Events

Top 10 Virtual Tours to Discover Dublin from Home

Explore from the comfort of your couch!

Over the last few months, galleries, exhibits, attractions and museums across Ireland and the rest of the globe have had to close their doors to visitors due to worldwide restrictions.

In an attempt to bring you a little bit closer to Ireland, we’ve created a guide that’s full of the best virtual tours that Dublin has to offer!

1.EPIC

The Irish Emigration Museum is open for virtual visits! Recently voted as Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction for the second year in a row, this museum has made some changes to its website to now boast a vast variety of online workshops, webinars, virtual 3D tours and history pack downloads. The richness and diversity of the stories available online are both entertaining and educational which makes it a favourite among us here at DCU Language Services.

 

2. Dublinia

Travel back to Viking and Medieval times at Dublinia. Despite not offering virtual tours of its building and exhibitions, it still has a great interactive website that you can spend hours navigating through. This brilliant new site includes nine audiovisual animations with interactive activities on nine historical sites across Dublin.

 

3. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

The perpetual resting place of many Irish historical figures, Glasnevin Cemetery is located just a short bus journey away from Dublin City University. Start your visit here and take a virtual tour of the cemetery’s museum as well as O’Connell Tower, home to one of Ireland’s greatest political figures, Daniel O’Connell. 

 

4. The Guinness Storehouse

Dublin’s number one visitor attraction is an unmissable attraction and a regular sellout activity with DCU Language Services students.

The home of Guinness can’t currently be visited through a virtual tour, however, it is accessible via 360° photos of some of the main rooms throughout the Storehouse, such as the famous Gravity Bar.

The Gravity Bar is a spectacle that needs to be experienced in person so if you are planning a trip to Ireland soon, make sure that a visit to the home of the black stuff is at the top of your itinerary!

 

5. Áras an Uachtaráin 

Located in the heart of Phoenix Park, Áras an Uachtaráin has been the official residence of the President of Ireland since the 1930s and contains a total of 95 rooms. 

While you can’t explore all of these rooms virtually, there are still a great selection of 360° photos that can be viewed here. Follow the green arrows across State rooms and into the picturesque gardens alongside Bród, the President’s dog!

 

6. Chester Beatty Library

Found on the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty is the leading Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with holdings of manuscripts, rare books and other riches from every corner of the globe. While the library is closed, you can take a look at these treasures through a 3D virtual tour on their website.

 

7. National Gallery of Ireland

For the art lovers! The National Gallery of Ireland boasts some 2,500 paintings and approximately 10,000 other works in different media including water-colours, drawings, prints and sculpture. 

Explore the wonders of the gallery’s different collections and take a leisurely stroll around their impressive exhibits from the comfort of your own home.

Make sure to visit the Grand Gallery where you can enjoy a rich collection of paintings and sculptures online from famous artists such as Picasso, Monet or Caravaggio. Virtual tours are available here.

 

8. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History

This beloved museum hosts over 10,000 exhibits of Irish and worldwide animals. Free admission to every visitor, only the ground and first floors are usually open to the public. 

In this online interactive visit you can access all four floors of the “Dead Zoo” and discover more about Earth’s wildlife. This 3D Space is one of our favourites and is super easy to navigate. You can also download an audioguide to listen to while you explore the museum virtually! Make sure to look out for the giant Irish deer and whale skeletons which are some of the most famous and distinctive animals on display in this museum.

 

9. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

This museum is home to a remarkable range of symbolic treasures, including the Ardagh Chalice, the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the famous Derrynaflan Hoard.

From Prehistoric Ireland to Ancient Egypt, visitors can discover important artefacts dating from 7000 BC up to the 20th century. 

The museum has made interactive presentations for some of their permanent displays which include “The Treasury” and “Viking Ireland” exhibitions. Make sure to download “The Treasury” audioguide and click through the interactive videos to explore all that the museum has to offer.

