oet exam day what to bring

Guide to OET Test Day at Foyle International

If you are taking the OET exam at Foyle International here is some important information which you will need for the test day. All necessary information will also be emailed to you in advance from Foyle’s OET Venue Manager – please ensure you have ‘foyle.eu’ added to your ‘safe senders’ and keep an eye on your junk inbox!

1. Getting here

We are based in Derry city centre, just inside the city walls. Our address is 17-21 Magazine Street. We are a 5 minute walk from the Foyle Street Bus Depot.

2. Parking

If you are arriving by car then you can park nearby at the following locations:

Free on-street parking is available, although limited at Fahan Street.

3. Where to stay

Image: Maldron Hotel Derry

If you are travelling from outside of Derry and wish to book accommodation close-by, the Maldron Hotel is closest to Foyle International – about a 1-minute walk to the test venue. 

4. Test Day Registration – Morning exams (7.15AM - 8.15AM)

When you first arrive at Foyle International on the morning of the OET exam, you will need to go through a registration process before being permitted to enter the test room. 

Due to Covid 19 health and safety restrictions, you have been assigned a registration time which you will find in your email approximately one week before the OET exam. You must be present to register at this time. (Registration is usually between 7.15AM-8.15AM)

Late Candidates will not be permitted to enter the test room and may request a Test Day deferral.

What you need to bring

  • Photo ID that you used to register for the exam
  • Candidate Day Declaration Form, signed
  • A clear plastic bag with the items you are permitted to take into the test room
  • Stationary – including several 2B pencils for your exams
  • Ensure you read OET's guidelines about the items you need on test day and what you can/can't bring into the test room!

Read OET’s Ultimate Guide to Test Day: Part 1 

2b pencil for OET exam

5. Timetable for OET Test Day

Please note that the times stated in this timetable is when you must be seated in the test room, ready for the pre-test instructions.

  • 9.00AM - OET Listening sub-test
  • 10.00AM - OET Reading sub-test
  • 11.00AM - OET Writing sub-test
  • 12.30PM -  end of the day - OET Speaking sub-test

Note: The Listening, Reading and Writing tests run consecutively with only authorised bathroom breaks.

6. Re-registering for your Speaking Exam – from 12 noon

After you have completed the morning OET sub-tests, you will usually have a chance to retrieve your items from the cloakroom, leave the test venue to go and have lunch/a break.

You will need to re-register for the Speaking sub-test at least 30 minutes before your allocated Speaking sub-test time.

For more information on OET test day or about OET preparation courses at Foyle International, please get in touch at info@foyle.eu 

italian students in county donegal on erasmus

My Erasmus+ experience at Foyle: Leo Fiesoli

We spoke to Leo from Italy about his Erasmus+ internship with Foyle. Leo took a four week internship in Derry during the month of September.

My job

I stayed in Derry for 4 weeks as an Erasmus+ participant. I worked at Foyle International for my Erasmus+ internship. I was part of the IT department and one of my tasks was to restore the ethernet and Wi-Fi connections in the building after the six month stop due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Northern Ireland. I also helped to develop a vacation-booking app for Foyle International staff, alongside 3 other guys in my team.

New experiences!

One of the most beautiful things of my life was living in a different town and in a different country compared to where I live. Derry is an amazing city and I loved living there with my roommates. We also met another group of Italian students from Siena and we spent a lot of time together.
Students at Titantic Museum in Belfast - Leo Fiesoli

Day trips around Ireland

During our stay in Derry we went on a lot of trips, like the Giants Causeway (amazing!), Belfast and Buncrana (Co. Donegal). As a photographer, I loved Northern Ireland for it’s magnificant views and the beauty of the nature there, I’d absolutely love to return there in the future.
italian students in county donegal on erasmus
Day trip to Rathmullan beach in Count Donegal - Leo Fiesoli
causeway coast on a sunny day
The Causeway Coast - Photo by Leo Fiesoli

