frequently asked questions


Students can travel to the Coláiste on private coaches from Maynooth (for the greater Dublin region), Ennis, Athlone and Galway. There may be a bus from Kilkenny, Birr, Roscrea, Cavan or Monaghan depending on numbers. Coaches will return to place of departure on the day of return. Bus places can be purchased from the Coláiste and cost will depend on where the student is travelling from.


Students are housed in local houses with families whose first language is Gaeilge. Students who are staying in houses a mile or more from the Coláiste will be transported by bus to the Coláiste.

The number of students per house ranges from 9 to 15, depending on the size of the house. All houses are approved by the Department of the Gaeltacht and the Department determines the maximum number of students per room.  Houses undergo an annual engineering and fire safety inspection and all persons over 16 years of age resident in a house are Garda vetted. 

Students are accommodated only with other students of the same gender and of a similar age.


We appreciate that, for some students at least and especially for those who are away from home for the first time, it may be reassuring to have a friend staying with them in the same teach lóistín, subject to a maximum of three friends staying together in the same house. Where there are more than three friends attending the same course, for example four, an Coláiste will house two in one house and two in another. In this way we ensure that no student who  does not wish to be is accommodated on their own while also at the same ensuring that one large group of friends does not dominate a house to the detriment of the other students. 

The Coláiste reserves the right to make any adjustments to a student’s accommodation that it sees fit.


Mobile phones are not allowed for the duration of the course. Students are allowed to carry these when travelling on the day of arrival and on the day of departure. They are asked to hand up the mobile for safe keeping during the course. If a student uses a mobile phone during the course the phone will be confiscated. Any abuse of the mobile may result in the dismissal of a student from the course.

Students are permitted to send a text message home on each Thursday of the Cúrsa.


Visits are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays on each weekend during the course. No weekday visits are allowed.

Students in Carna can be collected from the Coláiste during the afternoon session on a Saturday and must be returned to the Coláiste by 8.30 pm. On Sunday they can be collected after 11.15 am at the Coláiste and must be returned by 8.30 pm. A roll call will take place before students are allowed home at night to ensure everyone has returned. If a student has not returned at this time parents will be contacted.

Students in Cill Chiaráin can be collected from the Coláiste during the afternoon session on a Saturday and must be returned to the Coláiste by 9.00 pm. On Sunday they can be collected between 11.30 am and 12.00 noon at the Coláiste and must be returned by 9.00 pm. A roll call will take place before students are allowed home at night to ensure everyone has returned. If a student has not returned by this time parents will be contacted.


During the course in the Coláiste students will be required to pay €7 to cover food / soft drinks for a Beach Party and €18 toward the cost of a day trip. Optional kayaking will be available to students at an additional cost which will be confirmed prior to the start of the course. €80 – €100 is enough pocket money for students. This money should be placed in the College bank and money can be taken out as required. The Coláiste cannot be held responsible for money taken from students’ lodgings if this happens. The safest place for money is Banc an Choláiste.


In most houses the Coláiste places a Cúntóir or a Cinnire. A cúntóir is generally a fourth or fifth year student who has been in the Coláiste before and has shown him/herself to have leadership skills and a good command of the language. A Cinnire is a third-level student who is either a past student of the Coláiste or is studying Gaeilge. This has proven to be of great value to the Coláiste. Yes these Cinnirí have a job to do to ensure that Gaeilge is being spoken by the students at all times. But they also can pick up on things for us – students who are fretting/homesick, students not eating, students not participating, problems in houses etc.


We provide all the specialized & safety equipment needed for the various activities. Bed linen/Sheets/Duvets are provided by the bean an tí.

  • Waterproof coat – essential.
  • There are many themed nights / ceilí’s, where students dress up – pajamas, jerseys, colours, fancy dress,black and white, etc.
  • Musical instruments – the care of musical instruments/equipment is the owner’s responsibility.
  • Swimwear and a beach towel.
  • Sun cream.
  • Towels.

Two-week and three-week courses

An Coláiste runs a number of two- and three-week courses during the summer. While all courses irrespective of duration are similar in format, the two-week courses cover only two-thirds of the content of the three-week courses. Furthermore, over the years the Coláiste staff have consistently observed that students make most progress during the final week of the three-week courses. Nevertheless, a two-week course may suit better those students who, due to other commitments or considerations of cost, are unable to commit to a three-week course.

While two-week and three-week courses are run at the same time, parents should note that students attending the two-week course may not be in the same centre as students attending the three-week course and may not therefore be accommodated together or attend the same classes or activities.

2 & 3 Week Courses

Age Groups

An Coláiste accepts students of all ages from 11 to 18 on all of its courses. No particular course, therefore, is more suited to one age group than any other. That being said, however, students are only accommodated and attend class with other students of a similar age.

Age Groups

Download our postal application form