 

10. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The spectacular St. Patrick’s Cathedral was founded back in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It was built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint and today it serves as a place of worship, a visitor attraction and a host for many different events throughout the year. Boasting a 43-metre spire, the cathedral is the tallest and largest church in Ireland.

The inside of this magnificent cathedral is ready to be explored through 360° photos and you can also watch live streams of services here!

 

Improve your English with us here at DCU!

A Very Irish Christmas with DCU

The festive season is right around the corner and although the holidays may be slightly different this year, we’re here to remind you of some traditional and modern Christmas customs across Ireland.

 

Below you can find a list of our well known Irish Christmas traditions. We would love to hear about some traditions from your country – get in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram!

 

1. Decorating the House

A classic Christmas tradition which dates back to the early 1800s!

After the 8th December, you will start to notice beautifully decorated trees shining brightly out of the windows of homes across Ireland.

Most, if not all, Irish households will decorate their homes with colourful tinsel, sparkling fairy lights and all things Santa Claus related along with a Christmas tree usually being erected in the sitting room.

You’ll usually find the office and halls of DCU Language Services decked out in glowing garlands and Santa hats!

 

2. Pubs of Christmas

A highly popular and relatively new celebration in Ireland to signify the end of the year. This event involves 12 pubs, a group of friends, vibrant Christmas jumpers, a few pints and a set of crazy rules. 

There are many versions of this tradition which differ between groups of friends. The focus of the night is to have fun and stay safe. Sláinte!

 

3. Carol Singers

You might think that this only happens in Christmas movies, but in reality, it is an actual practice which individuals of all ages partake in! Schools, local church choirs and charity organisations alike come together to spread Christmas cheer in the form of singing, with popular song choices ranging from the classical “O Holy Night” to the more upbeat “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. 

The DCU Campus Choir arranges a wonderful performance annually in the form of “Christmas Carols by Candlelight” in the All Hallows campus chapel which is a truly magical experience for all DCU students and staff.

 

4. Christmas Markets

Another relatively new arrival in Ireland, Christmas markets are quickly becoming a favourite destination for families and friends to visit for festive foods, mulled wine, Christmas crafts and, of course, Santa Claus. 

Celebrated markets across Ireland include the Galway Christmas market, the Dublin Castle Christmas market, the Belfast Christmas market, Waterford Winterval and Glow Cork. 

Every year DCU Language Services organises a trip to at least one of these Christmas markets for our students – sometimes we make a full weekend of it! 

 

5. Midnight Mass

Attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is a tradition practised by many families across Ireland. It is a huge social gathering where friends and neighbours join together to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. 

As the name suggests, it was originally held at midnight, however, nowadays it is quite common to see Midnight Mass taking place earlier at 8 pm, 9 pm or 10 pm.

 

6. Christmas Morning Swim

Morning swims take place all across Ireland on Christmas Day, with hundreds of courageous souls jumping into the freezing cold sea wearing only their bathing suit and sometimes a Santa hat! The atmosphere is sensational.

A crowd of less brave people wrapped up in snug coats, hats and scarves stand on the sidelines in support of the swimmers.

Famous spots include the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Co. Dublin, Galway Bay in Galway and Bundoran Beach, Co. Donegal. None of our students have been brave enough to join us for this activity yet – would you?!

 

7. Christmas Dinner

The main event on Christmas Day, the much-anticipated feast of Christmas is celebrated across most households in Ireland. Food served varies depending on family preference, usually with roast turkey or goose, potatoes (of course!), brussels sprouts and various other vegetables making an appearance.

Make sure that you leave some room for dessert too! Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, sherry trifle and mince pies are all essential sweet treats found in Irish houses for the duration of the Christmas season.

 

8. St Stephen’s Day

St. Stephen’s Day (also known as Boxing Day) falls on the 26th December, the day after Christmas. Traditionally, St. Stephen’s Day was known for its ancient Irish custom of hunting the wren. The Wren, although a fading tradition, still takes place in many parts of the country annually. 

