Home of the English language, the UK has a rich tradition in its teaching and has some of the finest teaching institutions in the world. According to the British Council, some 700,000 people travel to the UK each year to learn and practice their English, with that number growing year on year. Besides the fantastic range of schools of courses available, there are also a number of other advantages should you choose the UK as your place of study:
- Classes are given by highly qualified teaching personnel, ensuring your specific learning needs will be met.
- Rigorously audited courses and exams means that qualifications are recognised all over the globe. Take an IELTS course in London.
- The UK is a culturally diverse and happening country, providing a wide range of activities and events that will perfectly complement your studies, and ensuring that you make friends and have the chance to practice your language skills outside of the classroom.
- The UK is a relatively small country with easy and inexpensive travel between all major cities. This will give you the chance to explore all that the country has to offer, from the different cultures of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to their various accents. The UK is a truly engaging environment for learning English.
Just across the water from the UK mainland, Ireland is another highly sought after destination. Again, Ireland offers excellent teaching institutions throughout the country, with the capital Dublin, Cork and Galway amongst some of the most popular cities with foreign students. All governmentally approved courses are listed by the Department of Education, so be sure to check this before accepting a place at a school. Ireland is perhaps most famed for the friendliness of its inhabitants (listed as Lonely Planet´s most friendly country), as well as it’s unrivalled naturally beauty. Living costs here are generally cheaper than those in the UK, whilst the language, barring accents and regional colloquialisms, is also British English. Ireland is also an excellent base for exploring the rest of Europe, being the home of Europe´s largest low-fare airline.
Now we turn our attention to the other side of the Atlantic. Much like Ireland, Canada is a popular choice amongst foreign students due to its reputation for the friendliness of its citizens and the safeness of its society. An important factor for many, of course, is the cost of education. With particular reference to North America, Canada offers the best value for money. Not only are education standards similar to those in the USA, but fees and costs of living are significantly lower. Canada is a bilingual country, with French and English it´s two official languages. Due to this, huge emphasis is placed on language teaching, particularly these two languages, across all levels of education and ability. The application process, for example attaining a visa, is also regarded as being easier than many other Anglophone countries. Rest assured, after a period in Canada your proficiency in English will be just as good if not better than anywhere else in the world.
4. The USA
If you prefer living your life in the fast lane, then perhaps south of the border will be more to your tastes. Of course, being arguably the most developed country in the world, the education you will receive here will be top of the class. The attraction here, for many students, is the lifestyle outside of the classroom. The US is home to some of the world’s busiest and most awe-inspiring cities, from New York to Los Angeles, Miami to San Francisco, and many more in between. If you are seeking the complete package; learning whilst experiencing all that the cultural melting pot that is the USA has to offer, then here is the perfect place for you. Live the American Dream!
Change of continent for our final destination, as we head down under to the land of Oz. Behind the USA and UK, Australia is the third most popular place for foreign students to come and study, with approximately 200,000 students each year. As with all countries on this list, the education you will receive here will be of the highest standard. For a list of reputable language institutions, consult the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. One of the main draws, however, is the glorious Australian weather. The Aussie lifestyle is very laid back and outdoorsy, perfect for travelling and making new friends. The range of visas offered is also very attractive for foreign students. The Student visa allows holders to work for up to 20 hours per week, the Working Holiday visa permits up to 17 weeks of study, while the Visitor visa allows for 12 weeks study.
(Photo by jcbwalsh via Flickr)