Language courses abroad allow you to effectively and quickly learn a foreign language, as well as get to know a new culture and interesting people from all over the world.
Language courses abroad are the most effective way to quickly master a language while visiting a new country. The language is spoken both in the classroom and outside the school. It is no coincidence that two weeks of studying a foreign language with a native speaker is equated to a year of independent study at home. Students of language courses abroad not only improve their speaking and writing skills but also receive pleasant bonuses: experiencing a new culture and acquaintance with interesting people from all over the world.
Below is the approximate cost of language courses in different countries. The figures vary depending on the prestige of the school, location, type of residence, and student personal preferences. The cost is approximated using the following parameters: a two-week General Englishcourse (Standardkurs Deutsch in Germany / Français général in France / Espagnol général in Spain) in a major city and living in a double room in a student residence.
Directly through the school. In general, the process of enrolling in courses is easy, especially compared to enrolling in a university abroad, so it is quite possible to do it yourself. In this case, tuition fees go directly to the school, without additional agency fees. At the same time, it is important to understand that when searching on your own there is a risk of choosing a school without accreditation and getting a visa rejection. In addition, due to the lack of language proficiency, it may be difficult to communicate with representatives of the school, understand the cancellation and refund policy, pay for the course and enable all the necessary options.
Through internet aggregators. Using such resources, the student will easily get access to a large selection of language schools, as well as an automatic calculation of prices. However, in this case, there is practically no chance to communicate with real employees of the educational institution. If the client has any questions, they can stay unresolved for a very long time.
Through an agency. By contacting a specialist in the field of education abroad, the student will receive a selection of accredited language schools with a good reputation and student reviews. Also, the agent will solve any issues without effort on the part of the student and will take over the paperwork. Finally, agencies often receive discounts from schools for their clients. Of course, to take advantage of this, the agent’s services will come with an additional fee.
Immersion in the language environment. This is the most significant advantage of studying English, German,French or any other language abroad. Daily communication with native speakers in and outside the classroom will quickly improve your speaking and listening skills. Education will be especially effective if you choose a school that is unpopular among the residents of your country — this way you will not be able to switch to your native language;
Cultural exchange. Language courses abroad give you the chance to visit a new country not just as a tourist but as a student. School students live in host families, international dormitories, or even in the teacher's home. This allows them to learn local traditions, life, and cuisine from the inside, as well as make new acquaintances with foreigners;
Overcoming the language barrier. In language schools, the main barrier for all students is to overcome the fear of speaking a foreign language. In group lessons, the student has no choice: he has to express himself in a new language, otherwise, he won't be understood. On average, after 10-14 days, students feel much more confident and lose the fear of making mistakes;
Getting rid of the accent. On language courses abroad, the student will be able to quickly get rid of the accent by copying the pronunciation of the native speaker, learn to think in a foreign language, and not just translate from his native language. This is facilitated by the use of language in everyday situations;
Nice bonus in your CV. Employers have always appreciated the knowledge of foreign languages. Proficiency in English has already become a necessary skill, and a good level of German or Spanish will further distinguish the candidate from other applicants. Speaking Chinese or Japanese is a rare skill — such a person is essential for cooperation with the Eastern countries;
If you experience difficulties with choosing a foreign language to study, first you should answer several important questions:
What profession do I want to get?
Which company do I want to work for?
In what countries I would like to study / work / live?
What languages do I like?
English is the most popular language to learn. Due to the number of people studying it, today English has become the most widely spoken language in the world, overtaking Chinese. Without knowing English, it is difficult to find a high-paying job or travel abroad without having issues. It is the language of international communication and office work. English courses with the best academic tradition can be found in the UK and Ireland, the most advanced ones are in the USA and Canada, those wishing to combine language learning with relaxing on the beach can pay attention to Malta and Australia, and for lovers of new exotic cultures Hong Kong, Singapore and India also offer such courses. There will be different prices everywhere, and most importantly, different accents of English.
