French Embassy in Ireland Warns Int’l Students They May Struggle to Find Accommodation

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The French Embassy in Ireland has warned new arrivals, including students, that they may face difficulties in finding accommodation in Ireland due to the “severe housing crisis” that the country is facing.

In a statement published on its website, the embassy said that a strong demand has led to a significant increase in rent prices which at the moment are higher than in Paris, including shared housing, Erudera.com reports.

“It is therefore advisable for people planning to settle in Ireland to allow sufficient time for this search for accommodation (which can take several weeks),” the statement reads.

In addition, the embassy advised everyone to stay vigilant amid rental scams on different sites and not sign any contract or pay the deposit without meeting the owner of the place or real estate agents and seeing the accommodation in advance.

“It is essential to have solid financial guarantees and, if possible, certificates of payment of rent from your previous owners (reference letter) in order to be able to present a rental file,” it pointed out.

Following the embassy’s advice, the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) said it had seen an 86 percent increase in queries handled through its information and support service regarding housing this year.

ICOS further said that many students had contacted them asking for help in finding accommodation, reporting being homeless, reporting scams, or making a complaint about the substandard and often overcrowded conditions of the place they are living in.

The Executive Director of the Irish Council for International Students, Laura Harmon, said that the housing crisis in Ireland is affecting the country’s reputation worldwide as a study destination, as it can also be seen from the French embassy warning its citizens.

Harmon said that international students contribute more than €2.2bn annually to Ireland’s economy. Therefore, according to her, it is unfair that these students who make huge investments in their education in Ireland, as well as many higher education institutions and language schools that make huge efforts to deliver amazing student experience, are being damaged by “the accommodation disaster.’’

’’The student accommodation crisis is worse than ever now due to a lack of supply, exorbitant rents and ineffective regulations on overcrowding among other issues. ICOS is also eagerly awaiting the publication of a new International Education Strategy for Ireland which is nearly two years overdue,’’ Harmon stressed.

She also highlighted the risk of rental scams, saying that international students are at greater risk of them as they often have little knowledge about the rental market in Ireland.

Earlier this year, it was reported that international students in Ireland are being forced to sleep in clubs, cars, or on the street as a result of the housing crisis in the country. In May, some English-language students had to sleep for the night in their cars or streets due to difficulties in finding accommodation. Some of them even considered continuing studies in another country or returning to their home country, discontinuing studies in Ireland.

Photo by Andrea Leopardi | Unsplash

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