Hello! My name is Sheena. I was 14 and just finished 2nd year in secondary school. I have always wanted to study in Japan and last summer I got the chance. Equinox Education Services organised everything from my host family to emergency numbers, the school and more. When I and two other girls arrived, we were collected at the airport, and although our luggage was lost the person who collected us helped buy all necessities. We met up with host families later that day and were given a full itinerary and a local orientation. In general the school days involved going to school with my host sister and joining in with her classes. I enjoyed the PE class the most as I was shown the different types of dance culture and even had classes for Keneo that was fun. I along with the other two girls got to join in in the school’s annual sports day, which was much different to the one’s in Ireland. The host family was great on one of the weekends we went to Kyoto and I got to see the rich Japanese culture. I also made friends with the host sister’s friends and we went shopping and did other fun stuff after school most days. All together, I stayed for two weeks in Japan and had a great time overall and got to learn, have fun and make friends. I would love the opportunity of studying abroad again and would like to thank everyone at Equinox for providing me for an wonderful experience that I will never forget.
Sheena, Kilkenny, Ireland
We contacted Equinox as I needed to learn German during my Summer holidays. As a 16 year old, I was a little bit nervous because I had never been on a language program or travelled on my own before. By the time I made up my mind that I would go, it was the end of July, so I was really impressed when they came back to me with a choice of locations for the end of August at such short notice. Everything was so well organised. There was someone waiting for me at the airport when I arrived and the family I stayed with was lovely. The language school was brilliant and in my spare time I got involved in activities that helped me practice my German. I was made feel very welcome and well looked for the whole trip and I was delighted that I went. I can’t thank Noel and Tomoko highly enough. It was a brilliant experience from start to finish.
Jack Moore, Ireland
Our school has always wanted to study in beautiful Ireland. I contacted Equinox and told them a little about our school and our plan. Equinox arranged a great program for our school in association with a local Irish school. We spent a wonderful 2 weeks in Athy College and stayed with local host families. It was an amazing program and we loved Ireland and the Irish people. Thank you Equinox. We look forward to returning again next year.
Sakae – Teacher from Japan
Equinox Education Services were excellent from start to finish.They found us a choice of summer camps in France last year which we were looking for for our sixteen year old daughter to attend to improve her French and have fun in a safe environment. They took a lot of care to help us decide on a course that suited her ability and interests and personality.It was her first time abroad travelling herself so we were anxious, but Equinox were very reassuring , their expertise and experience ensured all went smoothly. I would recommended Equinox for peace of mind when choosing a language course abroad for teenagers.
Madeline Byrne, Ireland
I had a great time in France. Equinox found the perfect school for me and was on hand to assist me with all aspects of my trip. Whilst my trip was only 3 weeks long, it was a wonderful experience an immersive way of learning French and staying with a local host family.
David – Ireland
I am 20 years old and currently studying business administration in Germany. As part of my studies I was given the opportunity to take an internship abroad. I selected Ireland for my internship country because from an early age I have always wanted to travel to Ireland where the scenery is so beautiful and natural. I spent three weeks working in Ireland and found the country so gorgeous and all people friendly and lovable. On weekends I visited various towns and cities and which were all unique and lovely. Ireland is so multifarious. There are beautiful Cliffs in places such as Howth Galway and the Cliffs of Moher, which contrast so much with modern cities like Dublin. Not forgetting the little Irish Pubs with live music and Guinness, which all made for an unforgettable experience. I enjoyed my time in Ireland and I’m definitely coming back!
Rica Schewnerko - Germany
When I left for Japan that morning, I was so nervous and excited to see what would happen the three weeks I was gone. I knew nobody and I was in a completely different country. Besides all of this, I had the best experience in my entire life. I got my own independence, made so many new friends and family and learned so many new things that I never ever would’ve learned if I never bothered to get on that flight and fly 13 hours to Tokyo. When I came back on the plane, I was a different person with a changed outlook on life. I didn’t want to leave my new friends and family behind and as soon as I was home I was organising my next trip. I learned everything from the people around me and made so many new interactions- the postman, old ladies on the train and even spent an hour talking to the air hostess for an entire hour! My Japanese improved every day and I wanted to talk to everyone! I ate a lot, experienced so much and laughed a lot. I had the best time of my life and I can’t wait to go back next time.
Anna Butler - Ireland
My experience in Ireland

Hello! My name is Masaki, I’m from Japan. I’m 16 years old. Here, I’ll write a little about my experience and school days in Ireland, and I hope it will help you.

