When is the school open?
8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday (Later opening on Tuesday and Thursday – until 9pm)
What happens when I arrive?
This short video explains it all! You will take a placement test (written and speaking) and watch the induction video (left) and meet other new students, meet members of staff, ask questions…!
What materials do I need?
Your teachers will give you the course materials you will need for your course. They will also be happy to give you advice about textbooks and dictionaries, if you want to buy your own. You need to bring your own pens and paper.4
What sort of course can I do?
All courses at Swan Training Institute are recognized by ACELS (The Advisory Council for English Language Schools in Ireland) and are approved by the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland. Each language course has a syllabus which links in with the Common European Framework of Reference for Language Teaching and Learning.
• Beginners A1
• Elementary A2
• Pre-Intermediate B1
• Intermediate B2
• Upper-Intermediate C1
• Advanced C2
• Cambridge Exams
How can I change levels?
Ask your class teacher first. They will refer you to the Learner Diary, which has a checklist in the back. If you get good grades in your progress tests and you feel ready according to the checklist – see the Assistant Director of Studies to take the placement test.
Who are my teachers?
Each highly qualified and experienced English teacher is a fluent speaker with a minimum BA degree and an internationally-recognized TEFL qualification. Your teachers may change depending on your level.
Will I get a certificate?
When you finish your course you will be given a certificate of achievement stating your level upon completion and the duration of your course. If it is your last week in class, please tell your teacher so he/she can order your certificate from reception.
What about using the internet?
We provide you will free WI-FI access. Please ask your teacher or at reception.
How can I get a school letter?
How can I get a school letter?
How can I get a school letter? You can get a letter from the school for opening a bank account, getting a PPS number, joining the library etc. Please go to reception to order your letter.
What else do I need to know?
Please do not eat or drink in class. There is a canteen for break-times. Tea/coffee and other drinks can be bought from the vending machine. Smoking is prohibited in Swan Training Institute. Make sure that your mobile phone is switched off during class-time. Please be on time for your class! If you arrive late, please come in quietly and do not disrupt the other students in your class.
If you are from a non-EEA member state country you can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during school term time, and 40 hours a week during school holidays. You need to apply for a PPS number from your Social Welfare Local Office (SWLO). The location of your SWLO depends on your address in Dublin. There is a full list of postcodes and SWLO addresses at reception. How do I open a bank account? If you are a non-EEA student who is studying in Ireland for a minimum duration of 25 weeks, you need to open an Irish bank account in order to get your GNIB card. If you are in one of our host families, we can arrange your bank account here in the school. If you are NOT in one of our host families, then you will need a utility bill (Phone, Electricity) or PPS letter as proof of address. Once you have your PPS letter and a utility bill you can then open your account at ANY branch of any bank. If you can’t get your own utility bill, you can ask your roommate or flat-mate to write a letter stating that you are living with them.
Where can I stay?
Speak to our staff who can arrange your stay with an Irish host family or check out available apartments for short-term stay. If you have any questions or problems, please let us know as soon as possible so we can help you. See our accommodation page for more details.
The voltage used in Ireland is 220 volts, and three pin plug sockets are used. You can buy adapters in any electrical store.
All major suburbs and districts are serviced by local public buses. Bus fares depend on the length of the journey and exact change is required as all buses are ‘pay as you enter. You will not be given change if you pay in notes or incorrect amounts, but a ticket that can be redeemed at Dublin Bus Offices on O’ Connell St. A full list of timetables for all bus services is also available at www.dublinbus.ie.
The Dublin Area Rapid Transit is a fast commuter service train which services the coastal areas to the north and south of Dublin from Howth to Greystones. You need to buy your ticket before getting on.
The Light Urban Area System is a high speed tram which operates on two lines, the Red Line from Connelly Station/The Point to Tallaght (via Heuston Station), and the Green Line which operates from Stephens Green to Sandyford Industrial Estate/Brides Glen. You need to buy your ticket before getting on the LUAS.
There are also many cyclists in Dublin. Cyclists are advised to wear a cycling helmet and reflective clothing in the city. www.dublinbikes.ie also provide city bikes for rental from various points around the center. You need to buy a pass in advance – see the website.
If you live in the city center you will find most destinations within walking distance. Ireland is one of the few countries where people drive on the left hand side of the road so be careful when crossing the street!
When are the banks open?
Banks are open 10am to 4pm Monday – Friday, with late opening until 5pm on Thursday. Banks are not open at weekends. ATMs are widespread but be vigilant and discreet when entering your PIN number at an ATM machine. When you use your card in shops, you need to enter your PIN (signatures not accepted).
Where can I change money?
Money changing facilities are available in banks, the General Post Office (O’Connell St.), tourist information offices and in most hotels. The currency in Ireland is the EURO (€).
Where can I find information?
