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Testimonial: Hampshire short term academic programs

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Hampshire educational travel

Greetings from Martin Derco – short term academic program in Hampshire

England is an interesting country and for me it was extremely exciting and fascinating to become familiar with daily life here. Spring/summer must be ideal for staying here, by the sea.

Speaking of school – Hampshire is a nice and friendly place to study, with many facilities and a wide range of enrichment programs. The British education system is definitely much more individual and suitable for everyone’s needs than the Czech one, however the school seems to be much easier in general. I met here many new friends especially from the international department (eg. from Germany, Chile, Poland etc.) but some UK students too.


Martin D.

Compare English Language Test Scores

Monday, June 17th, 2013

With the different scoring systems of available English language proficiency tests, it’s confusing to match results from one to the other. When applying to a language program, you are generally required to meet a stated proficiency level, which is usually based on one exam. Most programs will accept other certifications, providing you meet the benchmark for a particular exam. This varies according to the country or the program.
For example, acceptance on Nacel’s language teacher assistant program in Australia requires an IELTS proficiency level of 5.5. However the equivalent score in the TOEF, TOEIC and other exams based on the CEFR guidelines such as the ESOL the BULATS and the PTE are also valid. Other programs such as Work and Study in Canada will require fewer weeks of study for participants with a CEFR advanced level equivalency.
Use the table below to compare how TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, ESOL and other scores compare with the approximate equivalent of another system.











Preparation Centers

Proficiency levels referenced by test providers


Montreal, Sydney, Toronto

Australia, Canada, London, Oxford, New Zealand, USA

Australia, Canada, London, Oxford, New Zealand, USA

Australia, Canada, Cambridge, Cork, London, Oxford,
New Zealand, USA












Level 5



















Level 4






Upper Intermediate







Level 3


















Level 2







Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score









Level 5


Overview of language proficiency tests (for detailed information see International Language Exams)

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
A guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and other countries. The six reference levels are becoming widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Designed to measure the proficiency levels of candidates, preparing for entry to higher education or professional employment, who are not native speakers of English. Results reference the descriptions of language proficiency in the CEFR. Source

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). Source

Test of English as a Foreign Language, administered by internet (TOEFL ibt)
Designed to aid in school admissions process, but the speaking score is potentially useful as a pre-arrival screening measure for international teaching assistants. Results measure a candidate’s ability to combine listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Source

Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
Designed to measure the ability of nonnative speakers of English to listen, read, speak and write in English in the global workplace. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to the result. Source

Business Language Testing Services (BULATS)
Designed for workplace language assessment, training and benchmarking. Used internationally for business and industry recruitment, for identifying and delivering training, for admission to study business-related courses. Results reference CEFR proficiency levels. Source

Pearson Test of English General (PTE general)
Designed to reward positive achievement in English language learning. It consists of two parts: a written paper and a spoken test. There are six levels which are linked to the(CEF). All levels in the test are awarded by Edexcel and accredited by Ofqual in the UK. Source

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE academic)
Designed to test English proficiency levels through tasks which reflect real-life settings. The test is accepted for admissions for thousands of international programs. PTE Academic acceptance includes top UK and US universities and government organizations. Source

How can I learn a foreign language?!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

You’re eager to learn a new language? Here are some advises on what you can do to achieve it!

Learn on your own: you can begin to learn any language on your own, for example by reading newspapers or books in the language in question, listening to the radio, watching TV or a film you already know in the language in question with or without subtitles in the same language… You can also buy some course books, generally with CDs, or have a look at the Websites that enable you to learn a language on-line (that can even be free!)

Speak with a native speaker: it’s more and more common to find people who want to learn your language while they teach you theirs. You can easily find that on the Internet, as well as a foreign penpal!

Study at University: if you’re eagger to learn new languages, try to find a University that offers a wide range of language courses. Specific degrees based on foreign languages study also exist of course! And who knows, you may get the opportunity to enjoy a stay abroad with the Erasmus exchange program or other specific agreements!  =)

Going abroad with language travel agencies: these are organisms that offer a wide range of language courses abroad, through homestays, language schools, home lessons but also other programs such as internships or jobs, language teacher assistant… They usually offer lots of different languages to learn!

You can of course combine various of the above advices to make your language skills improvement more efficient! Of course, these are not the only ways to learn a new language, so be creative!

How to deal with culture shock when going abroad

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Three weeks ago we talked about “culture shock” and tried to understand better what it deals with. Here are some advices to make the culture shock less important and the recovery easier when going abroad.1) Cultural relativism: focus on the idea that no one culture is “right” or “wrong”. So don’t use your own standards to compare and judge other cultures with, but try to understand why the way of doing of the other culture differs from yours, and vice versa.

