New Zealand
South Africa
The Caribbean

Which Country is Best to Study English?

When you are looking for an English school the first priority is to decide on which country you would like to follow an English course. This decision is based on many different factors. Some people want have a prior interest in a country, while others are motivated by which country is the cheapest to study English. Of all English speaking countries for standard English the main locations are the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. There is also the option of English speaking countries in the Caribbean and Malta (though not the first language spoken), where English is an official language.

There are many things to consider before choosing a location to study in an English school. Do you want to stay close to your home country or would you like to experience something further away? Would you like to travel when you study? Do you want to study with people from your home country? Would you like to work while you study. Weather will also have an impact on your experience, especially when you study.

If you choose Ireland, the UK, Canada or the East Coast of the United States September to February you will have to deal with the cold. If you choose Australia during these months you will experience the hottest season. If you choose the UK or Ireland places of interest are closer together, which makes tourism easier and less time consuming. If you choose Australia or the US you will have much longer distances to cover and the additional expense of transportation.

Every country will have positive and negative points depending on what experience you are looking for.

Studying English courses in English schools in the UK English schools and courses in the UK

The UK has the longest tradition of teaching English and thousands of schools to choose from. Compared to other locations towns and cities are closer together. Which is excellent for tourism though train and bus fares are expensive. The most expensive place to study is London, where both course fees and the cost of living is high. The further away from London you go the cheaper the cost. It is also said that the further away from London you go the friendlier people become. Scotland has a reputation of being very welcoming. There is a wide range of courses which are well designed and tested. Also with so much history and culture to experience. It's hard to get bored.
It is more expensive than other countries. The weather is cold and wet. There is a wide divergence between accents over small distances. Where as in the US, Australia and South Africa the accent doesn't change much over hundreds of kilometres in the UK, neighbouring cities can have noticable differences in pronunciation. Being a popular destination for English study means there is a lot of competition from fellow students for part time work in large cities. It is estimated that up to 25% of schools are bogus schools set up to permit students to work legally, but not attend classes.

Studying English courses in English schools in Ireland English schools and courses in Ireland

Ireland is known as a very friendly country and many students say it is one of the easiest places to make friends. The homestay families have a reputation for being very welcoming The costs are cheaper than England while the English spoken is similar to standard British English (with a slight accent). Ireland is a good base to explore the rest of Europe. Cheap flights to the UK and the continent make travelling cheap and easy.
The weather is cold and wet for most of the year. Most students say that they adjust to this quite quickly but if it's sunshine you're looking for you will not have any guarantee of it in Ireland.

Studying English courses in English schools in Australia English schools and courses in Australia

The weather is good and the people are friendly and laid-back. The lifestyle is more outdoorsy then other countries, people take advantage of the parks and beaches. The homestays are high quality and the homes tend to be bigger than those in the UK and Ireland.
If you would like to see more of Australia the are large distances between cities to cover and airfare is expensive. This said, there is a large backpacking culture in Australia with many people from the U.K. Ireland and Canada spending a year there before or after university courses which makes it easier to find accommodation and make English speaking friends. The weather can be very hot and humid in summer (December to February).

Studying English courses in English schools in New Zealand English schools and courses in New Zealand

New Zealand is well known for the amazing natural scenery. There are a lots of affordable outdoor activities which allow you to take advantage of this. New Zealand is also a popular destination for backpackers. The homestays are of good quality.
It's a long way away.

New Zealand statistics office

Studying English courses in English schools in the United States of America English schools and courses in the USA

It's a big country with amazing cities and scenery. Third level education is very well developed. Over 600,000 foreign students study in the US every year. Most people have some preconceptions about the USA and to visit and see how people live in reality is interesting.
Americans tend to use much more slang than other English speaking countries. If you spend a lot of time with younger people you may end up learning a lot of words that no one outside of your group of friends will understand. Compared to other English speaking countries the English spoken is less international and less grammatically correct.
There is much more paper work involved in applying to US schools if you require a visa. Though this may not be necessary if studying for less than 18 hours a week for up to three months. Also the application fees are quite high, which must be paid without guarantee of being let out of the airport once you arrive.
In many cases it is illegal to work even when you have a visa and even when you are allowed there are condition on where you can work (legally).
You will probably get fat.

Studying English courses in English schools in Canada English schools and courses in Canada

The cost is lower than the United States. The English spoken it more neutral than the U.S. Canadians usually speak English more correctly than their US neighbours and use less slang. Compared to the US & Caribbean, English schools are much more developed, the application process is also simpler and cheaper than the US. It is very easy to travel to the US from Canada.
There are long distances between cities. It's cold in the winter.

Studying English courses in English schools in South Africa English schools and courses in South Africa

The cost of the courses is lower as is the cost of living. The weather is nice. Neutral English which is spoken more slowly than other countries. You also have the opportunity to experience African culture and go on a safari.
South Africa isn't as safe as other countries. There are social problems, which means it's not safe to be out in the streets late in the day. It's hot.

Studying English courses in English schools in Malta English schools and courses in Malta

The weather is warm. It's a small country so everywhere is close. The cost is lower than other European countries. For some nationalities entry and visa applications are much easier.
English isn't the first language of most of the population. It's very difficult to find work. Many of the schools' facilities are not to as high a standard as other countries.

Studying English courses in English schools in the Caribbean

The cost is lower than other countries. The weather is good all year long. There is a strong tourist infrastructure.
There is not a long history of English schools in the Caribbean. It's difficult to find work.

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