Why Bournemouth is the best place to study EFL

Bright lights, busy people, red buses and black taxis. There’s one place you really should visit if you come to England to study English and that is the awesome capital, London, Londen or Londres depending on where you’re coming from.

But travel fares and jampacked undergrounds make it an expensive place to study. And with it’s coastal appeal, likened on it’s best days to Californian sands and fine summer weather, is Bournemouth the next top alternative? Hannah Smithson speaks to three Bournemouth EFL students to find out why Bournemouth is the best.

Best for study

Cristina Brugos Bernal, 24, is an English language student from Spain studying in Bournemouth and she says she came over to England to improve her future career prospects.

“I finished my law degree in Spain last year and in Spain at the moment it is almost impossible to find a job so I thought that it was a good idea to come to Bournemouth to learn English. I looked on the internet and saw that Bournemouth was apprantly the ‘happiest place’ in England.”

Cristina (at Bournemouth pier) came to England with her friend Alicia in February to learn English for her future studies.

“I booked my classes from Spain and I have my classes four times per week from one till five. I’m very happy because I’m alone in class with the teacher who is very lovely. I arrived two months ago and I’ve noticed that I’ve improved my English pretty fast.”

Some people argue that education is a recession proof industry because when the job prospects are dim it is often a good time to go and study.

Debbie Cambone, marketing assistant, from Anglo-continental language school in Bournemouth, said that she had actually seen an increase in language students, especially the Spanish market, since the recession.

Debbie Cambone and Helena Weir from Anglo-Continental school

“What people tend to do is invest in their education when they can’t get a job. We have a range of ages from a wide range of countries – people in their 20’s up to a gentleman in his 50’s.

“We had over 68 nationalities last year, from all over western Europe, eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

“We generally do English classes for adults but we also have young learners and vacation students as well. We also teach teachers of English. It means our teachers are fully up to date in ways to teach English and English regulations. The adult general English programme is the most popular.”

Best for jobs

Alvaro hopes to improve his English for future job prospects.

 

Alvaro Soto Alcantarilla, 26, also from the south of Spain, is trying to learn English here but works at the same time to pay for his tuition. “I was attending the free class at Anglo-Continental but I find it quite expensive studying abroad. I do think Bournemouth is much cheaper than places like London though and it is easier to find a job here.  My job helps pay for my rent and classes so it is doable if you really want to learn.”

Crisitina agrees and said: “I think nowadays English is the universal language for everything and in Spain in most of the jobs you need to speak English so I want to get my First Certificate and for travelling as well it’s very important because everyone talks English in hotels and everywhere.”

A spokesperson from one of approximately 30 language schools in Bournemouth said: “I think having another language will open up job opportunities. If you are a foreign student coming over here to learn English then it can help with getting a job as so much of the world speaks English.

Carlos De Mosteyrin, 25, has lived in Bournemouth for over two years now and said: “I came over to England with only very basic English to begin with and I could only get a job as a busser in a restaurant but as my English has improved I then got a job as a barman and now I can work on reception in the hotel where I work and answer phones and speak to customers front of house.”

Carlos found a job in a local restaurant as a barman and tries to surf and study in between – in that order!

Best for weather

Alvaro admits to sometimes missing the southern Spanish weather but said: “Bournemouth is a great place to study because in the summer the weather is nice, and I think better than most places in England and there is the beach which I like.”

Carlos also enjoys the weather and wanted to come to Bournemouth so he could surf, “I chose to come to Bournemouth because I found out there was an artificial surf reef here. I surf quite a lot and it’s great in the summer when the sun is out. I also like Bournemouth’s night life and the language student community. There are lots of Spanish people here which makes settling in a lot easier.”

The language school spokesperson adds: “I think the fact that we have the beach right here is a big factor for a lot of the countries that don’t have it and the fact that we’re so close to London. We’re not in London but we can do day excursions up there which is quite a bonus. We are also blessed with our micro-climate in Bournemouth and it’s seen as small enough to be friendly.

I think Bournemouth was voted as 4th best beach in Europe and 1st best beach in UK.” 

“I think Bournemouth is a good choice in terms of money and value. A lot of people think of learning English think of London but they don’t realise how expensive it is or what it involves so Bournemouth is economically a good choice compared to that. We have students from all levels of society, we have students who are sponsered, students who are funded by their parents and students who are self funded. For our students it’s so important for them to have a good level of English by the time they finish the course.”

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About hannahsmithson

Hi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...

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