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Important Info

This section of the site answers questions which students often ask before they come to the school.




Students should normally arrive on Sunday and leave on Saturday or Sunday. Accommodation is paid for in units of one week. No reduction can be made for part of a week.


You pay ELC and we will pay your homestay.

Staying with your family over Christmas

You may be able to stay with your family over the Christmas holiday. If you do, you will be asked to pay a supplement of £50.00 fee for lunches on the 25th (Christmas Day) and 26th (Boxing Day) of December.

What will my host family be like?

It is important to understand that a "homestay family" does not always consist of 2 parents with children.  A couple or a widow(er) whose children have grown up and left home often make excellent "homestay families".

My room

You will be given your own room (unless you ask to share with a friend). Your room should contain a chair, table and lamp suitable for studying, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers or dressing table.

My first day

Please let your host family know approximately when you will be arriving, to ensure that they will be home to welcome you.  Alternatively, you could tell us and we will pass this information on to your host family.


If there is something you cannot eat because of your health or for religious reasons, please let us know at the time of booking to help us to find you a suitable host family. Breakfast will usually consist of tea or coffee with cereals or toast.

Will there be other students staying in the host family?

There may be other students staying in the family but you should be the only student guest from your country. If there are other students in the family they should not be from countries which speak the same language as you. This is a very strict rule made by ELC, and we will find you other accommodation immediately if this rule is broken by the host family.

Getting to your host family from the airport

You should make your own way to your host family. If you let them (or us) know your arrival time they will be waiting for you at home. We can advise you on the best way to get to your family from the airport or if you would like to use ELC's airport transfer service, please let us know.




If you are studying General English, on the first day of a course, students are tested and briefed as part of the programme. You then normally join your lessons at 11.00 on Day 1. The test and induction count as 2 lessons.

Class level

Different courses have different minimum levels. After your test on General English, you will be placed in a class with other students at your level. We normally run classes at Beginner, Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Advanced. If you arrive late for the course, we cannot guarantee a place at your level. ELC reserves the right to refuse to accept any student or terminate any student's course.

How long are the lessons?

On all courses, one lesson lasts 45 minutes. Lessons are usually combined into longer periods to give continuity of learning.

Course books/Course materials

The specific course material, or course books, which are necessary for each course are provided as part of the course fees.



How do I get to the school from the airport?

The nearest airport to ELC is Gatwick Airport, about 60 minutes away. ELC can arrange individual airport transfers on arrival and departure. Please refer to our Price list for current prices. Please mark the appropriate box on the application form to request an airport transfer booking form. You should return this form to ELC once you know your flight details.

Alternatively you may wish to use the National Express coach service which runs from the major airports to ELC usually via London Victoria coach station.  This service is reliable and good value - see There is also direct train from Gatwick to ELC - see


Public Holidays

Public holidays

All courses have classes as normal on public holidays but the school closes for two weeks over Christmas.


ELC closes for two weeks over Christmas. The Christmas break in 2019 starts at lunchtime on Friday 20 December 2019. The school re-opens on Monday 06 January 2020. The Christmas break in 2018 starts at lunchtime on Friday 18 December 2020.




You are strongly advised to take out insurance in your own country as protection against losing money through cancellation or unexpected termination of your course due to accident, illness or for personal reasons. You should also insure yourself for payment of medical expenses for the period of your stay at ELC . ELC can provide travel insurance.



Private Lessons

private lessons

Students studying at ELC can choose to book additional One-to-One lessons. See our price list for fees. Please indicate on the application form the number of additional One-to-One lessons you require per week.




ELC is licensed by the UKVI to sponsor students. We cannot accept any student without the correct visa. If you are not sure if you need a visa you should check the UK Visas website.

Who needs a visa?

For visa purposes, the world is divided into 3 areas:

1. EU/EEA/Switzerland

Citizens of one of these countries do not need a visa and can come and go as they please.

2. Visa nationals (VN)

A Visa National requires a visa to enter the UK for any reason and must get one before they leave their country. Visa National countries include Colombia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey.

Non-visa nationals (NVN)

A Non-Visa National needs a visa, but for stays up to 6 months does not need to apply for one before they leave their country. They can get a Short-term Student Visa (see below) for up to 6 months on arrival at a UK airport.  A General Student Visa must be applied for and granted before departure. Non Visa National countries of relevance to us include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Uruguay.

Types of Visa:

General Student Visa (GSV)

A GSV comes within Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS). Schools are responsible for students as ‘sponsors’ and students are tied to the sponsoring organisation. If they wish to change sponsor, they must apply for a new visa.  Typically GSVs are chosen by students wishing to study for 6 months or more, and will be granted for the length of the course with possibly 1 or 2 weeks extra.

GSV applications are assessed objectively. If you get enough points you get a visa. In order to get points, students need:

  • acceptance from a school on the UKVI Register of Sponsors
  • evidence that a student has enough money to pay for course fees and maintenance @£1015/month up to a maximum of 9 months
  • cash in an account in the student’s name for minimum 28 days prior to application
  • proof of level of English through a SELT (Secure English Language Test)

Applicants for GSV must also provide biometrics amd must also pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the application.

Short-term Student Visa (6 months)

An STSV is not within PBS. It is more like a visitor’s visa, than a student visa. It has no rights attached i.e. you cannot work, you cannot extend in the UK, you can only study max 6 months (maximum 180 day stay in the UK) and you cannot bring dependants. It is assessed subjectively by an Entry Clearance Officer. Non-Visa Nationals (e.g. Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, etc.) can get an STSV on arrival at a UK airport. Visa Nationals must apply before departure. Students can be at any level.

Short-term Student Visa (11 months)

An STSV is not within PBS. It is more like a visitor’s visa, than a student visa and is only for students following an English language course. It has no rights attached i.e. you cannot work, you cannot extend in the UK, you can only study maximum 11 months and you cannot bring dependants. It is assessed subjectively by an Entry Clearance Officer. All students must apply for an STSV (11 months) in their own country before departure.  Students can be at any level. You may have to pay the healthcare surcharge later in 2015.

Visitor Visa

If you are already in the UK with a Vistor Visa, and the main reason for your visit was not study, you are allowed to study for a total of 6 weeks out of 24 weeks. If your intention prior to arrival in the UK is to study, you must choose one of the three visas above.


Changes To Our Programme & Prices

Programme dates or prices change

ELC  reserves the right to make changes to our programme and to our prices.


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