Whether you're moving to Dublin from Meath or Malaysia, the biggest problem you're likely to face is just getting set-up in the city, and starting out living on your own. Below, you'll find advice on getting accommodation, placing deposits, household utilities, looking after your finances, and general tenancy agreements.
Finding a Place
The first hurdle you'll need to overcome when coming to Ireland will be actually finding a place to live. It can be scary, and finding accommodation in Dublin can be challenging - particularly if you're organising accommodation from abroad. Try to arrive early if you are looking for accommodation outside of campus (whether in a house, flat, or Purpose-Built Student Accommodation) so that you can view rooms and apartments. Never pay a deposit for private accommodation you have not viewed in person.
The Students' Union offers an Accommodation Advisory Service, who you can contact via firstname.lastname@example.org for help looking for a place, or with concerns about your current crib. You'll be able to find out more on their website, where they also have an accommodation database: www.tcdsuaccommodation.org .
Apart from the Union's accommodation database, some of the best places to start your housing search are:
International students should also check the off-campus accommodation available to them.
Tenancy Rights & Obligations
As a tenant, you have a number of obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act of 2004.
- Pay your rent on time.
- Maintain the property in good order and inform the landlord when repairs are needed, allowing access for them to complete necessary works.
- Not engage in activities that harm the property.
- Allow the landlord to do inspections of the property upon prior request.
- Inform the landlord of who is living in the property.
- Avoid causing damage, nuisance or breaking the law.
- Comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement.
- Give the landlord proper notice before termination of the tenancy agreement.
- Keep a record of all repairs, payments and dealings with the landlord.
- Sign the PRTB registration form when requested to do so by the landlord.
- Don’t do anything that could affect the landlord’s insurance premium on the location.
However, you also have a number of rights as a tenant.
- The rented accommodation must be in good condition.
- The tenant must have privacy - landlords can only enter the accommodation with your permission, unless it’s an emergency. Landlords are permitted to carry out routine inspections of the property.
- Tenants must have a rent book, written contract or lease with the landlord.
- Tenants must be informed of increases to their rent. A rent increase can only occur once a year except in certain circumstances when improvements have been carried out to the dwelling, and according to the current market rate, after 28 days written notice.
- Tenants must be able to contact their landlord at any reasonable time.
- Tenants must be reimbursed by the landlord for any reasonable and vouched repairs that are carried out on the accommodation in cases where the landlord has refused or failed to carry out repairs requested by the tenant within a reasonable time.
- Tenants must be given given proper notice before the termination of the tenancy agreement.
- Tenants can refer disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).
Gas & Electricity
Most places come with an already established connection to a supplier of gas and electricity. However, to maximise savings and make sure that you’re getting the best deal, it pays to shop around, and ensure that you’re really getting the most out of your money.
The main providers are:
You may wish to visit Switcher.ie to compare the cost of providers.
Moving to Ireland
Students from the Common Travel Area (CTA), or an EU or EEA country can enter Ireland without restriction.
Some non-CTA/EU/EEA students can enter Ireland without a visa. However, some non-CTA/EU/EEA students will require a visa before travelling to Ireland. To check to see whether you require an entry visa, please see www.irishimmigration.ie .
If you are in possession of both a CTA/EU/EEA and a non-CTA/EU/EEA passport, you must travel to Ireland using your CTA/EU/EEA documentation in order enter the country without restriction.
Registration with Irish Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) After Arrival for Non-EU/EEA Nationals
When you enter Ireland, you will need to show the immigration officer at the airport your offer letter from Trinity, your valid passport, proof of health insurance, a receipt for your College deposit or fees (or scholarship letter), and a bank statement showing your means to support yourself during your stay. The immigration officer will stamp your passport for a period of 30 days. Within that time you are expected to visit ISD and register as a non-EU student living in Ireland.
ALL non-CTA/EU/EEA students, regardless of whether they require an entry visa, must register with ISD in order to obtain a permission to in the country. ISD registration must take place before the expiry date stamped on their passport by the immigration officials at the airport.
Steps to register:
To register with ISD for the first time, non-CTA/EU/EEA students residing in Dublin city or county must book and attend an appointment in person at the Burgh Quay registration office. Please call Freephone 1800 800 630 from an Irish mobile or landline phone to book your appointment.
The process of registration and required documentation are outlined here .
If you are registering outside of Dublin, please see here .
You can find more information about the Irish immigration process here . If you have additional questions, contact the Global Room team via email@example.com or stop into Global Room in the Watts Building (part of the Hamilton Complex) from 10am-9pm weekdays.
