Jose’s Story

Hi, I’m Jose from Chile.

I studied and worked in Agricultural Engineering in Chile before moving to Cork.  A few months ago I started looking at English speaking countries and an agency called Work Study Ireland helped me choose a language abroad programme.

English language is so important for university, work and travel. I knew I had to improve my English. I think learning a language helps with additional skills and getting a job. For me speaking another language is essential. It helps for work and future studies. In addition you have another way to communicate and meet new people wherever you are.


Jose visiting Blackrock Castle as part of the Cork English Academy Social Programme

I chose to come to Ireland because it could be a new experience in a different country with beautiful landscapes and an amazing culture to discover.

Cork is a lovely place with charismatic people.  It’s a small town so you can walk everywhere and discover the city, get to know the parks and pubs. You can get to know the native people too. They are very friendly.

There  is a good transport system for exploring outside of the city and other parts of the country by bus and train. In addition there are cycle paths and cycle green ways. This is the best way for me to discover new places and enjoy the views of the natural environment. I have taken trips to Kinsale, a colourful sea town village in Cork and also Cobh, a small town with a beautiful cathedral.

I think I am improving my speaking everyday but also my listening. I can understand better and communicate and connect my ideas.  I find writing the most difficult; choosing words that fit better than others according to the context is complicated to me.

The classes are structured but also dynamic. There are different activities in the classes to get you to use all the skills you are developing. The teachers press you to improve every day.

I’ve been working in Cork as a kitchen porter in a restaurant. It is difficult to find a  job at first because employers look for people with good English but once you get a job it gets easier to find other jobs!

Working allows me to save money to go on trips and just live in the city and enjoy the life here. I hope to travel more around Ireland. The problem is trying to choose where to go. There are so many nice places to visit!

Veronica’s Story

My name is Veronica and I am from Spain.

I was thinking about learning English for many years. I’m a Radiographer Technician. I lost my job in Spain so I decided to take this opportunity to learn English abroad.

A friend of mine who is a teacher recommended I come to Ireland. Also, a little detail… last summer I was in my parents’ house. We were watching a TV programme which showed Cork and I liked the city so much I decided to move here.

Cork is very safe and easy to get around. In my case I’m lucky Irish people love Spanish people. I meet lots of people everyday and they always help me.

In my opinion the most beautiful part of Ireland is South West Cork e.g Baltimore, Clonakilty, Kinsale. I have also been to Killarney, Kerry, Dublin & Belfast.  It is easy to travel around Ireland from Cork.

I have never spoken in English before. I know more than I can speak! My grammar is better than other parts of my learning. I find trying to have a conversation and making myself understood is most challenging but I am improving every day.

I started in A1 level in September and after 10 months I am now in a Cambridge First (FCE) preparation class.

I hope the exam results and experience of studying abroad for nearly a year help me develop a new career in Spain when I go back.

Raymond’s Story

I am Raimundo but everybody knows me as Raymond and I am from Spain.

When I finished my degree at university, I decided to study English because nowadays it is extremely useful if you want to find a job and it is faster learning abroad than in your country.


Raymond (2nd from left) with friends at the beach. 

Why did you choose afternoon studies in particular?

I chose afternoon because I adore sleeping and I like taking my time for taking a shower and having my breakfast in the morning. Furthermore it is the cheapest option.

Can you tell us a little bit about your course and teachers?

When I decided to study in Cork I booked 8 weeks but after 4 weeks I realized I was improving my English skills a lot in a little time. At the same time, I felt really comfortable in Cork with my classmates and teachers. I needed more time because my English was awful in this period so, I extended my course by 13 weeks. Teachers are always in class correcting you and giving you good tips to improve your English.

What aspect of English language learning are you improving in the most since you started in Cork English Academy?

To be honest, I think that 99% of Spanish people come here to improve their speaking. Obviously, my speaking was improved a lot because I could speak English all day, in class and outside, with native speakers.

What aspect of English language learning are you finding the most challenging?

It is very important that you do not translate of your own language. Sometimes do not make sense and it is impossible, like idioms or expressions typical of your country.

