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 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.

Can I arrive on a different day to Sunday?

Embassy Summer does accept students and groups on days other than Sunday on request and subject to availability of rooms; Please note that this may impact the students program and lessons, due to the delayed induction and testing process.

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. All students that wish to travel to the centre without an Embassy Summer transfer, shall be required to complete a Transfer Not Required form during the admission process

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 (Group Leader) they will be met by an Embassy Summer Transfer Representative in the arrivals hall. The Transfer Representative will accompany your group to the coach pick up area, and will then ask the airport marshal to release the coach/minibus from the holding area (please be aware that this can take a little time, particularly in peak July weeks.) The Transfer Representative remains at the terminal whilst 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 in the arrivals hall, the driver will be holding an Embassy Summer sign with your student’s name on it. 

What happens if you cannot find the Transfer Representative or the driver?

If the student or Group Leader cannot locate the Embassy Summer Transfer Representative or driver you should call the emergency transfer number, which will be provided during the admissions process. There is always an Embassy Summer Transfer Representative at major U.K. and USA airport hubs when junior students are travelling through it, so there is always support in close proximity to assist students and Group Leaders.

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 that your student is travelling as an Unaccompanied Minor, so that we can provide details of the Transfer Representative for the handover.

What happens on arrival at centre?

When the transfer arrives, students will be dropped at, or taken to, the Embassy Summer Centre Office in order to check in with a member of the Centre Management Team. Centre Management will check student’s details on arrival before informing them 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, there is no standardised check in time at Embassy Summer, please note that centre teams are conscious of the fact that students would have had a long journey and will endeavour to show them to their rooms as soon as possible. The team will 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 will organise rooms to meet a number of strict welfare guidelines and local accreditation criteria when allocating students. These include, but are not limited to, gender, age, supervision, access requirements and group considerations. The allocation plan is made on this basis in the first instance and any additional rooming preferences are considered thereafter.  Please be advised that depending on the campus, changing rooms after arrival may not be possible and may result is an additional fee.

Can students over 18, be housed with students under 18?

Adult students (those 18 and over) shall be separated from junior students (those 17 and under).

Can students call home on arrival?

Our centre teams will recommend and remind students to contact their parents on arrival at centre, so that they can inform them they have arrived safely. Due to the high volume of students it is not possible to permit unrestricted access to the office phones. Students should use their own devices wherever possible.

Is there a damage deposit?

Yes. In the UK students are required on arrival to pay a deposit of £30 (€40), In our US Centres students are required to pay $100 on arrival. The damage deposit is taken to ensure that accidental or intentional damage or loss of items is paid for by the students. On departure, rooms will be checked. If the accommodation has been left in a satisfactory condition, the deposit money will be returned. Examples of reasons Embassy Summer might keep a damage deposit include graffiti, damage to room appliances, loss of travel card (London centres), loss of key or meal card or additional cleaning costs as a result of messiness. The cost of damages in common areas will be charged to relevant groups of students unless an individual accepts responsibility.

What meals will my student receive on arrival day?

The first meal shall be the one which occurs soonest after their expected arrival time. If expected arrival time is within an hour after the catering slot the centre normally reserves a packed meal in case of delay. For particularly late arrivals, (after 11:00 pm) the centre team shall endeavour to provide a packed meal, or alternative food, before bedtime on day of arrival. Please note this may not be a hot food option, as the canteen will be closed at this time

What is the menu like at the school?

Each centre has a slightly different menu, but includes a range of options, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Further details can be found in the centre’s Summer Guide or on our centre website pages

What time is catering provided?

The catering times vary from centre to centre but students can expect to eat at 7.30 am- 9.00 am for breakfast, 12.30 pm- 1.30 pm for lunch, and 6.00 pm- 7.00 pm for dinner.

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

This depends on which Embassy Summer centre your student is attending. Some centres have numerous coffee shops and convenience stores on campus, others have vending machines, those without may have a tuck shop.

Does the school provide Halal meals?

This depends on which Embassy Summer centre your student is attending. Confirmation can be found in the centre’s Summer Guide, or on our centre website pages

Does the school provide kosher meals?

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

Does the school provide vegetarian meals?

