Why learn English?

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Accommodation and social life

All reputable English-teaching institutions catering for overseas learners offer accommodation and, with very few exceptions, an organised social programme. 

Accommodation can be residential or in a homestay – the home of a local person or family. The advantage of homestay accommodation lies in the extra opportunities to hear and speak English as well as the unique insight into the culture of the host country.

But residential accommodation has become more popular in the last decade, particularly with older students, who like to be more independent and enjoy living with other international students in a ‘university halls’ atmosphere.

Living abroad, even for a short time, can be a daunting experience, especially for first-timers travelling alone to a very different country. So language-teaching institutions have developed social and activity programmes where their students can meet eachother, go out and do things together in English. 

A typical programme features parties, dinners, games nights, theatre and shows, museum visits, local sightseeing, day excursions, sports activities and even weekends away. 

The programme will be tailored to the institution’s student body, which is normally mainly 18-35 year-olds, but could be executives or teenagers.

Where to study

Deciding where to study involves careful research. While people often have a destination country in mind, the type and size of institution, whether it is in a big city or small town, its programmes, its class sizes, facilities and of course its prices will influence the decision. But central to that decision should be some kind of accreditation. 

Accredited institutions must meet certain standards, not only in teaching, but also in the way they operate and deal with the student – their customers – and the study abroad consultants and agencies who represent them worldwide, and who are a good starting point for discovering the world of English language learning abroad. 

Jan Capper
Executive Director
International Association of Language Centres (IALC)
www.ialc.org

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