International College

5 reasons why you should study for an English language course

Posted 11 August 2015
Students walking through the campus

With summer in full swing, students around the world will be preparing themselves to start courses at English universities in September. Many of them will be starting English Language Preparation Courses in the UK before their full academic programme.

It’s easy to take an optimistic view and assume that you’ll pick up the language skills you need as you study. However, it’s not always as easy as it seems, and the last thing any student on a competitive course wants to discover is that their language skills are letting them down.

English Language Preparation Courses are designed to help students achieve a level of English that will allow them to get the most out of their time in the UK and excel in their course of study. Unsurprisingly, they are becoming increasingly popular as more and more international students choose to study in the UK.

Here are five good reasons why you should be planning to enrol on one.

1. It’s often an entry requirement

If you’re considering an academic course of study in the UK and English isn’t your first language, you may find that your chosen course has a specified International English Language Testing System (IELTS) level as one of the entry requirements.  For example, students applying for courses at The University of Sheffield International College must have achieved IELTS 5.0 or equivalent before starting an international foundation year course and IELTS 5.5 before starting on a Pre-Masters programme. These are just guidelines – for some subjects, the requirements are higher.

2. It can widen your scope

The better your level of English, the more courses you’ll be eligible for. While IELTS 5.0 is the standard for many foundation courses, those who achieve levels 5.5 or higher will find it opens the door into areas such as Journalism, Psychology and Biological Sciences. Postgraduate courses also require a higher level of language skills, so if you aspire to study an MA, investing in an English language programme will put you in a great position for your future.

3. It can be a great way to settle in

Studying for an English Language Preparation Course in the UK is a great way to get settled in before starting your more challenging academic programme. The courses last from one to three terms. They provide a great opportunity to become acclimatised, get used to the university and make friends. If it’s your first time away from home, this can be an important way to prepare yourself for student life.

4. It will improve your confidence

Starting a new course can be tough – and if your language skills aren’t up to scratch, you might feel isolated too. Taking an English Language Preparation Course in the UK for a term or two can really help to boost your confidence and reduce those negative feelings, making it easier for you to make new connections and get the full benefit of student life.

5. It can help improve your results

Studying abroad is a big commitment – and you want to do your best. An English language course will help you boost your abilities. Whether in terms of improving your understanding in class, increasing your ability to express your ideas fully in written assignments, or making you feel less self-conscious about participating in class, having great language skills will empower you to do your best.

Hopefully, taking an English language course in the UK is already on your to-do list. If it isn’t, and you’d like to know more, there is a wealth of information available about the types of courses available at The University of Sheffield International College. You can use these resources to pick the course – and the course length – that is right for you.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.