My Brazilian friend Liliana Germanotta (Lili) studied an English course in Cape Town, South Africa. In this post, she explains to us everything we need to know if we want to study a language course anywhere in the world and gives us more details about her experience in Cape Town.
We will know which are the main steps for budgeting, how is the application process, and how was Lili’s experience, conclusions and recommendations.
If you want to know more about Lili’s experiences around the world I recommend you to go to follow her on Instagram!
If you love to travel and do it with a purpose I recommend you to check in the blog the following sections where you can find more experiences in which you can participate!
Also, you can find applications for scholarships, internships, job positions, volunteer projects, contests, entrepreneurial support and virtual courses in the Scholarship Finder!
1. Study an English course: characteristics
- Type of program: study abroad
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Visa: for Brazilians it is only necessary to have a passport. You can stay in the country for 90 days but if you want to take a longer course you’ll have to apply for a student visa. If you are from another country, see if you need a visa on this page: http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/apply-for-a-south-african-visa
- Vaccination: Brazilians need to have a vaccination card with the yellow fever vaccine to enter the country. This is required at the airport when entering the country.
- Duration: my English course lasted 2 months because I did it during my summer holidays during my university studies but language schools offer different courses with a minimum 2 weeks.
- Finance: if you want to study in a foreign country you have to make a budget with all the costs. The basic costs that you should consider are the course, accommodation, plane tickets, food, transportation and the activities that you want to do (there are many touristic activities and nightclubs in Cape Town). Here I give you an example of the amount of money you could spend for 2 weeks:
There are different types of English courses; standard, intensive, personalized, etc.
The prices of a Standard English Course in Cape Town vary from $ 300 to $ 500 USD for 2 weeks.
The prices for lodging in Cape Town vary from $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 ZAR = $ 250 to $ 400 USD for 2 weeks.
Food prices vary greatly if you cook at home or eat out at restaurants, plus there are both fast food restaurants and more specialized restaurants with higher prices.
If you buy food at the supermarket and cook you can spent around $200 ZAR = $15 per day; this would be $ 2,800 ZAR = $ 230 USD for 2 weeks.
The prices of the MyCity bus are very accessible (they vary according to the distance traveled and time of the day but they go from from 0-5 km $ 9.8 ZAR = $ 0.8 USD)
2. Application Process
a. Contact an agency or language school
Contact a study agency of your choice to have a broader view of all the language school options and courses. Or do online research and communicate directly with the school you choose to know all the details of the options, duration of the courses and prices.
b. Plan the dates of your trip
Choose the best dates for your trip. If you want to travel on your vacations, it means that it will be high season so plan your trip with plenty of time in advance to avoid high prices when you buy your flight tickets.
c. Choose accommodation
Accommodation is also very important, if you want privacy and good location I recommend you rent a room in a student residence. I liked Motown very much because of its facilities, location in front of the beach and ease to make friends in the residence.
3. My experience
I was studying Tourism in Brazil when I decided to take advantage of my summer vacations to improve and practice my English.
As I love the summer, I started looking for countries with the same climate of Brazil, I was deciding between Australia and South Africa but I chose Cape Town, in South Africa, because of its natural beauty, beaches and mountains that I saw in the internet photos.
I also chose Cape Town for the prices, undoubtedly it is very convenient for us Brazilians to spend money in South Africa, from plane tickets to the cost of living.
Then I contacted the Agency of Brazil, IPB Intercambio para Brasileños which offered me different prices.
The exchange was in Cape Town, South Africa and during that time I lived in Sea Point, which is in my opinion one of the best places and best located.
You can find everything in Sea Point: shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast food and it is also close to different beaches and the center of the city.
My lodging was in the Motown student residence, a perfect place that has different room options, both individual and shared.
As for practicing your English, in Motown you will have roomies from different countries with whom you will have to speak in English.
The residence has common areas where you can be with your friends as the TV room where you can watch a movie, the living room where you can talk or the common kitchen where you can meet even more people while you cook or eat.
The location is perfect, the place is in a very safe area, which is very important. A few meters away is at Sea Point Pavilion where you can go jogging or biking with beautiful views of the beach.
And there are also other places that you can visit with a very short bus trip like Waterfront, Camps Bay, Clifton Beach, Bo-Kaap or the city center.
5. General Opinion
- I liked a lot my trip because I was able to improve at a great extent my English: I had direct contact with native speakers every day.
- The course and the school were very good:
the teachers were very experienced, the classes were always very interactive, and the entire school team was always very friendly.
- Cape Town is an incredible city to explore: in my free time I went to many places. Cape Town has natural beauty, beaches that I loved, and it is also a very cultural and historical place.
- I loved the night life: there were many options of clubs, restaurants and bars to spend time awesome with friends.
- MyCity bus doesn’t connect the whole city:
If you want to go to a more remote area you have to go by train, which becomes more dangerous, mainly during the evening.
- MyCity bus stops functioning very early: around 9:00 – 10:00 pm the buses stop circulating so if you want to stay out longer the best option is to take UBER.
- There are some places in Cape Town that are dangerous: in general Cape Town is not dangerous and I never felt threatened but it is important to locate dangerous areas and try to avoid them.
- I recommend you that if you are going to study English or any other language in another country you should have at least a good level of the corresponding language, in that way you won’t have so much difficulties and you’ll advance much faster.
- Cape Town is now one of my favorite places in the world, if you are there you’ll have to take a lot of time to explore the city. There are many places you should know, and there are plenty of options, such as Waterfront, Lions Head, Table Mountain, Civic Center, and the Garden Route.
- The beaches of Cape Town as Clifton and Camps Bay are amazing, try to go in the summer to Cape Town, so you can take advantage of the weather.
In the Study Abroad section, you can find more experiences of success cases winning scholarships to study abroad! If you had a similar experience and want to inspire others to apply please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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