In recent times, the 26th December has become one of the main shopping days of the year, with retailers kicking off some of their biggest sales. Flocks of eager shoppers will queue outside stores for hours at a time in an attempt to bag some great bargains and discounted goods. We recommend Arnotts on Henry Street in Dublin for some great deals! 

 

9. New Year’s Eve

No one rings in the New Year quite like the Irish! New Year’s Eve in Ireland is all about chasing any bad luck out of the house and inviting good spirits in before the start of the new year. It’s also about honouring the dead and remembering those lost the year before.

You will also find tonnes of events and festivals taking place across the country with guaranteed performers, fireworks and music at each creating the perfect atmosphere to celebrate the New Year!

 

10. Little Christmas

With the New Year in full swing, January 6th is traditionally when the tree comes down and all of the festive gear gets packed back up into the attic. However, on this day, another Irish Christmas tradition takes place – Little Christmas, also known as Women’s Christmas.

This custom was born during a time when the running of a home was left to the women of the house. January 6th was a day when all of the work done over the merry period was celebrated. The chores were passed to the men of the house and the women would put their feet up and enjoy a well-deserved break!

 

 

 

If you have stayed with a DCU Host Family over the Christmas period then there are probably some other traditions not listed here that you’ve had the chance to experience in the past.

Or perhaps you plan on travelling to Dublin soon, where you can meet new people, learn about other great Irish traditions and come and improve your English with us here at DCU!

Interview with Renata Rocha

We invited current student Renata Rocha, from Brazil, to share about her experience studying English at Dublin City University and learned more about how Covid-19 has impacted her situation.

 

When did you arrive in Ireland? 

I arrived in Ireland in November 2019.

 

 

Why did you choose DCU?

I organised my language exchange with an agency in Brazil. This agency works with a lot of schools around Ireland. I had already decided I would go to Dublin when I started looking for a school. I chose Dublin because I knew it was the perfect “size” for me. Dublin is not too big like São Paulo where I come from, so I do not spend a long time on the bus. However, Dublin is not too small a city like other cities in Ireland!

 

I checked every school in Dublin which my agency works with. When I saw DCU I just fell in love with everything. The campus was magnificent, they have everything that I would need. Inside the campus, they have a pharmacy, a supermarket, a good gym (and the price is cheaper for DCU students!), a pub, a big library and many other things. I was extremely excited that I could join the university’s clubs. DCU has more than 100 clubs that you can join for a cheap fee. It is about 4 euros per semester. 

 

Another thing that was also important to me, was that the school did not have a high number of Brazilian students. And DCU does has a good mix of nationality in my opinion. So, when I saw all the benefits of DCU, I had no doubt it was my school.

 

 

What would you say are the best parts of the DCU experience? 

It is very difficult to choose the best part because I like every single thing here in DCU. I am still in love with the campus. I do not see the staff as staff but as friends. They are so kind and always ready to help the students. The teachers are great and my English has improved a lot. I am managing to reach my goal which was to be immersed as much as possible.

 

 

What accommodation type did you choose and how has your experience been in your accommodation? 

Since arriving here, I have been living with a host family. It is the best way to keep improving your English because you must push yourself, as you need to speak with the family. 

 

I do not know what I can say about my host family. They are the best host family I could ever imagine. They have given me all their support since the pandemic started. Always so kind. I feel like part of the family. They are not my host family anymore; they are my Irish family, truly!!!

 

How was your experience of Ireland and DCU since you arrived until March 2020?

Until March 2020 everything was great. I used to go to the gym after my classes, go to the pub to socialise. I used to hang out with my friends and enjoy the city and also the activities organised by DCU. I travelled at Christmas and New Year. I was planning to travel more during 2020 during my holidays after taking the IELTS exam, but everything was postponed.

 

 

How has your experience been since March 2020 when Covid-19 arrived in Ireland?

When COVID arrived in Ireland the situation changed a lot. It was when I felt very close to the DCU staff and mainly my host family. They were the key for me to overcome this situation far from home. I tried to go back to Brazil in March, but I had a problem with my flight. I was stuck in Paris and I had to come back to Dublin. I was 14 days isolated in DCU accommodation and my host father brought my dinner every single day – I will never forget that, and he always had a little conversation with me before he left.

