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April 2008 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Bright lights, big city

Home to over seven million people, London is a thriving metropolis that offers much in the way of culture, lifestyle and entertainment. Nicola Hancox finds out what makes the city tick.

As one of Europe’s most densely populated cities, London is literally buzzing. It is busy and it is noisy and for the millions who flock to the capital each year, few go home disappointed. Home to landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral (1), the Houses of Parliament (2) and 30 St Mary Axe Tower (3) – or “The Gherkin” as it’s more commonly referred to – travellers are drawn into a world they have only seen on screen or in books.

London has a great advantage over other UK destinations in that it boasts unrivalled diversity. Mark Jones from Language upon Thames in Richmond says, “London is a city where people from all cultures and backgrounds mix,” and Michael Mortimer from the Rose of York Language School agrees. “Central London is a vibrant cross-cultural mix of the world’s nationalities with a sprinkling of Englishness.” In the city centre, students are at the heart of it all – think Soho (4), Covent Garden (5) and Piccadilly (6) – but the London suburbs are ideal for those keen to avoid the hustle and bustle.

Tommi Muttonen from Twin Group in Lewisham says their suburban locale certainly has its benefits. “Despite being a suburb, Lewisham is a busy commercial centre with a large shopping centre, plenty of authentic pubs and a traditional London market.” Muttonen is also keen to point out the favourable cost of living. “Most things are cheaper in the suburbs – items such as lunch, a pint of beer, a haircut and a visit to the cinema can be up to half the price of Central London.”

Jones also highlights the benefits of being on London’s fringe. “Richmond is especially appealing. Described as the ‘green lungs of London’ it combines a warm and welcoming town centre with a stunning riverside and the natural beauty of Richmond deer park – the largest in London.” He also relates that students can really get to grips with Richmond’s café culture or take in a film at the award-winning art-house cinema, where viewers can enjoy a glass of wine in the comfort of their cinema seat. However, “Walking and cycling are popular activities in the park and by the riverside and in the summer students often enjoy a lazy afternoon on Richmond Green sunbathing and chatting to new friends,” he adds.

Wimbledon is another well known and well-liked suburb of London. Famous for the annual tennis tournament that takes place there at the end of June/beginning of July, Wimbledon offers visiting students much much more, says Jane Dancaster from the Wimbledon School of English. “It is one of the richest parts of London and has everything a student could need right on the doorstep,” she says, “from one of the largest and most modern cinemas to a traditional Victorian theatre, more than 200 cafés, bars, restaurants and pubs, nightclubs, a swimming pool and a shopping centre – all located just 20 minutes from Central London.”

Some students may prefer a more central locale and Ann Hawkings, Business Development Manager at Malvern House says that their schools – one near Victoria Embankment Gardens, one near High Holborn and the other in Piccadilly Circus – are in areas that are instantly recognisable. “With all three campuses next to famous London landmarks, students feel intensely part of the action in London,” she reflects.

Similarly, Loraine Kennedy, Centre Manager at the Bell International Institute, says students could not pick a better spot to study. “[We’re] situated in Holborn next to theatreland and only a stone’s throw away from the British Museum (7),” she says, adding, “Covent Garden is also nearby – and the school is only 10 minutes walk from the River Thames.”

Meanwhile, schools like Bloomsbury International and St Giles International, also in Holborn, claim to be at the heart of academic London and Vanessa Shipley, Academic Director at Bloomsbury, believes such a location stands them in good stead for attracting students. “Many of the capital’s most prestigious universities can be found here, so the people in the area are no strangers to students, and if you walk along the bustling streets you will either be rubbing shoulders with city boys on a break or with some of the many foreign students that come to London to develop their education.”

With so much to see and do in a fairly concentrated area, visitors really are spoilt for choice when it comes to planning their social calendar and Hawkings at Malvern House relates that, “In London, deciding what to do is much more difficult than trying to find something to do.”

At the Rose of York Language School, situated just five minutes away from Oxford Circus, Mortimer says, “One of our most popular events is a tour round the Houses of Parliament given by a British MP. This involves a question and answer session with the MP and includes wine and a buffet.” Elsewhere, Reka Lenart, Marketing Director at Shane Global Language Centres, relates how they offer three social events each week and sample excursions include trips to the Saatchi Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington and the Hippodrome nightclub in Leicester Square, not to mention regular pub nights and organised football in Hyde Park.

A visit to London’s theatreland – or the West End – is also a must and for those on a tight budget, Hawkings points out the many discounts available. “The concentration of theatres and special offers of free or greatly reduced theatre tickets means students on a budget can still take advantage of unique cultural opportunities.”

