Having traveled all over the world, I always thought that Ireland was the friendliest of all places to live and study. I also think it is the easiest country to find your way around. It is a safe country – which is, of course, an important issue if you are there for a short time and traveling by yourself.
I might not be the most famous person to credit such a statement – the Lonely Planet travel guide also names Ireland as “the World’s Friendliest Country in the List of Top Travel Destinations.” No wonder Ireland gets about 7 million tourists each year. All this in a country with a population of only about 4 million people!
For traveling and studying, Ireland has a great deal to offer: There are the historic sights, churches, and castles to visit. Ireland is a small and compact country so it is easy to travel around and nothing is really far away.
There is even more to it than its interesting history. The greatest things I find are the music, art, and the festivals. Everywhere you look, even in the smallest villages, you find this all year around. In spring and summer especially, there are live music festivals and small town theatres (whose plays are surprisingly professional).
Everybody seems to play an instrument and is in a good mood!
You can go out at night to pubs, night clubs, and events at all hours. Especially in Dublin, Cork, and Galway – those cities never seem to sleep at all! Don’t think that the small villages are dead either – no! It’s the same thing here; there is always a lot going on.
For those wishing to find a quiet spot, you will find it. There are plenty of greens, gardens, little parks, beaches, or just jump on the train or bus and go into the countryside to take a leisurely walk to find your peace.
If you rent a bike and explore Dublin City, you will find that if you cycle along the River Liffey that there are a lot of nice spots to relax and take photos of the city.
For the sporty ones, check out fitness classes (you’ll find loads of gyms!) or swimming or games to join into. Cork or Galway are excellent for kayaking, horse riding, cycling, and golf.
And whatever you do, meet the locals! It’s easy getting into a conversation because they will talk to you first so you have no choice but to practice English!
The Irish are very proud of their country and consider it an honour to welcome other nationalities to Ireland.
Do the map test. Stand on an Irish street holding a road map and looking lost and count how many Irish people will ask if you need help in 20 minutes. I guarantee that you will not have to wait very long and that you get to talk to a lot of locals!
The locals are not only helpful, they are also very nice and have a great sense of humour! You will reminisce about your study trip to Ireland for years to come and I am sure you will also get as hooked on Ireland as I am and keep coming back!
Getting to Ireland:
Airport Transfers: We provide airport transfers to and from each of our locations. Some are for free, others are subject to a fee. You will get further information with your booking to give you an overview for your planning.
Dublin and Galway: Fly to Dublin airport, take a bus right from the airport to Galway or Dublin City book an airport transfer.
Cork: Fly to Cork or Dublin. Airport transfer from and to Cork airport is free with host family accommodation and subject to a fee with self-catering accommodation. The best way from Dublin airport is with the public bus which goes from Dublin airport into Cork city.
Kerry: Cork or Kerry airports. Airport trnasfer provided from and to Cork and Kerry airports
Irish Rail – the train
Going by car: There are car ferries from France to Ireland or the and bridge from Calais via Dover and Holyhead to Ireland.
Coming with your own car is certainly worth the experience on a n Irish ferry vessel where you stay overnight on the boat in your own cabin and arrive well-rested at the other end.
Please keep in mind that if you do drive wit your own car, the Irish drive on the left hadn side of the road like in England. Also, if you are taking courses in Dublin or Cork or even Galway city, parking can be very difficult there and we would rather recommend you leave your car at home and fly. As for Kerry or Dublin Dun Laoghaire, bringing your own car can actually be of benefit. There are lovely areas to
explore in the vicinity which can only be reached if you have a car.
Car hire at the airport is also an option but book well ahead. We recommend:
We have found that the most reliable car companies in Ireland are Irish cars (the Irish Europecars), Budget, and Avis. We also found that Thrifty has excellent prices and good cars.
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