 

When we entered lockdown, DCU gave us some options for our course so we could decide what we wanted to do. We could take lessons online or get a full refund if we returned to our home country. It was really important because I heard some bad experiences from Brazilian students in other schools. DCU has been dealing with the situation very well indeed!!

 

 

What are your plans for the future?

Nowadays it is difficult to plan the future as COVID has been changing our lives almost every day. I am in my second semester and after that, I would like to do my Masters here in Ireland. 

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Thank you Renata for sharing your experience and for being an exceptional student.

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

 

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

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Top 10 Virtual Tours to Discover Dublin from Home

Explore from the comfort of your couch!

Over the last few months, galleries, exhibits, attractions and museums across Ireland and the rest of the globe have had to close their doors to visitors due to worldwide restrictions.

In an attempt to bring you a little bit closer to Ireland, we’ve created a guide that’s full of the best virtual tours that Dublin has to offer!

1.EPIC

The Irish Emigration Museum is open for virtual visits! Recently voted as Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction for the second year in a row, this museum has made some changes to its website to now boast a vast variety of online workshops, webinars, virtual 3D tours and history pack downloads. The richness and diversity of the stories available online are both entertaining and educational which makes it a favourite among us here at DCU Language Services.

 

2. Dublinia

Travel back to Viking and Medieval times at Dublinia. Despite not offering virtual tours of its building and exhibitions, it still has a great interactive website that you can spend hours navigating through. This brilliant new site includes nine audiovisual animations with interactive activities on nine historical sites across Dublin.

 

3. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

The perpetual resting place of many Irish historical figures, Glasnevin Cemetery is located just a short bus journey away from Dublin City University. Start your visit here and take a virtual tour of the cemetery’s museum as well as O’Connell Tower, home to one of Ireland’s greatest political figures, Daniel O’Connell. 

 

4. The Guinness Storehouse

Dublin’s number one visitor attraction is an unmissable attraction and a regular sellout activity with DCU Language Services students.

The home of Guinness can’t currently be visited through a virtual tour, however, it is accessible via 360° photos of some of the main rooms throughout the Storehouse, such as the famous Gravity Bar.

The Gravity Bar is a spectacle that needs to be experienced in person so if you are planning a trip to Ireland soon, make sure that a visit to the home of the black stuff is at the top of your itinerary!

 

5. Áras an Uachtaráin 

Located in the heart of Phoenix Park, Áras an Uachtaráin has been the official residence of the President of Ireland since the 1930s and contains a total of 95 rooms. 

While you can’t explore all of these rooms virtually, there are still a great selection of 360° photos that can be viewed here. Follow the green arrows across State rooms and into the picturesque gardens alongside Bród, the President’s dog!

 

6. Chester Beatty Library

Found on the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty is the leading Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with holdings of manuscripts, rare books and other riches from every corner of the globe. While the library is closed, you can take a look at these treasures through a 3D virtual tour on their website.

 

7. National Gallery of Ireland

For the art lovers! The National Gallery of Ireland boasts some 2,500 paintings and approximately 10,000 other works in different media including water-colours, drawings, prints and sculpture. 

Explore the wonders of the gallery’s different collections and take a leisurely stroll around their impressive exhibits from the comfort of your own home.

Make sure to visit the Grand Gallery where you can enjoy a rich collection of paintings and sculptures online from famous artists such as Picasso, Monet or Caravaggio. Virtual tours are available here.

 

8. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History

This beloved museum hosts over 10,000 exhibits of Irish and worldwide animals. Free admission to every visitor, only the ground and first floors are usually open to the public. 

In this online interactive visit you can access all four floors of the “Dead Zoo” and discover more about Earth’s wildlife. This 3D Space is one of our favourites and is super easy to navigate. You can also download an audioguide to listen to while you explore the museum virtually! Make sure to look out for the giant Irish deer and whale skeletons which are some of the most famous and distinctive animals on display in this museum.

