There is a glimmer of light at the end of the accommodation crisis tunnel for students in Sligo who have to leave their home county next month to take up places on third-level courses.
Switching Rooms (www.switchingrooms.ie) is a new online start-up which allows students to advertise the room they are leaving behind in Sligo, search for a suitable match in their new destination and do a direct swap eliminating the need for both students to pay rent in their new room.
“With record numbers of first round CAO offers, the race is on for student accommodation this year,” said Switching Rooms Founder, Aisling Byrne. “Using Switching Rooms will help students and parents save money on accommodation and if they agree terms prior to swapping, they can provide each other with food, WiFi, laundry, cleaning facilities, transport and more as a further means of saving money.
Parents worrying about the cost involved in sending students to third level can look at the option of hosting a switching rooms member and eliminate rental cost for the college term.”
Byrne came up with the idea for the business when her work in the film industry required her to rent short-term and she had difficulty securing suitable accommodation. Knowing others were struggling to find rooms in her home town, she searched to see if anyone with a room in Dublin was willing to swap for a room in Galway, Monday to Friday. No such service existed. Byrne believed students were having an even harder time and that encouraged her to start up her business.
“It’s like Airbnb for students,” Byrne continued. “Students reluctant to choose a course in another city are no longer prohibited to do so because of rental costs.”
Switching Rooms has launched in time for the upcoming academic year and is offering sign-up free of charge for a limited period as a special introductory offer. Switching Rooms also allows students planning on studying in Europe to use its service and is reaching out to all universities participating in the Erasmus programme.