10 Things to Consider When Choosing an English School
Choosing the right English school is a big decision, and not everyone is looking for the same experience. While some people want the charm of a stand-alone school, others like the security of a bigger education company. There is also the choice between staying local and studying in an English-speaking country. Those are decisions only you can make, but there are some things you should always consider.
Read below for 10 things to think about when searching for the English school that’s right for you.
1. Is the school accredited by the government?
Studying with an accredited school can help you ensure that you’re getting the best education for your money. Accreditation from organizations like the British Council (UK) and ACCET (USA) means that the schools are checked regularly and offer the highest standards of education.
2. What is the average class size?
A class that’s too small doesn’t offer opportunities for group work or communication with a variety of students. However, a class that’s too big means that students don’t have the chance for one-on-one time with their teacher. A classroom with between 10 to 18 students tends to work best.
3. What is the classroom nationality mix?
A greater variety of student nationalities in the classroom means more opportunities to practice your English and gain international friendships! One example is our English school in London (Covent Garden) which has over 80 different nationalities!
4. Does the school have an organized social program?
The best way to feel like you’re part of a school is to take advantage of social programs with your fellow students. Schools that offer social programs show their commitment to giving their students the full experience of being in a new city.
5. Is residential accommodation provided through the school?
If you’re traveling to a new location, knowing that you have a place to call home can be a big relief. Sometimes a place to stay can make all the difference in your experience. It can be much more relaxing to have a room of your own, ready for you, rather than worrying about booking a hostel or some other accommodation for your stay.
6. How often are host family residences inspected?
Though it is great to have accommodations offerings from your school, it’s also important to find out how often the residences, and especially homestays, are followed up with. There is nothing worse than finding out your future residence in a new country isn’t a comfortable and safe place for you.
7. Do classes cover the 4 most important language skills?
Getting a well-rounded language education is the best way to gain better skills. By covering reading, writing, listening and speaking in the classroom, you can be sure that your communication in English will improve dramatically.
8. Does your school allow you to move up to a higher-level course?
Being stuck in the same level once your English has improved is a frustrating experience. Make sure that your school has courses for different levels, and that you can move up into them as your English gets better.
9. Are all the teachers certified by an accredited organization?
Making sure that you’re being taught by fully trained, accredited teachers is the first step to ensuring that your language class is worthwhile. When your teachers have a certification like the CELTA, TESOL or an equivalent, you can be sure that they were trained to high standards and have experience in the classroom.
10. Are there people available to talk to if you’re having any trouble with a course or accommodation?
Knowing someone is there to talk to, even if you don’t need them, can be a huge relief. It’s important that the staff at your school can help you with questions or problems you might have. It’s best if the people working at your school know exactly how the programs work and what to do if something isn’t going well for you.