Let us know your frequently asked questions about Kingsway English Centre

Your frequently asked questions about Kingsway English Centre

We have put together a list of the questions we have collected from you over the last few years, so please scroll down and take a look to see if your question has already been answered. If not, fill in the form at the bottom of the page and we will get back to you immediately.

Section 1 - Registration

Can I start my course on a day other than Monday?

If you want to start your English course on a Tuesday or even Wednesday that is OK by us, but we don’t recommend it for group courses as you will join an existing class that has already settled in and whose learning will be up and running! If you are taking a one-to-one (individual) course you can start on any day you like (but we still recommend starting on a Monday so you can join with other new people that week).

Do I need insurance for my English course?

At Kingsway we provide insurance to cover our legal obligations in providing you with the services of our school. We recommend that you get your own insurance to cover your possessions (in case you lose your mobile phone for example) and medical situations. You may also want to include cancellation cover in case you are unable to travel.

How do I find out my current English level?

You can take our free online English test (CLICK HERE) which will give you an approximate idea of your current English level. We ask you to estimate your own level in the 4 skill areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing on the application form, and on your first day we will check your English level informally during the first lesson. In addition before you arrive we will arrange a pre-course Skype chat to double check everything.

How do I register for an English course?

To register for an intensive English course at Kingsway just fill in the online application form on the website and we will book you in. We will send you a pro-forma invoice and ask you to pay a deposit of GBP300. As soon as we receive this we will send you a final invoice and your course confirmation documents.

How far in advance do I have to make my booking?

We recommend making your booking as soon as possible – that is as soon as you have decided to take an English course. The reason is that you will have time to get mentally prepared with all the information we will send you, and from our side we can plan properly to deliver you the course that you would expect from a top quality English school like Kingsway!

What happens on the first day at school?

You should plan to arrive at Kingsway between 08h30 and 08h45 – in good time to start lessons at 09h00. When you walk in the front door you will be met by one of the management team – usually Richard the Director of Studies. You will be taken through to the common room and shown the timetable and introduced to the other students. At 09h00 your teacher will take you to the classroom and during your first lesson (09h00 – 10h30) you will have some speaking and listening activities so that we can check your English level. After coffee break at 10h45 you will have an introductory presentation and tour of the school.

What type of plug do you use?

In the UK we use a three pin plug which is unique to the UK and some of the UK’s former colonies. We sell plug adaptors at reception for GBP5 each or you can buy them easily in most airports on your way to the UK.

Section 2 - Prices

Can I have a discount on the course fees?

We do not offer discounts on our course fees because we have priced our courses to cover the level of quality service that you will receive and there is not much left over! We would rather deliver you a first class English course that will really make a difference to your life rather than cut corners because we are not funded properly to do so. There are schools that are cheaper than Kingsway and they offer a different level of quality appropriate to their prices (like larger classes for example). Kingsway courses are designed to deliver results – if you only get one shot at improving your English then make it count!

Do I have to pay a deposit?

Yes. When you make your booking we will ask you for a GBP300 deposit to show your commitment to coming on your English course. It takes a lot of preparation from our side to make sure everything is perfect for your visit and in the event that your booking does not go ahead we may still need to pay for certain expenses. We need to be sure these situations are covered (for example we may need to pay your homestay a week’s money if you cancel within a week of your course start date).

How much does accommodation cost?

We have three categories of homestay – Regular is our good quality basic English family homestay. Executive is our top-end homestay with private bathroom and finally Premium is like the executive grade but without private bathroom. For the current prices please see our website homestay page.

How much does an English course cost?

The cost of an English course depends on the style of lessons that you choose (group or one-to-one) and the number of hours you study each week. The cheapest course is a group course for 15 hours per week and the most expensive is a one-to-one course for 30 hours per week. It is best to think about what you need to achieve and then look through our range of courses to find the best one to achieve your goals. If you are working to a budget please contact us as we are used to being flexible and creative in giving you the best course fit for your needs. And we are always happy to help!

How much money will I need per week for day-to-day expenses?

The only things you will need to buy are lunches Tuesday to Friday, some money to join the social programme if you wish, and money to cover personal expenses. We recommend having about GBP10 – GBP30 per day – depending on how much you like to do.

If I pay a deposit and I don’t get Visa, do I get a refund?

If you require a UK visa we will ask you to pay the full amount of your course and accommodation fees in advance. This is so that we can confirm to the British Embassy that all of the fees have been paid, if we are asked. If your visa application is refused we will refund the money that we have received from you less any expenses (like bank charges, DHL postage charges etc). We do not make a profit from such unfortunate circumstances – we want you to come to study on your English course at Kingsway!

Section 3 - School

Do you arrange weekend excursions?

Yes we do. Kathy, our Student Services Manager, will talk to you and the other students about where you would like to go and we will always try to organise a visit accordingly. Trips are usually accompanied by a Kingsway activity leader, though we also offer some self-guided trips to the easy-to-get-to places like Oxford, Hereford and Bath etc.

Do you supply a student discount card?