London is reputed for being one of the world’s most expensive cities but there are lots of things students can do for free. London has many free festivals and concerts, especially in the summer, and students can also swing by one of London’s many street markets. Borough Market (8)– made famous by films such as Bridget Jones’ Diary – is London’s oldest marketplace. Situated under the railway arches near London Bridge, this lively food fair is popular with food lovers and tourists alike. The hip and quirky Camden Market (9) is another must-see, despite a recent fire affecting the canalside area. Overflowing with arts and crafts, Camden is a thriving alternative fashion scene, and then there’s Portobello Road in upmarket Notting Hill – which sells anything from bric-a-brac to antique collectables and vintage clothing. Many of London’s museums also offer free entry, including The Natural History Museum and The British Museum.

There really is something for everyone and students find it difficult to get bored of all the activities on offer. As Peter Bulmer at the SJW Academy in St John’s Wood, says, “When long-term students have exhausted all the museums, galleries, theatres, shops and landmarks, they tend to imitate the locals and develop an interest in football, pubs, gyms, clubs, parks and the cinema!”

Agent viewpoint

“I would love to be in my 20s and be a language learner in London. The city has worldwide famous venues, attractions, nightlife and cultural activities. In London, being a student is fun. It’s easy to make new friends, find a part-time job, experience different cultures and enjoy the freedom. There are endless opportunities. We have a lot of students [who] invite their friends from London and they keep in contact. London is a unique place for international students to meet and make great friendships.”
Celemet Yener, ICEP World, UK

“My clients choose London as a destination because it is the best destination in the world to learn English, with the additional bonus of the great British culture, history and multicultural mix. Good job opportunities are another attraction for them and there are so many touristy and historical places to see while there.”
Luciano Baldauf, UKStudy.com, UK

“Many of our students work beside their studies and enjoy not only the extra money it gives but also the feeling of belonging there. Being a part of the city and not just seen as a tourist from abroad. It also gives them a possibility to make friends that are not from school in an environment that gives them a good experience for future life and work.” 
Johan Stenhammar, Sprakpunkten, Sweden

“Our largest city has less than a tenth of London’s population and our clients find living in such a big city fascinating. Many of them are surprised that there are so many parks and green areas where you can relax, wondering how it can be so quiet in the middle of such a big city. As London is a truly cosmopolitan city, it does not matter where you come from, what you look like and what kind of an accent you have.”
Maria Kovacs, InterStudy, Slovakia

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student
      Services  

ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
Eaquals
      International  
Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  
Quality English  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
LTM Star Awards  

EXAM BOARDS
IELTS  

GUARDIANSHIP
COMPANIES
Bright World
      Guardianships  

INSURANCE
InterGlobal Ltd.  
Student Guard
      Insurance  

SERVICES
Your World On
      Monday  

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Merlin
      Entertainments

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua
      International  
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)

CANADA
Bodwell College  
Centre Linguista
      Canada  
College Platon  
English Bay
      College  
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
ILSC  
National School of
      Languages  
Quest Language
      Studies  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College
      of Languages  
University of
      Toronto  
Vancouver English
      Centre  
YMCA Greater
      Montreal
      International
      Lang School  

CHINA
iMandarin Chinese
      Training School  
Mandarin House  

ENGLAND
Bell International  
      (Malta, UK)
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      Leisure  
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Malvern House  
Princes College
      School of English  
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
South Thames
      College  
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)

FRANCE
Home Language
      International  
      (France, Ireland,
      Spain)
Langues Sans
      Frontieres  
Silc - Séjours
      Linguistiques  
      (France, Spain, UK)
Université de Paris
      Sorbonne  

GERMANY
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

IRELAND
ISI - International
      Study Institute
      Ireland

Swan Training
      Institute  
University College
      Cork  

JAPAN
Kai Japanese
      Language School  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC - English
      Language Centres  
      (China, England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      USA)
LAL Malta  
Malta Tourism
      Authority  
NSTS  

NEW ZEALAND
Languages
      International  
Wellington High
      School  

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps  
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
Edinburgh Academy

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  

SPAIN
ESADE- Executive
      Language Centre  
Idiomas ˇSí!  
Instituto
      Internacional de
      Idiomas Ibiza  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)

USA
ALCC - American
      Language &
      Communication
      Center  
Brown University  
ELS Educational
      Services  
Global Immersions
      Inc  
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,   
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Monterey Institute
      of International
     Studies  
Zoni Language
     Centers  

WORK WISE

ENGLAND
Bright World
      Guardianships  
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK)