Going To College – Student Services

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Moving away from home for the first time can be a daunting prospect for any student but often it is their parents who find it more frightening! It is a rite of passage that many parents dread: waving goodbye to their children and saying hello to fully-fledged adults. Of course, students aren’t as fully-fledged as they would like their parents to believe: they’ll be back as often as possible with an overflowing bag of laundry and in need of a good, wholesome feed not to mention cash handouts! As they leave home and head off to college it is only natural that you will worry about everything from where they’re going to live to whether there’s a doctor’s surgery nearby and how they’re going to manage their finances.

Luckily, colleges and universities think about this too and offer numerous services for students to help make the transition from living at home to living away that much easier. Typical services and support offered at most universities, ITs and colleges includes accommodation, chaplaincy, health services, catering facilities, and counselling services.


The college accommodation office and the Students Union provide help for students wishing to find accommodation. They provide lists of ‘digs’ and rental properties which other students have used in the past, and advice including sample rent books and leases. Many students start looking for accommodation the day after they accept their CAO offer. Finding somewhere to live is a pretty important part of the preparing for third level process, and the best places tend to fill up quickly.

All the Irish universities and some of the ITs and private colleges provide on-campus accommodation. Many colleges have recently completed campus accommodation buildings, and first-year students should have at least a 50/50 chance of getting an on-campus home. These new modern “student villages” usually consist of a number of large apartment blocks with nearby services such as shops, laundry services, and parking. Living ‘in digs’ – i. e. as a paying guest in someone’s home – has been a traditional option for students moving away from home for many years. People living in digs usually have their own bedroom and bathroom, with shared eating and TV facilities, and the landlady (or landlord) provides breakfast and dinner.

Health Services

Many universities, ITs and colleges have their own on-campus health centres for students’ ease and convenience. Students are usually able to visit the doctor free of charge and only pay reduced fees for additional consultations and services.


There are usually a wealth of dining and food hall areas on-campus at third-level institutions so students have no excuse to go hungry! They can choose from hot and cold meals throughout term-time when they have nothing in the fridge or when they are studying so hard they don’t have enough time to cook.


Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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