September 2011 issue

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English plus sports in Australia

With thousands of miles of coastline, glorious weather, and the world’s largest coral reef, Australia is an obvious destination for English plus water-based activities, while world-class facilities in sports such as golf and tennis ensure plenty of inland action as well. Matthew Knott investigates English plus sports courses.

It is great for anyone to learn surfing. It’s a wonderful sport that combines fun and fitness. It is also very social. It is a popular pastime of many of our students,” enthuses Michael O’Grady, Director of Byron Bay English Language School (BBELS) in NSW, which has been offering surfing and diving classes to EFL students since 1998.

Surfing is very much part of Australia’s national identity and is a huge attraction for many students, agrees Mick Edwards, Director of Sea English in Manly, NSW. “The surfing course allows students to have a real Australian cultural connection,” he explains. “Students get a real appreciation of what the feeling is to stand up on a board and ride a wave to the beach.” The Sea English course, which includes a two-hour surf class on three afternoons a week, is especially popular in the summer with many nationalities, Edwards adds.

Manly Beach, situated in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is an iconic location for surfing, Edwards asserts. “Manly Beach is the perfect place because it is the home of surfing in Australia,” he says. “It’s a big beach with a great range of waves for all abilities. It hosts two of the world’s biggest surfing championship events for both men and women but it is also ideal for beginner surfers.” O’Grady, meanwhile, praises the conditions at Byron Bay, “The geography enables surfing to happen in a variety of wind and swell directions. There is a north-facing bay, Byron Bay, as well as the open east-facing beaches. Thus there is always somewhere safe and suitable for beginners to get their confidence in the water!” The school’s ‘Learn to Surf’ course is held on eight days over two weeks, with a 2.5-hour lesson with a teacher each day.

Although the surfing course may be an easy sell for eager surfers, Ian Pratt, Marketing Director of Lexis English, advises that the quality of surf instruction must match the English tuition. Lexis offers courses in the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay, Perth, and Noosa, with the latter taught by former World Champion surfer, Merrick Davis. “We always use only fully accredited and insured providers and make sure that the quality of the programme meets students’ expectations,” he says. “We get students standing up by the end of their first lesson, and within a couple of weeks they’re surfing like they’ve been at it their whole lives!”

“The surfing courses are often just a start,” Edwards says, “Many of our students after their course buy their own board – new or second hand – and go surfing by themselves with other students at the school. For some students, an East Coast surfing holiday with friends is the next thing they decide to do.” Pratt concurs, and adds, “All of our surfing schools are in easy walking distance to the beach, so our students find themselves surfing on weekends and in their spare time too.”

With the Great Barrier Reef being one of Australia’s most glorious natural attractions, diving courses are also in high demand. “The diving course is very popular with students who are planning to travel to the Barrier Reef after their course. Having attained their Padi certificate they are ready to go diving on the barrier reef. The dive course can be done at the local dive school in Manly,” explains Edwards.

“Cairns is the perfect place to get your diving certificate as the city is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” exclaims Dolly Del Rosario at Cairns Language Centre and Eurocentres Cairns, QLD, where two-week Diving Adventure English packages include a four-day Padi certification and a night aboard on the reef. “It is a packaged programme that includes English study, homestay accommodation, an Open Water Dive Course and two extra excursions. For students who only have short holidays a package programme is popular,” she says.

As well as marine sports, Australia has a wealth of inland attractions. “With stunning clubs – some overlooking beaches and mountains – that are well organised, the courses are popular for all ages, families and students looking for an amazing experience in Aussieland,” acclaims Carolina Cardoso at Browns English Language School in the Gold Coast, QLD, about their golf and tennis courses. “Browns has professional tennis coaches and on the golf programme students will have classes and practise with PGA golf professionals. If it also an opportunity for students to practise in the best courts, make new friends, and improve their English practising the sport they love.”

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  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

Association of British Language Schools  
English Australia  
International House World Organisation  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Perth Education City  
Quality English  
The English Network  

British Boarding Schools Workshop   

Cambridge Esol  
Pearson Education  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  
Trinity College London  

Dr. Walter GmbH  
Guard. Me  

Western Union  

Malta Tourism Authority  

St Giles International  
Twin Group  

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


CERAN Lingua International  

Access International English Language Centre   
Apex Language & Career College   
Banff Education Centre  
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  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Luther College High School  
LSC Language Studies Canada  
Language Studies International  
Niagara College  
North Island College  
Queen's School of English  
University Of Victoria  
Saint Mary's University  
Vancouver English Centre  
ABC Languages  
Absolutely English Young Learners  
Angel Language Academy  
Bell International  
Cambridge Education Group - HO  
Camp Beaumont  
English Language Centre Brighton & Hove  
Hampstead School of English  
International House London  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Liverpool Community College  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House College London  
Ovingdean Hall College  
King's Colleges  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Spinnaker College  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
SUL Language Schools  
University of Essex - International Academy  
Wimbledon School of English  

Accent Francais  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
Le Franc Parler   
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

Sprachcaffe Languages Plus  

Alpha College of English  
Atlantic Language Galway  
Cork English Academy83  
Emerald Cultural Institute  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Language & Business College Ireland  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  
English Language Academy  
inlingua Malta  

Eurocentres Cape Town  

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

International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Inturjoven Spanish Courses   
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute  

ELS Language Centers  
STS Student Travel Schools  
University of Arizona  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

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