November 2011 issue

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Northern welcome

With lively, cosmopolitan cities, a reputation for friendliness and a wealth of cultural and sporting icons, the north of England has much to offer international students, as Matthew Knott finds out.

The obvious choice for many who wish to learn English has traditionally been to head to London and the surrounding cities, yet Manchester – and the north of England – offers an exciting alternative particularly for those who like football, music and learning!” enthuses Nicola Whyley at Manchester Academy of English.

As with many cities in the north of England, Manchester offers a vibrant atmosphere within a relatively compact, accessible space. It is also, as Whyley explains, perfectly equipped to integrate students. “Manchester is the student capital of Europe with three major universities and the University of Manchester is Britain’s largest single site university. Our students can enjoy many of the benefits that the thousands of university students enjoy. It’s a city built around students and learning,” she says. Once the centre of the industrial revolution, Manchester has regenerated itself into a bustling modern city. “The industry of the nineteenth century has given way to cutting edge creative industries, digital media and sports education, particularly after it hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games.”

Sports tourism is particularly strong in Manchester with the glamour of Manchester United, arguably the world’s biggest football club, and the fast-rising Manchester City, and tours of their respective stadiums are perennially popular. Whyley notes that they offer an English plus football course in conjunction with Manchester City’s Youth Academy, and that students even get to brush shoulders with their heroes, “Most recently several of our French students met Patrick Viera and Samir Nasri at the stadium, who were more than happy to pose for pictures with them and sign autographs,” she relates.

The nearby city of Liverpool is also renowned for sports and arts, and was the European Capital of Culture 2008. Leanne Linacre, Director of Lila, lists the Tate Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery and the new Museum of Liverpool as a few of the cultural attractions. The Beatles are of course the city’s most famous exports, and the Cavern music club, The Beatles Story and the Mathew Street Music Festival allow students to pay homage to the “Fab Four”. The nightlife is also a big draw, and Linacre recommends that students “head over to the Albert Dock and sip a cocktail watching the sunset over the River Mersey”. All of this comes at relatively little cost, she notes, and highlights recent surveys which labelled Liverpool as the second-most cost effective student city in the UK. Both cities are within easy reach of breathtaking scenery, with national parks in the Peak District, the Lake District and Snowdonia, which contains the highest mountain in England and Wales.

On the north east coast of England, Newcastle is another buzzing destination. “Newcastle is an extremely popular place for both international and UK students to live, study and enjoy themselves,” enthuses Joanna Chung at Newcastle International School of English, citing transport, safety, history and culture as reasons for this, and adding, “Perhaps one of the things that attracts so many students to Newcastle is its exciting and fun-loving energy – Tripadvisor ranked its nightlife as the third best in Europe and the seventh best in the world.”

Patricia Mullen from International House, Newcastle, agrees, and also praises the surrounding area. “We have two world heritage sites within an hour of the city – Hadrian’s Wall and Lindisfarne (Holy Island) – and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the UK with many castles including Bamburgh and Alnwick, which have both featured many times in major films, most recently Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle,” she says.

Chester is another northern university city, and one steeped in heritage with its ancient city walls, medieval half-timbered buildings and cathedral. Richard Day at English in Chester, describes it as “a quintessentially English city” and quotes an agent on a recent fam trip as saying, “There are so many places with their own beauty, but few can be compared with Chester.” He also points to the fact that they are the only English language school in the city, “which is a great advantage in so many respects”. An English Conversation Club at the library, local sports clubs, playing in the Chester Wind Band and volunteering in a charity shop are just some of the examples Day provides of students integrating themselves into the community.

A recurrent theme is the friendly welcome students receive in the north of England. In Manchester, Whyley states, “Our students quickly become familiar faces around town and once they start chatting to someone in a shop or café, they find it hard to leave, which is great for their English.” Chung proudly states that, “One of the best things about Newcastle is the people that live here: Geordies are famous throughout the UK for being friendly, chatty and helpful and for their welcoming nature.” As Linacre advises, “People from Liverpool are affectionately known as Scousers and are famous for their hospitality and warmth.” She adds that with the large Irish connections in the city, St Patricks Day is a huge event. “It’s always a heart-warming sight to see our students in pubs full of Scousers arm-in-arm singing Irish sea shanties!” she says.

Agent viewpoint

“Chester is always a hit with our students and for very good reason. Chester is a Roman city that sits on the banks of the River Dee and is surrounded by picturesque countryside. Chester’s importance throughout history is evident in its black and white Tudor architecture lining the main streets and many Roman buildings remain including an amphitheatre and the original wall around the city, which you can still use to take a lovely walk. Chester has something for everyone. This bustling city has a variety of high street shops, boutiques, nationally renowned restaurants, museums and other tourist attractions. Apart from being an excellent location in itself, it is a short journey from Liverpool, which is probably best known for its football teams and The Beatles. Liverpool also plays host to several museums, art galleries and two Cathedrals. It was given recognition for its cosmopolitan feel by being awarded the 2008 European Capital of Culture.”
Óscar Porras Sánchez, Midleton School, Spain

“Newcastle became an attractive destination to our students. It is certainly because of the hospitable nature of the people, the culture, the nightlife and the low cost of living when compared to other cities in the UK. Newcastle has it all: a large variety of artistic events on offer, an intense nightlife. It is tailored to suit every lifestyle. Students love to go to Newcastle because they know for sure they will have a really good time there.
Erika Cavalcanti, World Study, Brazil

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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.






English Australia  
English UK North  
Feltom Malta  
Ialc International  
International House World Organisation  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Quality English  

Cambridge Esol  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

LTM Digital  
Your World On Monday  

Malta Tourism Authority  

St Giles International  
Twin Group  

Pasantias Argentinas  

Ability Education  
Bond University  
Carrick Institute of Education  
English Australia  
English Language & Foundation Studies Centre  
English Language Company  
Impact English College  
Language Studies International  
Lexis Engilsh  
Melbourne Language Centre  
Pacific Gateway International College  
Shafston International College  
Southbank Institute of TAFE  
Think: Education Group  
University of New South Wales  
University of Tasmania  

Bics (Business & Intl Communication School)  
Fast Forward Language Training-Portuguese Lang.Pro  

CERAN Lingua International  

Access International English Language Centre   
Apex Language & Career College   
Bond International College/ Bond Language Centre  
Cornerstone Academic College   
East Coast School of Languages  
English School of Canada  
Eurocentres Canada  
Fanshawe College  
GEOS International Schools North America  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
International Language School of the YMCAs Quebec  
Luther College High School  
LSC Language Studies Canada  
Language Studies International  
North Island College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
Queen's School of English  
Saint Mary's University  
University Of Victoria  
Vancouver English Centre  

Mandarin House  

ATC International  
Cambridge Education Group - HO  
Camp Beaumont  
English UK North  
English UK  
Ialc International  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
King's Colleges  
Language UK  
Link School  
Liverpool International Language Academy  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House College London  
Mont Rose College of Management & Sciences  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Speakeasy School of English  
Spinnaker College  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
Twin Group  
United International College  
University of Essex - International Academy  

inlingua Berlin  

ATC Language & Travel   
Galway Cultural Institute  

Capital Education  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  
English Language Academy  
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism Authority  

See Learning Centre  
Cial - Centro de Linguas  

EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  

Babylon Idiomas  
International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Inturjoven Spanish Courses   
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

EF Language Colleges Ltd  

University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

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