Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Getting a visa for studying in the UK
  2. Before you travel..
  3. Accommodation
  4. Our courses
  5. Course fees
  6. Our social programme
  7. Travelling to the UK
  8. Information for students with learning difficulties and disabled students
  9. Unhappy about anything?

Getting a visa for studying in the UK

If I need a visa, do you arrange this for me?

Visas and passports (if required) are the responsibility of the student. If any letters of invitation from our school are required to obtain a visa, we would be delighted to help, please contact us. For details of the kind of visa you may require, please visit the UK Government website.


Before you travel..

Do you provide any pre-departure information?

Yes, all students receive a comprehensive pre-departure information package before departing for the course.

Will the school be open on local public holidays?

No, the school will be closed and lessons are not compensated for. Please see our School Holidays page and the Terms and Conditions.

Do you recommend travel and medical insurance?

Yes, Languages United strongly recommends that all our students take out medical travel insurance before leaving their country. Arranging the insurance is the responsibility of the student.

I have found a cheap airfare, but I will arrive outside the start dates. How will this work?

In most cases this is not a problem, it is your choice. If you arrive a day late, you will miss out on your first lessons and perhaps the welcome introduction. If you arrive a few days early, depending upon availability, we can normally book you one or two additional nights accommodation before or after your programme. Please give us as much notice as possible of any change to your arrival and departure dates.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions regarding arrriving or departing early or late.

When booking flights, when should I plan to arrive and depart?

Nearly all our courses start on the Monday morning so plan to arrive on the Sunday before your start date. When departing, all our courses finish on the Friday, however you do not have to leave host-family accommodation until noon on the following Sunday, so plan to fly out on the Sunday. NOTE: this is the general structure but please check your course details for exact start and departure dates.


Accommodation

If I need to stay an additional night in the accommodation, can I book extra nights?

Yes, for an additional charge you can book a few extra nights before or after the course (subject to availability).

What day do I have to leave the accommodation?

For host family accommodation, you can stay until it is time for you to leave to catch your transport.

You have to vacate your hostel accommodation by 10.00am, after your last Friday at school.

Do I have to bring bed linen and towels with me?

Both towels and bed linen are provided by the host family and hostel.

If I stay with a host family what should I expect?

The family will treat you as a guest and you will be expected to obey house rules. All families provide you with a bedroom (single or shared room depending on your booking) with access to living areas in the house. In most cases, students will be expected to share the bathroom. Experience has shown us that living with a family is the most interesting and effective way to become fully immersed in the English language and culture.

Your host family will always do their best to engage you in daily conversation while making you feel as though you are in a 'home away from home'. Remember your host family will have different customs and habits than perhaps you are accustomed to, and meals will be prepared according to local custom.

Most host families are within 20 minutes traveling time of the school, either walking or by bus.

A couple of questions you should ask yourself if considering the host family option:

  • Am I prepared? Do I have realistic expectations? Host families may not have the same comforts as your home does.
  • Am I prepared to live by the house rules? You will be treated as a guest and adult students are free to come and go as you wish. However you will be expected to comply with your family's rules and expectations. For example, some host families may have a curfew of 12 midnight, some families might not allow smoking.
  • Can I adjust to unfamiliar food? Eating times could be very different, e.g. 8pm instead of 6pm, and the portions may be smaller or larger than you are used to back home. You should also expect the food to be different from what you are used to.

How is your host family chosen?

We have specific requirements that our families must meet before they are invited to host our international students. We require that the families live within a reasonable distance from the school, have ample living space for the student, and live in a clean, safe and comfortable environment. We work with families who enjoy hosting international students, trying to match each student with a family as best we can. The more details you provide on your enrolment form, the better the match.

What 'house rules' should I be aware of?

Students over 18 will be given a key to their accommodation and will be able to come and go more or less as they wish. As you are staying with either other students or with a host family, you will have to observe some basic house rules such as cleanliness and tidying up after yourself and generally fit in with family life.

If I have chosen the shared-bedroom option, who will I be sharing with?

You will be sharing with another, same-sex student studying at the school. When students are sharing rooms, we try to place students together from different countries or languages so they are forced into speaking English.

What is the most popular accommodation option?

We find most students stay with a host family. The main difference between these options are the meals; host families provide 2 or 3 meals daily. Of course students are also free to arrange their own accommodation.


