Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Our team has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to answer queries you may have relating to Embassy Summer. 

If you do not see your question listed in the topics below or would like further information, click here to contact us.

What should students pack for their Embassy Summer experience?

We've put together a helpful guide for students about to embark on their Embassy Summer adventure, to offer advice on what to bring and what not to bring with them.

 Download the Embassy Summer Packing Checklist (PDF)

What day does an Embassy Summer course start?

The Embassy Summer experience normally starts on a Sunday when students arrive, settle in, and meet their peers at an evening event. The language and activity courses start on Monday.

I want to organise the transfers for my student to the centre on my own, is this possible?

Yes, the Embassy Summer transfer is an optional extra. However, Embassy Summer insists that all students under the age of 16 are accompanied to and from campus at the beginning and end of their course to ensure their safety.

On arrival at the airport or station who will meet my student?

  1. If your student is travelling as part of a group with an accompanying adult they will be met by an Embassy Summer transfer representative in the arrivals hall. They are normally present when the group exits into public section of the terminal however there can be a short wait. The airport representative will then ask the airport marshal to release the coach/minibus from its holding area (this can take a little time) and take you to meet it. The transfer representative remains at the airport and the group travels to centre.
  2. If your student is travelling as an individual or in a small unaccompanied group they will be met directly by their driver who will be holding an Embassy Summer sign with your student’s name on it. They are present when the students exit into public section of the terminal and will take them directly to the transfer vehicle.

What happens if there is a problem meeting the representative or driver?

If there is a problem the student or group leader can call the emergency transfer number. There is always an Embassy Summer representative at major U.K. airport hubs when junior students are travelling through it.

My student is booked with the airline as an unaccompanied minor – do I need to inform Embassy Summer?

Yes, airlines usually require a named person to meet the student upon arrival in the U.K. and the USA. We will need to be aware of this. What happens on arrival at centre? When the transfer arrives at centre students will normally be dropped at the office in order to check in. The driver will call the management team who will welcome the students. The manager will normally check some administrative paperwork and then provide details of the orientation plan (which varies depending on centre, day of arrival and time of arrival). Embassy Summer staff will show student to their bedrooms when available.

Will my students be able to access their bedrooms immediately?

It depends on the centre and time of day. Unfortunately there is no standardised check in time at Embassy Summer. The team will certainly store any luggage and make the students as comfortable as possible if bedrooms are still being prepared.

My students have preferences about who they share flats/bedrooms with, can this be guaranteed?

Embassy Summer must meet a number of accreditation criteria when allocating students to particular rooms and flats. These include supervision ratios, age, gender and group considerations. The allocation plan is made on this basis in the first instance and any additional rooming preferences are considered thereafter.

Can adult students be housed with junior students?

No, adult students (those 18 and over) cannot be housed in the same secure area with junior students (those 17 and under).

Can students call home on arrival?

Embassy Summer recommends that students contact their parents on arrival at centre so that they can inform them they are safe. Due to the high volume of students it is not possible to permit unrestricted access to the office phones. Students should use their own equipment wherever possible.

What meals will my student receive on arrival day?

The centre will plan to offer the students the meal that occurs soonest after their expected arrival time. If expected arrival time is within an hour of the catering slot the centre normally reserves a packed meal in case of delay. No packed meal is normally reserved for any arrivals expected after 11.00pm.

What is the menu like at the school?

Each school’s menu is slightly different. Details about the number of courses and options available can be found in the centre’s Summer Guide

What time is catering provided?

The catering times vary from centre to centre but generally speaking students can expect to eat at 8.00am- 9.00am, 12.30pm- 1.30pm and 6.00pm- 7.00pm.

Is there additional food available outside of the scheduled catering times and facilities?

This very much depends on which Embassy Summer centre your student is attending. Some schools have numerous catering and shopping outlets available on the doorstep, others have vending machines, and others tuck shops.

Does the school provide Halal meals?

This depends on which school your student is attending, but almost all centres do. Confirmation can be found in the centre’s Summer Guide.

Does the school provide Kosher meals?

Unfortunately none of our U.K. catering partners can provide Kosher meals. Most of our summer U.S. centers can and will provide kosher meals.

Does the school provide vegetarian meals?

Yes, all of our schools provide a vegetarian option at each mealtime.

My student has a food allergy, can you cater to their needs?

Embassy Summer is happy to try and accommodate all dietary requirements. Celiac diets, for example, are commonly catered for. Please contact the International Admissions Centre to confirm that a catering plan can be provided.

My student has a severe nut allergy, does the school’s kitchen prepare food in a nut free environment?

Most of our schools do not guarantee nut free preparation, however some do. Please contact the International Admissions Centre for further information.

How can I find out the activity and excursion programme for my student’s course?

