Events

DCU Language Services celebrates 30 years

DCU Language Services is proud to be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

 

In 1992, DCU Language Services emerged from the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. Since then, we have welcomed students from 105 countries worldwide and also gained a reputation for excellence in English language teaching. All our courses subscribe to the same high standards that have gained Dublin City University a national and international reputation for the excellence of its programmes.

 

Making a difference in the lives of our students
As we celebrate our anniversary, we reflect on the last 30 years of dedicated educational services and look to the future, seeking to assist international students to advance their educational and career goals.

Over the past 30 years, the school has developed a range of educational programmes and provided professional English language training to over 1100,000 students of all ages who have successfully graduated from our courses.

Cathal Maye, CEO of DCU Language Services, commented in celebration of our milestone: ‘‘I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and for their part in making these 30 years so special.’’

Although the pandemic has brought new challenges to our industry, we look forward to the years ahead.

We aim to continue fostering global connections among international students and provide them with the opportunity to enhance their English language skills and succeed in an increasingly internationalised career environment.

 

DCU Language Services chart 30 years

 

We want you to celebrate with us
To further mark the milestone of DCULS’s 30th anniversary, a number of partially funded scholarships will be provided for our Academic Year Programme which combines 6 months of General English with specialised exam preparation (IELTS, Cambridge or equivalent).

We invite you to learn more about our programmes and how to apply for the scholarship scheme by visiting our online application form.

 
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READ MORE: DCU announces Study & Work English Language Programme Scholarships

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English Language Student shares her experience studying at DCU

We invited our current student Ariungerel Baatarchuluun, from Mongolia, to share her experience studying English at Dublin City University and learned more about what it is like to be an international English Language student in Ireland.

 

What was your main reason to start learning English?
There are many reasons to learn English, but I needed to improve my English for the corporate environment.

In the past, I volunteered to help vulnerable families and their children, which has greatly influenced my previous work. In the spring of 2019, I started working as an operations manager for a non-governmental organisation. Because of the demands of the organisation, I realised that I had to improve my English skills considering I interacted with individuals, organisations and foreign donors from many different countries on a daily basis.

Furthermore, the level of English was always a big barrier for me to deal with long-term and short-term community-based capacity-building projects organised by international volunteer organisations.

 

How did you first find out about DCU Language Services?
I followed some pages on Instagram that included several Irish posts. Then, in late 2019, I saw an ad on one of these pages announcing an English language scholarship, and I applied for that scholarship according to their requirements. On that day, I first found out about DCULS.

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READ MORE: DCU announces Study & Work English Language Programme Scholarships

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Ariungerel English Language Student on DCU campus

What is your expected learning outcome after finishing the course?
My expected learning outcome of the course is to get an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7.

 

Is DCU helping you to reach that goal?
I’m still progressing. I hope that everything I learn here will help me to achieve my goal. I’m using some of them in my life already.

 

What have you enjoyed the most about your experience so far?
There are a lot of students who come from many different countries and you can learn about different cultures and lifestyles through them.

 

What do you hope to do after DCU? What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the next year and a half are to become fluent in English and take a short-term course for donor relations. Then, I will return to Mongolia and continue working at my previous job.

 

What advice would you give to other international students?
Try to have a good time here as much as you can, because in Ireland there are a lot of interesting places to spend your free time. I’ve already visited a bunch of places in the past five months.

 

Thank you Ariungerel for sharing her experiences and for being an exceptional student.

Do you want to learn English and achieve your goals like Ariungerel? Check out our English courses here.

If you have any questions, we are here to help you out, please get in touch.


 

DCU announces Study & Work English Language Programme Scholarships

The Study & Work English Language Programme Scholarship was set up by DCU Language Services to assist international students who seek to advance their educational and career goals and who have a requirement to improve their English language skills.  

 

As part of this initiative, a number of scholarships will be provided for the DCULS’ Academic Year Programme which combines 6 months of General English (speaking, reading, writing and listening) with specialised exam preparation (IELTS, Cambridge or equivalent).

 

Cathal Maye, CEO of DCU Language Services, commented about the scholarship: ‘’the scholarships are part of DCU’s strategy to integrate international dimensions as widely as possible into all curricula and to develop students that can succeed in increasingly internationalised career environments.  This programme is aimed at students who will need high levels of English language skills to be effective in future academic courses or job roles.’’