Our courses

Do I receive a certificate at the end of the programme?

Yes. All of our programmes offer a Certificate of Attendance and Academic Progress Report; we can also help prepare you for internationally-recognized language exams.

How long is a lesson?

Typically a lesson lasts 90 minutes for adult English courses (eg for General English, the lessons are from 9.00-10.30 and from 11.00-12.30). However, the length of lesson is adjusted to the age of the student and their ability to concentrate, therefore they may be shorter for junior programmes.

How will the language be taught and what should I expect in class?

We believe that teaching a language cannot be successful solely by routine and repetition but should be creative and communicative.

We focus on learning to speak the language by instilling the most effective ways to master correct pronunciation and intonation. Our students learn most effectively in classrooms that are highly communicative and use techniques such as role-play, grammar games and videos to support lesson content. Current political, social and cultural materials are integrated to add interest and increase knowledge of the country and culture.

How many students should I expect in a class?

Class sizes vary, our maximum class size is 15. During our high season in the summer, classes are typically 8-12 students. During low season, students often benefit from smaller class sizes of 4-8 students.

How long is your course and when do the courses start?

Our General English and Intensive English courses have start every Monday all year round (with the exception of School Holidays). Our courses are very flexible and you can select your length of stay, from a minimum of 2 weeks to 3 months to one year. Please check the Key Facts section on our courses pages for further details.

What language level do I need to attend a course?

We accept all levels from complete beginners to advanced levels. All our courses cater to many different levels of ability, however, complete beginners may have to start with a block of individual tuition lessons.

What happens if I feel I have been placed in the wrong class?

If you feel the class you have been placed into is too easy or too difficult, just let the teacher know at the end of the first day and we will see if another level is more suitable for you.

What should I expect on my first Monday morning at the school?

You should plan to arrive about 8.45am (unless otherwise told) on your first day. Other students from around the world will also be starting on the same day.

As the students will be of different language levels, all students will be asked to take a language placement test, unless you are a complete beginner. Depending on the course you are taking, the test will take between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours; the teachers will evaluate your language skills and then place you in the correct class.

Once this has been completed you will be given a welcome introduction to the school and your first class will begin around 11.00am. After your first day, classes will start at the same time each day at 9am, see your chosen course for exact times.

How long should I study?

We believe the longer you are able to study, the better. Most students can expect to develop moderate fluency in 2-5 months depending on several factors (accommodation choice, personal motivation and application, and number of lessons). If you need to learn English in a very short time, we do offer intensive programmes.

We are committed to helping you acheive your language learning goals and if you are concerned about your progress we are here to offer advice and support. What we ask of you is to be punctual, attend all your classes, and do the homework that is set by your teachers.

What is the minimum age to attend your courses?

This depends on the course itself - normally, we ask for students to be 16 years and over for our standard English language courses; but we have specific courses tailored for young children and teenagers.

What is the average age of your students?

Our students are anywhere from 12 to 50+ years of age. The average age in adult classes is between 18 and 30.

Our language students are children, teenagers, university and college students, professionals, executives, holiday home owners and adventure travellers. You will find a wide selection of international students studying on our programmes. Our students take the programmes not only to learn English, but also to learn more about another culture and language...while having fun!


Course fees

What is not included in the programme fees?

Programme fees do not include the following:

  • Airfare
  • In-country transportation (unless airport transfer is pre-booked with us)
  • Passports, visas and permits
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Spending money
  • Exam fees
  • Social and cultural activities (unless part of your programme)

What do the programme fees include?

Programme fees include the following:

  • Selected course
  • Selected accommodation (single or twin/share rooms)
  • Registration and accommodation placement fees
  • Some meals (if staying with a host family)
  • Placement test upon arrival
  • Loan of course materials
  • Leaving certificate upon completion
  • Pre-departure information

Does the price include airfare?

No the prices do not include airfare.


Our social programme

Do I always stay with the students from the school?

No. Once class is finished you can do whatever you wish. You can join in with the students when you wish, or take a step back and do your own thing when you want to.

Does the school offer weekend excursions or trips to places of interest?

We do not provide a comprehensive social programme, but encourage students to meet each other and organise activities themselves.

