Thanks to your website, I was always very well informed and well looked after right from the start. Questions were answered very quickly and I never had to contact the college directly myself. That gave me a lot of security because I was very nervous before my trip …
About a month before my arrival, I received information about my host family. I was able to write them an email about me and my host mother answered me very quickly. The college really went out of their way to choose the host family for me. For example, I have a dog myself and I wrote that I would be happy if my host family also had pets. And I immediately found out that my family “Bruno” had a boxer. My host mother answered all of my questions in advance as to whether I would have to bring bed linen or the like.
On the day of arrival, I was taken straight from the airport to my family by a college driver. And when my host mother opened the front door, I knew that I had made it well. The family was really nice, helped me find my way in the first few days and I could turn to them with any problem. The house was very clean and my food always tasted good too!
From Monday on, I took the bus to college every day. On the first day I had a placement test to determine at which level I should be taught. Everyone was then given a timetable with room assignments. Then all newcomers got a short campus tour. The campus is very clear, so you don’t need to be afraid of getting lost. From Tuesday you went to your new class. The teacher knew about newcomers and gave us a warm welcome! The atmosphere in the classes is very relaxed and the teaching materials are provided by the college. During breaks you can eat in the cafeteria or go to Spar, which is opposite the college. In the long run it will be quite expensive, so buy something from Aldi or Lidl or bring something from home. For advanced language students (C1 level) it sometimes gets a bit boring, but then I simply asked for “more” and my teachers always responded. Some of the classrooms are not comparable to German standards, and some of the extensions are simple barracks with very thin walls. It was sometimes a bit uncomfortable, especially at the beginning of February. But the Irish have a sunny disposition and don’t think the cold or wet is as bad as we or students from South America, so it was always quite funny. Every semester there are mid-term exams and final exams. If you write down one or both of them, you will receive proof of the level (according to the European Framework of Reference) on your final certificate at which you are currently. Since I mainly wanted to practice speaking and not just grammar, I took “Conversation & Writing” in the afternoon. But there is also, for example, “Business English” or preparation for exams such as the TOEFL test.
According to Topschoolsoflaw, Dublin itself is a wonderful little big city. I found my way there very quickly, it’s not easy to get lost. And if they do, then the Irish are totally helpful. I have been asked several times whether I was lost and whether they could help me. You can also go out there wonderfully. In Temple Bar you will find all kinds of nationalities, only the Irish are rare. There are a lot of quaint pubs with live music and tons of clubs for dancing. The drinks are very expensive by our standards, however, a pint of Guinness easily costs 5-6 € and the other beers are not cheaper either… Also unusual for us – but no more alcohol is sold at 10 o’clock in the evening, so take care of it beforehand!
I’ve made a few small trips. Small fishing villages such as Howth and Malahide are close to Dublin. Absolutely worth seeing when the weather is nice and don’t forget your swimwear! The towns can be reached either with the city bus or the LUAS, a kind of tram. I was in Northern Ireland in Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway (day tour) and made a 4 day trip to the south west of Ireland. (Cliffs of Moher, Cork, Ring of Kerry) If you like nature, this is the place for you and you can hardly believe it, but the Irish have so many beautiful beaches! If only the weather was more stable …
It’s best to always have an umbrella or a softshell jacket with you. It is often windy in Dublin and a short shower is often the order of the day!
All in all, it was a great experience for me, I met a lot of lovely people and learned a lot!