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ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
A COMPLETE GUIDE AND LIST OF THE BEST ENGLISH PROGRAMS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN ENGLAND IN 2023
The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations for learning and studying English as a second language (ESL). United Kingdom has several English language schools, institutes, and prestigious universities that offer English classes.
The United Kingdom stands out for studying English over other places, mainly for being the birthplace of the English language, and thus, a very attractive destination for those who wish to enhance their language skills. On top of this, the cities where you can study English are some of the most important economic and academic centers in Europe, such as London, or college cities like Oxford or Cambridge. You can also discover fascinating tourist attractions, including some of the most famous sites in the world, such as Stonehenge or the campuses of Cambridge and Oxford University.
Language schools in the UK usually have different programs for different kinds of people and needs. Some focus on English courses for adults, including professionals and executives. Others focus on programs for teenagers or students currently in college. In addition to the English language program, you need to pay attention to the location, weather, and prestige of the language institute. Also, you should choose an English language course that best fits your budget and level. There are general English programs and specific courses in the UK: as Academic English, Business English, Communication English, Conversation English, Culture English, English for traveling, Intensive, Part-time, online, and English classes that prepare you for exams like the TOEFL, IELTS or TOEIC to name a few.
We suggest that 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.
- Where to study English in England?
- What is the best English language course in England?
- What is the best city in the United Kingdom to study English?
- Cheap and good English courses in the United Kingdom?
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 the United Kingdom.
1. Best places to learn English in the United KingdomEnglish courses as a second language in top universities and institutions
List of English Programs in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is divided into 4 territories: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and WalesClick on each institution to get more information
List of English Language Schools in England
List of English Language Schools in Scotland
English courses in England
Located on the largest island in the UK, England is mostly lowland although there are some upland parts mainly in the northwest. England’s capital London is also the capital of the UK, an exciting melting pot full of landmarks, parks and beauty. Not far from London, you may find charming seaside resorts such Brighton or Eastbourne and South Downs or New Forest national parks. In the northeast of England, you can experience the green and pleasant British countryside in the Lake District, where Lake Windermere is worth visiting.
In England we can find the following cities:
English courses in Scotland
Scotland is in the north of the largest island in Great Britain. It is divided into two very geographically different regions; the highlands in the north, and the lowlands in the south, on the border with England. Most of Scotland’s population live in the lowlands but in the north, you can visit Cairngorm National Park and hike or take the funicular to enjoy the stunning view from the top. Scotland’s capital city is Edinburgh although Glasgow is larger and more populous. In Edinburgh you can experience castles, whisky, fudge, performing arts, Harry Potter’s movie locations and the café where JK Rowling got inspired.
In Scotland we can find the following cities:
English courses in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK located on the island of Ireland on its northeast corner. This hilly country boasts the largest lake in the UK, Lough Neagh (390 square kilometres) although the number one tourist spot is the Giant’s Causeway, impressive basalt columns formed after a volcano eruption million of years ago. Northern Ireland is a great destination for hiking, cycling, golfing, angling, rejuvenating at a spa, and visiting historical and cultural sights such as the walled city of Derry. Its capital and largest city, Belfast, used to be shipbuilding hub; in fact, the Titanic took shape there.
In Northern Ireland we can find the following cities:
English courses in Wales
Wales is to the west of England and next to the Irish Sea. In North Wales, Snowdonia National Park offers some of the most breathtaking views in Britain with an unbeatable combination of coast, mountains, countryside and castles. If fact, Wales in the country with more castles per square mile in Europe. Just in the center of its capital city Cardiff, you will find Cardiff Castle always full of activities and guided tours.
In Wales we can find the following cities:
2. TOP SEVEN REASONS TO STUDY ENGLISH IN THE UNITED KINGDOMOne of the best destination for international students in the UK
THE QUALITY OF BRITISH ENGLISH STUDY PROGRAMS IS ASSURED
Besides its long tradition of education excellence, the UK holds a quality assurance scheme through Accreditation UK to guarantee the quality of the English as a Foreign Language courses offered by schools, colleges and universities.
A GREAT COUNTRY TO EXPLORE AND LEARN OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
The UK has a wide network of trains and highways to travel around the different tourist destinations across the country. This helps you to meet new people, create networking opportunities and continue practicing your English skills outside the classroom. Moreover, each main city has train and/or bus services that can take you anywhere.
THE UK IS AN IDEAL DESTINATION TO LEARN ENGLISH
There is nothing better than learning a language where it has come to life and evolve; a country known for its academic excellence and cultural heritage, with modern cities, famous tourist spots, renowned higher education institutions, and gorgeous countryside and coastal landscapes.
THE UK IS FULL OF HISTORY AND FASCINATING CULTURAL DESTINATIONS
With a history dating as far back as the first European settlements, the UK is full of fascinating historical and cultural destinations you can visit, such as some of the oldest schools in Europe; a breathtaking architectural heritage, including towns, castles and churches; and incredible old places such as Stonehenge and Knap of Howar.
EXCELLENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE SCHOOLS TO STUDY ESL PROGRAMS
Apart from great programs, English language institutions in the UK have excellent, cutting-edge facilities you can use, great student services, and exciting extracurricular activities to explore and get in touch with the different tourist locations around the school.
THE UK’S BROAD VARIETY OF PROGRAMS.
Having a wide selection of programs to choose from is important when making the choice of where to study English. In the UK you will find numerous courses aimed at different kinds of students, offering different kinds of English instruction, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities. No matter your age, goals, and interests, you will always find a place that fits your current needs.
THE UK IS A WIDE COUNTRY FULL OF CONTRASTS
The UK is a widely diverse country, where you can find different accents, different customs, and of course, exciting and vibrating cities where you can continue practicing your English outside the classroom. No matter how much time you spend in this country, you will always find a new place to explore.
3. Trends in 2023In 2023, international students are looking for the following English language courses:
The English courses chosen by international students in the U.K. this 2023 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, 2023.
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 the United KingdomSome programs can have their own special requirements
Based on your country of origin and for how long you plan to study, you may be able to study an English course in the UK without a visa. For example, if according to this website your country is visa exempted, and you plan to study for less than six months, you are allowed to study without a visa, and only need your passport and to present the right documents to the immigration officer (letter of acceptance, proof of sufficient funds, travel plans, accommodation details, etc.).
However, if your country is not visa exempted, you are required to obtain a Standard Visitor Visa if you will study for less than 6 months, or a Short-term Study Visa, if you are 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.
While on a Short-term Study Visa you 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, depending on your country of origin, you may need to take a Tuberculosis Test. You can check this in the following link: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk.
Finally, if you will study an English course that requires a B2 or above level of English proficiency and lasts for more than 11 months, you must apply for a General Study Visa. You can find more information about it here.
Costs and processing times for each visa are the following:
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.
English languages courses offered in the UK are usually planned for adult students, so there tends to be a minimum age of around 16 and 18 years old for each course, while at the same time there is no maximum age. However, in some institutions there might be courses for teenagers and children, which offer English language instruction and fun activities, so they can learn and have a great time while being abroad studying English.
Proof of Sufficient Funds
Whether you are visa exempted or studying under a Short-term or General Study Visa, you must provide a proof of sufficient funds in order to either enter the UK and/or qualify for a visa. How much you must prove depends on the English language institute you choose, the city where you will stay, and for how long you plan to study. The money must be on your personal bank account or on a bank account that belongs to your sponsor, if that were the case.
Minimum English Language Level
Most ESL programs you will find in the UK do not require a minimum level of proficiency, and are usually offered in different levels of proficiency, from beginner to advanced. The level in which you are placed is determined by the result of the placement test you take either online or onsite, once you have arrived. Nevertheless, in some cases you will need to provide proof of English language proficiency for intermediate and advanced courses, which is done by submitting an IELTS or Cambridge test score.
5. Prices, dates and costs of English courses in the United Kingdom 2023 - 2024Explanation about main costs
The prices and the dates for the English courses offered in the UK depend on where you study, for how long you study, and on how many hours a week does your course have.
To get the full picture in terms of costs and the budget you will need, you must keep in mind that some English language institutions include unrelated items on the final course fees. Some of them are: accommodation, health insurance, using services and facilities, participating in extracurricular activities and events, books and materials you will use, among other items.
Down below you will find a list of the different costs and items to consider when applying for an ESL program in the UK. These are just estimative costs, but this may help you calculate how much money you will need to study abroad.
Main costs to consider if you want to study in the UK
6. Who studies English in the United Kingdom?Students come from all over the world to learn English in the UK
The UK receives all kinds of students who come from different parts of the world, looking to study ESL programs, to enhance their proficiency level and improve their careers. Their main motivation is being able to experience the English language on a regular daily basis, since many of them already took classes back in their countries, but it proved unsuccessful, due to the fact that English is not a language spoken in everyday situations.
They are normally college and high school students who want to improve their English language proficiency for academic and work purposes. They usually make use of their free time during the summer and winter vacations to enroll on an English course in the United Kingdom.
Young professionals who are usually people who’ve just graduated, and therefore, do not have much job experience. Their main motivation to study an ESL course in the UK is improving their work career by enhancing their English language proficiency level, or reaching the necessary level of English to be able to join a graduate program abroad.
These are older and more experienced professionals, that tend to have higher job positions. They are motivated by their desire to communicate with other professionals around the world, by dominating an international language such as English, which is widely spoken by many people nowadays. This is why they choose to travel to the UK.
This includes UK citizens or those who have arrived with employees that’ve been transferred to UK. Their main reason to enroll on an ESL program is reaching a higher level of English proficiency, in order to be able to interact with others in everyday situations in an English-speaking country.
7. Photos about studying English in the United KingdomLook some of the photos of the ESL programs
8. Videos about studying English in the United KingdomClick to watch the videos
9. Information about the United Kingdom
Officially known as The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the UK is located northwest from the European mainland. It consists of territories in the island of Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and several other smaller islands. Although a relatively small territory, according to an estimate from 2019, the UK has 67 million people, mostly concentrated in its main metropolitan areas, especially its capital, London. The UK is renowned for having beautiful landscapes, ranging from beautiful beaches in the south, to breathtaking cliffs and mountains in the Scottish Highlands. Therefore, no matter your taste, you will always have someplace to visit.