We provide students with information on events and advice on how to make the most of their free time. At the weekend, many students arrange their own excursions to local cities or local places of interest - there is plenty to do in the city, as well as trips to Stonehenge, The Cotswolds, Bristol, Salisbury, Cardiff, London.

Where do your students come from?

From all over the world! The nationalities will vary but the majority of international students come from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Arab countries.

Do the students meet up after class?

Yes, this is one of the many great reasons to study abroad; you make new friends from around the world! You will find that many students form friendships and spend a lot of time together outside of classes, it's always more interesting to go sight-seeing with a friend. There is so much to do after classes are over for the day. The cultural and excursion options are endless or you may just decide to relax for the afternoon...your choice!

What happens outside the classroom?

After classes are over for the day, you will have plenty of time to discover the country, culture and customs.

Cultural and social activities allow you to make new friends with your classmates, experience cultural activities together and practise your new language skills outside the classroom.

Many activities are free, some examples are organized sport activities at the local leisure centre, a walking tour of the city, workshops, a visit to the local market, film nights, theme parties etc. In some cases, the daily activities are offered at a small additional fee such as fees to local galleries or events. Some examples could include guided visits to museums, local galleries, theatres, opera, attending a local sporting event, a trip the cinema, places of interest (which have an entrance fee), a trip to a local town and many more.

If you are interested in sight-seeing by yourself, our school staff is more than willing to assist you in outlining your local options.


Travelling to the UK

Where can I get more information about getting to Bath?

Please see our Getting to Bath page for more information.

What happens if I arrive late and miss the first day at school?

We would like to stress that it is very important to arrive on time and we would always recommend arriving earlier than later.

Should you arrive late and miss one or several days, the school will make every effort to bring you up to date with what has been taught and what you have missed. The teacher will still give you a placement test and place you into the correct class for your level. However your missed days can not be made up and you will miss those classroom days.

Sometimes we will offer the option of taking some additional private lessons (at an additional cost) to help you catch up, this can be arranged upon arrival and the additional cost paid directly to the school. Your class mates could also share their notes with you and you could copy those so you could study outside the class


Information for students with learning difficulties and disabled students

Courses for students with learning difficulties

Languages United may be able to adapt courses, or provide tailor-made courses, to help students with learning difficulties. Please contact us with your requirements and we will look into suitable courses for you.

Wheelchair Access

Languages United's building at 66 Walcot Street is a listed building which does not have wheelchair access. However, we are able to provide tailor-made courses at other locations in the city, or online.

Our Summer School courses at the Royal High 6th Form College are able to provide wheelchair access to classrooms, and some activities will also be accessible. Please contact us for further details.


Unhappy about anything?

Our complaints procedure

We hope that you are happy with your course and experience at Languages United. However, sometimes you may have a problem, or things can go wrong, and this is what to do if this happens:

  1. If you have a problem, please tell us. Your problem may be practical – for example to do with your course or your accommodation – or it may be personal – for example to do with a member of staff or another student. We are here to help you, but we can only do this if we know the problem exists. So please tell us about it at once. You can speak to anyone that you feel comfortable with.
  2. If you are still not happy and you want to complain, please speak to our Course Co-ordinator or Welfare Officer, depending on the nature of your complaint. We take every complaint very seriously and will look at your problem carefully and tell you within 24 hours what action we will take.
  3. If you are still not happy, ask to speak to our Managing Director, Slavenka Vukovic-Bryan, who is always available to help you with any problems or can be contacted by telephone and email if not in the office.
  4. If you would like to submit a complaint in writing then please request a Complaints Form and send this to Slavenka Vukovic-Bryan, Managing Director, Languages United Ltd, 66 Walcot Street, BATH BA1 5BD. We will investigate the complaint and respond within 5 working days.
  5. We're a member of EnglishUK – the association for accredited English Language Centres – and if you're still unhappy, you may take your complaint to the ombudsman of this organisation. The ombudsman is an independent person who investigates complaints. We promise to follow the ombudsman's recommendations. Please ask us for information, or you can contact EnglishUK direct at 219 St John Street, London EC1V 4LY. Tel: 020 7608 7960.
  6. The school is also accredited by the British Council and you may also contact this body with a complaint about our services. The British Council address is: Accreditation Unit, British Council, Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester M1 6BB.