Frequently Asked Questions
These Questions and Answers only apply to our 3-Week Summer Courses.

How are the students placed into learning groups?
All students take an Assessment Test on the first Monday of the course.  The director then places students into groups according to the following criteria: 1.level of English  2.nationality  3.age

How large are the classes?
There are 12 to 14 students in a class.

What types of English lessons will I have?
Each day you will have four lessons: grammar, conversation, reading and language practice.

What are the workshops?
The workshops offer the students an opportunity to learn different artistic and cultural skills from professional leaders.  All workshops are conducted in English so this affords a natural way to improve one’s listening and speaking skills in an enjoyable and creative environment.  Workshops include Irish Set Dancing, Drama, Singing, Circus Skills, Visual Diary, Drumming, and Pizza-making in a clay oven.

When will I know who my Host Family is?
You will be given your Host Family details two weeks before the course begins.

Will there be other students in the same Host Family as me?
In most cases, there will be other students in the same Host Family.  Host Families take anywhere from one to six students.  We mix up the nationalities as much as possible to encourage the use of English.

Will I have my own room?
Usually you will share a room with another student from a different country.

What is a typical Host Family like?
Each Host Family is different but all are carefully selected and are ready to give their guests a warm welcome.  Some of the families have children living at home, some have older children living away from home and others don’t have children at all.

I’m coming with a friend.  Will we be staying with the same Host Family?
No.  One of our primary aims is for you to make new friends and to use English as the means of communication.  You will be placed in different Host Families that are in the same area.

What if I come with a group of friends?
We do not allow groups of more than four friends coming together.  If you are coming as part of a group of four friends, you may not all be with Host Families that are in the same area.

How will I get from my Host Family to the school?
Our own private CELS bus will bring you to school, on all the excursions and then back to your Host Family in the evening.

What if I have a food allergy or intolerance?
We need to know as much as possible about any special dietary needs before you come. Your Host Family will meet your special dietary needs. If you need a gluten-free diet there is an extra charge of 50 Euro. If you need a dairy-free diet there is an extra charge of 25 Euro. There may be an extra charge for other special diets.

Will I have much free time?
We have a very full excursion programme so on most days you will be busy!

When should I arrive and depart?
Students must arrive on Saturday of the opening weekend during a certain time period.  The actual course begins on the Monday at 9:00 a.m.  On the final weekend, students must leave on Saturday during a certain time period. Arrivals and departures on other days or late in the day incur extra costs as explained on our “Travelling to Clare” web page and in the Terms and Conditions. 

Which airport should I fly to?
Students should fly to Dublin Airport and then take a bus from the airport directly to Clare.  A CELS Meet & Greet Representative will meet you in the Arrivals Hall at Dublin Airport and bring you to the correct bus to Clare.  There is no extra cost for this service.  Students do, however, have to pay the bus fare.  We meet you when the bus reaches Clare.

When departing, students will be transported to the bus. A CELS representative will meet the students at Dublin Airport, help them check-in and bring them to the security area.

It is important to follow the instructions on the “Travelling to Clare” tab on our web site. 

Can I tour around Dublin on my own at the end of the course?

CELS is responsible for all students from the time that they arrive until they leave, using our Meet & Greet service. You are not allowed to tour Dublin or anywhere else in Ireland on your own.

When can I book the flights?
When the course director confirms that there is a free place for you, you can then proceed to book your flights.

Is it possible to come for only two weeks?
Our course is designed as a 3-week course. A very important part of the course is the strong new friendships that are formed amongst the students. A student that arrives late finds it difficult to be part of a group that has already been together for a week. A student that leaves after two weeks will not want to leave his/her new friends and miss out on the final week. In addition to all this, it actually costs more to have a student leave early mainly because we have to make special arrangements to get the student safely to the airport and helped to check-in at the airport.

What if I have to leave early?
Then you will miss our Final Farewell Evening.

What is the Final Farewell Evening?
All the students, teachers, workshop leaders and Host Families meet in the function room of a local pub.  The students give performances of their workshops and receive a Certificate from the CELS director.

