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FAQs

Is Studio idependent or part of a "chain" of schools?

Studio Cambridge is an indepenedent school. We are part of the Full Circle Education Group that owns several stand-alone schools in the UK, but we are not part of an EFL multi-centre group or "chain" of schools. 80% of our students come through the personal recommendation of past students and Education Counsellors overseas, not from advertising or marketing campaigns. We are proud of the reputation we have built over the past six decades, as one of the premier English schools in the UK.

Do I have to buy my own books?

You are not required to buy books, as educational materials are included in the cost of the course. Books and tapes are also available for reference and on loan, free of charge in our Learning Centre. You may however, wish to buy a dictionary or other reference books. There are additional costs for required course books for students taking the IELTS and the University of Cambridge examination courses.

Are your courses accredited by the government or any other official authority?

Studio Cambridge is a founder member of EnglishUK; - accredited by the British Council; a member of IALC (International Association of Language Centres); accredited and inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

How many students do you have?

On average, Studio Cambridge has some 200 adult students present at any one time between September and June, and 400 in July and August. This is the optimum size. It is big enough to allow us to provide a wide range of academic programmes at all levels and a varied choice of social activities, and small enough that we can give you the personal attention you deserve.

How will you place me in a class at the right level?

On the first day in school you take a placement test, which is both written and spoken, covering: 1. Grammar 2. vocabulary 3. Speaking 4. Listening 5. Writing You will then be placed in a class at your level, and your teachers will carefully monitor your progress.

What happens if I am better at one skill than another - for example, I am better at reading than speaking English?

If you have different levels of skills, and depending on the course you have chosen, you may be placed in different classes for each of these skills.

I want to be in the same class as my friend, is this possible?

We can place you and your friend together, but only if you have the same level of English. If you do not want to be in the same class as your friend, this can often be arranged - but it will depend on the availability of places.

What happens if I don't like my class?

If your class is at the wrong level for you we will make every effort to change your class after the first few days.

I speak very little English, how will you start to teach me?

You will start using the language from your first day, not by translating or interpreting from your own language but by using it. Your textbooks will be especially designed for beginners and your teachers will be experienced in teaching English at the beginner level. Everyone else in your class will be doing the same. They, and your homestay hosts, will support and help you every step of the way. Very soon you will gain confidence and be able to use English far more effectively. In the unlikely event that there are no other students at your level, we may offer you private lessons in place of group lessons. There is no extra charge for this, but the number of private lessons will be provided at the ratio of one private lesson = three group lessons.

How long will it take me to learn English?

The true answer is that learning a language is a life-long experience, and your progress will depend on your ability, motivation and study habits. At Studio we have six main levels of English (each level is subdivided). It typically takes about 6 weeks to move from one main level to the next. So, if you apply yourself, you can expect to go from an Elementary level to an Advanced level in about 7 months.

How will I know if I am making any progress?

You have weekly progress tests. You also meet every week with your Personal Academic Advisor who will advise you on your progress, help you with your studies and ensure that you are advancing at the right speed for you.

If I have problems will there be someone who speaks my language who can help me?

We use only English in the classroom. However, we have staff who speak some other languages including: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish. Remember, we are here to help you at all times.

The schools in my country are segregated. Will the classes in Studio be single-sex?

No. All classes at Studio are mixed, with men and women studying together.

There are many different accents in England. What accent do you have in Cambridge?

Local Cambridge people have a pleasant accent which is easy to understand. As a university city, Cambridge is also home to students from throughout the UK, and your teachers will also be from many different parts of Britain.

Will I get a certificate from the school after my course and is the certificate recognised?

You will receive a Course Certificate and Academic Record from Studio Cambridge. The school is accredited by the British Council. If you are taking an external examination (IELTS or the University of Cambridge) you will also receive an examination certificate.

Should I bring my own laptop computer?

It is not necessary to bring your own computer, as our Learning Centre has lots of computers which you can use between or after classes. However, most areas of the school building also have Wi-Fi access and you will be able to use your own laptop if you wish to do so.

What happens if I don't like the school and want to leave early?

You may choose to leave your course for any reason by giving us 4 weeks' notice (see our terms and conditions for details of refunds).