 

The scholarship scheme will be delivered on a ‘Funding-Round’ basis. The current round refers to programmes commencing between August and December 2022.

Applications are now open — the online application form can be found here.

 

Additional links:

 

About Dublin City University

Dublin City University, which was established in 1989 and has over 18,000 full-time students, is one of Ireland’s leading universities. Located in a residential area, DCU provides a safe and student-friendly base, laying the foundation for an excellent overseas experience. 

 

Operating as a multi-site educational institution, the university provides students with the opportunity to benefit from a vibrant university environment as well as excellent facilities, including restaurants, a sports centre, library, theatre, tennis courts and a soccer centre.

 

With over 30 years of experience, our Language School welcomed students from over 105 countries worldwide to study English and has gained a reputation for excellence in English language teaching. 

Industry expert lectures about the Digital Marketing industry to DCULS students

We were delighted to have welcomed Jeff Sheridan, Managing Director of Matrix Internet, to deliver a guest lecture to our online business and sustainability study group. He discussed the digital marketing industry in Ireland in addition to providing market data and outlining how a digital agency works in an international context.

 

The students learned about trends within the digital marketing industry and had an opportunity to ask questions about team management and website development in particular.

 

Jeff Sheridan commented: “I was delighted to collaborate recently with DCU Language School on a presentation to this group of university students from Japan. The students wished to find out more about how a digital agency works. I was able to explain how our international team works together on a daily basis and how we integrate team members with different backgrounds and experience levels. Collaboration and creativity were areas of huge interest to the students as they set out on their own career paths. It was an interesting discussion with everyone coming away with a different perspective on many topics, proving the value of international cooperation.’’

 

The guest lecture formed part of our ‘Language In Action’ series with this group of university students from Japan.

 

Speaking about their experiences, a student said: “I was stimulated by the lecture delivered by Mr. Jeff Sheridan of Matrix Internet. It was a good opportunity to talk with a businessperson.”. Another student complemented: “This course made me want to visit Ireland.”

 

DCU promotes global connections amongst international students and provides an opportunity to enhance English language skills. We look forward to welcoming these students to Ireland next year when they are available to travel.

 

Want to learn more about our bespoke English courses for University groups? Feel free to contact us.

 


 

DCU hosts workshops with experts from IBM, Linkedin and Wix.com as part of its internationalisation programme

As educators in an increasingly global society, we realise that we need to train students to live and work in a global environment.

 

In light of this, as part of our internationalisation programme, DCU is delighted to have welcomed young graduates from Taiwan in order to hone their business English language skills and enhance their knowledge of business practices during their studies at Dublin City University.

 

Cathy Yu, DCU student, commented about her experience: “We really enjoyed the time studying online with DCU and definitely had a good time with the teachers. Thank you for your support. I hope the pandemic will end soon so that we can visit Ireland in the near future.”

 

student-international-presentation-dcu

 

Along with the business English classes, the students had the opportunity to interact with guest speakers who shared their professional experiences across different industries with them. The line-up of speakers were drawn from organisations as diverse as IBM, Linkedin, and Wix.com.

 

Leon Nussbaumer, Recruiter at Linkedin, added: “I was humbled by the invitation from DCU to speak to the International students from Taiwan and go through why LinkedIn is such a powerful platform. We were able to go through the basics of what a great profile looks like and talk about different strategies to showcase skillset and aspirations, critical for early in career professionals who are working to break into the market. They were super engaged, asked me a lot of questions and took all notes! I am really looking forward to seeing their achievements and career progression through LinkedIn.”

 

Edu Giansante, Head of Community at Wix.com and Founder of E-Dublin, also said: “I had the opportunity to share my professional experience with the students from DCU LS and it was great to see their passion and enthusiasm for the topic. They asked great questions and were really engaged in the conversation.

 

DCU Language Services aims to continue fostering global connections among international students and provide them with the opportunity to enhance their English language skills.

Want to learn more about our bespoke English courses? Feel free to contact us.

