Before you come to study English in Dublin, there really are a few things that you ought to know. Some of these tips may sound silly but they are very practical and might well save you a lot of time and hassle.
Get a LEAP card the minute you arrive
The TFI Leap Card can be used to pay for travel in Dublin and its surrounding counties on most public transport services. That includes all the transport you are going to need to get to City Language School’s city centre campus such as the LUAS, bus and the coastal train, the DART. Students get a 50% reduction on their fares around the city. Not to be sniffed at. There is good information and details about the LEAP card online.
Learn some Dublin slang
Like any city, Dublin has its own slang words and phrases. In fact it has lots of slang. It is a good idea to learn some of these phrases. Not just to understand what locals are saying but to ingratiate yourself to the locals. There is nothing a Dubliner loves more than hearing someone from overseas asking them: “What’s the craic?” You will make friends quickly if you learn phrases like these. Luckily, we have written quite a bit about these terms here and here and…eh…here too.
We like giving directions
Most Dubliners love their city and nothing gives them more pleasure than telling people where to go (cough, cough). Do not be surprised if you are standing on a street corner, looking at a map and someone approaches you to help. That is perfectly normal behaviour here. The down side of this, is that it can take a long time and if you don’t know pubs then you might need to go back to your sat nav anyway. Pubs are significant landmarks here in Dublin and because lots of them have been serving great pints for a very long time, they are often used in the giving of directions.
Dublin is split into two cities – the northside and the southside. Two things divide them; the River Liffey and a friendly rivalry based on…nothing really. The most significant actual difference is in the post codes. Even numbers (Dublin 2,4,6…) are on the southside, odd numbers (Dublin 1,3,5…) are on the northside. While it is convenient to use these postal codes as a reference point for saying where you live, this is not how local people use postal codes. So if you want to sound more local, find out where you live, whether its Blackrock, Rathgar, Clontarf or Artane.
Open spaces everywhere
Dublin is a busy but small city when comapred to the likes of London or Paris. It is also close to the sea and mountains. And this is probably what makes it such a special place. From our city centre campus you can get to Sandymount Strand or the South Wall in less than half an hour. Howth is fifty minutes away and Dun Laoghaire is a mere thirty minutes by DART. The mountains are a little trickier to get to but there are buses that will get you close. The counties next to Dublin, in particular Wicklow and Louth, are also very special places to visit and if you can’t go far, there are dozens of great parks that you can avail of in every part of the city.
The rain thing is exagerrated but be prepared
Ok so you’ve probably heard that it rains and it does. We can’t lie. But it probably doesn’t rain as much as you think. In fact there are two things you really need to be ready for when it comes to weather.
The first is how it can chage so quickly over the course of a day. The best advice we can give you here is that if you wake up and you see a lovely sunny day, bring a rain jacket anyway. That sunny day can quickly turn into something very different so be prepared.
The second thing, is wind. You will never experience anything like it.
We like music…a lot
God we’re into music. We are not the greatest dancers in the world, it’s true but there is a deep and often dark passion for music in Ireland that goes back milennia. Before you come to study English in Ireland, brush up on your musical knowledge and be sure to have a few Spotify playlists put together that you can share with potential friends.
Live music is also a big deal here so before you get on that plane, find out more about some places you can hear it, see it and live it. You won’t regret it.
City Language School is right in the heart of Dublin City Centre. Dublin is the proud and vibrant capital of Ireland and with its cosmopolitan and modern feel, it has repeatedly been voted Europe’s friendliest city by Trip Advisor. Dublin boasts strong links with literature, music, dance and storytelling. As you walk through the streets of Temple Bar, you can absorb the musical tradition which spills onto the streets from the many bars and restaurants; truly a city of enormous beauty! Dublin is surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery that will leave you with lifelong memories. It is perfectly located on the eastern coastline of Ireland and is a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe.
We are conveniently located in the heart of Dublin on Dame Street, giving you easy access to the whole city of Dublin as well as bus and tram lines for you to get around.