September 2012 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agent Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
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Direction I
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Course Guide
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UK schools keen to attract international students are developing more sophisticated boarding and homestay arrangements in order to meet and exceed the expectations of parents and students. Bethan Norris reports.

While the traditional view of UK boarding schools is one of cold showers and austere dormitories, the reality of today is very far removed from this image. Many schools say parents of international students are increasingly demanding single rooms, en suite bathrooms, computer access and 24-hour pastoral support, and are updating accommodation arrangements to stay competitive.

Stephen Winkley at Rossall School in Fleetwood, Lancashire, says that for all parents, the room sizes and quality accommodation is paramount. “We have invested UK£1.5 million (US$2.3 million) in the last two years in building new accommodation for pupils. We have increased our boarding capacity substantially as a result.”

The current trend is to provide smaller dormitories for younger students, single rooms for older students and accommodation blocks to create small student communities.

Winkley says, “The junior boarders – from age seven-to-13 years – tend to be in larger dormitories of about three, four or five. We no longer have any dorms of say 10 or 20 because we believe these to be too impersonal. For sixth formers, we always try to provide a single room, particularly for those in examination years – years 11-to-13.”

At Godolphin School in Salisbury too, the boarding facilities have undergone a rethink. According to Lesley Hodgson, girls between nine and 13 years old have a separate house, and the school has introduced boarding activities for different age groups. “The [international] students are housed with the UK boarders throughout our three boarding phases. This aids integration and understanding for all students and language skills and confidence for the internationals,” she adds.

It is also now common for schools to provide a range of accommodation options to cater for different tastes. Debora Brand at d’Overbroeck’s in Oxford, says the school has a boarding house with double rooms and en suite facilities, another with single rooms and shared facilities and a house for girls with doubles, singles and shared facilities. A range of family accommodation options are also on offer, she adds, enthusing, “The boarding houses accommodate 18, 20 and seven students – so they are not overcrowded and work as a little community rather than a space where they sleep and eat.”

Creating a small, family-type atmosphere within a boarding situation is key to ensuring a happy environment for international students to work and socialise. Arrangements for pastoral care, therefore, are as equally important. Clare Sender, at Bethany School in Kent, says, “All students are supported by the housemaster, assistant housemaster, housekeeper and older prefects. All washing, ironing and sewing is done by the housekeeper until the students reach the sixth form when they are taught to do it themselves. We see Bethany as an extension of the home – a caring and supportive community.”

Many schools have well-developed activity programmes for all boarders to enjoy. Mary King at Royal Russell School in Croydon, Surrey says students can meet each other in the evenings in the sixth form café, adding, “At weekends there is a wide range of regular organised activities and outings for all our boarders. Royal Russell also builds a variety of social activities into the school calendar, such as our Christmas snow ball for boarders of all ages.”

Fostering relationships between students and staff within boarding facilities is also important to schools. Rachel Hill at Hethersett Old Hall School in Norwich says they have three members of boarding staff to cater for pastoral care, as well as two international gap years students and an international teacher. “We have a very small close-knit community, with 25 boarders aged between nine-and-18 years. The girls mix very well and have sisterly relationships, looking out for each other.”

Often for parents, personal relationships, as well as facilities, are key factors in deciding between schools. “Parents often look for a boarding school which feels safe and friendly and for boarding staff who will help their daughters make the most of their time in England,” says Sarah Atkinson at Princess Helena College in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

What the agents say

“Accommodation is a very important consideration. More so than for English language students. Parents are more choosey. They want a single room, en suite facilities, nice furniture etc. If it is a very academic school and the students wants to get in, then accommodation facilities are less critical. Parents and students absolutely demand Wi Fi and computer access. But they also like schools to be strict about chat rooms and requiring computers to be switched off at a certain time in the evening. Students complain about the food but not much else. Homestay is not really requested very much. Parents of younger children don’t mind dormitories as long as they are no larger than six beds.”
Alexandra von Bulow-Steinbeis, Alexandra von Bulow and Partners, Germany

“A high standard of accommodation is very important for students and parents chosing a school in the UK. Students generally prefer boarding houses, preferably single or twin bedrooms – but not dormitories – and sometimes they want their own bathroom. The most common complaints from students are rooms that are too small and boarding houses are sometimes too cold in winter.”
Assiya Zemlekhanova, Euroschool Agency, Kazakhstan

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

English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Quality English  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  

Impact English College  
Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
English Australia  
Flinders University  
ILSC Australia  
International House Sydney Teacher Training & Prof  
Language Studies International  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South W  

CERAN Lingua International  

GTMI Global Tailor Made Idiomas  

Bow Valley College  
Connect School of Languages  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
English School of Canada  
Global Village  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber College  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
ILSC Australia  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Omnicom School of Languages  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
Study Abroad Canada  
Vancouver English Centre  
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  

Latin Immersion  

iMandarin Language Training Institute  
Mandarin House  

Barnsley College  
Bell International  
Cambridge Education Group  
Camp Beaumont  
d'Overbroeck's College  
Study Group  
International House Bristol  
International House London  
International House World Organisation  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
LAL London  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Mayfair School of English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Sussex Coast College Hastings  
English in Chester  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  
Westminster Kingsway College  
Wimbledon School of English  

British Boarding Schools Workshop  
IALC International  
IEFT- International Education Fairs of Turkey  

Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds Branch Office in Europe  
Trinity College London  

Tadra Institute  

Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

Sprachcaffe Languages Plus  

English For Asia  

Active Language Learning  
ATC Language & Travel  
Clare Language Centre  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
Horner School of English  
IH Dublin  
Language College Ireland  
MEI Ireland  
MLI International Schools  
University College Cork Language Centre  

Yokohama International Education Academy  

EC English Language Centre  
inlingua Malta  

Pay to Study/FELCA  

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

International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Xul Comunicación Social  

EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  

Malta Tourism Authority  
Study Gold Coast  


Besant Hill School  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Liberty University  
New York Military Academy  
Saint John's University  
University of Arizona  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

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