Spanish language will be an excellent investment in a professional future as it is the second most popular language to learn. Spanish-speaking countries include not only Spain itself, but also more than 20 states in Latin America. Spanish courses are useful when traveling to Mexico and South America, where English is not nearly as popular as in Europe. And knowledge of Spanish will be a big plus when building a career in the United States, where many native speakers of this language live and work.
German is the third most popular foreign language to learn. It doesn't have many native speakers, but Germany is the leading economy in Europe, with the most relevant articles in the fields of industry and medicine published in German. Those who know German can read the originals of Schiller and Goethe, and study for free at the majority of German universities. German courses are also available in Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, but dialects there may differ from the classic literary Hochdeutsch.
French, along with English, can be studied in almost any country. French cultural centers have established themselves around the world through art, food, fashion, architecture, and science. The main destinations for language learning are France, Canada, Switzerland, and Belgium. If you speak French, you can enroll in French universities and study at a very reasonable cost (about 4,270 USD) or count on government scholarships. Students from all over the world annually participate in double degree programs with French universities.
Czech language is a popular way to move to the Czech Republic for higher education and further immigration. There are many language courses in the country that allow students with good results to enter universities without an additional language exam. Czech is a Slavic language, therefore, if you know any other such language, for example, Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish, it will be relatively easy to master it.
Chinese is becoming more and more in demand every year. China has turned from a closed and unknown Eastern civilization into a rapidly developing and prosperous superpower. Today, Russia, the United States, and many other large countries cooperate with China, therefore specialists with knowledge of Chinese are highly valued. The best Chinese courses can be found at universities in major cities in China, but before going there it is better to learn the language at least at an intermediate level due to its complex writing and phonetics.
The Korean language has gained popularity over the past 5-10 years thanks to the worldwide popularity of K-popartists among young people from different countries. In addition, the South Korean educational system is in the world’s top 10, which attracts more and more foreign students every year. Those who know the Korean language, have a much wider choice of scholarships and study programs. Most Korean language courses run at local universities and accept students of all ages.
Types of language courses
A person chooses the type of language course depending on why he needs the language: as a hobby, for work, for travel, or for passing an international exam like IELTS and admission to a university. The goal will help to determine the type of course, its duration, intensity, and price. The table shows the main types of courses based on the example of studying English in the United States.
Type of the language course
Cost for 2 weeks
Intensive English Course
Super Intensive English Course
English + hobby
Study & Live in your Teacher's Home
The prices in the table are approximate. For more accurate information, refer to the website of the language school of interest or our specialists.
UniPage specialists will select the schools that best match your criteria.
Programs for beginners are not always taught separately. Most often this is the first level inside the general course. Before commencing the course, all schools conduct tests to determine the level of the language. Based on their results, it will become clear whether the student needs to start from the basics or can immediately go to the general course. Depending on this, the teaching methods will differ. As a rule, courses for zero-level students start on fixed dates, rather than every Monday like all other courses.
The General English course is suitable for students with any initial level of the language and is aimed at improving it. Students learn English in groups with different levels of training, each following its own program: from studying elementary constructions to conducting thematic conversation clubs. In this case, all courses have one thing in common: the method of full immersion and teaching only in English.
For comfortable learning, students must understand at least a little English, so it is recommended to come to the course with at least a Pre-Intermediate level. As a rule, it takes about 2-3 months of general courses to move to the next step. For those who have not studied English before, it is better to choose special courses for beginners.
In most countries, the General English course is taught according to a single standard: classes last up to 20 hours a week, the rest of the time is devoted to excursions, recreational activities, and cultural events. The latter is organized by the school or students themselves. The duration of the course can be almost anything: from 2 to 52 weeks.
Semi-Intensive programs areaimed at students who are willing to spend a little more time improving their English, but still want to have free evenings. Classes are held in the morning, 24 hours a week, so you can relax in the afternoon or explore the local attractions. The Semi-Intensive course differs from the General English one only in the number of study hours. The curriculum also includes all the basic sections of the English language: reading, grammar, writing, and speaking practice.
