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!

Ramon’s Story

My name is Ramon Petry Pinto, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Brazil.

Let’s begin with why I decided to go to Cork. When I was 14 years old I started having this feeling about traveling abroad and since then I started asking my parents if I could go to stay a long period of time studying abroad.

This year they could make this happen for me to go to study English and Ireland. Ireland was my first choice as a study abroad destination because it is an English-speaking country with an amazing culture.  Also from Ireland I could have a chance to visit other countries in Europe.

The first option was Dublin but I had heard that there are a lot of Brazilians there and I wanted to practice my English as much as possible so I decided on Cork.

Cork is amazing! One of the best things about not being a big city is that I could do everything on foot. There are a lot of nice places to go there. One that I used to go a lot was the an Brog which is a really nice pub.

Fitzgerald park also is a beautiful park and a really nice option to go on a sunny day. Walking on the street you can hear different languages because Cork is multicultural which means that you can know people from a lot of places of the world.

The best thing that happened to me in Cork was the people that I’ve met. They have become really good friends and I can count on them. This is another wonderful thing about Cork. People are very friendly and it’s not difficult to make friends and share in their experiences. So even for you who maybe is a little bit shy don’t worry. I’m sure that if you go to Cork your experience is going to be awesome!

Haley’s Story

Haley’s love for Festivals and the English language

My name is Haley. I’m from South Korea. I’m living in Cork and learning English at Cork English Academy.

My main reason for studying abroad was to go music festivals in Europe!!

When I was 10 years old, I started to listen to many kinds of music especially rock music. When I was 14 years old, I went to a concert for the first time in my life.  From here on I attended rock festivals every Summer.  Of course, I went to a lot of hip-hop gigs and electronic festivals also because I like these kinds of music as well.

I was curious about going to festivals abroad. I researched different festivals and watched videos on Youtube. Finally, I decided I would like to go to festivals in Europe.

I wanted to learn English before going to because I would attend these festivals for whole days and sometimes alone. I felt if I could speak English well, I’d be able to survive anywhere I went.

   

Why Cork? 

Cork is smaller than Dublin. I knew that Cork would only have a few Korean students. I really wanted to be an independent person.

Living costs are relatively lower in Cork than Dublin and other cities.

Also, Ireland is in Europe! While living in Ireland I would be able to go to any music festival I wanted in Europe.

What gigs and festivals did you go to?

I already knew that most of the music festivals in Europe are held in June or July. That’s why I started my course in January. I wanted to concentrate on studying English before going to music festivals and gigs.

My first gig in Ireland was Lukas Graham’s Concert in Dublin in February. In the middle of the course, I went to Justin Bieber’s Concert. At the end of the course, I took off to Sweden because I wanted to see Coldplay. From Sweden I went to Belgium for the Rock Werchter Festival.

I had good experiences in Rock Werchter because I went camping for 6 days. I usually prefer to go to music festivals with camping.

After finishing Rock Werchter, I moved to Madrid because of Mad Cool Festival. For 3 days, I could feel their passion in this festival. Afterwards I traveled in Southern Spain and I came back to Cork.

Of course, I was happy to see many artists in festivals and gigs but the most important thing was that I met many people everywhere I went. I met many international people because I could speak English!

   

Can you tell us a little bit about your course?

I started my course in A2. At that time, I couldn’t speak or listen in English well. I learned a lot in my General English course and improved in my listening, speaking,writing and reading.

I graduated from my course at B2 level. Whenever I had problems with studying English, my teachers helped me. I could ask them anything.

I used to attend free classes in the school after finishing my class (Steve was the best teacher!).

I had a test in school every Friday to review what I had learned that week. I could get feedback from the teacher about my progress after the test. If I had a weakness the teacher gave me extra exercises.

I got help from the reception whenever I had questions about the school or cork life. Also, I met many international friends in my class. I will miss all of friends and teachers and receptionists.

What aspects of English language learning are you improving in the most?

In my case, I didn’t like to study grammar. It was too hard for me to learn. At home in Korea I couldn’t understand when I heard explanations in Korean. However, when I learned English grammar in English, I could understand it. I have even started to get interested in English grammar.

Now, I have lots of confidence. Korean students don’t usually have much confidence while using English and I don’t translate from Korean to English when I speak.

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

Asking questions was the most challenging for me at the beginning because the sentence structure in Korean is different.

Also the Korean language doesn’t have articles like a, an and the so I made a lot of mistakes when I spoke and wrote.

I used to attend the free conversation and grammar workshops in the school to overcome my weaknesses. Also I hung out with friends not only in the classroom but around Cork city.

My teacher assigned writing homework every week and also corrected it. This helped me improve weekly.

Is it easy to make friends in Cork?

Yes of course. Cork people are so kind. People asked my questions in pubs, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, clothes shops etc. When I asked questions people always responded with a kind smile.

You can make friends in Cork English Academy. I went to the pub with my friends and we had a great time at parties!

Of course, you’ll be able to meet many people when you travel like me because we can speak English.

Now, I’m just waiting for my next festivals and gigs! You can achieve your goals and get a lot of experiences when you can use English. Come to Cork, come to Cork English Academy!