Language Courses Abroad
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Language Courses

1. Which course is right for me?

If you want to develop your general understanding of a language, our regular group-based courses (‘Semi-Intensive’, ‘Intensive’ or ‘Super-Intensive’ courses) are designed to do just that! Learning in a group gives you the chance to practice your language skills with people at the same level as yourself.

Private Lessons and ‘Intensive + Private Lessons’ courses (a mixture of group and private lessons) can be customised to include topics of your own choosing.

Young Students (aged 5-18 years) can take programs which include extra activities and increased supervision. Club 50+ courses, meanwhile, are exclusively for students aged 50 or over, who prefer the company of other mature students. However, anybody aged 16 or above is welcome to study on one of our regular language courses abroad.

To see the full range of programs we offer, take a look at our course guide.

2. What is my level?

To establish your language level, you will have a test on your first day at your chosen school. You will be placed in a class with students of approximately the same level, allowing you to progress as a group!

If your language lessons are too easy or too difficult, you can, of course, move to a more suitable group. To help us to find the right group for you, please give us an estimate of your level upon booking:

• Beginner – No previous knowledge of the language
• Elementary – A basic understanding of the language
• Intermediate – Can cope on a day-to-day basis
• Advanced – High level of proficiency

3. Can beginners take a course?

The majority of our courses are open to all levels of student. For complete beginners, there will typically be a minimum of one start date per month. Please contact us once you have decided upon your preferred school, and we can then confirm start dates

In order to totally immerse yourself in the language, lessons are conducted entirely in the language being taught. You shouldn’t worry about understanding the lessons though, as our energetic teachers are adept at conveying the message through facial expressions, gestures and body language. They are also extremely understanding and patient

4. Are lessons taught by native speakers?

All of our school’s teachers are highly qualified, native speakers, with years of experience in teaching their language to foreign students.

5. What equipment will I need for lessons?

You simply need a pen, notepad and, if you like, a dictionary.

6. Are books included in the course fees?

The books which you will use throughout your course are often included in the cost of the program, although please note that sometimes there is a small extra charge for course materials

7. Will I receive a certificate or qualification?

Once you have completed your program of language lessons, you’ll receive a certificate stating the course you attended and the level you reached (in relation to the Common European Framework). This certificate is not classed as a qualification though.

If you’d like to gain a qualification in a language, a great many of our schools run exam preparation courses. You can even take the exams themselves at certain schools. Our school’s dedicated programs can thoroughly prepare you for GCSE, A-Level, Irish Leaving Certificate and International Baccalaureate exams.

For a higher qualification, you can also study towards diplomas like the DELE (Spanish), DELF (French), CILS (Italian) or ZMP (German). Living amongst native speakers provides you with total immersion in a language, which is the best possible way to learn a language and ready yourself for an exam!

8. When do I have to book by?

Although there are no deadlines, to avoid disappointment you should book as soon possible. Courses with accommodation are particularly popular and do tend to fill up during high season. Also, if you have any special requests regarding your course and/or accommodation, it is advisable to book as far in advance as possible, to avoid disappointment

What’s more, the earlier you book, the less expensive your travel costs are likely to be!


Accommodation

1. Is accommodation located close to the school?

Accommodation options vary from school to school. In large towns and cities, you should expect to need to use public transport.

Contact us for journey times for specific locations.

2. What types of accommodation are available?

To learn your chosen language as quickly as possible, you should live with a local host family, carefully selected by our school. As well as constant language practice, you’ll get home cooked meals and an invaluable insight into the culture of the country!

If you’d rather live with other students, you can share an apartment with up to 5 others, who could be any age, nationality or gender. The bathroom, kitchen and living areas are all communal. These basic, but comfortable and inexpensive apartments tend to be popular with students in their 20s.

For those who prefer their own space, studio apartments, complete with private bathrooms and kitchenettes, are ideal! Typically, this is the most expensive type of accommodation.

In certain locations, other types of accommodation are available. For instance, you can choose self-catering accommodation with a foreign host, or even a convenient on-site residence!

