English language courses in Ireland are a budget-friendly option among other English-speaking countries. Learning the language here can be combined with evening pub crawls (there are about 7000 pubs throughout the country[1]), visits to ancient castles near major cities, and hikes to the mountains and hills of the Emerald Isle.

Guidance in registering for language courses

UniPage consultants will select language programs based on your goals, interests and budget. We will choose a suitable country, course intensity and help you with the enrollment process. Our clients can get up to 30% discount on language courses.

Official language in the countryEnglish, Irish
Percentage of English speakers99%
Average course cost per week288 USD
Visa processing time8 weeks
Ireland - General information
region British Islands
Capital Dublin
Language Irish, English
Currency Euro
Population 6,399,115
Students 196,000
Foreigner students 17.9%
Statistics - Universities
Universities in top 200 1
Universities in top 500 5
Universities in top 1000 8
Universities in top 5000 18
Cost of living in Ireland
Expenses - USD/Month Min. Med.
Accommodation 407 528
Food 213 442
Transportation 90 197
Communications and utilities 98 121
Clothing 24 92
Sports and leisure 27 98
Total 860 1,477
Accommodation in Ireland USD/Month
Shared room outside of centre 411
Shared room in city centre 533
1 bedroom apartment outside of centre 780
1 bedroom apartment in city centre 944
Location on map

Advantages of English courses in Ireland

  • Price. The average cost of a week of language courses in Ireland is 288 USD. This is lower than in other English-speaking countries. In the US, the standard weekly course costs 430 USD, in the UK — 421 USD, in Australia — 286 USD, and in Canada — 262 USD.
  • Variety of courses. At Irish language schools, you can not only learn English, but also improve your business English skillsNegotiation, presentations, business correspondence, prepare for international exams, and absorb the language during special "field" lessons in the city.
  • Pathways programs. At language schools and universities, you will find university preparation programs. They will help you learn the language to the required level and cover other disciplines needed for admission. Pathway providers in Ireland cooperate with both Irish and British universities.
  • Jobs. Students with a category D visa, intended for long-term studies, can work 20 hours a week.
  • Medieval atmosphere. If you are into medieval history, then Ireland is for you. The largest cities in the country were founded in the 9th-12th centuries. Ancient English and Norman castles are well preserved here.

Disadvantages of English courses in Ireland

  • Irish accents. Residents of the country speak with a pronounced accent. Of course, common English is taught at language schools, but it can be difficult to understand the locals if you do not already have a high language proficiency. However, Irish accents are easier to understand than some UK dialects, such as Scottish or Geordie.
  • Visa application. To get a student visa for short-term or long-term courses, you need to attach a motivation letter, language proficiency certificate, and proof of your intention to return home in addition to the usual documents (passport, invitation from the school, medical insurance, proof of financial solvency). All of this adds to bureaucratic worries and increases the time needed to prepare for the trip.
  • Rent. Renting an apartment while studying is not a good idea. The average monthly rent in Ireland is 1,304 USD/month. You will pay the same approximate price (1,377 USD/month) in one of Europe’s most expensive countries — Switzerland.

Cost of language courses in Ireland

SchoolProgramWeeksTuition Fee/weekThe longer the course duration, the lower the cost of one weekCitiesLiving in a residence/weekCost depends on the cityHomestay/weekCost depends on the city
ECGeneral English1-23353 USDDublin380-402 USD206-304 USD
Intensive English1-23413 USD
Academic Semester / Year24-99255 USD
Intensive Academic Semester / Year24-99299 USD
English Plus1-5092 USD/lesson
IELTS1-23353 USD
English for Work1-12413 USD
Cambridge10413 USD
English in the City1-4413 USD
CESStandard General English2+315 USDDublin239-353 USD250 USD
Intensive General English2+380 USD
Combination CourseGeneral + One-to-One Course2+619 USD
General English and Business2-11380 USD
IELTS Preparation2+315 USD
Intensive IELTS Course2+380 USD
Cambridge Examination Preparation9-13359 USD
Study and Work25163 USD
One-to-One Lessons2+76 USD/lesson
Multi-Destination Course25217 USD
Pre-Foundation Preparation Program12-32326 USD
General English with Work Experience4+288 USD
English Language and Activity ProgramJunior programme2-4848 USD-Included in the course cost
Super Intensive English Language and Activity ProgramJunior programme2-4967 USD
English Language and Rugby ProgramJunior programme2-41,054 USD
FCE Fast Track Exam Preparation and Activity ProgramJunior programme4935 USD
Enroll in a language course with UniPage

There are more than 70 language schools in Ireland and about 15 types of study programs in different cities. How do you choose the right program and deal with all of the documents for admission?

