Frequently Asked Questions
There are many things to consider when choosing your language course and we are always very happy to help you with any questions you may have! Our experience has shown us that the following questions are some of the most frequently asked by students when researching language courses and therefore we hope that this page will be helpful to you!
click on a question to reveal the answerCourses and Levels
What level should I choose?
You do not need to worry too much about defining your level before booking your course. It is only important to let us know if you are a complete beginner as there are usually specific start dates for beginners. You will then be placed in a group with other beginners. If you have some previous experience of studying the language, you will have a level test before you start your course and will be placed in a class with other students of the same level. If you are not a complete beginner you can usually start your course on any Monday. You can view all course and accommodation options, as well as levels, start dates and prices, by using the 'Find a course' quotation tool located in the top left hand corner of our website.
Which course should I choose?
This is entirely up to you! If you do just want to improve your overall level of the language, then one of our group courses would certainly be sufficient! The difference between the 'Semi-Intensive', 'Intensive' and 'Super-Intensive' courses is just the number of lessons per week. If you do have a particular aspect of the language that you are interested in focusing on in your lessons, then private lessons may be a good option for you, either by themselves or in addition to an 'Intensive' course. We also offer a range of 'special interest' options, including courses such as 'Club 50+', 'Young Student Courses', 'Christmas Courses', 'Language and Skiing' courses, 'Language and Dance' courses and 'Language and Cookery' courses, to name but a few!
What is the course content?
All of our courses are total immersion courses, meaning that they are taught in the language you are learning from the outset. Our courses all use a 'communicative' approach which means that there is an emphasis acquiring a practical ability to use and understand the language, rather than a theoretical knowledge of it (although, naturally, you will still cover all aspects of the language in order to improve your overall level). The exact content will, of course, depend on the course and level.
What duration should I book?
Again, this is entirely up to you, as our courses can be arranged for any duration, from 1-36 weeks or more! Our schools usually have around 6-7 broad levels by which they grade students. We would usually expect that 4 weeks of 20 group lessons per week to be sufficient for a student to progress one level. After 16 weeks of 20 group lessons per week we would expect a student that started as a beginner to have reached such a level that they are able to use the language comfortably on an everyday basis. We usually provide quotes for a maximum of 36 weeks, as this duration is usually sufficient for a student to progress through all the levels and reach an advanced level.
Where are the schools?
Details of the schools' locations can be found on the pages of our website specific to each school. We will provide you with the full contact details (including the address) of your chosen school upon confirmation of your booking.
Are all the teachers fully-qualified native speakers?
Absolutely! All of our teachers are native speakers of the language they are teaching and all have a university degree and a specialist qualification in teaching their language as a foreign language.
What is the age range of students at your schools?
Most of our year-round schools have a minimum age requirement of 16-18 years and there is no maximum age limit! As a very general rule, we do find that the majority of students (around 70%) are aged 20-28 years, although we do take plenty of students either side of this age bracket! Our experience is that the majority of students travel alone and therefore are very keen to make friends! Also, as students do tend to have a lot in common (e.g. interest in the language/local culture etc.) we really have found that age is not really an issue! We do also offer courses specifically for young students and 'Club 50+' courses for students aged 50 years and over who wish to study exclusively with students of a similar age to themselves.
What are the nationalities of the students at your schools?
Our courses are suitable for students of all nationalities and there is usually a really wide range of nationalities present at our schools at any one time!
Will I receive a qualification or certificate?
If you take one of our 'normal' courses, you will receive a certificate of participation at the end of your course. This usually states the course you have undertaken, the dates of your course and the level you reached by the end of your course. Please note that this is not a formal, recognized qualification. If you are interested in obtaining a formal qualification, please contact us for further information on exam preparation courses.
Will I need to do any homework?
Your teachers are aware that you will want to get out and explore the local area, experience the local culture and practice that which you have learnt in the classroom in everyday situations! Therefore, if they do ask you to do homework, it will be minimal and will usually consist of some preparatory work for the next day's lessons. This may include discussion topics to be considered, or a very short piece of writing. The time you do spend on homework is completely up to you, although, of course, the more you put in, the more you will get out!
What should I do if my class is too easy/difficult for me?
