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February 2006 issue

Contents
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Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
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Direction
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
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City Focus
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Ireland's charm

Nature and industry, beaches and mountains, quaint villages and cool cities, and of course, friendly pubs, Amy Baker takes a tour around Ireland.

When students are asked to name the highlight of their stay at the Countryside School of English in Killavally, county Mayo, Alan Walpole, Academic Manager, says they mention "a high quality English learning experience in addition to Irish cultural awareness and the local people';s hospitality". This could well be applied to language schools across the country, as most schools introduce students to Irish culture and are keen to stress the friendly welcome that the Irish people offer students.

The language schools themselves are also one of Ireland';s major assets. At the International Celtic School of Languages (ICSL) in Newcastle West, county Limerick, Emily Barrett says, "Our cost-effective and productive courses never fail to deliver for our students, resulting in fast and efficient learning." She points out that when targeted tuition is combined with strong friendships made outside the classroom, students return home extremely satisfied.

In Galway, Celestine Rowland of Galway Cultural Institute points out that the city';s name comes from the Gaelic word, Gallibh, which means the foreigners'; town, "hence the longstanding traditional welcome for the foreign visitor". She adds, "We share with students our clean environment, thriving artistic and dramatic culture, traditional pubs, top quality restaurants and a full calendar of festivals including music, literature, visual arts, horse racing, golf and sailing."

Although Ireland is a sizable country, there are many students who know little of it except for its capital, Dublin, and this is indeed where a concentration of language schools is located. However, there are many language schools scattered throughout the country, from attractive rural locations to lively and interesting towns and cities. In Galway, on the west coast, Rowland details the charm of the location. "Picture, if you can, the ocean sparkling on a winter';s day. Looking west, nothing but the beautiful Atlantic Ocean in front of you, next stop New York City. In your hands, a coffee and a newspaper. Could there be a better place not only to learn English but also to learn some more about yourself?"

A popular west coast city, Galway has 80,000 inhabitants and an additional floating student population of up to 20,000. As well as plenty to offer on the cultural agenda, there is also a significant business and education infrastructure. Rowland cites another feather in the city';s cap: "We have 20 minutes more sunshine that the rest of Ireland… which is more time to enjoy the sites in Galway."

Above Galway and slightly further west is the heritage town of Westport, which is a short journey from Killavally, home of the Countryside School of English. Walpole relates that the school is located in "quiet and peaceful surroundings, a perfect studying environment". In the village, students can find a post office, church, primary school, grocery shop and local pub. Walpole says, "There are many pubs in our area in which traditional Irish music is played. Listening to live music is very popular amongst our students." Students also have the opportunity to go to local primary schools and introduce their own culture to young Irish children.

From Westport, students can visit Clare Island or the west coast islands of Inishturk and Inishbofin farther afield, all of which have tiny rural populations of around 200 people and welcome tourists who are keen to discover the islands'; way of life, ancient monuments, their natural beauty, deep blue waters and beaches. Diving is popular here, as is deep-sea fishing and angling.

Waterford in county Waterford in the southeast, Ireland';s fifth-largest city, also boasts beach opportunities that are not always associated with the Emerald Isle. Bridget Behal at Waterford English Language School explains that Waterford is a "maritime city surrounded by sandy beaches where watersports and fishing are on our doorstep". Easily accessible by air from the UK';s London Luton Airport or from Brittany in France, Behal says that Waterford is chosen by students who really want to integrate into a local community. They can choose either host family or apartment accommodation within walking distance of the school and in their free time, one of the most popular activities is again the "traditional small pub where conversation dominates, or the more trendy modern pubs [that] attract the younger crowd". There is much to do both in Waterford and in outlying areas. Behal urges all visitors to cycle to Hook to see the sights and visit the lighthouse, stopping off on the way to see the haunted Loftus Hall.

Students also like to visit Cork, Kilkenny and Dublin on day trips and the famous Ring of Kerry area in southwest Ireland is popular with students keen to make the journey. Meanwhile, Barrett says of ICSL, "Our location places some of Ireland';s best attractions at close reach. From the lakes and mountains of Killarney to the awe inspiring cliffs of Moher, there is so much to see and do here that our students never want to leave."

Most visitors to Ireland want to get a feel for the interior beauty of the country, but they also want to spend some time in Dublin, the country';s largest city. Linguaviva is located in the centre of Dublin, within walking distance of shops, pubs and historic sites, such as Trinity College, where Oscar Wilde studied. Wiebke Asmussen at the school says students love to go on excursions around Dublin with a guide that the school employs. "We have a very knowledgeable and experienced guide who takes the students out a lot," she says. Situated on the River Liffey, the city has some charming Georgian areas and the bustling trendy Temple Bar district to discover, as well as Christ Church Cathedral and the Monument of Light.

