Studying Abroad

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Cost of Living in Ireland

We provide much useful information about banking, shopping etc. in our Student Handbook but the below serves to guide you as to how to access the different services listed.


Food, including some meals bought in cheaper restaurants, you will probably spend between €70 and €100 each week. Supermarkets have "own brand" food, which are cheaper than regular brands and are usually of good quality. Budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl often offer cheaper goods than the other supermarkets. Convenience foods and ready-made foods are not as nutritious as fresh foods, so although they may appear cheaper and easier to cook, in the long run they are not good value. When cooking for yourself, you could cook a little extra and have it for lunch the next day. This is much cheaper than eating out or buying a sandwich. It is a good idea to buy extra packets of basic foods that last, e.g., rice, pasta, beans and spices.

Public Transport

Transport can be expensive in Ireland compared to other European cities. For example, a 30-day bus ticket in Dublin can cost as much as €160. However, there are many options that are much cheaper, and costs vary depending on the mode of transport used. The cost of an average journey on a local city bus service is about €2.70 and will depend on the service used and the distance travelled. For some services, e.g., Dublin Bus, when you pay in cash the exact fare in coins is needed - no change is given, and no notes are accepted. For this reason, it is advisable to purchase a Student Leap Card. Student Leap card offers reduced fares and other discounts for students registered at an Irish college or university.


Cinemas in Ireland are very popular, but can be very expensive, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It is cheaper to go to the afternoon shows and during the week, and there is often a student discount available on production of a valid student identity card for certain shows. Some cinemas will also have special student days where, for example, all shows are half price for students on Tuesdays. You can find your local cinema at


Ireland is famous for its theatre and well-known playwrights. Visit for information on what is on in theatres around Ireland. A student discount is usually available on production of a valid student identity card.


There are gigs and concerts every night of the week all around Ireland. Find listings at The local pub is also a great choice to listen to live music much of which is free.

Ireland can be an expensive place to live so the following may help to reduce your costs of living when here.

  1. Always ask for student discounts when shopping so bring your student D card with you everywhere. Use the Student Leap Card when using public buses, trains, and trams fo the lowest fares.
  2. Work part -time in compliance with your visa conditions (i.e., no more than 20 hours during term time or 40 hours in approved holiday periods) which can help offset living costs.
  3. Live by Your Own Budget by setting aside specific sums for each of the following each week. By spending no more than you have allowed yourself, you will easily manage your money. We suggest something like this to get you started as a weekly budget:
  • Accommodation - €250
  • Food - €80
  • Travel - €50
  • Socialising - €50
  • Other - €50
  • Utilities (for private rented accommodation) – shop around using websites like and to find the best deals.
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