Yes, all of our schools provide a vegetarian option at every 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 during the admissions process. These requirements shall be passed onto the Embassy Summer centre your student is attending to ensure suitable arrangements are made.

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

Most of our Embassy Summer Centres do not guarantee nut free preparation, however others do. If your student suffers from a severe nut allergy please contact the International Admissions Centre for further information during the admissions process.

What do we eat when on full day excursions?

On full day excursions Embassy Summer provides students with a packed lunch. This includes a sandwich, a packet of crisps, a drink (usually a bottle of water) and a sweet (usually a piece of cake)

What happens if a Group Leader wishes to request additional offsite meals? (not applicable for Individual students)

If a Group Leader wishes to sign their group of students out from the programme, which would mean they miss an onsite meal, Embassy Summer can arrange substitute packed meals. Please be aware these need to be arranged at least 72 hours in advance between Group Leader and the centre team in the UK. In the USA Group Leaders must give one full weeks’ notice. Packed meals cannot be arranged on the same day. 

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

A sample onsite activity and excursion programme is published both in the full centre summer guide. Embassy Summer centres operate three week rolling Extra and Essential programmes.

We 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 onsite activity programme is for illustrative purposes. The centres create onsite activity programmes based on the demographics and interests of students that arrive as well as considering factors such as the weather.

Read more about our activities here >>

What can my student expect to get from the Activity & Excursion Programme?

Our activity program is designed to engage students with enjoyable activities and excursions, that link to their classroom studies, and provide the opportunity to develop Life Skills.

Find out more about Embassy Summer Life Skills >>

Are students allowed any free time during excursions?

Students under the age of 18 are students are supervised during all excursions. However, there are some occasions where Embassy Summer guidelines allow for students to be unsupervised.  (See below)

Where and when does Embassy Summer allow for unsupervised time on excursions?

Students of appropriate age are allowed no more than one hour of unchecked time for shopping during city visits. Activity staff will stay at a central meeting point available to assist students.  

In addition, there are some closed sites (such as, shopping malls, theme parks, museums and other attractions) where students of appropriate age, are allowed time to explore unsupervised . Again, activity team members will stay at pre-agreed meeting points for help and assistance.

Please find the below guidelines for unsupervised time on excursions; 

Maximum time before check: Shopping Streets

8 to 12 years old 13 to 15 years old 16 & 17 years old
Not Appropriate, students should always be in the company of staff Only in groups of students, max 60 minutes Can venture alone, 45-60 minutes with check

Maximum time before check: Malls & Individual Shops

8 to 10 years old 11 to 15 years old 16 & 17 years old
Not Appropriate, students should always be in the company of staff Only in groups of students, max 60 minutes Can venture alone, 45-60 minutes with check

 

My student would like additional unsupervised free time, is this possible?

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?

No, 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 full day excursions that are offered on Sundays or half day excursions that can replace elements of the inclusive [normally onsite] activity programme. Further details can be found by reading the Full centre Summer Guide that can be found on our website.

How much do Optional Trips normally cost?

Some of the local London optional trips might start from as little as little as £8 for ten pin bowling or a trip to a local cinema. Theme park visits by coach from Embassy Summer centres might cost as much as £65, depending on the destination, transport cost and the number of students taking part in the excursion. In our US centres, Optional excursions can cost as little as $15 for ten pin bowling and up to $280 for a major theme park such as Disneyland or Universal Studies in Los Angeles. In our USA centres short overnight city visits can be arranged for groups (not individual students) in advance of arrival. These vary in price between depending on location of visit, size of group and transportation taken, but can be up to hundreds of dollars for overnight excursions. Please ask your Sales Manager for more information on Optional Trips.

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

There will always be an inclusive alternative activity or visit 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. In our city campuses such as Portsmouth and Oxford, local visits maybe by foot dependent on the location of attraction. The type of transport depends on the centre, destination, time of week and logistics. Coach transport is shared with other groups of students attending the Embassy Summer centre. Students travelling by underground must return their travel card immediately after the excursion.

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

For excursions around London from UCL, Southbank, Mile End, and Docklands students travel via the London underground. Students are given a travel card for the purpose of the trip but must return it to centre staff upon their return to campus. Failure to return the travel card, or if a student loses the travel card may result in loss of damage deposit (see accommodation for details on damage deposits).

