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  1. What does the course fee cover? The course fee includes accommodation, supervision, meals, tuition, and daily activities. It also covers a ticket to Tóstal na bhFiann which takes place at the end of the summer. All children attending Coláiste na bhFiann may attend Cumann na bhFiann for a discounted fee.
  2. When should I apply for courses for next summer? Coláiste na bhFiann’s booking system works on a first come-first served basis. We strongly recommend from experience that each parent should book their son/daughter in as early as possible regardless of what friends may wish to do.
  3. Are Coláiste na bhFiann courses run in residential colleges or in houses with Bean an Tí in a Gaeltacht area? Coláiste na bhFiann offer courses in both a residential college setting and in houses in Gaeltacht areas with Bean an Tí. The breakdown is as follows: Residential College: Ionad Óige na hÉireann, Droim Rí, Co Meath Houses: Ráth Chairn, Co Meath, Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal, and Ros Muc, Co. Galway.
  4. How much do I pay for the deposit? The deposit is €300.
  5. What does the pre-course information session involve? Before attending a Coláiste na bhFiann course each child, accompanied by at least one parent, must attend an information session. It is necessary to attend this session for the full duration. This enables us to assess the child’s standard of Irish and give parents and children the opportunity to meet members of staff beforehand. A short presentation is given to provide insight into all aspects of Coláiste na bhFiann courses. All queries and requirements regarding each child’s personal dietary/medical health can be discussed with staff. A prerequisite of attending a Coláiste na bhFiann course is learning Amhrán na bhFiann (verse and chorus). 
  6. What if he/she does not succeed at the information session? Every child is given the opportunity to repeat an interview at the information session. The office will contact you to organise this.
  7. When must I pay the balance of the fee? The balance of fee is due after attendance at the interview.
  8. My child is on a waiting list for a course. Do I need to pay the balance of fees? Fees are not due for those on waiting lists as places are not guaranteed. If a child is on a waiting list the balance does not have to be paid until/if a place is confirmed on the course.
  9. Does Coláiste na bhFiann organise transport to the courses? Coláiste na bhFiann does not organise transport to or from the colleges.
  10. My child could have a number of football matches/sports events during the course that they will have to attend. Is this possible? Coláiste na bhFiann runs total immersion courses so it is important that your child is committed to attend the course in full. A request to leave the course, for any reason, must be made to the office.
  11. My daughter and her friends would like to be housed together. Can this be organised? It is policy not to house friends or family members together due to the total immersion nature of the course. Habits of a lifetime cannot be changed overnight in terms of language. By separating young people who are used to speaking English to each other there is less chance that they will speak English to each other. It can also be off-putting for children attending on their own to see groups of friends attending together. We strive to create an environment whereby all children get to know each other within the first 2-3 days thereby eliminating the risk of cliques. All the students spend time together as a larger group outside of the accommodation.
  12. What is the insurance cover in relation to personal items? We have made every effort to ensure that all aspects of our course and activities are properly covered by insurance. Coláiste na bhFiann cannot be responsible for the child’s personal property and it is not possible to obtain insurance cover for such items e.g., clothing, make-up/toiletries, jewellery, musical instruments, sports equipment, etc. On the advice of our Insurers, we are recommending that all valuables, which the child may bring with them on the course, be included under the ‘All Risks’ section of the home insurance. Musical instruments and sports equipment are the most common items in question. All children will be responsible for their own personal belongings, and we strongly advise that they do not lend them to other children. Unfortunately, we cannot assume responsibility for lost property.
  13. Would it be possible for my son to use his mobile phone in the evenings? There is a zero-tolerance policy with regards to the use of personal mobile phones, for a number of reasons. Contact with your child is facilitated through the college mobile phone should it be necessary. We strongly advise that your child do not bring a phone with them on the course as this could entail dismissal from the course.
  14. When can my child write home? All children send a letter home on the first Tuesday of the course and at regular intervals throughout. If you have not received it by Thursday please phone the course. Receiving letters is particularly important to your child and they love receiving post while away from home. We ask that all parents try to send letters or notes to their child while they are with us.
  15. When can I visit my child? Visiting is for 2 hours on a Sunday. This runs from 2.30 – 4.30. College activities continue during this time. To be fair to all children, we ask that parents adhere to these times.
  16. Who is the main point of contact while my child is on the course? The course manager or an Bainisteoir is the main point of contact while your child is on the course. You will receive their number on the first day. Alternatively contact the Head Office by phone or by email during office hours (9.30 – 5.00 Monday to Friday)
  17. Is there a closing ceremony on the course? Yes. All courses have a closing ceremony which showcases the work the children have achieved during the course. It is important that parents and family are in attendance.
  18. Does Coláiste na bhFiann provide opportunities to use Irish during the year? Yes. Coláiste na bhFiann strongly recommends that each child attend Cumann na bhFiann, a nationwide network of weekly youth clubs, which run between September and Easter during the year. This is the only way that your child will maintain the fluency they have attained on the courses.
  19. What is my child not allowed to bring on the course? 
    • English books
    • Dictionaries
    • Technical devices/smart watches
    • Mobile phone
    • Hair straightener
    • Aerosols
    • Digital camera (Disposable recommended)
    • Alcohol
    • Cigarettes
    • Vapes
    • Lighters
    • Drugs
    • All other items prohibited by law
  20. What should my child bring with them?
    • Rain gear     
    • One set of good clothes and sufficient clothes for the full course (Labelled in Irish)
    • Whatever musical instrument the child plays
    • Reusable water bottle     
    • Sportswear, swimwear, swim cap, runners and flip-flops    
    • Stamped addressed envelopes (home address in Irish)
    • Duvet or sleeping bag with pillow and sheets       
    • Sufficient towels and toiletries        
    • A bag for laundry

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