travel & accommodation
Organising accommodation before you depart for Ireland is essential. Your institution may have pre-booked accommodation for you, or you might need to organise this yourself.
Most institutions will ensure that they can offer accommodation for international students for at least their first year, but this isn't guaranteed.
When you are accepted on a course, you will likely be sent an accommodation pack and details of an accommodation office with staff that can help you find housing. Institutions strongly advise students to take advantage of this resource, as accommodation officers will have the information and contacts to help you find affordable and well-located student accommodation easily and quickly.
When researching your accommodation choices, you may wish to consider:
- How close is it to the institution?
- What public transport links are there?
- How close is it to shops and services?
- How big is your room?
- How many people are sharing your bathroom/kitchen?
- How much is the rent and bills?
Below are some of the main types of accommodation available to students:
On-campus/halls of residence
Approximate cost: €500-600 per month
On-campus accommodation comes in various forms, ranging from shared or private rooms to one bedroom flats, and can be catered or self-catered with private or shared bathrooms. The majority will have a kitchen, typically shared by four to eight students, though some accommodation is catered and food will be served in a dining hall. You may be able to choose to live in a single-sex residence, with other international students or with people of your faith.
On-campus accommodation is a popular choice for students as most campuses are located near the institution and provide services such as shops and laundry. It's also a great way to meet people and share your experience with other students. Basic facilities and bills will be included in your rent, which varies greatly according to location and room type. Students should apply for accommodation as early as possible to secure their preferred room type.
Approximate cost: €125-180 per week
You may be offered the opportunity to live with a host family during your studies; this is the most common type of accommodation for language students. It's a great way to practise speaking English and learn about Irish culture. You will be allocated your own private room and will be treated as a member of the family - sharing other facilities and being included in their activities. Students are also normally given morning and evening meals. You may be expected to help with household chores, and sometimes may also need to contribute financially to bills and accommodation costs.
Approximate cost: €380-750 per month, plus bills
Alternatively you can rent a private flat, or room in a shared house; this usually entails your own private room with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. This option often suits those wanting independence. In most cases bills will not be included in the monthly rent; you will need to agree how you are going to share these, as well as the cleaning duties, with your other housemates.
You should be aware that there may be a minimum lease; often six to twelve months, and a deposit is usually required to cover possible damage, refundable when the tenancy ends. Students wishing to privately rent are advised to arrive in Ireland a few weeks before their course starts in order to secure a place, as most landlords will not reserve accommodation without signing a contract. It is advisable to make sure you have seen the accommodation before handing over any money. Consult your institution's accommodation office for advice about renting privately.
Getting to your accommodationIt is a good idea to have onward travel to your accommodation or institution arranged before departing for Ireland. You are advised to carry the address and phone number of your accommodation in your hand luggage to make it easier to ask for directions or to get a taxi.
Most airports have taxis readily available outside the terminal or have an office that will book taxis. Taxis are normally the easiest and most direct way of getting from the airport, but can be more expensive than public transport. Ireland's public transport network is efficient and buses and trains depart from all main airports.
It is best to research the best mode of transport and book tickets before departing for Ireland.
Ireland has four international and five regional airports. See below for information about travelling to and from the major airports.
Getting to your accommodation:
- Dublin Airport is accessible by over 700 buses and coaches daily, run by numerous different companies
- There is no direct rail service to the airport, though bus and taxi services can take you to the many train stations throughout the Dublin area
- Taxis are available from the forecourts directly outside the airport and can take you to most destinations in Dublin, including rail stations
- A frequent bus service operates from the airport to Cork city centre. There are bus services offered from Éireann and Citylink
- Éireann national train services to major cities and towns across Ireland operate from Kent station in the city. The Éireann bus number five service can be taken from the airport to the Kent station
- There is a taxi rank located outside the airport. The average cost from Cork airport to the city centre and the central bus/railway stations is approximately €10-15
- Bus Éireann provides a range of daily services from Knock airport
- The nearest railway stations to the airport are Claremorris (31km) and Ballyhaunis (22km), both on the Dublin Heuston - Westport line. They can be accessed by taxi or bus
- Specific taxis are licensed by Ireland West Airport Knock and are available outside the terminal building or by pre-booking. Taxis can provide services from the airport to nearby destinations
- Bus Éireann provides connections from the airport to all major cities. JJ Kavanagh & Sons also provide a service between Shannon airport, Limerick and Dublin airport
- The nearest train station is in Limerick (Colbert station) and can be accessed by bus services from the airport
- There is an airport taxi desk located in the arrivals hall that can organise an airport taxi for you. The average price for a taxi to Limerick city centre is approximately €35
For more information, visit Donegal Airport
Kerry AirportKerry Regional airport is located in the heart of County Kerry between the towns of Killarney and Tralee. It is about a half hour drive from the cities of Cork and Limerick. Flights to Kerry airport can be taken from Dublin, Frankfurt (Germany) and a few cities in England, with services provided by Ryanair and Aer Arann.
For more information, visit Kerry Airport
Galway AirportGalway Airport is located just eight kilometres from Galway city centre in west Ireland. Flights to Galway can be taken from Dublin, London, Manchester and Edinburgh (Scotland), operated by Aer Arann and Etihad Airways.
For more information, visit Galway Airport
Sligo Regional AirportSligo Airport is the regional airport for Sligo town and county and is eight kilometres from Sligo town centre. Sligo Airport can only be accessed by flights from Dublin, operated by Aer Arann.
For more information, visit Sligo Airport
Waterford Regional AirportWaterford Regional Airport is in south-east Ireland, near Waterford city. Waterford airport is served by flights from Galway, some cities in the UK and Lorient (France), all operated by Aer Arann.
For more information, visit Waterford Airport
All the major cities in Ireland have fairly user-friendly bus services. Discounts are available for students on most networks and there tend to be dedicated services to and from universities.
Dublin is connected by an extensive network of bus routes, inner-city train lines and trams. Public transport is relatively cheap in Dublin, 60c for a single journey, but it works out cheaper if you get a 'Leapcard', which can be used on all public transport routes around Dublin.
Cycling is very popular in Ireland. Following serious amounts of infrastructure regeneration, Dublin has been identified as one of the best cities for cyclists in Europe. If you don't have a bike of your own you can hire a Dublinbike, a self-serve bike hire system similar to those in other major cities.
Useful travel links