Your child plans to do a Gap Year, he has a few months available that he wants to occupy wisely or needs to pass a language certification. What is the ideal length of a stay for a language course? There is no universal answer to this question, but as many answers as there are students leaving for such an experience! Indeed, the length of the stay depends on one main criteria: the objective of your child. Does he have specific language requirements as part of a position for which he is applying? Does he have to reach a certain level to ensure his entrance into the university of his dreams? Or does he simply want to open as many doors as possible, being still uncertain about his future and the location of his professional career ?
At EDUCOM, we have as many solutions to offer as objectives to achieve. Whatever the time available, the reasons for leaving, and the goals, we are here to help you find the solution that best suits your child. The objective being to optimize the time available in the best possible way. And if he also wants to do some volunteering work in the middle of his language learning, we also have solutions in this field.
All language schools offer courses that start every Monday. All year around. It is therefore possible to start a course at any time! And this for a period ranging from one week to several months.
In this article, we are going to present the different possibilities of language stays that exist in the world of education, as well as what may suit your child according to his profile, his needs, his available time and your expectations.
Language courses in a nutshell
A language course can be done anywhere in the world, for all languages, and for all desired durations. Generally, it includes the language courses, the accommodation in a residence or with a host family and offers the possibility to prepare for a certification.
Some organisations also offer themed courses, allowing students to develop their vocabulary in a specific area: finance, marketing, law, art, fashion… A different and interesting way of perfecting your skills in a language, especially for long stays.
Regarding the recommended length of stay, as indicated in the introduction, it depends on your child’s objectives. It should be noted that to pass from one language level to the next (for example from B1 to B2), ten weeks are generally necessary. In the case of a student who must obtain a certification, it will be advisable to test his starting level to validate the number of weeks necessary to reach his objective. We also advise students to do a few weeks of preparation for the exam, to familiarise themselves with the techniques and increase their chances of success.
The Gap Year
Does your child want to take a Gap Year before starting Higher Education? Does he need to gain maturity before embarking on his path? He wants to boost his CV with a volunteering experience? A Gap Year is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a student. Provided that it is prepared in a constructive and effective way, to serve him best for the rest of his career.
The advantages of a Gap Year are multiple: gaining maturity, improving your English in order to study abroad, refining your choice of studies, discovering the world of work or participating in a humanitarian project. Here are just a few examples of the many possibilities available :
- Learn one or more languages. English is certainly an essential language in the professional world today. But Spanish, German, Chinese… can be too. Combining the learning of several languages is an undeniable asset to enhance your chances on a global scale.
- combine language learning with a humanitarian action. Carrying out a mission of general interest in an associative structure promises a certain personal enrichment. It is also extremely popular with recruiters. Thus, the humanitarian project pairs very well with the language stay.
- combine English courses and academic courses. Some organisations allow you to take university-level courses in subjects such as economics, politics, communication, psychology, sociology, mathematics, arts, philosophy, photography and many more…, in addition to English courses. In the American “liberal arts” tradition, these courses allow you to improve your English and open your mind, a good mix for a successful future.
- The Foundation Year: a year of preparatory study (year 0), allowing the student to acquire basic notions in the chosen field. It is also a way to explore several subjects when you are still hesitating between two paths. In addition to the academic courses, the student benefits from English courses and learning techniques intended for the university (study skills). For students interested in artistic paths, the Foundation Year is often a necessary step to develop the portfolio required for the admission to bachelor’s degree.
Let us develop this last subject, very popular in England, in the rest of this article.
The Foundation Year
The Foundation Year is an Anglo-Saxon “practice”, still quite unknown in European countries. However, it has many advantages, for different student profiles :
- The student who feels the need to become familiar with the course of study of his chosen subjects before embarking on a Bachelor’s degree;
- The student without a school qualification but who still would like to access university studies. Some Foundation Years allow students to access a few universities in England. A prodigious way of not closing the doors of Higher Education.
- The student who finished school at a very early age and who needs to gain in maturity prior to going on to Higher Education.
- The student who wants to study in England but does not yet have the level of English to cope with university level courses. The student who wants to do an art course but who does not yet have a portfolio.
If we have answered here the question on how to optimise your Gap Year, or the few months available, before starting university studies… we will also talk about the next objective of your child: his university studies, in a later article.
The detour from the subject being simply to make you aware of the importance of building your child’s future, so that it flows naturally and successfully !
As expressed in the first idea of this article, a language course does not have an ideal duration. It all depends on your child’s goals and how much time they can devote to it. Whether it is to perfect your level in a language, obtain a certification, live a human experience, acquire knowledge on specific topics or tame the daily life of university students, EDUCOM is at your disposal to guide you in the many choices available.
Each year, we help many students find their way and build tailor-made solutions that meet their profile and career aspirations. Whatever the time available, the personal enrichment of your child and his path to success is at the heart of our mission.