A sample activity and excursion programme is published both in a centre’s information sheet and a centre’s summer guide. Schools will endeavour to deliver the excursions listed on each given day. However, circumstances beyond the centre’s control may dictate otherwise. The school will then make every effort to provide a trip of similar cultural, educational and financial value. The activity programme is for illustrative purposes. The centres create activity programmes based on the demographics and interests of students that arrive. Our website also offers a general guide to popular activities and excursions.

How do you actually track and develop students’ Life Skills?

Schools schedule 7 specific activities or excursions specifically for Life Skill development each week (communication is developed in the classroom). The activity team assess the contribution/submission/performance of the student during the session and award them certification if there is evidence of development. For example, if a student completes the London Westminster Walking Tour quiz during their excursion they will have developed their exploration skills and be awarded accordingly. Similarly, if a student performs at a talent show in front of their peers the activity team is likely to recognise the development of their confidence. Find out more about Embassy Summer Life Skills >>

Are students allowed any free time on activities or excursions?

Junior students are usually supervised on activities and excursions but there are some exceptions. Most notably, students are allowed up to an hour of unchecked time for shopping. Activity staff will stay at a central meeting point ready to assist if students need anything whatsoever. In addition, there are some closed sites (such as theme parks, museums and other attractions) where students are allowed time to explore on their own. Again, activity team members stay at pre-agreed meeting points for help and assistance.

My student wants free time in addition to shopping and closed sites, is this possible?

Unfortunately all junior students (17 and under) must follow the rules on time, attendance and supervision without exception.

Can a parent or agent provide written authority to Embassy Summer for a student to have free unsupervised time?

Unfortunately all junior students (17 and under) must follow the rules on time, attendance and supervision without exception.

Are entrance fees for attractions included in the package price?

Entrance fees for the “inclusive” programme are included in the package price. Any excursions listed as “Optional” are not included. These are normally trips that occur on a Sunday or midweek at London schools. They are easily identified on the programme in the Summer Guide.

How much do Optional Trips normally cost?

Some of the local London optional trips might start from as little as little as £6 for bowling and cinema. Some of the theme park visits by coach from rural destinations might cost as much as £60.00. It the US, Optional trips can cost as little as $15 for a bowling activity to $195 for a major theme park like Disneyland. They can also be as much as $400 for an overnight visit to another city, for example, New York to Washington DC.

What will my student do if they do not want to attend the optional trip?

There will always be a free alternative running at the centre.

Is transport for excursions included in the package price?

Yes, transport by coach, train or tube for the “inclusive” programme is included in the package price. Local excursions are normally by foot. The type of transport depends on the centre, destination, time of week and logistics. Coach transport is usually shared with the school’s other groups of students. Where students travel by tube travel cards are issued but must be returned after the excursion. The package price does include transport for “Optional” trips.

In London centres there are a lot of visits around the capital - does my student receive a London travel card?

Most of the trips from UCL, Mile End, Southbank and Docklands are around the capital and students travel via the London Underground. Students are given a travel card for the purpose of the trip but must return it immediately afterwards. Failure to do so may result in them losing their deposit.

Some of the activities listed do not interest my student – is there an alternative?

Yes, there is always at least one alternative to the main event.

What is the difference between Extra and Essential programmes?

The difference between an Extra and Essential programme is the number and type of excursions included, as well as the package price. The Extra programme tends to have more trips by coach whilst the Essential programme tends to have more on site activities and local excursions (often by public transport). The exact number and destination of each programme is unique to each centre. Specific details can be found on the centre information sheets or the summer guides. Extra programmes are well suited to students who want to see other places of interest in addition to their local area. Essential programmes are well suited to those who would prefer more time at the centre and exploring the local area. Essential programmes are also cheaper than Extra programmes.

Is there a specific check out time from the bedroom?

Yes, most centres have specific check out times. These are normally 9.00am but some are a little later in the morning.

If my student has to check out long before his departure will there be somewhere to store his luggage?

Yes, the centre management team will be happy to store luggage for them, space permitting.

What final meal will my student receive on departure day?

Full board accommodation is included for each night stayed. By default the student will receive any meals on their departure day that they didn’t receive on their arrival day. If you believe this to be insufficient due to a late departure flight please contact the International Admissions Centre.

Will Embassy Summer escort my student during departure at the airport?

  1. Students who are travelling as a part of a group with a leader will not be escorted to the airport.
  2. Students under the age of 16 will be met at the airport and assisted through the departure process by an Embassy Summer airport representative.

How many hours tuition will student receive on their course?

For a normal weekly enrolment students will receive 15 hours teaching. In their first week this time includes the testing and induction session (normally lasting 3 hours). If students arrive between Monday and Friday the teaching time may be less.

What happens during Testing and Induction?

Whilst there is a standard level test at every centre the exact format of the session varies. During the level test students may complete a grammar, writing, listening and/or speaking assessment under supervision of an Embassy teacher. The test is normally preceded by the induction.

