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Issue 13, December 2012. Copyright: Skills & Enterprise Development Academy SEDA INTERNSHIPS SEDA’s internship programme is in full swing as six students get work in Irish companies. You can take part too!

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TEACHER ROSA At the age of 25 she got a Master’s degree and wants to study for a PhD, but teacher Maria Rosa has a fun side too

SEDA students and teachers wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! More photos on pages 10 & 11.

SEDA is moving to a beautiful new home SEDA will start the New Year in a new building, which is more than double the size of the current one!

In January 2013 SEDA will move to a large new building located on Capel Street, in the heart of Dublin’s Northside. Measuring 14 000 square feet, the school’s new home is more than twice the size of the current premises. The new SEDA will have a large library and a spacious student area with comfortable sofas, 50-inch TV screens and computers lining the walls, video games and other types of entertainment. And it is also planned that the school will have its own canteen! The new location is just a 5-min-

ute walk away from the Spire. Also in the immediate vicinity is Cineworld – Dublin’s biggest multiplex cinema, Henry Street shopping area and the Luas tram line as well as a huge selection of restaurants and pubs. The building was previously home to the engineering faculty of Dublin Institute of Technology, one of Ireland’s highest ranking colleges. The new premises will have from 12 to 20 classrooms, with two of them specially fitted out for degree courses which SEDA plans to introduce in the future. All the classrooms have

large double glazed windows facing the street and plenty of natural light. There will be an elevator in the reception so from next year SEDA will have disabled access. It is envisaged that up to 800 students will be able to attend classes in the school’s new premises every day. SEDA management said it hoped that the first class of 2013 – due on Jan-

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YOUR STORY Fabiana Hernandez, who came to Dublin from Venezuela, talks about her love of flamenco and the arts.

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uary 7 – would take place in the new building, but the process of moving premises could take one or two weeks longer. What’s certain however is that from January 2013 life in SEDA is set to become much more exciting!

Ever ything you need to know about Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Ireland as well as fun events in Dublin

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A word from the editor This month SEDA News is getting ready for Christmas and we are also celebrating the fact that SEDA is moving to a beautiful new building on Capel Street. There are some unique traditions connected to Christmas in Ireland and these are all explained for you on page 8. Christmas is the biggest holiday here and on December 25 the whole country takes a day off. But every year there are foreigners who think they can go out on Christmas Day or travel by public transport to see their friends, and end up having a big disappointment as the whole country shuts down completely. We want you to avoid this situation so we’ve collected all the main facts about Christmas (including Christmas sales!) in Ireland on page 7 – read on! This year Dublin made it into Lonely Planet’s Top 5 cities in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The Irish capital is preparing a large festival on December 31 - we’ve got all the details as well as information about other fun stuff to do this time of year. As usual SEDA News has got stories of our students from various parts of the world. This month we interviewed Wonhee Lee from South Korea whose “long holiday” in Dublin is about to end. We also chat to Fabiana Hernandez from Venezuela who tells us of her love for flamenco and the arts. SEDA News is not big on competitions this month, but you can try and find the right answers to our Christmas quiz on page 12 – it won’t be that easy! Congratulations to Veronica Bellido for winning the quiz competition last month and well done to Mayerling Marquez who won 2 free tickets for a trip to the Cliffs of Moher. As usual, have a pleasant read and you can always contact us on:


Ireland is “the best option” for Venezuelan students

SEDA marketing staff at Venezuelan student fair

SEDA marketing staff took part in the BMI Europosgrados student fair in Venezuela last month. Some 3500 young Venezuelans attended the event, which took place in the capital Caracas. SEDA was the only academic institution from Ireland taking part. School staff held a special seminar about education in Ireland. They also met the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Venezuela, representatives of the bank Mercantil and CADIVI, the government body responsible for currency exchange which all Venezuelan students have to go through if they wish to study abroad. “It was great to be able to promote Ireland,” said SEDA’s market-

ing executive Tiago Mascarenhas. “Venezuelans are good students and we expect good results from this fair”. Schools from France, Spain, England, Germany and the Netherlands also took part in the event. Tiago Mascarenhas said: “It’s quite difficult for Venezuelans to travel abroad because they have to get approval from their government to buy foreign currency. From this point of view Ireland is a very attractive option because Venezuelans don’t need a visa to come here and the prices in this country are much more affordable. If you compare Ireland with Canada, Australia, USA or England we are really the best option for them”.

New body to oversee Ireland sends education quality of education mission to India in Ireland A new organisation formed last month will look after qualifications and quality assurance in Ireland’s education sector. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) was created by a merger of four bodies: the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) and the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). The new authority will assume all the functions of these four organisations and will also get new responsibilities. One of QQI’s tasks will be to develop and introduce the International Education Mark (IEM).

IEM will only be granted to schools that provide quality education to European and international students. QQI has also taken over from NQAI as the body responsible for the administration of the Internationalisation Register – a list of education and training programmes approved for non-EU students. QQI is also charged with developing a new register of education providers, programmes and awards, which will include a list of education establishments holding the IEM. It is expected that in time the new register will replace the current list of ACELS-recognised English language schools.

Ireland is seeking to increase its share of 200,000 Indian students who study abroad each year. Minister for training and skills Ciarán Cannon led the country’s largest ever education mission to India last month. He visited New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai seeking to highlight Ireland as a centre for international study. Over 60 leading academics from 16 higher education institutions took part in the mission to promote Ireland as a hub for global education and global business. The Minister highlighted the economic benefits of international students for the country: “In addition to being future ambassadors for Ireland, international students also help to generate jobs. It is es-

timated that every 100 additional international students who come to Ireland support the creation of 15 local jobs, through spending on tuition, accommodation and other living expenses.” There are currently almost 1,000 Indian students studying in Ireland, mainly in post-graduate degree courses in Engineering, Pharma, Business, Accounting, Computer Sciences and Hospitality Management.

