Fernanda’s Story

Tell us a little bit about your course and teachers?

I take C1 level English in the morning classes. I have 12 classmates from all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Spain, and Honduras.

For my first two weeks here, I had a British teacher, she was excellent, and I learned a lot from her and my classmates.

In my third week I got a new teacher, he is from Ireland. I really like my teacher, he is a really good, kind and respectful person. He encourages everybody to participate in class and helps us to understand any new topic that arises. 

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

I think the aspects that I am improving the most are my speaking and writing skills.

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

Even though I am improving my fluency, speaking in English is still the most challenging aspect to me.

Sometimes I don’t have all of the vocabulary I need when I want to say something, but I keep trying to do my best.

Do you get to practice your English outside of school hours?

Yes, I do. I practice my English on a daily basis, for example when I need to buy something, talk with my classmates, take the bus or train, etc.

I love the out and about school activities because I can also practice English while meeting new people and visiting interesting places in Cork City.

Why did you choose Cork City as your study abroad destination?

I chose to move to Cork City because, before coming here, I saw a reel on Instagram about the city and I immediately fell in love with Cork.

Furthermore, I have heard that in this city it is easier to find a job and accommodation.

 What is your favorite thing about Cork? 

The people. People are so friendly here. I feel welcome in Cork, and I am very happy to live here and learn more about Irish Culture.

Would you suggest Ireland as a study abroad destination to others and if so, why? 

I absolutely recommend Ireland as a study abroad destination to others because it is a lovely country, and we can really improve our English skills while enjoying an amazing experience in Ireland, the beautiful Emerald Island.

However, it would be good if the government could improve the processes for obtaining the Irish residence permit (IRP) and the PPS, so that they could be more agile and efficient, which would motivate more students to continue coming to the country.

Thank you so much for this extremely well written piece Fernanda!

We have no doubt you will turn your language challenges into motivation! Keep going! You are excelling.

Relocation Information

We totally agree that the government registration process needs to be made better for international students. The time delay in getting an Immigration registration appointment in Cork at the moment is unprecedented. Hopefully we will see changes for the better in 2024.

Until then remember that the special landing stamp you receive in your passport on arrival to the airport in Ireland will permit you to:

1. Request an Immigration meeting where you will later during your stay get your physical IRP / Immigration card (stamp 2 student visa)
2. Apply for a PPS number (official number for work purposes)
3. Apply for an Irish bank account (if you want one for proof of address or work purposes)

You do not need to wait until you have a physical IRP / Immigration card to apply for a PPS number or Irish bank account.

More Relocation Information.

Kelly’s Story

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

It’s beyond my expectations, actually. I’m having classes with Heather and she is absolutely amazing. She is dynamic and has patience to teach us and we can see that she gives us her best. I really love her! About the course: if you are really interested in learning, you will. You must pay attention at classes, do the exercises, then you’ll have a good experience.

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

My speaking for sure. But also my grammar. And every day we learn some new words. So I guess it is a mix of all. There’s no way to improve just one thing. It’s all set. 

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

Grammar, but I know that I’ll get there! 

Have you worked in Cork City? If so, can you tell us a little about your job?

Yes, I am working. I work as a SPA Therapist at The Imperial Hotel. I absolutely love it. As it is the same profession that I have in my Country, I’m really happy. 

Do you get to practice your English outside of school hours?

Yes, everyday at my work, also I live in a house with my housemates who are from another countries, we all have to talk in English.  

Why did you choose Cork City to move to?

‘Cause here we (my husband and I) imagined the city would be quiet, which it really is, and we love it. The safety too. 

What is your favourite thing about Cork? 

Quietness is our top one. But also the safety, people are so friendly, and the quality of life.  

Would you suggest Ireland as a study abroad destination to others and if so, why?

Yes because it is an AMAZING opportunity, it’s a beautiful place to live, rich in culture, with friendly people.   


Thank you Kelly. We wish you all the best with your study and work and life in Cork 🙂

Parks in Cork

Cork is a small city and really easy to get around.

There are lots of parks and green spaces dotted around the city centre and neighbouring suburbs, as well as beautiful walkways following the banks of the River Lee.

Some of our favorite parks in Cork city are listed here.

Bell’s Field, Cork City

Bell’s Field, City Centre – Photo @richardscivgeo

Bell’s Field is situated nearby to the scenic viewpoint Audley Place and can be accessed by walking up Patrick’s Hill or Richmond Hill in the immediate city centre. The walk up the steep (but short) hills are definitely worth it for the views.