At UniPage, we cooperate only with accredited language centers, which, besides offering quality education and accommodation, provide discounts to our clients. Our experts will select a course in accordance with your goals, budget, and interests, send an application, and ultimately save your time.

Types of language courses in Ireland

Type of programIntensityAcademic hours (45 minutes) per weekGroupNumber of students per groupMin. language levelAvg. cost per weekWithout accommodation
One-to-OneIndividual1Starter (A0)76 USD/lesson
Afternoon General English158-10Starter (A0)212 USD
General English208-15Starter (A0)288 USD
Intensive English26-308-15Starter (A0)304 USD
Combination CourseCombined program: General + One-to-One English259-12Starter (A0)619 USD
Academic Semester / Year20-308-15Starter (A0)299 USD
English PlusIndividual lessons in addition to the main course2+1Starter (A0)92 USD/lesson
Exam Preparation IELTS / Cambridge20-308-15Intermediate (B1)337 USD
English for Work308-15Intermediate (B1)413 USD
English in the City20 General English lessons and 10 outside of the classroom308-15Starter (A0)413 USD
Multi-Destination Course20-269-14Starter (A0)5,706 USD/course25 weeks of class + 10 weeks off
Business English20-3010-12Intermediate (B1)380 USD
General English with Work Experience2010-14Intermediate (B1)288 USD+750 USD for employment (work placement fee)
Junior programs (6-17 years old)15-2010-15Starter (A0)1,087 USDAccommodation, meals, and entertainment included in the course cost
English Language and Activity ProgramJunior programme1510-15Starter (A0)1,701 USD/2 weeks
Super Intensive English Language and Activity ProgramJunior programme2010-15Starter (A0)1,929 USD/2 weeks
English Language and Rugby ProgramJunior programme1510-15Starter (A0)2,114 USD/2 weeks
FCE Fast Track Exam Preparation and Activity ProgramJunior programme1510-15Upper-Intermediate (B2)3,728 USD/2 weeks
Live and Study in Your Teacher's Home10-301Starter (A0)1,511 USDAccommodation, meals, and entertainment included in the course cost
Pathway20-3010-15Intermediate (B1)217 USD
Pre-Foundation Preparation Program269-14Elementary (A2)326 USD
University Courses6-4810-15Intermediate (B1)217 USD
Foundation30-4010-15Intermediate (B1)17,932 USD/year
Pre-Master’s30-4010-15Upper-Intermediate (B2)14,128 USD/year

Language programs in Ireland can be divided into standard courses and those with additional options. In standard courses, you learn to read and write, study grammar and new words, practice listening and speaking. You can enter these programs even without knowing the language. They differ from each other only in intensity. These courses include:

  • Afternoon General / General / Intensive English — courses that last 15 / 20 / 30 hours per week, respectively.
  • One-to-One — individual lessons where you choose the course intensity.
  • Combination Course — a program that consists of 20-25 group lessons and 5-10 one-to-one lessons with a teacher.
  • English Plus. If you need a couple of additional individual lessons to complement the main course, this program is for you.
  • Academic Semester / Year is a long-term course that lasts from 6 months to 2 years.

Courses with additional options allow you to not only practice your English skills, but also study other disciplines or practice the language for specific purposes: work, business, university studies, or passing exams. Often, at least an Elementary (A2) level is required for admission to such programs.

  • Exam Preparation Courses prepare for IELTS or Cambridge exams. You also need to pay for the exam itself if you plan to take it at the end of the course.
  • English for Work is suitable for office workers. In addition to improving English, students develop other skills that are necessary in the workplace: holding meetings, creating presentations for colleagues and clients, defending positions, and participating in business negotiations.
  • Business English trains English skills in several areas: meetings and negotiations, sales, marketing, advertising, oral and written project presentations, business correspondence, and analysis of income and expenses.
  • English in the City — these are additional lessons with walks around the city. You can purchase this option for General / Intensive English programs. During the week you study one topic, and on the weekends you practice new knowledge outside of the classroom with your teacher. For example, if the topic of the week was shopping, on the weekend you would go shopping and consolidate your acquired skills in practice.
  • Multi-Destination Course. Some school chains that have centers in several countries allow their students to change locations during the course. For example, CES offers to study for 10 weeks in the UK and then finish the course at an Irish language center.
  • General English with Work Experience is both an English course and an internship at a company. Students in this program spend 20 hours a week learning the language and the rest of the time working as an intern. However, internships are not usually paid, instead requiring you to pay about 652 USD for employment.

