Comparing agencies offering language courses abroad
There are various agencies offering language courses abroad - small, large, expensive, cheap, good, bad, illegal and registered. At Yalea Languages, our top priority is to offer a good service. This is why we have summarized the following points that we think you should bear in mind when choosing who to buy your language course from.
What should I consider when choosing a language course provider?
Check student reviews
Looking at feedback from former students gives a helpful insight into the quality of the support they received when choosing their school and course, and it can also show how helpful the agency was when any problems arose. A lot of agencies and language schools publish reviews on their websites. You can also find independent feedback elsewhere on the web, in forums and blogs for example.
Low prices guaranteed
Most professional agencies offering language courses abroad don’t charge extra for their services as their costs are covered by the commission they receive from the schools they offer. That is why it is important to check an agency’s price guarantee on their website.
Look for an agency that has language and travel experts ready to immediately offer you advice over the phone. Work out how quickly you can reach someone and how competently they answer your questions.
Pay attention to the terms and conditions
It is strongly advisable to read the agency’s terms and conditions before you make a booking. If there is anything that is unclear, contact the agency to make sure you completely understand before proceeding any further.
If you are from a country in the European Union, check to see if the agency is a member of the Swiss travel industry's Travel Guarantee fund. If the school or agency has the Travel Guarantee, it means that deposits will be protected if the agency goes bankrupt. Please note that this only covers students who come from countries within the European Union.
Finding out whether your agency is accredited will help to confirm the quality of the services they offer.
Ease of contact
You should bear in mind how quick and easy it is to contact the agency. Is there, for example, a chat where your questions can be answered right away in a straightforward manner? Is there a phone number where you can reach someone even out of normal office hours? Is there a 24 hour emergency phone number that you can always use to get hold of someone when you are abroad?
A price estimate for your chosen program should show a complete breakdown of costs, not just the final price. This includes showing the separate prices for the course, additional fees, school material, accommodation and transfer, as per your requirements.
Check the nationality mix of the schools you are interested in. The more students with the same native language in a school, the more tempting and likely it is that they will speak that language during breaks and after lessons, which can have a negative impact on your progress.
One last piece of advice: do not transfer any money before receiving a booking confirmation and confirmation that your payment is covered against any risks!