Government Notice for English Language Students

The Covid-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation and the welfare of all students is a priority for the Department of Education and Skills.

This is especially the case for those students from overseas who have travelled to Ireland to study English and who may be particularly vulnerable at this time.

Here is a useful information sheet for English language students which gives guidance on:

  • Health advice about Covid-19
  • Immigration Status
  • Information for Employees and the Self Employed

You can find this information in multiple languages here.

Published: 22 March 2020
From: Department of Education and Skills

Immigration Status

The Department of Justice and Equality has recently confirmed that everybody with immigration permissions which expire between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020 will be granted automatic extension.

The This extension is on the same basis as existing permissions and the same conditions will continue to apply.

Many international students have immigration permissions that are dependent on their attendance at language school. Where an English language education provider has closed due to Government advice regarding Covid-19, all international students will be considered to have met their attendance requirement for the shutdown period. All other rules will remain in place and students will be required to renew their registrations as usual.

Information for Employees and the Self Employed

Students who have lost their job as a result of the current pandemic, are eligible to apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which is administered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The quickest way to apply is online via

The Covid-19 Working Group for the English language education sector will continue to meet on an ongoing basis to provide further support to students and providers in this sector.

Excerpt from the Departure of Education press release:

The Department is actively engaging with key stakeholders to ensure that issues of primary concern to these students are addressed as a priority. It has established a new Covid-19 Working Group for the English language education sector, including representatives of relevant Government Departments and representatives of both students and English language education providers.

The Department has issued guidance for all students in this sector, which is available here This guidance will be available in multiple languages and distributed through the English language providers to their students using relevant channels. 

For more information and guidelines for students: HERE

Temporary School Closure Cancellations & Postponement Policy

All language schools are included in the Irish Government Directive for school closures in a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

With effect from 18.00 Thursday, 12 March 2020 all schools will close and remain closed until the further notice.

This is a Government directive and taken on the grounds of public health and safety.

Visa requiring/ILEP students:  This will not affect your attendance and you will not be required to have a medical certificate for the weeks the school is closed due to the Government Directive School Closure.

Cancellations & Postponement Policy
(Temporary Policy due to Covid-19 Government Directive)

Current Students (Students who started their courses on or before 9th March)

  • For course weeks affected by the Government Directive School Closure students can request a course voucher. Applies to full course weeks only (based on Monday to Friday). 
  • The course voucher will allow students return anytime within a 12-month period and rebook those weeks.
  • Course voucher is for named student only and non-transferable.
  • Rebooking of course weeks is subject to availability for preferred dates.
  • Visa requiring/ILEP students: Rebooking of weeks is subject to being within current IRP card/visa expiry date.
  • Visa requiring/ILEP students: Course voucher weeks cannot be carried over into a new Academic Year renewal booking

  • No accommodation weeks booked can be refunded.
  • Apartment bookings: You can stay in the accommodation until your original booking end date.
  • Host Family bookings: If the host family needs to stop hosting for any reason, we will make every effort to find alternative accommodation for the remainder of the accommodation weeks booked.

Postponements: Courses that have not started yet
(Temporary Policy due to Covid-19 Government Directive)

  • All booking postponements (course and accommodation), made with at least 8 working days’ notice will be facilitated with no charges. As standard, course and accommodation are subject to availability for new preferred dates.

Cancellations: Courses that have not started yet

(Temporary Policy due to Covid-19 Government Directive)

  • All cancellations made with at least 8 working days’ notice (course and accommodation will be subject to a full refund).
  • Notice of cancellation must be provided in writing and applies from the date it is received by Cork English Academy.
  • If you cancel your course and/or accommodation later than 8 days before the arrival date a full refund is due subject to a €200 cancellation charge.
  • If you cancel your course and/or accommodation after arrival, leave it early or miss any lessons, including in case of sickness, refund is not given.
  • The school will process the refund within 15 working days of receiving written cancellation notice.

This is a Temporary Policy change to our General Terms & Conditions in response to the Government Directive. We will publish a notification on our website when General Terms & Conditions come back into force.

