Q. What is the average age of students at OHC?
A. Most of our students are between the ages of 20 and 30. However, we also have many students both below and above this range.
Q. What is the minimum age required to study at OHC? Do you offer any courses for people below that age?
A. The minimum age limit is 16 for international classes, and there is no upper age limit. Under 16s may be taught privately (one to one) or in closed groups (Please also refer to the “FAQs For Parents” tab in this section of FAQs).
Q. Can I come to study at OHC with someone under 16, my son or daughter for example?
A. It is possible to do this but it may be difficult to arrange. The child would not be able to join our international classes and it may not be possible to arrange accommodation for a family in homestay. The child/children would need to be taught privately and if their course hours were different to yours, you would need to arrange childcare for the time you are in class. You may also need to arrange your own accommodation. If you would like to discuss the possibilities for this kind of programme, please contact us directly.
Q. Can I be sure my son/daughter will be safe studying with OHC?
A. At OHC we take the safety of children and young people very seriously. All OHC centres have a trained child-protection officer and all staff receives regular training in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. We have comprehensive policies to make sure we are looking after under-18s while they are in our care. Contact us for a copy of our information for parents of under-18s (Please also refer to the “FAQs For Parents” tab in this section of FAQs).
Q. Can you cater to the needs of students with physical or mental disabilities or special educational needs (SEND)?
A. Although we have many years’ experience helping visitors to the UK, and our teachers are happy to provide extra help and support with your studies, we do not have the facilities or staff to cater for students with significant mental or physical impairments or severe learning difficulties. Please ask us before booking and we will discuss you requirements and offer any help, advice and assistance we can. Due to the structure, layout and access to the building, we are unable to accept students with severe mobility issues.
Q. When do you begin to accept applications for the courses and when is the deadline for enrolment?
A. You can apply for your course as early as you like and there is no official deadline for enrolment. However, given that all of the course and accommodation options we offer are subject to availability, we recommend that you apply as far in advance as possible so as to have the best chance of getting a place on your preferred course and in your preferred accommodation. Courses start every Monday.
Q. What are the fees for international/overseas students?
A. All course and accommodation fees are the same for all students.
Q. Is there a library/café/common room in the centre?
A. Yes. We have an extensive library with a study area and a rooftop café/espresso bar serving a selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks.
Q. Does the centre have computers and internet access?
A. Yes. OHC students have access to PC's and internet. There are fixed desktop computers for students’ use and free WiFi broadband throughout the building.
Q. Can I have a trial lesson before I book my course?
A. For many of the courses we offer it is possible to arrange/attend a trial lesson before enrolling. To find out if this is possible for your chosen course, please contact us directly.
Q. What is the cost of living in London
A. Advice and estimates for the cost of living in London for international students can be found here.
Q. What/where are the "zones" in London? In which zone is the college/accommodation?
A. London is divided into 6 zones, Zone 1 being the centre of London and Zone 6 the area furthest from the centre. You can download a map of all zones and tube stations London Tube Map from the Transport for London web site. OHC is located in Zone 1 (near Oxford Circus) and our accommodation is located in Zones 1-4. It will cost more (and usually take longer) to travel to Zone 1 from the outer zones.
Q. Can you tell me about the building?
A. The London Centre is just off Oxford Street in a five storey building. Classrooms are light-filled and well-furnished. There is a coffee bar on the roof and a large library on level two. Access to the classrooms is via two stairwells. There is no lift access.
FAQs for Parents:
Q. Is OHC suitable for students who are under 18 years old?
A. Our English courses are suitable for students aged 16 and older, but your child will be travelling independently and we do not provide 24-hour supervision, so it is very important that parents consider whether students under 18 are sufficiently emotionally mature to travel alone and behave responsibly during their stay at our centres.
Q. Where will my child live?
A. For accommodation organised by OHC, all students under 18 years will be accommodated in homestay where the main carer has had a criminal record check and other adult members of the household will have signed a Children’s Act declaration. If accommodation for your child is not arranged by OHC, you MUST provide us with full address and contact details of where he/she will be staying, including the name of the person who will be responsible for your child.
