Are you eligible to study an ESOL course?

April 12, 2016

The best way to learn English in the UK is to take an English for Speakers of Other Languages course, otherwise known as an ESOL course. Although every ESOL course covers general English, every course is dedicated to help every individual student progress in the best way and provides tailored support through your own development of the English language. ESOL teachers understand that every student has different requirements and will deliver language teaching based on your specific needs. ESOL courses are widely available throughout the UK at accredited schools and learning providers.

What can I expect to learn in a typical ESOL class?

ESOL courses cover all aspects of English language including speaking, writing, reading and listening. A typical ESOL class includes lessons on:

– The everyday workplace environment and what language is commonly used in a business meeting or professional situation.

– Language related to health and wellbeing. This can range from ordering or picking up a prescription to arranging a doctor’s appointment at your local surgery.

– Practice and roleplay of real-life situations and everyday responsibilities of living in a UK community. This can vary from visiting your local shop for food to more social events such as a trip to the cinema with friends.


What requirements do I need to meet to study an ESOL course?

If you wish to study an ESOL course and you live outside of the EU you will need to apply for a UK student visa. There are a number of visas available depending on your individual requirements. Short-term study visas are ideal if you wish to take a shorter course of study in the UK and meet all the eligibility requirements. You must prove that you:

– Have been successful and have been offered a place on a course in an accepted place of study.

– Can fund your return journey home or onward journey following your course.

– Have enough money to support yourself throughout the duration of your course without using government funding or having to seek work.

– You must also present all the correct documentation including a current passport, contact details and details of where you intend to stay.

If you apply for a short-term study visa you can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months for any short course (including English language courses) or a maximum of 11 months if you’re 18 or over. You should apply at least 3 months before you’re intended date of travel, however we recommend applying as soon as you are thinking about studying in the UK. The decision on your visa application can take up to 3 weeks.

You can also apply for a Tier 4 student visa if you’re 16 or over, have a foundational understanding of written and spoken English and have been offered a place on a course. This visa means your stay can vary depending on the course requirements and the length of study. It also means you can work whilst you study and apply to extend your stay.


Every year thousands of international students successfully gain a student visa to study in the UK. If you require any further information on student visas and how to obtain one, please visit GOV.UK.

Once you have everything you need to study an ESOL course in the UK, it’s time to prepare for your journey to the UK. Living and learning in the UK can be a daunting prospect at first, however once you have settled in, you will be able to take advantage of the UK and everything it has to offer international students who want to learn the language.