SEDA News, copyright: Skills & Enterprise Development Academy (SEDA). EDITOR AND LAYOUT: Viktor Posudnevsky. FINAL REVIEW: Carol Cregg. CIRCULATION: 1000 copies. ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL:


SEDA internships are in full swing as 6 students get work in Irish companies SEDA internship programme, which was launched last month, is operating successfully, with 6 students already placed in Irish companies. Last month SEDA began an internship programme which allows students to get work experience in Irish companies within various sectors of the economy – from information technology to the hotel industry. Some 11 students have signed up to take part in the programme so far, with the majority of them already working. Up to now six students have been placed with Irish IT, logistics, distribution and catering companies. One of the successful candidates is Andre Gonzaga, an IT expert from Brazil, who is now working in a Dublin-based company called E-Celtic. Andre studies in SEDA in the afternoons and comes to work every morning. His job in E-Celtic is to help set up a Linux server. “I like working here very much because I am doing something in my

area and learning English at the same time,” the student told SEDA News. “The job is easy because I did the same thing at home. But the work culture here is different and SEDA student Andre Gonzaga and E-Celtic director Brian Martin in the it is good to get company’s offices in Dublin to know it. I also learned some cation development. Its director Brian but we were very impressed with them new techniques which I have never Martin said E-Celtic regularly takes on and offered them full time positions”. used before. It’s been a great experi- interns: Speaking of SEDA student Andre ence and I’m very grateful for the op“We’re a rapidly growing company Gonzaga, Martin said: “Andre’s got portunity that SEDA gave me!” so we always need people to come on great expertise and so he can do things E-Celtic employs about 10 people board. Internship is good because it quite quickly. He’s been a really good in its Dublin office. It also has a de- gives people a training period and help to us since he joined. So far he’s velopment centre in India and a sales then they can get a full-time role with doing really well and we’ve got more operation in London. The company’s the company. We’ve had a couple of projects for him. He’s a great guy!” main business is in search engine opti- people like that just recently. They He added that since joining Emisation, digital marketing and appli- started out as interns for a few months, Celtic Andre’s English improved as he got more confidence: “I think it’s the main thing about learning any language: you need to be confident to speak it. Andre is working in a real enover 18 years of age and your course If you would like to take part in vironment and none of us here speak has to be for at least 6 months. Most the programme send your CV and a Portuguese, so he has no choice but to positions are only for students with in- cover letter indicating the area where speak English”. termediate or higher level of English, you would like to work to internOther students have also been but there are some opportunities for SEDA’s Internship proquite happy with SEDA’s new probeginners too. Students will also need gramme coordinator will then get in gramme. For example, an intern, who private medical insurance (at least for touch with you and introduce you to recently got a placement in the Dubthe duration of the internship). the positions that are currently on oflin office of Kuehne + Nagel, a global fer. After you choose the roles that inlogistics company, said it was “like a The work placements are either terest you we will arrange interviews dream come true”. part-time or full-time. Part-time in- with the respective companies. If the ternships can be done in the student’s interview is successful then you can free time (for example, if you study start your internship. in the morning you can work in the If you want to get an internafternoons) or during holidays. FullTo apply for the programme ship through SEDA send your time internships are only available just send your CV to: during holidays. CV to:

How does the programme work?

SEDA’s internship programme allows SEDA students to learn English and gain work experience in an Irish company at the same time. The work placements are unpaid and generally last for 4-6 weeks (though they can be longer if the student wishes and the employer is OK with that). The students can choose companies where they want to work from a list of Irish businesses. Currently there are opportunities in IT, business administration, marketing, advertising, customer service, catering, tourism, architecture and others. In order to take part in SEDA internship programme you need to be!

Students fight GNIB registration fee hike

The cost of registering with Ireland’s immigration service doubled last month from €150 to €300. Ireland’s naturalisation and immigration service (INIS) announced the price hike just five days before it took effect. The decision to increase the price payable for a new GNIB card was taken without consultation with immigrant and international student organisations. A number of bodies have spoken

out against the doubling of fees. For example, the Immigrant Council of Ireland called the price hike “an attack on low income migrant families” and pointed out that immigration registration fee in Ireland was now one of the highest in Europe. Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland and the Irish Council for International Students have both launched public campaigns against the hike. They call

on everyone who is unhappy about the fee increase to send a letter of complaint to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. You can join the campaign online on: take-action/3876/


Public transport fees rise again Prices for bus and train tickets increased by up to 18% from December 1 – this is already the second price hike this year. The cheapest Dublin Bus ticket now costs €1.65 instead of €1.40 (up 17.9%). A short trip on the DART has increased to €1.65 and LUAS fares rose by 10 cent. Prices increased across the board – both for those who pay for their tickets by cash and for Leap Card users. However, Leap Cards still provide significant discounts. The National Transport Authority has said it had no option but to raise fares because of a shortage of funds. The last price hike was in September this year, and prices also rose in 2009 and 2011.

Ireland is getting warmer and wetter Ireland’s climate has got wetter and warmer, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency. The Agency has found that global warming is affecting the country along with the rest of northern Europe as average temperatures continue to rise. For example, the last decade (2002–2011) was the warmest on record, with land temperature 1.3° C warmer than the pre-industrial average. The report also states that Ireland is experiencing higher amounts of rainfall. Authors of the report predict that Ireland could be 2.5–4° C warmer in the later part of the 21st century, compared to the 1961–1990 average. An increase in storms along the west and east coasts of Ireland – but not the south – is also predicted. But it’s not all bad news as rising sea temperatures off the coast Ireland may lead to an influx of new fish species.