How will I feel at the end of the Final Farewell Evening?
Normally students have very mixed feelings.  They usually feel very sad that they have to say “good-bye” to their new friends, very happy that they have had such a rich experience and very sad that the course is over.

How large will the group of students be attending the course?
It depends on the number of students who book.  Since 2008, groups have ranged from 39 to 52 students. Our maximum is 52 students.

When should I book?
Every year our courses are getting more popular and are filling up earlier and earlier. Do not wait to book.

What should I bring?
You should bring pens, paper, English dictionary, rain jacket, swimming costume, camera and pocket money.  It is helpful to have a mobile phone.  You will need sports shoes but you do not need hiking shoes. For our overnight excursion to the Burren, you will be sleeping on a bed but you need to bring a sleeping bag. You should expect that the weather is normally cooler in Ireland than in your own country.  Daytime temperatures can range from 11ºC to 25ºC with an average of just 17ºC.  Bring a warm jumper! Host families will supply bed linen and towels.  You will also have a chance to wash your clothes during your stay.  Most students manage very well with just 15 kg check-in luggage. Remember your passport and flight tickets!

How much pocket money should I bring?
The course fee pays for everything related to the course.  We suggest you bring 75 Euro for buying snacks plus additional money for buying souvenirs on our shopping trips to Ennis, Limerick and Galway.

What kind of electricity is used in Ireland?
In Ireland we use three-prong plugs. The current is 230 volts. For using electrical equipment from other European countries or for recharging batteries for your mobile phone, an adaptor is necessary.

Do you use agents?
No!  By not using agents, we are able to keep our costs down and we do not have large groups of the same nationality coming together.  Beware of courses that use agents!

My parents will bring me to Ireland.  Is it alright if they stay near to my Host Family and visit me during the course?
Host Families are not expected to receive regular visits from the parents of students.  Parents are welcome to come to Ireland, meet the Host Family and stay one night in the area.  We then ask that they make their own holiday plans away from the area of the course.

If I book the course and I cannot come, will I get a refund?
In order to reserve a place on the course, you need to send a deposit of 400 Euro.  The deposit is non-refundable.  The balance of the payment must be made five weeks before the course begins.  If you cancel after this date, then you will get a 50% refund.  If you arrive in Ireland and need to go home early there is no refund.

What happens if I get sick or injured while on a course?
Your Host Family will look after you if you become sick or injured.  If you need to see a doctor, the director of CELS will be notified and he will make every effort to contact your parents before a doctor is seen.  Every effort will be made to consult parents before any medication is given.  In a case of emergency where parents cannot be contacted, the advice of medical staff will be taken.

There are extra costs to CELS as follows: Doctor visit is 25 Euro; Hospital Accident and Emergency visit is 60 Euro. The student must also pay fees for all doctor, hospital and medication expenses. Private insurance or an EU Health Insurance Card is essential.

If you need to be hospitalised overnight or for several nights, every effort will be made to visit you and communicate with the medical staff on your behalf.  This can be done for a maximum of 60 hours.  It then becomes increasingly difficult for the CELS director (who is responsible for the rest of the group) and the Host Family (who is responsible for other students in their care) to maintain the amount of time and care that hospital visits require.  A daily presence in hospital is seen as absolutely necessary.  At this point it is necessary for a family member to take over that responsibility or else CELS can provide it at a cost of €150 per day.

What happens if I break something or damage property?
Students must pay for any damage to property or furniture that they cause, whether it be in the home of the Host Family, at school or anywhere else.

Under what circumstances will I be asked to return home early?
Serious discipline problems may result in you being sent home early at your parents’ expense.  The breaking of any Irish law will also be a reason for an early departure.  Examples of this would be: use of illegal drugs, underage drinking of alcohol, shop-lifting, damage to property, etc. Parents and students will be provided with a Code of Behaviour for Students before arrival.
Serious injury or illness may also require an early departure, if travelling under these circumstances is possible.