As an international student in Ireland, you can enjoy the same rights as other citizens and students in the country.
Moreover, if you want to learn more about some of your specific rights as an international student in Ireland, especially on accommodation rights, rights against discrimination and work rights, here are some of the things you need to know.
International students have various options in Ireland when it comes to accommodation. Thus, in most cases, their accommodation rights depend on which one they choose.
The most common and basic rights students are entitled to include the following:
- Staying in an accommodation that is in good condition and has met the minimum standards set by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
- Protection from rent increases, which should only be done every two years, and be given after a 90 days notice (which should be in writing).
- The right to contact the RTB in case of issues with your landlord or if you need advice.
- Right to privacy
- Right to keep important documents (rent book, contract/lease)
- Give or get verbal and written notice before moving out.
Some accommodation options also include homestays or “digs” which are usually cheaper. However, unlike other forms of accommodations, you have fewer rights and protection when you choose these options.
For example, your landlord can end your tenancy without any notice, or in case of issues with your landlord, the RTB cannot get involved.
Your Rights Against Discrimination
Ireland is known as one of the most tolerant and friendly countries in Europe. The country is now home to a diverse and multicultural population. Thus, issues against racism are rare.
To protect yourself from rare cases of racism in the country, here are some places you can go to report or ask for help.
International Office, Equality Office, School Management – you can directly go to any of these three if you have experienced or witnessed racism in your institution. These offices can help you file a complaint, go through the right procedures and take the right actions
Garda Ethnic Liaison Office – in case the incident involves physical assault or something criminal in nature, you should go to a Garda Office. They can provide you with the right support and advice on these incidents.
The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR), is committed to fighting racism and all kinds of discrimination in Ireland. The group provides resources for people to learn more about racism, and how to respond to them.
Victims and witnesses of racism can also report to INAR through its iReport. iReport serves as a data collection system that INAR uses to create annual reports, to be used for lobbying and influencing policymakers to create change. Thus, it is important that aside from it, you also report the incident to police authorities.
If you are planning to work while studying in Ireland, do know that you are also entitled to some rights in the workplace.
The most common and basic rights for international students working in Ireland include the following:
- Not work more than 48 hours a week for EEA/EU students and not more than 20 hours per week for non-EEA/EU students.
- Get minimum wage per hour, the same as Irish citizens
- Get extra pay for working overtime
- Get leaves and breaks
Knowing your rights as an international student in Ireland is important because it’s like giving yourself protection from possible issues in the future.
Learn more about Ireland as a study destination, and check out practical tips and information to make your stay there easier and more fun by reading our articles at MSM Unify.