Fitzgerald Park, Cork City

Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City – Photo @depod

Fitzgerald Park is a public park in Cork city and the location of the Cork Public Museum. The park is located on the Mardyke and is a short distance from Cork city centre and University College Cork. 

The Lee Fields

Lee Fields, Cork City – Photo @nicola_oregan

Lush grass and buttercups, walking by the Lee river. Nice flat walk and long enough to feel you’ve done a good workout. The better know walkway is on the South Side of the river and has an official pathway for bikes and pedestrians.

The lesser know walkway is more of a track with no footpath. It is suitable for pedestrians but not really bikes. It is on the north side of the river and can be accessed by walking out the Lee Road. The track starts at Google point VFWH+CH Cork , just where the Lee Road meets a Cul-de-sac called Mount Desert.

An even lesser known part of the Lee Fields is an area known locally as the ”Hell-Hole”. It includes a deep area of the river where some people swim. It can be accessed near the Angler Rest Bar on the Carrigrohane Bridge at Google Coordinates 51.897137, -8.568638. Follow the river west along the north side.

Regional Park – Ballincollig

Regional Park, Ballincollig – Photo @shereepix

The Regional Park Ballincollig ( 7km outside of Cork City). Take the City Bus No. 220 ( 25 minute bus journey and runs every 10 minutes).

The Park has several playing pitches, a skate park, river walks, numerous picnic areas, woodland trails and paved walkways as well as being a National Monument status site.

There is a Parkrun held here every Saturday at 09.30 – This is a free weekly 5km run with between 200 and 300 people taking part each week.

The Regional Park Ballincollig is located on the South bank of the River Lee and much of it lies on the river’s floodplain. Gunpowder was manufactured there from the 18th century to the start of the 20th Century. From here, it was transported to Cork City and the Port of Cork for supply to the British Armed Forces worldwide. The Regional Park itself comprises of the now defunct Gunpowder Mills complex, most of the original buildings and the network of sluices and canals installed in the grounds.

The Lough, Cork City

The Lough, Cork City – Photo @katieaherneyoga

The Lough is a 4 hectare lake located in the centre of the city and is a unique coarse angling area. It is primarily a carp fishery, however it also holds eel and small quantities of tench, perch and rudd. It is also a bird sanctuary. Open air Yoga sessions take place here. Many people use the area for slack lining.

Also from June 21st 2023 – Irish dancing at the lough ”Céilí Cois Locha” will return 19.30-21.00pm (every Wednesday for the Summer). All are welcome.

Tramore Valley Park

Tramore Valley Park, Cork City – Photo @dacograph

Tramore Valley Park has a BMX track. The Cork BMX Club are located here. The park has an outdoor gym and rugby pitches. The park also has a 2.5km looped walkway.

There is a Parkrun held here every Saturday at 09.30 – This is a free weekly 5km run with between 70 and 100 people taking part each week.

Beaumont Quarry, Cork City – Photo @lily_pod_10

Beaumont quarry is a unique natural location within Cork city.

It is an old abandoned limestone quarry that lies adjacent to Pairc Uí Rinn and Temple Hill, just southeast of the city centre. Not only is it an important place for recreation, it is also very important for local biodiversity and wildlife conservation. Given its close proximity to the city, Beaumont quarry is a haven for Cork’s urban wildlife.

The Glen River Park, Cork City – Photo @ophelie_vtr

The Glen River Park . The Glen is a predominantly residential area on the north side of Cork City. The area consists of mostly housing estates near an ancient glacial valley known as the ‘Glen River Park’.There is a Parkrun held here every Saturday at 09.30 – This is a free weekly 5km run with between 50 and 70 people taking part each week.

The Marina Walkway, Cork City – Photo @macchiato_the_lakelandterrier

A stroll down The Marina is popular by many people. The area is particularly characterised by its location on the River Lee and the start of Cork Harbour.

Cork’s Marina was originally called the Navigation Wall or in essence it was a guidance or tracking wall to bring ships into Cork City’s South Docks area. It was completed in 1761. Follow the Historical Trail of Cork’s Marina Walkway here.

