I sometimes wonder whether the internet is a blessing or a curse, I mean wouldn’t it be easier to make decisions when you have only a few options to choose from, rather than millions? For me when I want to make travel plans I sometimes get so overwhelmed with all the choices of hotels, things to do, places to go and places to eat that I almost want to give up. I believe having a world of information available to you can also be great, even though it may install a slight case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and self-doubt, it can also ensure you that you are choosing exactly what suits you best.

Heading off to learn English in a foreign country will identify certain needs. Your first and most important need would be tuition. What are your reasons for wanting to study and improve your English? Are you purely just wanting improve your ability or do you need to reach a certain goal for work or educational purposes. Most schools will offer you a basic, general English which could consist of morning classes only. The more intense course at Oxford English Academy Cape Town is called Fast Track English. You will have morning and afternoon classes. Again here you will have options, many schools offer specialised classes such as Business English as well as a variety of more subject orientated classes, for example Medical English.

If your goal is to write an exam for university entry, courses such as the IELTS preparation class comes strongly suggested. Your teacher will guide you and prepare you for the specific type of exam you are writing. You will learn how to answer questions timeously and skilfully.

You will also need to decide how important aspects like social interaction, location of the school, qualification of the teachers and so on are to you. If you are heading to a native English speaking country, it would be a good idea to see if the school’s teachers are CELTA qualified (or the equivalent there of).

The location of the school might play an important part of your decision, would you prefer a school in the city centre or rather in a suburb. The same goes for accommodation, where you live during your studies plays an integral part in your experience.

The best advice I can give you is to contact each school you are considering and ask as many questions as you like. Read up on the schools, with sites like Tripadvisor and Facebook you will quickly get an idea whether a school offers what you require. Or alternatively you could always throw the names in a hat and hope for the best!

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