The following frequently asked questions include general questions of almost all aspects of attending a summer school, including arrival and departure, meals, accommodations, and safety concerns, etc.
My child has never traveled alone before. What happens at the airport when arriving and departing? What happens when my child arrives at the school?
All our summer school package offers free airport transfers. In all circumstances, we will make sure there is a member of staff to greet your child at the airport. When your child arrives at the School, the member staff of the School will help your child complete registration, and lead your child to his/her boarding house for unpacking, taking a shower or rest. We will make sure that your child has something to eat. We will also help your child to call you/guardian to say that your child has arrived safely.
If your child is under 13 years old, he/she will travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM). Airline personnel are responsible for escorting the child through immigrations and customs and boarding the flight in time. After clearing immigrations and customs, the child is released only to the adult identified on the paperwork. Airline policies vary from airline to airline. Your airline or travel agent can tell you about this procedure. For return journeys we will escort your child to the airport and check them in. If they are an Unaccompanied Minor the staff member will stay with your child until they are personally handed over to airline staff and will stay in the airport until the flight has departed.
Are all meals provided? What is the food like? How about specific dietary requirements?
All three cooked meals a day are provided in the beautiful dining hall of school/college. A packed lunch will be provided on excursions. Sometimes we pay for a meal in a café or restaurant. Drinks and biscuits are generally available in the lesson breaks.
The food is well balanced, nutritious and tasty with different options. Some centres are better than others but it is a very good standard everywhere. The staff eat together with all students. However, nothing ever tastes as good as parents’ cooking, so all students should be prepared to come to the UK and try new things.
All our summer schools can cater for different dietary requirements provided they are told well in advance. Please tell us at the time of application if you have any special dietary requirements. Please also include all dietary needs on the booking form as clearly as possible.
What is the accommodation like? Who will my child be sharing a room with? Can I request a single/double room?
At most centres we offer a mix of standard single, twin or triple study bedrooms. We arrange room shares by age. We have a strict policy on age and gender sharing in rooms. You can request a single or double room, we will, where possible, take your rooming requests into consideration but we cannot guarantee to be able to fulfill them, and we look for your understanding when this is not possible. The earlier you book the more likely we can give you what you ask for. In fact, it is more beneficial to let your child to mix with other nationalities than sharing with the mate from the same country.
Each residential building or house has at least one TV room where students can also watch videos and usually there is a games room too. Almost all course centres have free Wi-Fi. There are plenty of shower facilities. The members of staff will sleep in the same buildings. The entrance is securely locked at all times and only the students and our staff have access.
Is there a laundry service provided for my child?
Yes. A free laundry service is included in the course fees, and the laundry is done weekly.
The member of staff will ensure children putting out their clothes to wash. For the older students in Oxford and Cambridge we expect students to do their own washing while supervised by a member of staff. Coin operated washing and drying machines on college premises of Cambridge and oxford universities. We pay for all coin-operated machines. All bed linen is provided and is laundered once a week. Towels are not provided.
How safe and secure are the course centres? Can my child go shopping alone?
All our junior summer courses are based on safe and secure campuses of leading British boarding schools which are ideal for younger students. Though the campuses in Oxford and Cambridge are all in quite busy cities, people can only enter via the Porters’ Lodge in each college. The Lodge is manned 24 hours a day by the college porters.
The course staff accompany students at all times. We have high staff/student rations which ensure enough attention to every child. Students under the age of 13 are not permitted to go shopping unsupervised at any time. On excursions, only senior students aged more than 13 years old are allowed to go shopping in groups in nearby areas.
How can I contact my child while they are with you in the UK? Can my child use the Internet?
We recommend that each child has their own phone to contact you from the UK. The children are not allowed to use their phones during classes and activities. The summer schools will also have emergency contact nmubers and you will be given that number before the course starts. A member of staff will help your child contact you when they have arrived. All summer schools have email access.
Almost all course centres have free Wi-Fi around site. Students also have regular access to the computer facilities. The site computers have a filter system to safeguard students from accessing inappropriate internet sites. The times of use are also limited.
How much pocket money will my child need? What happens to the pocket money when my child arrives?
All the food and accommodation is provided, along with all the excursions. Your child does not need money for programmed activities but it is a good idea to bring some pocket money to buy sweets, ice-creams and souvenirs. As a guideline, we suggest no more than £100 per week, but it is entirely up to parents. If necessary, you should consider giving your child a pre-paid debit or credit card for use in the UK. Parents can increase this if extra pocket money is required.
The pocket money, along with passport and airline tickets and any other valuables are collected on the day your child arrives and looked after by us until your child leaves. There will be a fixed ‘banking’ time each day and before all excursions when your child will be able to ask for his/her money.
Should my child bring laptop, expensive camera and any valuables? What happens to them if my child brings?
We strongly recommend that your child avoids bringing any expensive items such as jewelry, laptop, expensive camera or electronic equipment. Please kindly note we cannot issue students with keys to their individual bedrooms for reasons of personal safety but most rooms do have lockable cupboards.
