"Do-It-Yourself Study Abroad" ESL School Search and Application Site
5 Steps to Study Abroad Success

When to Start and How Long to Stay?

A Good Time to Start

When deciding on an appropriate time to start an ESL course, you should think about what proficiency level you need to obtain in order to achieve your long-term academic and personal goals.

Prepare for University Studies
If your goal is to study in a university program upon completion of your ESL training, you should have a basic understanding of your current TOEFL score and the score necessary for admission. Many ESL schools will be able to give you the estimated lengths of training needed to achieve a higher score. The final results however will depend on your effort and dedication.

Plan in Advance for Peak Seasons
Students planning to study abroad during the peak seasons should prepare well in advance to ensure enrollment space. Courses held during the peak seasons fill up quickly and are closed months before classes actually begin. For example, the peak season of July and August is a very popular time to study abroad. Although enrollment closes quickly, those students who plan in advance and study during the peak season will be exposed to classmates from a wide variety of countries and will have an opportunity to participate in many attractive seasonal activities.

Ideal Program Length

Before deciding what program length is best, you need to determine your goals. Are you looking for an academic program that will help you to become a better student? Or do you want help with your communication and speaking skills?

Short-term Courses
There are excellent short-term courses in locations all over the world. Some are held during the summer and are for students who are on vacation; others try to give students practice in both academic and communication skills. On these programs students can enjoy life in a foreign country as well as greatly develop their English skills in a short period of time.

Long-term Courses
There are also programs that last more than four weeks and some as long as one semester (fourteen to sixteen weeks). These courses are designed for the student who wishes to attend to a university or accomplish specific academic goals. Long-term courses give students more time to refine their English skills.

Course Price
Of course, the price of the course is another factor that will effect your decision. Compare prices between the different programs and find the most affordable one for you. Also, take into account the surrounding area of the school. If it is a city then you will have a higher cost of living.