With high education standards, a friendly people and a rich culture, it’s no surprise that Ireland attracted 100,000 students to learn English in accredited language schools in 2011 (Failte Ireland). IALC schools in Ireland give us some of the key reasons to study English in Ireland.
Ireland has a long history of learning and academia and its qualifications are recognised for excellence worldwide. English language schools in Ireland are accredited by ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services). ACELS is run by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).
IALC English language schools in Ireland offer a wide choice of courses including the classic General English and English for Business courses, for groups, individuals or combined. University preparation, and more specifically IELTS preparations and exams are also available. And there are countless possibilities to combine English language learning with tourist activities ranging from sports and outdoor activities to arts and culture.
Ireland is also good value, not just for markets in the euro zone, to which it belongs. “Courses are competitively priced and the cost of living is decreasing,” says Neil Holohan, Principal of Frances King School of English in Dublin.
Thanks to its temperate climate, Ireland offers plenty of outdoor activities such as golf, fishing, walking, horse-riding, adventure sports, etc. Students love the beautiful nature and the clean fresh air, and can easily experience other landscapes, towns and coastal villages on day trips as Ireland is quite small.
As well as being clean and safe, the cities and town – i.e. Bray, Cork, Dublin, Galway – are “vibrant, with a huge number of young, educated people,” says CES Director Justin Quinn.
Ireland has a long and fascinating history and culture, says Victoria Power from ACET in Cork. International students have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful traditional Irish music and famous Irish dance as well as modern bands. The Irish cities host a wide variety of festivals, such as St Patrick’s celebrations, Ireland’s national folk music festival Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the Cork Jazz Festival, The Galway International Arts Festival or the Groove Festival in Bray, the Dublin International Piano Festival and Summer Academy…
Overall, students choosing Ireland for their English course have a great choice of cultural and social activities in small, safe cities where everything is easily accessible.
The Irish are renowned for their friendly and welcoming hospitality, chattiness and wit. So it’s easy for foreign students to meet Irish people and engage in conversation with them. “We like to talk… a LOT!” says Stephen Shortt, Director of Alpha College of English in Dublin. “The main reasons people say they choose Ireland are the friendly, talkative locals – students can really practise their English with lots of native speakers – and the warm and welcoming host families, who really make students feel at home.”
“Add to that the sexiest accent in the world!” says Celestine Rowland Owner of Galway Cultural Institute. In a survey by OnePoll of 5000 women worldwide, Ireland beat Italy, Scotland and France to take first place!
And Wikipedia suggests that Ireland has one of the highest percentages of English speakers at 98.37% – another positive factor for English learners.
Ireland is also a “Gateway to Europe,” says Evin Delaney from Pace Institute in Bray. Ireland is part of the Shengen Agreement, which makes it a convenient destination for students coming from the European Economic Area, and attractive to students from other continents, since once in Ireland, they can easily visit other European countries. Overall, air access is good. 10 airlines fly to Ireland, serving Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock, Kerry, Waterford and Donegal.
In their 2010-2015 strategic plan for education in Ireland, the Irish authorities have set a target of 120,000 language students for 2015 and therefore actively support the English Language Training sector. International students (Non-EEA) can apply for a visa to study English in Ireland, provided they attend a full-time course with language school recognised by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI). Students who come to Ireland on a Language Programme can enrol on a Degree Programme course, provided the length of their studies does not exceed 7 years.
Visit Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for up-to-date information.
Article written by AK la Combe, IALC Marketing Executive, thanks to contributions from Owners and Managers from IALC Irish language schools: ACET in Cork, Alpha College of English in Dublin, CES Dublin, Emerald Cultural Institute in Dublin, Frances King School of English Dublin, Galway Cultural Institute, PACE Language Institute in Bray.