What to bring English, Riding and Surfing information pack

Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing Donegal Language School for your English and Riding and Surfing holiday. Please find below further information on your stay


As much as we love our green country the weather can be unpredictable so we recommend the following items

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Three pin plug adaptor
  • Riding hat and boots of appropriate standards (see below)*
  • One towel. A towel is provided but it is recommended to take an extra towel
  • Warm clothes ie jumpers, jackets
  • Body protector for cross-country**
  • Two swimsuits

*Following changes the EU commission has made to hat standards, from 2016, Hats bearing only the EN1384 or BSEN1384 standard will no longer be accepted. For insurance reasons there can be no exceptions to the rule.

However, hats would be acceptable if they carry

  • EN1384 or BSEN1384 and another standard such as those listed:
  • PAS 015 (1998 or 2011)
  • VG1 01.040 (2014-12)
  • ASTM F1163 (2004a or 04a onwards)
  • SNELL E2001
  • AS/NZS 3838 (2006 onwards)

**Please note that is compulsory for clients to wear a body protector for all jumping in the field, we also recommend that it is worn for jumping in the arena. Also the field jumping is weather dependant so not always available. Current standard for cross country riding is the level 3 purple label 2000 or 2009. There can be no exceptions to this rule. Anybody bringing air jackets must wear them over a body protector, Unless they have a combination air jacket such as the two point. http://www.point-two.co.uk/


  • Pocket money approx € 50 per week (maybe a little more if you want to buy some presents)
  • A swimsuit/trunks for evening activities
  • Three pin plug adaptor for any electrical equipment eg mobiles, cameras etc
  • Photocopy of your passport (please keep separately to your passport)
  • An white t shirt/baseball hat (for drawing/spraying graffiti on )

For Class & School

  • A copybook
  • Pens


It is compulsory to have a European Health Insurance Card/E1 11. This is free for all European countries and will cover any doctor or hospital appointments in the case of any medical issues. It is also compulsory for all clients to have travel insurance. For all non European Citizens please take out private medical and travel insurance.


If opting for collection from airport

Collection: On entrance of arrivals in Terminal 1 please make your way over to the right. You will see a sign saying Meeting point. Under or around this sign will be a Donegal Language School representative waiting to meet you with a Donegal Language School Sign(see below). If you are flying into Terminal 2 (Aer Lingus) please make your way to the right towards the Spar shop and one of our representatives will be there to meet you. They will have a sign showing the following:

DLS General Information Pack (A)

DLS General Information Pack (map)

If you are flying into Terminal 2 (Aer Lingus) please make your way to the right towards the Spar shop and one of our representatives will be there to meet you. They will have a sign showing the following:

DLS General Information Pack (A)

DLS General Information Pack (map2)


Each airline has individual baggage weight restrictions. Please adhere to and leave room in your bag for presents going home. We have had experiences of students paying up to €100 for excess baggage and don’t wish to see this happening again. Excess baggage is the responsibility of the student

If opting for collection from Knock airport

Collection: Knock airport is small, the representative will be waiting for you on entrance of arrivals. They will have a sign with the above logo on it.

If you cannot see our representative

  • Go straight to the ‘Information Desk’ and ask ‘Please can you ask the representative of Donegal English Language School meeting you (give your name) to come to the Information Desk’
  • Wait at the Information Desk
  • In an emergency, please ask the Information Desk to telephone 0870518592/0876008205, Donegal English Language School. NB Our representative will be there to meet you. This information is only included in the case of an unforeseen emergency.

Transfer Process

We are approximately 3 hours from Dublin airport so in order to offer affordable transfers to all clients we group collections/departures together. Students will have to wait for other clients to arrive/depart before the bus leaves the airport.


Students and group leaders can be contacted on 00353870518592. Students can be contacted from 6 – 7.30pm pm each evening (Irish time)

Residential Address: Donegal English Language School, Portbeg, West End, Bundoran, Co Donegal


Laundry is included in the overall programme. We collect the laundry every Thursday/Friday and it is returned to the students every Friday/Saturday. The same applies to host family.

Internet Access

There is free WIFI at the school. We also have WIFI in some houses at the residential accommodation. Most families have internet access.

What happens on my first day?

Arrivals for students are generally on a Sunday. All students are welcomed, shown to their accommodation followed by a short introductory meeting. This meeting will go through the first day and any questions that may arise. On the first day of school, students take a test covering reading, writing, listening and speaking to ensure that they are placed in a level most suitable to them.

If the students have opted for one of the activity packages, their chosen sport takes place in the afternoon/morning depending on their age and level.

Student Coordinators are on hand to help and assist all students through their first day.

What to expect when you arrive at the stables

General Notes:

  • Clients ride around 1.5 – 2 hours per day with other time being spent on horse care.
  • Students are offered basic instruction in riding and outdoor activities.
  • While jumping and cross country are one of the riding activities provided. We do not offer training courses in jumping, dressage or eventing.
  • The horses provided are leisure horses & ponies, flexible and appropriate for activities offered.
  • Goals of a student’s riding week is to have fun on horseback, discover Ireland and improve English speaking.

All our lessons apart from absolute beginners are taught in the modern coaching manner. So all lessons are in open order with the riders being given an exercise to do in their own time, advice is then given to improve the horse & rider if needed. We no longer stand in the middle of the school directing riders telling them where to go and when.

Horse management in Ireland is often very different to other countries.

