Choose the Best School for You
The Internet provides students with the freedom to choose their study abroad future.
New technology and rapid globalization have changed the way we think and act as individuals. As the power of the Internet grows, our ability to conduct research and to educate ourselves becomes more meaningful. Students worldwide are taking advantage of the resources available and using the information to mold the future success of their personal, academic and working lives. Using the Internet to research and apply to universities and language schools is becoming commonplace. Study abroad agents and ESL schools offer students information, online advising sessions and application opportunities through their websites. Online capabilities allow students to send email inquiries and contact ESL schools directly to request information or answers to their questions. With so many resources available, practicing good judgment selecting the right English school is the most difficult, but also the most important decision for students when planning their academic future.

01 The Role of the Study Abroad Agent
Through their ongoing efforts, study abroad agents broaden the mindsets of their communities and improve their countries by exposing students to worlds and cultures other than their own. For years, agents provided students with the opportunity to experience life overseas and attend English language schools. Agents continue to play a significant role in the study abroad community by offering students useful advising sessions and helping to complete the preparations essential to attend schools overseas. Agent services are especially helpful for students uncomfortable with the paperwork and language barriers they encounter when applying to schools overseas.
Operating as a profit-oriented business, agents generally offer their services to students by establishing business relationships with schools overseas. Depending on the specific business arrangements, agents receive a pre-determined commission fee for each student they send to a school. With certain schools offering higher commission rates, agents are inclined to send students to these particular schools to earn a larger profit. Additionally, some schools require less paperwork to be processed to grant student admission. As a result, study abroad agents are likely to send students to these particular schools to reduce the amount of time spent on student applications.
In light of these facts, it is essential that students pre-establish in their mind an image of their ideal school and not immediately accept an agent’s suggestions. Students need to remember they always have a choice.

01Judge for Yourself


Finally, and most importantly, use your own good judgment and decide for yourself what is best for you. This will guide you towards attaining a rewarding and fulfilling study abroad experience.

In order to choose the right school, you must educate yourself about English schools overseas by consulting study abroad magazines, attending study abroad fairs, speaking with friends who have studied or lived abroad, visiting websites relevant to your interests and seeking advice from study abroad agents or counselors. Selecting your school becomes an easier process if you clearly understand your purpose for studying English overseas. With this purpose in mind, you will be able to confidently select the school best suited to your needs. Try to imagine your future study abroad experience as well. Having these images in mind during the research process will help you narrow your search. Yahoo and Google are excellent resources to conduct research and gather information pertaining to specific programs. You must be thorough in your research, however, and not rely solely upon the content of these informational websites. It is important for you to gain broader knowledge of your future school. Contact your future school directly via email, ask questions that are important to you and take their responses into consideration.

01Imagine Your Study Abroad Experience


A successful time studying abroad will be the result of good preparation starting from the very moment you begin researching English schools, not on the first day you arrive on campus. Practice good judgment by relying on your opinion and not the opinion of others and listen carefully to your inner critic when selecting your school. It is your academic future, after all.

Choosing your academic future is a personal journey. Similar to most important decisions you make in your lifetime, your academic future must first begin from the core of your imagination. In your mind, visualize your ideal study abroad experience and imagine your perfect situation. With a world full of educational opportunity, it is essential to use a critical eye to select a school that includes the images you have begun to paint in your mind.
Each ESL school has its own character, strength and quality. With your ideal study abroad experience in mind, however, you are already prepared to select a school best-suited to your needs. For example, there are two types of language schools available, university-based and private language schools. University-based programs are located on college or university campuses and offer rigorous academic preparation. Students study in an academic environment and experience campus life, living with other students using campus facilities. Focused on improving reading, writing and listening skills, university-based programs are ideal for students interested in higher educational opportunities following their English studies. Private language schools offer a different learning opportunity for students. With many schools located primarily in urban environments, the curriculum focuses on improving practical rather than academic English skills. Providing various English conversation and business classes, private language schools offer a varied curriculum and a unique learning experience.

Think About These Points

  • Location
  • Type of ESL School
  • Size of School
  • Curriculum and Quality of Program
  • Length and Starting Date
  • Enrollment Requirements
  • Tuition Fees and Additional Expenses
  • Housing Options
  • Support of International Students
  • Academic Advisor

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Educational Organizations Around the World

    A consortium of university and college Intensive English Programs in the United States
    A consortium of public and private English language schools in the United States
    A consortium of public English language schools in Canada
    A consortium of independent English language schools in the United Kingdom
    An international organization for educational and cultural relations established by the British government