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ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSES IN IRELAND
A COMPLETE GUIDE AND LIST OF THE BEST ENGLISH PROGRAMS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN IRELAND IN 2023
Ireland is one of the top destinations for learning and studying English as a second language (ESL). Ireland has several English language schools, institutes, and prestigious universities that offer English classes.
Ireland stands out for studying English over other countries, mainly because of the quality of institutions that offer English courses, its beautiful landscapes, great tourist attractions, and charming modern cities. This country is also a great place for networking with other students and fellow professionals and to learn a fascinating new accent, different from the typical American and British accents.
Language schools in Ireland usually have different programs for different kinds of people and needs. Some focus on English courses for adults, including professionals and executives. Others focus on programs for teenagers or students currently in college. In addition to the English language program, you need to pay attention to the location, weather, and prestige of the language institute. Also, you should choose an English language course that best fits your budget and level. There are general English programs and specific courses in Ireland: as Academic English, Business English, Communication English, Conversation English, Culture English, English for traveling, Intensive, Part-time, online, and English classes that prepare you for exams like the TOEFL, IELTS or TOEIC to name a few.
We suggest that you read this page and click on each language school you think is a good option. All universities and language institutes listed here offer English programs that allow you to apply for a student visa. Most of the programs are also available for citizens and residents in full-time or part-time options.
3. Trends in 2023In 2023, international students are looking for the following English language courses:
In 2023, Ireland has become a desirable destination for international students seeking to study English as a second language (ESL). Known for its warm hospitality, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful landscapes, Ireland provides a unique setting for ESL studies. Several trends are enhancing the ESL experience in Ireland for those looking to study abroad and immerse themselves in the Irish way of life.
A major trend in Irish ESL education is the integration of experiential learning. Beyond traditional classroom teaching, Irish ESL schools are incorporating real-world experiences into their curriculum. Through community volunteering, cultural excursions, and internships, students can practice their English skills in authentic settings and gain a deeper appreciation for Irish culture.
Furthermore, the rise of specialized ESL programs tailored to students' specific needs and goals adds to the appeal of studying in Ireland. Whether they are interested in business, academic preparation, or conversational fluency, students can choose from a variety of ESL courses that will help them acquire the language skills necessary for their chosen field. These targeted programs ensure that students are well-equipped for their future endeavors.
Technology is also playing an increasing role in ESL education in Ireland. Virtual classrooms, interactive language apps, and online resources are now essential tools for ESL students. These technologies offer a more flexible and engaging learning experience, allowing students to practice their English skills at their own pace and receive instant feedback.
Ireland's vibrant and welcoming culture is another draw for international students. Many ESL programs in Ireland include cultural exchange and language partner programs, giving students the opportunity to practice English with native speakers and learn about Irish culture from various perspectives. This enriching experience not only improves language skills but also fosters cross-cultural understanding and global perspectives.
One of the most appealing aspects of studying in Ireland is the opportunity for international students to work while pursuing their studies. Ireland's policies allow international students to gain valuable work experience while studying, helping them practice their English skills in real-life settings and become more independent. The ability to study and work gives students a more well-rounded experience and better prepares them for their future careers.
Ireland's strong commitment to student support is also noteworthy. Irish ESL institutions offer a wide range of services to help international students adapt to their new environment, such as orientation sessions, counseling services, and study skills workshops. This comprehensive support ensures a positive and successful ESL learning experience.
In conclusion, Ireland is a top destination for studying English as a second language in 2023. With trends such as experiential learning, specialized ESL programs, technology integration, a welcoming culture, and the opportunity to study and work, Ireland is an excellent choice for international students. By studying and living in Ireland, students can improve their English skills and enjoy a unique and unforgettable cultural experience.
4. Requirements to take an English Course in IrelandSome programs can have their own special requirements
Non-Visa Exempted Students:
If you are a citizen of countries that need to apply for a visa to enter Ireland, you must apply for either a C or Visit-Tourist Visa, or a D or Study-Work Visa, which will depend on the amount of time you will study in Ireland: less or more than 3 months. Additionally, the documents you will need to show at border control are: letter of acceptance from the English language institute, proof of necessary funds, proof of medical insurance, evidence of education and/or employment history.
Visa exempted students:
Students who are citizens of certain countries, including the European Union and the European Economic Area, are not required to have a visa when studying either for less or more than 3 months. Nevertheless, they must still pay the full tuition in advance and bring all the necessary documents for the border control, including letter of acceptance; proof of payment; proof of sufficient funds; passport; and proof of medical insurance acquired from an Irish company, which can be, for example, the medical coverage offered by the English language school’s partner institution.
Additional requirements for full-time students:
Those who study for longer than 3 months, whether they needed an entry visa or not, are obliged to register with the local immigration officer for the district where they are staying, the Burgh Quay Registration Office in the case of Dublin. This Registration must be done before the date given at the border control. The registration costs €300, which must be paid via credit or debit card (cash not accepted), and you need to present several documents, including: passport, letter of acceptance from the English school, proof of payment, medical insurance policy, and proof of finance (if you entered Ireland without a visa) of at least €3000. After registration as a full-time student, you will be able to work for 20 hours a week, or 40 hours during certain times of the year. In this registration process, you will be issued a permit that allows you to stay in Ireland for longer than the original days given at border control, up to 8 months. Near the end of this period, you must take an external officially recognized exam, such as IELTS, FCE, CAE. You can later apply for a permit renewal and if approved, you may apply for another English course of up to 8 months.
