When I first arrived in Dublin, I have to admit I saw the prices of everything and thought to myself, “I’m never going to make it four months without going bankrupt”. I made some sacrifices and choices along the way, one of the first was that I decided to stay in Ireland for the duration of my stay, it was simply too expensive to leave the country. At first, I was slightly regretful that this was the case, but now that the semester is winding down I’m thrilled to have made that decision. I feel as though I’ve learned the ins and outs of Dublin, learned where I could afford and because of that ended up visiting (if not spending money at) more places than I might’ve in the area if I had not been in such a desperate spot to find the places I could frequent. It’s safe to say that even on a budget I’ve fallen in love with the city. This all brought up interesting questions in my mind though. How in the world do college kids get by in Dublin without scholarship?
So I found out. Irish students pay only 2700 euro to attend a year worth of school. Although I pay something similar that’s after financial aid and scholarships. College in Ireland is much cheaper than it is in the states, in turn Irish students can actually afford to support themselves throughout college potentially without any loans. What’s more is the minimum wage in Ireland. I needed to support myself this past summer and save up for my trip at the same time. Saving up was hard, but 16 hour days got me enough to get by in Ireland. Over here, 16 hours a day might buy me a house in the United States…okay, not literally, but the minimum wage in Dublin is 8.65 euro an hour equivalent to 12.00 and hour. I make about 7.65 an hour before taxes in New Jersey. Either way I’ve spent time with a lot of college students as strapped for cash as I was, and I have no regrets for staying in this dime of a city. I’ll miss Dublin like I’ve missed New Jersey.