Language Camp West...
is located on beautiful Achill Island in County Mayo. Achill is connected to the mainland by a bridge, so access is easy. We are a 50 minute drive from the town of Westport, via Newport and Mulranny. The camp residence is at The Valley House Hostel, in The Valley, on the north east side of the island. This historic house has a fascinating history and has entertained tourists, youth groups, school groups and international vistors for many decades. The Gallagher family have been in business here since 1947 and have over 35 years experience accommodating youth and student groups from both Ireland and abroad.
Pat and Alice Gallagher have teenagers of their own and understand the concerns you might have when sending your children away - please feel free to ring or email if you wish to discuss any aspect of the course or the accommodation. You can reach Pat Gallagher on the hostel number at 098-47204 or 086-8592812. You can contact Alice at Language Camp West on 086-4578672.
What do Parents & Students say
about Language Camp West?
"I Won't Know Anyone!"
Students are often very concerned that they will be on their own and that other members of the group will be paired off or in groups of friends. While friends do sometimes come to camp together, it is much more common for individual students to book the course. Many of the other students will be in the same boat in that they do not know anyone else going to camp.
Our Animator team, teachers and staff make every effort to ensure everyone settles in well. There are ice-breaking games, an evening meal and an orientation on the first night of arrival. By the time classes and activities start the next morning, students will be very busy and these worries will fade away.
Public liability insurance is in place and all activities are fully insured by our activity providers. Theft, loss or damage to personal items are not covered by any insurance policy.
Students should leave valuable items at home and should
not bring large amounts of money or expensive items with them to
camp. Netbooks, laptops, iPods, iPads, game devices etc. are not
allowed and will be held by management until the student's departure.
Language Camp West is not responsible for loss or damage to students' belongings.
You will be able to indicate when booking whether or not you would like your child to attend religious services on Achill Island. This applies to two-week courses only. Roman Catholic services are available, Church of Ireland services are subject to availability. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate any other denominations locally.
It is not recommended that students bring large amounts of money to camp. There are no shopping malls on Achill Island but some pocket money to buy souvenirs, treats etc. will be necessary.
There is a full GP/Medical Clinic service on Achill Island.
The Westdoc out-of-hours GP service is also available, providing
full coverage in the event of any illness. Any medical expenses
incurred are the responsibility of the students' parent/guardian.
If a student needs any help with medication or has any dietary or allergy concerns, please let us
know when booking.
Click here for secure online booking
Download and print our Offline Booking Form
Or just Contact Us and we can take your booking over the phone. We are available to take your call 7-days a week, 10am-9pm.
Safety & Security
The safety and security of students is our number one priority at Language Camp West. The ratio of students to Animators is maximum 10:1. In addition, the School Managers, teachers and accommodation staff are trained to respond to and resolve any problems that may arise. Staff are available to parents and willing to assist in any way they can to help a student settle in to camp. An orientation is given to the students at the beginning of each course. Language Camp West has a Child Protection Policy in place and this can be viewed upon request. All staff who reside in the camp and have contact with the students are Garda Vetted.
During sport and water-based activities, our activity partners place each student under the supervision of qualified instructors. The ratio of students to instructors is 8:1. In addition, our Animator team takes part in all activities to ensure that the safety and security of each student is fully supervised.
Our main activity provider is Achill OEC. This centre has provided outdoor education programmes since 1971 under the auspices of County Mayo V.E.C.
Programmes are delivered by qualified and experienced instructors to the highest safety standards.
A Typical Day
08:30-09:30 - Breakfast
at Language Camp West
09:30-12:30 - Language lessons
12:30-14:00 - Lunch, preparation for activities
14:00-18:00 - Activities, Showers/Changing
18:00-19:00 - Dinner
19:00-22:00 - Evening Activities
22:00-22:30 - Snack, prepare for lights out
Speaking the Language
Students must try to communicate in the course language at all times. Failing to make a good effort will mean a poor result for everybody.
Help and encouragement as well as written visual aids will be given – students will be expected to attempt a good percentage of the sentence in the course language and to gradually increase that percentage as their confidence grows.
Junior students who have only one or two years language practice will be given extra help to form sentences, ask questions and attempt to converse with our staff in the course language at every opportunity.
Junior and Senior students who need extra help will find there are many opportunities to share one-on-one conversational practice with our Animator team.
Please note that Adventure Sports instruction on some days is given partially in English for safety reasons, but using the course language is mandatory between students and staff at all times.
Students who do not make an effort to speak the course language will receive a formal warning; if the behaviour continues and no improvement or effort is made, the student may be asked to leave the course. In this case, it is the responsibility of the parent to pick up the student from the camp in Achill. No refund will be given on course fees. Please click here to read, understand and accept the full list of School Rules.
For the benefit of all students and staff, a respectful attitude and courtesy towards others is required at all times on the course. Please click here to read, understand and accept the full list of School Rules.
Use of Mobile Phones
Mobile phones will be held by the student's camp counsellor and student's will be allowed the use of their phone for about half an hour each night before bed. Please click here to read, understand and accept the full list of School Rules.