If you have decided you want to spend your summer attending an English Summer School then you had better get ready! Not only will you be meeting people from right around the world but you will be introduced to the vagaries of the English language. Learning any new language can be difficult but English is one of the main languages spoken around the world and if you go away then most people will be heard to ask “do you speak English?” if they are unable to speak the language of the country they are in.
So, this is what you should know before arriving in the UK
What type of Course do you want?
1. Common English Exam Preparation Course
2. English Courses with Sports, such as Football Training Academy
3. English Lessons with Arts and Drama, English and Arts
4. English Courses with Dance Training
5. English Lessons for Young Learners
Learning English with an activity Programme does make it a little more enjoyable and fun and allows you to relax after a busy morning of learning new words pronunciation and grammar!
What to Bring?
It’s one of the first questions that students ask and the main thing to say is “an open and willing mind”. Don’t come with any preconceived ideas because they will usually be wrong. Unless of course, you’re thinking that you will have a great time – because you will.
So a quick check list
Pen; Paper; Folder; Rucksack
Toiletries and a Towel
Passport; Money; Cash/Debit or Credit cards; Mobile Phone and Charger (plus an adaptor as power in the UK is different to a lot of other countries
A raincoat, mac or anorak – it usually rains in the UK
Enough clothes for a week – you will be able to wash your clothes so don’t bring too many.
Who else will be on the Course?
When you arrive be prepared to meet people from lots of different countries. Their culture can be different to yours so it will be an exciting time making new friends and learning about them and their country. It is quite possible that you will be sharing your host family with someone from your course. That’s great – you will have someone to travel with on the first morning.
What sort of Exams can I prepare for whilst at Summer School
Most Summer Schools offer a pre Exam Course for such prestigious and important exams such as
These courses will be fast paced so ensure you are at the correct entry level otherwise you will find this very hard.
What is the point of an English Summer Course?
If you attend an English Course then you will not only improve your English but you will gain confidence generally. It allows you to practise your English in a relaxed environment and living with a host family just adds to that. You will be expected to make your own way to school via the bus, train or walking. So again this is an important life skill for you to learn. You will be meeting people from other countries and you will be learning to adapt to new food and menus which will be different to yours. English Courses, especially summer ones are designed to improve your confidence in speaking English, as well as your reading skills, listening, comprehension and writing. A course of two weeks will certainly show a remarkable improvement.
Evening Social Programmes
Most evenings there will be a social programmes where you can meet other students who may or may not be on your own particular English course. These social programmes allow you to attend Discos, Cinema Evenings, BBQs and Games Nights and again will be conducted in English! By the end of this, you will not only be speaking and thinking in English, but you will be dreaming it as well…
More about specific English courses with activities
English Courses with an afternoon activity programmes enable you to continue your English learning but in a more informal way. During these activities you will not be corrected on your English as the main focus on these afternoons is the chosen activity. So if you have enrolled for English with Football Training, do make sure you bring football boots, socks and shin pads. The same if you want to attend the dance class afternoons. See what special types of shoes you need; leotards or gym wear and so on. Always, be prepared!
Asking the right questions
There is no shame in asking the right question. It’s better to ask and be right than assume and get it wrong. That saves a lot of time, effort and red faces! There will be a great network of teachers and welfare officers to support you during your time at an English Summer School. Student support is one of the most important things to enable these courses to be a success and rest assured all English Language Schools will want to ensure you enjoy your time with them.
One week before arrival
By now you should know your host family and maybe have even contacted and spoken to them. You should also know who will be meeting you on arrival and if you have paid for a Transfer from the Airport you will know your Courier’s telephone number. Additionally, you will be told where to go on the first morning and given a copy of your Programme -both for the English lessons and the social programmes. You may already have been invited to join a Social Media Group such as “WhatsAp” which enables you to keep in contact with other students on your course as well as the Group Leaders and Activity Leaders. Check in as soon as you know this number as it allows you to make contact with friends before you leave your own country. This gives you a lot of reassurance.
All in all preparing and arriving for an English Summer School will be one of the best decisions you have made. You will return home having learned a lot of English, spoken it constantly whilst in the UK, made new friends and found a confidence to speak the language, write the language and understand it.