At the Annalivia School of English, which is located in Dun Laoghaire, 20 minutes from Dublin city centre, Kevin Kelly reports that the school is a good option for language students, who avoid having to commute to school in the rush hour but can easily get to the city centre on the Dart train. "The area has developed greatly over the past few years," he adds. "Another advantage is that accommodation in Dun Laoghaire is cheaper than in the centre."

At Dublin City University, Linda Murphy is also keen to point out an advantage that they can offer students. "All of our students have free access to university facilities," she says. These include a computer centre, student social centre and a 25-metre swimming pool and sports complex. "The highlight for most students is the university campus," she notes. "Students enjoy the learning-centred environment as well as all that the campus has to offer, especially the gym and swimming pool."


Agent viewpoint

"Irish people are well-known for their hospitality and there are fewer Japanese students in language schools in Ireland compared with other English speaking countries. For this reason, Ireland is very attractive to our students. Our language agency specialises in Ireland, so all of our clients go there. Galway city is the most popular because of its charming atmosphere. The city is known as "the heart of Irish culture". Horse riding, Irish dancing, and fishing are popular activities among our students. In addition, many students like to listen to traditional Irish music in pubs. The best kept secret about Ireland is the wild and beautiful landscape in the west of Ireland. And people in that area are very friendly toward foreigners."
Hyu Muto, Ireland Ryugaku Club, Ireland

"Our clients choose Ireland because Irish people have a reputation for friendliness and hospitality, also it is only two and a half hours from Spain. I think the euro is a big advantage in comparison to UK pounds. We don';t have to exchange money, moreover we can easily figure out the difference in prices, which is slightly less than the UK currency. Sixty per cent of our clients choose Ireland over other destinations, because Ireland is our speciality. The most popular area is Dublin because most people have heard about it, but in the last few years, destinations such as Galway, Cork, Limerick and Killarney have become much more popular, even smaller places like Wexford, Waterford and Sligo are receiving more students."
Jaime Rodríguez, Irlanda En Red, Spain

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email



ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Education New
      Zealand Trust
Eltasa
English Australia

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

WORKSHOPS
Alphe Agent
      Workshops 

SERVICES
Language Travel
      Phonecard 

AUSTRALIA
English Australia

AUSTRIA
Cultura Wien

CANADA
Académie des
      langues de Trois
      -Pistoles
Algonquin and
      Lakeshore Catholic
      District School Board
Bodwell College
Bow Valley College
Canadian
      International
      Student Services
Cowichan Valley
      School District # 79
Delta School District
Fraser Cascade -
      School District # 78
Ottawa International
      Student Programmes
      (OISP)
Richmond School
      District # 38
University of Calgary
West Vancouver
      School District # 45

ENGLAND
Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, Scotland,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Bell International
Eastbourne School
      of English
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      USA)
Langbourne College
Leeds English
      Language School
Malvern House
Oxford Brookes
      University
Queen Ethelburga's
      College
Salisbury School of
      English
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
St John's Wood
      School of English
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
University of
      Sheffield

FRANCE
Centre d'Etudes des
      Langues de Saint-
      Malo
ELFE
Institut Français Riéra
IS Aix-en-Provence
SILC - Séjours
      Linguistiques
      (England, France,
      Spain)
Université de
      Provence

GERMANY
F+U Academy
      (Austria, Germany,
      Russia)
Lichtenberg Kolleg
      E.V.
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

IRELAND
High Schools
      International (HSI)
      (England, Australia,
      Canada, Ireland,
      USA)

ITALY
Babilonia
Est Ovest
Istituto Linguistico
      Mediterraneo

MALTA
EC English
      Language Centre
      (England, Malta)
inlingua Malta
Malta Tourism
      Authority

NEW ZEALAND
Education New
      Zealand Trust

RUSSIA
Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group
Eurocentres Cape
      Town
Geos Cape Town
      Language  Centre
Good Hope Studies 
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town
Interlink School of
      Languages
International House -
      Durban
Jeffrey's Bay
      Language Centre
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town

SPAIN
Estudio Sampere
      (Ecuador, Spain)
Kings College
      International
      (England, Spain)

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)
Eurocentres
      International
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New Zealand,
      Russia, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)

USA
American Language
      Communication
      Center
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
Zoni Language
      Centers

WALES
CELTiC (Schools)
Ltd