Around 150,000 language students make the choice to come to Ireland to study English every year. Language students bring an estimated €1.2 billion into the Irish economy each year, so you should find that you are very welcome in Ireland when you do come!
Here are ten good reasons to study English in Ireland!
1. A Warm Welcome
I felt I played terribly. And we lost. I remember getting on the plane the day after and someone asking me if I’d got over the disappointment yet. ‘No,’ I said. And added quietly, ‘This may take months.’ It did. In my blog at the time, I made a list of twelve great sporting or literary traumas to compare it to.
There’s not many who leave Ireland without mentioning the friendless of the local people. It may be a cliché but it’s also true. Ireland has been voted ‘World’s Friendliest Country’ by The Lonely Planet Guide. Visitors to Ireland often rate the friendly and engaging people as the most memorable aspect of their time in Ireland.
Examples of Irish friendliness which visitors mention include: Irish saying ‘thank you’ to bus drivers, spending time giving directions to anybody who asks and strangers saying hello to each other on the street. The great thing about being in Ireland as a language student is that you’ll get lots of opportunities to speak and listen to local people in English.
Click on the following link to read about Two of Irelands cities being voted amongst the top 10 in the world.
2. Study and Work
The ability to work while studying English is very important for lots of students to be able to support themselves while they are studying. With the UK having left the European union, Ireland is a logical place to study English for many European students because there are no visa issues. For non-EU/EEA students, while destinations such as the UK have introduced working restrictions, in Ireland all language students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours during the holidays. The minimum wage in Ireland is now €10.50 per hour.
You can find lots more information about working in Ireland as a student here.
3. Quality Teachers & Schools
Teachers of English in Ireland are respected and have a reputation for teaching English to the highest of standards. In many parts of the world, schools will accept an English teacher with very little experience and sometimes without holding any recognised qualification. In Ireland language schools are required to employ English teachers with a minimum of a university degree qualification plus a CELT/CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching) qualification.
For students who attend a recognised language school in Ireland, there is the security of Learner Protection. Basically, this means that in the unlikely event that your school or college closes during your course, you will be able join a course at another recognised language school.
4. How Irish People Speak English
97.5% of the population in Ireland speak English. Ireland is known for having a very high percentage of standard English being spoken, making it a great choice for English language students.
And… the Irish accent has been voted the sexiest in the world. Beating stiff competition from the French and the Scottish, the Irish top the list. If you can’t understand what your teacher is saying, you can still enjoy the soft musical sound of the accent.
5. Safety & Standard of Living
Ireland ranks among the safest countries in the world to visit and study in, number 12 in the world list. Click here to read more
Ireland was also voted number 6 in the world for standard of living in 2017. With its low population density and natural landscapes, it is easy to see the health benefits living in Ireland has to offer, from the fresh air of the Atlantic coast in the west, to the generally slow, relaxed pace of life.
6. Literary History
From Samuel Becket and James Joyce to Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker (creator of Dracula), Ireland has some of the greatest literary figures of world literature in English. You can also hear this creativity with the language in how normal Irish people speak. The Irish are storytellers. There is a great appreciation for anyone who has a ‘way with words.’ Listen to any Irish person speaking and you will see that the desire to tell stories is central to the Irish character.
7. The Beautiful Landscape
It does rain in Ireland but this is one of the reasons why the landscape is so green and beautiful. Ireland is a small island where every part is easily accessible. Even if you are living in the capital city Dublin, it is possible to be in the middle of the countryside within thirty minutes.
8. The Music & Rich Cultural Heritage
Ireland’s history of music and culture dates back thousands of years. The varied music tradition includes Irish instruments like the uilleann pipes, fiddle, tin whistle and bodhran. It is really easy to access authentic local Irish music by visiting an Irish pub and taking part in a music session or singalong.
9. Irish Sports
The most popular Irish National sports are hurling and Gaelic football. These sports have been very important in Ireland’s cultural history. Some form of hurling, for example, has been played in Ireland for about one thousand years. The sports are run by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and all the players are amateur. The GAA stadium Croke Park is the third biggest stadium in Europe and for the All Ireland finals there will be over 82,000 fans cheering on their local team. The All Ireland Hurling final was voted third by the US TV sports station ESPN in a list of ‘Top 10 Sporting Events To See Live’
10. Irish Films
Watching an Irish film is a great way to practise listening to the local Irish accent and also to get a deeper understanding of Irish people and their culture. Many Hollywood films (and series such as ‘Game of Thrones’) have also been made in Ireland and visiting some of the locations of these films can be a real highlight of your time in Ireland.
So, what are you waiting for? Come study in Ireland and start your adventure!