Can I book a short course, and then extend if I like it?

Yes, there are usually places available. However, if you are visiting the UK with a Student Visa, any extensions may depend on your expected date of departure from the UK.

Can I change to another course if I don't like the one I'm on?

Yes. A change to another course of the same or higher intensity (lessons per week) can normally be arranged within a week. However, a change to a less intensive course requires four weeks' notice.

I am a mature adult. Will there be other people of my age there?

Our students range from 16 to 60+ years of age. The EFL-28 course tends to attract slightly older students, while the IELTS and Cambridge examination courses are more suitable for students planning on entering university.

My country is at war with another country. Will there be people from that country in the school?

As we have 60 to 70 different nationalities at Studio every year, it is very likely that you will meet someone from that country. We teach English without regard to sex, nationality, religion or political persuasion and expect all our students to be tolerant and understanding of each other.

What kind of accommodation will I have?

You can choose to live in a homestay at any time of the year or, if you are18 years old or above, you may stay in a student residence. Residential accommodation is available to under 18s during the summer.

Will I have a TV in my accommodation?

Most homestay hosts have 'terrestrial' TV and more &/or satellite or digital television. If you book a 4 or 5 Star homestay, you might even have your own TV. 

Is there somewhere I can plug in my laptop in my accommodation?

Yes, but be careful not to leave appliances plugged in all the time and check with your homestay hosts first.

Will the hosts have Internet access?

Most hosts have broadband and WiFi.

I like to shower every day. Will this be possible in my homestay?

Yes,but please check with your hosts if any specific times of the day (or evening) are inconvenient.

I am worried about the food. What will my hosts give me to eat? Can I bring some of my favourite food with me?

Our hosts are accustomed to hosting students from all over the world and are often able to cook many different types of food. We have a selection of hosts who are able to cater for special diets, such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal and Kosher menus. Let us know in advance if you have particular dietary requirements. You cannot usually import food into the UK. However, Cambridge has many good food shops (and restaurants) where you will probably find the food you prefer to eat. Hosts do not provide lunch from Monday to Friday. However, Studio has a cafe where hot and cold lunches are available each day. 

What kind of clothing should I bring?

Most of your clothes should be informal or casual. You will need some warm and waterproof outer clothing (yes, even in the summer!) and, perhaps, something a little more formal for evenings out at a restaurant or a social event. An umbrella or raincoat is also recommended.

Who will do my laundry (clothes washing)?

Your homestay hosts will wash your clothes (and change your towels and bed linen) once per week. In the residences, you wash your clothes yourself. Clothes washers and dryers are available with washing powder provided.

Can I wash my clothes myself?

You may wash your own clothes. If you wish to use your hosts' washing machine, please ask their permission first.

How do I get to school from my homestay accommodation?

In many cases, students are able to walk between their accommodation and the school. Bus passes that allow unlimited travel are available (these are called 'Megarider'). Many students rent or buy bicycles.

I usually have dinner at 21:00. What time will I eat in Cambridge?

Dinner time in England is usually between 18:00 and 19:30 and you will normally be expected to eat with your hosts. If you do not plan to eat at home, please tell them in advance.

Do I have to eat with my hosts every day?

Under normal circumstances, you should have breakfast and dinner with your hosts. If you are unable to do so you should let them know so that they can prepare a snack for you.

What time do I have to come home at night?

Students under 18 have a "curfew" and must be at your hometstay or residence at a set time (usually 22:00) depending on the centre rules.
Students aged 18 or over living in a homestay should tell your hosts where you are going and agree with them a time when you will return. If you are 18 or over staying at a residence, you will be able to return as and when you wish but should consider your fellow residents.

Do I have to help with household chores?

No, although hosts appreciate it if you act as "part of the family" and keep your bedroom, the bathroom and other areas clean and tidy.

What happens if I don't like my hosts?

If you are not happy we will try to resolve whatever problems you are having and, if necessary, move you to a different host. Please go to reception and ask to speak with customer services if you would like help about this.

Can I rent an apartment?

Yes. The minimum age is 18 years. However, it is very difficult to rent an apartment before you come to Cambridge. We therefore recommend that you stay in a homestay for the first month of your course.