I’m in Rockwell college for exchange in Transition Year. This year is 4th year in Ireland, and it called TY in Ireland, and this year is for think about your future and cultivate your personality. Rockwell is boarding school, also famous school for rugby. We don’t have many girls in the school because Rockwell was a boys school until fifteen years ago, when it became a mixed school. The school is quite big, we have good facility for sports such as lake, rugby pitch, swimming pool.

In my year, we sometimes go to school trip or day trip around Ireland. First, we went to Kerry in the beginning of the year, and we stayed over for three days. We did surfing, paint ball, went to cinema in that trip. Kerry was really nice place. Our second activity in TY was cycling in Green way for the day. It was quite a hard activity for me, but it was great time to have conversations with others to help improve my English. TY is quite easy year, but activities are fulfilling. At the end of year, we are going on a trip for Northern Ireland.

During the break times, I always stay with another host family at Midleton. I was in their house at Halloween, Christmas and Easter break. I found the main difference between Japan and Ireland is celebration, and I think the biggest one is about Christmas and new year day. In Ireland, Christmas is a bigger event than new year’s day. But in Japan, new year’s day is bigger than Christmas. In Ireland, I think people begin to celebrate about one week before Christmas. In Japan, we celebrate only eve and Christmas day. In Christmas day, we eat dinner with family, eat cake, and get presents. It’s quite a simple celebration, because Christianity isn’t that main religion in Japan. We also celebrate new year with our own way. Japanese traditional culture of new year is interesting, especially food that we eat on new year’s eve and new year. ‘Osechi’ is one of good example. It’s like big lunch box, and there are many kinds of side dishes inside. Each side dish has a different meaning, for example, ‘long life’, ‘marriage’. We eat them, and we wish that year will be good year for us.

I think this is one of merits of studying abroad in Ireland. You can find different cultures between your countries, and you can learn new things. You can find new way of thinking, and you can think about new choices. Studying in Ireland will make you change yourself, and it’s really good opportunity to make yourself different. I think I changed a lot after I came to Ireland. I met a lot of people in here, and they told me about their experiences of their life. I was shocked a lot, and impressed with their opinions, because all these thinking were absolutely new things for me. If I didn’t take this opportunity to come to Ireland to study, I wouldn’t know these precious opinions from foreigners. Their opinions were sometimes about school, about personality, jobs, or lifestyle. All of these became big help for me in thinking about my future, school life, everything. Ireland was great experience for me, and it will be great memory for me throughout whole my life. I hope you can also meet great people, see great places, and have great moments from your exchange experience. It wasn’t easy, but I can affirm that the experience of studying in Ireland will change yourself and your life forever.

Masaki Masuda, Tokyo, Japan

Masaki Masuda
My name is Itziar and I am 20 years old. I am from the Basque Country where I am currently studying administration and finance.

For the final year of study my school gave me the opportunity to travel Ireland to spend three months as an Intern with Equinox Education Services in Carlow.

Thanks to Equinox I have gained great work experience and got to enjoy living with a wonderful host family. I also got the opportunity to explore many beautiful places in Ireland and meet people from other parts of the world. My spoken and written English has improved steadily during my time here and I would have no hesitation in recommending Equinox to anyone wanting to learn English in this safe and beautiful country.

Itziar Elso Txapartegi, The Basque Country, Spain
Hi Paul and Tomoko,

I arrived home just a few days ago as I stayed on in Italy for an additional week after my time at the school had finished. Everything went great. I had a really wonderful time and a brilliant experience. I incorporated some touring into my itinerary both before and after my time in Montepulciano.

I was extremely happy with my experience at Il Sasso and learned a huge amount in a short period of time. The teachers at the school were really wonderful and I also met lots of interesting fellow students from around the world. The afternoon activities that were arranged really enhanced the overall experience of being in Tuscany.

The homestay accommodation that I had for my first week worked out fabulously and I’m really glad that I decided to do that. Lucia and her daughter, Fiammetta, were very welcoming hosts and the home-cooked meals that I received every evening were positively delicious (I was the envy of my classmates!).

I couldn’t imagine the whole adventure having worked out any better than it did, so I am really lucky. Although my attendance at the language school was only part of what I wanted to experience during my trip to Italy, it certainly was extremely enjoyable and worthwhile.

Many thanks for all your assistance in helping me to arrange this hugely memorable adventure!


Aoife Barry - Ireland