No we do not supply student discount cards because our students at Kingsway are on short courses (typically 1 – 4 weeks) and there is no time to arrange these. Student discount cards are usually issued by the larger colleges and universities in the UK as well as ISIC. You need to be studying for 6 – 12 months to make the cost of these cards worthwhile.

How many students do you have at the school?

The number of students in school depends on the time of year as well as economic factors around the world. Typically we have a total of only 10 – 15 students in the winter and 15 – 30 students in the summer. So we are a very small school and we offer you great personal service.

Is it possible to use the Internet?

Yes, there is free roaming wi-fi throughout the school with download speeds of around 30MB/s (subject to service from others so we cannot guarantee it absolutely all of the time).

Is the school accredited?

Yes, Kingsway is accredited by The British Council, and by IALC (the International Association of Language Centres), and it is a member of English UK and English UK Central.

What can I do if I have a problem?

Speak to your teacher if possible and he/she will contact the right person to deal with the problem. We have a great team of carers at Kingsway and we will always do our best to sort out any problems so that you can get on with enjoying your course. If things don’t work out to your satisfaction you can contact English UK, our professional association, who are able to offer advice independently of the school you are studying at.

What is the average age?

The average age of students at Kingsway is around 45 years old. The typical age range is between 30 – 65 years, however there is no upper limit and we frequently have students aged in their mid-seventies.

What is the minimum age?

The minimum age is 25 years old.

What nationality are the students at the school?

We have a wide range of nationalities at Kingsway. The top nationalities are usually German, Spanish, Italian, Swiss and Russian, but none of these groups dominates the school because overall there are typically 12-15 nationalities in school at any one time and the only common language is English!

What time does the school open and close?

The school is open from 08h00 Monday to Friday and closes at 18h00 Monday to Thursday and 17h30 on Fridays. The school is closed at weekends unless you have booked some private one-to-one lessons for Saturday and Sunday.

Where is the school located?

The school is located in the English city of Worcester approximately 160km north-west of London. There are direct trains from London Paddington Station to Worcester which run almost every hour and take about 2 hours 15 minutes. Worcester is a beautiful cathedral city on the River Severn, and has the advantage that you won’t meet many other people from your country – great for improving your English!

Section 4 - Courses

Do I need to buy a course book?

No, we don’t use course books. Our teacher create lessons individually to suit your class. This means lessons are always changing and are kept interesting for you. No boring course books at Kingsway!

Do you do DELTA teacher training courses?

Yes, we are an authorised Cambridge English teacher training centre for the DELTA modules 1, 2 and 3. We have DELTA teacher training courses starting each year either in October or January, depending on the interest from potential trainees. For more information please see our dedicated website http://www.kingsway-delta.com or email info@kingsway-english.com.

Do you offer evening or weekend courses?

We offer weekend courses on a one-to-one basis – see our web page on weekend courses. We do not offer face-to-face lessons in the evenings, however we can do online training in the evenings and at weekends too. Contact us (info@kingsway-english.com) for more information on evening and weekend lessons.

How long can I study for?

We have a minimum course length of 1 week and a maximum of 12 weeks for group courses. The reason for this is that we operate continuous enrolment which means there are new students arriving every Monday. This allows for great flexibility in when you can start and finish your English course, however we need to limit against the repetition of lesson materials, which is why we say maximum 12 weeks. If you are on a one-to-one course there is no limit to the number of weeks you can study.

How many levels do you have?

Group courses usually operate at 4 different levels – Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate. We do not accept beginners on group courses, and, if you are an advanced level English speaker, you may find you are the top of an Upper-Intermediate group. If you are concerned that you won’t fit into one of our levels we are happy to have a Skype chat with you free of charge to ascertain your level and recommend a course.

How many students are in the classes?

English classes at Kingsway are very small. Maximum of 6 students in General Group courses and maximum of 4 students in Business Group courses. Typically classes are smaller than these maximum numbers so you can always be sure of very personal attention from your teacher and lots of opportunity to speak in class.

What if the level of the class is too low/too high?

We normally check your English level with a pre-course Skype chat and speaking and listening activities during your first lesson on a Monday. 99% of the time your class level will be perfect for you, however if you find it too low or too high we can move you up or down a class very quickly (subject to there being a level higher or lower).

What qualifications do the teachers have?

All Kingsway teachers are educated to university level or equivalent, plus they have a Certificate in Teaching English to Adults (called a CELTA). In addition many have the Diploma in Teaching English to Adults (DELTA) and business experience from outside education too. A good sign is that most of the Kingsway staff have been working at the school for over 10 years – so you can be sure they know how to do their jobs really well.

Will I get a certificate at the end of my course?

Yes you will get a Kingsway End of Course Certificate which states your course dates and the number of weeks you studied. If you require an end-of-course report we can provide this on request, as sometimes it is useful to continue your English studies, and it is nice to add to your CV too!

Will there be anyone else from my country in my group?

We select our classes according to English level and not nationality. So it is impossible to say there won’t be anyone else from your country in your group, however we usually have a really good nationality mix in school so there will usually be a good mix in your group too.

Section 5 - Accommodation

Can I book just accommodation, without a course?

