Students frequently ask
We understand that studying abroad is a big decision to make. It's important that you gather all the information you need before you start your journey with us. Our FAQs should provide you with answers to all your queries.
If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact one of our advisors.
Schools and courses
Why invest in a language stay?
Living a different culture and studying a foreign language brings multiple benefits to both your personal growth and your career path. From learning how to interact with others in a multicultural environment and navigating surroundings new to you, a language stay abroad will help you develop your language skills while having a fun and unforgettable experience.
Is it better to book my language course abroad through a school or through an agency?
The advantages of booking with an agency are many:
1) You receive counselling in your mother tongue, and we do this at ESL at no extra cost. We provide you with up-to-date documents – including visa information, tips & tricks before departure and emergency contacts on site, among others – so you're fully prepared for your stay abroad.
2) At ESL, we ensure the highest quality by selecting and putting together a portfolio of accredited, established and trustworthy language schools around the world. Our strict criteria in selecting our partner schools includes having fully qualified language instructors, guaranteeing tuition for a wide range of levels and ensuring students are placed in host families alongside individuals of a different mother tongue, among other aspects.
3) At ESL, we care about every one of our students’ language journey. A dedicated counsellor will take care of your needs before, during and after your study abroad experience.
4) With ESL’s best price guarantee, you’ll get the exact same price as you would by booking directly with the school – plus your own counsellor who will turn your stay into a tailor-made experience and ensure it is successful.
Why should I book my language course abroad with ESL during COVID-19?
ESL makes sure that all our partner schools follow strict hygiene guidelines to ensure full safety on site so you can make the most of your stay. ESL has also introduced flexible cancelation conditions to make it easy for you to book your course today and, if needed, cancel or postpone it at no extra cost. For further information about safety on site and our flexible booking conditions, please visit our dedicated page here.
What country should I choose?
The choice of destination is linked to your interests, your hobbies, your usual or preferred transport option (bike, public transport...). It is our job to find the destination that fits you, your way of life and your expectations best. Reach out to us and let us show you what we do best – finding the perfect city, school, and accommodation for you.
Which is the best school for me and my goals?
That depends on your expectations and wishes. Our portfolio includes small boutique schools, large schools, schools located in the bustling city centres, schools out in the countryside... Whatever your preference, we've got you covered! Our ESL counsellors have visited almost all of our 500+ partner schools and will provide you with first-hand knowledge and insights in order to help you make this important decision.
I’m not placed in the right level at school. What can I do?
You will have the chance to take the assessment test again at any given moment. Our partner schools’ aim is for you to make progress and they will always ensure you're placed in the appropriate level for that. Don't hesitate to speak up whenever you feel you're not in the correct level.
What certificates can I obtain?
Our partner schools offer official exam preparation courses and are often also test centres themselves, where you can sit the exam right after you finish your course.
You will be able to take a range of exams according to your level and your chosen language: from the English-language Cambridge, TOEFL and IELTS certificates, to the German Goethe and TELC exams, you'll be sure to find the right exam to fit your needs. You can also officially recognise your Spanish level with the DELE certificates or your French skills with the DELF/DALF tests. For further information about official language certificates available to you on a language course abroad, please visit our dedicated page here.
In any case, whether you choose to sit an official language exam or not, you will always receive a course certificate at the end of your language stay, which you can include in your CV!
Get the price difference refunded if you find a better deal for the same programme with another agency or directly with the school.
Our teams are experts in language travel and their experience in the industry is both professional and personal.
We select partner language schools according to strict criteria – high-quality facilities, small class sizes at a range of levels, great location, first-class teaching and an exciting activities program, among other aspects.
What type of accommodation is best?
Most of our partner schools offer different types of accommodation. From local host families to shared flats and student residences.