Any valuables that your child bring with must be locked away at all times or hand them to the Centre Manager to look after them for your child. We ask for passports, tickets, money and valuables when they check in. All valuables will be kept in the centre ‘bank’ and given out at certain times of the day.
What happens if my child is unwell or injured?
In order to ensure your child’s wellbeing, we request parents to complete a medical consent form to authorise us taking care of your child on your behalf in the case of illness or injury to the child, and take any medical treatment advised by the attending medical consultant.
In the event of illness or injury, our experienced staff will first assess the child’s condition, and decides as to whether the child needs to see a doctor or receive a treatment at the local hospital. Many course centres also have a nurse on duty 24 hours a day, and all centres have trained first-aiders. If emergency treatment is needed, we make every effort to contact parents/guardians beforehand.
Do I need to buy an insurance cover for my child?
Almost all our summer school programmes, with just a few exceptions, include a comprehensive insurance cover as part of the enrollment, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of our students coming on courses in the UK. Once the deposit is paid and a place is booked, your child is covered on the travel insurance policy for his/her time spent studying in the UK. You can view the summary of our insurance policy here.
A few courses which do not include insurance are indicated individually on the relevant course pages. Parents are advised to make their own insurance arrangement for their child to cover personal possessions and medical treatment.
Can parents/guardians visit children during their stay? Will my child be allowed to leave the School to visit relatives nearby?
Yes, both of these are possible. Parents/guardians can arrange a visit in advance though we encourage children not to see their parents or relatives during their stay to ensure maximum concentration and full involvement of packed course programmes.
Young children are not routinely allowed off the School. They can be signed out by a parent or relative with prior warning. The best time they leave the site is when the class is out on an excursion so your child doesn’t miss any classes.
We are from a Non-European country, how can my child get a visa?
Upon receipt of your booking, we will provide the necessary letter of acceptance and visa support letter confirming your child’s enrollment for visa application. If your child does not have a valid passport at hand, you will need to apply a passport for your child before applying for the visa.
What happens if we have to cancel the booking?
Bookings are non-transferable, and any cancellations must be made in writing. If you cancel the course due to a visa refusal, we will refund the full fees, less the deposit, upon receipt of the original documentation issued by the Entry Clearance Officer. If you have to cancel the course due to unfortunate sudden illness, accident or death of student, a parent or brother or sister, the course fees you have paid, less the deposit will be refunded. Most of our courses include a comprehensive insurance cover. Depending on the circumstances, you may be covered by the insurance policy.
What happens on the departure day?
This is a very busy day as students will be leaving at different times. The course staff continue to take care of your child and make sure he/she has all meals until it is time to leave. A member of staff will then escort your child to the airport and check them in. If they are an Unaccompanied Minor the staff member will stay with your child until they are personally handed over to airline staff and will stay in the airport until the flight has departed.
It is essential that we are informed on the student travel details form if the student has been booked as an Unaccompanied Minor with the airline that they are travelling with.
How do I know which course is right for my child?
We have a wide variety of courses and locations for all ages, interests and language levels. You can use our searchable Course Finder to find the most suitable course for your child based on Location, Institution, Age Group, Fees, or Course Dates.
If you want any more details or need help in finding most suitable course please contact us. The more information you give us about your child the better we will be able to help you choose the best course for your child.
Is my child’s language level good enough for his/her chosen course?
All our summer English Language courses and most of summer Specialty Camps are open to students of all levels. Your child will be given an English level assessment on arrival to ensure he/she is placed in the right class to really learn as much as possible.
If your child is interested in attending one of our summer academic programmes and you don’t know what language level your child is, please visit our webpage for English Levels and Assessment. You can also contact us for an language placement assessment, we will then advice you which course would be best for your child.
Who will teach and lead my child studies? Who will take care of my child during his/her study?
All our courses have a high ratio of staff to students, so there are plenty of people looking after the children and making sure they are safe and happy while they learn English and have a great holiday with us. All of our staff pass a police check.
The English teachers are qualified EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers, and the academic course teachers are qualified subject teachers. Many of them have taught the same programmes for several years and are experienced in teaching young learners. They are friendly, fun and enthusiastic.
The Activities Staff supervise and instruct students in sports and other activities and encourage them to learn new skills. They go on excursions with students and join in the evening social programme. Where applicable, those specialty arts and sporting as well as some other activities are instructed by qualified professional coaches.
The Counselors resident and stay in the residential buildings. They wake the students up, put them to bed, supervise their meals, guide them on excursions and trips and motivate them during activities. They also act as role models and are constantly on hand to listen and help students at all times. The Counselors speak English to the students all day.
Can my child change course during his/her stay?
Yes, provided there is a pre-arrangement in place. Students can change from one course to another course during their stay if they have booked at least 2 weeks on one of the courses, but it is subject to availability. The most popular choice among students is that they study for 2 weeks on a programme at Cambridge University and then study for a further 2 weeks (or one week) at Oxford University.
Another popular option is to come to any summer programme for 2 weeks before switching to the English and Cultural Studies tour of the UK. This is the perfect way to finish your child’s summer school experience in the UK.
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