will offer a kitchen and living room (possibly combined), a bathroom and one or more bedrooms. Again, quality and cost varies. A compact one bedroom unit may cost little more than a bed-sit, while a three bedroom flat/apartment will cost substantially more. A house or apartment share with other people can be the cheapest, as bills are divided among more people. Sharing a room can reduce costs even further. In all cases, rents are usually payable monthly and in advance. At the beginning of a letting period you pay a deposit of one month’s rent, which will be refunded when you leave (provided you have not caused any damage to the premises). The normal length of a lease is 9 or 12 months, and it can be difficult to find anything shorter. If you break a lease without notice or if you do not adhere to the terms of the lease, you will lose your deposit. Notice of one month should be given before you leave the premises. Where can I get assistance to find accommodation? College Living: We are happy to help with any concern you may have in relation to renting accommodation. We understand that finding quality accommodation close to your University / College is not always easy and that the standard available may not be ideally suited to you. Should you seek advice please just contact us and we will be happy to help. Accommodation Officer: If your accommodation has not been pre-booked for you, the Accommodation Officer at your university or college is the person who can advise you about the accommodation that best fits your needs and your budget. At the accommodation office you will be able to look through lists of suitable places, then choose which to go and see. The choice is always better if you arrive well in advance of the start of your course. Allow as much time as possible to organise accommodation. You might consider booking a period in a hostel to have a base from which to start your search. Internet: There are also websites that you can access to find apartments and house shares. The leading rentals website in Ireland are www.daft.iewww.rent.ie & www.let.ie Considerations before choosing your accommodation When considering accommodation off campus, you should try to find out how good the transport links will be to get to your classes and how much time you will need to commit to travelling. Also, be sure to budget for the additional costs, apart from rent, that you will face with each type of accommodation. Living with a family may offer the lowest rent and include utility costs and some meals but you will need to budget for buying additional meals. Setting yourself up in privately rented accommodation can be quite expensive and involve a number of up-front costs:

  • Deposits and connection charges for electricity and/or gas may have to be paid. There is also the option of setting up a direct debit from your bank account, from which the bill total will automatically be deducted each month. The deposit cost varies from €150 upwards and is refundable, or offset against your bill.
  • You may have to supply your own bedding and maybe a few kitchen items, allow about €150.
  • A TV licence costs €160 a year for a colour television and is a legal requirement for any household with a TV equipment.
  • Cost of heat and light: €40 – €140 a month, depending on the type of accommodation, the number of people sharing and the amount consumed.

If you are moving into an already occupied house, some of these costs will have been met and you may not have to pay out such a large sum. How is rent usually paid? You will need to agree a payment method with your landlord. He/she may want you set up a monthly Standing Order with your bank. This means that the rent will be paid from your bank account directly into the property owner’s bank account each time it is due. You will need the owner to provide you with the name of his/her bank and account number and go to your bank to set up payment by Standing Order. This can be done at the branch in which your account has been set up, or by telephone banking, if your bank offers this service. Alternatively, he or she may want to receive a cheque or collect the rent from you in cash. You should always make sure you obtain a receipt or an entry in your rent book if you pay in cash. Where can I find more / get advice about my legal rights as a tenant? Your students’ union or college accommodation office may be able to assist and, in addition, Threshold is a not-for-profit organisation that provides free and confidential information, advice and support to people with housing problems – by phone, email and by appointment.