Long Term English Study Programme: Finding The Study Programme For You
A long-term English study programme in the UK is the best way to learn English or master your knowledge of the language whilst having an incredible life-changing experience.
Not only will your language skills improve way beyond your expectations as you learn from the most experienced native speaking tutors, but you will most probably make friends for life.
When you learn English as part of a long-term English study programme, you experience the English culture first hand. You’re not just passing through, you become part of a school family and part of a community. You get to experience the cultural seasons of England and explore the rest of the UK at your leisure.
Students are amazed at how quickly their proficiency in English improves whilst studying long term at English language schools and will often tell you that their time spent in the UK has been the most enjoyable and exciting time of their life, creating memories and friends that will last a lifetime. So let’s take a closer look at the 8 best things about long term English study programmes and why we think you should take part in one!
1. Become part of a ‘second home’ in the UK on a long-term English study programme
English language schools spend a long time carefully selecting their homestay providers. They want to ensure that every student is cared for as a member of the family. Staying for a long time with a homestay provider gives you an incredible opportunity to live like a local person. You’ll possibly get to know people in your street, start to see familiar faces out and about, and spend time – particularly at meal times – as part of the family, chatting about your day around the dinner table, learning about English food, English culture and the personal details that will make your experience in England unique.
There’s no better way to embed yourself with British language and culture than being part of someone’s home, putting what you’ve learnt at your English language school into practice in a warm, welcoming and supportive atmosphere.
2. Long term English study programmes help you experience the culture of England through the seasons
The second-best thing about taking part in a long-term English study programme is that you get to experience different English cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
Enjoy the different aspects of the British way of life by taking part in the various events that mark different times of year, most of which are free!
Eastbourne, for example, puts on shows, tournaments, festivals and competitions throughout the year, bringing in visitors from all over the world. Perhaps the most famous is the AEGON International Tennis Championships in June which attract tennis stars and 30,000 spectators, and the International Airshow over four days in August, the UK's largest free coastal airshow, where you can join 600,000 other people to see, amongst other sights, the world-famous Red Arrows display team.
Earlier in the year, in April you can experience the Eastbourne Festival, combining theatrical events, comedy gigs, literature, concerts, dancing, arts and crafts, workshops and local talent in a smorgasbord of entertainment.
And if you’re into vehicles and watersports then the Magnificent Motors vintage car rally is in May, in July you can enjoy ‘Eastbourne Extreme’ with free extreme sports and related events, including Thundercar powerboat racing, land yachting, kite buggies, and jet-skiing. Also in July there’s the Eastbourne Motor Show, and then in late August the ‘Go Fast Speed Days’, a major world-cup downhill speed event, featuring custom-made skateboards, gravity bikes, inline skates, slalom and luge.
If you’re looking for something a little more sedate, then there are over 150 free open air bandstand concerts throughout the summer, the free ‘Lammas Festival’ of carnival and folk music in August, ‘Feastbourne’, an incredible food and drink festival in September, The Victorian Festival, Beer Festival and Local Life Show in October and then ‘Christmas Magic’ in December with late-night shopping, ice-skating, reindeer, choirs, mulled wine and a Santa Special train at the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park.
And if that wasn’t enough then you can take part in or watch the Beachy Head Marathon, taking place along the stunning coastline around Eastbourne and taking in the Seven Sisters and Birling Gap.
3. Buying your morning coffee: How you can learn English outside of the classroom
When you learn English over a longer period of time in the UK you get to spend time learning and practising your language skills outside of the classroom, during your daily activities.
On a long-term English study programme you have the opportunity to integrate fully into a community, using English as you buy your coffee, take public transport, visit attractions and socialise with your new friends. You interact with native speakers, using everyday language, and this is an opportunity to deepen your language skills. Native speakers out and about may have local accents, won’t necessarily speak as slowly and carefully as your tutors and may use English slang that you won’t always find in a text book!