Additionally, the UK is famous for its tourist attractions, including millenary monuments like Stonehenge; an innumerable number of castles; fascinating world-famous museums; high-quality educational institutions, such as the Cambridge and Oxford Universities; and lovely towns with an exceptional historic architectural heritage. In terms of climate, as you may know, UK is renowned for having lots of rainfall and cloudy, gloomy days. Nevertheless, it is still a lovely place to visit, as you will always have something to do.
In this regard, some places you can visit in the UK are: London, and its numerous tourist attractions, such as museums, historical sites, classic pubs, and wonderful parks; Edinburgh, a city renowned for having a fascinating architecture; the Roman Baths in Bath, a beautiful place where you can rest while relaxing in its warm waters; the numerous castles located all over the UK; the University towns of Cambridge and Oxford, where you can learn more about this country’s educational history; industrial Manchester and seaside Liverpool, a place where you can visit many tourist locations related to the history of The Beatles; the millenary Stonehenge monument; and many more fascinating places.
10. Frequently Asked Questions about studying English in UK
How do I obtain a student visa to study English in UK?
The first thing you must do is check which course you want to apply for. Once you have sorted that out, you have to make the necessary initial payments, so that the school can send you the acceptance letter you will need, in order to apply for the student visa. These payments are usually done via credit card or bank transfer, depending on the options the school gives you.
After you have sorted everything out with the school, you have to check whether you will need a Study Visa, and in case you do need it, check whether you need a Short-term Study Visa or a General Study Visa. After you know this information, you must gather all the documents you need and ask for an appointment in the nearest UK Visa Application Centre.
You can find more information about the Short-Term Study Visa or the General Student Visa on the following links: https://www.gov.uk/visa-to-study-english / https://www.gov.uk/student-visa. You can also check the available English language courses on our website.
Which accommodation options are available while studying English in the UK?
In most cases, the accommodation will not be included on the final fee, so you need to find your own accommodation. Some institutions may offer external services, such as homestays and student residences, but if that does not fit your budget or you need more privacy, you can also look for a private rental option, such as sharing an apartment with other students.
Can I work and study at the same time in UK?
You are not allowed to work and study at the same time in the UK.
Which is the best city to study English in UK?
There is never a right answer to this question, as where each person wants to study tends to change depending on their taste and needs. Our suggestion is to consider your needs and wishes and choose the place that seems the most appealing.
Where can I study English courses in UK?
As you probably already noticed, there are English language courses all over the UK. You can check the list of cities where you can find programs on our website.
Which is the best university or language institute to study English in the UK?
There is a wide selection of English language schools in the UK, all of them offering top-quality English courses. That is why we recommend you to think about where you want to live, what kind of course you want, and the budget you will have to study abroad. You can check the list of institutions where you can study English in the UK on our website.
Do universities offer scholarships to study English in UK?
Universities do not offer scholarships for their English language programs. However, some language institutes give special discounts for international students.
How does the payment process work and what are the preferred payment methods for these English language courses abroad?
The payment process will always depend on each institution. Normally, they ask for an initial fee to start the application process. This includes the shipping costs for the documentation you are going to need to apply for the visa. Any payments left are usually made once you arrive to the institute, or otherwise, a couple of weeks before that. The preferred methods of payment are credit card, wire transfer, 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 UK?
Anybody can apply for these ESL programs, and there is no need for you to be a student, even if some programs may require previous studies. Applicants come from all kinds of backgrounds: college students, employees, young professionals, senior executives, etc.
Is there an age limit to apply for an English program in UK?
Since these English courses are planned for adult students, there is usually a minimum age limit of 16, 17 or 18; with no age limit. However, some English schools offer special programs tailored for children and teenagers, in which the contents are prepared specially for them, to suit their needs and interests.
Which are the main tourist attractions in the UK?
Some of the places you can visit and experiences you can enjoy in the UK are: London, and its innumerable tourist attractions, such as museums, historical sites, classic pubs, and wonderful parks; Edinburgh, a city renowned for having a fascinating classic architecture; Bath and its Roman Baths, a great place to rest and relax; the different castles you can find all over the UK; the University towns of Cambridge and Oxford, where you can marvel with the history of some of the oldest universities in Europe; both industrial Manchester and seaside Liverpool, places where you can learn more about the history of British music; the ancient Stonehenge monument; and many more fascinating places.
11. Testimonials of international students
Studying English in the UK was like to be part of a fairytale. I improve my English speaking and I visited amazing places, not just in the UK, also in Europe, because is very easy and cheap to travel to another country.
I recommend to study English in the United Kingdom. The language schools and teachers are very professionals. They really take care of students. Classes are very intense, but you can relax with your friends in the evenings or during the weekends. In my case I loved to travel to the country side.
12. Benefits of studying English Abroad in the United Kingdom
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.
Click on the screen to watch the video
Other popular destinations to study English abroad
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