More than 60% of population overweight More than 60% of the Irish population is now overweight or obese, a report by Safefood into The Cost of Overweight and Obesity has found. And Irish people’s weight problems are a significant burden on the country’s finances. The direct healthcare costs of treating obesity-related conditions is €399 million. However, the indirect costs amount to €729 million a year – this is mainly related to absenteeism from work and premature death, the report found. For example, weight problems contribute hugely to time missed at work because of lower back pain. Meanwhile, another report, Growing Up in Ireland, found that almost a quarter of Irish 13-years-olds are overweight or obese.

4 Dublin in Top 5 for New Year’s Eve

Dublin has been named one of the top five places in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The city was singled out by travel guide Lonely Planet as preparations get under way for a special New Year’s Eve festival to launch The Gathering – a yearlong celebration of all things Irish. Dublin is ranked alongside Prague in the Czech Republic, the New South Wales coast of Australia, Chiang Mai in Thailand and the French Alps. The Irish capital was singled out for its planned fireworks display and torchlit procession of floats, firebreathers, stiltwalkers and, in particular, for this year’s extended festival. Thousands of expats are expected to visit Ireland throughout next year.

Ryanair brings in new credit card fee

Ryanair has introduced a new 2% credit card fee on bookings. The airline said it would impose the new charge as well as its €6 administration fee, Irish Independent reports. However, the administration fee will be scrapped in two months’ time. Ryanair said it was making these changes under pressure from the Office of Fair Trading in the UK, which is making it illegal to add surprise debit card charges at the end of the booking process. The airline said that the €6 administration fee would continue in place until February 1, after which it would be scrapped and the €6 would be absorbed into higher flight fares. However, the 2pc credit card charge will be a permanent fixture, and the only way to avoid it will be to pay by debit card, including but not limited to the Ryanair Cash Passport.


SEDA students travel to the Cliffs of Moher, but fog blocks the view

Students before the start of the trip. Photos by Juliana Trocoli

More than 60 SEDA students went on a school trip to the Cliffs of Moher last month. The trip, organized by a local tour operator Xtreme Ireland, also included Limerick City, the village of Doolin, Galway Bay and the Burren. Unfortunately, when the tour bus reached the main attraction a thick cloud of fog descended on the coast and completely blocked the world-famous Cliffs from view. But the weather got better by the time the group reached the Moon-like landscapes of the

Burren, and students had much fun exploring the stony plains. SEDA tours may continue next year – check out January edition of SEDA News to find out! Well done to Mayerling Marquez who won 2 tickets for the trip!

Ireland may allow abortion in limited circumstances

85% of Irish people would support laws allowing abortion when the mother’s life is at risk, according to a poll conducted by the Sunday Business Post newspaper. Currently abortion is illegal in Ireland, but there has been a clamour for reform after the death of a pregnant woman in a hospital in Galway. Savita Halappanavar, who came to Ireland from India, died of blood poisoning after suffering a miscarriage. Her husband, Praveen Halappa-

navar, has said that the woman asked the doctors repeatedly for an abortion, but they refused, saying that Ireland was “a catholic country”. Mr Halappanavar is confident that if the doctors terminated his wife’s pregnancy she would still be alive. Following the woman’s death thousands of people protested against Ireland’s abortion laws in Dublin, Cork, Galway and London. The pro-choice protesters are asking for abortion to

be allowed, at least in cases where pregnancy poses a risk to the pregnant woman’s life or health. However, the pro-life movement is asking the government to keep the ban on abortion. The government has said that it is committed to reforming abortion laws and will introduce clear guidelines on this issue by the end of the year. However, the reform would not mean that there will be “abortion on demand” in Ireland.

Although abortion is illegal in Ireland Irish women are free to terminate their pregnancies in another country. Last year more than 4000 Irish women travelled for abortion to England or Wales.

Minister wants referendum on same-sex marriage I r e l a n d ’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said he would like to see a referendum on the issue of

same-sex marriage “as soon as possible”. Mr Gilmore said his own view was the “time has come” for marriage of samesex couples. “I don’t believe we should postpone what is a human right,” he told RTE radio. The politician, who is also Ireland’s current Tánaiste (deputy prime minister), added that same-sex

marriage will be one of the first issues examined by the constitutional convention, which convened this month for the first time. Advocacy group Marriage Equality welcomed the call by Mr Gilmore for a referendum. “Now is the time for marriage equality, and we want Ireland to lead this movement for

equality along with countries like Spain and Portugal, and not fall behind,” said a spokesperson. Since 2011 same-sex couples in Ireland can register a civil partnership – this status gives the partners rights and responsibilities similar, but not equal to civil marriage.


Pole fitness and heavy metal: discover teacher Rosa’s fun side


Dancing and heavy metal – these are just some of the things that SEDA teacher MARIA ROSA DA SILVA COSTA gets up to in her free time. But as she tells SEDA News, Rosa has no ambitions of becoming a professional dancer: in fact, she recently got a Masters degree in teaching English and now wants to do a PhD course. And she’s only 25! Tell me about yourself and how you started working in SEDA? I am originally from Teresina in Brazil. I decided to come to Ireland after graduating from college in 2008. A year after I arrived here I came to SEDA looking for a business course and I mentioned that I was an English teacher. Back then the school had just opened and they needed teachers. So I was asked to join the school and I’ve been here ever since – three years altogether! What did you study before coming to Dublin? I have a degree in English language and literature. After finishing this course I decided to come over to Ireland for a new experience. I felt that I needed to live in an English speaking country to see how the language actually works and what the culture is like. So I came over to Ireland and got a job in my area which is lovely. At the moment you speak with a very Irish accent. Are people surprised when you tell them that you’re not from Ireland? Yes, a lot of them are. I suppose when you work with a lot of Irish people you can’t really avoid getting the accent. That was the case

