“I open new doors to Life. I celebrate what I have but know that fresh experiences are always ahead of me.” ~Louise L. Hay
Leaving home to start a new course in third level can be both daunting and exciting.
In 2017 Ireland, finding suitable, affordable accommodation near college can be very difficult. And there doesn’t seem to be much hope for improvement for school leavers planning on taking their places in college in September.
It’s so unfair. To have worked so hard to get a good leaving cert and a place college, only to be faced with the very real prospect of not being able to find or afford suitable accommodation!
When I went to college in the 90’s, bedsits were the order of the day. Dingy, damp and dubiously furnished rooms (the size of most bathrooms). These bedsits were to be found primarily in period Georgian buildings, with draughty windows, no heating, and nearly always two flights of stairs to the nearest toilet (not great in the middle of the night).
Now while the standard of accommodation across the board has improved, the problem has now become how to FIND and AFFORD a place to stay, and simply enjoy being a student.
This is what prompted me to start my site www.switchingrooms.ie
Listening to the media storm last summer 2016 about how students were unable to find accommodation, with parents paying what equates to a second mortgage to simply pay student rent, it became obvious that Irish students will simply be priced out of their courses!!
And so began my simple solution website. Once the first round CAO offers come out in August of any year starting 2017, students who have already registered with switching rooms can immediately log in to see if there are any rooms available for swapping/switching near the college they have been offered a place in.
The switch can take place once both parties firstly find that they need to live in each-others´ town/city/region to be close to college, and secondly that they have negotiated ground rules, conditions, contracts etc.
So put very simply;
- Two students from two different areas in Ireland need to find accommodation in each other’s area.
- They will both be leaving an empty room behind them Monday to Friday once the college year starts.
- So why not switch rooms?
- That way, they can both enjoy the comforts of home and actually enjoy college life without the financial stress.
- By the weekend, they can be back in their own rooms.
- This is a win-win situation.
Being that my background is in fashion design, TV and movies with no background in IT technology, the past 12 months have been full of MASSIVE learning curves, crash courses train-wrecks in terms of learning about tech speak, social media, web design and on and on. The learning and challenges continue…
FINALLY, www.switchingrooms.ie is live!