Q. How will my child travel between the airport and his/her accommodation?
A. We strongly advise students aged 16 and 17 to book our airport transfer service, to avoid any problems upon arrival.
Q. Will my child be studying in adult classes?
A. Yes, students aged 16/17 will study in classes with adults. Students under 16 will only be accepted as part of a closed group.
Q. Do all OHC staff have criminal record checks?
A. Yes, all OHC staff have enhanced DBS checks (Disclosure & Barring Service – the British ‘police check’).
Q. How will OHC staff know my child is under 18?
A. He/she will be highlighted on the class register as being under 18 and wear a lanyard (supplied by OHC) to identify them to all staff as under-18.
Q. How will OHC staff know my child is at college?
A. In addition to the class register, your child will be required to sign in and out of the college on a daily basis in reception.
Q. What will you do if my child is not at college when they should be?
A. We will attempt to contact any student under 18 who has not arrived at the college within 30 minutes of the start of his/her first class. If we cannot contact the student by telephone or at the host family, we will contact you, your registered agent and/or the police as appropriate.
Q. Will my child be supervised outside of lesson times?
A. No. Your child will not be supervised during their free time, i.e; between the end of their lessons at the school and returning to their homestay, or at weekends. Your child will travel between the school and the host family unsupervised. However they will be provided with a college number which they can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in an emergency.
Q. Is there a time my child must return home with their host family in the evening?
A. 16 and 17 year olds studying at OHC must return to their accommodation by 22.30. Students under 16 travelling in groups will have separate, earlier curfews agreed with group leaders in advance.
Q. What happens if my child is not home by the agreed time?
A. If they are late, the homestay will contact the college and we will attempt to contact the student. If we are unable to, we will contact you, your registered agent and/or the police as appropriate.
Q. Can my child go away for the weekend or stay overnight at a friend or relative?
A. Yes, but you must give consent in writing in advance. The college reserves the right to amend or refuse such requests in line with college policy and regulatory guidelines.
Q. Can my child take part in social activities arranged by the college?
A. The school aims to provide a number of activities which are suitable for under-18s; you can see examples of the social programme on our web site. If your child wishes to join a school social activity, he/she MUST sign up in advance so we can ensure there is sufficient supervision. If he/she does not sign up, he/she may not be allowed to attend. Certain activities are not suitable for students under 18. It should also be understood that students attending evening social events are expected to arrange their own travel home. We strongly advise all students under 18 to return to their host family with a friend, or preferably by taxi, particularly when it is dark.
Q. Are there any college activities at the weekend?
A. No but OHC students can book full-day trips on Saturdays and Sundays. These are organised by an external company. The company will be informed where students are under 18 so they can have special regard for the student’s welfare.
Q. What happens if my child is ill?
A. We will help your child if they are unwell and help book an appointment with a doctor if necessary. In an emergency we would organise medical treatment as recommended by a medical professional.
Q. What do I do if I am worried or have any concerns?
A. If you have concerns about your child’s happiness or safety while he/she is in the UK, please contact the college during office hours, or use the after-hours number or ask your travel agent to speak to us.
Q. Can I stay in OHC accommodation if I do not take one of your courses? What about if I come with somebody who will study at OHC - could I share a room with that person?
A. Our accommodation is for OHC students only. Due to high demand and limited availability you can only stay in our accommodation if you study with us. Therefore, even if you are coming to London with someone else who will be studying with us, we cannot provide you with accommodation.
Q. Do I have to stay in accommodation provided by OHC?
A. No. You can arrange accommodation by yourself if you wish.
Q. How far will my accommodation be from the college? Will I be able to walk to college?
A. You can choose the travel zone you wish to live in, but most accommodation in London will involve a journey on public transport. Zone 1 residences are about 15-20 minutes away on the underground, from Zone 4 travel times will be around 45 minutes. Some of our Summer residence accommodation is within walking distance of the college.
Q. Can I choose my homestay host? Or visit before I stay to make sure I like it?
A. We do not allow students to ‘choose’ the homestay location or any host they want, just as we do not allow homestay hosts to ‘choose’ the student they want to host. All homestay locations are regularly inspected to make sure it is suitable and we do our best to place students in homestay where they will feel happy and comfortable. Of course if you are unhappy, we will do our best to deal with your problem and, in more serious cases, to move you, though this may take a little time and at certain times of the year, it may not be possible.