DCULS offers Language & Cultural Exchange programmes to International students

DCULS offers Language & Cultural Exchange programmes to International students

An integral aspect of all programmes offered by DCU’s English language school is for students to develop strong English language skills, gain confidence and competence with their abilities and be exposed to cross-cultural experiences.

In light of Covid-19’s travel restrictions and impact on our face to face programmes, we have developed online cultural immersion activities aimed at creating a sense of global connectivity through meaningful interactions between international students.

The virtual company of classmates from a variety of different cultures and countries provides our students with the same rich and exciting international experience they have always enjoyed at DCU.

 

Online Cultural Exchange

As part of DCULS’s university groups courses, we recently hosted a virtual cultural exchange between DCU undergraduate students and students from partner universities in Japan. Conversations covered a wide range of topics such as daily life as a DCU student, hobbies and interests (social media, weekend activities), Japanese culture, approaches to environmental issues in Japan and much more.

 

Julia Meza DCU Student
Julia Meza – DCU Student

 

Speaking about the experience, Julia Meza, DCU Student, said: ‘‘It was a great week with all students. I really enjoyed learning about Japanese culture and meeting new people. We talked about cultures, music, fashion, nature, language, and such. It was a very enriching experience, to speak about these topics with people from Japan. I am so grateful that I will be able to stay in contact with them as I would like to learn more.’’

 

Anna Butler, DCU Student, also added: ‘‘I really enjoyed the cultural exchange experience with the students. We got to have a wide variety of discussions about language, culture and current affairs and it was so interesting to understand the perspectives of other students at my age from a different country and culture. It was such a fun and informative experience!’’

We will continue to foster global connections among our students and provide them with the opportunity to learn about other cultures while in their home country.

If you are interested in improving your English with us at DCU, get in touch now!


 

DCU announces new arrangement for its International Pathways and Foundation Programme

DCU announces new arrangement for its International Pathways and Foundation Programme

Dublin City University is very pleased to announce a new arrangement to run its International Pathways and Foundation Programme.

From 2021 entry, the university will be partnering with DCU Language Services to provide a broad range of both English and Foundation studies aimed at preparing international students to build the skills and qualifications needed to enter a bachelor’s or master’s degree programme at DCU.

Speaking about the announcement Cathal Maye, CEO of DCU Language Services, said: ‘‘This is very exciting for us. The programme will be further integrated with DCU offerings and will allow international students from a broader range of backgrounds and qualifications to prepare for their university studies at DCU.’’

 

Paul Smith, Director of DCU International Office, added: ‘‘We’ve built a strong foundation with our previous programmes. At DCU, we have a proven track record in helping international students prepare and progress to university and we expect to continue our strong performance with these new pathway programmes.’’

DCU is now enrolling students on its Foundation Year Programme and Pre Masters Programmes for September 2021 intake.


 

Guide to a Virtual St. Patrick’s Day

The start of the month of March means two things in Dublin: first – daffodils start to colour the parks and gardens of the city with dots of yellow, welcoming warmer, brighter days as we say good riddance to the winter; and second – the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day, and its related festivities are but a short while away!

 

This year’s celebrations will take a rather different format to previous years. Dúisigh Éire! or Awaken Ireland! is the theme of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival and as mentioned on the festival’s website, they are inviting everyone to “throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead”.

 

Instead of the usual five-day shindig in the capital with half a million people on the street for Dublin’s parade, this year’s festival has gone national and international. Events can be viewed on the St Patrick’s Festival’s website and from 12th to 17th March, you can also tune into the festival’s own dedicated channel SPF TV, also available through the site. Live streaming will be in real time and will also be available for viewing later on the SPF online player, which will allow everyone around the world to join in and enjoy the events!

 

With 100+ events running from 09:30 to 23:00 daily over the six-day long festival, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Check out our top picks below:

 

1 Breathe and Move 1: Yoga with Michael Ryan

When: Friday 12th March, 09:30 

#social

Kick off your morning with mindfulness yoga from Michael Ryan, instructor to the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins. 

 

2 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour

When: Friday 12th March, 14:30

#historical

This tour takes you through the history of the Irish Revolutionary period which led to the War of Independence and in turn to the partition of Ireland and the Irish Civil War.