No, we cannot book accommodation without a course. The reason for this is two-fold : one is that our homestay families expect you to be out of the house during the day (so they can do cleaning and other household chores that are best done in an empty house) and secondly we do not make any profit at all on accommodation booking, so if we ran an accommodation booking service without English courses we would not be in business for very long!

Can I book my own accommodation?

Yes, absolutely. We have many students at Kingsway who book their own accommodation or stay with friends in the Worcester area. It is worth taking a look at Airbnb and other accommodation sites.

Can I have a private bathroom?

Yes you can. You should book “executive” level homestay as this guarantees you a private bathroom.

Can I use the homestay family’s kitchen to cook?

You should speak to your homestay family about this. Usually they will be very happy for you to cook for them – especially if you are going to cook a traditional dish from your own country. Generally this should be an occasional thing as your homestay will have their own family life to run and having you cooking every day could cause a bit of a problem.

Can I use the internet in my home stay?

Yes you can. Most homestay families have wi-fi however this is only guaranteed with our “executive” level homestays, so if having wi-fi is vital to your stay please book executive level accommodation and tell us on the booking form too.

Can you arrange accommodation for me, and how much does it cost?

We can arrange accommodation for you, and unlike some schools, we do not charge you any administration (or placement) fee for doing this. Homestays range from GBP168 to GBP294 per week, and the Kingsway self-catering apartments are GBP495 per week. If you want to stay in a hotel we can make the reservation for you but you must pay the hotel directly by credit card.

Do I have to contact my homestay family before I arrive?

It’s always nice to contact your homestay family before you arrive. Send them an email and tell them about yourself (and ask them to tell you about themselves). It makes your arrival on the first day of your visit that much more friendly and welcoming.

How close are the host families to the school?

They range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes’ walk. Worcester is a compact city so nothing is far away. In some cities, like London, you may find yourself commuting between homestay and school for an hour or more. Not so in Worcester!

How do I get from the host family to the school?

Most homestays are within 30 minutes’ walk of the school, so it is easy to get to and from school at either end of the school day. Alternatively there is a good city bus service which means you can be at school within just a few minutes’ bus ride. Some homestay families have a bike which they offer to their student, particularly those living a little further out of town. If you go on any social events our own school minibus will usually pick you up and drop you off at a point close to your homestay.

Should I bring a present to my host family?

If you have space in your luggage it is nice to bring a little present for your homestay. We suggest something edible like chocolate or some other speciality from your country. Make sure it is OK to be carried by your airline – so nothing controversial.

What happens if I don’t like my accommodation?

You should speak to Kathy (Student Services Manager) and / or your homestay family. We all want you to be happy with your stay so we will do whatever we can to resolve any problems. If things cannot be resolved to your satisfaction we will offer to move you to another family if possible.

What meals are included in the homestay?

You will have breakfast and evening dinner every day, plus lunch on Saturday and Sunday if you are at home. This means that if you go on a full-day trip at the weekend then you will need to buy your own lunch when you are out. During the week (Monday to Friday) you will get lunch in school on Mondays and the other 4 days you will need to go out to buy your lunch.

Will my homestay provide vegetarian food?

Yes, if you tell us in advance on your application form. If you do not ask for this in advance we cannot then ask the family to cook vegetarian food because it may not be part of their daily routine. If you have any other dietary needs please do let us know when you book your course.

Will my hosts do my laundry?

Yes, usually they will though they will probably hand you back your washed clothes together with the iron and ironing board for you to do it yourself! If you feel more comfortable, there is a public launderette near Kingsway where you can drop your clothes in the morning and pick them washed and folded (but not ironed) on your way home in the evening.

Will there be any pets in my homestay?

Most English people have a dog or a cat, and most of these sleep in the house at night (usually in the kitchen or utility room). If you have a problem with pets (like an allergy for example) let us know on your application form and we will do our best to find you a family without any pets.

Section 6 - Terms & Conditions

Do you have a complaints procedure?

Yes we do. As a British Council accredited school, and a member of English UK, we have strict procedures to follow in the event of a complaint. You can be absolutely guaranteed of a satisfactory outcome to any complaint that you may have, independent of Kingsway school itself. However we will always do our utmost to resolve any complaint you may have as it is not in our nature to let any problems to grow into unhappy situations.

How and when should I pay?

You should pay your GBP300 deposit when you book your course and the balance of your fees are due 3 weeks before your course begins. If you book your course less than 3 weeks before the start date we will ask you to pay in full at the time of booking. You can pay by credit card online at www.paykingsway.com or you can pay by bank transfer. Bank details will be on the bottom of your invoice.

What happens if I cancel my course?

If you cancel your course we have a procedure to follow that depends on when you cancel (i.e. how much notice you give us). Rather than try to set it all out here please refer to our Terms & Conditions page on our website.

What happens if there is a public holiday?

If there is a public holiday and the school is open then lessons will continue as normal. If the school is closed we will either make up the ‘lost’ hours during the week, or if you are already on a full-time course, we will offer you a 20% discount for the lost day. To find out on which public holidays we are closed and on which we are open please see our Terms & Conditions page.

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