There is likely to be a:

  1. Welcome from the Centre Manager and/or Welfare Officer
  2. A thorough overview to the rules of the school
  3. Information about the timetable, facilities, courses and support available.
  4. An induction lesson to reinforce points 2 and 3

Will my student see the result of their entry test?

Students can find the testing process a little stressful and quite different from their usual experiences. As such the Director of Studies will avoid releasing student results so they are not demotivated or tempted to compare.

On what basis does the Academic Manager or Director of Studies create classes?

Our academic management teams are very experienced at assigning students to classes. They focus on the test results to ensure that students are classed with peers of a similar level. They are also careful to maximise nationality mix (within reasonable level parameters) and ensure that ages ranges are appropriate. Students under 16 cannot be classed with students 18 or over in the U.K.

How will my student know which class they are in after testing?

After the Director of Studies has created class lists based on the test results, ages and nationalities they will post hard copies near the student notice board so that students can ascertain their class. These are normally topically named, such as national towns or famous citizens.

Will my student always be in English class during the morning?

It is unlikely that your student will be taught in morning classes for a whole fortnight course. It is more/most likely that they will be placed in morning classes one week and afternoon classes another week. This is in order to ensure we only use the best teachers available. Our tutors essentially teach half of the school in the morning and half in the afternoon. We will always endeavour to put students in morning classes for at least 50% of their stay, unless mathematics dictates otherwise. We also have schools that teach full days. Half day Monday and two full days during the week, either Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday.

What are the objectives of an Embassy Summer language course?

The objective is for students to improve their confidence speaking English and their ability to communicate through English in real life situations. There’s a big difference between learning English and using it, here at Embassy our main objectives are to get the students involved in exciting tasks that facilitate communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. These 21st century language skills are the most effective way of improving practical skills and building confidence.

What qualifications do your tutors have to teach English?

Our teachers are rigorously selected from a wide pull of candidates to ensure they have the skills and experience necessary to educate our students. This normally means they will have a level 6 OFQUAL qualification and a TEFL qualification. The latter may be ESL, TEFLQ, TEFLI or appropriate QTS status.

Are all of your tutors native English speakers?

Not necessarily. We base our selection of teachers on their ability to deliver the language course objectives. Our non-native tutors will have proven, or have the skills and experience necessary, to be great teachers.

What is the actual content of an Embassy English language course?

Embassy Summer’s academic team has created its own tailored course. There is a course for 5 different levels of English proficiency; beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced. In each week there are 5 Units. These units revolve around relevant topics such as the Environment, Film & Media, Sport, Fashion or Shopping. Each lesson explores and develops English through the topic by leveraging task based learning. Learn more about the content of Embassy English Languages Courses >>

Are all classes multinational and are they evenly mixed?

All students who arrive and depart on a Sunday can expect to be in multinational classes. Students who arrive midweek may need to be in “closed groups” so as to not disturb pre-existing classes. The volume of nationalities can be unevenly balanced in order to allow for a relatively homogenous proficiency level. This balance is struck by the Director of Studies after testing.

Will my student be in the same class throughout his course?

Classes are compressed on a Monday and reformed every Tuesday following the arrival and testing of new students. The course syllabus is designed to ensure the student’s learning continues uninterrupted.

Will my student receive any certification or report?

All students receive an end of course certificate of attendance provided they attend at least 80% of lessons/ activities/excursions and maintain a good behaviour record. All students also receive an end of course report written by their teacher which contains specific feedback about the student’s proficiency.

Can an adult observe an English lesson?

This is at the discretion of the Director of Studies, and they are almost always happy to organise. There are, however, some scenarios where it can be difficult to organise.

What is an “individual” student?

An individual student is one who travels without a Group Leader from their native country. Many of our students are individuals. They are assigned a “Guardian” (a particular member of staff) who meets them daily and ensure they are happy, informed and well cared for.

Are there any school rules and where can they be found?

Embassy Summer has generic rules that apply to all centres enforce. These can be found on our website and in the student folder. In addition, some schools have additional rules in order to keep students safe in the particular environment. These are communicated to students at the induction.

What happens if a student breaks the school rules?

Students who disobey the rules of the school will be disciplined according to the department’s discipline procedure, details of which can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

Is attendance compulsory for all sessions?

Attendance is compulsory for all juniors at all centres unless they are enrolled at a “younger learner” centre such as Gatton Park. If adult students chose not to attend classes or excursions their certificate and report maybe withheld as per the Attendance and Absenteeism Policy.

Does the course come with insurance?

