Frequently Asked Questions
As an ACELS and Department of Education recognized English Language School all of our teachers have a university degree and a minimum 120 hours TEFL Training certificate. Currently all teachers have a minimum of four years teaching experience.
ULearn has a strong reputation abroad with students of all nationalities. We have a student base from over 70 countries.
Yes. ULearn is recognized by the Irish Department of Education & Science and is registered with ACELS, the governing body for English language schools in Ireland. In accordance with the updating of this body ULearn is also recognized by QQI. ULearn is also a member of MEI-RELSA, the representative Irish marketing body for schools and agents. ULearn is also linked with the Irish Tourism Bord, Bord Failte and Dublin Tourism.
ULearn is an excellent learning environment. Located in a newly refurbished Georgian building, students can avail of Free WiFi, a study and reading room, kitchen area, computer and recreation area. We offer a lively social programme also…
Wednesday: Movie night in the Audio Visual Room in the school (films with subtitles)
Thursday: Pub night offers students, teachers, and support staff the opportunity to get to know each other and practice English outside the traditional classroom setting.
Friday: Cultural daytrip organized within Dublin. This normally includes a trip to a gallery, museum, or place of local interest like Kilmanham Gaol.
Friday Evening: Sports. Five-a-side soccer offered to all students. We also play the increasingly popular mixed sports of tag rugby and ultimate Frisbee.
Weekends: Excursions are offered to areas outside Dublin like Galway, Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry and the Aran Islands.
Yes. We offer training and tuition in all ESOL exams including Preliminary English Test First Certificate, Advanced Certificate, We also offer preparation for all levels of students sitting TOEFL and IELTS and ULearn is a recognized centre for TIE, the Irish equivalent exam. In addition you can prepare any level of BEC exam for those students seeking a Business English Certification.
Administrative staff levels change based on seasonal and other student patterns but ULearn has a minimum of five administrative and support staff. This includes a dedicated student multi-lingual liason officer who is on hand all day in the admin area.
No. ULearn is well located to allow for large seasonal changes in our student numbers. As required and inline with Department of Education standards ULearn makes us of additional teaching and recreational centres very close to the main school premises on St Stephens Green.
We require an entry test for all students but there is no minimum entry level – we cater for English language learners of all levels.
Yes, of course. Following the initial entry level testing students are assigned to the appropriate level. We will ask for feedback from students especially in the first week. Homogeneity of level is something that we work on constantly to ensure that students are content with their learning environment.
Yes (see question 17). Upon entrance to the school the students are evaluated through a short battery of level tests including but not limited to Oxford Placement 1 and 2 plus aural sections. An personal interview is also conducted prior to class entry to evaluate the students oral fluency and accuracy. The results of the various tests are then tabulated and the students entry level is recorded in his / her ULearn student account.
We offer three main types of accommodation:
1. Traditional Host Family – Breakfast and dinner meals are included and it provides students with an authentic experience of life in an Irish family. The opportunity to practice English with the Host family always makes this a popular choice with English language students.
2. Apartments – City centre apartments give students the freedom to enjoy Dublin’s lively cultural and night life in the heart of the town. All apartments of this type are within walking distance of the school and the main shopping and eating district of Dublin. Available to students of 18 years and above (unless accompanied). Individual and shared rooms are available and apartments are generally equipped with WiFi so please specify if this a definite requirement.
3. Student Residence – Within four minutes walking distance of the school, the student residence provides communal living quarters in the heart of Dublin city. All rooms are shared with other ULearn students. WiFi is available for free.
There is a rigorous process of checks to ensure Host Families are of a high standard. Once a Host Family fills out an application form with the school, a member of ULearn's accommodation team will review the application and make contact first by phone to ask all relevant questions relating to the housing of international students. Should this part of the application process be passed another member of staff is sent to visit the Host Family in person to inspect the room and the condition of the house generally. At this point the rules of engagement are outlined and issues such as behavior (both Host and student), food and dietary concerns, cleanliness and hygiene amongst other items. ULearn also suggests appropriate levels and topics of conversation. The idea behind hosting international students is that they practice English. The evening meal is the best opportunity to do this.
This process allows us to quality control new families. We also count on the fact that ULearn has built up relationships with our hosts over 20 years in business. We have found that maintaining close contact with Host Families ongoing is in fact the best way to ensure quality and happy students.
Yes no problem – our photographs are available for viewing and download on our accommodation page, where you will also see some video footage of the actual apartments. More photos are also available on our Flickr Page. You will find great photos of the school, surrounding parks and cultural attractions plus a number of shots of student activities.
The Director of Studies is available for students at any time during office hours within the school. The D.O.S. is principally concerned with academic issues but is also on hand if students need to talk about any aspect of their stay in ULearn / Dublin.
ULearn offers a free service here in the school which assists students in their search for work. We help with the correction and modification of their curriculum vitae and advise them as to the best way to look for work in whatever area they are interested in, be it casual work or more career focused. There are also occasional workshops on demand which help with interview techniques. The D.O.S. or other members of the academic team can help students with that engagement. Its a great way for students to become familiar with the type of questions asked at an interview.
ULearn organises social events most nights of the week so all the students from every level can meet and get to know each other. The social events are visible on the Social Calendar page on the site. They are deliberately varied so as to allow students visit places of interest in Dublin, play sports and go on excursions to Galway, Belfast, Cork and other areas of Ireland. If you can come these events help you improve your English and you will never be bored while doing it!
Weekly events like 5-a-side football, Tag Rugby (in summer), ULearn's running club and cycling trips to the Dublin mountains. There is also a modern gymnasium very close to the school for students to join if they wish.
Apart from the Homestay, Apartments or Residence options offered by ULearn, we also help students search for long term accommodation once they are here in Dublin. Using websites like Daft.ie students can contact support staff for advice on the areas of Dublin including issues like safety and price etc. ULearn also has contact with real estate and letting agents in Dublin which on occasion contact the school with good offers for apartment rentals for suitable for students.
Studying and living abroad is a very rewarding experience. It allows students to meet new people and know more about themselves while learning about a foreign culture and language. At the same time it can be challenging. ULearn believes that it is vital that students feel supported in their emotional wellbeing as well as the essentials like accommodation and language ability. It is for this reason that ULearn provides a service to students who wish to discuss such issues. An appointment can be made through the student liaison officer and all such queries will be dealt with in confidence and with the highest sensitivity. ULearn staff are very experienced in such matters and it is important that students know and feel supported in all aspects of their life in Dublin :)
Yes. There is induction on Day 1 that runs alongside initial level testing. Plus, ongoing ULearn maintains close contact with students through face-to-face meetings, organized as feedback sessions as well as coffee and chat mornings. These are there to give students the chance to discuss similar problems and solutions.
Upon entering the school students are tested using various standardized methods including but not limited to the Oxford Placement System 1 & 2, Aural evaluation and personal interview to establish the accuracy and fluency of the students while speaking. In each level and class there is daily error correction. This error correction bank builds up over time and the repeating of these errors means that students learn through the mistakes that everyone in the class makes, including their own.
Apart from this, and in a more structured format, ULearn organizes weekly tests and feedback sessions each and every Friday. The tests are corrected by peer review and the results are collected and tabulated on the spot by their teacher. These results are stored in the Student Account and can later act as a communication platform between student, teacher and academic management in the review of level changes. The D.O.S. organizes weekly teachers meetings to review any student issues ongoing and will refer to the weekly class plans and test results in the analysis of student progress. It is a system which has evolved over years and allows for a nice balance between structure and expression for the teacher and provides an objective standard for the student as h/she moves along the learning path in ULearn.