Teen programs

Children and teenagers aged 6 to 17 can also learn English in Ireland. Language centers offer the following summer programs: English Language and Activity and English Language and Rugby. As part of the course, students spend 15-20 hours studying English, and the rest of the time they play sports, participate in workshops, and visit excursions, museums, and galleries. FCE Fast Track Exam Preparation and Activity is the same program for teenagers aged 14-17 — only instead of the usual lessons, it includes 15 hours of preparation for the FCE.

Pathway

  • Pathway — these are programs for those entering university, but do not yet meet the language requirements necessary to study. They help students improve their English to the required level. Pathway programs can be found at language schools and universities. The duration is from 6 months to a year.
  • Pre-sessional Preparation Program. To enroll in Pathway programs, you must have an Intermediate language level. With Upper-Intermediate, the chances of admission are higher. If your English is not up to par, there is a Pre-sessional Preparation Program that will help you reach the desired level.

University courses

Read more about the types of language courses

Features of admission to Irish language schools

There are many options for studying English in Ireland: language schools, Pathway programs, and university courses.

It is easiest to enroll in language courses at schools or university centers. You only need to:

  • Fill out the registration form on the official website
  • Pay a depositAround 217 USD, deducted from the main course fee or registration fee
  • Take an online language level test*
  • Pay the full course cost no later than 2 weeks before the start of classes
  • Receive an invitation from the school and apply for a visa

* The level test helps school staff find the right group. It can also be taken upon arrival at the school. However, it is still better to do this before departure. Otherwise, you may miss out on several activities on the first introductory day. Moreover, some programs, such as Business English or Exam Preparation, require a certain level of language proficiency.

When signing the contract, it is also important to read the terms and conditions concerning refunds if you decide not to take the course. Some schools, in addition to the deposit and registration fee, withhold part of the program cost. This amount depends on the number of days before or after the start of classes.

Pathway programs require more thorough preparation. When filling out the registration form, you will need to attach documents:

  • IELTS (5.0-5.5) certificate or its equivalent (Cambridge, TOEFL)
  • Documents on previous education with an attached transcript

Learning process in Irish language courses

Despite the fact that locals speak with a bright Irish accent[2], schools and universities teach generally accepted English (Received Pronunciation). Students devote most of their studies to the development of speaking skills. Even if you go through grammar in class, you do not do boring exercises all the time — instead, you work out new constructions in communication with classmates. This approach allows you to develop fluency and overcome the language barrier at a faster rate.

Accommodation options while studying in Ireland

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomMin. cost per weekAvg. cost per week
Host familyBreakfast / breakfast and dinner1-2206 USD266 USD
School residenceNone1-2239 USD380 USD
ApartmentNone1-3869 USD/month1,304 USD/month
HotelWith and without meals1-2435 USD761 USD

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular fee65 USD
Registration fee54 USD
AccommodationAccomodation placement fee54 USD
Medical insurance11 USD/week
Study materials5 USD/week
Delivery of an invitation by express mail82 USD
Airport transfersOne way87 USD
Additional summer accommodation fee22-38 USD/week
Additional summer tuition fee27 USD/week

Check the school website for additional costs.

Cost of UniPage services

Visa for language courses in Ireland

To take a language course in Ireland, you need to apply for a visa. The visa type depends on the duration of the program.

Short Stay Visa C (Visit-Tourist Visa) is suitable for courses up to 90 days. It may not be extended. To obtain it, you need to fill out an online application, pay the consular fee, and submit the following documents for consideration:

  • Completed application form
  • Motivation letter explaining the purpose and dates of your trip to Ireland
  • Study plan, which includes the name and address of the educational organization, proof of payment for the course, and housing confirmation
  • Invitation from a language school
  • Medical insuranceIssued after visa approval
  • Consular fee payment receipt
  • Passport
  • 2 photos
  • Proof of financial solvency543 USD/month (bank statement, sponsorship letter)
  • Evidence that you will return home (certificate from work, property documents, university certificate)

Long-term visa D (Study Visa) is necessary for courses longer than 90 days. Documents necessary for registration, in addition to those mentioned above, include:

  • English proficiency test (Duolingo, IELTS, TOEFL)
  • Invitation from a language school, stating that the duration of the course is 15 or more hours per week
  • Medical insurance (some schools may arrange student insurance)

If the student is under the age of 18, the documents must also be accompanied by a birth certificate and written consent of the parent or guardian for the child to stay abroad.

