.Memories from Ireland
Text by Arantza Urricelqui Calderón
I attended a full-time summer language programme at The International Study Centre from the 9th of July until 27th of July.


Hello, my name is Arantza and with this article I want to tell you about my experience in Dublin.

After searching some schools in Dublin I choosed the International Study Centre because I knew this one, due to the last summer I was there and I was satisfied with them. Apart from the classes that you have in the morning, they organize social and cultural activities which take place in the afternoons or evenings.

What is more, they look for host families where you stay and speak with them and if you aren’t comfortable with them they move you to another one.


So, I attended a full-time summer language programme at The International Study Centre from the 9th of July until 27th of July. In this intensive programme I had 25 hours tuition per week: The first one was vocabulary building and idiomatic English; the second one, grammar; the third one, reading and writing skills; the forth one, listening and speaking skills; and the last one, authentic English.

When I arrived in Dublin, the manager of the school was waiting for me and drove me to my new house. I was going to spend these days with a marriage whom children had grown up and left the house. The woman was a nurse and the man was a barrister. The first contact with them was good although I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what speak about with them.

The first thing that I had to do when I got the school was a test to know my level. Finally, they decided that it was going to be good for me the advanced level.

During the morning, every day was similar. However, in the afternoon we had different activities, which were cultural and social activities:

- Visiting Trinity College. Where we could see the Book of Kells. It’s a manuscript which contains the four New Testament gospels, written in Latin.

- Visiting Dowth: Dowth is the least well known of the three great tombs of Brú Bóinne. The mound is surrounded by a lot of stones and has two tombs facing westwards.

- Visiting the Guinness Store House. Where apart from drinking Guinness (which I don’t like) and buying some souveniers,

we could know how to make Guinness and history of it. However, the most interesting of it is the spectacular view across Dublin. From my point of view, it wasn’t an interesting excursion because I felt boring visiting it.

- Visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

- Excursion to Howth: Howth is a pretty little town built on steep streets running down to the waterfront. Most of the town backs onto the extensive of Howth Castle. Due to Howth is essentially a very large hill surrounded by cliffs; we walked along them enjoying the excellent views across Dublin Bay right down to Wicklow. So we went to the Baily Lighthouse. It was a fantastic excursion with wonderful views!

- Excursion to Malahide Castle: This castle is in the pretty seaside town of Malahide. This beautiful castle is a mix of architectural styles. The house is furnished with period furniture together with an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, which tell us the story of the family.

- Irish National Stud: Where we could visit the Japanese Gardens and The Horse Museum.

- Skerries Mills: Here we could see an efficient and clean use of the water and wind power thanks of the watermill and the windmills.

- Glendalough: It was a place of churches and living quarters. The monastic site includes a round tower and a Celtic High Cross. The round tower was built during the era of the Viking invasions into Ireland in order to protect the religious books and the chalices. Furthermore, there are many walking trains to be made around Glendalough. We visited the two lakes where we took several photographs.

- Belfast: The school organized a journey to Belfast. Although my host family didn’t want me to go there y decided to visit this place. For me, the best of this one were the wall murals. The pictures depict many events and scenes relating to local culture, folklore and history. Some of the images are quite disturbing, but are a feature of life for those who live in the areas. The Belfast murals exist predominantly in the patchworks of public housing which are usually divided along sectarian lines of Catholics and Protestants

- Gaelic football and hurling: For me, it was one of the most wonderful activities. Gaelic games are fast, furious and not for the fainthearted. The contact between players is extremely aggressive. Furthermore, people were nice because they explained me the game and the rules. After that, we went to drink to the pubs.

- Horse racing: As you know, Dubliners love betting on racing. For this reason, I couldn’t lose to go to a one of them. However, I didn’t enjoy a lot but I was really surprise watching people betting and betting constantly.

In conclusion, as you can see after reading the memory I’m not only improved my level of English studying it and speaking with my host family but also I was involved in the English culture. In my opinion, this last aspect was the most important in this experience because it is the only way to learn a new language. As for the course, it has been very enjoyable and I have learned a lot of things about the culture and I have improved my English.