with me: I spent most of my time speaking English with the Irish and that’s where my accent comes from. Are you studying here as well? Before I came over I always had the idea of doing a Masters course, but when I arrived I realised there was no scholarships or anything like that between Ireland and Brazil. To do a Masters was quite expensive, so I decided to work hard and save money for it and then finally last year I applied for a course in UCD. I was offered a place and I graduated a few months ago. So now I got a Masters degree in TESOL – teaching English to speakers of other languages. What was studying here like for you? Were you the only nonIrish person in your class? I was. There were only four of us and I was the only non-native speaker. The others were Irish and they were also a bit older than me. Studying in UCD was a great experience and I really enjoyed it! It was quite hard, but it’s done now! I remember when we started the course people were asking me: why are you doing this? And I said, first of all, I really like my job. I know that this is what I really want

to do in life: I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. And I also want to be qualified and really be the best I can be in my area. Doing that course was great for me because you learn so much about the culture of a country when you’re studying in a national university like UCD. And it’s also the best university in Ireland for the kind of course that I did. What are your plans now? I don’t really know. To be honest, I need a break right now because it’s been a very tough year as I was working full time in SEDA and doing my course at the same time. So at the end of the year I am going to Brazil to spend a couple of weeks with my family. But hopefully next year I will continue my studies. I’ve had some contact with the University of Limerick and they’re coming up with a new programme which is a PhD in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). If that goes ahead I might do a PhD with them. If not I may have a look at a PhD course in Applied Linguistics which is available from Trinity College. Getting more qualifications – that’s my target right now! Are you going to stay in Ireland? Everything’s going well so far for me in Ireland so yes, I intend to be here for a while. But I don’t really know. I’d say I will do a PhD and then see where to go from there. If I go back to Brazil I can get a fairly good job there. I would probably teach in a college and that would fulfil me. But if I stay in Ireland I will be getting loads of experience and obviously it’s a good extra on my CV.

Teacher Rosa and her class in SEDA

What do you like to do in your free time? I like meeting up with my friends, and obviously as you are in Ireland you can’t really avoid going to the pub for a few drinks. I also love going to the cinema or for a walk on the beach or in the mountains. Is it true that one of your hobbies is pole fitness? Yeah, it is! I have a friend who works in SEDA and she did pole dancing before so she encouraged me to join her class. We did a 6-week course and I thought it was very interesting and really liked it! I don’t go the gym or exercise much so it was a great way for me to get fit. But then I had to stop training because I had so much to do with my course. I went back to pole dancing some months ago and am still doing it. It’s really good! You have to be very strong and forget about being sexy or anything like that. You’re just killing yourself for an hour there, that’s what it is! But it’s good fun. I didn’t think that it would be that hard. When you see the teacher doing the moves it seems easy, but when you get up there you realise it’s a lot more than that. It’s very similar to gymnastics. I do it mostly for fitness and it does make you really really fit. Would you see yourself performing in a competition? Oh god, no! I have no intention of becoming a professional dancer, I’m OK with just being an English teacher, thank you!

Do you practice at home? No, not yet. But I wouldn’t mind to. It’s my dream to have a home with a pole and a walk-in wardrobe, like music stars you see on TV. Hopefully I’ll get there eventually! What sort of music are you into? I’m quite an eclectic person, I like most types of music. But I listen to a lot of heavy metal, all sorts of metal. I like many bands, but some of my favourites are Iron Maiden, Haggard and Metallica. Next year I’m going to Wacken, a big heavy metal music festival in Germany. Yeah! What kind of food do you like? To be fair when I arrived in Ireland I couldn’t really cook because it was the first time I had ever lived on my own. The way I cook nowadays – it’s a mixture of Brazilian and Irish cuisine. I like Irish food, but I do miss Brazilian food a lot and definitely need to go home every now and then to eat it! What places would you recommend students to visit in Dublin and around Ireland? I would say go to the countryside, but not for a day trip. Go to Galway or Cork and stay there for a few days to get to know the people and the culture. Talk to locals, try traditional food – you’ll have lots of fun and improve your English at the same time!



Wonhee is “not ready” to end her long Irish holiday, but there’s work to do in Korea SEDA student WONHEE LEE from South Korea spent nearly two years in Ireland – a time that she describes as her “long holiday”. But in January she will finish her course and go back to Korea where plenty of work is waiting for her.

Wonhee (pronounced Wonie) Lee says she chose Dublin because it was a good place to learn English and also a convenient location to travel all around Europe. As it turns out, Ireland is quite famous in South Korea. “Koreans know quite a lot about Ireland,” she told SEDA News. “It’s not really a popular tourist destination yet, but it’s getting popular”. In her home town, Seoul, Won-

hee works as an events planner, organising festivals, conferences and various international meetings. But she took a break from her busy job when she got the plane to Dublin. Now the South Korean student spends her days relaxing, travelling and socialising with friends. “In Dublin I’m not working, just relaxing and being lazy,” Wonhee said. “Sometimes I would go to pubs and have a drink with my

friends who are from all over the world – Irish, Japanese, Thai, Polish, German... It’s kind of like a long holiday for me. But it’s already my second year in Ireland and I’m going back to Korea next January. So I have to prepare to start work again, but I feel that I’m not ready yet!” Thanks to cheap flights from Dublin Wonhee was able to travel all over Europe while she was liv-

Arts lover Fabiana finds a world of culture in Dublin

ing in Ireland. The student has been to Germany, England, Turkey, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and other countries. But, she says, it is Ireland that will stay in her heart forever. “I like everything here especially the Irish people – they are so funny, very helpful and friendly. Except crazy teenagers everything’s nice here!”

