The students had to get up very early in the morning as the flight was already at 12:15 from Dublin airport. They left at 6am after they had waved good-bye to their lovely host families. All went smoothly at the airport and the plane took off in time. It was lovely to meet the BAFEP Bruck students and teachers! Looking forward to seeing you again! Best wishes from the H2:IRL team Michael, Mary, Lucy, Jackie, Gina and Lisa.
Friday was the final morning of work experience in Irish playschools and nurseries. It was very insightful and interesting to spend some time there, meeting the teachers and children and speaking English of course! In the afternoon the students headed to Kinsale for a “Historic Stroll” with our tour guide Barry. He informed them about Kinsale’s history with lots of vivid stories and tales about pirates, a “White Lady” and the “Giant of Kinsale”! Afterwards they all warmed up a little bit in a nice cafe with typical tea & scones. Very delicious. They then had some free time for a final hunt for some souvenirs. The next stop was at the cliffs of the “Old Head of Kinsale” with a beautiful view onto the coastline over to West Cork. The bus then continued to the sandy beach of Garrettstown where two students were brave enough to jump into the water! Well done!
Another morning of new impressions and experiences in Irish Kindergardens! The weather is a little bit rainy but this surely is normal for the Autumn time in October. The trees are now very colourful with orange and yellow leaves – truly beautiful. At around lunch time the students will be picked up again by our H2 bus. They will spend the afternoon in Cobh – a nice town right beside Cork’s harbour. They will visit the Titanic Experience. This museum is located in the original building of the White Star Line Ticket Office. The students will receive a “boarding card” with a name of one of the 123 passengers that boarded Titanic back in 1912. At the end of their “journey” the students will find out what happened to “their passenger” – whether he or she survived or not. The group will learn more about the faith of the passengers and will get background information, facts and figures of the tragic sinking of Titanic.
The students are starting their internship today. They have been placed in Irish nurseries and playschools in Carrigaline and Crosshaven. It is very interesting for them to gain insight into the Irish Kindergarden system, to apply their knowledge to the daily routines, to help the teachers with the babies, wobblers and toddlers and of course to practice their English skills. It is also very interesting to see the differences between Ireland and Austria!
In the afternoon they were all collected from the playschools and brought to Cork City where they met the tour guide. They went to St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and to the Cork University campus and finished the guided city tour by walking through the famous English Market. This market got recently visited by Queen Mary (in 2011) and her son Prince Charles (this year). Lots of fresh produce can be bought here, such as fish, meats, poultry, vegetables and other nice delicatessen. Later on the afternoon the students had some free to stroll around, to get some souvenir shopping done and to explore the city for themselves.
In the morning the students were brought to the H2 International Academy in Minane Bridge (15 minutes south of Carrigaline) for some English lessons with our native speakers Lucy and Jackie. They introduced them to the Irish culture and other aspects of Ireland. They talked about differences in the playschool/nursery system in Austria and Ireland and they extended the student’s range of kindergarden-related vocabulary in order to prepare them for their internships over the coming days.
In the afternoon they headed to the beautiful Blarney Castle. The weather was perfect for it with blue skies and sunshine. Some students went to the top of the old ford to kiss the famous Blarney stone. They walked along the beautiful castle grounds with its wonderful flora. They took a lovely group photo at the tuja tree (a giant tree with two big branches) and stopped at the fern garden (with ferns as high as palm trees). It was like a jungle – so lush and green! At the end of their walk they climbed up the wishing steps (they have to be climbed up backwards and with eyes closed in order to get a wish granted). We keep our fingers crossed that a wish will come true! The final stop was at Blarney Wollen Mills – “the world largest Irish gift store” to buy some souvenirs for their family and friends.
After some free time in the morning the group headed along the Wild Atlantic Way towards the famous Cliffs of Moher. They stopped at a viewing point right at the Atlantic Sea within the Burren National Park. The Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest of Ireland. It’s a karst landscape of bedrock, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. The students really loved the landscape and surroundings and some students were assuming that these were the Cliffs of Moher already. The teachers were happy to inform that it would get even more stunning once they would arrive to the actual Cliffs of Moher! It really is a beautiful spot there at the far western end of Europe
After breakfast the group went back into Dublin City centre to go for a guided tour along the famous sights and buildings of Dublin. They had some free time afterward to exlore the capital of Ireland on their own. In the afternoon they headed to Galway and enjoyed the buskers in Quay and High street and around Eyre Square. Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast has many souvenir shops and traditional pubs that offer live Irish folk music. Stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls. Many university students live here and they make the town very young and vibrant. The students enjoyed their evening out in Galway.
28 girls and their two teachers arrived to Dublin airport on time and were welcomed by our H2 bus driver. Before they headed to the hostel they stopped at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Dublin Swords to get some dinner. Most of the students were happy to hit the bed early as it was a long day of travelling.