Review of Ballyneety Language School in Limerick, Ireland

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Ballyneety International Language School was founded in 1980 and is situated just 5 miles from Limerick City. The school is situated in a quiet rural setting of 45 acres of land with plenty of room for activities.

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High Schools: America vs. Ireland

What is called a ‘High School’ in the United State is called a ‘Secondary School’ in Ireland, and the ways a student’s knowledge and skills are measured during secondary education are also very different. In the United States, students are assessed all through the academic year, and throughout a student’s school career.

All these test scores are combined to result in a grade point average (GPA) for each individual student. There are also several great online courses to prepare for the GED diploma, or for other standardized tests, for example, ACT (‘American College Testing’) and SAT (‘Scholastic Aptitude Test’), which are very popular and can be taken by American students independently. They can prepare for these tests any way they want, and take them as many times as they want. These tests are given to determine a student’s college readiness.

In Ireland, secondary education students are mostly just tested twice during their educational career, first through the ‘Junior Certificate’ and later, through the ‘Leaving Certificate’. The Junior Certificate is awarded to students who successfully completed the secondary education’s junior cycle exams.

The Leaving Certificate is awarded at the end of their secondary education. It is a series of exams in six to eight subject areas to determine a student’s knowledge and skills level and to assess college readiness. The results of these examinations at the end of a student’s secondary education lead, when taken sufficiently, to a Leaving Certificate.

Irish Leaving Certificate exams are given in June and they last for more than two weeks. Testing results are available by mid-August so the students need to wait some two months to see if they passed and if and where they can go to college. This is called ‘going to university’ in Ireland, rather than ‘going to college’.

In Ireland, students do not apply to individual universities or colleges. Instead, students submit only one application to the ‘Central Applications Office’ for university admission.  University admissions are determined merely by the number of points that students have accumulated on their Leaving Certificate exams.

Check out also this video about the Wild Atlantic Way, the stunning Irish west coast:

Ok, so now you know the difference between the American and Irish education system, let’s talk about the Limerick school. This language school offers few programs: High school program, Summer school, and Full Immersion.

Included in course fees

  • Return transfers from Shannon Airport to accommodation.
  • Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner.
  • Tuition at a prestigious school.
  • Accommodation with friendly Irish family or in residence.
  • Supervised evening study.
  • Home study tutors if required (at extra cost).
  • Validation of results by the Department of Education is organized.
  • Help in processing Entry Visa forms for students from outside EU
  • Free Horse riding on the farm
  • Genuine friendly Irish hospitality
  • Summer school classes normally run from the first week in July to the third week in August
  • Students may choose to take weekly courses form the first week in July
  • International mix of students
  • Studying in prestigious Department of Education recognized school
  • Supervised and assisted evening study
  • Assistance in processing entry visas forms for students from outside the EU
  • Full board accommodation with Home cooking including fresh fruit and Vegetables from Farm
  • Continuous support for each student
  • Spacious green area for recreation in the evenings and at weekends
  • Certificate of attendance and bound copy of students work
  • Personal Care and attention 24 hours every day of their stay.
  • Laundry service
  • Collection and return to the airport on their arrival and departure.

Academic Year Course-High School

  • The Irish secondary school system has a six-year course, with a state exam during the third year entitled “The Junior Certificate” and at the end of the sixth year, the “Leaving Certificate”. Year four is a transition year where students try out various new subjects and programs before choosing what to study for their final 2-year program.
  • The most appropriate years to come and study and receive validation from the Department of Education in Ireland are those years where they do not complete a state exam. They do however complete a school exam. Students are placed with local families and participate in all family activities and routines. All students are monitored to ensure a smooth transition into a new environment and every help is given to help each individual with their studies and social well-being.
  • Books and Uniforms are provided and transport to and from school is organized if required.
  • Duration: 9 months.

Full – Immersion Program

  • Students will receive 20 hours of English on a one-to-one or small group basis depending on the time of year and the numbers booked for the course. This is a cheap way for adult students to spend some weeks here in Ireland during the period from September to June.
  • We provide conversational classes in an informal manner in the school and students are free to take some time out to travel to the scenic places of Ireland for either a day or a weekend whenever they wish and rejoin the course on their return. Students may choose to use either the local Bus routes to visit or go by Train from Limerick city Emphasis is placed on oral communication skills and students must book this for at least 4 weeks but may stay as long as they wish. Students stay in our residence on a self-catering basis and will have the use of transport to the shops and the city center on a regular basis to stock up on supplies.
  • This program offers opportunities for the student to become totally immersed in the English language. Occasional trips to the local pubs will help students engage in conversation with local people on various topics and also listen to some Irish music. This enables students to receive quick results through constant learning while living with the host teacher.

Summer English language course with activities

  • The program: Students are divided into small groups and appropriate materials are made available including Books writing materials. Teachers are graduates and are Qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language.
  • The course consists of 15 hours of English every week in the mornings and 15 hours of activities each week in the afternoon.
  • Costs: Cost to include Host family or residential accommodation, airport transfers, insurance, English classes, activities, and excursions.
  • Duration: Easter and Summer – 4 weeks.