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ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSES IN LONDON, ENGLAND: A COMPLETE GUIDE AND LIST OF THE BEST ENGLISH PROGRAMS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN THE CITY OF LONDON IN 2021
London is one of the top destinations for learning and studying English as a second language (ESL). The city of London has several English language schools, institutes, and prestigious universities that offer English classes.
London stands out for studying English over other cities, mainly for being an economic center for Europe and the rest of the world, making it a perfect location for English language students looking for networking opportunities. Moreover, in its numerous boroughs you can find all kinds of fun activities and wonderful places to visit, so even if you spend a long time in London, you’ll always have something to keep you busy. Some of the many tourist locations you can visit in London are: classic destinations, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the Big Ben and the Parliament, and Westminster Abbey; world-famous museums, such as the British Museum and the National Gallery; and of course, traditional neighborhoods, such as Brixton, Notting Hill, Camden, Soho, among others.
The city of London has English programs for all ages and budgets. We suggest you read this page and click on each language school you think is a good option. All universities and language institutes listed here offer English programs that allow you to apply for a student visa. Most of the programs are also available for citizens and residents in full-time or part-time options.
The most common programs are "General English" or "Academic English Programs", which allow you to improve your English level for academic or professional purposes.
- Where to study English in London, England?
- What is the best English language course in London?
- How can I study English in London?
- English programs near London?
- Cheap and good English courses in London?
You will find the answer to these questions on this website and a complete list of English language schools available for international students and residents. Click on the specific language school or university to get more information. You will find more details about the programs on those pages, helpful resources, and tips as housing, reviews, comments, and testimonials. As a leading world agency in ViveCampus, we can guide you in all the steps to study English in London, UK.
1. Best places to learn English in London, UKEnglish courses as a second language in top universities and institutions
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, and its most populated city. For many years it has been an economic center for Europe and the rest of the world, making a perfect location for English language students looking for networking opportunities. Moreover, in its numerous boroughs you can find all kinds of fun activities and wonderful places to visit, so even if you spend a long time in London, you’ll always have something to keep you busy. Some of the many tourist locations you can visit in London are: classic destinations, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the Big Ben and the Parliament, and Westminster Abbey; world-famous museums, such as the British Museum and the National Gallery; and of course, traditional neighborhoods, such as Brixton, Notting Hill, Camden, Soho, among others.
In London and surroundings we can find the following places:
- Covent Garden
- King Cross
- Notting Hill
- South Bank
List of English Language Schools in London:
2. TOP SEVEN REASONS TO STUDY ENGLISH IN LONDONOne of the best destination for international students in UK
AN OUTSTANDING SELECTION OF SCHOOLS
There are great English language schools where you can enroll in ESL courses in London.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES INCLUDE
In the fees of some courses, the usage of sport facilities, signing up for student clubs and sometimes even visits to local tourist destinations are included.
CONTINUE IMPROVING AND HAVE FUN OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
London is full of fun activities and places to visit, so you can have lots of fun, while you continue improving your English language skills in a real-world environment.
In London you’ll have the opportunity to improve your English fluency, while interacting with new people and professionals from all over the world, thus creating important networking relations for the future.
A FANTASTIC MULTICULTURAL EXPERIENCE
London is a great center of culture and full of people coming from all over the world. You’ll enjoy your time in this city and will not only improve your English knowledge, but you’ll also learn about other cultures and customs.
GREAT CONNECTIVITY TO OTHER PLACES
You can expect a great commuting experience through the London Underground or the tube, the famous two-floor buses, cabs, and even trains connecting to the rest of the UK, so you can even visit other cities and continue discovering this fascinating country.
A HUGE AMOUNT OF TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Finally, there are innumerable places you can visit and experiences you can live in London: visit Hyde Park and live a close experience with nature in one of the most famous parks in the world; visit the Palace of Westminster and bask in its beautiful gothic architecture; explore the awe-inspiring British museums, full of amazing exhibits, giving you plenty of things to discover new things; the National Gallery has numerous art exhibits you can experience and get a closer look at contemporaneous art; you can try taking a look at the different traditional London neighborhoods of Camden and its market, Brixton, Notting Hill and its wonderful carnival, Soho and its incredible nightlife and daylight fun in shops and theaters; try going in a cruise along the Thames; and much more.