This tour is one of the many walking tours that are taking place around Ireland for the St Patrick’s Festival and more can be found here

 

3 A History of Irish Food with Tadgh Byrne

When: Friday 12th March – Tuesday 16th March, 14:00

#cultural

The chef’s five-part mini-series will showcase Ireland’s culinary history from prehistoric times to today, visiting notable Irish locations and chatting with historians, food scientists, foragers, chefs and farmers. 

 

4 Global Landmarks Go Green

When: Friday 12th March – Wednesday 17th March

#cultural

The Office of Public Works, along with Fáilte Ireland and the St Patrick’s Festival Organisation, will be turning a few heritage sites and State buildings green during this year’s St Patrick’s Festival. The sites and buildings include Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle, Government Buildings, Donegal Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Sligo Abbey and the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary. 

Around the rest of the world, a host of international landmarks will join the Global Greening initiative for the first time ever including the most northerly ‘greening’ in the world ever – a postbox at the summit of Øretoppen Mountain in Norway, 350 kilometres above the Arctic Circle! 

 

5 Comedy with Foil Arms & Hog

When: Friday 12th March – Wednesday 17th March

#social

Irish sketch comedy group Foil Arms & Hog write, shoot and edit a new sketch every week in their office, releasing it for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram on IGTV. 

The trio have created new sketches for St. Patrick’s Festival to lift your mood and make you laugh, as they observe our national idiosyncrasies, particularly relating to the St. Patrick’s holiday. 

 

6 The Military Archives: History and Virtual Tour

When: Sunday 14th March at 16:35 & Tuesday 16th March at 10:30

#historical

This tour explores the archival records of the defence forces, the Department of Defence, and the Army Pensions Board, including some of the most important documentary evidence from our struggle for independence. 

 

7 Seoda: Celtic Connections

When: Tuesday 16th March, 20:00

#cultural

Seoda: Celtic Connections is a celebration of traditional music and cultural connections through performances from leading artists across three locations; Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If you’re a music lover then this is definitely the event for you! 

 

8 RTE Virtual Parade

When: Wednesday 17th March

#social

Just like last year, the public will have the opportunity to take part in the virtual St. Patrick’s Day parade from the comfort of their own homes. People are encouraged to film and post their parade contribution to social media platforms using the hashtag #RTEVirtualParade, for a chance to be featured on television and viewed by millions all over the world. 

 

9 Tumble Circus presents The MacCarnysons

When: Wednesday 17th March, 10:00

#cultural

Tumble Circus presents a 45 minute circus comedy film shot in and around the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast. The short film features death defying aerialists, hardcore acrobats, mind bending jugglers and loads of craic. 

 

10 Barróg Lá Fhéile Phádraig (St. Patrick’s Day Hug)

When: Wednesday 17th March, 20:00

#cultural

Bringing the festivities to a wonderful close, Barróg Lá Fhéile Phádraig brings the best of Irish Traditional players and singers together for one last hurrah at Whelan’s Pub in Dublin. With solo performances and plenty of special collaborations this will definitely be a night not to be missed! 

There you have it! If you’ve been lucky enough to spend a St.Patrick’s Day in Dublin, feel free to let us know about your fun and festive memories on Facebook or Instagram

Try out our St.Patrick’s Day quiz and be in with a chance to win One Week Live Online General English Class.

5 Tips For Learning English While Watching Netflix.

Learning a new language involves seizing every chance and opportunity outside of the classroom to educate yourself with new sayings and expressions. So why not enjoy yourself and have fun while doing it? 

 

Everyone’s favorite streaming service could be the perfect complementary activity to practice your English and help you stay motivated and entertained while you learn. Netflix is an affordable option for learners, charging a small monthly fee for subscriptions, and chances are you probably already have a subscription. So if you’re preparing to binge-watch some of Netflix’s top shows, why not turn on the subtitles, pop some popcorn on and get ready to sharpen your linguistic abilities!

 

You can find some helpful tips below on how to make the most of Netflix when trying to improve your language skills. If you have any suggestions of your own then be sure to let us know on Facebook or Instagram!

