Studying A Language Course While On The Erasmus Programme

Studying an English language course before or during an Erasmus programme is something many students are doing, which we see first-hand as we teach hundreds of Erasmus students every year.

What’s the reason for this? Well, an obvious one is that you’re already there, after all the flights are paid for and you’ve found accommodation – so why not? It’s an opportunity that might not come around again for a while. It’s something extra you can take from living abroad, both in terms of improving your English generally and through being able to study specific courses such as Business English.

We wanted to find out what it’s like from a student’s perspective – check out what Ramona, from Switzerland, had to say, below this article.

The cost of a language course is on top of your normal university fees, which is a consideration. As all Erasmus students know the grant they receive (usually €370 a month) is only for the period they are abroad – and they can put it towards their studies or living costs. Many students use the grant to pay for their course and for this reason, combined with the fact you’re already there and have already found a place to live, many it see it as the cheapest time to study an English language course abroad.

If your English is already of a high level it might be most efficient to simply start the work placement or University course. For the majority of people, however, it will take a couple of weeks to recall the language. If you’re concerned about this, studying at an English school will help you get over this period before it really matters, and prevent you from potentially getting behind in your work.

Some of the additional benefits of attending an English language school while on Erasmus include the following:

– Your English will improve before starting your course or work placement – there is nothing like studying in the country with a native English teacher and being immersed in the language for a few weeks.
– One of the main reasons for going on the Erasmus programme is to have fun and gain knowledge of other cultures. At school you will find the most diverse range of nationalities of practically anywhere; you will meet students from Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Chile… and you will have a network of friends when you start your course or work placement
– You can go on lots of exciting trips to places around the UK and Europe which are available through the language school. You won’t be alone either as you will be going with people from your school as well as other schools. Without a doubt, you will want to see the country while you are studying in it, and this is a really fun and inexpensive way of doing it.
– While studying at a language school you can choose to live with a host family so you can speak English all the time at home and learn the expressions used in everyday language. It will also help you to understand the culture. Afterwards you can live independently if you wish, or with other students from your study programme.

Interview: Ramona, Switzerland

BSC: Why are you studying an English course during your work placement?

In Switzerland I’m attending the State Tourism and Hotel Management School, in which the second year consists of doing some work experience abroad. I have decided to do an internship in a school of English because I think it is really related to Tourism and I could improve my English in the meantime.

BSC: What is the main benefit of working abroad?

Working with native people gives you the opportunity to learn the expressions they use, their culture and work attire, not to mention the fantastic experience you gain working abroad which you can put on your CV.

BSC: What are some of the things you like about studying in an English language school during your time abroad?

As the school welcomes student from all over the world it gave me the opportunity to meet lots of people; I’m really happy to say that I have friends from Germany, Colombia, Chile, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, Japan.

Another opportunity I had was to do lots of trips during the week end. I had some free tickets from UK study Tours and discounts with Discovery Tours that permitted me to visit many places in the UK; London, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Liverpool, Manchester, are some examples of the wonderful cities I have enjoyed.

I have lived with two different host families. I really liked living with them, I had my independence and I had the opportunity to see how English people live, and in this way learning about their culture (what I think is very important when you travel).

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