* Note: Canada also offers the option to study French. Everything described below also applies to French courses in Canada.
Language courses are one of the most popular areas of study in English-speaking countries. Millions of students from all over the world come to Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand to learn English for work, study, or simply to travel and socialise. No surprise, these countries have a huge number of educational institutions offering language courses, from language schools to universities.
Depending on the objectives, language courses can be of several types:
- General English is aimed at developing all skills: reading, writing, speaking, listening. Suitable for students of all levels and ages.
- Preparation for international tests IELTS, TOEFL, CAE and others. As a rule, in such courses, students learn the test format and emphasise completing the test tasks.
- Academic English prepares students for higher education. It also pays attention to all four skills, but the vocabulary is more focused on the academic environment and subjects that a student will study at the university.
- English + activities course combines English lessons in the morning and excursions, trips and sports activities in the afternoon. It is very popular with teenagers, but there are also options for adults.
- Specialised courses such as Business English, Technical English or Medical English focus on learning a language for use in a specific professional environment.
- English teacher training courses CELTA, TESOL, where students learn how to teach English as a foreign language.
Where can I study English?
You can find English courses at language schools, universities and colleges. Language schools can offer all of the above types of courses. Universities are mainly focused on academic English and test preparation. However, universities sometimes have very high-quality language schools with a wide range of courses. Colleges usually offer General English and Test Preparation.
When can I start learning English?
Usually, one can start general English courses every Monday. Other programs may have exact enrolment dates that need to be checked on the school’s website.
As for the age, the minimum age for enrolment in a language school is 12-14 years (for teenage programs). The maximum age is not limited. However, it is worth remembering that the older the student, the more difficult it is to obtain a student visa for language courses. Going to study English in an English-speaking country after 40, you must have a clear justification of your goals and motives and proof of interest in learning English in the past.
You can study on the General English course at any language level – from beginner to advanced. As a rule, students are tested and assigned to a group according to their current level before the course starts. There may also be intermediate tests in the middle of the study. If a student shows excellent results, they can be transferred to a group at a higher level. Everyone’s progress is individual, but on average, one needs at least three months of language learning to rise one level.
For various specialised courses and test preparation courses, a language level should be at least intermediate. English teacher training courses require an advanced level.
Cost of the English language courses
The cost of language courses varies greatly depending on the country, educational institution and the course itself. Here are the average prices for a General English course (20-25 hours per week):
- In the UK – £ 300 – 500 per week
- In Australia – A $ 200 – 400 per week
- In New Zealand – NZ $ 200 – 450 per week
- In Canada – CA $ 350 – 420 per week
- In Ireland – € 130 – 200 per week.
Accommodation during language courses
Almost all educational institutions provide homestay accommodation. The student can live with an English-speaking family and practice the language not only at school but also at home. All families have a good reputation and are closely monitored by the school and the police. The student has their room with furniture and internet access. The bathroom is usually shared with other family members or another student, but you can request a room with a separate bath for an additional fee. The accommodation cost also includes two meals a day (breakfast – dinner) and three meals on weekends. Students under 18 who come to language courses without parents should only live at a homestay. For students from 18 years old, some schools provide accommodation in a dormitory or hostel. If you wish, you can rent an apartment or a room yourself. Accommodation is always paid separately and is not included in tuition fees.
Why is it worth studying English in an English-speaking country?
When immersed in an English-speaking environment, progress in language learning is faster. Learning English at home, we have a chance to speak English only during a class, while in an English-speaking country you will have to practice the language outside of school – at home with neighbours, in a store, on transport, at work, etc.
You can also get acquainted with the country’s culture and life, make new friends, and see the sights. If you are travelling with an eye on further immigration, there is an opportunity to understand whether this country is right for you during the language courses. Regardless of which country you choose and whether you want to stay or return home, studying and living abroad will broaden your horizons, boost your English skills and give you valuable intercultural communication experience.
If you are interested in studying language courses in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand, contact us. We will select language school options for free and answer all your questions.