3. Trends in 2021In 2021, international students are looking for the following English language courses:
The English courses chosen by international students in the U.K. this 2021 are academic English courses, preparation English courses for TOEFL or IELTS exams, and English courses with specialization, in which business English courses stand out.
Due to the pandemic (Covid-19), economic crisis, and unemployment, many people have understood the importance of the English language to have a better time at the university, excel at work, opt for a better job, or enhance their careers. It is for this reason that academic English courses are ideal for this year, 2021.
On the other hand, the UK has closed its borders to many countries this year, so most of its courses are being held remotely this year.
U.K has always been characterized as one of the countries chosen by foreigners to go to study English, with London as a favorite destination. This is because many people prioritize the British accent over others to learn and improve the English language.
4. Requirements to take an English Course in London, UKSome programs can have their own special requirements
Depending on your country of origin and how long is your course, there’s the possibility to study in London without a student visa. If your country is listed onthis website, your country has a visa exemption, and you can study up to six months without a visa, only using your passport and providing the necessary documents to an immigration officer: letter of acceptance sent by the school, a bank statement to prove you have the needed funds to cover the program, your travel plans (e.g. return tickets), details of your accommodation (where do you plan to stay, etc.), and any other information that may be deemed necessary.
Nevertheless, if your country is not visa exempted, you’re required to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa if you’ll study for less than 6 months, or a Short-term Study Visa, if you’re planning to study an English course for more than 6 months and less than 11 months. This also applies to students coming from visa exempted country who wish to study for more than 6 months.
This Short-term Study visa has a few restrictions. Therefore, students cannot: study at a state-funded school, work or carry out any business, extend this visa, bring any family members (they must apply separately), and receive any public funds. Moreover, if you come from a country listed here, you must have tuberculosis test done before arriving in the UK.
Finally, if you’re planning to study an English course of a B2 level or above of language proficiency that lasts for more than 11 months, it’s mandatory to apply for a General Study Visa. Check here for further information.
Costs and processing times for each visa:
Standard Visitor Visa: £95 / 3 weeks.
Short Term Study Visa up to 11 months: £186 / 3 weeks.
General Study Visa: £348 for applicant and for each dependent / 3 weeks. You also need to add to this the £150 Immigration Health Surcharge fee for health coverage in the NHS system while in the UK.
Although there’s no maximum age for these English programs, there’s a minimum age limit set by schools which is usually between 16 and 18 years of age, since these programs are designed for adult students. Nevertheless, some institutes offer special courses for children and teenagers, that offer English language teaching and great activities, thus mixing learning and fun so they spend an awesome time abroad.
Proof of Sufficient Funds
No matter what kind of visa you’ve obtained or if you’re visa exempted, in order to enter the UK and/or qualify for a visa you must submit a proof of sufficient funds. The amount will depend on which English language school you choose, where you’ll be staying, and the length of your studies. These funds must be on your bank account or on your sponsor’s, in case you’re being economically supported by one.
Minimum English Language Level
A substantial number of the ESL courses offered in the UK don’t require a minimum level of English language fluency, as they’re available in different levels of proficiency, usually from the beginner to the advanced level. In which one you’ll be placed is determined by the placement test you’ll take either online or onsite, this last one once you’ve arrived to the school. However, some programs require for you to prove you have a minimum level of English in order to qualify, via a proficiency test, such as the IELTS or Cambridge tests, which you have to take prior to applying.
5. Prices, dates and costs of English courses in London 2021 - 2022Explanation about main costs
Prices and dates for studying English in London depend on the school, its location, the program’s length, and the number of hours a week it has (intensive, part-time, etc.).
In some cases, unrelated items will be included on the final program fee, so you must keep these in mind when calculating the costs and the budget you’ll need to have. Some of these items are: accommodation, health insurance, services and facilities usage, participating in extracurricular activities and events, books and materials you’ll use during your course, among other things.
You can check the list below to see the different items and on what depends the cost, as well as an estimated cost in some cases, which can guide you to calculate your budget.
Main costs to consider if you want to study in London, UK
How much you’ll spend on this depends on which school you choose, the type of course you’ll study, and the intensity of the program (intensive, part-time). Another cost you need to consider is the application fee and, in some cases, a smaller fee to gain access to the different facilities and services the schools offer.