The most popular newspapers in Dublin are The Evening Herald, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times. There is one free daily newspaper, the Metro Herald. You can collect the Metro Herald each morning at many locations in the centre or on the Luas. The widest selection of foreign newspapers is available in Eason’s, O’Connell Street. Read’s in Nassau Street, opposite the side entrance to Trinity College, have the largest selection on the south side of the city. The best place to go for tourist information, hotel reservations, bureau de change and much more, is your nearest Tourist Information Office, situated around the corner from the school on Suffolk St. The biggest city centre public library is located in the ILAC Centre in Henry Street, Dublin 1. It is free to join and contains a large variety of books, reference materials and audio/video materials.
How do I phone home?
Call boxes are either coin or card operated. Most people in Ireland nowadays have a mobile phone with an agreement with one of the four networks in Ireland; Vodafone, O2, 3, or Meteor. Pre-paid call-credit can be purchased from almost every newsagent in Ireland, or the option to have a billing agreement can be made with the company. Also, there is a variety of call-cards available for cheap overseas calls and many internet cafes also have call-shops for this purpose.
When do the shops open?
In general, shops in Ireland open at 9am and close between 5pm and 6pm Monday to Saturday, with no break for lunch. Thursday is late night shopping in Dublin city-centre, and most shops stay open until 8.30pm. Newsagents and local food shops tend to open earlier and close later at night.
Where is the post office?
The General Post Office (GPO; ph 872 8888) is located on O’ Connell Street in Dublin and is open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 10.30am to 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Posting a closed letter anywhere in the world costs 82c (or 55c within Ireland); sending a postcard costs the same. Suffolk St Post Office is the closest to our school.
Where can I shop in Dublin?
Grafton Street A winding, pedestrianised shopping street with many street performers (buskers), Grafton Street is also home to some of the best shops in Dublin. Henry Street A busy pedestrian street in the centre of Dublin, there are department stores and shopping centres here.
Where can I buy books?
International Books on South Frederick Street and Modern Languages on Lincoln Place specialize in language learning books. Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street is a large bookshop. You can also try Easons on O’Connell St for a good selection of books including a section on EFL books, stationery and newspapers.
Remember to be careful at all times with your bags, wallets, cameras, mobile phones and other valuables! Never leave them unattended. Make a copy of your important documents, identity cards, passports etc and leave the originals at home.
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service http://www.itas.ie/ is a free service for tourists who encounter crime while in Ireland. Their website has a lot of useful information, safety tips and advice. Phone 1890 365 700 Always inform your host family and friends where you are going and when you expect to return. Do not travel alone at night. If you unsure about anything, please come and talk to us!
In the event of an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the emergency service you require. When the operator answers, ask for the required service: Fire, Gardai (Police), Ambulance, Lifeboats, Coastal or Mountain and Cave Rescue. Calls are free. State the address or location at which the help is needed. If you are not near a phone-box, then go to the nearest house. You will always be allowed to use the phone- Pearse Street Garda Station (01 6669000) is the nearest Police Station to the school. If you have an emergency or if you are a victim of any crime please report it immediately to your local police station. After the event, the Garda may refer you to the ITAS (see previous page). Dublin is as safe as any other capital city, but it is necessary to be vigilant at all times. Do not keep valuables in a rucksack as this can be easily opened by someone behind you, do not walk around with expensive cameras. Always keep your belongings, coat, handbag etc with you at all times do not leave down and walk away in a bar or restaurant. Be sensible and don’t wander alone into areas you are not familiar with and remember you are in a different country so do not expect it to be the same as your own city. Health issues If you need to see a doctor, and you are from Europe, you need to complete the European Health Insurance E111 form before you leave your country. You can use that card to visit a doctor here. Check with the doctor first if your visit will be free of charge. Students from non-European countries should have private medical insurance.
A full list of embassies and consulates is available in the Golden Pages Telephone Directory or on the internet (http://www.dublin.info/embassies/). We can help you find and contact your embassy if you need to speak to them. Normally visits to embassies are by appointment only.
Swan Training Institute: 01-6775252
Emergency Services: 999
Pearse St. Garda Station: 01-6669000
Well Woman Centre: 01-8728051
Well Man Clinic: 01-8600364
City Medical Centre: 01-6777781
Dame St. Medical Centre: 01-6790754
The Samaritans (Free Crisis Helpline): 1850-609090
Irish Tourist Assistance Support: 1890 365700
USIT Office: 01-6021906
Dublin Bus: 01-8720000
Tourist Information: 01-4370969
Tourist Hostel (Bachelor’s Walk): 01-8780700
If you have any other questions or problems, please do not hesitate to talk to a member of staff who will be happy
to assist you.
We appreciate your co-operation and we hope that your stay with us at Swan Training Institute is a pleasant one!