Health Notice

Important health notice with regards Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Keep up to Date: &

Please remember Cork English Academy has flexible rebooking and refund options.

Advice for visitors/students and workers returning to Ireland If you;

  • have not been in an affected area where COVID-19 is circulating in the last 14 days AND
  • have not been in contact with a person with novel coronavirus AND
  • have not attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated in another country Then no specific measures are needed.

Then no specific measures are needed.

General health measures should be followed to protect yourself and others.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub
  • If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a closed bin, and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms.
  • Check the travel advisories from the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to arranging travel abroad.


You have been in an affected area where COVID-19 is circulating
OR – have been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus
OR – have attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated
AND – if you are unwell with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath follow this advice:


– Overview
– Protect yourself and others
– If you have been in an affected area
– Self-isolation and limited social interaction

Fota Island

We know that Cork English Academy students love to explore Cork as much as they can. One of the most fun-filled and jam-packed destinations to visit in Cork is Fota Island. The island is just a short drive away from the city but the most convenient transport to visit this beautiful spot is via train. Hop on at Kent station and ride to Fota for less than 3 euro. Fota Island is made up of several destinations, Fota house and gardens, Fota wildlife park and Fota Island Golf Club and Resort.

Fota House

Fota House first belonged to the Smith – Barry family. Originally from Wales, the Smith-Barry family came to Ireland during the Norman invasion. They were granted land around the Ireland in 1185 including Fota Island. The house on the island was originally a hunting lodge until it became the families main home in the 1820’s. In 1975 the house and the ground were sold to UCC. You can visit Fota house and see the preserved ballrooms, servants quarters and kitchens.

Fota Gardens

Fota gardens are are full of exotic trees and flowers. Much of the planting of these exotic plants was done by the Smith-Barry’s. The would have travelled around the world bringing back beautiful trees and other dazzling plants. In 1996 the State took over control of the gardens and they are now administered by the Office of Public Works.

Photo by @fotahouseandgardens

Fota Wildlife Park

The idea of a Wildlife park in Ireland began in 1979 by Dr. Terry Murphy, the then Director of Dublin Zoo. Professor Tom Raftery, then Vice-President of University College Cork (UCC) and Director of the Fota Estate, heard of Dr. Murphy’s plan and thought Fota was the perfect location. The plan was approved and building began. The first animals were introduced to the park in late 1982 and the park opened its gates in the summer of 1983. All animal, with the exception of potentially dangerous ones such as tigers and cheetahs, roam free around the park. Watch out for the lemers, the love to steal visitors lunches. Many of the animals at Fota are under threat of extinction, and Fota Wildlife Park is involved in breeding programs for these endangered species, as well as being a breeding source for other zoos around the world.

Photo by @fotawildlife

Fota Island Resort

The resort on the island began with the state of the art golf course. Golf was first played at Fota in 1886. It has since run through several owners and is one of the finest golf courses in Ireland, playing host to tournaments such as the 011 PGA Europro “Audi Cork Irish Masters” and the Murphy’s Irish Open. Along with the golf course there is a 5 star hotel and spa.

Photo by @ fotaislandandresort

Lena’s Story

Lena is a French student who has been studying with us since October 2019. She studies General English.

Hi, my name is Léna, I am 19 and I am a Cork English Academy student I have lived in Cork for 3 months, since September. My first experience was as an Au pair, it was not too bad but it’s definitely not for me. After 3 months, I returned to France, and since February I am still in Ireland, I was in Dublin for 2 weeks and I’ll stay in Cork for 3/4 months more. I live with other people in the School Residence.

Lena’s Photography

For me, Cork it’s a very nice city, you can find whatever you want, when you want. This city is easier than other cities.You can shop and also go to the park. The bus is also the Best transport. You really need to use the bus in Cork. What i really like in Cork is the house’s colours. Even if the weather is bad, Cork have a lot of colours, you can feel good even if it’s raining. That’s my point of view.

Lena’s photography