“Where’s the best place to study English?” Now, that’s a big question without a definitive answer! As a teacher, you know the “best place” depends entirely on each student – their interests, goals, budget, available time, likes, and dislikes – and you may feel at a loss for how to advise them. So next time you’re asked, bookmark this cheat sheet as part of your answer. It’s got some of some of the greatest places on Earth to study English plus the reasons why each is awesome. There’s sure to be a country your student is drawn to.
We can think of plenty of reasons to study English in the United States.For starters, there’s a broad range of cities to choose from. Iconic San Francisco, exotic Hawaii, gorgeous Seattle, capital D.C., beachside Miami, starstruck L.A. (and many others) are so different from each other that choosing an ideal U.S. destination is half the fun.
But that’s not all the United States has to offer. Remind your students of its natural wonders and national parks, such as Yellow Stone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. On the other hand, maybe your student is a sports fans? The U.S.’s dedication to American Football, basketball, baseball (and, increasingly to football) is unparalleled. Plus, there are different accents to learn (they vary across the country!) and cultural flavors to sample (from the dishes of the New Orleans and markets of Seattle, to international fare in New York). Students looking to complete tertiary studies in the U.S. will get firsthand experience of its dorm room college culture. You may feel like you’ve seen it all on the big screen – but it’s nothing like living it for yourself.
The U.K. and Ireland
Compared with the U.S., studying in the U.K. makes traveling and weekend getaways far easier. Because it’s so pint-sized – and buses, trains, and flights are ever more affordable – day trips, mini breaks, afternoon explorations (and jaunts to continental Europe) become tantalizingly possible. Is your student interested in history? They’ll love the U.K. and the possibility of wandering quirky villages and visiting age-old castles, Roman ruins, moors, dales, lakes, seaside nooks, and Ireland’s Atlantic-hugging cliffs. Another wonderful part of life in the U.K. are the countless accents, from the plummy sound of Received Pronunciation to London slang, lyrical Manchester Geordie tones, and the diverse, poetic accents in Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Of course, students keen to study at a U.K. university will need to understand the application process for foreign students – there’s more information on applying here.
For lovers of the outdoors, camping, and the classic road trip Australia is a heaven-sent destination. Study English Down Under in the heart of the country’s amazing capital cities (especially Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth) or beachside towns (think the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Cairns), then stay on to work or travel. It’s common for travelers and overseas students to buy a used camper van with friends, and explore this island-continent from top to tail. Visit the red center or rainforests, dive in the Great Barrier reef, hike and snuggle up by a fire in Tasmania, learn to surf, or even ski. Australia has all those experiences and more. While the Australian accent can take a moment to get used to, once your student settles in they’ll delight in Australian slang and colloquialisms and will certainly bring a few home with them.
Are your students deciding between Australia and New Zealand? Remind them not to be too hasty! If they want a smaller country that’s as beautiful as the people are open and accommodating, New Zealand is a great choice. Like Australia, it’s a magnet for outdoorsy types, though we can’t deny that New Zealand wins extra points for its dramatic glaciers, volcanic landscapes, and snowy mountains. Visitors looking for good food, great wine, and excellent company will be right at home in New Zealand – plus, the Pacific Islands are just a short flight away!
For something a little different, your students might like Cape Town: a destination blessed with a vibrant city life and natural beauty right on its doorstep. Cape Town offers learners an awesome lifestyle outside class. How about safari tours in Kruger National Park, winery visits, or trips to gorgeous beaches just a 15-minute drive away from the city? Want more? Just a couple of hours from Cape Town sit prime whale watching locations. On the language side, South Africa enchants learners with its catchy slang terms, such as slap chips (french fries), braai (barbecue), bru (brother), and ja (yes).
Students drawn to Asian culture and English in equal proportion will find their ideal destination in Singapore. Sometimes dubbed the “Switzerland of Asia,” this island-city-country mixes cultures with the best of them. Explore countless restaurants, bars, and restored shop fronts, sample chili crab and Hainanese chicken rice, then wander through the botanical gardens, float away on the Singapore River, or set off on an excursion to Bintan Island or Kuala Lumpur.