Gǒu nián jíxiáng (狗年吉祥)!

Marketing DepartmentCulture

a.k.a dumpling overload Some of you may know, some of you don’t, but the Year of the Dog is about to start. Curious about the meaning of it? So were we. Luckily, our students Lin and Tian Min helped me discover Chinese cultural heritage. Just keep reading. Tradition of the Chinese New Year has been here for more than (get … Read More

Valentine’s Day

Marketing DepartmentCulture

International views of Valentine’s Day We asked our beloved students, how is Valentine’s Day usually celebrated in their country and here’s what they had to say. Stephanos (45) from Greece: “The Valentine’s Day in Greece is nowadays a commercial holiday. I don’t think we do anything special, apart from other European countries. We give presents to our partners, especially chocolate, … Read More

12 things you didn’t know about pancakes.

Simon TurnerCulture

It’s Pancake Tuesday today and we are celebrating by… you guessed it…. eating lots of pancakes. On Pancake Tuesday 52 million eggs, 26.000 litres of Clark’s Maple Syrup, approx. 13 million kilos of plain flour and more than 232 million litres of milk. Greedy much? Before the rise of baking soda, cooks used to use the so-called “secret ingredient” – … Read More

7 keys to the secret doors to Irish literature tradition you must visit in Dublin

Marketing DepartmentAbout Dublin & Ireland, Culture, Exploring Dublin

Sweney's pharmacy

Dublin, one of the cultural capitals of Europe, is home of some of the most enduring writers of the English language. It can boast 4 nobel literature prizes (William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney), who only represent a tiny fraction of the great writers Ireland has produced. It is then worth to explore the literary … Read More

Gallery of Photography and Hot Press Cover exhibition

Marketing DepartmentCollege News, Culture

Gallery of Photography

One of the features that make Dublin one of the most interesting cities in Europe is its cultural vitality. If you are a culture buff, or even if you’re just a curious person, this city has an incredible lot to offer. You can enjoy some of the beautiful works of art humanity has realised or you can learn the science … Read More

Hugh Lane Gallery

Marketing DepartmentCulture, Exploring Dublin

Hugh Lane Entry

Other than music and sports, Ireland has also a strong visual art tradition. For this reason, one of the guided tours we offer to our students is to one of the most important art galleries in Dublin, as well as the first known public gallery of modern art in the world. Coincidentally, this gallery is located at a few minute … Read More

Visit at the whiskey museum

Marketing DepartmentAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture, Exploring Dublin

There aren’t many things that scream “Ireland” more than whiskey. Whiskey is, in fact, not only a delicious liquor, but is also strictly connected with Irish history. Just think that the word whiskey is so old that it comes from the old Irish language, gaelic, Uisce beatha, “the water of life”, which was then mispronounced into whiskey by the Vikings … Read More

Traditional Irish Music

Marketing DepartmentAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture

It is incredible how, despite its dimension, Ireland managed to preserve such a strong tradition and impose its culture on the rest of the world, considering it has a small population of 4 million people. One of the most recognisable features of Irish culture is surely its traditional music. Even to those who don’t know anything about Ireland, a beat … Read More

Six whys of the Irish culture

Marketing DepartmentAbout Dublin & Ireland, Culture, The Irish And...

Irish symbols

I find Irish culture to be extremely fascinating. Probably it’s because, being Ireland an insular Country, it managed to preserve many of its peculiarities, probably it’s just because I’m foreign and everything seems weird to me. Whatever the case, I often find myself, with a mixed feeling of curiosity and confusion, wondering “But why?”. I thought it would be interesting … Read More

Glendalough – The valley of the two lakes!

Marketing DepartmentBlog, Culture, Exploring Ireland

Glendalough – The valley of the two lakes! In Italian we have a saying: “A Pasquetta piove sempre “ (“It always rains on Easter Monday”).  This Murphy’s law-esque maxim refers to the fact that the traditional excursions and picnics Italians organise the day after Easter, the last day of Spring Holidays, is often ruined by the bad weather.  But still, … Read More

6 reasons choosing an Alpha host family is definitely the best option

Marketing DepartmentCollege News, Culture, Frequently Asked Questions, Host Families

The 6 reasons choosing an Alpha host family is definitely the best option Dublin really is an economically vibrant city and, as such, it attracts a great number of people from the rest of the world, both for studying and working. One of the most fascinating things about this city is, in fact, its cultural diversity and liveliness. Of course, … Read More

Event of the Week – Irish Food Market

Simon TurnerBlog, Culture, Exploring Dublin

What's-on

Something to do (eat) this Sunday. Mandy’s event of the week has something in common with Alpha College, it is the Green Door Market. Some people say Irish food is boring but this market will prove that Irish food is just as good as Italian, French, Spanish and even my favourite Mexican! It is also a great way to practise … Read More

If a woman asks a man to marry her today – he cannot refuse!

Stephen ShorttBlog, Culture

Once every four years, an extra day is added to the calendar at the end of February. The Irish version… In Ireland, if a woman asks a man to marry her on February 29th, he cannot refuse! According to the legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow this to tradition as sometimes it would take too long for … Read More

Google tour of the 1916 Rising

Stephen ShorttAbout Dublin & Ireland, Culture, Exploring Dublin, Exploring Ireland

This year (2016), Ireland will be celebrating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising which is a pivotal point in the history of Ireland and our move towards independence. There will be many events throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary, obviously with a particular focus on events around Easter time and the Spring. If you go to dublinrising.withgoogle.com you will be … Read More

The hour…

Stephen ShorttAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, College News, Culture, Idioms & Phrasal Verbs

So, the hour went forward last weekend. I use the phrase ‘Springs forward, Falls back’ to help me remember. Spring, as in the season it happens in and the forward motion a ‘spring in your step’ implies. Fall, for the way Americans say Autumn, and back, for its collocation with back. Right now I’m trying to get used to the new … Read More

What’s on this week…

Simon TurnerAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture, Upcoming Events

The Vintage Night Market. I love visiting markets in cities I visit.  Dublin’s choice of markets is getting better and better.  The last Thursday of every month (Thursday 26th February) from 18.00 – 22.30 there is a night market in the MARTcade in Rathmines.  You will find a variety of shops selling clothes, furniture, food etc… Definitely worth a look. … Read More

Anyone but Bono… (Part Three)

Simon TurnerAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture

Alternatives to U2… The is the third part of my series about Irish music.  I hope you enjoyed the previous blog posts on alternatives to U2.  So we have talked about modern legends, current superstars and now let’s go back for some greats from the past. Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy was formed in 1969 in Dublin.  The band was led … Read More

Stars on our street!

Stephen ShorttAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, College News, Culture, Exploring Dublin, Exploring Ireland, The Irish And...

Life is never dull here on North Great George’s Street! Again, it’s being used as a location for film crews to use for their scenes. We’ve heard it’s a film called ‘Love & Friendship’. Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale are two of the main actors. The story is from a Jane Austen novella. Jane Austen was a famous English writer … Read More