Why should you study English at a Language school before going to University?

In an IALC language school such as WSE you have the advantage of studying English in a friendly, hard-working environment, being taught by dedicated, professional teachers. It gives you the opportunity of settling into British life, getting used to the language and customs (and the weather!) before studying in the more challenging environs of a university, having to cope with the extra demands of an undergraduate or post-graduate course.

In a specialist language school all the students, no matter what their initial English level, are working towards improving their skills in the language.

As such, support is given to each student according to needs, and courses are tailored to individual requirements. You can study General English; Business and Professional English – especially useful for those students wishing to follow an MBA course at university; Cambridge ESOL courses, which develop examination study skills; and Pre-sessional courses with IELTS, which help to develop the study skills essential for university life, as well as provide you with an IELTS score, essential for entry onto most university courses.

Contacts with universities are a vital feature of a Pathways programme.

At WSE we have long-established relationships with several institutions, including SOAS, Queen Mary, and Kingston University. These relationships allow WSE’s Academic Management to ensure close liaison between students and their chosen university throughout their programme, giving students a gradual introduction by means of campus visits and regular progress reports. Additionally, a key part of the pre-sessional course is a visit to one of these universities, which gives students the opportunity to find out about university life in the UK. The pre-sessional students sit in on a lecture, receive a tour of the campus, and have the opportunity to talk to current undergraduate and post-graduate students – both international and UK based – to get the student perspective on what to expect when they begin their own university studies.

In summary, the essential features of a University Pathways programme at an IALC school are:

  • A friendly, hard-working environment
  • Professional, caring staff
  • A range of courses adapted to individual needs
  • Long-established links with Universities


Julian Oakley is Assistant Director of  Studies with IALC-accredited language school Wimbledon School of English | www.wimbledon-school.ac.uk.

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Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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