Study abroad: IrelandūüćÄ


Having lived one year in Ireland does not make me an expert on all things related to the country but from my observation and contact with people I could see why so many nationals from South America, Asia and Africa would be interested in studying English in Ireland.

A great bonus the country offers is the student visa / work permit, when students duly registered in a language school or college can apply for legal work¬† of up to 20 hours a week. Of course that’s a great advantage over the United States, for example, where a student visa will not allow you to work.

Many students say they love Ireland and most have no regrets in their choice. One girl from Brazil even said she loved the weather believe it or not. Another student said he loves the greenness of Ireland.

Despite the high interest by students to work and other nationals to find an easy way to find a “regular job” while pretending to be students, the doors were left wide open for scammers to set up “language schools” that would consist of a room with 1 teacher (maybe) and have up to 600 students enrolled with 80% attendance ( many times the school resorted to the falsification of attendance records). The only thing they would provide was a student visa for a fee ranging from ‚ā¨600 to ‚ā¨2000.

As regarding students, there were two broad types:

a. Those who really wanted to study

b. Those who were just after a way to enter the country

I can’t believe there are students who have been studying English for 3 years… really?

Well, my piece of advice to those thinking of coming to study in Ireland

Before paying

1. Make sure you have a contract with an agency (not only with the school), which will get you either a refund or a transfer to another school.

2. Contact former students. There was even a case that a student chose a particular school because a friend of his was working there and both student and worker were caught by surprise when the school shut down. Check Facebook groups, google about the school – use technology in your favor. There were even cases of students who did a SWOT analysis before choosing the school and still ended up frustrated or feeling cheated.

3. Remember price is a big thing but knowing your school won’t close during your course is even bigger.

4. The language school industry is still unprotected – since 2014 the Irish government has been heavy-handedly dealing with only-for profit schools, with many schools having been closed overnight leaving students hanging high and dry.

5. Students interested in studying English in Ireland should contact ICOS – Irish Council for International Students,which will provide reliable information of the school’s status.¬†

For further information check out this great podcast report on the student visa industry in Ireland

Over the last three years, the English language Industry in Ireland has suffered many school closures, exposing the malpractice taking place in some schools and resulting in hundreds of international students losing large sums of money. This hour-long documentary, produced by Sarah-Jane Fortune and funded by The Mary Raftery Investigative Journalism Fund, explores the effects of the closures on students while discovering how the industry is regulated and assessing what the future holds for the industry in Ireland.img_6727

 Good studies.




Where to teach in S√£o Paulo?

Last week a friend contacted me saying¬† that Wisdom, recently arrived from Nigeria was looking for a job as an English teacher. Here’s my piece of advice to him:
“Ok. I’d advise you to pursue teacher training programs in more than one English language school. There are different options to teaching Business, individuals, groups, adults and teenagers. Good language schools will give you some sort of training which may last from a couple of hours to one or two weeks on average up to a month – (depending on the school’s professionalism and desperation to get new teachers). The training will allow you to get familiar with the courses and ¬†textbooks and teaching method. Employment will vary from total informality to following all the labor requirements in Brazil. There will be pros and cons in any situation but usually informal employment allows the school to pay the teacher better hourly rates.
These are the main standard language schools in S√£o Paulo:


This school is focused on conversation and the practical use of language. It’s one of the oldest language schools in Brazil with 500 schools around the country. My wife’s first serious contact with the language was in one of their schools and her experience was great.

Founded in 1961 sponsored by the US Government to develop language and educational programs between Brazil and the US. Responsible for the TOEFL and TOEIC certifications among others. This institution is really dear to my heart because it gave me my Translator and Interpreter Certificate.

The EducationUSA Fair, annually organized by Alumni with the participation of over 80 US universities.

It is among the oldest and most traditional schools in Brazil with 1,200 schools around the country. The courses are divided by ages, both face-to-face or online, including international certifications, business and university preparatory exams (vestibular). Y√°zigi focuses on both grammar and communication.

Cultura Inglesa

Very traditional and respected institution focused on British English through the British Council, considered by many as one of the best English courses around. Classes both online and on site, including international student exchange programs.
Founded in S√£o Paulo in 1987.
Founded by  Richard Fisk in 1950 using its own method
Wise Up
The school focuses on adults and especially those who need to learn English quickly.
Centro Brit√Ęnico
It is the official examination center of the Cambridge English Language Assessment
Senac SP

Preparatory for  TOEFL among other courses.

Check out this school based on conversation classes located near you at Centro Empresarial SP – they always need native teachers
There are many other language schools not listed above¬† that you can reach out to, but that’s a starting point.”
Good Luck and Happy teaching adventures,