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.

How many hours tuition will the students receive on their English course?

For a normal weekly enrolment students will receive 15 hours tuition. In their first week this time includes the testing and induction lesson (normally lasting 3 hours). If students arrive between Monday and Friday the lesson plan may be disrupted leading to fewer hours of tuition.

What happens during the Testing and Induction lesson?

On the first day of tuition the students will be tested to ascertain their language level. These results are used to ensure appropriate class lists are created for the rest of the student’s course. Whilst there is a standard level test at every centre the exact format of the session may vary. During the level test students may complete a grammar, writing, listening and/or speaking assessment exercise under guidance of an Embassy Summer teacher.

On the first day of tuition the students shall also receive an Induction to cover the most important information for their stay with Embassy Summer.

The Induction covers:

  1. A welcome from the Centre Manager and/or Welfare Officer
  2. A thorough overview to the rules of the school and allocation of ID cards
  3. Information about the timetable, facilities, courses and support available.

How Academic Manager or Director of Studies create classes?

Our qualified Academic Management teams are experienced at assigning students to classes. The students test results are used 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?

Class lists are posted on the student notice board Classes or Classrooms are often topically named, using, cities, landmarks, or famous people.

Will my student always be in English classes in the morning?

No. In a two week course with Embassy Summer, students should expect to attend classes in the morning for one week, and the afternoon for another.

Are there any full days of teaching during the course?

In our Kingswood Royal Holloway centre students receive one full day of lessons per week, comprised of 6 hours of teaching, with suitable rest and break times. This allows for the programme to have one full day London excursion per week.

At our centre in Los Angeles, we provide 2 full days of instruction and one half day instruction during the week so that we can offer three full day trips in the week.

What are the objectives of an Embassy Summer language course?

The objective is for students to improve their confidence in communicating in English. Our lessons are interactive, enjoyable, and challenging to ensure students leave with an improved proficiency and love of learning the English language.

Which qualifications do Embassy Summer English teachers require?

In the UK, our teaching staff will have a level 6 OFQUAL qualification and a TEFL qualification. The latter may be ESL, TEFLQ, TEFLI or appropriate QTS status. In the USA, Instructional staff must have at least: (1) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of three months of full-time equivalent ESL or foreign language classroom teaching experience or (2) a bachelor’s degree along with a certificate in teaching ESL or a foreign language, that includes a practice teaching component. 

What do students study?

At Embassy Summer our academic teams are focused on developing students’ confidence in communicating and leave our centre with a love for learning the English language.  Classes are divided into different levels to suit students’ English proficiency. Classes cover a range of topics, reflecting the fact students are studying in the UK and are interactive and enjoyable.

Learn more about our Embassy English Language programme >>

Is there a mix of nationalities in language classes?

All students who arrive and depart on a Sunday can expect to be in multinational classes. Students arriving midweek may need to be in “closed groups” (of the same nationality) as pre-existing classes will have already been created. Nationality mix, students level and age ranges are considered in the creation of appropriate class lists. Please note that during off peak weeks (early June and August) there may be less of a nationality mix, as the number of students at the centre drop.

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

With every week there are new students arriving. Therefore, class lists may change from one week to the next. New classes shall be created 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 all lessons and maintain a good behaviour record. Students receive an end of course report written by their teacher which contains specific feedback about the student’s development.

Can a Group Leader observe an English lesson?

Yes, although this is at the discretion of the Director of Studies. Group Leaders must not disrupt or interfere with classroom management or the student learning experience.

What is an individual student?

An individual student is one who travels independently without a Group Leader. Many of our students are individuals. They are assigned a “Guardian” (a designated member of staff) in Centre who will meet them daily and ensure they are happy, informed and well cared for.

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

Yes, Embassy Summer publishes centre rules that apply and are enforced by all centres. These can be found on our website. They are also found on the Embassy Summer App and in the Student Notebook.  Students will be communicated additional, centre specific rules at their induction.

What happens if a student breaks the school rules?

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

Is attendance compulsory for all sessions?

Yes, attendance is compulsory for all juniors (under 18) at all centres. 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 Summer 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 Embassy Summer Centre?