Upon arrival in the country on a category D visa, the student must register with the local migration office and apply for permission to remain in the country.

It is important to start the application 3 months before the start of the course, as the average processing time is 8 weeks. In addition, all documents must be translated into English and notarized[3].

Working while taking a language course in Ireland
It is not possible to work with a category C visa. Category D visa holders can work part-time — 20 hours a week. During the holidays, this period increases to 40 hours a week.

Most popular language schools in Ireland

EC

In Ireland, the EC English school is located in Dublin. It offers standard English courses, as well as English in the City, English for Work, IELTS / Cambridge Preparation, and Academic Semester / Year programs. There are also branches in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Malta, and South Africa.

Students live in host families or hostels at the school. Course programs also include free English workshops, lectures, city tours, movie nights, trips to neighboring cities, and sports. The average cost of a weekly course, including accommodation and meals, is 576 USD.

CES

One of the centers of the CES international school is located near Dublin Castle. In addition to standard programs, you will find Study and Work, Foundation Preparation, and courses for teenagers. Students live in dormitories or host families. The average weekly cost, including accommodation, is 587 USD. In addition, CES offers a unique opportunity to learn English in several countries at once. The Multi-Destination Course allows you to spend half of the course in the UK and the rest of the time in Ireland.

Best cities to learn English in Ireland

Dublin

  • Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland.
  • In 2010, it received the “City of Literature” title. Many famous writers were born and lived here: Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and William Butler Yeats.
  • This is a real pub city, with a total of 751 pubs in Dublin.
  • Dublin has the largest park in Europe — Phoenix Park covers an area of ​​707 hectares.
  • The museum of Guinness, the popular beer brand, is located in Dublin. Here, you will be told about the history and traditions of the brewery, and the methods of making the drink. You will also be shown a collection of advertisements and beer barrels. At the end of the tour, you will go to the observation deck and be treated to a free pint of factory beer.
ProvinceLeinster
Population506211
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)991 USD

Limerick

  • Limerick, the third largest and one of the oldest cities in Ireland, was founded by Vikings in 922.
  • Irish whiskey coffee was invented in Foynes in 1943.
  • One of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe is located here — the castle of King John the Landless.
  • In addition to King John's castle, several medieval buildings can be found near the city: Bunratty Castle (1425), St. Mary Cathedral (1168), and The Black Castle (1600s).
  • The Living Bridge, being the longest pedestrian bridge in Europe, was built on the territory of the University of Limerick. It crosses the Shannon River and is 350 meters long.
ProvinceMunster
Population90757
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)913 USD

Cork

  • Cork is called The Rebel County. The history of rebellions in Cork can be traced back to the 9th century, when people destroyed a Viking castle and killed a Scandinavian leader. In the 12th century, the MacCarthy clan succeeded in turning Cork and neighboring County Kerry into the separate kingdom of Desmond. In the 15th century, the people of Cork participated in the rebellion against Henry VII. In the 20th century, the county played a significant role in the Irish War of Independence.
  • Cork is home to Blarney Castle. According to legend, whoever kisses the Blarney Stone on the roof of the castle will receive the gift of gab.
  • Cove is a port city in County Cork, the last port that the Titanic entered before it sank in 1912.
ProvinceMunster
Population190388
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)880 USD

Galway

  • In the Middle Ages (from the 13th to the 19th century), the city of Galway was ruled by 14 merchant families. Because of this, it received the name "City of the Tribes".
  • The city is known for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Among them is the Galway Summer Arts Festival, which brings together about 500 musicians, artists, actors, writers, and poets.
  • Many famous symbols are associated with Galway: the Claddagh Ring, a sign of love and friendship worn all over the world; Aran knitting — a style that originated in the Aran Islands near Galway; and traditional fishing boats — Galway Hookers with bright red sails.
ProvinceConnacht
Population71983
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)901 USD

UniPage guidance in registering for language courses

Do you want to learn another language, improve your speaking skills or prepare for exams?

UniPage consultants will help you to select language programs based on your goals, interests and budget. We will choose a suitable country, course intensity and assist you with the enrollment process.

Our clients can get up to 30% discount on language courses.