 

1 Create a separate profile for your language learning

If you already have a Netflix account, then create a separate profile just for English practice. It’s very simple and free to do and there are several advantages to doing this:

  1. You won’t have to worry about constantly changing the language of your audio and subtitles.
  2. You’ll get better suggestions based on English content you’ve already watched. 
  3. Once you create a new profile you’ll have the option to pick the language of your interface and menus. Pick English of course, as this will allow you to practice your reading comprehension as well!

 

2 TV series or movie?

For beginner and pre-intermediate learners we would recommend starting with a short TV show. It takes a lot of effort to concentrate on listening comprehension. By choosing a shorter show, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed by the process. Look for a series that has 20 to 30 minute episodes.

 

Movies are more challenging and are usually best for upper-intermediate to advanced learners, since you’ll have less time to get used to the characters’ accents and understand specialized vocabulary that is key to the plot.

 

3 Recommended shows

Starting with a realistic show or sitcom is usually recommended because these are easier to understand and the characters use common vocabulary and phrases that you might already know and will likely use in your everyday life.

 

Some sitcoms that are good to start with are Friends, After Life, New Girl, Modern Family and The Office. We recommend that you start with TV series which you’ve already seen in your own language. This is because you’ll already know the story, and you can spend more time focusing on the language.

 

Of course, these are only some of our suggestions; if you have your own favorites then please let us know! It’s important to actually enjoy yourself when you are learning – if an activity isn’t fun, you aren’t very likely to stick with it.

 

4 Subbed or dubbed?

There are two ways to watch foreign language shows and movies: subtitled (subbed) or dubbed. Make sure the English show or movie was originally produced in English and not dubbed from another language. Netflix dubbing and subtitles are usually pretty good but it’s always best to choose original content for language learning.

Speaking of subtitles, make sure English subtitles are an option for the series or film you choose. Whether you need to use subtitles or not will likely depend on your language level.

 

For upper-intermediate and advanced learners, you should try watching TV shows and movies with no subtitles at all. It’s okay if you only understand 70-80% of what you hear. This exercise will improve your ability to use context clues to fill in the blanks when you don’t understand something. But if it’s still too difficult, you can turn on the subtitles in English for the first episode, if you’re watching a TV show.

The situation is pretty different if you’re a beginner or pre-intermediate student, since not using any subtitles at all will likely be much too difficult for you. It’s okay to start out with subtitles in your native language and as soon as you can, you should switch those subtitles into English and eventually turn them off completely!

 

By way of an example, let’s assume that you are a Spanish speaker learning English. Depending on your proficiency level, you can choose to:

  1. Watch the show with Spanish dialogue and English subtitles (beginner)
  2. Watch with English dialogue and Spanish subtitles (pre-intermediate)
  3. You can watch with English audio and English subtitles (upper-intermediate)
  4. You can watch with only the English audio and no subtitles (advanced)

 

5 Language Learning with Netflix

If you have tried all of the above tips and tricks and are still finding it difficult to understand what is going on then you need to check out Language Learning with Netflix! This is a Google Chrome extension that lets you watch shows with two subtitles on at the same time so you can visually pair translations with dialogue and learn some new vocabulary in the process. It’s a clever service that is free, easy to use and quick to download.

 

One of the few downsides is that the extension only works on a desktop with Google Chrome, so you can’t use it with your Netflix app on mobiles or tablets. Hopefully, the developers will find new ways to improve the user experience and make it available on other platforms and browsers in the near future.

 

Netflix is a great complementary option for practising a new language while outside the classroom – it’s educational while providing memorable scenes to help you remember new words! Hopefully these tips will help you get started with your language learning. All you have to do now is pick a show and start learning!

If you’ve learned all you can through streaming platforms like Netflix and are interested in improving your English with us at DCU then you can get in touch here! We offer online courses so you can continue to learn from home.

Social Media Competition Terms and Conditions 2021

 

The promoter is DCULS company no 186835 whose registered office is at Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Whitehall, Dublin.

The competition is open to students of DCULS aged 17 years or over except employees of DCULS and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.

There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

The route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter can be found via

www.facebook.com/EnglishDCU/

www.instagram.com/englishatdcu/ 

Only one entry will be accepted per person per platform.

Closing date for entry will be 17th March 2021. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

The prize is as follows: One Week Live Online General English Class. 

