Investing in education is indeed always interesting, and it is for that reason that training courses aside from the university curriculum have developed in recent decades. Today, completing a linguistic stay is a good way to be learning English as a second language and become familiar with the British, American or Australian culture.
In 2016, nearly 128,000 French people between the ages of 10 and 18 took such a linguistic trip abroad, with 78% of them for English-speaking countries.
How can you organize your English language course with an agency? We give you all the good tips!
Why should you complete a language study stay in an English-speaking country?
Going abroad is the dream of many students, especially those who study anything related to the English language. In many areas, these days, mastering the language of Shakespeare is indispensable:
- For marketing, in order to understand the universal terms used,
In the event or communication, to address an international audience,
- In international relations, to exchange ideas with other people in the world,
- In tourism, to adapt and meet the needs of customers.
But more and more, other sectors, such as engineering or tech, require good English proficiency. This is why language courses are very popular with students. However, agencies aren't strictly reserved for students, far from it!
Whether it is to develop your language skills, prepare a language exam or improve English vocabulary, grammar, linguistics as well as your professional CV, by choosing to spend some time in an English-speaking country has many advantages. We find in particular:
- Interest in the language itself, which is the universal language of reference,
- The proximity of Great Britain, or the expatriation of Australia,
- To train with native speakers, which is always more efficient,
- Cultural diversity, either literary or culinary.
But it must be known: a linguistic placement in England or the United States takes weeks of planning ahead, if not months.
Why? Because you will be in total immersion in a native family which is very different from taking some advanced courses in English. Become bilingual and speak English as well as your native language.
That is why it is often recommended to go through an agency specializing in language training to go to an English-speaking country if your goal is to improve your English skills. Do you want to know more? Keep reading!
"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about."
Benjamin Lee Whorf, American linguist and fire prevention engineer
Choosing The Right Kind of Stay
Before anything else, and before you imagine yourself in the home country of Harry Potter or alongside James LeBron, you have to proceed in step by steps.
The first is to know why you want to take an English language course. Here is what you should consider:
- Your literacy: Do you want to progress in English and fill gaps, or do you want to start from scratch?
- Your availability: do you want an intensive course over a few days, or do you have several months to spare?
- Your preferences: the UK, the US or Australia?
- Your deadlines: is this trip part of studies or on your personal time?
- Your budget: from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, English courses overseas can be expensive.
These criteria are essential to determine what type of agency you will want to contact. Some offers the following possibilities:
- Summer or winter holiday camps,
- Year-round preparation for exams,
- English training for children and teenagers, but also adults.
However, some agencies can also offer additional services, ideal if you are looking for a unique language course:
- Immersion in a host family,
- International internships,
- Work Holiday Visas,
- A language school with several foreign languages can help you prepare the TOEFL or any other similar exam.
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world."
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films.
Before choosing a linguistic trip and an agency to help you in the process, it is essential to make a list of your needs. That way, you will be able to choose the organization best adapted to the main objectives of your stay.
The budget is also essential to determine: a language stay, depending on the options, can cost between 150 euros and 1200 pounds per week ... We give you more information in the following paragraphs!
Agencies to organize a linguistic trip
Agencies to go to an English-speaking country are often online platforms that help students and others to look for intensive or individual courses in a specific destination country.
There are usually several types of agencies:
- Some agencies offer courses and educational programs themselves,
- Some matching agencies will put in touch host families and young learners,
- Other agencies can organize your stay from start to finish
- Some agencies are platforms aimed at exchanging advice to go abroad.
Beware, however: stays abroad are a lucrative market and many agencies pretend to be good interlocutors, but once the reservation is made, there is no one left ... That's why it is strongly advised to direct your research to recognized organizations, divided into two categories:
- Federations of linguistic holidays, such as the UNOSEL (National Union for the Organization of Educational Language Trips) or the OFFICE (National Office for the Guarantee of Language Courses and Internships),
- "NF services" certified organizations, such as EF (Education First) or SILC,
- Well-known international language schools, such as ESL, which also organizes gap years for language acquisition and learning a second language or 3rd language abroad.
These organizations generally offer several English-speaking destinations, including South Africa, New Zealand and Malta. The nearby destinations are accessible to European students for short stays, but the more distant countries only male sense for longer stays.
"The English language is the most universal language in history, way more than the Latin of Julius Caesar. It's the most punderful language because its vocabulary has a certain critical mass that makes a lingo good for punning."
Richard Lederer, American author, speaker, and teacher
This is why the options for some stays differ greatly and must be compared. For example, if you want to combine professional experience and language courses, going to England is a good option: you will have a large job market, which is constantly looking for new recruits. If you are looking for a change of scenery or to distinguish yourself in your CV, Malta or South Africa; might be a better option.
Likewise, some schools will offer classes in the morning, or afternoon, or weekend. You have to be able to find the right fit that will help you achieve your goal!
It's up to you to find the right agency to go to an English speaking country!
What Are The Formalities To Organise Your Linguistic Stay?
To organize a linguistic trip matching with your needs, it is important to compare different travel agencies abroad. Look at the one that offers the most suitable options, then compare prices. The longer you stay, the lower the price will, but overall prices are sometimes very high!
Once this first research process is done, and your choice is set, all you have to do is let yourself be guided. You will initially have a number of administrative procedures to do, such as:
- Signing your contract, your lease with the host family or your commitment to take the courses (essential according to the chosen options),
- Apply for a visa, for countries that require it. Many countries outside the EU will require a visa even for short stays if you intend to study there.
Other steps will have to be taken fairly quickly:
- Book a flight ticket for your dates of stay (usually essential for visa applications), we found that booking at least 3 months in advance will get you the best prices.
- In case of a bespoke linguistic stay, you might need to find your own accommodation or hostel,
- You will need to photocopy and send your work contract if you intend to travel using a Work Holiday Visa.
- Some agencies offer ready-to-go packages that let you leave in just a few days in the UK or Malta, but it has a price: 1000 pounds per week on average ... For other English-speaking countries, be aware that some agencies have waiting lists, so it's best to do it as soon as possible, especially if you have specific dates in mind.
Finally, it will also take some personal steps, such as buying books for your language courses, buy the necessary accessories to travel and live on site ( especially electrical sockets, which differ in the UK and United States), or learn English online with native speakers.