Intensive English course is an accelerated program for those who need to learn English as quickly as possible. It is perfect for those who will soon immigrate or move to study. For work and business-related tasks, it is advised to choose a special Business English course. Intensives are also divided into levels from Pre-Intermediate to Advanced, but the transition to the next level is carried out in about a month. Classes are usually held 5 days a week for 6 academic hours and are complemented by hefty homework assignments. For good results, you need to be ready for a heavy workload and independent studies.
Super-Intensive English Course
Super-Intensive English courses are usually offered by language schools abroad and leave almost no time for cultural programs, as the studies might take up to 40 hours a week. These courses are designed for those who need to master the language in the shortest possible time and begin to talk quickly. Superintensive or so-called "crash courses" are indispensable for businessmen and business people who, for example, urgently need to improve their spoken language before important negotiations. They are usually held in small groups of 6 to 8 people. Each student is guaranteed an individual approach. Superintensives last 2 weeks and are rarely extended: not everyone can keep up with such a rhythm.
Business courses include the study of business vocabulary and teach how to negotiate and conduct meetings in English. Business courses take 30 hours per week on average. Most of the time is devoted to practice: students communicate and give presentations entirely in English, starting from the first week of study.
During the course of Business English, students significantly expand their vocabulary, study the rules of corporate ethics and business correspondence, and overcome the language barrier. Most of these courses study business itself in English: from the structure of the company to the theory of motivation. There are also narrower programs for mastering vocabulary in the specialty: language courses for teachers, accountants, sales managers, IT specialists, etc.
Some schools, as part of specialized courses, organize visits to various companies, where you can get acquainted with the work of foreign colleagues and acquire business contacts.
Individual Courses — One-to-one courses
Individual lessons with a teacher is a great way to learn the language quickly. This option is much more expensive compared to group lessons, but at the same time, it is more effective. An individual course can be tailored to your personal needs: improve your writing skills, prepare for an interview, overcome the language barrier, and start speaking, get rid of an accent, etc. With a personal tutor, you can easily find a comfortable pace of classes, a convenient schedule, or arrange classes via Skype. In this case, searching for a teacher through a language school has its advantages: more favorable prices relative to the market, only native speakers, and a large number of reviews.
Homestay courses are one of the most effective and costly options for learning a language abroad. The student lives in the home of a professional English teacher alone or with other students. They study theory in the classroom, and practice language skills — at home or when visiting local attractions. In this format, you can, among other things, prepare for passing international exams. The results of such courses exceed all expectations: the student is immersed in the language environment around the clock and after a while begins to feel the language and even starts to think in English. Another unquestionable benefit — there is no need to look for a hotel. Accommodation and meals are included in the price. And the parents of young students will not worry about them: the child is always under the supervision of an adult.
English + Hobby
English courses with applied options, which are also called "English + hobby", are one of the most interesting areas of educational tourism. Learning a language here can be combined with a favorite or completely new occupation. Cooking, photography, acting, makeup courses, dancing, music, floristry — all in English (French, German, Spanish and other languages). These programs usually last for about 8 weeks. The "language +" direction quickly became popular: it turned out that immersion in what you love greatly speeds up the process of learning a language. In addition, on professional courses, you can sometimes get 2 certificates at once: a language certificate and one for a craft.
English Courses For Children
Children's courses for preschool and primary school kids are always held in an interesting and educational form: it can be performances, excursions, games, etc. For teenagers, a rich program of activities is prepared — visits to historical sites, movie filming sites, shopping centers, and amusement parks. Most language schools abroad accept children from the age of 8. Depending on age, children are engaged from 12 to 20 hours a week. The duration of such a course can be from 2 weeks to several months. Programs for studying English at a summer camp are also popular, for example, in Malta or Cyprus.
