There has been a huge demand for on-campus accommodations for international students in the country, says The Higher Education Authority in a report today.
The General numbers of international students registered in Irish higher education institutions are around 32,000, and an increase of around 2% over last years figures.Following the increase of international students, accommodation prices for students for the academic year are growing, which has resulted in some international students, returning home to their parents.
Most international students staying on campus accommodations and studying in government colleges and other foundation colleges are often faced with countless money issues, like college fees, weekly money, and transport to and from the college, rent payment, bills as well as maintenance fees. One of the major cause for price increase in the last year, was the introduction of water charges.
The Higher Education Authority report last year, found that 57,000 students were seeking accommodation in Dublin, Cork and Galway, with 25,000 shortage of student’s bed places.Most international students are studying in foundation colleges like Dublin International Foundation College, Gaiety School of Acting, Griffith College Dublin and many more.
While Majority of these students have now switched to commuting every day to college from their new homes. An international student from Nigeria, currently studying in Griffith College Dublin, in 2nd year of B.A in Law, Amanda Atari Andah says “ Living on Campus is very comfortable but not affordable for international student like myself, mostly because the fees are quite high.” She also added that “however living off campus is affordable although a lot of people complain on the bills, but the main reason why I left campus was mainly because of the cost of living on campus.”
Another student living Off-campus is, Sicelo Mathebula, a South African student, who moved over to Ireland to study in the Gaiety School of Acting, have said “I enjoy living off campus but I don’t have an experience of living on campus yet, unlike other students, I worked and paid for my college fees as well as my accommodation from my own savings.” She also said “the cost of living and studying abroad is expensive and hopefully by next year the prices go down or stay the same, if not I would be forced to go back to South Africa due to living costs.”Some of these students have tried to find cheaper apartments and housing rates before the academic year started, most of which were unsuccessful.
Students living in off campus accommodation are responsible for other bills which are shared with other housemates. Irish Council for International Students, released a statement saying that “The amount could be as little as €300 per month for a shared room through to €700 or more for a modest self-contained flat in Dublin. On campus accommodation is in heavy demand and is priced at the higher end.”
Majority of these international students have returned back home after just completing one year in their chosen course, while some remain here in Ireland and strive to overcome the housing problem. Organizations and groups like ICOS, Union of Student in Ireland and Home Stay Ireland are currently helping to reduce the accommodation crisis facing both international and Irish students.