I’ve received a number of messages from teachers looking for advice about moving to Dublin to teach. As many of you know, I’m from Waterford and I spent my first two years teaching there before moving to the U.K. and after a year, we returned home. My boyfriend already had a job in Dublin but even though I had applied for many positions all around the city and county I had no success. At the beginning of August we got our first apartment and we were over the moon. At the end of August (two days before school started) I got my first job and I was over the moon – however the job was a 45 minute drive away without traffic and a commute which sometimes took up to an hour and a half sitting in traffic on the m50 and going no where.
Before we moved home to Ireland, we were considering moving to London where teachers are paid a ‘London allowance’. There is no Dublin allowance for teachers even though the cost of living in Dublin is quite high.
It can be extremely difficult to find a place to live in Dublin. For our first place in 2011, we had to view the place with a letting agent and then had to meet the landlord for coffee on a different evening and she then chose between us and other potential tenants. The apartment was extremely damp – the beds and chairs would be soaked – it was a disaster. We complained a lot but had very little success and we couldn’t move as there was no where else and they had our deposit so we had no choice. The landlord came one night and realised how bad things were so gave us a month off rent (using the security deposit) so after 11 months we decided to move on – I had secured a second year in my school so we decided to move closer.
The second place was wonderful – a small townhouse – it was more expensive but we loved it. Things were great for nearly 2 years until we got an email just before the contract was due for renewal saying that the rent was to be increased. While we were expecting an increase – we couldn’t afford the increase that was being proposed. We offered to pay an increase of 4% and were told that instead the landlord would be selling the house. We were devastated and began looking for somewhere else – there was no suitable place for our budget, everywhere we went to view we were met with a queue of other people and had no luck. This was the door to one of the apartments we viewed with a price of €1600 a month.
Thankfully, the house next door came up for rent so we took that – it was more expensive and in a very poor condition but it was somewhere to live. At this stage, we had built up our deposit and decided to start looking for somewhere to buy. After countless viewings, being outbid, falling in love and dreaming of different houses but with no luck we eventually found our perfect home and moved in last December. I’ve recently heard of colleagues and friends struggling to find a place to live so our story is not unique.
Accommodation is more expensive and you can expect to pay anything from €500/600 a month not including bills.
- Try to find accommodation close enough to your school.
- Think about your commute – how will you get to school? Is there public transport available? If you plan on driving – use google maps and put in the time that you need to get to school. If possible – avoid commuting on the M50 (unless its just a short distance).
- If you have family in Dublin – can you stay with them – even just for a few weeks to get yourself set up.
- Can you share with friends? or get a house share?
Commuting in Dublin can be difficult. Often buses and trains don’t connect and a 20 minute drive away could be an hour and a half on two buses. This is something you need to consider before you chose a place to live. Personally, I made the mistake of finding accommodation before I got a job and this meant a horrible commute every day!
- Find a school first – try to find accommodation close enough to your school to avoid a bad commute.
- Test the drive at peak times and see if it will work for you.
- Talk to other people who may be able to tell you about shortcuts/ rat runs etc.
Cost of living
Things are more expensive in Dublin – the cost of eating out, shopping, petrol etc. Everything is a little (and some things are a lot) more expensive so this is something to bear in mind if you are planning a move.
Personally, I wouldn’t move to Dublin without a contract. Yes there is a lot of subbing available but there will be quiet weeks and sometimes even months (particularly at the beginning of the year) where money could be very tight!
Things I love about Dublin
- Facilities – there is always something to do/ somewhere to go.
- There is public transport – especially around the city so you can get from place to place.
- Musicals and concerts – I love attending concerts in the NCH and musicals in Bord Gais. Last week we went to see Copper Face Jacks the Musical and this week we are going to see Wicked. (We wouldn’t be able to go to both of these if we didn’t live in Dublin!)
- Phoenix Park
- Airport is close by – great if you like travelling!
- Lots of ‘tourist’ locations – great if you are interested in History.
- The Seaside – I love Dun Laoghaire and Malahide!
- Shopping – every shop under the sun!
- Eating out – there are so many different restaurants, different types of food, different places to try!
Things I don’t love
- Traffic – it can take a huge amount of time to get from place to place.
- No family – I have no family in Dublin which can be very tough at times. We try to get home every second week (thankfully we are both from Waterford) but this means Friday and Sunday evenings are spent in the car. (Traffic leaving Dublin on Fridays is horrible!)
- It can be very difficult to make friends. Thankfully, I have a great group of friends from school but still it can be a bit lonely sometimes.
- Its busy – this can be a good thing but also a bad thing.
Will I ever move home to Waterford?
Right now – I don’t know but I’ll definitely be in Dublin for the next five years at least and realistically I don’t think I can plan any further than that!