 

9. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

This museum is home to a remarkable range of symbolic treasures, including the Ardagh Chalice, the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the famous Derrynaflan Hoard.

From Prehistoric Ireland to Ancient Egypt, visitors can discover important artefacts dating from 7000 BC up to the 20th century. 

The museum has made interactive presentations for some of their permanent displays which include “The Treasury” and “Viking Ireland” exhibitions. Make sure to download “The Treasury” audioguide and click through the interactive videos to explore all that the museum has to offer.

 

10. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The spectacular St. Patrick’s Cathedral was founded back in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It was built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint and today it serves as a place of worship, a visitor attraction and a host for many different events throughout the year. Boasting a 43-metre spire, the cathedral is the tallest and largest church in Ireland.

The inside of this magnificent cathedral is ready to be explored through 360° photos and you can also watch live streams of services here!

 

Improve your English with us here at DCU!

Dublin City University has been named The Sunday Times University of the Year for 2021.

Dublin City University has been named The Sunday Times University of the Year for 2021.

It is the third time that DCU have been awarded this accolade, since the Sunday Times Good University Guide was first published in 2002, having previously won in 2004 and 2010.

The Sunday Times notes that DCU is famed for its diverse intake, a cornerstone of its ethos since it was founded 40 years ago in 1980 and it is now a university of 17,500 students, drawn from 55 countries across the world.

DCU scores especially well for low levels of graduate unemployment – just 3% of students are out of work nine months after leaving according to the latest figures, a rate bettered by just two other institutions.

DCU is the top ranked university for providing a supportive environment for students in the most recent results published in the annual studentsurvey.ie, which measures the student experience across nine distinct areas.

Covid-19 has presented challenges to DCU, as it has to all third level institutions, but DCU was quick to develop a package of educational, emotional and practical help for its students. Recognising the financial impacts of the pandemic, the university moved to a flexible accommodation system for its students, allowing them to book in by the night if necessary and reducing the need to make large-scale commitments.

On a practical level to help the national fight against the pandemic, the university has created a research and innovation hub to link its experts to areas of national need. It has also trained frontline workers in a virus tracing centre in its nursing school, as well as making face coverings and goggles for healthcare workers using 3D printers.

Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said,

“DCU’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic for its students shows the emotional literacy you would expect from an institution that has championed social mobility throughout its entire 40-year history. Thoughtful and responsive, the university has tried to make the best of a difficult, evolving and immeasurably complex situation for its student population.

All of the metrics in our ranking also pointed firmly towards DCU being our University of the Year,” said McCall. “Students leave well qualified to take their place in the working world – where they are heavily in demand – and they are equipped to make a telling contribution when they get there. Dropout rates are low and student support is extensive. It is hard to think of a university that has done more to open up third level to the widest possible student audience and then ensure that their experience is focussed and fulfilling.”
 

The Sunday Times Good University guide contains Ireland’s only league table that measures the performance of all 19 multi-faculty third-level institutions.

DCU Language Services Reopening Date

We are delighted to announce that DCU Language Services will reopen and resume activities from 14th of September 2020 for face to face classes.

Our team has carried out a comprehensive risk assessment based on Irish government guidance and regulations to ensure classes take place in a safe and secure environment.

 

The safety and welfare of our students is our utmost priority at all times

Find out more about the guidelines we will have in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Access our ‘Return to Campus Guidelines for Students’ document here. 

We are looking forward to safely welcoming students from around the world back to our university.

 

DCULS Virtual Study Abroad Programmes are still available!

DCU Language Services is running a full range of online courses with live teachers for General English, Business English, One to One lessons, as well as IELTS Exam Preparation classes.

We would love the chance to discuss how our online programmes, as well as face to face courses, could support your learning goals. If you would like to find out more about our programmes, please complete our online enquiry form.

