With so many course/programme options, choosing the best school to learn English abroad can be very difficult. Once you have a goal in mind and a destination chosen, it’s time to choose in which school. In order to help you, follow these tips to help you make your choice.
You will find small, medium and large schools, both physically and in the number of students. If you want a more intimate and friendly location, the small and medium schools might be your option. Now, if you want activity and to interact with as many people as possible, choose a big school.
Number of students per class
Think about class size. If you want to learn as quickly as possible or pass an exam (your main goal) look for schools that have a smaller number of students per class, to perhaps get more attention during study periods. If you want to practice your English with many different people to make new friends then a larger class will suit you.
One of the most important aspects when choosing the school for you to learn English. More nationalities (less from your own country) means you will practice more English. Also, you will also have a higher chance of meeting people from different countries around the world (this might be one of your study goals). In all language schools you are very likely to meet at least some people from your own country.
If you like the buzz of a big city centres (maybe you like in a large city at home or have dreamed of living in somewhere like London or New York) then look for these locations. If you would rather live in a more residential neighbourhood or maybe somewhere less busy, look for schools perhaps outside city centres or in the countryside. Accommodation options are often very good and always check the access to the nearest big city for visits at least.
Methodology and quality
Learning a second language is not easy, so choosing the school based on how they teach is important. Make sure schools are accredited by awarding bodies and make sure teachers are qualified for teaching English as a second language (EFL or ESL).
Students often overlook school accreditations which are a real sign of top quality.
In Ireland, MEI (Marketing English in Ireland) is the accreditation achieved only after a school has been checked for quality in several areas. Other benefits are peace of mind as accrediting bodies often help students when they experience problems.
In Canada, CAPS-I (Canadian Association of Public Schools– International) works as a guarantee of standards so that every student can have a great experience during their course abroad.
In South Africa, EduSA (Education South Africa), offers similar accreditation for the language schools across the country which recently achieved the government recognition for English language courses. Now, students of English courses can apply for specific student’ visas, as long as the school is accredited by Edu SA.