Family programs are aimed at children and their parents. This is the best option for adults who do not want to send their child abroad alone. In the morning, while the children are in class, parents can take a walk around the city, visit excursions and activities, and spend the afternoon with the family. Teenagers spend the whole day in the company of their peers, speaking only a foreign language, and in the evening they are under the supervision of their parents. Adults can also take a language course at the same school with a child, so they don’t have to worry about the child’s safety and at the same time learn a useful skill.
English for Teachers
Courses for English teachers prepare them for a receipt of a standard qualification. The program is focused on mastering modern teaching methods, developing oral and writing skills, expanding vocabulary, and explaining the intricacies of the grammar of modern English. Classical English changes over time, grammar and lexical norms become obsolete and give way to new ones. Each teacher should track these changes and keep up with new language-related developments. The English for Teachers program will help teachers improve their baseline in modern English and positively affect their paychecks. At the end of the course, teachers usually take one of the standard professional exams: TKT, CELTA, or TESOL.
Preparation for international exams — IELTS / TOEFL / Cambridge ESOL / PTE
Language exam preparation can be treated as a separate course. The most common preparation programs are for IELTS and TOEFL, but if you need to pass the Cambridge exam or PTE, such preparatory courses will also be easy to find.
You should choose an exam based on your own needs. All 4 options are suitable for obtaining a visa, in case of admission to a university, it is necessary to clarify which exam is needed for admission. Most foreign universities accept IELTS and TOEFL results, but in some cases, one of them may not be accepted. For admission to a master's program, an additional GRE or GMAT exam is required.
When looking for a preparatory program, it should be remembered that such courses are designed for test preparation, and not for learning the language, therefore, in order to enroll the language proficiency at a level of B1 will be required. The study program includes the vocabulary characteristic of each exam, the structure of tasks, trial tests, and the discussion of common pitfalls and mistakes. Undoubtedly, this will help to improve the knowledge of some areas of the language, but the real level of proficiency is unlikely to change: preparation for the exam will not replace the general English course. In turn, standard courses will definitely not replace preparation: mastering the structure and specifics of the exam on your own is quite difficult.
Country of study. The first step when looking for a language school is to choose the country of study. The most logical option is to go to the birthplace of the language, that is, study English in the UK, German in Germany, Spanish in Spain, etc. However, there are many alternative options, because there are countries with two official languages. So, you can also study English in Australia, Malta, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The quality of educational services there is not inferior to schools in the UK and the USA, and the cost is generally lower. It is important to keep in mind that each country has its own specific focus. If you seek admission to the local university It is better to study the language in the future country of study, and international businessmen will benefit from foreign language courses in multicultural cities like Hong Kong or Singapore.
The location of the school in the city is also an important factor. The level of security in the area, transport accessibility, proximity to the downtown area, place of residence, and local attractions are important. So should you choose a major metropolis or a small town.
Many leisure activities;
Developed transportation system;
Large selection of language schools and training programs;
Relaxed attitude towards foreigners.
Often unfavorable environmental conditions;
Expensive accommodation options;
Some areas might have a higher crime rate.
Relaxed pace of life;
Remoteness from airports;
Small selection of language schools;
Regional accents may occur.
Study materials and teaching methods. When choosing a school, it is important to pay attention to them too. There are schools that emphasize conversations above all else. They are hardly suitable for those who would like to improve their basic grammar. Textbooks are also important. Good schools will use the latest editions of reputable publishers. They are quite expensive, but they take into account all the features of a rapidly changing language.
Teaching staff. In some schools, students can choose their teacher before the start of classes or change one if something goes wrong. However, it is worth researching the teacher’s track record already at the stage of choosing a school. A teacher should have a pedagogical and/or linguistic education, work experience, the status of a native speaker, professional achievements (for example, published methodological manuals), qualification improvement certificates, etc. All this will help to form an idea about school and understand what to expect from learning.
Initial language level. In the table below you can see how long it takes on average to master each successive level of a foreign language. The higher the step, the longer it takes to transition. Therefore, when choosing a school, it is important to pay attention to whether there are courses of sufficient duration and intensity for mastering the language at the desired level.
Extracurricular activities. Language courses only take half a day, if they are not super intensive. The rest of the time should be spent as productive and interesting as possible. Most often, the language schools themselves organize leisure activities for students. Excursions, trips to theaters and cinemas, hiking and travels to neighboring cities, games, and competitions — such activities combine rest and practice of a foreign language. If a student visits the country for the first time or has a poor command of the language, it is better to spend time in the company of classmates. Otherwise, the student can spend his free time at his own discretion.
Accreditations and student reviews will help you get an opinion about the language school from both the professional community and from students who have already been trained there. It is worth checking the official website of the school, as well as information from educational agencies in your country. If relatives or friends have studied a foreign language abroad, their opinion will also be useful. Reviews and accreditation are an additional guarantee of the quality and transparency of the transaction. Public institutions value their reputation. However, schools with high ratings and popularity can charge significantly more.
Types of language schools
Network schools have branches in several countries around the world. They work under the same brand, use identical programs and methods. Prices for courses in different countries and cities may vary slightly. Such schools can be trusted, there is a lot of information about them in various sources and it is unlikely that the student will encounter surprises in the educational process. However, it is important to understand that hundreds of groups of students pass through franchise language schools every year, and an individual approach is not always a priority here.
Independent schools are usually unique, but among them, you can find world-famous educational institutions. These schools usually do not have as many students as their larger competitors, so they gain popularity thanks to word of mouth rather than advertising. However, when looking for a small language school on your own, there is a risk of getting into an institution without a license. The language certificate obtained there will be useless in the future. You should not choose a place to study without expert reviews or recommendations.
Language schools at universities
Language schools at universities are considered the most prestigious, especially if it is a world-famous university. Some schools of this type do not accept everyone who wants to study the language — they can only enroll students with an intermediate language proficiency (based on the results of the entrance exam) who want to improve their level for admission to this university. However, there are also university language schools that are open to everyone.
This path is often chosen by university applicants in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Asian states: China, Japan, and South Korea. In these countries, there is a large selection of bachelor's programs in the local language, which is easier to learn while being directly in the university environment. Classes can be focused on a narrow-profile vocabulary (eg economics or medicine), as well as acquaint the student with the culture of the country. Often, after completing such courses, a student can enter the chosen university without passing an additional language exam. At the same time, the applicant does not receive any other benefits: his application is considered on a general basis.
There are usually two main accommodation options: a language school can offer single/double accommodation in a dorm, campus, or hostel assigned to the educational institution and usually located near the place of study, or housing in a native speaker’s family.
Host family is a daily language practice and cultural immersion even outside the classroom. Students are often received by open and friendly people, ready not only to feed and provide a separate room with amenities but also to show the surroundings. In return, the student will have to adapt to the already existing daily routine, rules, and habits of the household. Also, host families do not always live near the school.
Residence. Students living on campus usually feel more independent and free, and can also continue to communicate with their classmates, practice the language and make new friends. At the stage of booking the course, it is worth clarifying all the details about the living conditions so that your expectations coincide with reality: living in the residence may or may not include meals, a private kitchen, a bathroom, and other amenities. Depending on this, the price will vary.
Of course, if a student has a desire and funds, he can start looking for housing himself: book a hotel in advance or rent an apartment or a room. The first option is convenient for a short language course of up to 2 weeks, or in the event of living conditions in the school’s residence not being up to the student’s standards.
Types of meals during the course of language courses
While studying at a language school abroad, 4 main meal plans are usually offered:
Full board (FB) — 3 meals a day. Such a scheme is usually offered in language courses for children so that they do not have to leave school unattended during lunch.
Half board (HB) — breakfast and dinner. This type of meal is most common when living with a host family since during lunchtime the student is still at school. If the schedules of the student and the host do not match, you can take certain foods and make your own breakfast. For dinner, it is customary to get together at a set time.
Bed and breakfast (BB) — breakfast only. The name speaks for itself: in the morning before class, the student can have breakfast at the hotel or school cafeteria, the rest of the meals will need to be purchased separately. Usually, there are shopping malls or cafes near language schools where students go for lunch.
Self-catering (SC) — the ability to use the kitchen. This option is often found in student residences. Students live in rooms for 1-3 people and cook in a shared kitchen. Students also share household appliances: a microwave oven, a refrigerator, a kettle, etc. You will have to adjust to your neighbors and keep everything clean — but you can have joint dinners and cook national dishes from different countries if you so desire.
Visa for language courses
If you are not an EU national going to an EU state or other visa-free states, you will most likely need a visa to visit other countries. Many schools and educational agencies provide visa support to students. Typically, a short term visa does not allow you to work and cannot be extended. A long-term visa gives you more freedom while being more difficult to obtain.
If language courses in Germany last less than 3 months, a regular Schengen visa will work. For longer studies, you need to obtain a national visa, namely Sprachkursvisum. A student with such a visa is not allowed to work, since it is assumed that he attends courses with a full load: from 18 hours a week. After the successful completion of the course, the visa can be changed to a work visa.
For taking short-term language courses in the United Kingdom, a short term study visa is required. The visa is issued for a period of either 6 months (if the student is under 16 years old), or 11 months (if the student is over 16 years old and goes to language courses). In addition, if a person already has a British tourist Standard Visitor visa, it can be used to study at language courses for no longer than 30 days. At the same time, the main purpose of the trip should not be training. Here you have to play coy at the airport checkpoint.
To enroll in programs that are longer than 6 months, a General Student Visa (Tier 4) or Child Student Visa (Tier 4) is issued, with the obligatory provision of a CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from the educational institution. With this visa, you can work from 10 to 20 hours a week during studies and full-time during breaks. It is mandatory to attend at least 80% of classes.
Like most EU countries, a short-term Schengen visa will suffice if you want to take language courses in the Czech Republic that are no longer than 90 days. For longer courses, a long-term visa is required. It gives the right to work up to 20 hours after receiving the appropriate permit.
To attend language courses in Spain, which last up to 90 days, a short-term study visa type C is issued. For longer courses from 90 to 180 days — a long-term study visa type D. The latter allows you to work 20 hours per week during studies and 40 hours per week during breaks and holidays, but only if you have a formal contract with the employer.
For language courses up to 12 weeks, a B-2 tourist visa is sufficient. Most often, students receive an F-1 visa to attend courses with an intensity of 18 study hours per week. Formally, F-1 visa holders can work at school up to 20 hours a week, but usually, there is no time left for this after school. If it is possible to combine studies and work, you need to obtain a work permit in a special department of DSO (Designated School Official) at your educational institution.
For language courses in South Korea that last for up to 10 weeks, you need a short-term visa C-3(General Short-Term Visa). It does not allow you to work or stay in the country for longer than 90 days. For the courses that are longer than 10 weeks, D-4(General Student Visa) is required. It is issued for 6 months and can be renewed. It also gives a student the right to work 20 hours per week during studies and 40 hours during breaks.
Assistance with enrolling in language courses abroad
Requirements for admission to language courses abroad vary by country and the type of school. It can be difficult to understand whether the training is worth the money: where to go to get rid of an accent, and where is it better to prepare for international exams? Also, in most cases, the student will need a special visa. The process of filing the paperwork can take several weeks, and an incorrectly completed application comes with a risk of visa refusal. To make enrollment in a foreign language school a pleasant experience, we offer our professional assistance:
We will select a school that suits your study goals;
We will offer discounts and special offers from our partners;
We will help you enroll in language courses at a university with the possibility of continuing your studies at a university abroad;
We will prepare and edit the necessary package of documents for visa and school enrollment;
We will save your time and try to make the process a stress-free experience.