December 2013 issue

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English + work and internships in Australia

English plus work and internship courses are a great way for students to learn English abroad and practise in a professional environment. Georgina Deacon looks to Australia to find out what students can expect.

“Across Australia, English plus work and internship courses are being offered to students who want to learn the language and put their skills to use in a professional, sociable environment. “Borders are being removed, as we see young professionals seek career opportunities in the international marketplace,” says Natalia Piedrahita, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Australian Internships. “Gaining work experience overseas provides a competitive advantage and is becoming an essential strategy for young professionals wishing to put themselves ahead in the competitive global job market.”

Piedrahita continues, “This increasing demand for foreign experience has seen growing numbers of students and young professionals choose Australia as their destination for professional experience.” Students come from all over the world to benefit from the courses at Australian Internships, with Germany, Spain, France, most Latin American countries and Japan being the most popular source markets. “We have found our package programme is popular amongst Japanese students. Japanese universities are very much interested in supporting students taking such programmes and understand the importance of integrating a practical component into their degrees.”

Laura Hamilton, Marketing Manager at Kaplan, which offers English plus work and internships courses at its Sydney and Brisbane campuses, describes the problems some students have with obtaining a visa. “Students come from all over the world to study and work in Australia,” she says. “OPUS [paid work and study] is more popular with students from Western Europe due to visa accessibility.” About their English and internship programme, Hamilton says that it is also more popular with Western European students, although she stresses that they cannot offer work to all students because of certain visa limitations dependent on nationality. The recommended visa on most English plus work/internship courses in Australia is the Working Holiday Visa, however, this is only available to students from a limited list of countries.

Kaplan offers their English plus internship programme for students who wish to improve their language skills before entering a professional workplace. Hamilton says the advantages of students doing internships include building up a range of contacts while gaining international exposure. “The internship course provides students with the opportunity to improve their English in areas they need it most, before entering a professional workplace. The experience also provides an in-depth look at cultural differences through the workplace.”

Many of the English plus work courses are found in Sydney, Australia’s largest city. Miles Mackenzie, Director of Sales and Marketing at ELS Sydney, says this is key for students wishing to study plus work or do an internship. “The location of a school is important and being based in Sydney there are more work opportunities than in smaller centres. As Sydney is a city full of tourists – especially in the summer – there is always a lot of casual work available in restaurants, cafés and bars.”

Language Studies International Australia in Brisbane is a smaller school, but Cindy Kemp, Director, insists that this is nothing but an advantage for the students there. “LSI Brisbane is a small and friendly school with a great environment. Being a smaller size, we know our students well and take a personal interest in their progress. Students are able to get to know their teachers and approach them with questions. Our philosophy of ‘Learn and Live the Language’ is put into practice in their everyday learning.”

As well as taking a keen interest in the students’ progress, Kemp gives information about the extra-curricular benefits. “We have ‘Job Club’ each Monday after class that assists our students with writing CVs, understanding requirements and laws in Australia and places to look for work.”

Alexandra Cajete at EF Language School says that one of their popular courses is the EF Internship Plus Program. As well as 12 weeks of intensive English classes, the programme also offers special interest classes for those looking to extend their knowledge a little wider. “This programme is designed to provide a balance between English language study and workplace experience. When studies are completed, students are placed in a full-time, unpaid internship for three months.” EF also offer a Master Business English Program and a regular internship programme. georgina@hothousemedia.com

A selection of English plus work/internship courses in Australia

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Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

Business English UK  
International House World Organisation  
Quality English  
Study Travel Magazine  

Yanapuma Spanish School  

Business English UK  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
King's School Ely  
London School of Business & Finance  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  


TOEFL Educational Testing Service  

Goethe Institut Munchen  

English For Asia  


Italian in Tuscany  

Manabi Japanese Language Institute  

EF International Language Centers  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Barrie School (The)  
ELS Language Centers  
FLS International  
Glenholme School  
Montverde Academy  
Rutgers Preparatory School  
University of California Berkeley  
Zoni Language Centers  

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