Living with a local family is a unique experience that greatly adds to students’ language learning progress. However, some may prefer to enjoy the student life with complete independence to eat out every night and return home whenever they want. What’s more, modern student residences in big cities often offer indoor fitness areas and other fun and convenient spaces. One thing is certain, whatever your goal, budget and personality, we have a suitable accommodation option and are happy to take you through every possibility and help you choose. Find out more about the types of accommodation available here.
How far are the accommodation options from the schools?
This largely depends on the city and type of accommodation you’ve chosen for your language stay. Our partner schools are typically located in the city centre, while host families usually live in quieter areas – around 30-45 minutes away by public transport. In smaller cities, host families can be within walking distance from the school or easily reached by bike. Student housing, including student residences, are often 5-30 minutes away from the school by public transport, and some are even within walking distance.
What should I do if I have an issue with my host family?
Host families are selected by our partner schools with the utmost care and are regularly inspected to ensure the highest standards for you. Should you wish to move to a different host family or type of accommodation, there will be a dedicated staff member at your school who will be happy to assist you. Changing host families takes approximately 2-3 working days.
Moving to a student residence is subject to availability, and usually depends on the time of the year: during summer, for instance, availability is limited. In any case, at ESL we strongly believe that your accommodation experience is a key aspect of your language learning progress. We’ll always try to find the best option for you and won’t be satisfied until you are.
I’m between 16 and 18 years old, should I book a Junior programme or an Adult course?
This depends on your personality and level of independence. Our Junior camps always include activities and weekend trips in the package price and there is always a group leader present. The Adult programs offer social activities and weekend trips on site, and the average age is evidently higher.
However, every student is free to sign up for whatever they wish to experience. If you’re not sure what programme is best for you, your counsellor at ESL will provide you with expert advice to help you make this important decision.
Are the activities included in the package?
When you book a Junior programme, extracurricular activities are included. Our partner schools offering Adult courses organise amazing social activities and weekend trips and, once on site, you can easily choose which ones you want to take part in with your new friends. Many of the daily social activities offered are free, while some have a minimal cost such as the entrance fee for museums and theme parks. Weekend trips are often also offered at a very good price as they're usually group outings.
Will I receive help for the visa process?
Our expert counsellors stay on top of all visa regulations and will share all updated information with you. Although you must submit your visa application yourself, we will provide you with all the necessary support and information to ensure your visa is approved – from application forms and pricing to embassy contacts and required documents.
Who will pick me up at the airport?
If you book the airport transfer, there will be someone holding up a sign with your name and/or the school's name upon your arrival, who will take you straight to your booked accommodation. This is a great option if you’ve travelled a long way, as you’ll be tired after the long journey. It’s also a smart choice if you haven't travelled often and feel more secure having everything organised for you. More experienced travellers may prefer to find their own way and opt for public transport or a taxi and therefore choose not to book this extra service organised by the language school.
Who can I go to if I have a problem after I arrive?
Every one of our top language schools worldwide has a student service on site. You will receive assistance in buying a mobile SIM card, checking monthly or weekly public service rates, buying or renting a bike, changing the course level you’re in, modifying your accommodation plan and so on. In addition to this student service, we at ESL are also here for you during your stay and you can contact your personal counsellor at any time for assistance.
How long does it take to become bilingual?
Your progression rate mainly depends on three factors:
The first one is your chosen language and its complexity: improving your skills in German, French or Russian might be a bigger challenge than doing so in English. The choice of language does influence the progression rate from beginner to proficient.
The second factor is the level you start off with: the higher your level already is, the longer it takes to advance to the next. For example, a beginner in English may move to an A2 level within 12 weeks while progressing from a B2 to a C2 (essentially a native level) usually takes 24+ weeks. Why not take one of our language tests to check your current level and, with our counsellors’ help, you can determine how many weeks it will take to reach your goal.
The third factor depends on your goals and how you shape your stay in terms of daily homework practice, living with a local host family and practicing the language during meals, choosing an intensive course over a standard course, with more lessons per week. We are here to assess your needs and create a learning programme that will allow you to reach your goals.