English language institutions in the UK may have partner providers for health insurance, which you can choose whether you acquire or not, with prices beginning at £6 a week. For courses of less than 11 months you don’t have to acquire health insurance. However, we recommend having some kind of insurance to cover health expenses while studying abroad.
Depending on which English language institute you study, books and materials can be included on the program’s fees, or can also be charged separately, usually for each English level.
As you may realize, the accommodation cost will depend strictly on which location you stay inside or around London. A 45m2 furnished studio apartment in an expensive area of London can cost around £2,028 a month, utilities not included. In a regular area, the same kind of accommodation costs around £1,311 a month, utilities also not included.
For some cases, accommodation options arranged or promoted by the school may include food costs inside the fees you pay, e.g. homestays, residences, etc. Nevertheless, you’ll probably have to pay out of pocket for other cases, for which you can eat at the school cafeteria if available, eat out, or cook in your own house. As a side note, a fast food meal can cost around £5.99, for one combo.
Standard Visitor Visa: £95. Short Term Study Visa up to 11 months: £186. General Study Visa: £348 for applicant and for each dependent. You also need to add to this General Study Visa fee the £150 Immigration Health Surcharge fee for health coverage in the NHS system while in the UK.
Since this cost will depend solely on how far you’re are from the institution and the type of transport you choose, we suggest living as close as possible. Consequently, you’ll be able to walk, ride a bike, or use the public transport to move around, as other options such as car rentals or taking a cab can be really expensive.
As you probably imagine, the cost of the air tickets will depend on where you fly from and the date of your trip. We suggest checking different travel websites to find the best price. As a side note, the most expensive season to fly is probably around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
6. Who study English in London, UK?Students come from all over the world to learn English in London
London receives ESL students coming from all over the world. They usually choose to study abroad to enhance their English language fluency, in order to communicate and improve their CVs. Part of this decision comes from the fact that many of them have taken English courses back in their home countries, but due to the fact that English isn’t spoken on a daily basis, they couldn’t improve their English skills as much as they would’ve wanted. Down below you can check the most common types of students that visit London.
Young students tend to be high-school and in some cases, college students, looking to work on their English skills in London, either for academic purposes, or to improve their CVs for the future. They study either during the summer or the winter, while on vacations.
Young professionals have just graduated from college, and/or are trying to accumulate working experience, for which they choose to acquire a useful skill, such as learning English as a foreign language while in London. Consequently, they can expect to qualify for graduate studies abroad or obtain a higher job position.
Senior professionals have more experience and are placed at a higher position inside companies. Due to this last fact, most of the time they need to have a high level of English fluency, in order to conduct business with foreign professionals and businesspeople. Most institutes in London offer specific business English courses for this kind of students, who can be sent by their companies or can also take a break to work on their English skills.
Residents include either UK citizens or companions of employees that were transferred to or live in London Their motivation comes from the desire to communicate with native speakers and be functional inside a country where English is the official language.
7. Photos about studying English in London, UKLook some of the photos of the ESL programs
8. Videos about studying English in London, UKClick to watch the videos
9. Information about London, UK
London is an extensive metropolis, the biggest city in the UK in terms of population, and is composed of 33 local authorities, and countless neighborhoods, full of culture, entertainment, and fascinating tourist spots. This city is located in southeast England and grew around the River Thames. It has been populated for millennia, but the first formal human settlement was established by the Romans. Consequently, with a history spanning thousands of years, this city has a valuable historical, architectural, and cultural heritage.
The different immigration waves this city has experienced have contributed to the formation of a widely diverse population, turning this city in a multicultural oasis, full of fun activities, delicious cuisine, and incredible shopping spots. Thus, no matter how rainy days are, or for how much time you stay in this British metropolis, you’ll always have something fun to do.
Regarding this, some of the exciting places you can visit and fascinating activities you can enjoy in London are: traditional tourist spots, such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Westminster Abbey, London Tower, the Big Ben, or Hyde Park; fun traditional neighborhoods, such as Soho, Notting Hill, Brixton, Camden, Chinatown, and Electric Avenue; fun tours such as a wonderful cruise in the River Thames, trying the Warner Brothers London Studio Tour; shopping around Portobello Road; and visiting fascinating cultural destinations, such as Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Theatre, Tate Modern, the National Gallery, the British Museum, Shakespeare’s Globe; and so much more.
