The Accommodation (Housing) system at Irish universities may be quite different to your home country.
Students coming to study at NUI Galway have two main options available to choose from – you can stay in an official NUI Galway Student Residence or rent a room (single or shared) in a private house or apartment.
The first option, staying at a Student Residence, is the most popular option for undergraduate students, especially those coming to Galway for the first time.
The NUI Galway student residences are mostly located off campus. While you might find this a little unusual, if you’re used to a residential college system in your home country, it’s worth bearing in mind that Galway is a relatively small, compact city, which means most of the residences are located within a 10-20 walk from the campus.
Residences vary by size, with smaller residences such as Donegan Court (54 students), Atlantis (80 students) and Menlo Park (140 students) and larger residences such as Cúirt na Coiribe (389 students), Dúnáras (409 students) and Gort na Coiribe (657 students). Please refer to the Accommodation Office at NUI Galway for a full list of residences.
The Map of Galway for International Students shows the location of all the NUI Galway Student Residences, in relation to the campus and the town centre.
You can view the websites for each of the Student Residences on the NUI Galway Accommodation website at www.nuigalway.ie/accommodation
The second main difference is that student residences at Irish universities are usually self-catered. The NUI Galway student residences for example generally comprise self-catered apartment units.
Each unit usually includes 2-3 bedrooms, a small kitchen area and a shared living space. Students therefore have the option of preparing their own meals in their own apartment, which can be cheaper than eating on campus.
Applications for housing are made separately to the relevant student residence. Please refer to the NUI Galway website at http://www.nuigalway.ie/accommodation for details. The more popular residences book up fast each year, so students are strongly encouraged to place a deposit and secure their place as soon as they receive their offer of admission.
Alternatively, there is also the option to rent room in a private house or apartment, which often suits older undergraduate students and graduate students. Typically, this will entail a houseshare or apartmentshare with other students or professionals.
There is a wide range of properties available to students in Galway, which are advertised throughout the year, but particularly in August. The two most popular websites used are www.findahome.ie and www.daft.ie as well as the local newspaper, the Galway Advertiser, which publishes a weekly accommodation supplement.
While Galway is a relatively compact city, areas such as the City Centre, Newcastle, Lower Salthill and Shantalla are usually the preferred option for students who want to be close to the campus but also within walking or cycling distance from the city centre.
The staff of the Accommodation Office at NUI Galway help students find appropriate accommodation in the student residences, apartments or shared private houses. They can also assist if problems arise with property owners.
For more information, please refer to the NUI Galway Pre-Arrival Guide for International Students.