Embassy Summer FAQ
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to answer any queries you may have. If you don't 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?
For students about to embark on their Embassy Summer adventure, we have made a guide offering advice on what to bring and what not to bring with them.
Will students be able to access their bedrooms immediately?
This depends on the centre and time of dayof their arrival. There is no standardised check-in time at Embassy Summer. Please note that the centre teams are conscious of the fact that students will 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 upon their arrival.
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 in an additional fee.
Can students over 18 be housed with students under 18?
Adult students (those aged 18 and over) shall be separated from junior students (those aged 17 and under).
Can students call home on arrival?
Our centre teams will recommend and remind students to contact their parents on arrival at their centre, so they can inform them of their safe arrival. 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 where possible.
Is there a damage deposit?
Yes. In the UK students are required to pay a deposit of £30 (€40) on arrival. In our US centres, students are required to pay $100 on arrival. The damage deposit is to ensure that any accidental or intentional damage, or loss of items is paid for by the students. On departure, all rooms will be checked. If the accommodation has been left in a satisfactory condition, the deposit will be returned. Examples of reasons why 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. For particularly late arrivals, (after 11:00 pm) the centre team shall endeavour to provide a packed meal, or alternative food, before bedtime. 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 which 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 between 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, while 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 meal.
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 students eat 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 off-site 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 on-site meal, Embassy Summer can arrange substitute packed meals. Please be aware these need to be arranged between Group Leader and the centre team at least 72 hours in advance, 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 on-site Activity and Excursion programme for my student's course?
A sample on-site Activity and Excursion programme is published 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 on-site activity programme is for illustrative purposes. The centres create on-site activity programmes based on the demographics and interests of students that arrive, as well as considering factors such as the weather.
What can my student expect to get from the Activity & Excursion Programme?
Our programme is designed to engage students with enjoyable activities and excursions, that link to their classroom studies, and provide the opportunity to develop Life Skills.
Are students allowed any free time during excursions?
Students under the age of 18 are supervised at all times during 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 a maximum of one hour of unchecked time for shopping during city visits. Activity staff will stay at a central meeting point and will be 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 13 to 15 years 16 & 17 years 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 11 to 15 years 16 & 17 years 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 years 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 years 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 on-site) activity programme. Further details can be found by reading the full Summer Guide that can be found on our website.
How much do optional trips normally cost?
Some of the local London optional trips, such as ten pin bowling or a trip to a local cinema, might start from as little as £8. 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 US centres, short overnight city visits can be arranged for groups only in advance of arrival. These vary in price depending on location of visit, size of group and transportation. 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 may be by foot, depending on the location of the attraction. The transport type depends on the centre, destination, day of the 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 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 the 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 the 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 the destination(s) of each programme are unique to each centre. Specific details can be found on the centre information sheets or the Summer Guides. Extra programmes are suited to students who want to see other places of interest in addition to their local area. Essential programmes are suited to those who would prefer more time at the centre and exploring the local area. Due to their content, Essential programmes are cheaper than Extra programmes.
Induction and English Lessons
How many hours tuition will the students receive on their English course?
On a normal weekly enrolment, students will receive 15 hours tuition. In their first week, this time includes the testing and induction lesson (usually 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. While there is a standard level test at every centre, the format of the session may vary. During the level test, students may complete a grammar, writing, listening and/or speaking assessment exercise under the 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 of the rules of the school, and the allocation of ID cards.
3. Information about the timetable, facilities, courses and support available.
How does the Academic Manager or Director of Studies create the classes?
Our Academic Management teams are qualified and experienced at assigning students to classes. The students' test results are used to ensure that they are classed with peers of a similar level. They are also careful to maximise nationality mix, within reasonable level parameters, and ensure that the age ranges are appropriate. In the UK, students under 16 years cannot be classed with students 18 years or over.
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 the next.
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 excursion to London 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 for 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 teaching practice component.
What do students study?
At Embassy Summer our academic teams are focused on developing our students' confidence in communicating so that they 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, and are relevant to the country of study, whether UK or US.They are interactive and enjoyable.
Is there a mix of nationalities in the classes?
All students who arrive and depart on a Sunday can expect to be in multi-national classes. Students arriving mid-week may need to be in "closed groups" (of the same nationality) as pre-existing classes will have already been created. Nationality mix, student level and age ranges are all considered to create 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 is lower.
Will my student be in the same class throughout his/her 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?
All students receive an end of course Certificate of Attendance provided they attend all lessons and maintain a record of good behaviour. Students also receive an end of course report written by their teacher, containing specific feedback about their progress.
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.
Welfare, Health and Safety
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 the 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 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 receive additional, centre specific rules at their induction.
What happens if a student breaks the school rules?
Students who disobey the school rules 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 18years) at all centres. If adult students choose not to attend classes or excursions, their certificate and report may be withheld as per the Attendance and Absenteeism Policy.
Does the course come with insurance?
It is a condition of 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 this is obligatory. Students can opt to take our guard.me International Insurance policy which is tailored to the needs of international students. Coverage under guard.me does not commence until the insurance fees have been paid in full. The guard.me insurance fee is non-refundable. Full details of what guard.me International Insurance includes can be found on our website(LINK).
Where can I find contact details for the Embassy Summer Centre?
Address and contact details for the Embassy Summer centres 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 phone 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 a 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 he/she be allowed on the course?
Embassy Summer believes that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to work, 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 level of access will they have?
Wi-Fi is provided to students at our 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 our residences. It is not uncommon for students to feel unwell as a result of jet lag or a change in their diet. Students should ensure they travel with adequate insurance. We recommend that all students travelling from EU member countries should bring their EHIC medical card with them.
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 the lessons are provided, so they don’t necessarily need to bring any funds other than the damage deposit. However, it is recommended that the students bring some funds for optional excursions (see Activities section), souvenirs and/or refreshments.
Where can my student store their valuables?
Most residences have secure, lockable bedrooms where it is normal practice to leave belongings. In centres without lockable bedrooms students may request access to the 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 child/student at the centre?
Parents, guardians, relatives and friends are welcome to visit the school. However, we require prior knowledge of any visits. All 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 the 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, we employ 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 each centre.
Do students have use of the 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 the 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 on the course without accommodation?
Yes, non-residential students are more than welcome at most Embassy Summer centres. Students under 16 years 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.