College accommodation: Students living with a family can save €378 a month

College accommodation: Students living with a family can save €378 a month

Students can save up to €378 a month by choosing to live with a host family.

This is according to the Cost of Living Guide for students for 2019-’20, produced by Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin).

While many believe there’s very little accommodation available in our cities, this isn’t actually the case, with TU Dublin research confirming widespread availability of host family accommodation – and it’s significantly cheaper than other options.

TU Dublin Head of Campus Life Dr Brian Gormley says the advice to anyone moving away from home is there are affordable options available.

In October 2018, when the academic year was already a few weeks old, TU Dublin still had 300 spaces available on its student accommodation database – these were host family spaces which cost an average of €3,780 a year.

For the coming year, TU Dublin has over 1,000 accommodation spaces available. Host family spaces average €140 per week, and students pay rent for fewer weeks than in Student Accommodation.

Dr Gormley explains: “Of all the accommodation options, this is the most economical, and also offers the most flexibility. Bills are included in the cost, and many hosts provide optional extras, e.g. a light breakfast and evening meal.

"In addition, students can opt for a five-day rental agreement if they plan to return home for the weekend. Rent in host family accommodation is typically paid for 25-30 weeks over the academic year, whereas in campus-style student accommodation, rent is typically paid for 40 weeks.

“For parents, it also comes with peace of mind that their son/daughter is living in secure housing often with a family.”

TU Dublin student Padraig Treanor says the cost of Dublin rents made him consider commuting for the first few weeks but he found digs through his cousin.

“I had a very good experience with digs. They were definitely a cheaper option and I only had to pay for the weeks I was in college.

It allowed me to adapt to university as I was staying with a family, so the only real massive change was the location and the freedom that came with it.

Padraig’s advice to freshers is: meet the people you’re going to stay with before deciding. “I’d highly recommend digs for people moving up to Dublin – it can give you that year to make friends to find a house the following year.”

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