How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Studying a Foreign Language Abroad
Probably everyone knows how exciting and sometimes anxious-making preparing for a long trip can be. What if my flight is delayed? What if I suddenly get sick? What if my documents get lost or stolen?
And preparing to go to another country to learn a new language can make you even more nervous. Because every day you’ll be confronted with completely unfamiliar things. Will it be difficult to get to school? What if my host family aren’t so nice and friendly?
Such simple and obvious fears could stop many people fr om going. But are these fears well-founded? And are they worth paying attention to when you are on your way to study English in New Zealand, Australia or other countries?
Here are some common questions and our best answers for them:
- I booked an English course and am getting ready to pay for it. How can I be sure that I was not contacted by scammers and my money will actually reach the school?
Tambook.com is officially registered in the public registry of companies of New Zealand. This can help you be confident in the quality of our work and feel safe about booking through us.
For more information, you can contact the school directly by email, telephone or Skype and confirm that the school is a part of our network.
- I want to cancel my booking. Can I be sure that I will get my money back?
In every case this issue should be clarified in advance with the company to which you applied. Normally the school retains the amount received for the registration fee, payment for host family selection, insurance and some other charges.
Read more about Tambook Refund Policy on our website.
- I‘ve already paid my course, but my visa process is delayed. Is it possible to change the starting date of my studies?
It’s recommended to ask this question in advance directly to the school or to the provider company. If you make an order through our website and experience unforeseen circumstances, we will be happy to assist you and change the start date of your classes. However, be sure you take into account availability at the school for your new start date. In high season (holidays and vacation) space could be limited.
- I received information about my host family two weeks before departure and I didn't like the location of the house I was assigned. It’s too far! What can I do?
The selection of the host family for each student is done by the schools. Provider companies are not involved in the selection of families or choosing a house for the student. Each school has its own list of host families with which the school works. The process of booking with the school takes into account the wishes of the guest. Each student is asked to indicate if he has any preferences in food, any chronic illness or allergies, or special hobbies. Most students are happy with the family choice. But if the student for some reason does not like the family, the school agrees to place them with another within two weeks of the complaint.
Family houses normally are located within 30-45 minutes of the school, if it's a big city (Auckland, Melbourne, Wellington) and much closer if it's a small town or resort.
Students receive all the information about the host family shortly before the start of the trip. This is in order to be able to accommodate last minute applicants and make sure everyone has a place to stay upon arrival.
If you do not like the location of the family house or some other factor, you could ask to change the family before you start your travel, or on arrival directly at the school. Keep in mind that during the period of the New Year’s and Christmas holidays, most families tend to be booked. It can also be difficult to find a room in a hotel or hostel without booking your accommodation in advance. Therefore it is highly recommended not to cancel your homestay at the last minute before leaving. You can arrive at the proposed house and then seek more suitable accommodation without having to scramble for housing at the last minute.
- I have a transfer from the airport but my plane is delayed. What should I do?
This issue should be clarified with the transport company that provides you with your shuttle service, or with the provider company that ordered your transfer. In our case, the Supershuttle, who we work with, park their minibuses next to the exit outside the arrival hall. In the case of a flight delay, you can just hop on the next Supershuttle minibus.
- And if I am placed into a group with a higher/lower skill level?
On the first day of class, every student takes a language skills assessment test to determine their level. Therefore, the probability of being placed in a group with a higher/lower skill level is minimal. However, if this occurs, the school will place you in a class with the appropriate skill level.
- How do I get to school on the first day of class? I don’t know this city.
If you are staying with a host family (Homestay), they will explain to you in detail how to get to school and maybe even accompany you.
If you are staying in a hotel or hostel, the reception can also explain to you how to get to the school. Most schools are located in the central part of the city, close to bus stops or taxi stands.
- I started the studies but I don't like my school? Can I cancel my studies?
In theory you can, but it depends on the specific school and the specific situation. In practice, there will be a number of difficulties, and you will likely not be able to recover your money. You could have a problem with your student visa which was issued to you because of your studies in this particular school. In addition, after you start your studies, the cancellation terms and refund policy of this particular school go into effect. You can find out more information about this on the first day of school or in advance on the school’s website. We urge you to avoid making this decision if possible and recommend you to consider any complications before making payment and starting your travels.
Still have questions? Contact Tambook.com and our managers will answer your questions, recommend a good school and help you to plan the whole process of your journey!