First Day

Welcome to Galway Cultural Institute!

You are most welcome to our school. We understand that you probably have travelled far to be here and we're excited to make you feel at home and begin your language learning journey.

Please introduce yourself when you arrive, tell us that it's your first day and we'll be more than happy to guide you through the process!

What time to arrive

We ask you to come to school between 8.30 and 8.45 on your first Monday (between 8.00 and 8.15 in the high season). Our staff will welcome you at reception and introduce you to the school.

Level placement tests

Online Test

To place you in the correct level, you do a level test before you arrive at GCI. It is important that you complete this online before you come to Galway. This online test consists of a grammar and vocabulary tests and must be completed a minimum of two weeks prior to your arrival. If you have not completed your online test yet, please follow this link

Oral Test

All students will have to complete an oral examination immediately after orientation. This doesn't last very long and is quite informal. There is no need to be shy!

Failure to do the test may mean that you cannot attend class on your first day, especially during peak season.

Student Cards

A student card is obligatory for all students. We will take a photo of you and give you your student card usually before the orientation starts. If we do not give it to you before orientation starts, then you can pick it up from reception later in the day. It's important that you bring your student card with you wherever you go.

Your student card will help you if you need to print or if you need to use the library and help us to identify you. It will also give you numerous discounts throughout Galway city in shops, restaurants, cinemas, etc. If you are ever in doubt whether or not a place offers a discount for students, then it's always worth asking!


If you are a Non-EU student, please remember to bring your passport to school on the first day.


You will have your orientation on your first day which gives you important information about Galway Cultural Institute and Galway and helps you settle in. Class lists are posted on the notice board on the first floor (outside room 101) on a weekly basis. Please be in school 15 minutes before class starts.

Orientation of new students takes place in the Halla Mór which gives you important information about life at GCI, in Galway and will help you find your way and get a feel for the city.

We organise a walking tour in the afternoon early in the week. It is advised that you take part in this activity as it will give you a good grasp on where everything is in Galway city and learn some of its history and see some of the landmarks.


After orientation, we will give you your schedule for the week. This schedule is subject to change depending on new arrivals of students. We put up the new class lists on Friday afternoon so please keep up to date.

Getting lost in Galway

Getting lost is part of settling in to any new place. Galway is a safe city and people are friendly enough to ask and will help you to find your way. Always carry your host family's number and the school emergency number with you in case you might need it. It is also essential that you bring your student card with you and a copy of your address here in Galway. Please make sure that you take reasonable measures to ensure your own safety; ie. do not walk alone late at night.

Lost Baggage

If you have had any problem with lost bags, etc. please let us know and we will help you.