The Atlantic Pond, Cork City – Photo @bahcork

The Marina is one of Cork City’s most popular amenity sites. The Marina Walk is a beautiful pedestrian walkway that follows the River Lee, starting from Cork harbour towards Blackrock Village There is also an adjacent old passage railway line that connects cork city, Blackrock, and passage west. Not only is this area popular with people, but it is also an attractive location for urban wildlife. There are several different habitats along this route, such as the rocky shore by Blackrock Castle Observatory, coastal woodlands surrounding Blackrock Road and Blackrock Village, marshy wetlands, and native woodland near Marina Walk, and the freshwater pond at Atlantic Pond. This unique area is home to a wide diversity of species and is an excellent hotspot for birdwatching in the city. 

The Atlantic Pond is a unique site for the city. Its combination of freshwater, surrounding woodland, and proximity to Cork Harbour makes it an ideal habitat for freshwater, coastal, and woodland bird species, including the Grey heron that can be easily spotted nesting on the small island at the centre of the Atlantic pond. If you are very lucky, you might even spot one of the city’s incredible urban otters at Atlantic Pond. Otters are a very elusive animal, but they have been spotted here on rare occasions! Just down from the Atlantic pond is a marshy wetland surrounded by woodland, boasting an impressive diversity of native tree species which have attracted woodland birds and insect species. Blackrock Castle Observatory is the perfect habitat for wading birds and coastal plants. When the tide is low, a wide variety of bird species can be seen foraging together on the muddy banks.

Lough Mahon Loop – Photo @m_ngn24

This is one of the most popular locations in Cork City for running and walking. Located just 3 kms east of the city centre at Blackrock Castle, most of the route is on public walkways and free of traffic. It has largely flat with nice scenic views out over the river and harbour areas. It is very easy to navigate as you are either following the river or staying on the public walkways.

The Greenway, Cork City – Photo @avamaria92

The Greenway is part of a trail that extends from Cork City to Passage West on the old Cork City to Passage West Railway line which operated for 72 years before closing in September 1932.

The walk was opened in November 2007 to commemorate the 75 years of the closure of the railway and features many historical plaques and photographs describing the history of the route.

The oId railway line now hosts a pedestrian walkway where several of the railway platforms can still be viewed, as well as the railway bridges, and the steel viaduct that crossed the Douglas estuary.

The Marina Park, Cork City – Photo @kmallenphotography

Just off the Monaghan Road running parallel to the the Marina Walkway and behind Pairc Ui Chaoimh , is this new area in Cork with open green spaces, bridges, ponds and a smooth paved platform perfect for roller blading, skating, running and walking. This is where Roller Criu Cork hang out, an adult skating group for all levels using roller skates, quads and blades!

The Millennium Park/ 2000 Garden – Photo @ Sean Mc Carty

Located along the north side of the River Lee heading East, you will find this park along the Lower Glanmire Road. Named The Millennium Park or 2000 Garden it marks an important part of the Port of Cork. You are just as likely to see large merchant shipping vessels from here as small rowing club boats – all happily sharing the river together !

Quentin’s Graduation

This week, I completed my ten-week English course at Cork English Academy and I am now ready to return to my home country. Although the duration of my studies was short, it significantly helped me improve my language skills, especially in communication and confidence.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who helped me during my time here, whether it was with my studies, daily life, or sightseeing. I am also thankful to my best friend, who supported me through all the difficult moments.

Moreover, I appreciate myself for taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone. Not all endeavors had a perfect ending, but the experience of trying will surely lead to a better future.

As they say, “sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.”

Thank you Quentin. All the best to you in everything you do in life. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Sabrina and Agust

”We’re lucky to have found CEA, the best English language school in Cork at this time, for me. All the staff are friendly. Their dedication to teaching and their commitment to their students are truly admirable.

I can’t thank you enough for all that they’ve done for us, and we’ll always remember the impact that they’ve had on our life. Thanks for a great first semester at CEA!
We’ll be back soon! ” Agust Sales.

Sabrina and Agust have successfully finished a 6 month General English course at Cork English Academy.

Here they are with Academic Director, Vincent.

We look forward to welcoming Sabrina and Agust back in June for their second course of General English and IELTS Academic Examination Preparation.

The IELTS Academic measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. It reflects aspects of academic language and evaluates whether you’re ready to begin training or studying for example on an Undergraduate or Masters course delivered through English.

We have no doubt that Sabrina and Agust will excel on their new course, both fantastic students.