Single Entry: €60
Multi Entry: €100
Full time student registration: €300 (same for renewals)
You can visit the website of the Department of Justice and Equality of the Irish government for further information about visa requirements.
There is no maximum age requirement for English courses in Dublin. However, schools do set a minimum age limit for students, who must comply with it by the time the program starts. This limit tends to be between 16 and 18 years old. Nevertheless, some institutions teach special programs for children and teenagers, in which they can learn English at the same time they have lots of fun in extracurricular activities related to their studies.
Proof of Sufficient Funds
Regardless of the visa requirements for your country, you must show that you have enough funds to cover for all expenses while studying in Ireland in order to be able to enter. This amount will depend on the type of visa you are on, but it tends to be €3000, apart from the course’s fees, and without considering the amount of money you could earn by working while studying. For students studying for less than 6 months, the amount is 500€ per month, up to €3000. Finally, this proof of sufficient funds must come in the form of a bank statement, from a bank account on your name (as shown on your passport), that does not have less than 1 month of antiquity, and be accompanied with a debit card with your own name and from the same bank account. Another option is having a pre-paid credit card or debit card(s) with the above amount of money in credit, e.g. a card with €3000 or more in credit.
Minimum English Language Level
There are all kinds of ESL programs available in Dublin, so you can find the one that fits you, regardless of your current English language skills, as they go from the advanced to the beginner level. The program placement is usually done via an English test, which can be done online or once you are already at the school, depending on each institution. Nevertheless, programs with higher English language requirements do ask you for a proof of English language proficiency, in the form of an English exam score, such as IELTS or Cambridge.
5. Prices, dates and costs of English courses in Ireland 2023 - 2024Explanation about main costs
The prices and the dates for English programs in Ireland change depending on the school, for how long you will study, and the number of weekly hours the program has (intensive, part-time, etc.).
For some cases, items not related to the course fees will be included on the final fee, so you have to consider them when you calculate the costs and your budget for studying English abroad in this country. Some of the items are: housing, health coverage, using services and facilities, participating in activities and events, books and materials, among other items.
In the table below you will see a list of different items, what modifies the cost, as well as some estimative prices for some of the items, which you can use as a guide when calculating your budget, while considering the minimum amount the Irish government requires you to have.
Main costs to consider if you want to study in Ireland
This cost changes depending on the school you chose, the type of course you will enroll on, and the intensity of the course, e.g. if it is intensive or part-time. Apart from this, you should also consider the price of the application fee, and sometimes, a fee to access the facilities and services the English institutes offer. Additionally, keep in mind that Ireland requires for students to pay the course fee in advance.
English language schools in Ireland have partner health insurance providers that offer coverage that you can choose to buy or not; however, every student in Ireland, no matter for how long they study there, need health insurance. In some cases, travel insurance can be used, but for various cases the Irish government asks for health insurance from a company based in Ireland, and does not accept health coverage provided by foreign companies. Whatever the case, we recommend having some form of health coverage to protect you in case of any accidents or health issues.
Depending on the school, the different books and materials could be included on the course’s fees, or come separately. Additionally, schools change books between English levels.
In Ireland you will find different kinds of accommodation, as well as different prices. Schools tend to offer rooms in homestays or in private student residences, both including different amenities. You can also opt to rent an apartment on your own or with other students. Prices start at €1,293 for a 45m2-studio apartment in a normal area, without utilities. In an expensive area this will cost around €1,539.
In some cases, the different housing options arranged or promoted by English institutes can include food within the fees you pay, which is the case for homestays and some residences. However, in other cases you will have to pay for food, either eating out in restaurants or cooking at home, if possible. As an example, a fast food combo costs around €8.
Single Entry: €60 Multi Entry: €100 Full time student registration: €300 (same for renewals)
How much you spend on transportation changes in relation to how far you live from the school and what kind of transport you use, so our recommendation is to live close to where you will be studying. If you do so, you will be able to either walk, ride a bicycle or the public transport to go to the school. That way, you do not have to spend money with more expensive options, such as car rentals or taxis.
This cost will depend on the location of your departure and the date on which you fly. Our recommendation is to check different travel websites to browse different prices and dates. As an advice, you can avoid travelling during the Christmas and New Year season, as they are both very expensive dates to travel.
6. Who studies English in Ireland?Students come from all over the world to learn English in Ireland
All kinds of people from different countries visit Ireland to study English. Their decision comes from the fact that they wish to improve their language proficiency to communicate and enhance their careers, by studying in an English-speaking environment where they can put into practice their skills on everyday situations and improve faster than by studying English back in their home countries.
They are either high school or college students, who want to improve their English fluency by studying in Ireland during their summer or winter vacations. Their purpose of study is usually enhancing their academic and work-related English language skills, which results in a direct improvement of their future opportunities.
They are recent college graduates, who in turn, do not have much job experience, so they wish to improve their English language fluency in Ireland to enhance their careers, by gaining a new qualification that allows them to find better jobs or to even study abroad.
Compared to other professionals, these have more experience and higher positions in their companies. That is why a higher English language fluency it is such a valuable qualification, as they usually conduct business at an international level, and need to be able to communicate with other senior professionals from around the world. That is the reason why they choose to learn English in Ireland.
Residents are Irish citizens or people who have moved together with employees or scholars that have been transferred to Ireland. Their main reason to improve their English fluency is to communicate with native speakers in a place where English is one of the main official languages.