The course will be a One week General English Course.

This course needs to be taken before the end of July and no alternative will be offered. 

The student must be available to attend the course in Irish Time.   UTC +0 | GMT | Greenwich Mean Time

The studnet must agree to the current school’s terms and conditions seen here

The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

The winner will be announced on the afternoon of Monday, 17th March 2021.

The winner will be chosen from the quiz results and if two or more candidates have the same results a random winner will be chosen by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.

The winner will be notified by email and/or DM on Instagram/Facebook within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected/is delivered.

The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by Irish law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ireland.

The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current Irish data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: Marketing.english@dcu.ie

Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram or any other entity. You are providing your information to DCULS and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at www.english.dcu.ie/privacy-policy/.com

Living In Lockdown – Tips For Self-care And Relaxation

There’s no doubt about it, these are trying times. As we’re all having to adapt to a new lifestyle, you may be finding it difficult to stay on top of your well being. Whether you’re feeling positive about this lockdown or are dreading going through it again, these suggestions from mental health experts will help to relax your mind and maximise your physical and mental wellbeing during this difficult period.

 

Read, learn and discover

You don’t have to go online to get some culture! Why not go offline and disconnect from the real world? If you’re unsure of where to begin, start with the book your favourite movie is based on or ask friends for recommendations. Maybe you’ve always said that one day you’ll read some of the great classics? Now there’s no excuse not to! Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charlotte Brontë, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll… And the list goes on! Reading doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be extremely relaxing and a very effective form of escapism.

 

Try meditation or mindfulness

The idea of living in the moment is called mindfulness. And meditation, very basically, is the exercise needed to practice mindfulness. If learning to live in the moment sounds appealing to you, take a deep breath: You don’t need to be an expert in yoga, deep breathing, or spirituality to meditate.

Meditation is something you can fully customize to your schedule, environment, and preferences and you can always get started in a way that fits into your life. The benefits of meditation are endless and it has been proven to help reduce stress, increase focus, improve sleep and clear the mind. So why not give it a try?

Apps like Headspace and Calm are a good starting point for beginners who want to tap into the technique and they both offer free ‘Basics’ courses that’ll teach you all the essentials of mindfulness and meditation.

 

Go outside, even if it’s just to your garden

A breath of fresh air can do wonders for your health and wellbeing. Simply going for a walk in the park, a jog or a bike ride around your block is a good way to get moving and clear your head. You know the saying, “healthy body, healthy mind”? There’s a lot of truth to it! Even on days where you’re really not feeling it, it’s worth forcing yourself out for a brief 10-minute walk before you start studying or working.

Lockdown is also a great time to look at your relationship with exercise and to try out new things. You can use this time to explore what works for you and new ways of motivating yourself. Habits you create now will eventually benefit when we return to our normal routines.

If you’re unsure of where to start, check out some recommendations below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/healthy-ireland/

https://www.getirelandwalking.ie/app/

 

Cook something you’ve never cooked before!

Since you don’t have the same time constraints anymore, why not get creative in the kitchen? Use this time to explore new flavours and perfect your cooking skills! Do you have a secret family recipe book? If so, why not flick through it and see if you can find anything that takes your fancy? And if you don’t have a collection of family recipes to hand, head straight for the internet, where you’ll find countless free recipes online! Plus, there are plenty of videos and tutorials to help you learn more about the ins and outs of cooking. You’re spoilt for choice!

 

Stay connected to your social circle / Keep in touch with friends and family

Now more than ever, it is really important to stay connected and keep in touch with friends and family. However, with travel restrictions and social distancing rules in place all across the country you may find this difficult to do. Why not try virtual meetups with your friends and family, host an online movie marathon or just give them a call on the phone. There are plenty of apps and games you can play online with your friends to stay connected. Check out some useful free video applications below that will help you keep in contact with the outside world.

Zoom – Normally used for business meetings, Zoom is reliable for having a large group of people in one chat so you’ll often see it used in webinars and classes. It has a feature which switches the main video to whoever is talking which is handy for pub quizzes and having group discussions.

Skype – This is best for one-to-one conversations where you can video or voice call between computers, tablets, mobile devices and compatible smartwatches. You can instant message within it too.

