Below are some of the top reasons to choose Dublin as your English study destination.
1. Friendly people and a unique culture
Irish people are famous the world over for their open and friendly nature, and Dublin is no exception. Local people will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and will love teaching you about their city, their customs and the culture that is so unique to the ‘Emerald Isle’. Integral to the traditional Irish way of life is family, religion and music and dance, and the same importance is still attached to these aspects of life today. Irish people tend to be very proud of their celtic roots, and the traditional music that is still played so widely around the country very much reflects this.
2. A fun-loving city with a lively atmosphere
Dublin is well known for its nightlife, in particular the area around Temple Bar, and outside of lessons you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practise your English in the city’s bars and restaurants and experience what the Irish call the ‘craic’ (fun). Going out in Dublin can be expensive, but the ‘inside’ knowledge you’ll gain from staff at the school or the host family you stay with will mean that you can avoid the tourist traps and head to the less expensive and more authentic places.
3. Standard English with a nice accent
A standard form of English is used in most of Ireland, although it is spoken with a soft accent that many people consider to be one of the nicest in the English-speaking world. The accent that you’ll hear in Dublin is easier to understand than some of the others in Ireland, and you’ll enjoy listening to it – if you’re lucky you might even pick it up!
4. Small enough to get around easily
For a capital city, Dublin is relatively small in size, which makes it really easy to get around. Much of the city centre can be explored on foot, and if you want to venture further out of the city into the suburbs or the surrounding towns and villages there’s a really good network of buses and trams to get you where you need to go. Dublin also now has its own bike-sharing scheme, whereby anyone over the age of 14 can pick up a rental bike from one of the 42 stations around the city – it’s a really quick and easy way to get around, and you can choose a long term hire card (10 euro) or a 3-day card (2 euro).
5. The same currency as many European countries
For European students who want to learn English, Dublin can be a great option in that the currency in Ireland is the Euro. Not only will you have to get used to using a foreign currency, it will also save you having to incur fees exchanging money before you go and during your stay.
6. Easy access to and from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East
Dublin has its own international airport just outside of the city where you can take flights to and from all kinds of cities in Europe, America, Canada and the Middle East. There are scores of airlines that operate from the airport, including low-cost carriers like Ryanair, Aer Arann and Germanwings, with whom you can get inexpensive flights if you book in advance.
7. Lots of events and attractions to enjoy
Quite simply, you will never be short of things to do in Dublin. The city is home to an array of entertainment and sporting venues, including O2 and Grand Canal Theatre for gigs and concerts and Croke Park and Landsdown Road stadiums for domestic and international sports events. Dublin also hosts several festivals each year, including the fantastic St Patricks Day celebrations in March and many more cultural and literary festivals throughout the year. As the capital city of Ireland and the seat of Irish parliament there are plenty of grand buildings and monuments to enjoy, including Customs House and the old university buildings of Trinity College and University College Dublin. And of course, there’s the world-famous Guinness factory, a piece of history in its own right and one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions!
8. A long and interesting history to explore
Dublin has a really long history that dates back to the 10th century. Over the centuries the city changed hands several times, and saw some bloody battles – perhaps the most severe during the revolution of 1919-1921, which resulted in the establishment of the Irish Free State. There is a huge amount to learn about Dublin (and Ireland’s) history in the city, which you can get by visiting museums such as the National Museum of Ireland (Archeology, Decorative Arts and History and Natural History), the National Leprechaun Museum and the James Joyce Museum. James Joyce was by no means the only successful writer or poet to come out of Dublin – also counted amongst Dublin’s greats are Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney.
9. Attractive surroundings and nice architecture
Dublin enjoys a fantastic location at the head of a lovely bay and close to hills and mountains. There’s a range of sandy beaches where you can enjoy nice walks and picnics in the summer, and to the south of the city lie the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, which provide some great hiking opportunities and some lovely views of the city.
Within Dublin itself there are some lovely squares and parks, but one of the city’s finest features is its architecture. In addition to its splendid public buildings, Dublin has lots of 18th century architecture, including impressive Georgian mansions, many of them with historical association. It’s the southeast area of the city centre, around Baggot Street, Merrion Square and Fitzwiliam Square, where most of the original townhouses remain.
10. A great base from which to explore the rest of Ireland
As the principal city in Ireland, Dublin has by far the best transport links to other cities and areas of the country. Should you wish to take a day or weekend trip to Cork, Waterford, Galway or Limerick for example, you would be able to take a train or bus direct from Dublin and be there within a couple of hours at the most.
Cactus offers a range of English courses in Dublin, including General, Intensive, Individual and Combined English. Also available are Juniors English courses, Teacher Refresher courses and a range of Exam Preparation courses. For full listings of courses in Dublin and Ireland, please visit the Cactus Language website.