Naturally, you can always arrange your own accommodation and choose a ‘course only’ option.

3. What does half board mean?

With half board accommodation, two meals per day will be prepared for you. This normally includes breakfast and an evening meal, although in some parts of Spain this may be breakfast and lunch, as lunch tends to be the main meal there.

4. What is staying with a host family like?

Host families can comprise ‘traditional’ families, with parents and children, older couples with no children at home, or single people. You’ll be allowed to come and go as you please, with most families supplying you with your own key.

Our language schools only choose the most welcoming, capable families to house students. They will provide you with 1, 2 or 3 meals per day, depending upon your preference. On one of our language courses abroad, not only will you discover the language, but also the local culture and hospitality!

We want you to be happy whilst you study abroad, so we will do our utmost to accommodate any special requirements, such as a non-smoking host family or a family with no pets. Also, if you have any specific dietary requirements, we will make sure that these are met. Please let us know about any special requirements when you book, and bear in mind that, as there availability is very limited, we are not able to guarantee anything in advance.

5. Can I stay with my friend?

Many of our students choose to stay in the same accommodation as their friends. If you would like to do this, please inform us at the time of booking, and, if possible, book together. Please note that whilst some host families are able to accommodate more than one student, it is quite rare for host families to be able to accommodate three or more. Therefore, whilst we will do our best, if you are travelling with more than one friend and want to stay with a host family, you should expect to need to stay with a couple of host families who live close to each other.

6. How soon will I receive my accommodation details?

Between 1 and 2 weeks before your course is due to begin we will receive your accommodation details from our school. We will then pass these details onto you in the shape of an ‘Travel Information’ document, which is sent via email

7. Do you offer ‘accommodation only’?

Under usual circumstances, we can only organise accommodation for individuals enrolled on a language course. At some of our schools, however, friends or partners of students can stay in the same accommodation.

8. Are special dietary requirements taken into account?

We are used to arranging courses and accommodation for people with specific dietary needs, from vegetarians to people with various allergies. Please discuss your specific requirements with us when you book.


Travel

1. When is the best time to arrive?

In most cases, your accommodation will be available from the Sunday before your language course begins. Your final night in your accommodation is usually the Friday night after your course has finished.

Ideally, you should try to arrive at around mid-afternoon on the Sunday, and leave by about mid-morning on the Saturday.

2. What if I need extra nights of accommodation?

Subject to availability, it is normally possible to arrange one extra night on arrival and/or departure. More than this can be problematic, especially during high season.

3. Are flights included in the price?

As we arrange courses for students of all nationalities, at language schools located all over the world, we are, unfortunately, not currently able to arrange flights. Therefore, this is something that students should arrange separately. Please note that we do normally advise students not to make travel arrangements until they have received confirmation of their booking from ourselves (this usually takes 1-2 working days).

4. Will somebody meet me at the airport/train station?

Many of our language schools offer transfers from your point of arrival to your accommodation, sometimes at an extra cost. Alternatively, you can choose to reach your accommodation independently, using public transport or a taxi.


Payment

1. How can I book?

You can book quickly and easily online via our website:

Alternatively, you can call our UK office and speak to one of our friendly Language Travel Advisers. They can take all of the necessary details in less than 10 minutes.

2. How can I pay?

You can pay by debit/credit card, cheque (if paying in GBP only) or bank transfer. Card payments allow your booking to be processed immediately. Processing bookings paid for by cheque or bank transfer takes a little longer, as we normally have to wait for the payment to arrive.

Paying by credit card also gives you the added security of purchase protection, safeguarding your money in the unlikely event of any problems. Unfortunately, we can only accept debit card payments from UK students paying in pounds.

3. When do I have to pay by?

When booking, you will pay a deposit of £200, €250 or $300 to reserve your language course. Then the remaining balance will be due 8 weeks before the start of your course.

If you want to begin a course less than 8 weeks after booking it, the full amount becomes due once your place on the course is confirmed.

4. Do exchange rates affect prices?

For your convenience, you can pay in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars. We calculate our prices using a pre-determined exchange rate. This means that you cannot check a price in one currency and then compare it to another currency using the daily exchange rate.