My boy/girlfriend plans to visit me when I'm in Cambridge. Can he/she stay with me?

It is sometimes possible, depending on the availability of rooms and the duration of the stay. Please consult us in advance. Any such arrangements must be made through the school and then agreed by the hosts or wardens.

Will I need a visa?

Please check with the British consulate or embassy in your home country regarding any visa requirements to study in the UK. If you do need a visa, we will send you the correct documentation once we have received your application and course deposit. If your visa application is unsuccessful, we will refund the fees you have paid (please see the Terms and Conditions in our current brochure, or click on the link in the footer of our website).

When should I plan to arrive and depart?

Our courses start on Monday and finish on Fridays. You should, therefore, plan to arrive in Cambridge on the Sunday before your course starts and leave on the Saturday after the end of your course. 

Is an airport transfer included in the price?

Airport transfers are not included in the price for students on Intensive English Courses. We can arrange individual airport transfers by taxi from any of the London airports or railway stations. 

If I take a Studio transfer from the airport on arrival, who will meet me?

You will be met by the driver of the taxi or private car as soon as you come through Immigration and Customs. The driver will be holding a Studio Cambridge sign with your name on it. He or she will take you directly to your accommodation in Cambridge.

Should I take a taxi from the airport when I arrive?

We do not recommend this because they are expensive, especially from Gatwick and Heathrow. It is better to take a train or bus from these airports. More affordable fixed price taxis can be taken from Stansted or Luton, but the bus or train will be cheaper.

Where is Cambridge?

Cambridge is superbly located, close to London and yet in the peaceful English countryside. It is 95 kilometres from central London, 135 kilometres from Oxford and 40 minutes' drive from the closest airport, London Stansted.

How big is Cambridge?

The resident population of Cambridge is approximately 100,000 and there are also 20,000 university students. Approximately 4 million people per year visit the city (tourists and business people).

What's the weather going to be like in Cambridge?

British weather is seldom very hot or very cold (we have a temperate climate). It rains frequently. Here are the minimum and maximum temperatures for each season: January - March max 8 min 2 April - June max 16 min 7 July - September max 21 min 11 October - December max 15 min 3

Can I rent/drive/buy a car in England?

- Car rental: you must have an international driving licence and be at least 23 years old - Driving your own car: you must have an international driving licence and insurance cover for the UK - Buying a car: you can buy a car and must have a British or international driving licence and insurance cover

Can I smoke in the school/in England?

Since July 2007, smoking is not allowed in any public buildings in England. This includes the school itself. Smoking is not anywhere at the school. Smoking may be possible in your homestay, depending on the rules of your host. Please let us know if you smoke and we will then attempt to find a "smoking" homestay host for you. There are smoking areas outside the residences. You can only buy cigarettes in the UK if you are aged 18 or over.

Should I bring presents with me? If so, for whom?

It is not necessary. However, a small present, typical of your country, would be very appreciated by your homestay hosts.

Can I attend lectures at the university while I am in Cambridge?

No. Lectures at the university are for university students only. However, there are many public lectures in Cambridge and our Student Services Office keeps a schedule of lectures which you can attend.

Can I go to Cambridge University after I finish my course at Studio?

If your academic grades and English knowledge are acceptable to the university. However, you will need to make application to the university at least 9 months prior to coming to the UK. If your academic grades are acceptable they may require you to obtain a specific score in the IELTS examination or to pass a Cambridge University examination. Other universities in Cambridge and throughout the UK are also pleased to accept international students.

Does the school organise meetings with English people?

As part of our Activities Programme, we provide a list of local and university clubs, and we have a Conversation Club through which you can have informal chats with a teacher.

I have friends in other parts of England. Will the school help me to travel to them at weekends?

Yes. We can help plan any trips you wish.

Is Cambridge expensive?

Cambridge is quite expensive in British terms, but it is a lot less expensive than London. 

Can I open a bank account in Cambridge? If not, what can I do with my money?

Unfortunately, banks in Britain have recently decided not to allow temporary visitors to the UK to open bank accounts. You may be able to make arrangements with your bank in your home country if it has a branch or affiliate in Cambridge. 

