New Student Guide
Before you arrive
At KAE we try to make sure you are well prepared so you can have an enjoyable, stress free experience. As soon as we have confirmed your place, we will give you access to our Students Area. This allows you to log in and access a range of downloadable booklets and resources. In addition, you will be given an annual membership to our E-Learning Website. Here, you can begin to learn about different topics, practise your English and interact with real teachers online.
How to Find us
We are located in the City of London, which has great transport links and is close to many of the city’s main attractions. You can download our “How to get to Kensington Academy Guide” in the Students Area if you want to travel independently. We also offer transport to and from major airports and train stations in the area if you prefer.
Your First Week
On your first day you will need to bring your passport. You will also be given a travel discount card if you are studying with us for more than 14 weeks. If you would like this discount card, please bring two passport sized photos with you.
A member of our enrolments team will ask you to sit a placement test. The test covers grammar, vocabulary, listening and speaking skills, so it allows us find out about your language ability so we can place you in a suitable class.
Your First Class
Your first class will give your an opportunity to start speaking English and get to know your teacher and your classmates. You will be given homework every day to help you remember what you have studied and to prepare you for the next day’s lesson.
We will invite you to a welcome meeting, where you can find out more about the school and will be given a ‘welcome pack’, our Students’ Handbook, a guide to social events and your Kensington e-learning log-in details. Your first lesson will be a great opportunity to get to know your teachers and classmates.
Visas & Immigration
Before you arrive in London, there are some options to consider. If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) national, you will not require a visa to study in the UK. However if you do require a visa, to apply for one you will need to show:
- you have enrolled on a course for a minimum of 15 hours a week
- a letter from the College to confirm that you have booked a place
- details of your accommodation in London
- you have enough money to pay for your studies and to support yourself while you are here
- If you are not clear about any of the visa requirements for your country then you can speak to your local British embassy or you can also check though the UK Visa website (https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-vi...) for more information.
We strongly advise students to organise their own travel and medical insurance before they arrive in London. If you are an EEA National, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) this allows you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return.
The weather in Britain is very changeable, so whatever time of year you are here it is sensible to bring a variety of clothes.
In the winter months, from December to February, it is very cold so you should bring warm clothes, including a hat and scarf. Between March and May, average temperatures are 10 to 15˚C and there might be rain. From June to August, temperatures are usually around 17 to 21˚C, though there may be some days where they exceed 30˚C. As well as your summer wardrobe, you may need some light outerwear during these months. In autumn, from September to November, the weather is likely to be similar to March and April.
Kensington Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people. Our students are treated like adults and are expected to look after themselves, but we realise the experience of living and studying independently in another country can be challenging.
We aim to provide plenty of support. Students have an ‘Initial Feedback Session’ in their first week, to discuss their learning objectives, to make sure the course they are enrolled on meets their requirements, and to discuss their general welfare. After the first week, we then schedule one-to-one tutorial sessions every six weeks to discuss these matters.
Our Welfare Officer, Accommodation Officer, Social Programme Organiser and Director of Studies will be on hand for advice, plus we provide a 24-hour school helpline for emergencies.
We want to make sure that your stay in London is as comfortable, enjoyable and productive as possible.
The UK has excellent communications services, which make it simple for you to keep in contact with friends and family back home. The postal service and telecommunications network are fast and reliable, and it should be easy for you to gain access to email and the internet.
If you are phoning home, the cheapest way might be to buy a pre-paid phonecard. They come in different values – like £5, £10 and £20 – and you can buy them in newsagents, post offices and supermarkets. International calls are cheapest between 6pm and 8am on weekday nights, and at weekends (from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday).
Travelling in London
While you are in London it is worth applying for an Oyster Card – a travel card you top up with credit when you want to travel. Oyster Card journeys are the cheapest way to travel on public transport in London. They store up to £90 of travel credit and this can be used on the London Underground, buses, trams, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and some National Rail services. If you are studying full time for more than 14 weeks you may qualify for a discounted travel card. Please ask in the Reception for more information.