How did you achieve your current B2 level?

I think it is very important to attend class every day because teachers help you, they know your weaknesses. You have to take advantage of the most of the time studying at home and speaking with people in English, it is worth it. If you do that you will improve your English quickly, like me.

Is it easy to make friends in Cork?

I made a lot of friends from a lot of different countries. Also people in Cork are very friendly and when I went to the pub, I often spoke with native speakers about football and sometimes I joked with them, they have good sense of humor.

What is your favourite thing about Cork?

I can say that this is an amazing city. It has a lot of places that you can visit and enjoy such as parks, churches or pubs. Also the people are very friendly. Every week we have an hour of culture class in the academy, I could learn about Irish culture, history and traditions. I enjoyed learning each culture class. I recommend visiting Cork because it is a city for all members of the family and multicultural.

Anna’s Story!

Hi! My name is Anna, I’m 26 years old and this is the story of how I ended up in Cork.

Don’t worry, it won’t take too long – actually, that part of the story is quite simple. I am studying English to become a teacher in my home and native country, which is Germany. So I thought, well, improving my language skills works best in an English-speaking country. And here I am!

Why Ireland you might ask? And why Cork? Well, Ireland is part of the EU, which makes travelling, living and working here super easy for me as an EU-citizen. What’s more is that I don’t have to worry about currencies, visa and all that stuff. Now you may think I’m a lazy person, but there is more to it.

Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to, and there are a few on my list. People always told me that before, so I kind of wanted to check if it’s true. And I can tell you now: it is! It is so green, so wild, so rough and so beautiful. I absolutely love the weather here (well ok, those of the southern hemisphere might find that strange, but I don’t mind temperatures below 25 degrees). You can do and see a lot of stuff on this island – and the beer! Oh my. But most of all, the people of Ireland are really fantastic. They’re always kind and polite, helpful and friendly. They might not like to cuddle and hug it out a lot, but they have a warm heart.

Why Cork? Simple: it’s not Dublin. Dublin, for me, is more of a vacation hot spot. But living there does seem a bit exhausting. Cork, on the other hand, is just so cute. And you can have a great time here, too! Every second house you pass by is a restaurant or a pub. And the food here is absolutely fabulous. Plus, you just feel safe in the streets and after one day or two, you have basic knowledge of what to find where. And if you still should manage to get lost somehow, the friendly people in this town will surely help you find your way back.

When the city is getting too small for you, you have countless opportunities to see the country from here. Just hop on a bus or join a day tour to, let’s see, the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Galway, Dublin, Dingle, even Northern Ireland. Or just take a 30-minute drive to the coast and enjoy the beach and the (admittedly) cold Irish Sea. And if you don’t feel like doing anything big, just go to a pub and enjoy Murphy’s, the locally-brewed Stout (which can easily compete with Guinness, if you ask me).

Ok, enough travel guide-like advertisement for Ireland. As I said earlier, I came here to improve my English. And I did, to make it short. You are just forced to use the language and therefore you get to learn it really fast. Even if you’re not that fluent in the beginning, I’m sure you will leave with a higher level than you started out at. Of course, this might be challenging for some in the beginning, but just give it a shot. It’s about getting used to it, really. Jump into the cold water and swim – sink is not an option!

Besides, the teachers at school will help you with anything. Do you want to improve your grammar? They’ll give you extra material to work through. Wanna talk about anything just for talking’s sake? Sure, no problem. Wanna try to understand and discuss a TED Talk? Sure thing, have it right here. There is so much variety (which, ironically, is a key feature to learn in the exam classes) in the courses that you definitely will find something to work on which you’re really into.

Ok, now the story actually took quite long, but there is just so much to tell you about Ireland, Cork and Cork English Academy. Sorry for that. But I actually just want to tell you is this: Taking a course at Cork English Academy will help you on so many levels – professionally, personally, socially… Just talk to the amazing staff and figure out what’s the best programme for you, and then hop onto the next plane and come here. And do not forget your camera!

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