Accommodation: A home away from home
In this blog, Ansh Mahajan from India shares his experience of living in student accommodation in Ireland and offers advice on how to find your perfect home for the duration of your course.
According to Forbes, human beings have four basic needs: food, water, shelter and other humans. Finding good accommodation can be a hell of a task but anyone planning to study in Ireland should definitely finalise their accommodation before coming here.
As an international student, my first task after getting my offer letter for university was to find good accommodation with a reasonable price tag. It is not easy finding accommodation when you’re sitting 8,000 kilometres away in a different country. I started my house hunt online, and to be honest I found some good properties which I thought were worth going for. I made a list of all the properties and one by one started emailing the owners.
I got many replies and now it was up to me which one I wanted to choose. Being a newbie, I wanted a place that was near to my college and would have more students. I was particularly interested in student accommodation which was right opposite my college, cheap and purpose-built for students studying at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT).
Home from home
I soon finalised my accommodation. Then came the formalities, which included sharing your details, paying the deposit and signing the rental agreement. Doing all this involves a number of emails and phone calls but it is all just a part of the process. It took me roughly two weeks to complete all these things and then I was good to go. Now at least I had a place to stay for the next nine months (the duration of my contract); one less thing to worry about.
When I arrived at my accommodation, I was lucky enough to have Indian roommates as it made me miss home a little less. The initial few days were quite stressful, getting everything on track, getting used to the routine and whatnot, but having a place to stay where there are people from the same culture makes life a bit easier.
The next big question was food: how to cook it. Cooking, for someone like me who has never cooked anything more than instant noodles, was a nightmare. But here comes the best part: my roommates had some extraordinary cooking skills and I took full advantage of them. So while they oversaw all the cooking stuff, I, being an amateur, did the cleaning part. I even learned some cooking which is helping me nowadays.
Then there is the fourth human need: other humans. Well, here I must thank my landlord who was kind enough to host a barbecue for all the residents so that everyone could get to know each other.
Taking full advantage of that, I introduced myself to some fellow students from different countries who were also studying at the college. We had an amazing evening and that was just the start of our friendship. We began to meet more often, sometimes over dinner or maybe a house party.
The best part of meeting people from different cultures is that you get to know loads of new stuff. We often hang out together talking for hours, eating food from different countries, sharing stories and whatnot. This all just helps me feel at home. I just love staying at this student accommodation and I can now truly call it a ‘home away from home’.
The big question
Now comes the most important part: how do you find your perfect accommodation?
You need to consider the following points before you start looking:
- What kind of accommodation do you want: student accommodation, a hostel or a whole house?
- What is your budget?
- How far are you willing to travel every day for college?
- Do you want to share your room with other people?
If you have the answers to all these questions, finding your perfect accommodation should not be difficult. You can start searching for properties online. Some websites I used are www.daft.ie, https://franklins.ie and www.collegecribs.ie. You can simply email them and let them know your requirements.
The next step is finalising your accommodation and paying the deposit. It’s worth noting that your place is not guaranteed until you pay your deposit, and it’s good to pay it as soon as possible to avoid problems. Once you have done all this, you will get confirmation from your landlord.
You can also ask your international office to help you find good accommodation. I would recommend that you go for student accommodation if this is your first time in Ireland. You will get to know a lot of stuff about how the renting procedure works, and, moreover, you will meet more students like you there.
In summary, I would say that Ireland is a country worth studying in and living in. You will have a wonderful time here and I am sure that you will enjoy it. I wish you all the very best for finding your ‘perfect home’. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.