The following information should help to choose the ideal course for you
In our course search engine you can actually systematically select schools according to the extra-curricular activities offered. As regards the language itself, even though different countries speak the same language, the dialects can be very diverse. If the language course is meant to be a preparation for a future job it might be beneficial to complete the course in the same country to get used to the specific dialect spoken there. There is a slight tendency that the quality of courses in less developed countries are of a lower standard than the ones in more industrialized areas (there are exceptions - check the school evaluations on the Languagecourse.Net pages!). On the other hand, schools in exotic areas often offer smaller groups which means more conversational time in the foreign language. Also make sure you pay attention to the budget aspect at the bottom of this page. We also prepared a collection of city guides for the most popular destionations.
Languagecourse.Net has evaluated several thousand course programmes for
you and has only selected the best schools in the respective region. The
quality of the courses is guaranteed either by membership of an independent
school association, or by acknowledgment by the national ministry of education.
In addition to the evaluations of the schools by former students on the
Languagecourse.Net website, you should take the following aspects into
Location of school:
in the suburbs:
+ safer area, shorter distance between school and accommodation, silence and relaxation
- dependence on public transport timetables (especially after late disco or bar visits in the centre!),
in the centre:
+ large number of bars, restaurants, cultural events, shops, and leisure-time activities
**Unlike many other agents of language schools, Languagecourse.Net publishes
the address of the school to enable you to evaluate its exact location.
We also include the distance from the city centre in our school profiles.
Size of school:
advantages: better equipped libraries and usually multimedia language-labs; greater variety of course levels, (so that the lessons take place in homogeneous groups) ; large number of different types of courses for special groups; possibility of contact with more students; often better structured timetables.
advantages: comfortable personal atmosphere, usually fewer students per group (especially during low season) greater possibility of the school taking personal wishes into account; contact with other students is less superficial.
One should, if possible, always choose a school that has a student body from a wide range of nationalities. This facilitates contact with students from different cultures, and increases the chance of communicating in the target language outside the lessons rather than in communicating in your native language.The origin of the students depends upon the country in which the course is offered (e.g. Japanese students are now more frequently booking courses in Australia than in Britain). On the other hand the student mixture also depends on the school's marketing efforts in specific countries. The majority of school profiles included in LanguageCourse.Net include specific data regarding the composition of students.
The standard course
The standard course is offered by practically every school. It consists of approximately 4 lectures of group training per day. This course delivers a good basis and covers the four skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Standard courses would be most suitable for students wanting to learn the language in a general context, and enjoy a great holiday.
On top of the features of a standard course, the intensive course includes an additional 1-3 lectures in the afternoon, concentrating mainly on conversation training. This type of course is suitable for the very motivated, who want to achieve the absolute linguistic maximum in a short period of time. One should not forget that 6 lectures per day can be quite demanding, especially when facing further homework every day, and some social time is sacrificed.
Examination preparation courses
In the preparation courses you will be specifically trained to pass internationally recognised diplomas or certificates. These courses start many times per year at specific dates counted back from the exam dates. Much of the course focuses on past exam papers, and test exams are completed as realistic exam training.
Examinations are often necessary in order to be able to study at a foreign university or to prove your level of linguistic expertise. These examination courses are recommended, because the goal of passing a final examination at the end of the course can increase your motivation significantly. Also, the course itself remains very focused. Furthermore, these courses must cover a very wide range of language aspects in order to deliver optimal exam preparation. Long term students in particular are advised to follow exam courses in order to maintain a study focus.
Study and Live in your Teacher's Home
This special kind of course is the most effective way to increase your language skills over a short time. You will be taught by your own private teacher and you will live in his/her home. Because of this, the learning process continues all day. You will participate fully in your teacher's social and family life and will not have contact with speakers of your own language. This course ensures that you will receive your own individual programme which is tailored to your personal needs. We offer this programme in 30 different countries all over the world. You can choose between 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 hours private lessons per week and between four different courses: standard programme for one and two students, business and executive programme (not available at all locations), lessons without accommodation and the special programmes offered in Cairo (Arabic & Golf, Arabic & Tennis).
One-to-one courses are doubtless the most effective way to learn, but unfortunately also the most expensive type of course. The student has the possibility of, with his or her private teacher, choosing the intensity and topic of the lectures. The greatest advantage is that the student is constantly communicating in the target language with the teacher, who corrects errors by direct feedback. One-to-one courses can therefore improve communication ability much faster than studying in a group. Most schools offer a combination of single and group courses. Such a combination is not only a very effective way of studying but also a good deal cost wise. In most school profiles of LanguageCourse.Net you will find information explaining the possibilities of combining individual and group lessons.