Q. If I come with somebody else and we will both be students at OHC, can we share a room together? If so, how can we arrange this?
A. You can certainly request to share a room with a friend if you will both study here at OHC, and we will of course do our best to arrange this for you. However, we cannot guarantee this. You should make this request at the same time or after you apply by noting it on your application form, or alternatively, by sending an e-mail to info@ohcEnglish.com
Q. If I have booked a shared room with somebody else but then they cannot come (for example because their visa application is refused), what should I do?
A. In this case you should inform us of the situation as soon as possible so that we can make an alternative arrangement for you.
Q. If I would like to apply for a shared room but I do not know another OHC student who I can share the room with, can OHC find a roommate for me?
A. If you would like to apply for a shared room in one of our student hostels or summer university residences, it is possible for us to find a roommate for you. However, this is not possible as far as our homestay accommodation is concerned.
Q. If I have a specific request relating to the accommodation, who should I contact and will OHC be able to help me with it?
A. In this case you should note your request on your application form. You can also contact us directly. Depending on your request we may be able to help you and, in any case, we will certainly answer your questions.
Q. When can I move into the accommodation and when do I have to move out? Can I stay in the accommodation after my course has finished?
A. All of the accommodation we offer is for arrival and departure on Sundays - this is the period covered in the price. However, you can leave before the end of this period and it may also be possible to arrive the day before. To find out about this, please contact us directly. On the other hand, it is not possible to stay in our accommodation after you have finished your course.
Q. Is there internet access in the accommodation?
A. We do not guarantee internet access in accommodation, and accommodation fees do not include internet access. Some of our residences offer WiFi or cable internet (you may have to pay for this service) and many homestay hosts allow students to use the internet (again, there may be a small charge). All students have internet access in the college. If it is important to you to have internet access in your accommodation, we recommend you arrange mobile/3G internet for your stay.
Q. How can I find out the exact address of the accommodation?
A. You will be notified of the exact address of the accommodation no sooner than one week before the starting date of your course. We cannot disclose this information to prospective students.
Q. Can I book accommodation for one week only?
A. Provided you apply for a one-week course you can also book accommodation for one week only. To find out the price of this and how to apply, please contact us. On the other hand, if your course is for two weeks or more, you must book accommodation for at least 2 weeks.
Q. Can I pay for my accommodation in instalments or do I have to pay all accommodation fees in advances?
A. All accommodation fees must be paid in advance. For longer stays, you can book a shorter period of accommodation (e.g. one month)and renew/extend at the end of this period, however, you may need to move homestay at the end of your accommodation period and if you have special requirements we may not be able to meet them if notice is short.
Q. If I want to extend my period of accommodation or change my accommodation, can I do this? If so, what would I have to pay?
A. It is certainly possible to extend your period of accommodation or to move to other accommodation. To do so you should make this request as far in advance as possible and we will do our best to accommodate you. We would then settle the balance and you would not have to pay any extra charges.
Q. Can I stay in OHC accommodation if I am under 18?
A. If you are under 18 you can only stay in homestay accommodation, but not our student hostels or summer university residences.
Q. Do I have to pay for gas, electricity, council tax, etc. or are all bills included in the price of the accommodation?
A. All bills are included.
Q. What is the registration fee/accommodation finding fee for?
A. Both the registration fee and the accommodation fee are necessary charges to cover administrative costs.
Q. If I cancel my course will you refund the registration fee?
A. No. The registration fee is not refundable.
Q. If I cancel my accommodation will you refund the accommodation finding fee?
A. No. The accommodation finding fee is not refundable.
Q. Do I have to pay the registration fee for each and every course I take?
A. No. It is only necessary to pay this fee once to cover the initial cost of registering you as an OHC student. After you are registered there is no need to pay the registration fee again.
Q. Do I have to pay the accommodation finding fee if I apply for the student hostel or summer university residence?
A. Yes. The accommodation finding fee is payable in respect of all of the accommodation options we offer.
Q. Can I do the test before I arrive?
A. We do have a copy of our written test on our website. If you do the test online you can send us your test score by fax/e-mail along with your application or simply bring it when you arrive. In any case, we will assess your level of spoken English before assigning you to a class.
