Peter’s Story

I am Peter from Hungary. Before I came to Cork I’d studied law and worked at a law firm in Budapest.

In general, my profession requires good English. My English needed some improvement, and I thought studying in an English-speaking country would be a great help for me.

Besides English being necessary for my profession, I had a million other reasons to start studying the language. One of them is to realize my childhood dream to having friends from different countries all around the world. In Cork, my dream came true.

It is known for everyone that Ireland is a beautiful country and I have also heard many stories about how friendly Irish people are. However, I did not know too much about Cork, but positive feedback from old students convinced me to go here.

Cork is a lovely city. It is not too big, and people are open and friendly here indeed. Despite its size there are uncountable number of pubs that make the city lively, even during weekdays.

I have discovered many parts of Ireland. With my friends from the academy, we organised trips of the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Kinsale etc and I will never forget our visit to the beautiful Killarney National Park.

Cork English Academy helped me mainly to improve my speaking skills, and that is why I came here. Generally, classes focus on reading exercises which is a good way of teaching in comparison to the book-centred education in my country.

Before I came to Cork I thought speaking was the weakest point of my English., but I think here I could turn it into my strength.

I spent 13 weeks at Cork English Academy. My studies were divided into 7 weeks General English and a 6-week IELTS exam preparation course. My teachers were Phil and Pat  I can only say good things about their work. At all times I found them to be professional and extremely kind. Pat even made the ‘dry’ exam preparation classes enjoyable. He was continuously looking for ways to help us.

While in Cork I did a four-week internship at a solicitor’s office. I was helping in general office administration. It was a good place to learn about the Irish legal system and, also, a perfect opportunity to use my English in practice.

I am sure that everything that I have learned at Cork English Academy will be a great help not only for my career, but also other parts of my life.

Mehmet’s Story

Hey! My name is Mehmet and I’m from Istanbul, Turkey.

I have a few reasons for choosing Ireland as my study abroad destination. I watched lots of documentaries about Ireland and I love the nature. I decided to come to Cork because it is small and I wanted to stay away from crowed cities. In addition, there is a historical background between Ireland and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) during the The Great Famine of 1845 as Turkey was one of the only countries to offer Ireland aid.

Cork is a really lovely city. You can find everything you need in Cork.  There are a lot of cozy pubs in the city. Irish people are very friendly. When I first arrived people were very open to helping me. Irish people are very polite. They don’t get off the bus without saying ”thanks”.

I have taken trips around Ireland. There are so many castles and old ruins. My favourite trip was the Wild Atlantic Way. The scenery is incredible . I will never forget the views in my mind.


I recently graduated from University (department of Engineering). I needed to develop my English skills because I would like to apply for a postgraduate programme. I need to have a specific IELTS score for this. Also, many multinational companies now demand an applied or proficient level of English language.

I studied General English in Cork followed by 6 weeks IELTS examination preparation which was very useful for my needs. I studied lots of strategies for the exam.

The most difficult thing for me is different accents and different pronunciations.  We covered different accents and pronunciations in our school course. I feel more confident when speaking English now.

After my course I started to work in a deli in a supermarket. It was very busy and I served a lot of customers. This really helped me learn about different accents.

My teachers were very good and encouraged students to speak and be active in class.  Learning IELTS exam strategies will really help me going forward.

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.