2) Get prepared: learn the language! Culture and language use are strongly linked. This will give you not only some control in the new culture once you get there, but also the opportunity to meet people and socialise. Making friends as soon as you can is important. Don’t forget to find out about food, customs and so on before you go, not to be unpleasantly surprised or even shocked.

3) Work on yourself: raise your self-awareness and listen to yourself! Be observant on what’s going on around you, and try to notice behavioral differences. Try not to lose your temper, keep your sense of humor and reserve judgement when you get frustrated.

4) Be sensitive, open and tolerant: when something goes wrong take a new look at yourself, try to understand if you might have done it the “wrong way” within the other culture. Don’t dismiss things you don’t know about. On the contrary, try to put yourself in the shoes of the other culture to better understand how their world is and why.

5) Be social and extrovert: even if you tend to be shy, adopt a new identity and be the person you’ve always dreamed to be. Forget stereotypes! You blind yourself to all the other charateristics peculiar to the other culture when you focus on stereotypes.

Some situations to avoid!

A common reaction to difference is seeking things you are acquainted with. This is part of the critical stage 2 in cultural shock process: you tend to over-idealise your own culture and as a result, to make the gap between both cultures become more important! So be careful, this generally leads to super ethno-centric moaning situations in which you tend to downgrade the benefits of your host culture. Don’t forget that the main objective when going abroad is not to entirely replicate your home country, do you think it would be worth going in a foreign country then? ;)

In a nutshell

Enjoy differences! See the positive side of this experience, and make the decision to adapt your habits and behaviour by changing them a little bit to better match the culture you’re in. You will be surprised on how fast things will pleasantly evolve. People will apreciate the effort you make, and you’ll enjoy a lot this unique and rewarding experience!

Have you ever experienced cultural shock? What happened and how did you cope with it? Tell us about it!

Not feeling good abroad? Moody, anxious, down in the dumps? You might experience culture shock!

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Going abroad and leaving your country, the one you’ve grown up in, your culture and traditions… that’s not easy for anyone. You can even quickly feel homesickness, due to what’s called “culture shock”. This mainly happens in a case of a long stay (several months) in a different culture. Culture shock has been divided up into a process of 5 main different phases. Let’s see them with Rebecca Fong, a teacher of intercultural communication at the University of the West of England.

1. Euphoria or exhilaration

This phase is also called “the honeymoon period”. It usually takes from a few weeks to a few months depending on your personnality and the cultural distance, that’s to say how different both cultures are. Everything is new and great, you see it as an exciting experience and you tackle your problems with good humour. Actually you’re too busy to get depressed.

2. You realise that you’re an outsider

You start to experience the differences between both cultures and to face some problems: trafic problems, you don’t like the typical food there… Even if people are pretty kind to you, you just feel like you’re a misunderstood person. This is a critical stage because you begin to over-idealise your own culture and make the gap between both cultures become more important. Lots of people give up at this stage after having suffered it for a while.

3. Recovery and acculturation

This is the learning process, your language skills definitely improve and, as a result, your contact with the culture also improves and you integrate better with it. You also make more efforts to be part of the community, making friends and being interested in typical manners and customs of the country. You’re on the right track to recover from your culture shock! However, in this stage, you might still want to impose your own ideas rather than accepting the one of the host culture…

4. You adjust properly and appreciate the other culture

You really start to understand the norms and values of your host culture for what they are, and feel pretty integrated and comfortable with it. You might even believe that some of your host culture’s values are better than your own! =)

5. Going back home

Going back home can be quite a challenge too. Indeed, you might face some difficulty to re-adapt to your own culture after a long period spent abroad!  This might be considered as re-acculturation or re-entry shock.  But don’t despair, as Rebecca Fong says; “there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the more times you experience culture shock, the easier it’s going to get.” (get more information about Rebecca Fong’s studies on culture)

Now that you know this 5-stage-process better, we’ll give you some advices on how to deal with culture shock when going abroad, how to acculturate and adjust properly to the other culture, making the culture shock less important and the recovery easier! In the meanwhile, you can have a look at these useful advices for students going abroad. See you next week!

Work and Travel in Australia: what else?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Some days ago we introduced you to the Work and Travel program in New Zealand. The same program also exists in Australia! Have you ever dreamt of visiting Australia? Make your dream come true! Let’s work and travel in this big country!

Australia has had a very long past history related to languages. Indeed, before European people settled there Australia had been inhabitated for more than 40 000 years by about 250 different indigenous languages. Nowadays, English is the official language of this huge country located in the Pacific ocean.

Australia is also known for its wonderful landscapes and unique wildlife: kangaroos, koalas, ostriches and many other species. Its Christmas that some people usually spent on the beautiful beaches getting a suntan or surfing is also very typical!