It is a condition of making a booking with Embassy that all students have appropriate medical insurance. Each student may be required to provide proof of suitable medical insurance (in English) prior to or upon arrival at the centre - in the USA it is obligatory. Students can opt to take our own Study Care insurance which is tailored to the needs of international students. Coverage under the Study Care insurance policy does not commence until the insurance fees have been paid in full. The Study Care insurance fee is non-refundable. Full details of what Study Care Insurance includes can be found on our website.

Where can I find contact details for the school?

Address details for the school are available in the enrolment documentation and booking confirmation. If parents need to speak directly Embassy Summer they can do so by calling the number on the same document.

Are all staff at the centre First Aid Qualified?

In the U.K. the majority of activity staff at Embassy Summer will have the Emergency First Aid at Work qualification.

My student has a disability; will he be allowed on the course?

Study Group believes that every individual member of its staff and student community has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to work, to learn and live in an environment free from discrimination. If you have a student with a disability please contact the International Admissions Centre who can advise on factors such as facility access and programme adjustments.

I am worried about my student’s safety on the internet. What access will they have?

Embassy Summer normally gains access to one of our host’s networks for student use. There are commonly privately run networks available to students too. 4G coverage extends over most of our sites. All students receive an internet safety briefing as part of their induction.

What happens if my student develops a medical condition during their course?

Embassy Summer is very diligent to student health. It is not uncommon for students to be unwell as a result of jet lag or change in diet. Embassy Summer has established links with local doctors and will help organise visits if needed. It is not common for doctors to visit residences in the U.K. Students should ensure they travel with adequate insurance.

What happens if my student develops a dental condition during their course?

Embassy Summer has established links with local dentists and will help organise visits if needed. Students should ensure they travel with adequate insurance.

How much spending money should my student bring?

This very much depends on the age, school and interests of the student. Full board and course is provided, so they don’t technically need bring any funds other than the damage deposit. However, to have an immersive time in the U.K. it is recommended that the students bring funds for an optional or two (these range from about £20 £60), souvenirs such as Embassy Summer hoodies, and leisure refreshments.

What is the damage deposit and in what circumstances would you keep it?

At most centres students will be required to pay a deposit of £30 (UK) or $100 (USA). The deposit will be returned at the end of the student’s stay subject to any damages caused or loss. The damage deposit is taken to ensure that accidental or intentional damage or loss of items is paid for by the students. Examples of reasons Embassy Summer might keep a damage deposit are graffiti, damage to room appliances, loss of travel card or additional cleaning costs as a result of messiness. Costs of damages in common areas will be charged to relevant groups of students unless an individual accepts responsibility.

Where can my student store their valuables?

Students in most residences have lockable rooms where it is normal practice to leave belongings (these rooms are home to students in normal circumstances). Where students do not have lockable rooms student may request access to the centre safe. Parents and students should be aware that there are cash limits on safes in the U.K., so it is not always possible to accept large sums.

Can I visit my student at the school?

Parents, guardians, relatives and friends are welcome to visit the school. Embassy Summer would appreciate prior knowledge and visitors must report to the centre office.

Can my student be taken from school by a parent, guardian, relative or friend for a short period?

Yes, as long as the person is a responsible adult, notice is given is advance and the proper paperwork is completed via the International Admissions Centre by the person who made the original booking.

Are laundry services available and will my student be assisted?

Yes, all of our schools provide some access to laundry. Students who travel as part of a group are normally responsible for doing their own laundry, with the assistance of their leader. Students who travel as an individual will be helped by their Guardian.

How often are rooms in cleaned in the school?

The exact cleaning schedule varies from school to school. Further details can be found in a school’s guide.

What access is there to PCs and Wi-Fi for my student?

Embassy Summer normally gains access to one of our host’s networks for student use. There are commonly privately run networks available to students too. 4G coverage extends over most of our sites. All students receive an internet safety briefing as part of their induction.

What kind of security is there at Embassy Summer schools?

Embassy Summer has round the clock supervision on all sites. Activity Leaders, teachers, managers and Night Supervisors are always on hand. Additional security measures are often in place by virtue of the host institution. All sites are risk assessed prior to occupancy to ensure they are safe learning environments.

Is a multi-faith chapel available for my student?

Many of our centres provide a multi faith chapel for student use. Details can be found in each centre’s guide.

Do centres have wheelchair access?

The vast majority of our centres have wheelchair access. Details can be obtained by contacting the International Admissions Centre

Do students have use of kitchens in their accommodation?

Some of our centres have kitchens that are accessible, some have kitchens that students are not allowed to use, and some don’t have any kitchens whatsoever. Regardless, students are not allowed to cook in kitchens (with some exceptions at UCL campus).

Does the school provide my student with a towel?

Towels are provided in a limited number of summer centres. Details can be obtained by contacting the International Admissions Centre

Can my student enrol the course without accommodation?

Yes, non-residential students are more than welcome at most of Embassy Summer. Students under the age of 16 will need to be accompanied to and from school each day.