June 2011 issue

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England’s charms

Rugged and wild coastlines, small town rural charm and vibrant international cities are all available for students looking to find their idyllic language travel destination in England. Bethan Norris reports.

England is a popular destination for language students and many who work in the language teaching industry think their location is the best in the country. Jim Pearson, Senior Teacher and Teacher Trainer at Lila in Liverpool in the North of England, moved to work in the city eight years ago. “Liverpool gets into the blood, it’s a way of life and a place I am proud to describe as my second home,” he says. “I fist visited Liverpool 10 years ago to visit a friend and on my third visit I never left. Liverpool is the people who live here, who make it the capital of culture and who welcome everyone and are proud to call themselves ‘Scousers’.”

Many language students are attracted to study in England due to the country’s history and presence of many large cities that offer world-class entertainment options. Pearson points out that Liverpool, as one of the largest cities in the North of England, boasts “theatres, restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs, Unesco world heritage sites, listed buildings, artists, football clubs, festivals, galleries and world renowned orchestras”.

Lila itself is located in the city centre and Sarah Gallagher, International Marketing Manger at the school, points out that students are well placed to visit some of the numerous attractions the city has to offer, including “more museums and galleries than any other city outside of London”. She adds, “Liverpool is one of the North of England’s dynamic metropolitan cities and is set along a varied coastline. The north’s countryside is beautiful and the region contains many of Britain’s national parks, including the famous Lake District.”

Liverpool is also home to many festivals that take place throughout the year. One particular favourite for Pearson is the Mathew Street Festival, which celebrates the city’s most famous residents, the Beatles. “The annual celebration of the music of The Beatles features more than 50 bands from all over the world performing at various venues in Liverpool,” says Pearson. Richard Day from English in Chester, also points out that the city is a good place to celebrate international cultural events. “A recent trip for our students was to an Irish pub in Liverpool to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Our students had a great time with members of Liverpool’s large Irish community. Irish stew, guinness, live music and some Irish dancing were all part of their evening out.”

Another large city in the North of England that attracts large numbers of language students is Manchester and Mark Harrington, Managing Director of Berlitz Manchester, describes the city as “the uncrowned capital of the north”. While most international students will be aware of the two Premiership football clubs that call Manchester home, they might be less aware of the Berlitz Manchester United football team, which has proved “very successful” with students, according to Harrington. He adds, “Manchester is an exciting city with leading UK universities, a lively music scene and theatre circuit. World-renowned for sports venues such as Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, and music venues such as the 10,000-seater MEN arena, there is something for everyone.”

However, Harrington also suggests that students get away from the bustle of city life to discover some of the other attractions England has to offer. “The Lake District is the most beautiful area of England and is only 60-to-90 minutes away,” he says. “I advise students to visit some of the many stately homes around the North of England and in the UK generally.”

One less well-known region of England that offers students a quieter pace of life is Northumbria and Christine Goodwin, Director of Northumbria School of English in Whitley Bay, says, “This beautiful region of northern England offers a great combination of rural landscapes, breathtaking coastline, ancient castles and of course the vibrant and historical city of Newcastle.”

Goodwin says that she set up the school in her hometown after a career spent teaching English to foreign students and believes the area has much to offer students. “Our students never miss an opportunity to visit Newcastle upon Tyne and its fantastic quayside. They also enjoy visiting Northumberland, which borders Scotland and is littered with more castles and ancient defensive forts than any other region of Britain, not to mention the Roman Wall. The fascinating and historical cities of Durham, York and Edinburgh and all within easy reach and are popular excursion destinations.”

The area also offers many activities that students may not be aware of. For example, surfing at Tynemouth is a popular – if bracing! – activity with students and Goodwin describes another unusual activity that the school has recently arranged for students. “One activity that proved to be very popular and also great fun was the beginner’s ukulele course where students learnt to play three tunes in their first lesson.”

