Summertime: THE opportunity to learn English Abroad

English Language

Summertime: THE opportunity to learn English Abroad

Posted 21 June

Summertime has always been recognised as a time of growth, longer days, more opportunities to get out an about and travel, and of course, gain more life experience. Generally speaking, it’s the time when we all consider travelling more. Our choice of destination usually involves a mix of enjoyment, new experiences and personal development. Nowadays, we have opportunities to travel wide and far to achieve these aims and often, to add new skills such as language learning and communication to our abilities.

Why should you come to Galway?

  • Our English summer courses are suitable for everyone regardless of level
  • You get to take part in a varied social activity programme, excursions, new cultural experiences 
  • English language development in a native English speaking environment
  • Ireland is the primary centre of English language within the EU and offers a huge variety of benefits to those who are adventurous travellers and learners

Ireland is a fantastic blend of the modern world and traditional culture and values. It is the European headquarters for many international technology and bio-medical companies because of its strategic location, official use of English, International travel links and education system. Added to that, it is a very pleasant place to live and work, offering a range of opportunities in education and employment. However, for many who visit the country short term or decide to stay here longer, it is the life balance that offers the most appeal as Ireland has its own distinctive culture and landscape which offers a great escape from the pressures of modern life. 

English Summer courses

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Our English Summer courses provide not only an opportunity to learn and improve your English skills but they encourage you to meet new international friends, the native people and in turn, this really improves your general communication skills as well. 

The Irish are a particularly social and hospitable people, they are very welcoming, enjoy the company of others and love to talk about life in general. They will be more than willing to offer you their own experiences of people and places to help you get the most from your stay. Naturally, the more you speak with native speakers, the more you develop you language skills and communication abilities in English. 

So, by taking a summer English course in Ireland you also have an extra authentic resource to practice as often as you choose.

Want to find out more about GCI English summer courses in Ireland? Then just click here for that unmissable experience.

New adventures in Ireland

Attending an English summer course in Ireland should involve meeting new Irish friends and others from a wide variety of international backgrounds, but it is also about going on excursions to a wide variety of beautiful and interesting places. GCI excursions are always the highlight of the month with a true sense of Irish adventure.

Ireland is steeped in history with monuments and buildings dating from ancient pre-history to the present date which are well worth seeing. This built history offers you a chance to experience a timeline of Irish history with your friends and classmates, and whether you go on organised GCI school tours or privately, you will discover the roots of Irelands past is still very much valued in modern times. 

The landscape of Ireland is quite varied, the most noticeable landscape that occurs throughout the country is a pastoral land of bright green fields full of farm animals who graze outside throughout the year due to our mild temperate climate. Ireland also has a significant area of blanket bog on hillsides and peatland which is quite marshy and unsuitable for agriculture providing a great location for native wildlife, especially birds. These peatlands are now being designated as special areas of conservation. Equally important, they have a huge storage of carbon which will play an important role in offsetting our carbon deficit.

In Galway City for example, it is very easy for English language students to access the impressive Moycullen bogs to the west of the city and walk along their winding lanes which possess wonderful views across Galway bay and beautiful romantic sunsets.

These locations are very accessible to students and present you with a chance to experience these majestic landscapes which include both farmland, blanket bogs, numerous lakes, wetlands and of course, ancient monuments and historic buildings.

Perhaps the wildest habitats that still exist in Ireland are to be found in mountainous areas such as Connemara, Mayo, The Burren hills to name but just a few.

As Ireland is an Island, many who visit our shores are immediately drawn to the wild coastlines which offer vistas of a wild landscape and untamed nature. The west coast in particular is a wonderful experience, huge rocky cliffs, remote sandy beaches and small towns and villages face the power of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. There are also several inhabited and uninhabited Islands lying off the west coast with a rich history, much of which still thrives in some of the remotest and most beautiful places in North West Europe, and well worth a visit.

Obviously, learning is your primary goal, but getting out and about is a fantastic way to refresh and energise yourself providing you with unforgettable memories and ensuring you return home revitalised. 

GCI Social and Activity Programme

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Cultural highlights

Galway City is a popular destination as it is a perfect base for travellers to the many of aforementioned destinations. It is the cultural capital of Ireland for many reasons, a vibrant city teeming with energetic students, curious tourists and of course, the friendly locals. This mix contains both the modern and the traditional aspects of Irish culture. The medieval city itself is quite small and very easy and safe to get around. It has beautiful riverside and coastal walks brimming with nature – there are even two blue flag beaches within the city limits! The views along the coastal paths to the west and south of the city are amazing, and these areas are always a pleasure to walk or cycle.

Galway is famous for its café culture and of course its pubs, many of which host live music ranging from rock/pop/alternative to the more traditional which delves deep into our past and is a vibrant living tradition involving all age groups. The Irish language is also an official language of Ireland and is understood and spoken by thousands in the West of Ireland. 

The Aran Islands and South Connemara to the west of Galway City are Gaeltacht areas where Irish is still the first language. However, English is easily understood and spoken fluently by those Irish speakers when necessary. The Irish language is now offered as the main language to many students in Galway City up to University level and these schools do very well academically. If you listen carefully, you will often hear Irish being spoken in pubs, on the street and in shops and supermarkets. 

Despite this living native tradition, Galway is very much an International city with residents from all over the globe bringing their culture, languages and culinary skills to enrich the community. Indeed Galway now has a wide range of International restaurants offering a high level of quality using high grade Irish ingredients which are some of the safest in the EU.

Ireland is a country fascinated by sporting activities, and Galway is particularly famous for its horse races in Late July, which attracts tens of thousands to the city to experience the energy and excitement. Horses thrive in the limestone landscapes of Ireland and can be seen grazing as you drive through fertile farmland. Ireland is now recognised as one of the super powers of horse breeding and racing.

Many English language students who have visited Galway will have visited The Galway Races and experienced the passion, energy and celebration. Most students opt to go on a school outing as it is a more communal event with transport and admittance organised for you.

School outings are also organised for greyhound racing in Galway city, which is quite a niche sport in Ireland but has a fanatical following. These sleek animals can accelerate to 70kmh in about 2 seconds and these races are out and out sprints. Well worth checking out.

As far as team sports are concerned, hurling and Gaelic football are easily the most popular and unique to Ireland. Hurling is known to be an ancient game, thousands of years old, and the fastest field sport played on grass anywhere in the world. It is easy to get tickets for games during the summer and well worth the experience. Galway has a Stadium that holds about 25,000 and plays at a high competitive level in both these games.

In recent decades, Rugby has become increasingly popular due to the success at International level, resulting in very strong regional teams emerging from the four provinces of Ireland. Connacht is the regional team of the west of Ireland and are based in Galway City. They regularly play teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, France, South Africa and England in International competitions. It is a great idea to go and experience this hugely athletic and powerful sport.

With rivers and coastline at our disposal, water sports are becoming increasingly popular in Galway Bay. It is easy to go kayaking, wind-surfing, sailing, fishing or even scuba diving.

GCI Students at Galway Races

Who goes on An English Language course in Ireland?

To be honest, just about anybody or age group you can imagine. Sometimes groups arrive from schools, some come here to improve skills for work, others are simply on a break to learn and meet new people. The age profile varies and classes are not chosen specifically for age profile, rather level based.

In Ireland we love to share the experiences, energy and friendship between all ages and demographics. It builds a more wholesome learning and communicative experience.

So, while attending an English language course, why not use it to also develop other skills or experience activities, culture and new landscapes? Make the most of your stay with like-minded individuals and groups. Ireland is waiting to be discovered by you.

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