Moreover Australia is a real cosmopolitan country since you can meet not only Asians but also Europeans, North and South Americans or Russians as well… among other nationalities of course! So if you’re eager to discover cultures from all over the world, Australia has been made for you…

Tell me, what’s better than working in an English-speaking country if you definitely want to improve your English skills? And if you could enjoy the beaches and the sun at the same time to relax? The Work and Travel in Australia could be the perfect program to do so!


Work and Travel program is availabe for citizens of the following countries: UK, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, Korea, Malta, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Cyprus, France, Italy, Taiwan, Estonia, Chile, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA. NEW IN 2010! Bangladesh; Indonesia; Iran.

Don’t wait any longer and take part in! Seize this great opportunity! The kangaroos’ country is waiting for you!

Learn English and discover New Zealand with the Work and Travel program!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Have you ever heard about New Zealand? Maybe you have, but what do you know exactly from this beautiful wild country next to Australia? It’s high time to enjoy a trip to New Zealand! That’s a perfect way to improve your English in wonderful conditions, all the more so as if you get a job over there!

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific Ocean, 1200 miles southeast from Australia. Its name in Maori language is Aotearoa, which literally means “land of the long white cloud”. Most of the people in New Zealand are European descendants. The indigenous Maori are in reality the largest minority of the island, even if people living in New Zealand come actually from all over the world… it’s a wonderful multicultural English-speaking country!

If you go to New Zealand you’ll first enjoy its cosmoplitan aspect, but it’s not its only wealth. New Zealand enjoys unique natural resources such as mountains, wild forests, white sand beaches… be sure that you’ll fall in love with this unique island country and its so numerous landscapes’ beauties…

What do you think of these wonderful beaches? Want to have some holidays over there? And if you could work at the same time to improve your English and earn some money? Interesting, isn’t it? That’s totally possible. Indeed, the program called Work and Travel in New Zealand offers an incredible opportunity to combine tourism and work in this wonderful and unique island country. Come on and take part in this unforgettable experience!

The Work and Travel program in New Zealand is now available for citizens of UK, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Thailand, Norway, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland.
NEW IN 2010! Citizens of Estonia; Korea; Latvia; Malaysia; Malta; Mexico (from March 31st 2010); Peru; Poland; Singapore; Slovenia (from April 5th 2010); Spain (from April 20th 2010); Taiwan (from June 1st 2010); Brazil (From September 1st 2010); China, USA; Uruguay (from October 1st 2010) can also apply for a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand.

So if you are citizen of one of the above countries, don’t wait any longer and ask for further information about the program!

Tips on how to write an effective and attention-getting CV!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

You wish to complete your studies with a practical component abroad? 

Get ready for an international experience! 

But how to apply? Getting an interview for an internship placement can depend on how good your CV is… It is the opportunity for you to show the employer that you are the right person for the placement!

Have a look at the following guidelines!

How long? Don’t write more than 2 pages! Writing “CV” or “Curriculum Vitae” is no more necessary. Don’t worry, employers know what a CV is! This kind of unuseful information definitely has to be avoided. Your CV must be clear and readable, so don’t forget the importance of spaces between the different sections!

What should I definitely include? It sounds basic but your CV should include sections like contact information, education, work experience, and skills.

Start with your Personal Details: your name, address and contact details. It is up to you whether you include your age, marital status and nationality – it’s not essential but some employers would like to know, and it can sometimes be an asset for you!

Don’t forget how essential it is to order information according to what’s the most important! Education or Work Experience? Well, it actually depends on the work placement you’re applying for! For some positions your experience may be a real asset for you while for others qualifications will be more important.

Keep in mind that if you have already been working for a while, you should put your Work Experience first, all the more so as it is relevant. Create bulleted lists showing not only your main duties and responsibilities, but above all highlighting your specific achievements and skills you used and developed. This is the information the employer uses when deciding whether to interview you or not

If you are younger and do not have much work experience, focus on your Education and training, don’t worry, we hardly all went through this stage! The fact is that you have to make this section attractive with key information.

Include then Other Skills that might be useful to an employer according to the work placement you’re applying for – Driving, Languages, IT Skills etc. You can also have one specific Languages or IT Skills’ section for example. Once again be specific above all regarding your levels in languages. If you already passed some certificate such as TOEIC, for example through an English course in Cambridge or other, specify it! An employer will appreciate. You can use words such as “fluent”, “intermediate”, “beginner” (if not bilingual!) but it won’t be as relevant.

And of course, don’t forget your Hobbies and Interests! They’re also important because they help the employer to understand which kind of person you are. As well as in the other sections, information must be relevant to the work placement you’re applying for. Avoid activities that are too general and be specific. For example, if you’re keen on dancing or music, specify which types! If you play tennis say for how long, if you already played in tournaments etc.  Don’t forget that your hobbies show who you are!

Be consistent in style! When talking about CV consistency is a key word. Determine the way you want your CV to look and be consistent with your font (pick a quite standard one in general) and setup each section in the same way. For example, titles of the different sections must all be alike.

