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!

Trip to Elizabeth Fort

Christoph, Christopher, Diego, Raul, Jennifer & Svetlana enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather and the views Elizabeth Fort. ???

Posted by Cork English Academy on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Located just 2 minutes walk from the school Elizabeth Fort is a 17th-century star fort off Barrack Street in Cork city centre.

Originally built as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls, the city eventually grew around the fort, and it took on various other roles – including use as a military barracks, prison, and police station.

The walls of the fort have been accessible to the public on a regular basis since then and the views of the city are brilliant from here.

The walls of Elizabeth Fort are now open Tuesday to Saturday: 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12 noon – 5pm.

Sign up for our activities on the Social Programme Board on the Third Floor in room 14.

The  Social Activity Programme is a very important part of the Cork English Academy experience and we try to make sure that we have something for everybody.

Learning in the school is greatly enhanced when students are involved in social and activity events. The Social Activity Programme enables students to continue to learn about Irish culture and heritage while practicing and developing their English language skills in the real world.

We strongly encourage students to take part in the school’s weekly organised events along with promoting activities, festivals and interesting places to visit in Cork and surrounding areas.

Hyunjin Wins Photo Competition

A huge congratulations to our very own Hyunjin (also known as Mary) who came third in our collaboration competition with…

Posted by Cork English Academy on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

International students from English language schools all around Ireland were invited to showcase their favourite photos of Ireland.

The competition called ”Ireland through my Lens” had loads of entries. The competition was fierce!

One of Cork English Academy’s very own students Hyunjin (Mary) won 3rd Place and her prize is a €100 One4All voucher.

Coinaphoto is a new social media market place and photography platform designed to help photographers and creative individuals to connect with people – locally and around the world – that are looking to sell or buy photographs. Anyone can freely join Coinaphoto and upload their photos for sale.

Congratulations Hyunjin!

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 !!!