The Student Voice – Turki Shujaa D. Alsaeedi

My name is Turki ,I’m from Saudi Arabia.I am happy to be in Cork to learn English. I found the people here very kind and friendly, I was able to make friends from the first day .

Turki at University College Cork

I had difficulties learning English, but the teachers helped me solve it, and my friends helped me to improve my speaking.

I liked the activities of the academy, I visited many places with them and I have beautiful memories.


A harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sitting where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. Galway is often referred to as the “Cultural Heart of Ireland” because of it’s strong ties to music, dance and the Irish language. Galway city is on the door step of Galway’s Gaeltacht ( an area where Irish is the first language) . The city is the 6th most populous city in Ireland with a population of about 79,900.

Photo by @quirke9

Where to Visit:

  1. Eyre Square: officially known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. The square dates back to Medieval Times, used as a market place right outside the town gates.In 1710, Mayor Edward Eyre officially presented the plot of land to the city. Eyre Square is in the heart of the city filled with Christmas shoppers in the winter and a wonderful sunbathing spot during the summer.
  2. Kirwans Lane : One the finest medieval lane ways in Galway, Kirwan’s Lane, located in what is now referred to as The Latin Quarter. It is at the centre of the area that was originally within the city walls, and is named after the Kirwan’s, one of Galways fourteen “tribes” – the families who ruled the town for several centuries. You will now find this filled with modern restaurants and shops.
  3. Lynch Memorial Window: This window commemorates one of Galway’s biggest legends. According to local tradition, the mayor of Galway, James Lynch FitzStephen, hanged his son from the window of his home in 1493. Lynch’s son had murdered a Spanish man in the care of the family. Lynch’s Window stands in Market Street at the side of St. Nicholas’ Church.
  4. Salt Hill: Take a dip in the ocean at Galway favourite promenade, but we would recommend waiting until its a little warmer outside.
Photo @seanneephoto

Only 1.5 hour drive from Galway city lies the exquisite Connemara. Known to be one of the most beautiful part of not just Ireland, but the world. Home to the Connemara National Park and the magnificent and historic Kylemore Abbey.

Photo by @octavie_prg

Galway city is full of hostels, hotels and B&B’s. The city is about a 3 hour drive from Cork city .

Get the City Link bus. Hop on at Patrick Quay, Cork direct to Galway

Or get the train to Limerick Junction, then to Limerick city and from there on to Galway.

Leap Cards – Cork City Bus

Cork City Bus

If you are staying with a Cork English Academy Host Family you will be living in the Red Zone City Bus route (see map below). You will only need to take one bus to school and be dropped off in the city centre just a short walk from the school.

  • A weekly student bus pass is about €20
  • A monthly student bus pass is about €65

(Prices subject to change according to Cork City bus)

Tickets may be purchased from Bus Éireann Travel Centre, Parnell Place, Cork.

For students who will need a bus ticket for 3 weeks or more we recommend getting a Leap Card.

Leap Card

The Adult Leap Card is available to all adults at most Centra shops and the bus station at a cost of €5.00. The card can be topped up with credit like a mobile phone. When you are finished with the card you can return it and get a refund.

The Student Leap Card is available for €10 from the SayIT office in Cork and only applicable to students of 6 months or more. When you are finished with the card you can return it and get a refund.

A red zone journey using a Leap Card will cost:

  • Adult/Student 0-11 Stages    –      €1.68 /per journey
  • Adult/Student 12+ Stages     –      €1.98/per journey
  • Adult Weekly Pass           –      €23.30
  • Adult Monthly Pass         –      €84.50
  • Student Weekly Pass       –      €18.20
  • Student Monthly Pass     –     €67.50

Feel free to ask for more information at the Cork English Academy reception desk.

Many of our English language students choose to stay with a host family while in Cork. If you decide on this accommodation option you will get to live with a host family and experience life in an Irish household and practice your English in real life situations.

Our host families are carefully selected, friendly local families who are happy to welcome you into their home and include:

  • Single/twin/double room & shared/private bathroom Host Family Options
  • Breakfast and evening meal provided Monday to Friday (half-board)
  • Breakfast, lunch and evening meal on Saturday and Sunday (full-board)
  • Transfers to and from Cork airport on your arrival and departure are also included.

Most family homes are located just outside the city centre and so you may need to take public transport to and from the school. Average distance between the school and host families is 30 minutes.