Update – 21st October 2020

The Irish government has announced that from Thursday October 22nd Ireland will be moving to Level 5 of the Plan for Living with Covid-19. In line with the Government’s announcement, DCU Language Services will return to online teaching from this date for a period of 6 weeks.  Find out more.


DCU welcomes the Japanese Ambassador

The Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mitsuru Kitano visited Dublin City University on the 14th November to deliver an important lecture to Japanese students.

 

The Ambassador met Niamh O’Mahony, Business Development Director of DCU LS, to further develop and strengthen the friendly relations between Ireland and Japan.

During his speech, delivered to a large audience, the Ambassador gave an overview of the fundamental values that both countries share. In addition he discussed the impact of Brexit, Globalisation, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic games which will be held in Japan.

 

Accompanying the Japanese Ambassador on this visit was Mr. Satoshi Kagami, from the Embassy of Japan, who spoke about security and safety matters.

DCU has strong partnerships with numerous universities in Japan for exchange, study abroad and English language programmes. It was a great honour to host such distinguished visitors for what was an engaging and informative debate.

 

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DCU welcomes the Japanese Ambassador

The Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mitsuru Kitano visited Dublin City University on the 14th November to deliver an important lecture to Japanese students.

The Ambassador met Niamh O’Mahony, Business Development Director of DCU LS, to further develop and strengthen the friendly relations between Ireland and Japan.

During his speech, delivered to a large audience, the Ambassador gave an overview of the fundamental values that both countries share. In addition he discussed the impact of Brexit, Globalisation, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic games which will be held in Japan.

Accompanying the Japanese Ambassador on this visit was Mr. Satoshi Kagami, from the Embassy of Japan, who spoke about security and safety matters.

DCU has strong partnerships with numerous universities in Japan for exchange, study abroad and English language programmes. It was a great honour to host such distinguished visitors for what was an engaging and informative debate.

DCU welcomes the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland

The Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mitsuru Kitano visited Dublin City University on the 14th November to deliver an important lecture to Japanese students.

The Ambassador met Niamh O’Mahony, Business Development Director of DCU LS, to further develop and strengthen the friendly relations between Ireland and Japan.

During his speech, delivered to a large audience, the Ambassador gave an overview of the fundamental values that both countries share. In addition he discussed the impact of Brexit, Globalisation, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic games which will be held in Japan.

Accompanying the Ambassador on this visit was Mr. Satoshi Kagami, from the Embassy of Japan, who spoke about security and safety matters.

DCU has strong partnerships with numerous universities in Japan for exchange, study abroad and English language programmes. It was a great honour to host such distinguished visitors for what was an engaging and informative debate.

 

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Japanese Ambassador visits DCU

The Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mitsuru Kitano visited Dublin City University on the 14th November to deliver an important lecture to Japanese students.

The Ambassador met Niamh O’Mahony, Business Development Director of DCU LS, to further develop and strengthen the friendly relations between Ireland and Japan.

During his speech, delivered to a large audience, the Ambassador gave an overview of the fundamental values that both countries share. In addition he discussed the impact of Brexit, Globalisation, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic games which will be held in Japan.

Accompanying the Ambassador on this visit was Mr. Satoshi Kagami, from the Embassy of Japan, who spoke about security and safety matters.

DCU has strong partnerships with numerous universities in Japan for exchange, study abroad and English language programmes. It was a great honour to host such distinguished visitors for what was an engaging and informative debate.

 

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International education agents visit DCU’s vibrant junior summer school

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming agents from Russia, Turkey, China and many other countries who were in Dublin as part of the MEI familiarisation tour.

 

The agents met Mrs. Niamh O’Mahony, Business Development Director of DCU Language Services and Mr. Cian Gavin, Marketing Executive. They enjoyed a tour of the University and had an opportunity to view the modern classrooms, sporting facilities, restaurants and campus apartments.

 

With over 25 years of experience providing English language courses, the agents were impressed by the scope and scale of activities offered by DCU LS.

 

Get in touch to receive a quotation for summer 2020!