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!

Ana Paula’s Story

My name is Ana Paula. I am 22 years old and I have been living in Cork for a year and six months. I made the decision to come to Ireland two years ago as soon as I had finished my studies at college and I wanted to have a life experience abroad.  Below, I am going to talk about my experience in Ireland.

”The best English teacher I’ve ever had” Ana Paula with teacher Steve.

Why did you choose Ireland as a study destination? 

I chose Ireland because I did some research online about it and I discovered that Ireland had good opportunities to offer and it is one of  the best places in the world to learn English. By the way my uncle was living here before I came and he recommended me to come too.

What made you choose Cork city as a study destination?

I chose Cork because it is a small city and felt I could get closer to Irish culture.  This little place manages to be one of the most vibrant and engaged cities in the country with lots of music and sightseeing.

How did you achieve your current C2 level? 

I have recently finished my English language course and I obtained a level of C2 which is included on my certificate of achievement. When I look back I start laughing because when I got to Cork English Academy at first I couldn’t understand anything that the teacher was talking about. I remember leaving the class crying! At that time I was A1 level.

I  have never missed any English class, not one! Also I used to study at home on my own and the most important thing which is speaking English as much as possible even outside of English class. Sometimes I feel like I sound more natural speaking English than Portuguese.

Basically I progressed from A1 to C2 over a period of a year. However it does not mean that I should stop studying. I know that I need to keep improving and working on my weaknesses.

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

The course is extremely important to develop the English skills such as listening, reading, writing and speaking and the teachers are very helpful, patient and always willing to help. Moreover the course gives you all the tools to keep improving everyday.

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

I am basically getting better in my speaking and writing. I do have some weaknesses that I need to work on it but the good news is that with focus and a little study these weaknesses turn into manageable challenges.

Is it easy to make friends in Cork?

Yes! People who live here are friendly and cheerful. Making friends is one of the best ways to practice your English.

I hope to help you by my personal experience and remember: You will never know if you never try. What are you waiting for?

Come to Ireland !!!

Estefania’s Story

Before coming to Ireland to improve my English I studied Marketing in Mexico and worked for many multinational companies based in Mexico.

I chose Ireland as a study abroad destination because it was an affordable option. Besides, me and my brother Emmanuel could enter the country as tourists without a visa.

I chose to study in Cork over other cities because I had only a 12 month period available to me. I wanted to maximise my language stay and I heard Cork has less Mexican and Latin American students so my opportunity to speak Spanish was lower!

Cork is a beautiful city. It is quiet but at the same time it’s lively and vibrant. Another point is that Cork is a very safe city to live in.

My English language course was great. I learned about so many different topics. The teachers were so kind to me and always willing to help me. Listening and speaking are the two skills I have improved in the most. I found improving pronunciation to be the most challenging.


My brother and I are currently living with an Irish host family. Our host family is so nice! Living with a family is a great way to improve our English.

My favourite things about Cork are:

  • Friendly people
  • People willing to help while you are learning English
  • Safe city
  • Cosmopolitan city

I will recommend my friends to come here. Living in Ireland is a great experience!

Debora’s Story

I finished my degree in teaching in Spain this summer. I was working in a summer camp before coming to Ireland with my boyfriend in October.

Initially we thought of studying English in the UK but Brexit left the country in an uncertain situation.  We decided Ireland would be a good alternative.

I met a teacher who had studied in Cork a few years ago. She loved the experience in Cork and she is now an English language teacher at home! She told me Cork is better than Dublin because it is less busy and smaller.

I loved Ireland from the first day because the people are very friendly and everybody helps you if you need it. Cork city is very small but it has everything you need: schools, pubs, cafes, supermarkets, shops, parks, public transport.

Quiero Languages recommended Cork English Academy and I think it is the best English language school in Cork. I had the best teachers in the school, Paul and Steve. I really think that they love their job and we all really enjoyed learning with them.

The extra free classes are very good. You get to listen to other teachers and hear different accents. The culture classes are great. The receptionists are very kind and I enjoyed taking part in the BINGO and school quiz with them.


Debora, her husband Moises and friends enjoying BINGO in the school. 

I think I have improved all of my language skills and in specific my listening skills. I am listening to English all the time; in the school, at home and in the street. I am able to have conversations with native English speakers and watch films in English. I find some of the phrasal verbs and clauses difficult but I am improving every day.

My accommodation is wonderful. We are living with a host family. We initially booked just one month but extended to three months. The hosts are a married couple with three teenager kids. Since the first day we left very comfortable with them and we speak to them all of the time. They always help me with everything I need. My host mother cooks very, very well. We are really enjoying our stay.

We have travelled around Ireland: Dublin, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Galway and some towns in Cork also Cobh and Kinsale. I love the landscapes of Ireland. Everything is green and you can see sheep and cows everywhere.