French embassy issues warning to students relocating from France to Ireland

The warning comes after a French student was scammed out of over €3000 by a fake landlord

The French embassy has issued a warning to students relocating from France to Ireland. As a result of the “severe housing crisis” in Ireland, new arrivals were informed about the difficulties in finding accommodation. 

On their website, the embassy said: “The strong demand and the saturation of the rental market have led to a sharp increase in rents, which are currently much more expensive than in Paris, including shared accommodation”

Providing guidance for those moving abroad, the French embassy warned students of the possible scams involved in finding accommodation, advising “great vigilance”. 

The embassy’s warning was released after a young French student was targeted and scammed out of over €3,000 after transferring accommodation payments to a fake landlord. 

The French foreign ministry stated that “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)”. 

This advice encourages students to prepare various rental documents in advance, as a way to secure their accommodation bid as fast as possible. 

The president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Beth O’Reilly, said that international students are being ‘misled’ on the availability of accommodation. 

Stating that there has been “still no action to protect students”, she called out Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris, on the issue. 

O’Reilley noted the outdated information on the cost of living in Ireland displayed in the Education In Ireland site.

The site showed student rent as 425 euro per month. After they were disputed, the figures on the page were deleted and not updated. 

O’Reilley concluded: “our international students deserve the full story before they choose to study in Ireland. They should be aware of all of the costs associated with studying here, as well as the abysmal accommodation situation.” 

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) recognised the effect of high rents on Ireland’s international reputation as an education destination. 

Executive director of the ICOS, Laura Harmon, commented on how the student accommodation crisis could have “serious ramifications” for Ireland’s higher education sector, and by extension, the negative impact it would have on the country’s economy. 

Highlighting the importance of international students in Irish society, Harmon said that it is “deeply unfair” for their aspirations and investments to be damaged by Ireland’s “accommodation disaster”. 

Sofia Ferrari Bravo

Sofia Ferarri Bravo is the Deputy News Analysis Editor for the 69th issue of Trinity News.