Facetime – This only works if you have an Apple device, but it is a popular choice for video calls and comes already installed on your device. If you don’t own an Apple device then another free alternative that you may already have installed to connect via video is Whatsapp.

 

The pandemic has also given us more time – something that we usually don’t have enough of. So make the most of it for yourself and your family. Get moving, meditate, have some fun. And, above all, enjoy precious moments with the people you care about most.

 

The Best Outdoor Areas to Explore in Dublin

Dublin’s best parks are a treasure trove for lovers of the outdoors – there’s so much to discover and each one offers something exciting and new. Dublin features a host of beautiful and inviting gardens strewn throughout the city and its suburbs, all of which are free and open to the public. Below we take a look at some of the most charming parks, sure to give you a taste of the Irish countryside right in the middle of the city.

 

Phoenix Park

At 1,750 acres, Dublin’s Phoenix Park is one of Europe’s largest enclosed urban parks. Originally created in 1662 as a royal hunting ground, it is now the official residence of the President of Ireland and also contains Dublin Zoo and an extensive visitor centre where you can learn about the history of the park.

Due to its size, it is practically impossible to see all of it by foot. The best way to explore the park is by hiring a bike and there are cycling rentals in various areas of the park.

 

Irish National War Memorial Gardens

Located just a short walk from Phoenix Park, these gardens are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. They are dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the First World War.

The interesting architectural attributes, beautiful rose gardens and extensive tree planting make for a pleasant photo-worthy visit at any time of the year. The peaceful atmosphere of this charming garden makes it a perfect place to relax and reflect.

 

St Anne’s Park

St. Anne’s Park lies between the areas of Raheny and Clontarf in north Dublin and is one of the county’s most popular recreational facilities.

The park contains numerous playing fields, walled gardens, extensive woodlands and an award-winning rose garden. It is also home to the Red Stables which house an arts and crafts centre with work spaces for artists and a gallery and runs a farmers’ market every Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

 

National Botanic Gardens

Located in Glasnevin, the National Botanic Gardens are known for their fine plant collections holding more than 15,000 plant species from a variety of habitats around the world and home to more than 300 endangered plant species from around the world including six species that are already extinct in the wild.

These gardens are loved by both tourists and regular visitors alike and are free to visit all throughout the year.

 

St. Stephen’s Green

St Stephen’s Green is a historical park and gardens, located in the centre of Dublin which provides an oasis of green calm in the middle of a bustling city. The park features a waterfall, playground and an ornamental lake which provides a home for ducks, geese and swans. 

You can always find it filled with families feeding the ducks, office workers on a quick break and tourists admiring the great many sculptural monuments to Irish history. 

You can find it at the top Grafton Street and is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of shopping!

 

Iveagh Gardens

Tucked away behind the National Concert Hall, the Iveagh Gardens are among the finest, but least known, of Dublin’s parks and gardens. The gardens display a diverse collection of landscape features which include rustic grottos, wilderness, woodlands, archery grounds and rockeries. 

The Iveagh Gardens are popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’ offering an oasis of tranquillity and beauty just a stone’s throw from the city centre!

 

The People’s Park

Dún Laoghaire’s magnificent People’s Park is a beautifully landscaped haven of calm. Located a short stroll from the harbour, the park is popular with people of all ages, locals and visitors alike. Well maintained gardens, a restaurant and café, enchanting fountains and a fun children’s playground make it a pleasant place to visit all year round.

The park is open to visitors every day but particularly comes to life every Sunday as market vendors bring their colourful collection of arts, crafts and local produce to the park.

 

Merrion Square

Merrion Square Park sits at the centre of one of Dublin city’s most beautiful Georgian squares. The square and its surrounding area is home to a series of national cultural institutions, including the National Art Gallery of Ireland and the Archaeological and Natural History sections of the National Museum of Ireland. 

The small park is open during daylight hours and has wide open lawns and tidy flower beds. The most famous attraction is the colorful statue of Oscar Wilde reclining on a rock in the northwestern corner. On Sundays, artists hang their works for sale on the railings surrounding the park.

If you’ve had a chance to visit any of these spectacular spots, be sure to let us know. We would love to hear about your own experiences – get in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram!