Evaluating Schools

One of the first consideration to consider when planning to learn a foreign language abroad is the choice of the language school. You have to compare language schools, evaluate their advantages and disadvantages, before you choose the one that suits your needs.

When you evaluate a language school, consider its size (large or small), location (in the suburbs, in the city center), and student composition. You should also evaluate its website, check out if it projects a professional image, gives fast response to your inquiries, and whether it has the hype. While this may not guarantee quality, at least it provides an indicator of what’s to come.

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Size

The size of the school is an important factor when deciding which language school to choose. In general, large ones have better equipped libraries, multimedia language-labs, and better structured timetables. They also have more variety of course levels and larger number of various types of courses tailor-made for special groups. You will also get to interact with more students.

On the other hand, smaller language schools generally provide a comfortable personal learning environment. Usually smaller schools have lesser number of students per group. There is also a greater possibility of the language school to consider your personal wishes. In addition, your contact with other learners is less superficial.

Location

School location is also a crucial factor when choosing where to learn the language of your choice. A school in the city center is your surest bet if you are the metropolitan type. Choose an institution close to restaurants, bars, shops, cultural events, and many leisure-time activities. But if you prefer a less frenzied learning environment, choose a school located in the suburbs. It guarantees a much safer atmosphere and shorter distance between your accommodation and your school, not to mention silence and relaxation.

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Student composition

If possible, you should, choose a language school where students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and nationalities go. This increases your chance to interact and communicate with other students using the language you are trying to learn rather than your native language.

Student mixture largely depends upon the country where the course is being offered. For example Japanese students are now booking courses more frequently in Australia than in Great Britain. Student origin also depends on the marketing efforts of the school in specific countries.

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