Being able to converse with hundreds, maybe thousands of native speakers during your extended stay in the UK enables you to a have a more fully rounded experience and learn English at a deeper level than shorter English courses can achieve.
4. Learn English through total language immersion
Your school will do everything it can to make sure that you never share a house with a person who speaks your native language, and will encourage you to speak English at all times in school.
This means that you can fully immerse yourself in learning English, not just at your language school, and not just with your host but with other students too.
Total language immersion is the quickest way to learn English, and you will be amazed at how quickly your vocabulary expands if you make a big effort to use English at every moment of the day. This might mean you have to avoid the temptation of talking to people of your own nationality. Luckily in Eastbourne, there is a rich nationality mix so it’s easy to find someone from a different country than yours. And as you’re staying longer in England, it will only be a question of time until you find you are naturally thinking and dreaming in English!
5. Take exams to prove your English language level to others
Whatever you hope to do with your life, you might find it useful to prove to yourself and others exactly how much English you’ve learned. One great way to do that is to take an external exam, such as the Cambridge IELTS or the Cambridge suite of exams which includes famous English exams like First Certificate, Cambridge Advanced and the top-level Cambridge Proficiency. The last one is the toughest but proves that you have a native-level of English.
English exams help you keep focussed on your learning and are a fun way to test what you’re learning in school and outside in the ‘real world’!>
6. Build a strong working relationship with your English school
In all high quality English language schools, your teachers will be experienced, native speakers, and adept at finding the best way for you to progress quickly on your English course. Whilst it’s nice if your school has state-of-the art classrooms, technology and facilities, the most important thing is the professional working relationship you’ll build with your teachers.
The longer you stay, the more you’ll get to know your teachers and work collaboratively with them to build a really effective learning pathway. Everyone learns in different ways and has different learning styles, and these can really be developed over a long-term English programme.
7. Improve your career prospects on a long-term study programme in the UK
If you’re a European student, then you can also use your time in England to advance your current job or future career by working or gaining work experience. You may be in the UK to learn English to help your company in your home country, or you may be learning English to help with future career prospects.
On a long-term study programme, EU citizens have the opportunity to get a job during their stay or take part in work experience programmes. This is invaluable as you will be learning work skills whilst using English in England. And volunteering is open to everyone, enabling you to experience a whole different side of English life and culture.
The kind of work you get depends on lots of things, such as your previous experience, your level of English and how long you’re staying in England for. It’s important to have realistic expectations about your chances of getting your dream job straight away. It’s better to start from the perspective that anything you do will help broaden your experience and your language ability in England.
8. Discover the rest of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and get to really know your local area
When you are on a very short English course you often don’t get enough time to explore beyond the local environment of your school, and a few excursions to popular cities such as London, Cambridge and Oxford. Being part of a long-term English study programme gives you time to explore the whole of the UK.
ELC Eastbourne offers many trips to London, Stonehenge and further afield. You can visit famous towns and cities, such as the Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Rooms in Bath, the medieval city of York, as well as Scotland, Wales and everything that the capital city of London has to offer.
Closer to home, however, you can explore the region. East Sussex, where both our Brighton and Eastbourne English language schools are situated, is a beautiful county full of contrasts – from busy towns and cities to quiet sleepy villages and incredible open countryside.
Find your own favourite place to be, and take advantage of your long-term English language programme to go back and visit the same place regularly.
Long Term English Study Programme: Finding the study programme for you
When choosing where to learn English, you need to consider the English courses available, the reputation of the school and the location. Decide what’s most important for you, and make sure you’ll definitely have those things in your school and location of choice.
For example, is exam success at the school the most important? Or fun, happy teachers? What about the welcome from homestay providers, or a varied social programme and events throughout the year for you to take part in?
We think long-term English study programmes are not only the best way for you to advance your English language skills, but they’ll also give you friends for life, and the deepest understanding of the English language and how to speak it like a native.