Third level students
Higher level students have an array of choice when it comes to accommodation. Some opt to stay in on-campus accommodation, which is available in many colleges, and experience the life of a student surrounded by all commodities such as shops, restaurants etc. Universities and colleges will have further details about their accommodation and how to apply.
Students who want to be totally independent tend to go for self-catering, rented accommodation, often shared with other students. In recent years, rents have plummeted and there's a surplus of rental accommodation out there, so you will have a choice of quality premises. But make sure to visit the country ahead of your course in order to go hunting for a suitable home.
Some students who are taking their first steps into the big, bad world on their own may like to make the transition easier by living (even for a time) with a host family in their home.
This way, you have your own independence but still have the home comforts (and some rules) as well as a family to show you the ropes and help you settle in to a new way of life in a new country.
Students are normally provided with their own room and with morning and evening meals - at a cost of between €125-€180 per week.
Note: Most third level institutions have an Accommodation Office, a good first point of call for overseas students in their search for suitable accommodation. Accommodation can also be found through the local newspapers and estate agents in the cities. Websites such as Daft.ie or MyHome.ie also contain a large portfolio of rental properties. It is generally not possible to reserve long term accommodation in advance, as owners of properties will not hold rooms without payment of rent.
English Language Students
Warm welcomes are what Ireland is all about and no more so than when host families open up their homes to foreign students.
English language institutes include pre-arranged accommodation in their fees, often with suitable Irish families who offer a home-from-home to the student for the duration of their course.
This can be a great way for students to find their feet in a new country, have trustworthy people to help them with any queries they may have, and if you are staying with a family with children close to your own age, they can introduce you to local life and help you learn how to speak English informally.
The Irish 'mammy' is notorious for taking students 'under their wing' and treating them as one of their own with warmth, kindness and generosity of heart.
All host families are carefully selected, vetted and continually monitored and most are situated in residential areas, accessible to the school and other students.
Larger language schools often have dedicated student residences, located nearby and close to public transport. These purpose-built apartments normally feature four or five single bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a large communal kitchen/living area.
Alternatively, students can, if they prefer, avail of help from the school to find their own rented living accommodation.
Or they can avail of residential school accommodation, which is mostly available during the summer months. This offers students the experience and benefits of 'life on campus.'