We endeavour to keep our prices as competitive as possible, so if there is a major shift in the current exchange rate, we may adjust our prices accordingly.

We guarantee that the price you’re quoted when you book your course is the price you’ll pay, no matter how exchange rates fluctuate. Very few other companies offer this guarantee.


General questions

1. Will I require a visa?

You may require a visa, depending upon your nationality and the location where you have chosen to study.

Europeans will not normally need a visa to study at one of our language schools in the EU.

Students from the US must have a visa for courses in Europe lasting longer than 12 weeks.

Some countries, such as Cuba, China, Japan, Russia and Egypt, have specific rules regarding visas. You can contact us for more information about particular destinations, but we recommend that you always seek advice from the relevant consulate as well.
For students who need a visa, we will gladly supply a letter of invitation, which will form part of your visa application. Please note that we do need to receive full payment by bank transfer before this is issued.

If your visa application is unsuccessful, our normal cancellation policy applies. Please see our Terms and Conditions for further information

2. What nationality will the other students be?

You’ll meet people from all over the world with one of our language courses abroad! Classes always contain a wide range of nationalities. Best of all, the language you are learning will probably be the only common language, so you’re sure to get lots of practice!

3. What is the age range of students?

For our adult language courses, the minimum age is typically 16 or 17, and there is no maximum age – it’s never too late to learn a language! The majority of students fall into the 20-28 age range, accounting for around 70 per cent of people at our schools.

Most of our students travel without their friends or family. As a result, you’ll find that everyone is eager to get to know everyone else, regardless of age!

4. Are any activities or excursions included?

The majority of our schools offer a program of optional activities and trips, introducing you to both the local culture and your fellow students. Many activities, such as city tours, movie-nights and cookery lessons, are provided free of charge. For a little extra, you can join in with other activities and discover the local area on excursions.

Our Young Students and Club 50 courses all include extensive activity programs, designed specifically for the appropriate age group.

Not only are our schools’ activities great fun, they also give you the perfect opportunity to practice your language skills outside of the classroom!

5. How much will I learn?

In accordance with the Common European Framework, our schools use 6-7 general levels to classify students’ proficiency. These levels are: beginner, elementary, lower-intermediate, upper-intermediate, lower-advanced and upper-advanced.

It will take the average student about 4 weeks (with 20 lessons per week) to move up a level. At this stage the student should have the ability to introduce themselves, answer simple questions, count and recite the alphabet.

With 8 weeks of tuition, the student should be able to use their language skills to buy things from shops, order in a restaurant or reserve a hotel room.

To progress to an advanced level, we estimate that it will take the average student between 24 and 28 weeks of studying.

Learning a language with native speakers is undoubtedly the most effective way to learn, so even a 1 or 2-week course will be tremendously worthwhile. Whilst you study abroad, you should try to use the language as often as possible – you’ll be surprised by just how much new vocabulary you pick up!

6. When do lessons take place?

Lessons at all of our language schools take place from Monday to Friday. Courses of 20 lessons per week, for instance, usually consist of 4 classes each day. When possible, lessons are grouped together, giving you either the whole morning or afternoon free to explore your chosen location!

7. Can you organise courses for groups?

We regularly organise language courses for student groups. Simply contact us and tell us what you want from your customised program, and we will gladly quote you a price.

8. How much supervision is there?

The amount of supervision you’ll receive is determined by your age and your choice of school. Our Young Students courses, needless to say, involve more supervision than our adult programs. The older the student, the more free, unsupervised time they are permitted.

Many of our adult courses are open to students aged 16 or above. If you’re aged under 18 and take an adult course, we might require a parental permission form, detailing how late you may return home in the evening.

For more precise information regarding supervision, simply let us know your age and which school/s you’re interested in.

9. What happens if I have to cancel or postpone my course?

Please consult this complete explanation of our cancellation and postponement policy on our Terms & Conditions page.




Language Courses Abroad

71 Ashby Road
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 3AA
England

T: 01509 221 199
E: info@languagesabroad.co.uk

 
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