My experience

In the end, I think that my month in Derry was the best in my entire life and it shaped me as a person; I am very grateful to all the people I met during my internship abroad and I think that my memories of Derry will always remain in my heart.
erasmus students on work internship at foyle
Roma, Sean, Massi, Jack and

If you are interested in Erasmus+ internships in the UK & Ireland please get in touch at info@foyle.eu 

ITalian tudents at Giants Causeway in northern ireand on a sunny day

My Erasmus+ internship with Foyle: Renato Guiso

Hi, I’m Renato, an Italian guy, and I took part in the Erasmus+ project, through the hosting institute Foyle International. I stayed in Derry, Northern Ireland, from 2nd of September to 4th of October, and I had a great time!


I immediately found Derry so pretty. Actually, I arrived during the night, but the following day I
toured the town. Firstly, I visited the Wall, with this fantastic view towards the town, full of
terraced houses ordered in a row, which are not common in Italy.

the bogside derry
The Bogside in Derry. View from the Derry Walls. Photo by Renato Guiso
The Derry Walls taken by a student
The Derry Walls. Photo by Renato Guiso

Next, we went to the Peace Bridge, the famous bridge, emblem of town (after the Walls), seen so much on the internet. A funny mishap happened here; in fact one of my mates, Elena, lost her phone in the Foyle river while she was trying to take a photo with her friends. We went to some parks too.

Foyle International staff advised and showed us some places we could have visited during our stay. We went to the two shopping centres in the city in which we had a coffee time in a Starbucks shop, which we are lacking in Italy. 

The Peace Bridge in Derry. It is a symbol of peace and hope for the people of Derry, and shows the healing that is taking place after the Troubles.
Flowers in Brooke Park Derry by Renato Guiso
Brooke Park in Derry. View of St. Eugenes Cathedral. Photo by Renato Guiso

Our trips

We travelled as much as possible during our Erasmus+ internship in Derry. 


On 13th of September in the morning we left Derry to go to Belfast, an interesting town, to discover tourist attractions there. Unfortunately, we didn't visit the Titanic museum because we should have booked the visit at least the day before. Anyway we took a lot of good photos there.

Students at Titantic in Belfast
Students from Italy on a day trip to Titantic in Belfast. Photo by Renato Guiso

The Giant's Causeway

On 20th of the same month we went to Giant's Causeway, in my opinion the most beautiful trip because of the breath-taking views.

ITalian tudents at Giants Causeway in northern ireand on a sunny day
Day trip to the Giant's Causeway. Photo by Renato Guiso

Rathmullan, Co. Donegal

Finally, on 26th we reached Buncrana to take a ferry to Rathmullan. There we have been walking for some minutes, maybe an hour, to visit the place and reach the beach, where we had lunch and where someone entered the cold water. I didn't! I definitely wouldn’t like to get sick.

beach view of rathmullan, county donegal
Beach trip to Rathmullan, County Donegal. Photo by Renato Guiso

About my job

I felt happy when I found that the company (GES) I would be working for, was from the mechanical industry...my field of study! Actually, I was nervous the first day I went there, but I felt confident quickly, thanks to the kind people who were there, and my Erasmus mate Niccolò. We knew two Italian workers with which we became friends. Our job dealt with three activities, which we have done during the working days:

Journey to work internship! Photo by Renato Guiso
  • visiting the big company plant and explaining to us all the industrial processes;
  • working in the office with the CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing)
    software, a software that manages a lot of areas from the shipping dashboard to the pieces drawings and the inventory;
  • making something more practical such as the new shadow boards we made for the working stations, or rearrange the inventory.

In addition, there was a nice landscape to get to the company location.

My Erasmus+ experience

I must say that not everything is perfect: you miss home, your country, your family, your friends and your ordinary FOOD (remember that I’m Italian!). The weather could be different from what you are used to, but my overall experience was more than excellent.