SEDA students come in all shapes and sizes and their age varies from 18 to 68! Previously we interviewed 68-year-old Luis Salazar about his experience in Ireland, but this month we spoke to FABIANA HERNANDEZ from Venezuela, who came to study in SEDA and is still in her teens. It is Fabiana’s first time living away from home and she misses her family. But the Venezuelan girl is happy in Dublin as it is an arts paradise compared to her small home town. Fabiana Hernandez grew up in a small town in Venezuela where everybody knows each other and has always wanted to get out. She says she loves her people and their traditions, but even more than that she loves the arts and that is clearly something that her home town lacks. The SEDA student is an avid painter and actor and she is also a great dancer: at the age of just 16 Fabiana was ranked number 6 flamenco performer in the whole of Venezuela. “I have danced flamenco for about 11 years starting at the age of 5, and I was also a flamenco teacher,” she said. “In Venezuela I went to school from 7

am till 1 pm, then I taught flamenco from 2 to 5 pm, and after that I went to the gym – it’s very important to have strong muscles. And then after 8 pm I would go to my class, which is very advanced, to learn from the best teachers. Sometimes I would finish only at 1 am... I had to be very organised because there was never time for anything! Every day was like this. At weekends my friends would call me to parties or to the cinema, but I couldn’t go because I had flamenco shows and so much to do!” She was well on course to becoming a professional dancer, but Fabiana’s dream was shattered a year ago: while

Fabiana Hernandez and her flamenco class in Venezuela

Fabiana adds that her English has improved a lot in SEDA and credits her teachers especially Graham whom she calls “supergood”.

The talented student also performs as a mime executing a complicated dance move at an audition she fell and seriously hurt her leg. Her injury means she cannot perform on stage anymore and can only dance for fun...

It was hard for the Venezuelan girl, who is just 17, to come to live in a new country, but she is adapting. Fabiana says she has grown very attached to her Irish host family who live in Ballyfermot. Still, her father is irreplaceable.

“Me and my daddy are very close – Despite the setback Fabiana is still my daddy is my hero and I love him!” full of love for the arts. In her free time she said. “I miss him very much and she paints – mostly surrealist paint- call him every day. He is coming to Ireings reminiscent of her favourite art- land in March next year when he will ist Salvador Dali. The Venezuelan have a holiday. And I think my sister student says she is very happy to be in may be coming with him as well”. Europe, close to all the famous museums and art galleries. “I love my country: it’s beautiful and the people are happy and open, but maybe it’s not the right place for me because I like arts and the people in Venezuela don’t appreciate arts so much”, she said. “I’ve always thought Ireland is a very interesting country and I really like “My daddy is my hero!” it here!”

Fabiana outside SEDA In her free time Fabiana likes to take long walks in Phoenix Park, chat with her Venezuelan friends and go shopping. And though she’s only 17 she has already sampled Dublin’s famous nightlife. “When you go to the pubs the trick is to come early when they are still empty. Then security let you in without ID,” Fabiana says. But her Irish host family always make sure she gets back home early, she adds.

Some of Fabiana’s art


Help! I need a doctor It is fairly easy to get sick in an Irish winter and plenty of people do every year. So what do you do if you fall ill? And how much can seeing a doctor or going to the hospital cost? Read on – SEDA News has got all the answers.

I’m not feeling well – what do I do? If you feel unwell your first port of call is the local GP or General Practitioner. A GP is a doctor who provides health services to people in his or her surgery or in the patient’s home. If you do not have a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card you will have to pay for the service. There are no set fees in Ireland for GP services so if you wish to check costs, contact the surgery directly. But

GPs near SEDA Coombe Health Care Centre Dept Of General Practice Ucd, Dolphins Barn, Dublin 8 Tel.: +353 1 4730893

Rialto Medical Centre 478 South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin 8 Tel: +353 1 4532147 Inchicore Family Doctors Primary Care Centre, St Michael’s Estate, Dublin 8 Dr Emer Loughrey & Associates 15 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8 Tel: +353 1 4734030 To find doctors near you log on to

most GPs charge about €50-€60 per visit. However, with some private medical insurance policies, you may see a GP for free so check the terms and conditions on your policy. A GP can examine you and give a medical diagnosis based on your symptoms. He or she can also give you a prescription for a medicine that you need. If your condition is serious or you need further medical attention a GP can refer you to a specialist doctor (a consultant) who works in a hospital. If you are feeling only slightly unwell you can try and get help in a pharmacy. A pharmacist can advise you what medicine to use. He/she can also sell it to you if that medicine is available without prescription. Simple medicines like anti-cough tablets or nasal spray are sold without prescription. But in order to buy more serious drugs you will have to get a prescription from a GP.

What if I have an accident or become seriously ill? Anybody in Ireland with a medical emergency has the right to attend the Emergency Department in a hospital. A patient visiting the Emergency Department will either be treated and sent home or will be admitted to a hospital ward as an in-patient. It’s important to note that different hospitals in Ireland treat different sicknesses and emergencies, for example, maternity hospitals only treat maternity related emergencies while general hospitals will treat

In general, on the evening of Christmas Eve (December 24) and on Christmas Day (December 25) the whole country takes a day OFF, which means that nearly everything is closed. That includes pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, public offices and most shops (but not churches!). Most of these places only stay open until about 5 pm on Christmas Eve and then reopen on December 26. So make sure you stock up on food and other necessities because otherwise you’ll be stuck with nowhere to go! Also bear in mind that in Ireland it is illegal to sell alcohol on Christmas Day so even if you find a shop that is open you won’t be able to buy any drink.

What about public transport?

The same goes for public transport. After about 9 pm on Christmas

Eve there are no services until December 26. Most taxis also take a day off so if you need to get somewhere on Christmas Day make sure to arrange your own transport (or try hitchhiking!)