Visas, Travel, and Re-entry to Ireland
The visa that you will receive in your home country before travelling to Ireland is a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. Either will allow you to enter the country. After you arrive in Ireland and register with the ISD, you will receive an Irish Residency Permit (IRP) card. You will need to have a valid IRP card to allow you to enter and leave the country as many times as you would like. You may need a separate visa to visit other countries in Europe, so you should be sure to check before planning any travel. The most common visas are the Schengen Visa and UK Visa.
What's Happening in Dublin
The following are a selection of Dublin-focused social and entertainment sites. They'll let you know about all of the happenings around the capital - from the best places to eat, to cultural events, to upcoming activities.
Opening a Bank Account
A bank account is the most essential thing to set up if you've just arrived in Ireland, or, if you've been using your Mam and Dad's account up to now.
When setting up a bank account, you will need to make an appointment with the branch you wish to set-up as your 'home' branch. As you will likely be moving residence several times during the course of your studies, it might make sense to use a branch close to campus as your home branch. You will need to bring proof of address (you can find this on your Proof of Registration letter in your my.tcd.ie portal), photo ID, and your student card with you to your appointment. When booking your appointment, it is very important to state that you will be opening a student bank account; banks in Ireland charge maintenence and ATM fees on 'normal' current accounts, but there should be no fees on student accounts.
It has become increasingly popular for students to use Revolut accounts as their primary bank accounts. Revolut makes it incredibly easy to send and receive money from other Revolut users, facilitates fee-free banking and ATM withdrawals, and has excellent cashback offerings across a range of retailers and restaurants. Paid Revolut subscription plans also offer travel insurance and other benefits. However, the company is still relatively new to the Irish market, so it may be wise to still set up a student account with a bricks-and-mortar bank.
Regardless of where and how you choose to set up your bank account, please do remember that the process can take up to several weeks. It is important that you have a means of accessing your money during this period. Perhaps you want to take out enough cash to get by, maybe your parents will give you access to their accounts via card or mobile-phone payment - whatever it is, just don't leave yourself stuck! If you are without access to money at any stage during your studies, please do reach out to the Students' Union Welfare Officer who can offer emergency loans of up to €100, and point you in the direction of additional supports.
Outside of keeping warm, keeping the lights on and the water running, one of the most essential things for life is staying connected to the world around you. There are plenty of options for mobile networks in Ireland, and for getting up and running online as well.
One of the first things you’ll want is a mobile phone - for maps, for social media, and also so you can phone home and let them know that you’re safe. You may have a phone and sim card which you can use during your first few days in Ireland, but chances are that if you don't already have an EU sim, you'll be best to pick one up sooner rather than later! That being said, generally we would advise not to buy a new sim card, or sign up to a mobile contract before you arrive in Ireland, as you will typically find that you can find cheaper deals offered through the Students' Union, or even advertised on the side of your morning bus.
In Ireland, there are three categories of sim cards - contract-based bill-pay, pre-pay, and month-by-month bill-pay:
- If you want to avail of a contract-based bill-paying phone , you’ll need an Irish or EU bank account first. You can then visit your local phone shop, or browse online, where - once you've found a plan you like, you’ll typically be asked to set up a fixed-term contract. The advantage of this kind of sim is that you will know exactly how much your phone will cost you per month, and for how long you can expect to pay this price. You may also be able to pay for a new device as part of your monthly fee. However, given the fixed terms of these contracts, you may find yourself paying for a service which no longer suits your needs.
- Pre-pay is often easier to set up than a contract sim. You can pick up a pre-pay sim from a phone shop or your local supermarket, and then top it up with credit. You can spend this credit on texts, calls, and internet access. An advantage of pre-pay sim cards is that they often offer deals, like free calls on evenings and weekends, or free texts to phones on the same network. However, you will need to be mindful of just how much data your favourite apps use up.
- A month-by-month bill-pay sim will charge you a flat-rate sum monthly for varying amounts of texts, calls, and internet access. You can pick up one of these sims from the Global Room or a phone shop, or you can order one online. These sim cards work almost like a contract-based bill-pay sim in that you will not have to pay per text sent or gigabyte of data used. However, with this type of sim you will not be tied into a contract, instead paying for a month's access whenever you would like to start using your sim's services. The advantage of this kind of sim is that you will only have to pay for your phone during the months you are actually sending texts, making calls, or using data in Ireland. The disadvantages are that the companies who operate these sims will often define a 'month' as 28 days, rather than the usual 30 or 31, and that the company can increase the price of their services. Even if a company suggests that you will pay a certain amount 'for life,' you will likely only have access to this price if you pay for their service without interruption.