Can I use credit cards in England? Which ones?

All major credit cards are accepted. The most popular are Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Can I pay for things in Euros or dollars in England?

The only currency in general use in the UK is £ Sterling. However, if you pay by credit card you will, of course, be billed in your own currency. Most banks offer currency exchange services.

Do I have to register with the police?

Most students do not need a visa to enter the UK and do not need to register with the police. However, if you enter the country with a Student Visa and if there is a stamp in your passport saying that you must register with the police, you must do this within 7 days of arriving in Britain. We will help you. You will need to have: Your passport Two passport-sized photographs Money for the registration fee. Your address in Cambridge Confirmation letter from the school

Do I need to show the school my passport?

Yes, We will need to see your passport on the first day of school. Please bring it with you.

Do I need my passport to visit Scotland/France?

You do not need a passport to visit any other part of the UK (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). However, you will need your passport for a visit to any other country.

Is it safe in Cambridge?

Cambridge has fewer crimes than many other cities in Britain and is considered a pleasant and safe place to live and study.

How can I contact someone if I have a problem and the school is closed?

We have a 24-hour emergency telephone number available when the school is closed. The number will be sent to you with confirmation of your enrolment.

What happens if I get sick or have dental problems?

Medical insurance is included in the Accommodation and Insurance fees. This gives you up to £1 million coverage for medical treatment and requires that you pay the first £25 costs of any medical treatment. The Certificate of Insurance gives a 24-hour contact number and information on what to do in an emergency. We will send you a copy of the Insurance Certificate with the confirmation of your enrolment. Studio Cambridge can be contacted 24 hours per day, every day. The emergency contact number will be sent to you with confirmation of your enrolment.

What can I do in the evenings and at weekends?

Our Student Services department provides a full programme of social, sports and cultural activities. At least five such activities each week are provided without additional cost. Activities include: Lectures and workshops Academic 'clubs' (grammar, conversation etc) Studio parties Sports (tennis, football, gym, swimming, badminton, cricket, etc) Restaurant and music evenings Cambridge and local tours (including 'punting' on the River Cam) Excursions throughout the UK (at additional cost) Samples of typical weeks' programmes can be found in our Leisure Time pages. In addition, Cambridge has a varied and exciting cultural life with excellent clubs, pubs, cafés and restaurants and good sports amenities. And, of course, London is just 45 minutes away by train.

What information will I receive when I arrive in Cambridge?

On arrival, you will receive our 'Studio Cambridge Student's Guide'. Here you will find the answers to most questions related to your study in Cambridge.

What do Studio Cambridge Course fees include?

For details please click on our "Intensive English Courses" button above.

What happens if I don't want Studio to arrange a transfer for me?

This is not a problem. If you want to make your own way to Studio you should tell us on the application form.

What happens if I don't want Studio to arrange insurance for me?

Insurance is automatically included for all courses - if you don't wish to use it, this is no problem. There is no reduction in price for not using our included insurance.

What will I study?

Please see our Intensive English Courses content page above.

Is Studio accredited?

Studio is accredited by the British Council, IALC (International Association of Language Courses) and ISI.

Is Studio a recognised academic institution?

Established in 1954, Studio Cambridge is the oldest English language school in Cambridge. We are an accredited centre for the University of Cambridge examinations and authorised to offer the Cambridge CELTA courses. Under the direction of the Academic Manager, our teachers are qualified and enthusiastic.

How carefully does Studio select its accommodation?

Studio attaches great importance to the selection and continuous assessment of accommodation, both in homestays and in student residences. Our Accommodation and Welfare staff are committed to providing you with the highest standards of comfort and security.

Is Studio the right size?

A small school would be unable to provide the range of courses which you need. A large school can be impersonal - a place where you will be lost in the crowd. On average, Studio has between 100 and 200 students present on each course timetable, at any one time. This is the optimum size. It provides the ideal social environment, whilst allowing us to treat you with the personal attention you deserve.

Do I have full and accurate information?

In writing this website, we have tried to be as accurate and detailed as we can. We hope that you will find all the information you need. However, where you study English is an important decision, so please contact us if you have any doubts or need further explanations.

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