Being an International Language Student

There is a big difference between going on holiday and the commitment to go abroad and spend a big chunk of your time, and money, to learn a new language in a new place. It might seem overwhelming at first, but Cape Town will soon become your 'home away from home' and it will be hard to leave this place at the end of your stay.

Being an International Language Student | UCT English Language Centre

Going on holiday is one thing. You usually go with your friends, family or partner, and it’s generally not really longer than a couple of weeks. After all, a holiday by definition is time spent not going to work, or working, but taking time off and doing the things we want to do, travelling or relaxing. But becoming an international language student is very different.

First of all, the majority of students tend to come alone. This is also because they generally stay for longer, depending on what their intentions are, or where they come from.

So, a student coming to Cape Town to learn English will generally commit to spending at least 4 weeks away from their family/friends/partners and live either in student residence or with a host family (read this blog post about student accommodation options for language students in Cape Town). I say ‘in general’ because we also have a lot of students who stay with friends or family when they are here. The intensity of the English course booking will vary depending on the length of stay, the intentions of the student and of course, budget.

Booking English courses abroad are, unfortunately, not always cheap. But, booking in Cape Town, at the UCT English Language Centre, for example, is comparatively cheaper than booking in the UK, USA or Australia. The cost of living here in Cape Town is also cheaper for international students, and so students get far more value for their money, and it lasts longer. We also boast exceptionally experienced English language teachers who are all highly qualified in a beautiful new school with classrooms equipped with great technology. So choosing to study with us means you can get the same high quality English language tuition as from a more ‘obvious’, or ‘well known’ destination or school such as the US, UK or Canada.

Students who join us will very often be serious about learning English. They have made a commitment to themselves and their futures, their families, jobs, friends, etc. Very often our students will be interested in either undergraduate or postgraduate studies at a tertiary learning institution where the medium of instruction is English, such as the University of Cape Town. So, they put great emphasis on receiving quality lessons, and making proper progress whilst they are here. They will spend a lot of time outside the classroom doing their homework and working hard to supplement their lessons.

Having said all that, they also have a great time. Sure, the beginning is a bit more overwhelming for new students. It’s a new culture, new language, new way of life – new everything! On a holiday, you get to share this with someone else, and you can be lazy about it. But very quickly, we start to notice students finding their way and carving their niche in Cape Town.

Not only does Cape Town have so much to offer a traveller in terms of the many things you can do here such as shopping, sports, enjoying the spectacular natural beauty of the place, concerts, markets, restaurants, museums, beaches, etc. But it is also the perfect place to meet people from all over the world. There are many people from many different countries all living together in this beautiful spot we call ‘The Mother City’. Our students quickly assimilate, and most are so torn about returning home after their experience here. On the one hand they cannot wait to be back home and see their people, but on the other hand they are leaving behind new friends they have made for life and a truly wonderful experience.

We salute all our students, and all international students in general, for being brave enough to embark on such an adventure. You will learn so much more than just English when you come here, and we are pretty sure you will fall in love with this new temporary home of yours. We are also always here to assist with anything you may need, be it opening a bank account or finding a doctor. It is in our interest to make sure that your experience is worth every second and every penny.

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