If this is the case, the most important thing is that you let either your teacher or ourselves know as soon as possible. We will then assess the situation and look to move you to a class more suited to your ability (subject to availability).
What is the maximum number of students per class?
This varies depending on the school, but we have clearly marked this for each school on the results page of our 'Find a course' quotation tool. Please note that this is a maximum and we would expect the average class sizes to be less than this number.
click on a question to reveal the answerAccommodation
What accommodation should I choose?
We offer a range of accommodation options, so we are sure to offer one to suit you! If you are looking for the best accommodation linguistically, host family accommodation would certainly be our recommendation. If you wish to live with other students then student residence or shared apartment accommodation would be the best choice for you (please note that some shared apartment accommodation is shared with the local owner rather than other students). We also offer other accommodation options such as hotels and guest houses.
What should I do if I have any specific requirements regarding my accommodation?
Please do let us know at the time of booking if you have any specific requirements regarding your accommodation. We will do our very best to arrange this with our colleagues at the school, although please note that this is dependent on availability and cannot be guaranteed.
Can I share a room even though I am travelling by myself?
Shared rooms are sometimes only for two students travelling together. However, in some locations it is possible to arrange for you to share a room with another student of the same gender, even if you are travelling alone. The school will then place another student in the room to share with you.
When is accommodation arranged for and can I book extra nights if I need them?
In the vast majority of locations, accommodation is arranged from the Sunday before the course starts until the Saturday after the course finishes. There are some exceptions to this, so please do check this with us. It is not usually a problem to arrange one or two extra nights in your accommodation (at an additional charge).
When will I receive the address of my accommodation?
We will send you your accommodation details as soon as we receive these from our colleagues at the school. This is usually 1-2 weeks before your course start date.
click on a question to reveal the answerBooking and Payment
How do I book and when do I pay?
You can book online or over the telephone, whichever is most convenient for you! We do not have any booking deadlines as such, although we would strongly advise that you book without delay, especially during high season, so as to avoid disappointment with regards to availability. You just need to pay a deposit of 200 GBP/250 Euros/350 USD (depending on which currency you prefer to pay in). It then takes 1-2 working days to receive confirmation. The full balance will be due 8 weeks before you start your course, or upon confirmation of your booking. We are also able to accept payment in instalments up to 8 weeks before your course is due to start.
How can I pay?
You can pay via card or bank transfer. Please note that there is a 2% bank charge on all Visa and Mastercard payments and a 4% bank charge on all American Express payments and therefore most students do prefer to pay by bank transfer (for most students there will also be bank charges when making a bank transfer, although this is usually less than the bank charge on card payments). If you prefer to pay by bank transfer, we would advise you to provide card details as a guarantee to secure your booking, as this will allow us to send your booking to the school without delay (otherwise, we would need to wait until we receive the bank transfer payment before we are able to process your booking).
Can you arrange flights for me?
We specialize in language courses abroad and send students from all over the world to schools all over the world, and, therefore, our students make their own travel arrangements.
When should I book flights?
We strongly advise that you do not book your flights, or make any other special arrangements relating to your course (e.g. if you decide to arrange your own accommodation) until you have received confirmation from ourselves, which usually takes 1-2 working days.
If I have to cancel my course, will I receive a refund?
Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information on our cancellation policy. We would strongly advise that you take out suitable travel insurance. If you are able to postpone your course, then it is normally possible to do so for an amendment fee of 35 GBP/50 Euros/50 USD, although this is at the school's discretion.
click on a question to reveal the answerArrival
Can you arrange an airport transfer for me on arrival?
Most of our schools do offer an airport transfer service, usually at an additional cost. You will be met by a representative of the school who will usually be holding a board with the school's name or your name written on it. We will provide you with emergency telephone numbers which you should call should your flight be delayed, or you are unable to locate the school's representative.
What do I need to take with me?
We would advise that you take a pen, some paper and a small pocket dictionary. Course materials will be provided at the school (sometimes at an additional cost). Bed linen is usually provided by your accommodation, towels may or may not be provided (we will usually inform you of this when we send you your accommodation details).
We hope that this has answered some of your questions! However, we are always very happy to answer any questions that students have, so please do not hesitate to contact us.