Embarking on a quest to conquer the Irish housing maze! Join Laureen Chelangat, a Student Ambassador as she navigate the challenges of finding accommodation in Ireland. Tips and tricks on the journey to a cozy Irish abode.

My name is Laureen Chelangat from Kenya, and I’m currently studying for a Masters of Arts in Dispute Resolution at Independent College in Dublin. I moved from Kenya to Ireland at the end of the summer in 2023. I always envisioned moving abroad, somewhere, ever since I was a young girl. Being village girl, raised in the countryside, all this seemed like a dream. However, I was nervous about fulfilling this dream, especially from listening to stories I had heard from people living abroad. But, these did not deter my hopes. In 2023, I decided to give it a shot by applying for the government of Ireland International Education Scholarship. I mean, isn’t it better to try than not do anything at all, right? Luck seemed to be on my side, as I was awarded the prestigious scholarship to study at Independent College in Dublin, taking me a step closer to moving far from home.

But then came the scariest part of it all, finding accommodation. This, I had heard was a nightmare for any international student intending to move to Ireland. I was left pondering and wondering what to do, because at that time, I did not know what to do nor did I know anyone in Ireland. My college was very supportive in providing accommodation options as they could help me find accommodation for the first 3-4 weeks of living here. They also sent me lists of websites I could use to find a suitable place on which I could tailor to my budget requirements and preferences. To avoid scratching your head and stress of looking for a room in Ireland, here are the best tips of finding the best accommodation to any new student intending to come here for studies:

1. Be open-minded and do your homework. This one is a must. Do not fall into the traps of scammers masquerading as landlords advertising rooms on social media platforms such as Facebook. Always be sure to check profiles of those people, consider double checking offers that seem to be too good to be true. Especially, if you are looking for a room online and you are not yet in the country. It is important to find a temporary place and once you get there, you can arrange to go for viewings.

2. Make sure you can afford it. If you are intending to come for studies, you should be ready to acknowledge the fact that getting your own space is very expensive, unless you are ready to dig deeper into your pockets or if you are working in a well-paying job. You need to be open to make shared accommodation your home. They are the easiest and most available room options to get.

3. Check the location of the place. This is equally important. Make sure you look for a convenient place that is not far away from school/ workplace to
avoid struggles of a long commute on a day-to-day basis. Even though places far away from the city centre can be cheaper and the offer to take it up is tempting, you might be better off looking for a place nearby where you are studying as it will save you loads on travelling (and running out of steam).

4. Family home-stays are the best. Living with an Irish family can be one of the best experiences ever. It’s Be on the look out for scammers! “I almost got duped into paying money for a room that was not existing. ”like living at home, just home far away from home. You are fully immersed into the rich Irish culture, from celebrating Halloween, Christmas, tasting Irish cuisine like the Irish stew and Shepherd’s Pie, having fun and getting the gist of everything, all at once.

5. Make sure you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Be aware of both you and your landlord’s rights and obligations. Your landlord must provide you with the lease agreement before you move in. It is also important to find a place where you get to interact with a lot of people, get plenty of
nice walks locally, sample the beautiful scenery and live life to the fullest.

Laureen Chelangat is Studying at Independent College via Education in Ireland.