Public and private schools with homestay.
Due to the proximity to any European country and the reduced cost of the program, the academic year in Ireland is undoubtedly one of the most demanded destinations for parents who want to send their children to study abroad.
The friendly and familiar Irish culture provides a nurturing environment where academic year students benefit from a very succesful experience while learning the English lenguage in a very safe surrounding. At the following report Public schools in Ireland you will be able to check our impressions after visiting some of the top public schools in Ireland with photos of the centers, facilities, sport fields, and even videos with former students and their feedback.
The schools offer a traditional academic experience with extracurricular options like robotics, technology, arts, music, dance, woodshop, etc, and a wide range of sports like rugby, soccer, hocky, basketball or even tennis at some of them. The environment is also crucial according to the candidate’s profle since there are rural options for quiet students, or more urban settings for students used to live in big cities. The same for the type of student body and single sex (boys/girls only) or mixed schools.
The academic year program in Ireland provides a demanding and rigorous academic system so students must work hard to obtain the best possible academic results.
The Irish academic system is divided in two different cycles:
- Junior cicle: 1st year (12 years old) to 3rd year (14 years old). At the end of the 3rd year the students must take the offical exams called Junior Certificate.
- Senior cicle: 4th year/Transition year (15 years old) to 6th year (17 years old). At the end of the 6th year the students must take the official exams called Leaving Certificate.
Grades to consider: Most international students in Ireland complete their 4th year, also called Transition Year: As the name clearly states, it’s an academic year that divides the above mentioned cycles, so it’s important students consider this year as a turning point, and wisely take their time to decide which path they are going to follow for their future education in college or university. For these reasons the academic load of this grade is significantly lower than any other year and includes many field trips, essays, personal researches, and group presentations. One of these proyects is a 2-4 week internship at a local company of their choice and allows students to improve their maturity and self confidence while they get a taste of the labour market.
Grades to avoid: 3rd year and 6th year are the grades we don’t recommend (if the student just wants to study for one year) since at the end of each one students must take the above mentioned official exams, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate, both with a heavy academic load. On the other hand, if the candidate is very academic and a hard working student, some schools may consider them after reviewing their transcripts and academic results from past years at their home countries.
The host families are carefully selected in order to match the ideal family for each type of candidate and their interests: proximity to the school, with or without children at home, other international student, pets, sports interests and weekend family activities. In general, Irish families and houses may be more humble and modest compared to the student’s homes at their own countries so it’s very important to keep that in mind and have real expectations. Once the students are settled to their new environment after an adjustment period, they learn to value what they have at home, and start to improve their maturity while they experience a personal growth.
The program offers full board with 3 meals: During the week breakfast and dinner will be served at home, and the family will provide a Packed Luch (sandwich, water, fruit), the students will eat at the school. During weekends, the 3 meals will be provided at home with the host family: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Ireland’s wheather (rainy and cloudy) is very particular and it has a direct impact on the daylight hours because it usually gets dark at around 18h. All host families watch for the student’s security so all of them must be always at home before it gets dark. Due to this climate, all extracurricular activities will take place right after the classes are done, like sports trainings, music practice, etc. This also applies to the rest of clubs the students are free to join like: technology, culinary arts, orchestra, drama, dancing, etc. We always encourage students to participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible since those will be the main enterntainment sources.
In order to guarantee the sucess of the program, every student has the local figure of the Student Advisor that will ensure the students are happy at the school, host family, they are engaged in sports, clubs, and anything they may need during the entire length of the program. At the end of the academic year the relation between students and advisors is very close and familiar since they will be their main local source of support as well as the host family when the students get home sick and start missing their families and friends from their countries.
In general Ireland is a more traditional and rural kind of country and therefore, as we have mentioned above the expectations must be real so there is no cultural shock after arrival. For students with high adaptability and maturity looking to make the most of the opportunities the schools and families provide, the experience will be very positive.
The academic year in Ireland allows students to stay with the host family during the entire length of the program except for one vacation period: Christmas. In those holidays every international student must fly back to their home countries and the dates usually are around December 20th to January 7th but each year it varies according to the calendar.
For the rest of the holidays the schools are closed during the academic year program the students can stay with the host families without any extra cost so parents can decide if they want their children to remain in Ireland and keep practicing English with the host families or if they prefer to fly to their countries for those vacation periods. Those holidays all schools in Ireland are closed are: two different Half Terms, (one in the first semester around 10 days in October, and the other one in February, also around 10 days), and the Eastern holidays (around 14 days in April).
We always encourage all our students at International Academic Programs to stay in Ireland as much as possible for their adaptation and to make the most of their experience since they will all fly back to their countries in Christmas for around 2 weeks. For boarding schools, all students must return to their countries during every holiday.
Regarding sports and extracurricular activities, our selection of schools will always be based on the candidate’s interests. In occasions, if the family applies with enough time, we may even be able to satisfy more specific requests usually provided only in private schools (tennis programs, golf, drone design or swimming teams among others) but it will depend if the schools have enough places available (the schools with best facilities and programs are of course the most demanded). This way, the selected school will always have strong programs according to the student’s interests even though they all usually offer the common options such as soccer, rugby, field hockey, basketball, badminton or volleyball … About clubs it’s usual to find all kinds of options like technology, robotics, debate, theater,
drama, chorus, culinary arts or orchestra to say a few.
In order to keep themselves busy, make new friends and encourage integration at the community, our recommendation at International Academic Programs will always be participating in as much activities as possible, even if it means getting out of their comfort zone and trying new things, which will definetely improve their character and personal confidence.
The refundable deposit for the academic year varies with each program (300€ for public schools, 600€ for private schools and 900€-2000€ for boarding schools). For the transfers to and from the airport there are always 2 options: private driver transfers for around 90€ each way or if the student prefers to travel on his own, (our recommendation) the best and cheapest option that communicates all parts of Ireland will be the local buses. Our local responsibles will always be waiting for our students at the airport (free of charge) every time they arrive or depart and will help them buying the bus tickets according to their destination. Host families will always be waiting at the bus stop of each selected town.
Next you will find an interactive map showing every area we promote in each destination, with links to the specific reports indicated with the symbol .
Once you click in each of these reports you will be able to check our impressions, photos and videos of the best schools we select in each area.