Frequent Student Questions
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When was the school established?
The school was established in 1989.
Is the school recognised?
DELS is recognised by the Irish Department of Education & Science and is registered with ACELS, QQI. We are also a member of MEI-RELSA, the Irish representative marketing body for schools and agents. We are also Failte Ireland approved.
What qualifications do your teachers have?
All teachers hold a degree, TEFL and a minimum of 4 years teaching experience.
What nationalities visit your school?
We welcome students from over 23 different countries, the most popular are Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Mexico and South Korea.
What facilities does your school have?
We are fortunate to be located overlooking Donegal bay on the Wild Atlantic Way. Our facilities include Free WiFi, lounge area, reading room, and canteen.
The adult residential accommodation is only a 5 minute walk from the school and offers a well equipped kitchen, dining and lounge area.
The junior residential accommodation is only a 3 minute walk from the school and offers a kitchen, dining and lounge area in each house along with a recreational area.
How do you select host families?
We are in a fortunate position to know all our host families personally and have worked with many of them for years. For new families coming onboard we have a rigorous list of criteria that they have to meet. Once a Host Family fills out an application form with the school, we make contact first by phone to ask all relevant questions. The next stage is to visit the home and the room to ensure that it is to DELS standards. If we are happy that all criteria is met, the next stage is to have the family garda (police ) vetted to ensure that no members have a criminal record. Students also have the opportunity to give feedback each week on host families in our weekly feedback forms.
What happens on my first day?
Arrivals for students are generally on a Sunday. All students are welcomed to DELS, 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
Student Coordinators are on hand to help and assist all students throughout their first day.
How do you ensure student welfare?
At DELS, we want our students to get the very best out of their time spent with us. We want them to look back on their period of study as one which was not only successful in promoting their language learning skills, but also rewarding on a personal and social level. We have a range of services to provide advice, support and encouragement including an open door policy.
Each student is assigned a coordinator who helps the student on their first days with us. The role of the coordinator is to ensure the smooth transition into daily life at DELS for the student. Each student also meets the DOS, school manager and head Coordinator, who reassure the students as to their accessibility should any issues arise. The coordinators are on hand 24/7.
What age of students do you accept?
Junior Programmes – 11-17 years old* We do accept students under 11 years of age during separate weeks each summer. Please email us to find out dates
Adult Programmes – 18 years old +
Do I receive a certificate?
Each student receives a certificate on completion of their chosen course.
Are laundry facilities available?
Junior programme – For students on the junior programmes, the laundry is completed once a week.
Adult programme – For students staying in the residential accommodation or host family, laundry facilities are available.
General Travel Information
Do I need a visa?
If you are from the EEA, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland then you do not need a visa to come to Ireland. For the rest of the world, there are two lists for the purposes of student visas – those who need to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland and those who will validate their visa once in Ireland. To check your visa status go to www.dfa.ie or email us for more information.
The process for non EU members is:
- If you are coming from a non-EU country you should apply to your nearest Irish Embassy in order to obtain a student visa.
- We will send you a letter of confirmation for your chosen course which you may submit to the Irish Embassy along with your other documentation.
- Letters of confirmation are issued on receipt of your initial payment.
- DELS will provide help and support to students on any issues pertaining to immigration. Our head coordinator will be on hand to assist students with any issues they may have.
- In the event of your visa into Ireland being refused all fees will be refunded less14 days before arrival a €150 handling charge. This is subject to the school being notified a minimum of 14 days in advance.
Can I work during my time in Ireland?
Students from EEA countries, the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland may work unrestricted in Ireland. Students from outside the EEA may work under certain conditions providing they have enrolled on a course of minimum 25 weeks in duration listed on the Internationalisation Register. If you are enrolled on a suitable course you may then work up to 20 hours per week during term and up to 40 hours during holidays. Students should be 18 years or more to join the programme.
Do I need health and travel insurance?
All students should provide their own health and travel insurance to cover medical care and to insure against loss of luggage, fees etc. It is compulsory for students from EU countries to bring their EHIC Health Insurance Card. This is free for all EU citizens and entitles you to free emergency care. Students from non-EEA countries need to purchase emergency insurance cover as a minimum to comply with visa requirements. We can provide students with medical insurance the fees are as follows
€40 for four weeks or under
€50 for six weeks or under
€55 for 12 weeks or under
€105 for one year
If you are undergoing medical treatment, please bring a medical certificate and sufficient medicines to cover your stay in Ireland.
What’s the weather like?
Irish weather in general is quite mild. As the weather can be quite variable and unpredictable we advise all students to take warm clothes and an umbrella.
What do I need to bring?
As much as we love our “green country”. The weather can be quite variable so we advise all students to take the following:
Warm clothes, a towel, waterproof jacket, a travel adaptor.
Classroom: Notebook & pens
Travelling: Valid passport/ID Card & a photocopy of your passport/ID Card
Photocopy of ID, kept separately to passport
Baggage: Each airline has individual baggage weight restrictions. Please adhere to them. Also 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.
For students on the activity packages, we will send you a separate information pack including information on what to bring for your activity holiday.
Mobile phones and internet: Most mobile phone operators have an agreement with Irish networks so please check with your operator before arrival. For students here on a longer stay we recommend that you purchase a sim card or a ready to go phone which is a lot more cost effective.
Internet access and WIFI is available for students to use.
Do I need an electrical adaptor?
The electrical voltage in Ireland is 230V, plugs in Ireland have three square pins.
It is advisable to buy adapters before arriving in Dublin, adapters are usually readily available in most airports.
What is Donegal English Language School’s environment impact statement?
In todays day and age everything we do has an impact on the environment. We at DELS have taken the following steps to try and minimise this impact while providing an experience that is contributing to local communities, responsibly marketed and culturally respectful. This is confirmed by the fact that we have received the Greenbox Eco Tourism Certification
Below you will find some of the procedures we have put in place
– With our language and activities packages we try to promote a sustainable lifestyle in so far as all activities are within the vicinity of the premises, each have a minimum impact on the environment and are outdoors. The activities include horse-riding, surfing, cycling, abseiling, canoeing, walking etc In relation to our language courses all teachers are employed locally alot of class work is digital, we also ensure all photocopying is double sided. In relation to all activities 90% of our guides are local. The maximum number on each course per guide is 10 people. On all cultural excursions the students are also taken to local areas of historical importance and visit local craftsmen.
– We have a recycling system in place for our students in the kitchen. All food wastage is recycled into compost.
– We source as much of our food possible locally. All other food purchased is bought in bulk ensuring that we cut down on packaging. If a product has a lot of packaging we reconsider its purchase. We have nearly cut out all printing, with our brochure now downloadable from the website. This has cut down on paper wastage.
– The horse riding trails go into some protected areas and our guides ensure that the designated paths are always used and there is a strict leave no trace policy on all our trails.
– Our guides are well equipped with knowledge on local wildlife and how to best help maintain the beautiful countryside and wildlife.
– We are constantly looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint while maximising your stay with us and look forward to seeing you in the near future.
What are the company details?
DLS Language School Ltd T/A Donegal English Language School, West End, Bundoran Co Donegal
Company No: 518788