Frequently Asked Questions
We can organise your transfer from your airport of arrival directly to your accommodation in Galway. We recommend either Go Bus or City Link bus services as being very efficient and affordable and regularly provide a non-stop service (about 2.5 hours) from Dublin airport to Galway. All coaches arrive into Galway Coach Park. Bus Eireann buses and all trains arrive into Ceannt station.
- www.aerarann.ie — flights from Dublin to Galway
- www.gobus.ie — transfer from Dublin airport to Galway by bus
- www.citylink.ie — transfer from Dublin and Shannon airports to Galway by bus
- www.irishrail.ie — transfer from Dublin or Limerick to Galway by rail
- www.buseireann.ie — transfer from Dublin city to Galway
All students should provide their own health and travel insurance to cover elective medical care and to insure against loss of luggage, fees etc. If you are undergoing medical treatment you should bring a medical certificate and sufficient medicines to cover your stay in Ireland. Students from EU countries should bring their EHIC Health Insurance Card. This entitles you to free emergency care. Those from non-EEA countries need to purchase emergency insurance cover as a minimum to comply with visa requirements.
We accept students of 17 throughout the year and 16 in summer.
Class size is 12 in winter and 14 in summer in Group classes unless stated otherwise.
Many courses begin on any Monday. Examination and Specialist courses begin on selected dates. We also have a number of preferred starting dates throughout the year.
On your first day you will take part in a level test and orientation session. This helps us to assess your correct level and to introduce you to the GCI Team and the facilities in the school. It also allows you to meet other new students and to ask any questions you may have. We also ask you to fill in an orientation form with full details of your home address in your home country.
You will be given your text book on your first day, and all other additional materials that are needed will be given to you by your class teacher.
We process your GCI Student ID card which will give you access to classes, the school facilities and activities, the library and the IT room. It also entitles you to discounts in Ozone Coffee Company as well as in shops and on certain services.
Morning classes are usually in the mornings from 9.00 - 10.30 and from 11.00 - 12.30. There is a break from 10.30 - 11.00 which allows you some time for a coffee and a chat with other students or with the GCI team.
Afternoon classes are usually from 13.30 - 15.00 and from 15.30 - 17.00. Students will be assigned their class time table at orientation - which will include times of morning and/or afternoons.
Each student receives a Galway Cultural Institute certificate on departure in line with the Council of Europe Framework.
Students can move levels during their course. The length of time spent at any one level will depend on a student's individual ability, commitment and hard work and also on the intensity of the chosen course. After 120 contact hours or less a student should move up a level. If you choose a One-to-One option moving levels can be very rapid - in as little as 4 weeks. To change levels you will have to sit an exit level test.
If you are from the EEA, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland then you do not need a visa to come to Ireland. The rest of the world is divided into two lists for the purposes of student visas - those who need to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland and those who will validate their visa once in Ireland. If you are not sure about your visa status go to www.dfa.ie or email us for more information.
Students from EEA countries, the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland may work unrestricted in Ireland. Students from outside the EEA may work under certain conditions providing they have enrolled on a course of minimum 25 weeks in duration listed on the Internationalisation Register, check www.education.ie. If you are enrolled on a suitable course you may then work up to 20 hours per week during term and up to 40 hours during holidays.
Students meet the Director of Studies and the Accommodation Officer to ensure that they are happy with their academic progress, their accommodation option and their stay in GCI. Long stay students meet the Assistant Director of Studies regularly to discuss their goals and progress and to speak about any issue where they require extra support.
The currency in Ireland is the Euro (€). The fastest way to send money from abroad is through Western Union. Technically, the transfer should take less than 20 minutes but please allow for the time difference between Ireland and the country sending the money. Detailed information can be obtained from www.anpost.ie or www.westernunion.com. Once you open a bank account in Galway, money can be transferred electronically directly to your bank.
GCI's nationality mix policy controls the maximum number of any one nationality. We welcome onto our courses students from over 30 different countries annually.
Most mobile networks have agreements with Irish mobile phone networks. Please check with your network before you travel. Once you are in Galway, we recommend that you purchase an Irish SIM card or a Ready to Go phone as it is usually cheaper than using your own phone. Connecting to the internet through your mobile phone provider is also available and flexible.
GCI / GBS is an environmentally responsible organisation and we are fundamentally committed to acting in an ecologically aware manner by taking responsibility for our school environment. Misuse of energy is environmentally damaging. Our energy provider is 100% green. We take a responsible approach to turning off lights, computers, switches and other appliances.
Galway Corporation has a comprehensive recycling policy. Students in all city schools and universities are required to bring home their own waste where they can avail of the efficient management and sorting of recyclables. We are also endeavouring to become more efficient and create a paper free environment by reducing the need for printing and photocopying. We also recycle paper, plastic and food (in Ozone Café). Our main brochures are printed on carbon neutral paper.
NB: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this website is correct, the school is not liable for any errors herein.
Rules & Regulations are available on our price list.