Our horses live in a natural environment in the fields. This system gives them the opportunity to live in herds, walk around, eat a natural diet and remain happy in their work. The grass grows for longer here due to the mild climate and rainfall. Grass is the horse’s natural food it is what they would eat in the wild. The horse’s natural life style is as a herd animal walking and looking for food, eating little and often. When living out the horses keep a lot of their natural protection against the weather e.g long manes, feathers and hairy legs. The horses also roll in the mud to give them extra protection from the wind and rain.


As our horses live outside, grooming a grass kept horse is very different from grooming a stabled horse. Grooming is kept to a minimum so as not to remove the natural oils from the coat which help to keep the horse warm and dry, there is no strapping (full groom). The horse’s just having the main parts of the mud taken off with a dandy brush with attention being paid to saddle and bridle areas. At the end of the day all horses are hosed off (water) to remove any sweat & sand. They are then fed and turned out to enjoy a good roll.


A lot of our horses do no road work at all so the need for shoes is kept to a minimum. Most of our horses are only shod in front as this reduces any injuries in the field from kicking.

Tacking Up (Saddle & Bridle)

A lot of the time your ponies/horses will be ready for you to ride. This is to ensure that you get the maximum amount of time riding. Morning groups help groom and tack up (put on saddle and bridle). Afternoon groups untack (take saddle and bridle off, hose the horses (wash them),feed them and bring them to the field.

At the start of each day the horse’s are caught up from the fields, fed, groomed and then tacked up. The horses are tied to the hitching rail or in the stalls ready for use.

Our horse’s live a fairly stress free life and you will rarely see any of our horses with vices such as weaving, cribbing and wind sucking.


For insurance reasons, a hat and gloves has to be worn at all times when leading your horse.

Horse Riding Yard Rules

  1. Riding Hats must be worn and fastened at all times whilst handling the horses this includes grooming, tacking up and turning out/bringing in of horses.
  2. Correct footwear must be worn at all times. No trainers/runners.
  3. No jewellery may be worn whilst on the yard apart from watches. Any piercings that are visible and cannot be removed must be covered.
  4. Gloves must be worn whilst leading any horse.
  5. Mobile phones must be switched off whilst at the yard
  6. No headphones, ipods etc. Are to be used whilst on the yard.
  7. Body protectors have to be worn for all cross country lessons.
  8. Instructions given by any member of staff, are given for your safety and must be adhered to.
  9. No smoking anywhere on the site.

What to Expect – Surfing


We provide all the surfboards, wetsuits and boots for your surf lesson. We have changing facilities with hot showers and we give you a hot drink afterwards. We also transport you from the surf school to the beach and back in our minibus. All you need is a towel and swimsuit.

We use 4/3mm suits in summer and 5/4/3mm suits in winter.


We have a range of different boards that you can try on the surf lessons. We have regular Swell foam boards that are ideal for your first few sessions, and then we have more advanced soft boards that you can try as your skills progress. We also have a range of hard boards that you can try, such as NSP, Circle One and Powersource.


Lessons take approximately 3 hours. Time in the water is usually 1 ½ hours, the remainder being allocated for getting wetsuits, transport to and from the beach, and introduction to the equipment.


We use several local beaches for our surf lessons. Tullan Strand in Bundoran is our main beach in the summer as it nearly always has waves. If Tullan is flat it is likely that all other beaches in the area are also flat. When the swell is big we somtimes use Rossnowlagh or Streedagh. Rossnowlagh has the most gentle waves but can be exposed to the wind. Streedagh has more powerful waves and offers good protection from W and SW winds. Both beaches like mid to high tides. On a really big swell we use Mullaghmore beach, which has good wind protection.


All lessons, for all levels, are supervised by instructors that are qualified by the Irish Surfing Association. All our instructors are experienced surfers who know the local waves intimately. All instructors are qualified beach lifeguards.

Lesson Numbers

Groups are kept to a maximum of eight people to each instructor for beginner adult and kid surf lessons, and a maximum of 6 for improver and academy lessons.

Please come and talk to your instructor if you need any help or advice.

Good Conduct

Students must not be disrespectful or act in a threatening manner to fellow students or staff of Donegal Language School. This includes raising their voices, swearing, gesturing, being argumentative or being disruptive in class. Discrimination based on sexual preference, race, religion, age or ethnicity is not tolerated. Smoking and chewing gum is not permitted in the school buildings. Food and drinks are not permitted in classrooms.

The student is responsible for any damage he or she may cause to buildings, furniture, fittings, individuals, host family property etc while registered with Donegal Language School. Should a student behave in an unseemly and/or inappropriate manner that may bring the school or its agent into disrepute or cause damage to its reputation or standing in any way, either real or imagined. If any of the rules are broken he/ she will be asked to leave the school immediately.

Going out in the Evening

Students are allowed to go to the town until 9.30 pm on a Friday evening only. Students are not allowed to go out alone and must go with other students. If you do not wish your son or daughter to go out please notify us in advance of their stay.

Host Family

Host families want you to be a member of the family. They will appreciate your efforts to integrate, your active participation in family life and activities. Your smile, your gratitude and enthusiasm will be the best reward for the host family efforts and encourage the success of your stay.

You must always pay your share during an extra-curricular activity with your family. Please use an international calling card when using the host family phone.

Parents hereby commit to undertaking full financial responsibilities if their son/daughter, is dismissed early from the programme in the event of bad behaviour.

Please come and talk to your instructor if you need any help or advice.

Looking forward to meeting you
Gina and all the team