The UK, the home of the English Language, is the country which attracts the biggest number of students from all around the world. If you would like to decide on the best school alternatives and the required period, the best thing to do would be to get some advice from an experienced education consultant.
In the UK, it is possible to choose from a wide range of education programmes including short-term or long-term English language learning courses, university preparatory academic programmes and Master`s degree programmes. To get the most of your time in the UK, you need to go for the right option for your needs and requirements among all the alternatives. It`d be wise to work with an experienced education consultant with an extensive knowledge about the education system and programmes in the UK. The alternatives vary depending on the learner`s learning targets as well as their age. Here are some of the alternatives:
Language Education for Families and Children Aged 5-18
The earlier children start to learn another language, the easier and more natural the process is. To make this possible, some language schools in the UK offer play-based English classes for younger children. While children are engaged, parents can also benefit from classes for themselves offered at the same school.
Teenagers can attend a 2 to 8-week summer school programmes with or without accommodation where they can enjoy sports and arts activities offered by professional tutors. The biggest advantage of those programmes is that learners have a chance to practise what they learn all day in the campus and socialise with their peers from different nationalities, contributing to their self-confidence. It is extraordinary for teenagers to experience these summer camps full of activities and cultural excursions which are offered in one package including full-board accommodation.
For General English courses, Turkish passport holders can get a Visitor Student Visa up to 6 months and an Extended Student Visa to stay 6-11 months. Unfortunately, it is not possible to extend the visa while you are in the UK.
General English Courses for Adults
General English courses are programmes starting every Monday at many language schools and they aim to improve the learners` four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) as well as grammar and vocabulary. There are also other courses called Academic Year Education, which offer the same content for a longer term and start only certain times of the year. Most of General English courses are offered for 15, 20 or 25 lesson hours a week. While some schools prefer online placement tests, some others allocate the first lesson of the programme to test the students` language level. According to The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), language levels are on a six-point scale between A1 for beginners and C2 for masters of a language. For General English courses, Turkish passport holders can get a Visitor Student Visa up to 6 months and an Extended Student Visa to stay 6-11 months. Unfortunately, it is not possible to extend the visa while you are in the UK.
Academic English and IELTS Courses
In order to be qualified to attend Academic English and IELTS Courses, you need to have at least a B2 level English. These courses are usually preferred by learners who intend to start a Bachelor`s or Master`s degree programme. With the help of these programmes, you can reach the required level to start your education at a tertiary level institution in the UK. If you are attending these preparation courses at a language school rather than a university, you still have the same visa options as the students for General English Courses; a 6-month short term visa or an extended student visa for up to 11 months
In the UK, it is possible to choose from a wide range of education programmes including short-term or long-term English language learning courses, university preparatory academic programmes and Master`s degree programmes.
Bachelor`s Degree Programmes
Students are required to have an A Level, AS Level or IB (International Bachelor) degree diploma and high grades in order to get accepted to a Bachelor`s degree programme in the UK. A Level is the name of the exam to prove proficiency in certain subjects. Although normally it takes about two years to prepare and sit for A Levels, there are also some schools and colleges offering courses to be completed in a year. Students from Turkey who did not graduate from a high school approved by British education system are required to study at Foundation Programmes before starting their departments. Foundation Programme can be considered as a preparation year for university and offers basic departmental courses in addition to academic English lessons. If you wish to have Bachelor`s degree in the UK, you are advised to make your application in September-October for the following year`s term, which starts in September-October. The system allows you to make your application through UCAS for maximum 5 universities. Each university defines and implements its own criteria for admission.
Master`s Degree Programmes
The requirements to start studying at a master`s programme in the UK varies depending on the institution and department. It is an advantage to have a high GPA of Bachelor`s diploma. However, if yours is not high enough, the system allows you to join pre-master programmes to make up for this.
Language proficiency is certainly another requirement for master`s programmes. Although it might vary from one institution or department to another, if you got lower than 6-6.5 in IELTS, you are allowed to attend pre-sessional programmes with the university`s own assessment at the end of the programme and no need to sit for IELTS again. These are very helpful not only to adapt students to the institution before starting their department but also to improve their Academic English skills. In order to qualify for these programmes, you are expected to have taken IELTS. It is possible for the students to start their department the following academic year after doing the Foundation Level.
Sedanur Mills / Founder of Unitedwords Education and Consultancy
Sedanur Mills, who has extensive teaching experience at tertiary level and several institutions in Turkey, Malaysia and England for over 15 years, has been teaching Academic English at Kings College Pre-Sessional Programme and at Royal Holloway Study Group International Foundation Year in London. Mrs Mills also provides consultancy services through Unitedwords Education and Consultancy for children, teenagers, families and businesspeople connecting them to the best alternative for their needs among all available summer schools, language schools, tertiary level programmes and private tutoring services, supporting them from the beginning of their educational journey.