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

Sara FrauAbout 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

Sara FrauCollege 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

Sara FrauCulture, 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

Sara FrauAbout 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

Sara FrauAbout 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

Sara FrauAbout 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!

Sara FrauBlog, 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

Sara FrauCollege 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

Pancake Tuesday

Stephen ShorttAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, College News, Culture, Exploring Dublin, Exploring Ireland

Today is Pancake Tuesday in Alpha. Lent (40 days and 40 nights of fasting before Easter) begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Before we fast, we feast. Hence, Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes are delicious. In Ireland they’re less like the American style of pancake and more like the French style crépe. We mostly eat them rolled up with sweet toppings … Read More

Anyone but Bono… (Part Two)

Simon TurnerAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture

This is part two of my blog series about Irish bands and Irish singers.  The last blog post we looked at some of the modern legends of Irish music (other than U2).  This post we are looking at the newest superstars that are taking the world by storm.  Don’t forget there is a YouTube playlist that accompanies this series. Hozier … Read More

Anyone but Bono… (Part One)

Simon TurnerAbout Dublin & Ireland, Blog, Culture

Alternatives to U2… When the topic of Irish music comes up in class, I ask students to name some Irish singers or bands.  Nine out of ten students say U2.  Now, I really like U2 and unlike many Irish people, I even like Bono.  This is not what this blog is about.  There are so many other Irish singers and Irish … Read More