10. Frequently Asked Questions about studying English in London
How do I obtain a student visa to study English in London?
The first step is choosing an English language program and begin the application process by making the initial payments and sending the necessary documentation, so that the institute can send you the acceptance letter needed to apply for a visa or enter the UK with your passport. Once you have received the acceptance letter, you must gather the documents necessary to apply for the visa you must have, and book an appointment at your nearest UK Visa Application Centre. For more information about each student visa, you can check these links: https://www.gov.uk/visa-to-study-english / https://www.gov.uk/student-visa. Finally, you can see the different courses offered in London on our website.
Which accommodation options are available while studying English in London?
Regularly, the accommodation won’t be included on the course fee, in which case you have to find an accommodation option on your own. However, it may be possible that some institutions offer or promote external services, such as homestays and private student residences. If neither of those options fits your budget or needs, you can opt for a private rental, such as living in a studio apartment or sharing a bigger apartment with other people.
Can I work and study at the same time in London?
It’s not possible to work and study at the same time in London or the UK.
Where can I study English programs in London?
There are numerous language schools in London that offer a wide selection of programs. You can search the option that best fits you on our website.
Which is the best university or language institute to study English in London?
This question doesn’t have a right answer, due to the fact that each person has their own tastes, needs and goals. There are numerous institutions that offer high-quality English language programs. Thus, we suggest considering the costs, and your needs and goals in order to make the right decision. On our website you can find a list of institutions where you can study in London.
Do universities offer scholarships to study English in London?
Since they’re not regular graduate or undergraduate programs, universities don’t offer scholarships. Nonetheless, some English language schools may have discounts for international students.
How does the payment process work and what are the preferred payment methods for these English language courses abroad?
Each institution has a different payment process. Usually, you have to make an initial payment to begin with the application process, which may be used to cover the shipping costs of the documents the school gives to enter the UK and/or obtain the visa you need. Any payments that may be left are done either a few weeks before arriving, or once you have arrived to the school. Preferred methods of payment may include: credit card, wire transfer, check, or international money order.
Do I need to be currently studying in my country of origin in order to apply for an English language program in London?
You don’t have to be a student to apply for the ESL programs offered in London. Anyone can apply as long as the meet the minimum requirements for the course they have chosen. Therefore, applicants can be all kinds of people: students, employees, business entrepreneurs, senior executives, etc.
Is there an age limit to apply for an English course in London?
Due to the fact that these programs are designed for adult students, a minimum age limit of 16, 17, or 18 is usually set by schools, with no maximum age whatsoever. Additionally some schools still offer programs for children and teenagers, with teaching and extracurricular activities specially tailored for them.
Which are the main tourist attractions in London?
There are many places you can visit and activities you can do in London, including: visiting classic tourist spots, such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Westminster Abbey, London Tower, the Big Ben, or Hyde Park; neighborhoods you can explore, such as Soho, Notting Hill, Brixton, Camden, Chinatown, and Electric Avenue; a fun cruise in the River Thames; a tour around the Warner Brothers Studio; shopping around Portobello Road; and finally, great tourist spots full of culture, such as Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Theatre, Tate Modern, the National Gallery, the British Museum, and Shakespeare’s Globe.
11. Testimonials of international students
Studying English in London changed my life. As probably many of you, I had so many questions before choosing a city to learn English. In my case, I come from a small town in Spain; therefore, I was looking for a different life experience. I wanted to live in a big city, and London was a perfect choice for me. This city has everything that I was looking for, museums, tourist attractions, nightlife, excellent public transportation, restaurants, musicals, etc. In addition to this, London has several airports with cheap flights to the rest of Europe. I was able to attend a wedding in my town during the weekend without missing an English class.
Learning English for me was a necessity. My company sent me to London to improve my English since we work with clients worldwide. My experience was excellent. At the end of the program, I was capable of communicating with people from all over the world. London is very multicultural, very different from where I come from, and people were friendly to me in school and the city. I want to return with my family one day, to show them around. I recommend London to everyone.
12. Benefits of studying English Abroad in London
In the global world we live in, mastering the English language and having experience abroad is highly valued by companies and employers.
But the benefits are not only professional, as people who study abroad develop valuable skills such as competence in a new language, cultural exposure, tolerance, adaptability, leadership, and independence. All these skills are directly fostered by learning and living abroad.
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