I had a really nice host family and I really enjoyed my stay in their house. It’s where you learn things about the real Irish life
Leonie from Germany
Studying in an Irish High School is the best experience I could ever make. Here, I made Irish friends and learned English. I improved my English in school every day, simply because I had no other possibilities than speaking English. The best thing about the Irish High School was that I was in “Transition Year” (or 4th year). Irish students have a very hard 3rd year in which they have to study a lot and finally, they have their Junior Certificate exam. So, after 3rd year, they go into 4th year to relax a bit and prepare themselves for their Leaving Certificate in 6th year. In Transition Year, I had many Work Experiences and I learned a lot about what you could do when you leave school. Transition Year is not an academic year, but perfect to learn English and make friends. I had special subjects like Woodwork, Cycling, Film studies, Mini-Company, etc. I also did many school-trips around Ireland, for example a Cycling Trip to Kerry or a Walking Trip to the Wicklow Mountains, to get to know the country better. The whole year prepares a musical together, in which we sang, danced and had a lot of fun. It was amazing to see how it started with learning the dances and then, finally showing the Musical to other people.
My host family: Simply everything! ISI chose for me a lovely family, I got on very well with my younger host sister Louise, she was 14 years old at this time. We had the same interests and I enjoyed spending time with her. My other host sister Hazel was so nice too! She was studying in college already but was home over the weekends which was great. Living in an Irish Family gave me a brilliant experience of what the Irish Way of Life is like.
Free time: I did a lot of sport activities after, but also before school. Irish High Schools have many sport facilities, and I did athletics three times a week before school. This was a great way to start my school day and I enjoyed running for competitions or just having fun with other students doing athletics. I also learned how to play, Gaelic Football, an Irish national sport. It was great fun to learn it and I definitely improved my skills for scoring goals or simply catching a ball. Last but not least I learned how to dance Irish Dancing. But overall, I learned how to live in a different culture and I got much more confident and improved my English so much.
Funny moment in Ireland: I had many funny moments at the ISI Parties, because there, I met many different international students who went to Irish High Schools as well. It was great to talk about their different experiences in their schools and I made some new friends. The funniest moment was when we had an “Origami-Party”. Origami is a Japanese style of folding paper. After this, we tried on Japanese summer clothes. It was hilarious how we looked in them!
So, that’s it about my exchange to Ireland. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I can just tell you: Go to Ireland, make some great friends, learn English and have the best year of your life!