Camp Beaumont is an organisation that offers junior activity courses for students throughout the UK and Susan Evans, Director of International Sales at the company says that each location offers its own unique attractions. “All of our schools are located in traditional English locations, giving a true British experience, from typical green rolling countryside to British seaside villages and bustling towns in the heart of the country,” says Evans.

The iconic image of England is different to many people but most are familiar with the idea of rolling green hills and small villages. Small seaside towns are also a familiar concept for overseas students and Evans says that a particular highlight that sticks in her mind is the Cromer Carnival in Norfolk, which is located close to two of the company’s centres. “This summer festival and street parade is great for students to make costumes and get involved.”

While many junior students and their parents may be looking for quieter destinations in England for their study abroad experiences, many teenagers and young adults opt for the country’s capital city, London, which caters to entirely different tastes and interests. Bethan Lewis from Into University of East Anglia (UEA) in London says that it is “impossible to get bored!” She adds, “London has a new festival every week, from film festivals to international food fairs to open air ice rinks, to parades to secret underground theme nights. There really is something to do twice a day, every day, 365 days a year. I normally check out Time Out [a London listings magazine], which the centre subscribes to, for ideas.”

Providing academic preparation courses for international students wanting to go on to a university in the UK, Into UEA London campus is located in the heart of the city near Liverpool Street. This means that many of the city’s famous landmarks, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, and the distinctive ‘Gherkin’ building, are within easy reach. “The best thing about living and working right in the city of London is that you can walk to all the postcard destinations,” says Lewis. “The Museum of London is a fascinating and visceral tour through the capital’s history and near the school are many lovely churches, often open to the air having been damaged in the Blitz and now converted into gardens where it is easy to take your lunch on a sunny day.”

Agent viewpoint

Stephanie Bon, English Product Manager, Cactus, UK
“For Cactus, London is definitely the most popular, followed by Nottingham and Liverpool. Nottingham is a very unique destination that you rarely see in agents’ portfolios, so students like the idea that it is different as well as inexpensive. Liverpool’s obvious pull is everything Beatles-related, and it also offers very good value for money both in terms of tuition fees and cost of life. Brighton is also very popular for our students especially in the summer, and its cosmopolitan vibe makes it an exciting place.”

Lucia Nicolas, Programs Manager, BCK Languages Abroad, Spain
“Our students like England because it is a European destination, with a lot of low cost airlines operating to and from Spain. They also like to experience the British culture and they feel that the British accent is more clear and correct. Students like to go sightseeing and enjoy the nightlife. The most popular areas are London, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford and Liverpool.”

Susan Vanessa Ersoy, Atec, Turkey
“Many students feel it is better to study English in the place of origin of the language itself. Many times, host families also invite their students to join their family social activities, and there is no better way to practise English and learn a bit about British culture than spending some time with your host family. The beauty of studying English in England is that no matter where one is, no other place is too far away. Travelling within the UK and even going over for a weekend visit to Europe is easy and often inexpensive to do.”

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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






Britannia Student Services  
Nido Student Living  

English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
International House World Organisation  
Quality English  

Cambridge Esol  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Twin Group  

English Australia  
Southern Cross University  

Algonquin College  
Canadian as a second language Institute  
Geos International Schools  
Georgian College  
IH Toronto  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Queen's University  
SAIT Polytechnic  
Student Guard Insurance  
Vancouver English Centre  

International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Link School  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Study Group  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
Le Franc Parler  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  
Université d'été de Boulogne-sur-Mer  

International House Berlin - Prolog  


Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  
Feltom Malta  
inlingua Malta  
Language Room  
Malta Tourism Authority  

New Horizon College of English  

English in Africa Language School  

Inturjoven Spanish Courses   
Escuela La Ola  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute  

EF Language Colleges Ltd  

Academia Uruguay  

Boarding Schools in the USA  
ELS Language Centers  
International House Sol Group  
UC Berkeley Extension  
Zoni Language Centers  

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