The number of overseas students selecting Ireland for study has been growing rapidly in recent years. There are many reasons for this including the cultural heritage, the English language, the good quality of life and the safe, secure and welcoming environment.
Modern Ireland, as part of the European Community, has developed rapidly over the last few decades. It has invested heavily in educational infrastructure and its excellent graduates, combined with its English language and links with the USA , has attracted a wide range of multi-national companies in the services, manufacturing and high-tech sectors. Indeed, Ireland is often referred to as “the Gateway to Europe and USA” for inward investment and industrial development.
The English spoken in Ireland is very standard and clear. It is interesting to note that many of the great writers in the English language were in fact Irish. Examples include Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney. This list includes four Nobel prizes in Literature.
Ireland is often referred to in a variety of poetic terms. These include:-
The Land of Saints and Scholars. This is an historical reference to the role Ireland played in the Dark Ages in Europe. The Irish monasteries fostered scholarship and Christianity and scholar monks travelled all over Europe (and even North America, it is claimed) to spread this learning.
The Emerald Isle This refers to the striking green colour of Ireland. The Island, from the air, looks like an emerald rising from the Atlantic Ocean. The reason for the greenness is the mild wet climate which promotes the growth of grass and trees.
The Celtic Tiger. This refers to the economic success of Ireland in recent years. This was achieved through political stability, wise industrial policy and investment in education. While the recession has taken its toll on Ireland, the infrastructure is in place for the next phase of development and people remain optimistic about the recovery of “the tiger”.
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