Katie Denton, Marketing Manager, International House Bristol
Why would a student choose his school?
Bristol is a truly vibrant city, full of culture, colour and creativity, and with over 33 years experience teaching English to students from all over the world, we never tire of helping students discover it for themselves for the first time.
As an IH school, students already know they can rely on the quality of our courses, but we offer much more. Many of our teachers are also teacher trainers, so our methodology is always at the forefront. We are a Cambridge and OET exam centre, which means that once we have helped you prepare for your exam you will do so in a familiar environment and get the best possible result. Our friendly and experienced staff have lived abroad, so they know exactly what challenges you face when navigating a new country; we’re here to help you every step of the way.
As a family-run school, our two buildings are welcoming, with student rooms and beautiful outdoor gardens for students to socialize throughout the year. When you’re at IH Bristol, you’re at home.
In your opinion, what are the main benefits for a student studying abroad?
You can learn a language anywhere – 2020 proved that – but to really understand a country and its culture you have to live it. There is nothing comparable to getting completely lost in an unfamiliar place and piecing together the words and phrases you know to find your way; that feeling, when you get it completely right, is unparalleled. The biggest obstacle students face is often the fear of making mistakes, but when you live in another country with no other language in common, you are forced to face your insecurities and just try: you often learn more this way than in a classroom!
The other obvious benefit of studying abroad is the people and places you’ll meet, and the experiences you’ll treasure for years to come. From studying abroad you come back with a greater sense of independence, cultural awareness and many more stories to tell.
The great thing about studying abroad is that you will make friends from all over the world and always have a future trip planned.
How do you see the future of language tourism?
Online learning is here to stay, but as it cannot replace the experience of immersing yourself in a foreign country, we are likely to see more and more blended courses: studying online for a few weeks or months in preparation for an in-person experience, possibly followed by additional online courses upon returning home to refresh and continue progress. Language tourism has always been a great opportunity to network with people from a wide variety of cultures, and now you don’t even have to travel to participate. However students join us, the benefits are enormous. And for those lucky enough to be able to come to Bristol, they become ambassadors for the language and culture they study, building bridges between their home country and the place where they learned to see the world from a new and totally different perspective.
What is a day like for a student at your school and what is networking among peers like?
English+ courses are the future of language learning. At IH Bristol we have been running English+ courses for almost 20 years and the joy of seeing our students produce a video or photographic portfolio, perform a play, organise a DJ session or publish a blog is endless. Teaching Philosophy, Mathematics, Literature and a whole range of subjects through English gives students more confidence in their ability to master English than mere language study could ever do. We don’t learn languages for the sake of it; we learn to communicate with others and to unlock our experiences, and the more we are able to do through English, the more meaningful it will be to us. Students will always have to pass exams, of course, but what they can achieve along the way is just as rewarding.
Name of school
What are the most significant things the school can offer?
IH Bristol offers a complete and personalised experience that makes you feel part of the IH family right from the start. We want you to feel confident in using the English you learn, so we meet you where you are in terms of language level, reinforce your language foundations and build on what is there to expand your language skills and work towards your goals. We focus on natural, everyday English and teach in sentences so that students can feel they are communicating in the same way as a native speaker. Every student is different, so our Individual Learning Plans ensure that your needs are met and that you have the best chance of achieving your ambitions. Our materials go far beyond textbooks and make extensive use of real-world English to explore and communicate real-world issues. We write our own materials for our junior courses, which are regularly updated to ensure they are always relevant and original; students not only learn English, but how to communicate and express themselves with ease.
What are the types of courses taught at school?
IH Bristol offers a range of courses for adults, young people and teachers. From general English to the most personalized programs, we have decades of experience to create exactly the right course for you. Choose from:
General/Intensive English, Cambridge exam preparation, IELTS, OET preparation, Individual English, English for Special Purposes – all available online or in person.
We are a CELTA teacher training centre, so we can provide native speakers with a qualification to teach English anywhere in the world, and our course for foreign teachers of English is very popular during the summer. We also offer CLIL courses and tailor-made programmes to suit all needs.
We also offer junior courses for groups and individuals in January, April and summer, and in addition to English students can choose to study drama, photography, video making and blogging. Closed groups are welcome all year round.
All of the above are available as tailor-made packages for individuals and groups.
What are the biggest attractions around the school and in the city in general?
Clifton, our neighbourhood, is a tourist attraction in itself and the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge is an iconic symbol of Bristol. Stroll through the Georgian streets and explore the many independent shops and cafes of Clifton Village. Stroll through the many parks and green spaces that surround us or cross the bridge to watch the hot air balloon ascents during the world’s largest balloon fiesta. Next to the harbour, you can explore Bristol’s rich maritime history or take part in one of the many festivals held throughout the year. Spend an evening at the Bristol Old Vic (England’s oldest working theatre), browse the array of shops in Cabot Circus or watch the Bristol Bears play rugby at Ashton Gate Stadium.
IH Bristol is excellently located both within our city and in terms of the region itself. With our own international airport and within easy reach of London, we are surrounded by attractions and therefore a great base from which to explore the UK.