Where do I find Christmas sales? Christmas sales with offers of up to 70 and 80 per cent off usually kick start on the morning of December 26 in big stores like Brown Thomas, Marks&Spencer, Next, River Island, PC World and so on. The shops usually announce sales a few days before Christmas. The sales go on until start of January or even further, but by the end of December 26 most of the best bargains will have been snapped up. Some people start queuing late on Christmas Day and spend all night in front of the shop to get the stuff cheap!


saving tips Some handy advice to help you drive down those electricity bills

most emergencies.

What is the difference between “out-patient” and “inpatient”? Out-patient services include Emergency Department services and planned services, for example, specialist assessment by a consultant or diagnostic assessments such as x-rays, laboratory tests and physiotherapy. If you are referred to out-patient services by a GP then you do not have to pay to use them. If you stay in a public ward in a hospital under the care of a consultant for treatment and you remain overnight, then you are receiving in-patient services. If you do not remain overnight you are receiving day services.

How much do hospital services cost? There are different fees for out-patient and in-patient services.


If you go to the out-patients or Emergency Department of a public hospital without being referred there by your GP, you may be charged €100. This

charge does not apply to people receiving treatment for prescribed infectious diseases, people who are entitled to hospital services because of EU Regulations, women receiving maternity services and some other groups. In cases of excessive hardship, the hospital may provide the service free of charge. If you have to return for further visits in relation to the same illness or accident, you do not have to pay the charge again.

In-Patient/Day Service

The charge for in-patient/day services is €75 per day up to a maximum of €750 in a year. The charge does not apply to people receiving treatment for prescribed infectious diseases, people who are entitled to hospital services because of EU Regulations, women receiving maternity services and some other groups. In cases of excessive hardship, the hospital may provide the service free of charge.

For more information log on to: or

Surviving Irish Christmas

Can I go out on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?


Can I light fireworks on New Year’s Eve?

In many countries it’s hard to imagine a New Year’s Eve celebration without people lighting fireworks, but in Ireland all fireworks are illegal (except those used by professionals). So if a Garda officer sees you with a firework (or even suspects you have one)

• Use the timer on your immersion heater. This should supply you with enough hot water when you need it and save energy when you don’t. • Take a shower rather than a bath. A typical shower uses only one fifth of the energy of a full bath. • Configure your computer to “energy saving” mode. Remember: turning your computer off at night instead of leaving it on will save on average 25% of its annual energy bill. So turn off your computer whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour. • Don’t let frost build up in the freezer as this increases energy consumption. Remember to defrost and clean the inside of your refrigerator and freezer at least every 6 months. • Check that the refrigerator door closes tight. To do this insert a 5 euro note in your fridge halfway through and close the fridge – the door should hold it in place. If it doesn’t you may have to change the door seal or get a new fridge... • When cooking put lids on pots and turn down the heat when the water starts to boil. The lids not only keep heat in the pot but also reduce condensation in the kitchen.

Can I go out on New Year’s Eve?

Yes, you can! Most pubs and nightclubs in Dublin will be open on New Year’s Eve and they will be more than happy to have you! There will also be a festival called NYE Dublin in the city centre, with a colourful parade, fireworks display and an openair concert. Check out page 9 for more details. January 1 is a public holiday, but most shops will be open on that day, so there’s no need to worry about buying food in advance.

• If you have a Nightsaver tariff (which means you pay less for electricity consumption at night) make sure you use your washing machine from 11 pm to 8 am (or from midnight to 9 am in the summer) – this will save you a lot of money. The same goes for using a tumble dryer if you have one.

you can be arrested and fined, or even jailed for up to 5 years. If you do like fireworks, though, head to St Stephen’s Green on New Year’s Eve – there will be a special show on at 8 pm.

• The oven is expensive to use – so try using it for more than just one item. Remember: you can cook at a higher temperature at the top of the oven, and simultaneously at a lower temperature at the bottom. • Do not open the oven door to check cooking – every time you do so you lose 20% of the accumulated heat!

I partied really hard on New Year’s Eve and don’t remember • The washing cycle selected on a washing machine should have the anything... what’s going on? That’s OK! All you need to know is that classes in SEDA start on Monday, January 7. When you come in, just grab the January edition of SEDA News and you’ll find out all the rest!

lowest water temperature required for the items being washed. A full load of washing is more energy efficient that two half loads. Use a cold rinse for your clothes.

For more tips check out:

8 SHOWS & GIGS THE RUBBERBANDITS The Academy (57 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1) Friday, 14 December The famous Limerick rappers/ comedians who perform with plastic bags wrapped around their heads (check out their video Horse Outside on YouTube!) will play a show in Dublin’s Academy. Tickets 20 euro. HORSLIPS Dublin, Olympia Theatre December 14 & 15 Legendary Irish band will play two dates in Dublin this December. Tickets: €33.50. GLEN HANSARD Vicar Street Venue, Thomas Street, Dublin 8 December 17 & 18 Irish musician and star of the movie Once will play an intimate gig in Dublin’s Vicar Street. Tickets from €30. ASLAN Vicar Street (Dublin 8) December 27th The Irish band Aslan are celebrating 30 years together this year and they will play material from their new album as well as old hits such as Crazy World. Tickets from 25 euro. The Dubliners Vicar Street (Dublin 8) December 28, 29 & 30 The legendary Irish traditional/folk band will perform in Dublin as part of their 50th anniversary tour. Tickets from €39.50.


Nollaig Shona!

Do you want to celebrate Christmas like the Irish? Then read on – SEDA News has got all the most important local traditions collected for you on the one page – from the traditional Christmas dinner to Christmas Day swim and the so called Women’s Christmas. But before you begin you should learn the words Nollaig Shona – Happy Christmas in Irish!

The candle in the window

Christmas decorations

On Christmas Eve many Irish families place a lighted candle in the window of their house. The candle is a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter. Centuries ago, when Catholicism was repressed by Ireland’s English overlords, the candle also meant that the house was a safe place for a priest to perform mass.

