1. Decide when and for how long
The personal goals you have set for yourself and the available budget are primary factors influencing the length of your trip. We recommend a language stay of at least three months for a serious improvement in your proficiency in the respective local language. A shorter stay may be suitable to learn the basics of a new foreign language or to brush up on already existing foreign language skills.
We work out the required course length with you during the consultation. The local climate may be a relevant criterion to take into account when deciding on the time of travel. Summer and winter seasons as well as dry and rainy periods in the chosen region are also aspects that should be considered for overseas stays.
In general, you need to be aware that a language stay cannot be planned overnight. Depending on complexity a lead time of up to 8 weeks may be required.
2. Choose a destination
After deciding when you want to travel you need to decide where you want to go. English, French, and Spanish courses are the most popular language courses among language travellers at the moment. Large numbers of language schools are often found in big cities which is a factor influencing the choice of the respective city.
Further advantages of big cities are that they offer a greater choice of leisure activities and better public transport facilities. On the other hand, language courses as well as living costs are often more expensive in popular cities.
akzent sprachbildung is happy to advise you in this regard and will organise a language stay to meet your personal requirements and wishes.
3. Calculate costs
Normally, the earlier you book, the better the price. This applies both to language school offers as well as the choice of accommodation options. The overall cost naturally also depends significantly on the selected accommodation, the number of lessons, and type of leisure activities. We will discuss your current and desired level of proficiency with you in the course of a personal consultation, so that we can make you an offer tailored to our budget.
4. Receive consultation
During the consultation we make use of our many years of experience in this field to select the right language stay for you from the multitude of offers. akzent sprachbildung is specialised in individual language stays, so you can be sure of a language stay that meets your particular needs. A free placement test can help to assess your current level of proficiency more clearly making it much easier to plan your language stay. We also consider it our responsibility to advise you with regard to visa and entry requirements.
It is generally important to know that there are tourist, student, and working visas. An adult language traveller may need a different visa than a student. Visa requirements – and the associated applications – vary depending on nationality, the desired destination, and the particular language stay.
5. Select course intensity
It should be noted that a lesson may last from 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the language school. The number of lessons that you would like to have each week depends on how long your stay is and how much time you want to dedicate to leisure activities.
Standard courses are limited to 15 to 20 lessons per week and usually take place in the morning. This allows enough time to pursue a personal hobby or take advantage of the cultural program offered by the city.
Intensive courses (20 to 30 hours per week) are available for ambitious language students. Learning success generally becomes apparent faster, while the time available for cultural excursions is less.
6. Choose accommodation
Depending on the destination you can usually choose between a host family, a student dormitory, an accommodation belonging to the school, or a guesthouse. While staying with a host family provides an opportunity to directly apply newly acquired language skills, staying at an apartment or in a room offers more privacy. Many language travellers stay in touch with their host family for the rest of their lives allowing them to immerse themselves in the learned language repeatedly, even after their language holiday. Incidentally, host families are not allocated randomly, but selected on the basis of your wishes. The same goes for private accommodation. In some destinations the host family is the most popular and common form of accommodation until this day.
7. Plan the journey
The cost of a language course does not include the journey to and from the selected destination. These must be booked separately. Apart from selecting suitable language courses akzent sprachbildung is also able to offer you exceptionally cheap flights for your language stay. We can also provide special conditions for other tourist services, such as rental cars, hotels or tours. With regard to entry requirements for most destinations Swiss citizens normally only require a passport valid for at least another six months.
Should you require a visa for your selected destination we will point this out to you during the consultation, so that you have enough time to apply for it. Before departure you should make sure that you have insurance cover abroad, since it will neither be covered through us nor the school.
Having familiarised yourself with each point there is nothing to stop you now from starting to plan a great language stay. We look forward to assisting you!