Language course top tips and FAQ’s

learn a languageWe’re proud to say we offer got hundreds of enticing language holidays all over the world! Yet no matter where our students travel to in the world, they always have the same questions…

So we thought why not give all you budding language learners a quick guide to what it’s really like on one of our language courses with our key FAQ’s to help you prepares for a NotInTheGuidBooks.com language course with a difference:

Can I take a language course as a beginner or do I need to have experience in the language already?

Most of our language courses are suitable for all levels, from complete beginners to the more experienced speakers. We aim to cater for all levels and often beginner levels can begin a language course on set dates of the year, whereas elementary to advanced levels can begin on every Monday of the year. You can always check the suitability of a particular language course by looking at the ‘Suitability’ heading under the ‘Course Itinerary’ tab of any language course.

I’m not sure what language level I am – can you help?

Some of our guests have learnt a language 20 years ago but haven’t put it into practice much in recent years, in which case it’s tricky to assess your own level. We’ve got this handy blog post here to help you assess your language level.

Many of our language schools will also either send you a language test to complete before you arrival, or give you a language test to take on your first day at the school to ensure you’re placed in the best class for your personal language level. If you ever find your class is too easy or difficult, just let your tutor know and they’ll move you to another class.

How many students will be in my class?

Most language schools offer small group classes with around 8-12 other students but it does vary depending on the location of the school. The ‘Course Overview’ tab of each language course lists the maximum class size and also the number of hours tuition each holiday includes, as well as public holidays which are really useful to know before you travel.

How old are the other students on your language courses?

Ages really vary on our language courses, but the typical language learner falls in to the 20-60 age bracket. We have no age limit and we’ve had guests in their 70’s and 80’s studying languages with us too so you’re never too old to try in our eyes! During the summer and in university holiday times the average age typically drops and there are many guests in their 20’s so you never know who’ll be there during your week.

Where do your language students come from?

Our students come from all over the world and you’ll never be placed in a class with just English speakers so that you use the language you are learning rather than resorting to chatting in English. The courses are a great way to get to know other people and the diversity of ages, nationalities, professions, and interests of our students contribute to the unique experience you will have, you never quite know who you will meet!

Are there any activities I can do in the afternoons?

You might be surprised to hear that over 90% of our language learners travel solo! Every language school we work with organises social and cultural activities to help you get to know others at the school outside of class which are really fun to join. Activities might include a tour of the city, movie night, a museum visit etc. and you’ll receive a full schedule of the activities offered during your week upon arrival at the school on the Monday. You can then choose which to join from there – simple!

Why is there a compulsory enrollment fee on my booking?

Most language schools charge a compulsory enrollment / registration fee per student, which covers the administration costs their end such as registering you and your passport details as a language learner, keeping records of your level, marking your tests and so on and will be automatically added to your booking.

What will my language lessons cover?

You’ll cover the 4 basics – reading, writing, speaking and listening and every teachers style is different as you’ll find out on your first day!

Will my lessons be taught in English?

All of our language lessons will be taught in the native language so if you’re learning Italian in Italy, your lessons will be taught only in Italian. Even if you’re a complete beginner in the language your lessons will never be taught in English – this is to fully immerse you in the language from day 1 and help you forget about the English equivalent. It’s a proven technique and although it can sound daunting to beginners, it’s great fun and really successful.

What accommodation options are there and what are they like?

It varies depending on where you want to study but the two main accommodation options are home stay and student residence. Home stay is when you stay with a local family and student residence is when you stay in an apartment with other language students and locals. Student residence tends to be for younger students and you have a private bedroom but share a kitchen and bathroom with the other students.

What’s it like staying with a host family?

Our host families are all officially checked and regulated by the language school and have been working closely with the language schools for years. Staying with a local family is a great way not only to enhance your language skills but to immerse yourself in the culture of the country. You’ll have lots of freedom and can come and go as you please, you don’t have to stay in with the family every night! If you have any special requests such as no smoking, no pets, or if you’d prefer to be in a family with children, you can mention this in the ‘special requests’ section of the booking and we’ll do our best to find a host family to suit you.

How far is the accommodation from the language school?

Your accommodation location really varies depending on availability for your week and your special requests. As a general rule, accommodation is always within a 30 minute commute from the language school – either by bus, train, metro or car and you can walk to the school from many apartments too. You’ll receive your full accommodation details 2 weeks before you travel as well as information on how to get there and contact details.

Feeling inspired? Check out our full range of inovative language holidays today.