Business and business related courses
Business courses are mainly aimed at people with some prior knowledge of the language, and who have the need to use it to achieve business objectives. In these courses, topics such as business correspondence, presentations and telephone training are specifically stressed. Usually the course is limited to 6 students. Some schools even offer business courses for specific professions such as: stewardesses, secretaries, lawyers, IT-specialists etc. These courses, as well as focusing on specialised vocabulary, also aim to role play common business situations. These courses often only start at designated dates. In LanguageCourse.Net´s course search one can specifically search for schools offering business courses.
In addition to the above courses, special courses for students, senior citizens or study years and internship courses are offered via LanguageCourse.net, and you can search for schools offering these courses in our database, by selecting "course category".
Number of lectures/Duration of lectures:
The number of lectures chosen mainly depends upon one's personal goals. Is it mainly holiday, or linguistic achievement you are striving for? From our own experience we recommend, especially for long courses, booking rather more lectures, (without over doing it!) because you will find plenty of time for sightseeing and enjoying yourself at the weekends.
When you are comparing the number of lectures you should also take a closer look at the duration per lecture which can vary between 40 and 60 minutes. This is explicitly mentioned in the LanguageCourse.Net´s school profiles.
Generally it is obvious that the smaller the class size, the faster your learning progress is going to be. Conversation practice is more difficult to achieve in bigger classes. Unfortunately, the bigger the class-the cheaper the course.
During July and August language schools have a larger number of students than during the other months. If you would like to book a course during that time, you should do so very early, because schools have limited places and might be booked up well in advance for the high season. Should you be able to follow your language course during low-season, not only do you pay less, but you can also enjoy smaller classes, higher achievement, and perhaps even better accommodation, as schools rent additional accommodation for the high season, which is sometimes further from the school.
The minimum duration for a language course usually is 2 weeks. Students benefit most starting from the 3rd and 4th week of the course, when the student gets used to the environment and the self access facilities. Also by this time the early distractions are over and the student has "settled in".
When it comes to choosing your accommodation, these are the possibilities:
Host family / private accommodation:
Staying in private accommodation offers the possibility of getting a great insight into the way of life and the culture of the country you are visiting. Also you often make more progress in the target language because you continue practising the language in a real life situation after the end of the classes. Do be aware that "host families" are sometimes couples without children or even singles, who have a room to rent. The quality of the accommodation among host families can vary quite a lot. If you realise upon arrival that you are unhappy with your accommodation, do not stay, but report it to your school and they will do their best to try to find a solution. In some cases students have to share rooms, so please read the description of the accommodation in the school profiles carefully. In case you want to book a single room but the form does not explicitly give this option, you should write a short note in the comments field stating that you wish to be placed in a single room.
Shared student flat / apartment
Many schools rent apartments for students near the school. Usually you share the bathroom and kitchen with about 3-6 other language students. This type of accommodation allows maximum independence during your stay and more contact with the other students, which means easy access to people to spend the spare time with if you wish. Experiences have shown, however, that in this type of accommodation frequently the target language is not being spoken after lessons.
Most of the language schools also offer hotel rooms at a close distance from the school. The costs of these rooms are much higher than in host families or shared apartments.
The following factors influence overall costs quite
significantly and should be carefully taken into consideration:
Cost of living:
The cost of living can vary significantly from country to country. Sometimes you can save a significant amount by choosing a language course in a country with a low cost of living. For example, the cost of living in Ecuador is just a fraction of the cost in Argentina. Also within a country the costs can differ between big cities such as London or New York and smaller towns in Wales or the Mid East of the US. Especially when considering doing a longer course, you should pay very close attention to these costs. Most school profiles of LanguageCourse.Net have details relating to these costs of living and in our search engine one can compare the costs of courses in different countries.
One of the main factors which determines the price of a language course is the number of students per class. By choosing a course with a larger maximum number of students you can decrease the costs of the course quite significantly. But of course at the same time the teacher - student contact decreases.
Pay attention to what services are included in the course price. Additional costs for airport transfer or study material can raise your costs quite a bit. Also make sure you compare the entire price including inscription fee, accommodation and course price.