  • I made new friends that I still keep today
  • I learnt to manage my days, my house, the expenses for food and my time completely by
  • I definitely improved my English skills, also in technical field.
  • I travelled and visited many new interesting places, where I spent the best moments with my mates!
erasmus+ students arriving in ireland
Ciao! Renato and Reattiva students at Belfast International Airport at the end of their Erasmus+ experience. Photo by Renato Gusio

Indeed I would advise an Erasmus+ experience to anyone! Nobody should have doubts about it! For example I thought I was not able to speak English well enough to live for a month in Derry, but I did it well enough. Maybe at the beginning I was a little scared of meeting new people, but I was very wrong!

For more information about Erasmus+ internships with Foyle across the island of Ireland, get in touch today at info@foyle.eu 

people celebrating st patricks day with guinness

6 Facts about St Patrick’s Day you should know!

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on the 17th of March.  It has been celebrated by the Irish for over 1,000 years! 

The 17th of March is an official public holiday across the island of Ireland. There are usually Saint Patrick's Day parades across the country. 

Ireland's national holiday is famous all over the world - becoming a commercial celebration in many countries. 

Do you ever wonder why people wear green and that you see shamrocks everywhere? Let's look as the meaning behind them..  

1. Who was Saint Patrick? Why is he celebrated on 17th March?

Saint Patrick is the primary patron saint of Ireland. He is regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland. 

He came to Ireland as a slave. During his six years in captivity, he became very devoted to Christianity. He viewed his enslavement as a test of his faith in God. 

After six years, he finally escaped and returned to Britian to be reunited with his family. 

He had a vision of the Irish people calling him back to Ireland. He trained as a bishop and returned to Ireland to teach the people about Christianity. 

who is saint patrick?
Photo credit: Grant Whitty via Canva

Saint Patrick's holy day is the day of his death - 17th March 461 AD. 

2. Saint Patrick wasn't Irish!

Saint Patrick was born in 385 AD  in Roman Britian - the exact location isn't known for sure. 

When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders, who took him away and sold him as a slave. He spent several years in Ireland as a shepard - herding sheep and learning about the Irish people. Finally he was able to escape back to England, where he made his way to a monastery. 

He returned to Ireland around 432 AD to convert the Irish to Christianity. 

3. St. Patrick used the Shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity

an irish shamrock in a field
Photo by Janine Menchue on Unsplash

When Patrick returned to Ireland, he used the three leaves on the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  

The shamrock is a popular Irish symbol and is generally connected with faith, hope, love and luck.

On Saint Patrick's Day it is tradition to wear a bunch of shamrocks on your clothes for celebrations. 

4. St. Patrick wore blue! Why do we wear green?

Saint Patrick actually wore blue, not green. So how has Saint Patrick's day become assosciated with green? 

First of all, Ireland has been nicknamed 'The Emerald Isle'. The Irish flag also has the colour green in it. shamrocks, used by Saint Patrick, are also green. 

Finally, you can't talk about Saint Patricks day without mentioning leprechauns. In Irish folklore, leprechauns were known the be mischevious fairies who always wore green. They were known to pinch anyone who wasn't wearing their favourite colour.. a good enough reason to wear green! 

As folklore goes, if you catch a leprechaun, he must grant you 3 wishes! 

Couple enjoying St Patricks Day in Ireland
Photo by Tourism Ireland

5. St. Patrick banished all of the snakes in Ireland

Legend says that St. Patrick stood on an Irish hilltop with his staff and herded all of the snakes into the sea. He expelled them from Ireland forever, and there hasn't been a snake seen in Ireland since! (Well, except for household pets and during visits to the zoo..)

no snakes in ireland

6. St. Patrick's Day was a 'dry' holiday in Ireland

Aside from the colour green, the activity most associated with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking. Paradoxically, Irish law, from 1903 to 1970, declared St. Patrick’s Day a strictly religious observance for the entire country, meaning that all pubs were closed for the day…so no beer at all! In 1970, the day was converted to a national holiday, and the taps resumed flowing.

Irish man in pub on saint patrick's day
Photo by Pressmaster from Pexels

Featured Photo credit - Tourism Ireland