The Student Voice – 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!