Student Guide - Key Facts

GCI Classes

All courses start any Monday except Exam Prep, Foundation, Pre-Masters, 50+, Teacher Training and Group Programmes (except bank holidays when courses start on Tuesday). All prices are per week except for Foundation and Exam Preparation programmes.

Classes start at 9.00 when you choose the morning class options and classes start at 13.30 when you opt for afternoon option courses. Classes operate on a double schedule and you will be allocated your schedule on the first day depending on your course booking – i.e. certain courses are automatically timetabled in the afternoon sessions.

All lessons are 45 minutes long.

Max group class size is 14 all year round except for Group Programmes which are usually 15 class size unless otherwise agreed. Some courses require B1or B2 minimum level of English. Minimum numbers, minimum level and minimum age are required for some courses. Minimum age is 17 during low season and 16 in high season.

Classes missed due to Public Holidays will not be made up except for individual / One-to-One components.

Students may not change from group to private tuition or opt for less intensive courses, or shorten their course regardless of the reason.

Class attendance is obligatory.


Levels are from A1-C2, Beginner to Proficiency.

Books and materials are charged separately. There is an additional charge for a new book when you change level. Depending on supply, we often have a second-hand book scheme in operation for books in good condition for students who move level (paused during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Placement Test

GCI Online English Test

To help us place you in the correct level, you will do a short online English level test before you arrive at GCI. The online test consists of a grammar and vocabulary sentences & you select the answers from four multiple choice options. You should have completed this test a minimum of two weeks prior to your arrival so we can best plan your learning journey. 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 online test in advance of arrival may lead to some delays in starting classes on your first day, especially during peak season.


Insurance is obligatory for non-EEA students and must be issued by a body regulated by the Irish authorities. We offer medical insurance to students and the cost is €150. We recommend our prospective students take out an insurance policy with us.


GCI is a Cambridge exam testing centre. This makes it very easy for students enrolled in an exam course to sit the exam in the school. Many other English language schools don't offer this as an option for their exam preparation courses. The majority of written exams take place on Saturday. 

For preparation courses there are specific exam course books and specific dates assigned for your speaking and written exams. Exam fees and exam book fees apply. All exams have registrations deadlines and late exam fees apply if you wish to register after this time. It is the student's responsibility to pay close attention to their exam dates & to book their homeward flight after their exam date. GCI will not be responsible for this.

Students under 18 years of age

a) Are required to provide a Signed Parental Guarantee and to carry this with them at all times whilst travelling to Ireland. GCI will provide this at the time of booking.

b) A Meet & Greet Service is obligatory for all under 18 year olds on arrival. This means that the students will be met by a GCI representative at the airport and accompanied to the bus departing for Galway. At the Galway Coach Station, our designated taxi driver will meet the student and drive him/her to the selected accommodation.

c) Under 18 year old students must abide by the rules and regulations and conduct themselves in an appropriate and respectful manner at al time both during and outside of school hours.

Books and Materials

Books and materials are charged separately. There is an additional charge for a new book if you are to change level. We have a second-hand book scheme in operation for books in good condition for students who move level.

English Only Policy

GCI / GBS have an English only policy and failure to speak English may result in a student being asked to leave the school on a temporary or permanent basis. We believe that this will help you to progress your learning quickly.

We have a strict no-smoking policy in the building as it is against the law here in Ireland. We also forbid anyone under the age of 16 to smoke at all.

Respect for property, people, other nationalities and customs must be shown at all times.


We have a 24/7 Emergency Number that you can call outside of office hours if you have any difficulty during your stay with us +353 87 2478128. 

Study in the heart of Galway, Ireland

Galway is one of Ireland's greatest treasures. Situated on the Atlantic west coast, this vibrant city – like its people – is warm, friendly and welcoming.

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