Q. Do you also have classes for complete beginners?
A. If you are a complete beginner we may not have a suitable class for you. Please contact us to find out if we do.
Q. Do I need to have a certain level of English to take any of your courses? If so, which ones?
A. If you would like to take one of our specialised English courses, you must have a level of English of at the appropriate level. These are: Cambridge Examination courses - Upper-Intermediate or higher; IELTS - Intermediate or higher, English for Business Success - Intermediate or higher; Conversation & Pronunciation - Pre-Intermediate or higher.
Q. Can I take an English course for one week only?
A. Yes you can, please call/email us to discuss timetables.
Q. Can I take more than one English course? If so, how can I apply and will I get a letter of acceptance for each course?
A. You can apply for more than one English course. However, it is not possible to apply for more than one course at the same time using our online booking form. Therefore, you should either make separate applications online or, alternatively, apply for both courses using our application form.
Q. Will I get a certificate at the end of my course? Is there an exam?
A. After you have completed your course you will receive a certificate confirming your attendance as well as the progress you have made / the level you have reached. You will take a Progress Test each month but there is no exam unless you are taking an exam course.
Q. Do you offer free English lessons?
A. Yes, at OHC we have courses which train new English teachers – we offer classes with these trainee teachers free in the evening. They are a great way to get extra practice and improve your English faster, but at busy times they are restricted to our regular students.
Q. What is included in the course fee? For example, are course books or exam fees included?
A. Exam fees and course books are not included in the course fees. Students are required to buy a coursebook for most of our courses. Other material (photocopies and handouts) are provided free.
Q. Can I pay for my course in instalments or do I have to pay all course fees in advance? What about if I just want to reserve a place?
A. All course fees are payable in advance. You could pay for two or three week courses at a time, but please note that this would be more expensive than paying for a longer course in advance.
Q. If I take the Intensive English course, which optional subjects can I choose to combine with the General English classes?
A. The Intensive English course combines General English with an option of English for Business Success, Conversation & Pronunciation, IELTS or Cambridge Exam Preparation or, alternatively, further General English.
Q. How can I pay for my course?
A. You can pay by cash, credit card or you could arrange a bank transfer. If you pay by bank transfer you must send us a copy of the bank transfer so that we can process your booking. Please ask the bank to give your name as a reference. Bank charges (if any) must be paid by you on arrival. Finally, you can also send us a cheque if it is drawn from a UK-based bank.
Q. Can I do a bank transfer or online EFT for my Fees direct to your bank account?
A. Yes, Here are the bank account details;
Bank Name: Barclays Bank, 27th Floor, 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP
Sort code: 20 65 63
Account no: 80830542
SWIFT/BIC code: BARCGB22
IBAN: GB58 BARC 2065 6380 8305 42
Please use your Student Number or Student Name as the “reference”. Once transferred please email firstname.lastname@example.org the screenshot or scan copy of the receipt to us immediately, so we can track it and provide you with a receipt.
Q. Do I have to pay in pounds sterling or can I pay in a foreign currency?
A. You can pay your fees in a foreign currency. To do so you must calculate the amount according to the relevant exchange rate on the day you make your payment. After you make your payment we will convert it into pound sterling according to the exchange rate on the day we receive your payment. We will then settle the balance when you arrive (i.e. if you have paid too much we will refund you the difference and if you have paid too little we will ask you to pay the rest).
Q. Is it possible for somebody else to pay on my behalf?
Q. If I need an invoice can OHC provide one? If so, what information do I have to give and do I have to pay anything?
A. Yes. We can provide invoices if required. To be able to do so we need to know your chosen course (including the class times), the start date and the duration, as well as the address or fax number to which we should send the invoice. You do not have to pay anything for this service.
Q. Can I get any financial aid/assistance, such as a student loan or scholarship, for my course?
A. Oxford House College does not offer any scholarships or other financial assistance. However your course at OHC may be eligible for a grant from a funding body in your home country (for example the European Union’s Erasmus + programme). If you are applying for financial aid, contact us to discuss how we can help your application.