Since Galway was announced as European Capital of Culture for 2020, people have become increasingly curious about what this incredibly lively city has to offer. Students from all over the world are asking themselves “Why should I study English in Galway?” There are too many reasons to mention, but here’s our top 10!
1 – The Wild Atlantic Way:
Beyond its Celtic roots, charming narrow streets and medieval buildings, Galway is also a coastal city situated in the west of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch and Salthill Beach are just some of the beautiful and popular places waiting for visitors in the very heart of the city. Moreover, stunning landscapes are also easily accessible nearby, such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and Connemara.
2 – Irish Culture:
It’s the fourth biggest city in Ireland, with around 80,000 inhabitants. That adds up to a great opportunity for students seeking a closer relationship with Irish culture and folk. The official language is English, but at any time, you may find yourself bumping into Irish (Gaelic) speakers on the streets. The town also offers a great variety of traditional events such as St Patrick’s Day and Halloween, as well as its quirky fairs selling local products and crafts. If you are in Galway in November/December, don’t miss the Christmas Market at Eyre Square. It’s always worth a visit.
3 – Arts:
It’s almost impossible to stroll around the city without coming across the many buskers, admiring handmade goods or witnessing artistic performances. Besides that, many multicultural events and activities take place in Galway every year such as the International Arts Festival (named by The Guardian as one of the Top 5 Summer Festivals in Europe), the Galway Races, the Film Fleadh and the Yearly Music Festival. It’s like living on a big outdoor stage where you can study English in an active and fun way.
4 – Warm Welcome:
Practising a new language is much easier when you’re comfortable, isn’t it? Another nice feature of this cozy city is that the locals are friendly and always open to having a chat with people at pubs, bookshops, cafes or even at a bus stop. Galway is hospitable and welcoming to people from all over the world. If you come to study English here, you will feel more than welcome!
5 – Learning Environment:
Besides English schools, Galway has two universities, GMIT and NUIG, which offer numerous courses to national and international students. Interestingly, people often compare NUIG to some of the scenes from Harry Potter. See below the resemblance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! It’s the perfect environment to study, don’t you think?
6 – Foodie Heaven:
You’ll find your favourite type of cuisine in Galway. Local restaurants serve fresh seafood, traditional Irish dishes and even plenty of international options such as Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, to name but a few. The longest-running Oyster Festival in the world takes place every September. It’s certainly a feast not to be missed!
7 – Activities:
If you are energetic, enjoy outdoor activities and love nature, Galway is perfect for you. Looking out on the Atlantic Ocean, the city has many water-based activities to offer. The Corrib Princess River Cruises, the Kayak Trips, as well as some popular surfing hot spots (such as Lahinch and Fanore), are just some examples. Fans of hiking and cycling can also enjoy amazing landscapes nearby by joining of the many local groups.
8 – Connaught Rugby Club:
The very successful Connaught Rugby team is based at Galway’s Sportsgrounds. So, why not watch a professional rugby match at this intimate venue? It’s a typical and unforgettable experience and you can also learn very specific English vocabulary!
9 – Job Opportunities:
For those who are looking for a new regular position or even for those that just want to get a summer job, Galway is full of possibilities. There are numerous opportunities available in different fields such as hospitality, tourism, technology, health and marketing. The city is lively, busy and almost certainly has a job that matches your skills and goals. Why not give it a try while studying English?
10 – Nightlife:
There’s nothing better than hanging out and making new friends to improve your English, right? Galway has countless choices for those who enjoy a bit of nightlife. In pubs, music venues, night clubs and bars, students can have fun while practising their English. There is a myth that fluency comes after a pint of Guinness. What do you think? Regardless of your age, preferences or goals, Galway is a very inspiring city in which to study English… and… it’s waiting for you!
Come to Galway!
You’re very welcome!
by Mivla Rios`
Edited by John Brennan