The main network providers are:
If you need to buy a new phone, there are plenty of phone shops in and around the city centre, and you can also order your new device online. It is worth having a shop around a good few phone shops, department stores, etc., as the prices for phone models can vary drastically across retailers. Please be aware that there are no Apple stores in Ireland, and that you are unlikely to find a dedicated shop for Android phone companies such as Samsung.
Internet at College
Wi-fi is available throughout the college , and you can access it from your phone, laptop, and tablet devices. If you don’t have an internet-ready device, there are plenty of computer rooms in on- and off-campus locations - you can also find computers in the various libraries. Just log on with your Trinity Username and Password.
Internet at Home
To set up broadband/wi-fi in your home, the easiest thing to do is go to one of the main suppliers, who are listed below. To check the best deals for your area, head to Switcher.ie. It pays to shop around and find the deal that suits you best. You might also research the connection strength of various providers in your area; it's all very well only paying a tenner a month for wi-fi, but if that wi-fi only works 10% of the time, you might be better having one less pint a month and splashing the cash on better internet!
How to Get Around
Navigating Dublin is easy and there are plenty of options to choose from when deciding which mode of transport is best for you.
Child, Young Adult, or Student Leap Card
We recommend that all students acquire a Child, Young Adult or Student Leap Card. Using a Young Adult or Student Leap Card will save you an average of 50% of the cost of a standard, adult fare on travel nationwide. Using a Child Leap Card can make travel up to 85% cheaper!
You can buy a Child Leap Card if you are aged 18 or younger. If you are 19-23, you can buy a Young Adult Leap Card. Both of these kinds of Leap Cards can be ordered online at leapcard.ie.
If you are aged 24+, you can apply for a Student Leap Card online at leapcard.ie, however you must either collect your card in person, or complete a remote verification process. See www.tcdsu.org for more information.
The Luas is the tram system in Dublin which offers a direct link to many major locations in and outside of the city centre. Lines operate direct links to The 3 Arena concert venue, Dundrum shopping centre, and Tallaght and St. James’ Hospitals.
There are two Luas lines, the Red and the Green. The Red line operates between The 3 Arena or Connolly Station and Tallaght or Saggart, and the Green line operates between Parnell Street or Broombridge and Sandyford or Brides Glen.
The Luas will often be the fastest method of travelling between two places, so long as they are both connected to the lines. However, the Red line especially can get very busy during rush hours, and there is no 24-hour tram service.
Dublin Bus operate an extensive bus network system that can take you to within walking distance of the majority of places in the city centre, the wider Dublin area, and some beyond.
The bus is the transport of choice of a large number of Dubliners, as it connects many places which are not on the tram or train lines to each other and the city centre. It is also the only public transport option which runs 24-hour routes. However, you can only pay for the bus using Leap Cards or coins, and no change will be given by the driver if you overpay for your ticket, so it may not be the best option when you first arrive in the city.
More information on bus rates and routes is available at dublinbus.ie.
DART(Dublin Area Rapid Transit)
The DART is a train service which connects coastal suburbs to the city centre. The DART runs between Malahide or Howth and Bray or Greystones (yes - it really does extend into Wicklow!)
Unless you live outside of the city, or relatively close to a DART station, you are unlikely to use these trains on a day-to-day basis. Using the DART is more expensive than the bus or Luas, and services finish well before midnight and are relatively infrequent during the weekend and off-peak hours.
The DART is, however, fantastic if you fancy taking a trip to the beach at any stage, and the scenery from the trains as they navigate the cliffside tracks is breath-taking. During the warmer months, you'll often find groups of Trinity students on the DART heading down to Dún Laoghaire or Bray for an ice-cream, a stroll along the seafront, and maybe even a fruity cider!
If you want to try cycling in the city for the first time, or don't want to fork out a few hundred euro for a personal bike, you can hire a dublinbike by purchasing either a 1-day ticket, 3-day ticket or taking out an Annual subscription. Dublinbikes are an extremely cost-effective way of navigating around the city; with your subscription, you can borrow a bike for free for up to 30 minutes at a time, with low-cost rental charges for any usage period above this.
The best part about using dublinbikes is that you can pick up and drop off your bike at a ton of clearly signposted locations around the city, so you can access a bike when you need it, but not have to take it around with you wherever you go!
Full details on all dublinbike ticket options can be found on the dublinbikes website: www.dublinbikes.ie.