How can I find a “cheap English school” in Dublin?
Cheap English School Dublin: If you are looking for a cheap English course in a very good quality school, here is some advice that will help you to get the best value for money.
Is a Cheap English school always the best?
Do not book the cheapest English school in Dublin! It is important that you do your homework BEFORE booking a school. That means comparing prices, reviews, course structures and timetables. Find an English course that is good value and high quality before you book anything.
Read the online reviews of the school. The people who are the best judges of the quality and value of the course you are interested in are the students who have gone to that school before you. Read what they have to say about the school and see if they think that the course was worth it. A lot of the time, very cheap schools are of a lower quality. By looking at the reviews, or the lack of reviews, you can get a good idea of the quality of the English school.
Read the price list carefully
If possible book your entire English course up front and pay for it all before you start. Most schools have a policy where the price per week is reduced depending on the number of weeks that you book. This means that if you pay for your course week by week you’ll probably end up paying more overall. It is usually cheaper to book your English course in blocks of 4 weeks. Every school should have an English course price list where you can compare the prices of different courses.
Choose the best time for you
The time and duration of the English course will affect how expensive it is. Most schools offer different course options: Morning English Classes, Afternoon English Lessons, Evening English Courses. Courses with fewer hours will generally be cheaper and there are often discounts on either full-time or part-time courses. However the best price per hour is usually on the full-time and intensive English courses. So you might have to do some maths to figure out which is the cheapest English school in Dublin.
Check if the English course is on the ILEP
If you are booking your course in order to obtain a study visa, make sure that your chosen school is on the ILEP. The old Irish accreditation system (ACELS) hasn’t been operating, except in a very limited capacity, since 2015. This means that in order to ensure that you get the minimum up-to-date standards your school should be listed on the ILEP. However, remember just because a course is cheap and on the ILEP, it is not necessarily good. You should contact the school, read reviews and try to talk to past students.
Are the school socials free?
Take into consideration the entire experience of being at the English school – lots of learning happens outside the classroom. Check if the school you are interested in provides a social programme for students, and if this programme is free of charge.
Is the school providing a great student experience?
Think about the size of the school. Make sure that you are going to be taken care of by the school staff, and that a director is available to chat to you about any concerns you may have. Make sure that the staff and teachers know your name and are happy to help you while you are at the school. All of these factors will help to ensure that you get the best value for your money. We wrote another post about finding the best school in Dublin. It is important that you find a school where you are comfortable. Instead of searching for the cheapest school, find a school that gives you a great student experience at a fair price.
Free English classes and language exchanges
Consider the ways that you can improve your English for free. It’s a good idea to check if there are facilities outside of your course hours for you to practice your English for free. Ask the school if they can help you to find free language exchanges to participate in or if there are free activities guided by teachers who can support your language progress outside of the classroom.
In the ILAC (Dublin city centre) library there are lots of free language exchanges:
- English/Multilingual Conversation Exchange – open to speakers of all languages including English speakers: Fridays, 3.30 – 4.45pm
- French/English Conversation Exchange: Wednesdays, 6.00 – 7.45pm
- German/English Conversation Exchange: Saturdays, 1.00 – 2.30pm
- Irish/English Conversation Exchange: Saturdays, 11.30am – 1.00pm
- Japanese/English Conversation Exchange: Saturdays, 10.00 – 11.30am
- Russian/English Conversation Exchange: Friday, 2.00 – 3.30pm
- Spanish/English Conversation Exchange: Tuesdays, 6.00 – 7.45pm
- Italian/English Conversation Exchange: Mondays, 6.00 – 7.45pm
You can read more about free English language exchanges on the DCC website.
Discounted and cheap English School Dublin
Check to see if there are any discounts or special offers available at your chosen school during the time when you would like to book your course.
How can I live in Dublin without spending too much money?
Don’t waste your money in Temple Bar
Go to Temple Bar once or twice for the cultural experience, but don’t go there all the time – as is the case in every country the touristic areas are the most expensive. If you want to go for a couple of beers it is best to find a spot that is outside the tourist areas. We would recommend exploring George’s st, Camden st, Harcourt st. and the Creative Quarter.
Shop in the cheaper supermarkets
The cheapest supermarkets are Lidl and Aldi. It’s a good idea to find out where the closest Lidl or Aldi is to your accommodation or to your school. Shopping there will help you to save money.
Find cheap restaurants and drinks promotions
Generally eating and drinking out can be expensive in Dublin. There are some places that you can eat out that are cheap and some pubs that have drinks promotions on certain nights (Dicey’s is probably the most popular amongst students).
Travel discounts with the LEAP card
Get yourself a LEAP card. This card will get you discounts on Dublin Bus, DART, LUAS and Irish Rail. The good news is that Dublin is actually quite small and compact, especially compared to other capital cities so you might be able to walk wherever you need to go which means you can eliminate the cost of public transport entirely, depending on the weather of course! Remember, you might be entitled to a student LEAP card, talk to us about this at the school reception.
Free ways to discover Dublin
Discover Dublin for free – there are loads of free walking tours available in Dublin, or if you want to practice your listening skills at your own pace you can download guided walking tour podcasts from the Dublin City Council website.
Find free festivals in Dublin city
Free cultural events in Dublin – keep an eye on dublincity.ie for free cultural events that are happening during your stay in Dublin. If there is a festival happening it will always be advertised on the banners along the river Liffey.
Get discounts and reductions online
Special offers in Dublin – you should check out livingsocial.ie for special offers. These websites offer very good discounts on restaurants, yoga or fitness classes, tourist trips, hotels, getaways and things to do.
Find people with similar interest and practice English for free
Make friends who share the same interests as you – check meetup.com/cities/ie/dublin/ to find groups of people who meet up to share interests like hiking, running, surfing or groups with particular interests like history, design & science. You can also find LGBTQ groups, singles groups and loads and loads of other groups that you would be welcome to be part of.
Get cheaper calls with an Irish sim card
Get yourself an Irish sim card – the cheapest providers are Tesco Mobile and Lyca. Check to see if you can get a package with free European calls or cheap international calls if you are planning to call home regularly. Also make sure you make as many calls as possible through Skype, Viber and Whatsapp as this will save you money on your phone bill.