The Christmas season in Ireland normally begins on December 8 and finishes on January 6, a day known as Little (or Women’s) Christmas. Wreaths made of holly – a green plant with red berries – are very common at this time of the year, as is another plant called mistletoe. Many people also buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with tinsel, lights and festive ornaments. Families with young children often go even further and surround their houses with figurines of Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen and elves...

Christmas dinner The feast of Christmas is celebrated in Ireland with a large meal fit for a king. It is the biggest meal cooked in a family household out of all meals throughout the year. Preparations for Christmas dinner usually start on Christmas Eve with the slow cooking of the turkey and preparation of the vegetables and any other goodies that may come with the large feast. An Irish Christmas dinner consists of turkey, ham, chicken, stuffing, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and various vegetables.

Midnight Mass

For more information about Irish Christmas log on to:: and

GARY BARLOW Dublin, Olympia Theatre January 7, 2013 The British star singer will perform in Dublin this coming January with special guests. Tickets from €49.65.

Little Christmas Christmas Day swim

DROPKICK MURPHYS Vicar Street, Dublin 8 January 12&13, 2013 American band famous for their song “Shipping up to Boston” is coming to Dublin’s Vicar Street in January. Tickets: €26.90. Tickets to all these shows are available from Ticketmaster outlets. To book by phone call: 0818 719 300 Online booking:

If you’re looking for a Church packed to the rafters look no further that any Church in Ireland at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This is a huge social gathering where family, friends and neighbours who you may not have seen all year come together and celebrate Christmas. With Christmas carols being sung and often live music midnight mass in Ireland is a great place to catch up with old friend and get in touch with the local community at Christmas.

On Christmas Day, December 25, many people in Ireland like to do something active in order to burn some of the calories gained the day before during Christmas dinner. One of the traditions is Christmas day swim. The swims take place all over Ireland on Christmas morning but probably most famously at the Forty Foot Rock, just south of Dublin. On Christmas Day hundreds of people can be seen jumping off the rock into the Irish Sea wearing only their bathing suits. The water in the Irish Sea on Christmas Day is usually around 10C (freezing!!!). Unfortunately the temperature outside the water is usually about half of this making the experience bracing to say the least. This is certainly not for the faint hearted but is a proven hangover cure and is participants often receive sponsorship for charities.

The Christmas season in Ireland finishes on January 6, the day known as Little Christmas or Women’s Christmas (Nollaigh na mBean). Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up have a day out and treat themselves.


Christmas fun in Dublin

Christmas is the season to be jolly and SEDA News brings you a summary of the main festive events and things to do in Dublin this December.

Docklands Christmas Market

George’s Dock, IFSC, Dublin 1 December 7 – 23 The Docklands Christmas market in Dublin’s docklands is open noon to 8 pm daily and from 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Entry is completely free. Over 80 traders are taking part so a good selection of original Christmas presents is guaranteed. There will also be stalls selling food and

sweets as well as drink. You can have some hot chocolate with marshmallows, roasted chestnuts or mulled wine. There will also be carousels and other fun rides as well as carol singers and live bands.

Dublin New Year’s Eve Festival

Dublin City Centre 31 December – 1 January, 2013

This year Dublin is taking New Year’s Eve preparations seriously. One reason is that the festival on December 31 will kickstart The Gathering 2013 – a year-long celebration of all things Irish. So the New Year’s Eve party in Dublin is supposed to rival celebrations in such famous cities as Edinburgh and Prague... Festival organizers say the city will be transformed into a massive outdoor playground with music, dance, fireworks, pageantry, and heaps of fun. NYE Dublin will start with a People’s Procession of Light (6.30 pm) which will be a bit like the St Patrick’s Day parade. The main difference is that the procession will consist of festival goers themselves, who will slowly weave through the streets of Dublin hold-

ing LED lights and lanterns (hundreds of theatre characters, stilt walkers and musicians will guide them along the way). Everyone can join the procession, but if you register on www. you can get a free LED light. The People’s Procession will be followed by The Big Bang, a free fireworks display in St. Stephen’s Green (8.00 pm). Music and street acts will keep everyone entertained as the fuses burn. To round the night off, an open-air countdown concert will be held in College Green (8.30 pm – 1 am). The line up has not been announced yet, but organisers say “internationally renowned Irish acts” will be performing on the night. 3D visuals will be projected on the walls of Trinity College during the concert and there will also be a colourful countdown to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. Tickets for the concert are priced at 15 euro and can be booked on:

Ice Skating

i-Skate (The RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4) and Dundrum On Ice (Pembroke Square, Dundrum Town Centre) Open until mid-January 2013 There are two ice rinks in Dublin where you can skate on real ice – i-Skate located in the RDS in Ballsbridge and Dundrum on Ice which is just beside Dundrum shopping centre. I-Skate is the biggest ice rink in Ireland and it has a separate area for beginners with “skating penguins” who can help you learn to skate like a pro! It is open from 3 pm to 9 pm Monday to Friday and from 10 am to 9 pm at the weekend. Prices start from 12 euro for a session (but every Wednesday night is student night and you can skate for just 10 euro).

days. Prices start from 12 euro per session and tickets can be booked online.

SHOWS & GIGS TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB The O2, Dublin January 19, 2013 Popular Northern Irish band Two Door Cinema Club are coming to the O2 next year to present their new record Beacon. Tickets from €28.00. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING National Stadium (South Circular Road, Dublin 8) Monday, 21 January, 2013 TNA Impact wrestling return to Ireland for the “Road to Lockdown” tour. Worldwide wrestling stars announced for the tour include Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, James Storm, AJ Styles, Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Velvet Sky and Gail Kim. Tickets from 45 euro. JIMMY CARR Dublin, Olympia Theatre February 8 & 9, 2013 Popular British comedian Jimmy Carr is coming to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. Tickets from €33.

