Students from around the world will be travelling to Bournemouth this Summer to learn English as a foreign language, despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of language schools.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, language schools in the UK suffered a direct revenue loss of around £307 million in 2020, but the prospect of reopening could drive optimism for recovery.
According to English UK, a trade body for privately-owned English language teaching providers, teaching English as a foreign language generates more than £1.4bn income for the UK each year and supports more than 35,000 jobs across the nation.
The financial contribution comes from tuition fees, spending in towns and cities, as well as money contributed towards local host families who rent rooms to students.
Education First Language School, located on Poole Road, will be hosting students from more than fifty countries from June.
EF courses designed to suit all levels of education have attracted more than five hundred students to Bournemouth aged 16 and over and will encourage expenditure across shops and businesses in and around Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Saverio Giudici, Accommodation Manager at Education First in Bournemouth, said,
“We’re expecting between 500 to 1500 students depending on the COVID restrictions that are currently being reviewed. Most students will be from around Europe and the language courses we have to offer can last from two weeks up to a year.
“We are following COVID regulations and guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. Students will have to be tested before entering the country and self-isolating for at least 10 days in our residence. They will also be tested again on days two and 10 of self-isolation.
“There will be regular tests on-site, and there will be classrooms bubbles to limit the transmission of the virus.”
A report published by VisitBritain found that English Language students stay for three times longer than the average visitor and spend more than twice that of other travellers.
“When students come here, they try and visit everything that is in and around Bournemouth,” said Giudici. “International students help boost the local and national economy through shopping and renting. They also contribute a lot to the local business sector.
More than 550,000 international students come to the UK to learn English every year.
Guido Schillig, Chair of Bournemouth’s International Education Association, said, “International schools are a good commodity for the economy. They help develop careers and offer cultural and financial benefits for local businesses as well as families who choose to host them.
“Language schools generate around £140 million towards the economy in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Even though there has been some interference because of COVID, I think the future of language schools is looking bright.”