The experiences of African students living in Ireland

Ayomide Akinshilo

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It has been reported that over the last 30 years, worldwide absolute poverty has fallen sharply (from about 40% to under 20%) but that number has hardly gone low in relation to Africa.
Today, over 40% of people reportedly live in absolute poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.
With this statistic in mind, it should be hardly surprising that those who are lucky enough to make the cross to study in Ireland will find it difficult to live modestly.
The general consensus among the students is that it is expensive to live in Dublin. One student who rents a room with a host family for one month at 500 euro estimates that is the same prize he rents a room a Nigeria for one year.
Five different students currently living in Ireland revealed five things they think will help a student enjoy his stay in the Emerald Isle.
1. Bring your food from Africa
Oluwatobi, a student at Griffith college who lives off campus advises anyone who is looking to live in Ireland to always bring food from Africa because it is expensive to buy food in Ireland.
“If possible make sure you have two big boxes which will be filled be filled with African food,” he said.

A typical African plate.
A typical African plate. Image Credit: Murhero Foundation (flickr)

2. Shop at the cheapest places in Dublin
Another student, Gosego advises anyone looking to live in Ireland to buy clothes from the cheapest shops. She advises African student to shop at Penney’s who sell Primark wares. “The cheapest place to get clothes and other kinds of stuff is Penneys”.
3. Live in a hostel and not a host family or an apartment
Another student Godwin says living in Ireland is bad and much worse in some accommodations. He advises students to live in hostels which charge roughly 300 Euros per month.
He says a student might have to live in bunk rooms but it is still better than having to pay as much as 700 euros to live with a family who might not even provide food.

House for rent in Dublin's Southwest The Coombe/Liberties neighbourhood. [Photo Credit: Scot Tanner]
House for rent in Dublin’s Southwest The Coombe/Liberties neighbourhood. [Photo Credit: Scot Tanner]
4. Walk more, use public transport less
“If you have to walk 30 minutes, please do,” says Mayowa, a student who lives in Balbriggan, Dublin co. Student leap cards are needed but many times a student must learn how to walk he advises.
He also adds that bicycles are a good way of moving around and also exercising the body.

Dublin Bus -Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ
Dublin Bus -Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

5. If you have a family living in Ireland, best to stay with them
Another student at Griffith college, Olufemi who stays with an aunt who stays in Ireland advises students to live with family members if they have to.
“I spend close to two hours coming to school daily but I still save money and I don’t buy food because my anty feeds me,” she says.

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Ayomide Akinshilo