On Saturday morning it was already time to say good-bye to Ireland. After some breakfast in the hostel the students were picked up by Michael, our bus driver, who drove them to the airport. The plane took off ahead of schedule. We hope the HLW Leoben group enjoyed their stay in Ireland. Many regards from the H2 Team Ireland.
In the morning the host families dropped off their students to the bus and said their good-byes to the students. Shortly afterwards the students and teachers made their way up to the capital of Ireland, to enjoy a final day of sight-seeing and entertainment in Ireland. Upon arrival to Dublin they were greeted by our tour guide who showed them around the city, passing old Georgian houses, historical buildings and the famous Phoenix Park (largest city park in Europe). Afterwards they had some free time to stroll along Grafton Street and O'Connell Street and to listen to the buskers that make music at nearly every corner of the streets. In the evening the group had dinner at the Auld Dubliner in the famous Temple Bar quarter. It is a lively neighbourhood with lots of bars, restaurants and funky galleries.
It is already the final morning of English lessons. The students had a lot of fun while learning English - with fun games, quizzes, role plays, discussions and songs. Peter had brought along his Ukulele and had introduced them to a number of typical Irish folk songs. After analysings and interpretating the lyrics (and meanwhile learning more about the Irish culture) the students got to sing the songs as well! At the end of the morning, the student reports and certificates were handed out and Peter, the other teachers and all the students sang "Molly Malone" and "Whiskey in the Jar"! In the afternoon the students walked over to the GAA pitch in Minane Bridge where they met three trainers, Keith, Mark and Rory. They are members of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and introduced the students to the rules of Gaelic Football and Hurling. It was a fun afternoon with lots of running and trying to hit the little ball called "Sliotar".
Another beautiful day with sunshine and HEAT! After the English lessons with Lucy, Jackie, Peter and Colin the students had some free time to relax in the sun on the grass areas outside. A little while later they met Fionan, the Ceili teacher, who put on some nice Irish traditional music and introduced them to some typical Irish dances such as "Shoe the Monkey" and "The Walls of Limerick". It was very exhausting but also very enjoyable to move along the sweeping rhythms!
The sun is shining beautifully with blue skies and high temperatures! Summer is here! What a wonderful day. Afte the school lessons were finished, the students were picked up by Michael and they headed to Blarney Castle. They will stroll around the park and will climb up the old castle in order to kiss the famous "Blarney Stone". There are "Wishing Steps" to be discovered that will grant a wish to anybody who is willing to climb up the stairs backwards and with the eyes closed. The park is beautiful at the moment with lots flowers in blossom. There are cafes around and lots of grass areas to rest, relax and taking a sunbath. We wish all our students a nice and sunny afternoon.
It is Monday and at the English lessons at the H2 International Academy have started! But firstly the students were introduced to their teachers - Lucy, Jackie, Peter and Colin. The students had to take a placement test (a multiple choice and written test) and were then split into four smaller groups. The English lessons are now well under way and will be finished at 1.40pm. Michael, our bus driver will pick them up shortly afterwards and will bring them to Cork City for a guided tour. They will stop at St. Finbarr's Cathedral and the Cork University Campus. The tour will be finished with a walk through the famous English Market. It is an 18th century covered market and traders sell organic and locally produced cheeses, meats, fish, vegetables and much more! Afterwards the students will have some free time to buy some souvenirs and to go for a coffee.
Blog entry by some students: Our trip to Ireland – the second day
Hello guys! Yesterday was a really great day. Fortunately the weather was way better than on the previous day, the sun was shining all the time. In the morning, the bus picked us up on several busstops in order to get us to the H2-college. There we had a little test to check, how high our English level is. After this, we were separated into four groups and the lessons started. We have four teachers, who introduced themselves yesterday and they said they will play games with us, sing songs and teach some stuff over the next days.
After school had ended, we got on the bus again in order to drive to Cork. The weather had gotten even better and the temperature had risen more. In Cork, we drove a little bit through the city by bus and one tour guide told us some things about the city. He also showed us the University of Cork, which was really impressive. Then we had some free time to go shopping and to get some drinks or something else. I think I speak for all of us, when I say, that we all enjoyed our time in Cork. On our way home, it was really quiet in the bus, we were all really tired and impressed too. Everybody got out at their busstop and got home to the host families.
Thankfully it was Sunday and the students were able to sleep in for a bit. They enjoyed a typical Irish breakfast with sausages, black pudding, beans, toast, egg and tomatoes. Later on some host families took their students to Crosshaven, a lovely fishing village outside Carrigaline. It is famous for its yacht club, which is the oldest in the world, founded in 1720. After lunch all students were picked up by our bus driver and were brought to Kinsale. Kinsale is a nice little town right at the Atlantic Sea, with lots of coloured houses, narrow streets and many galleries and restaurants. Firstly they met the tour guide Barry at Charles Fort. He explained about its history and the students learned that a big battle between Spanish, English and Irish soldiers took place in 1601. They continued their walk through the town and had some free time afterwards. For the second part of the afternoon the group went to Garrettstown beach, which is a long sandy beach apprx. 20 minutes outside of Kinsale. They had to skip the cliffs at the Old Head of Kinsale as it was too foggy unfortunately. However, everyone enjoyed breathing in the fresh air from the sea and to stroll along the beach.
The HLW Leoben students arrived safe and sound to Dublin. They were welcomed by our bus driver and H2 member Michael. After a short walk to the bus, they all headed to the south of Ireland, to Carrigaline in County Cork. Our host families were already waiting for them and after everyone had gathered their luggage, the students were brought to their new "homes". After some talks and a cup of tea, everyone was glad to hit the bed as it had been a long day of travelling.