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

Are all staff members at the centre First Aid Qualified?

Not all members of staff are First Aid qualified, however our centre teams do have sufficient number of qualified First Aiders. Embassy Summer also employ a Training and Quality Manager whose role it is to ensure there is a sufficient First aid provision at each Embassy Summer centre.

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

Embassy Summer believes that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to work, to learn and live in an environment free from discrimination. However, please note that there are some Embassy Summer centres and programmes that are more suitable than others for students with disabilities.  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 to suits the needs of your student.

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

Wi-Fi is provided to students at Embassy Summer centres, however please note that this network is via the host institution. Further to this provision, mobile 4G coverage extends over most of our sites as well as other accessible networks. Embassy Summer delivers an internet safety briefing as part of the student induction.

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

Embassy Summer has established links with local doctors and will help organise visits if needed. It is not common for doctors to visit Embassy Summer residences. It is not uncommon for students to be unwell as a result of jet lag or change in diet. Students should ensure they travel with adequate insurance. Embassy Summer recommends that all students travelling from EU member countries should bring with them their EHIC medical card

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, it is recommended that the students bring funds for optional excursions (see Activities section), souvenirs and/or, refreshments.

Where can my student store their valuables?

Most Embassy Summer residences have secure, lockable bedrooms where it is normal practice to leave belongings. In centres without lockable bedrooms students may request access to the centre safe, which is kept in the centre office. 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 of pocket money.

Can I visit my student at the centre?

Parents, guardians, relatives and friends are welcome to visit the school. However, Embassy Summer requires prior knowledge of visits. Any visitors must report to the centre office where they will be asked for proof of ID.

Can my student be taken from an Embassy Summer centre by a parent, guardian, relative or friend?

Yes, this is possible. However, Embassy Summer requires prior notice, written parental consent and details of the person/s taking student off site. Centres will not allow students off site without the completion of the above and the presentation of ID.

Are laundry services available and will my student be assisted?

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

How often are rooms in cleaned in Embassy Summer Centres?

The exact cleaning schedule varies between centres. Further details can be found in the full centre guide.

What kind of security is there at Embassy Summer schools?

Embassy Summer provides supervision on all sites. Embassy staff are always on hand. During the night, Embassy Summer employs Night Supervisors to assist students and respond to possible incidents.  Additional security measures provided by the host institution are often in place and vary from site to site. All sites are stringently risk assessed prior to occupancy to ensure they are safe learning environments, additionally, students are provided with a 24 hour emergency phone number.

Is a multi-faith chapel available for my student?

Many of our centres provide multi faith chapels for student use. Details of local places of worship can be found on student and/or Group Leader noticeboards in centre.

Do students have use of kitchens in their accommodation?

No.  However, some of our centres have kitchens that are accessible on each floor/block/apartment of their accommodation, which students are allowed to use as general social spaces. Regardless, students are not allowed to cook in kitchens. There are some exceptions made at our UCL campus. Group Leaders may request access to a kettle for personal use in their room, for the duration of their stay.

Does the school provide my student with a towel?

No, unless stated on the Embassy Summer centre’s full centre guide. Please see the Packing List provided for more information on what students should bring

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. Please speak to your Sales Manager or the International Admissions Centre for further details and requests

Is there a specific check out time to vacate my bedroom on the day of departure?

Yes, centres have specific check out times. These are normally 9.00 am but some are a little later in the morning. Should your students have a late flight, the centre staff will endeavour to make students comfortable in general areas of the campus, until it is time for departure from the centre.

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.

What will be the final meal that my student receives on their 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 group leader will not be escorted to the airport by Embassy staff.
  2. Individual students under the age of 16, using the Embassy Summer transfer service – The student shall travel with an Embassy Summer approved taxi from centre to airport terminal (They will not be escorted by an Embassy Summer staff member during this part of the journey). On arrival to the airport they will be met at the airport and assisted through the departure process by an Embassy Summer airport representative.
For students not requiring a departure transfer, Embassy Summer requires a Transfer Not Required form to be completed during the admissions process to clarify the exact details of collection. Centre teams shall check the name and ID of the person nominated to collect the student/s.