Dundrum on Ice is open from 3 pm to 9 pm Monday to Friday and from 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sun-


RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 26 December – 13 January, 2013 A big fun fair and theme park is coming to Dublin’s RDS right after Christmas. Funderland has everything from rollercoasters and a giant Ferris wheel to more modern attractions such as 3D Cybervision and Bounce World. Thrills and plenty of fun guaranteed! There are two payment options: you can either pay 2 euro entry charge and then pay for every individual ride, or you can buy an Unlimited pass (a wristband) for 22.95 euro, which allows you to go


on any ride within a 3 hour period. If you book the wristband online you can get it a little cheaper and you will also get an extra hour free. Funderland will be open daily from noon until 10 pm.

BLOC PARTY Dublin, Olympia Theatre February 12&13, 2013 British indie rock outfit Bloc Party will play songs from their new album FOUR. Tickets from €33.50. EXAMPLE The O2, Dublin February 21, 2013 British rapper Example and special guest Benga will perform in Dublin’s O2 next year. Tickets €35.00. STEVE AOKI Dublin, Olympia Theatre February 22, 2013 USA DJ some of whose famous tracks include “No beef” and “Turbulence” is coming to Dublin next year. Tickets: €33.50. THE SCRIPT The O2, Dublin February 28, 2013 Due to popular demand The Script have added a third date in Dublin. The two other concerts are sold out. Tickets: €39.05.

Tickets to all these shows are available from Ticketmaster outlets. To book by phone call: 0818 719 300 Online booking: www.ticketmaster. ie


Ceres and teacher Graham


Rafael Muniz Teixeira and friends Amelia Souza and her furry friend

SEDA marketing staff are busy at work as usual!

Filipe Santiago and friends

Marcelo Adriano as Christ the Redeemer

Guilherme Coelho in Kylemore Abbey

Fernando and Maria テ]geles enjoying the sun on the Cliffs of Moher Raissa Carvalho travelling with friends

Joao Paulo Martins and friends in Budapest



Tarcila Lopes and Marcela on the Cliffs of Moher

Marcus Leo with friends celebrating

Richard Matute is lost in Greystones

Mayerling Marquez in Belfast



The SEDA Christmas quiz 1. What mode of transport does Santa Claus use? a. Jet plane b. Helicopter c. Sleigh d. Snowboard

Congratulations to VERONICA BELLIDO! She won last month’s quiz and can claim her prize in Carol’s office.

Here are the answers to November’s quiz: 1. Venice has canals instead of streets. 2. Brussels has a famous statue of a peeing boy. 3. The original Heineken brewery is located in Amsterdam. 4. Geneva in Switzerland was named the most expensive European city this year. 5. Berlin was once divided in two by a wall, which famously fell in 1989. 6. Moscow, with a total population of about 14 million people, is officially the biggest city in Europe. 7. Chistopher Columbus was born in Genoa. 7. Rome is known as “the eternal city”. 8. You can see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. 9. The London Eye gives the best view of the British capital.

2. What is the name of the film that many Irish families traditionally watch on Christmas Day? a. The Wind that Shakes the Barley b. It’s a Wonderful Life c. Bad Santa d. Shindler’s List 3. Which of the following phrases does NOT mean Merry Christmas? a. Gëzuar Pashkët! b. Счастливого Рождества! c. Nollaig Shona! d. Frohe Weihnachten! 4. Which Irish county still observes the tradition of Wren Day every December 26 with groups of people dressing up in masks, straw suits and colourful clothing and marching through the streets? a. Dublin b. Kerry c. Wicklow d. Wales 5. Which one of Santa’s team of reindeer has a red nose? a. Paddy b. Dancer c. Prancer d. Rudolph

6. Which plant is NOT traditionally used as a Christmas decoration in Ireland? a. Mistletoe b. Orchid c. Holly d. Fir tree 7. Different legends have Santa Claus live in different places, but where does Santa Claus NOT live? a. North Pole b. Lapland c. Siberia d. Greenland 8. On Christmas Day many Irish people like to do something active to burn off calories gained at Christmas dinner. What is one of the traditional activities? a. A Christmas Day ski b. A Christmas Day swim c. A Christmas Day skate d. A Christmas Day parachute jump 9. At Christmas many Irish households serve a “flaming pudding” by pouring a certain alcoholic drink over a pudding and lighting it up before eating the pudding. What is that drink? a. Whiskey b. Sambucca c. Guinness d. Brandy 10. January 6 is known as “Women’s Christmas” in Ireland. Why?

a. Men do all the housework, while women get the day off b. All the women in the house get an extra Christmas present c. Women clean the house and take off Christmas decorations d. Men treat their wives and girlfriends to a romantic dinner

Send your answers to, or cut the quiz out and give it to your teacher. If you get the answers right you can win a prize! Your name:______________ _______________________ Your e-mail: _____________ _______________________

The Craic-tionary SEDA News guide to Irish slang words and expressions In this section we will attempt to make your life in Ireland easier by explaining some of the most common Irish slang words and expressions. Desperate = bad, needing attention. This place is in a desperate state – why don’t you call the builder? Gaff = house, home That’s a nice gaff you have there! Come over to my gaff on Saturday for a few drinks. So it is – many Irish people end a sentence with the phrase “so it is” (or “so I did”, “so he did” etc – depending on the sentence). The phrase does not really mean anything and is only used for emphasis. That’s a really nice car, so it is! I went up to that fella and told him to stop, so I did. Jim won 100 000 euro in the lottery, so he did! Now – some Irish people use “now” at the end of a phrase, for example “bye now”. It does not really mean anything and is only used for emphasis. Bye bye now! Careful now! Drive safe now. Slag – make fun of someone in a good-natured way Don’t take it seriously, I’m only slagging you!

SEDA News, December 2012  

December edition

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