- 1. Are the courses mixed and where do we sleep?Yes, the courses are mixed and you will sleep in dormitories that are split into male and female. Some colleges have dormitories that sleep between six and eight although there are some with small bedrooms that sleep two or three. There are also dormitories that are large rooms with between twenty and forty beds that are separated by dividers.
- 2. Can we leave the college grounds or can Parents come to visit?Visits disrupt the continuity of a course and they also affect the French / German / Spanish atmosphere that prevails on our courses. Because of this we strongly advise that no visits take place. For those Parents who feel they must visit, visiting time is confined to Sunday afternoon between midday and 5.30 p.m. Your Parents will sign you out of the college and sign you back in on your return. In recent years we have found that the emajority of parents do take their child out of the college on Sundays.
- 3. Can we smoke at the course?No. Schools are public areas and therefore it is against the law to smoke in the college. The Euro Languages College rules state that you are liable to expulsion if you smoke at the course regardless of your parents’ attitude to smoking.
- 4. How do I know if I would be good enough to go?Anyone who has completed one year of French, German or Spanish at secondary school can attend the courses. We will assess you when you arrive so that you will be placed in a class with students of equal ability to yourself. Some students attend the courses because they feel they are weak at the language and need to improve and others who may be very strong at the language attend because they enjoy the course environment.
- 5. Where will the other Students be from who are attending the course?We have students who attend the courses from all over the country and some who attend from abroad as well. Usually, where you live will probably determine which course you choose so as to be able to get there easily. Another factor in choosing a course would be the dates that it is running.
- 6. Which College is the best?No one college is better than another; they all have their own individual appeal. There is no difference in structure at any of the courses as the language programme is exactly the same at every course.
- 7. Will I be expelled for speaking English?Our rule states that “Students must make the effort to communicate in French / German / Spanish at all times in accordance with their ability.” If you are found to be breaking this rule you will be given a first warning and your Parents / Guardians will be contacted immediately. If you are found to be breaking this rule a second time you will be sent home from the college. Most students settle into speaking the target language after a few days! We realise that this may seem harsh, but the success of our courses depends on this rule being enforced.
- 1. Can it be arranged that my daughter leave the course for a day as we have a family commitment?We do not encourage Students to leave the course as it interrupts the continuity of the language experience; if it is necessary that your child leave the course for any reason, you must give the Course Manager all the details in advance and in writing. You should tell us when your child will leave the course, when they will be returning, how they are getting there and back to the course again, that is, if they are taking public transport or being collected by someone.
- 2. How much pocket money do they need to bring?As a guide, the only pocket money requirements will be for the:
- Tuck Shop – The Tuck Shop sells ice cream, crisps, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks, water, stamps etc.
- Laundry (if students wish to avail of this facility) – An arrangement is made with a local launderette to collect and return students’ laundry, which is charged at the usual rate.
- Swimming in colleges that do not have their own pool.
- Doctor – in case your son/daughter should need to visit the doctor.
- Senior French students must also pay for a grammar book. In summer 2018, the cost was €27.00.
- 3. My daughter is on medication so who will look after that?You must first of all inform us if your child has any special medical conditions or if your child needs to take medication during the course. We have experience with Students who need daily medication. Medication should be given to the Course Manager at the beginning of the course to be dispensed to the student. A Nurse visits the college daily and liaises with the Course Manager to ensure that each Student’s medical requirements are met. There is also a Doctor on call at all times for each college.
- 4. My son is involved in competitive swimming. Can he do extra training at the course?Unfortunately we cannot provide one to one supervision for swimming or any other activity and students cannot train unsupervised for reasons of welfare and safety. However, you could request that he is allowed to swim daily as his group activity.
- 5. Are you very strict in enforcing the language rule?Yes, we are strict in enforcing the language rule but this is the reason that our courses are so successful. In order to provide the necessary French / German / Spanish speaking atmosphere and to ensure total immersion, we must insist that Students make an effort to speak the language at all times to the best of their ability. Generally, students adapt very well to this after a few days.
- 6. But what if my daughter doesn’t know enough French / German / Spanish to stick to this rule?Don’t worry! Many students feel this way, but they are given all the help and encouragement they need; our staff is available at all times to help the Students with any language difficulties. When the Students arrive at the course they are given a short test and then designated to a class according to ability; this ensures that no student is in a class out of their depth or equally in a class where they feel they aren’t being challenged enough. We also provide the students with a comprehensive Language Guide to help them with words and phrases they may never have needed in a classroom situation. In addition there are posters on the walls to help the students with vocabulary.
- 7. Can Students phone home if they are homesick?Every effort is made to help the students settle in and enjoy our courses. We do not encourage telephone calls but if a student is homesick they are allowed to ring home. On the first evening of Assembly, Students are advised to approach any member of staff if they are experiencing difficulties in settling in. There are Pastoral Care meetings held twice weekly where the students discuss any problems they may have. Students can also speak to the Course Manager in the office in English if they are having problems.
- 8. How do you separate the dormitories and how are they supervised?Male and female dormitories are completely separate. Animators and Assistants sleep in the dormitories with the students and the Management staff and Teachers sleep on site in the college.
- 9. Is it possible for my child to be in the same dormitory as a friend?It is more difficult for students to speak the target language to each other as they will be used to speaking English to each other, and it is for this reason that we do not recommend that friends share dormitories. Also, we find that friends who are placed together do not interact as well with other students. However, we will accommodate your request for your son/daughter to share a dormitory with a friend if you feel this would be best for your child – just attach a note to the booking form.
- 10. What is the food like?The meals are provided by the host college’s own catering staff and are therefore typical of that boarding School’s fare. You should tell us in advance if your child has any dietary requirements and we will try to cater for these, for example, a vegetarian diet or an allergy to peanuts. A staff member sits at each table to ensure that everyone is eating.
- 1. Can Students get scholarships to attend the courses?Every year we get a large number of Students through scholarship funding. The majority of the scholarships are provided by the VEC (Vocational Education Committee). Privately organised scholarships are becoming increasingly popular in schools; often Board of Management groups support Students to attend Euro Languages College.
- 2. Do the courses follow exactly the Department of Education curriculum?A team of highly qualified and skilled Programme Directors ensure that the courses are constantly reviewed and updated. These Programme Directors devise the language programme so they are unique, and complement the curriculum by reinforcing what is learnt in the classroom. Euro Languages College was awarded the European Language Label (now known as the European Award for Languages) for innovation in language teaching and learning in 1998. This was awarded jointly by the European Commission and the Department of Education and Science.
- 3. What improvement will I see in a pupil who attends one of your courses?You will see an increased confidence in the pupil’s language skills as the courses aim to nurture fluency and love of the chosen language. The classes in the morning are tailored to improve all language skills, and as the pupils will be mixing with native speakers of French, German or Spanish, this will enhance their oral and aural proficiency.
- 4. Would your courses be as good as going on an exchange programme?From the feedback we receive from parents and students who have had previous experience of an exchange programme, 90% said that our courses are at least as good, if not better than going on an exchange programme. As the courses are based in Ireland they eliminate the expense and anxiety sometimes involved in going abroad. Another factor is that the courses are so well structured and organised that we ensure the Students are learning the language at all times.