Tailor your CV to the job! The words you choose are important. You should adapt the content of your CV for each work placement you’re applying for to reflect certain key words the employer will be looking for. Think about what the employer is asking for. Take some time to find out about the main activities of the company. 

And last but not least, proofread your CV! If you don’t want your CV to be thrown into the “No” pile immediately, proofread it! Mistake and CV are two words which are not compatible! So don’t hesitate to ask somebody else to review your CV again before applying!

More tips!

DO’S DO'S!!!

* use positive language and power ‘doing’ words like ‘launched’, ‘managed’ and ‘improved’. Quote figures if possible to back up your claims.

* use good quality paper – first impressions count!


If you don’t want to pull such a face, just don’t:


* lie – employers have ways of checking if what you wrote in you CV is true. If they find out you’ve lied to them, consequences can be severe for you!

* delay responding to contact made by prospective employer. You shoud contact them only in the way they requested to (don’t phone them if they only gave an email address for example).

Now that you are ready to apply for a work placement, what about an internship in England? Or maybe you’d prefer an internship in Canada? Let’s go!

Work and Study in Canada: Ababacar’s testimonial!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Here is Ababacar’s testimonial. Ababacar, a young 26 years old French student, is currently participating in the Work and Study program in Canada.

The Work and Study program in Canada allows students to learn English in a carefully selected language school in Vancouver, and then to get some professional experience by working in a Canadian resort.
The Work and Study program is a 6 or 12 months program, and includes 6 or 12 weeks of in school language study, plus evening classes.

This is the perfect program for anyone wishing to discover Canada, but also wanting to get real work field experience!

When we interviewed Ababacar, he was beginning his Work and Study program in Canada, and was still attending courses in the language school in Vancouver!

Ababacar, would you agree to answer a few questions about your program?
It is with a great pleasure that I agree to participate to your interview. The school is cool, people are cool, the family is more or less cool, and I’m living with a Brazilian. This is a really great town, I’m having a crush!

Why did you choose to participate at this type of program (work and study)? Why did you want to improve your English? What were your objectives before departure?
I would lie if I’d say I have chosen this program only for the courses. I choose it because it would allow me to get money in addition to the courses. Regarding my objectives, before leaving France I wanted to do a theater school. I really want to be an actor, and now I want to stay in Canada to keep on studying there.

Speak about the school!
Courses are good. You are feeling at your ease upon your arrival, even if you’re shy. There are people from all over the world, a lot of Brazilians. Teachers are great, sometimes they speak quickly, but one, which I consider the best: Mr Hyde, I really want people to know he is the best, I succeed in understanding all the things he says, and I’m not the only one!
Nothing to say about the school’s location, it is in the heart of the city, many shops.
Courses are not boring! Why? There are a lot of breaks, and during these breaks you keep on learning since you speak English!

Thank you Ababacar! We hope you will enjoy the end of your stay!

Testimonial: Tina, 27 years old, Language Teacher Assistant in Australia!

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Here is a new testimonial! This one is from Tina, a 27 years old German girl. Currently, Tina is a teacher assistant in Australia.

The Language Teacher Assistant  program in Australia is a program allowing students who want to become teachers to live and teach in Australia: during the program, participants assist a teacher of their native language. This program is a great opportunity for students since they will become fluent in English and acquire practical teaching skills that will be useful once back home.

Here is Tina’s interview. When she did it, she had been in the program for 2 weeks!
Australia teacher assistant bendigo
1. How are you getting along with your Supervising Teacher?

She is great! We get along very well!

2. Explain how you feel about your duties and the expectations of the school.

I assist the German teacher in the classroom and prepare exercises at home. It is good to see that I can support the students in learning German.

3. How are you getting along with your host family?

4. How are your English language skills developing?
Every day and gradually, it seems to work a bit better.

5. Tell us about any new friends you have made?
I have met a lot of new people here since I arrived, especially at school, who are very friendly and helpful.

6. What clubs or what extra-curricular activities have you joined?
I have only been here for 2 weeks now. So far, I haven’t joined any extra-curricular activities yet. Moreover, I had some problems in coping with that heatwave in the first week after my arrival. Some of the time after school, I use for doing important preparations for my university studies. Besides, I take delight in discovering the highlights of Bendigo.language teacher assistant in Australia classroom

7. Tell us about any homesickness you are feeling?

I am not homesick at all :). I really feel comfortable here.

8. What is your biggest concern or preoccupation at this time?

So far, I haven’t any concerns :). I enjoy the time!

9. What goals have you set for yourself for the next three months?

- improving my English as good as possible
- giving the students a great support in learning German
- getting to know the Australian culture

Do you think the Language Teacher Assistant Program could be a great program for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us to get more information about it!