Equinox Education Services and CIELS collaborate on International Student Programme.

Last week saw the culmination of a truly international study and cultural exchange programme in Carlow between a group of 37 students from a co-educational High School near Yokohama, Japan and student groups from Italy, Finland and Holland as well as local TY students from St.Leo’s and the St. Mary’s (CBS) and Erasmus students based at the Institute of Technology, Carlow. The programme was a first-time collaboration between two indigenous Carlow companies, Equinox Education Services and Carlow International English Language School (CIELS), who brought together their combined expertise to deliver fully-accredited English language classes and tailor-made cultural excursions. The programme was the brainchild of Equinox’s Managing Director Noel Doyle and represents over two years of work by Equinox between planning and delivering, which is not untypical with this type of project. 

The visiting Japanese group at the Institute of Technology, Carlow, together with International Students from the Institute’s Erasmus programme. Also pictured is teacher Claire Kavanagh from CIELS and Noel Doyle and Paul Dunne from Equinox.

Speaking about the collaboration Equinox’s International Development Manager Paul Dunne commented “Noel and I want to thank everyone who participated in the programme, especially the local schools, the Institute of Technology, Carlow and our tremendous network of host families who all ensured its success.  We were delighted that H.I.S. Travel, one of the largest travel operators and a major corporation in Japan choose County Carlow for this unique initiative”. He added “We believe that this demonstrates how Ireland, and more particularly the local region is fast becoming an emerging destination for overseas schools wishing to engage in educational and cultural programmes. We are delighted to continually promote Carlow as a destination for these programmes and look forward to working with CIELS on similar projects again in the future”.      

Carlow Mayor, Councillor William Patton and Carlow Tourism CEO Eileen O’Rourke greeting students, teachers and staff at CIEL’s premises.


As part of the intensive two-week programme the Japanese students got to sample various aspects of the Irish academic system with visits and classes at St.Leo’s, CIELS, the CBS and Institute of Technology, Carlow. They also had the benefit of an immersive Irish experience by staying with local Carlow host families. During their two-week stay, the group enjoyed various trips that included Dublin, Kilkenny, Glendalough and were honored to meet Carlow Mayor Councillor William Patton, who gave them a proper ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’.