Welcome to our new students

1st day of school

A big warm welcome to our first intake of new students for 2020. This week saw the beginning of our first block for the year. They are a friendly group from so many countries: Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Andorra. We are so happy that they will get to experience such multicultural diversity here.

We have students studying General English, IELTS, and the Cambridge English First/Advanced/Proficiency exam courses. We wish all of them the best of luck in their studies and we hope that their English level improves while also learning the value of sensitivity towards cultural differences.

Contact us at info@bbels.com.au for more information about the Byron Bay English Language School.

Goodbye 2019

2019 has been a fantastic year here at BBELS and we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all our wonderful students, agents, teachers and staff.

Throughout the year over 700 students came to study here. Their feedback described how much they loved living in Byron Bay while studying with us. We had students who studied in our General English program whose English improved so they could feel confident to travel around Australia. We had students take the Cambridge English exams so they could find better work opportunities back home. And, we had students enrol in our IELTS course to help them with immigration and university options. Thanks to the teachers and admin staff for making their time here a productive and enjoyable one.

We hope to hear from you in 2020. Happy holidays 🙂

 

Tax information: Student visas and Working Holiday visas

At BBELS we have a lot of students who are interested in working while they are studying. To do this students first need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa or a Student Visa. It is important that our students understand how their income will be taxed while working in Australia.

If you work in Australia, tax will be withheld from your pay and you may need to lodge a tax return each year. The requirement to lodge a tax return will depend on how much income you have earned during the year.

The Australian income year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June the following year.

For students on a Student Visa: if you are a student enrolled to study in Australia in a course that lasts for six months or more, you will generally be regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes. You will therefore pay tax on your earnings at the same rate as Australian residents. For more information follow this link.

For students on a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday Visa:  the first $37,000 of your income will be taxed at 15% and the balance will be taxed at ordinary rates. For more information follow this link.

If you would like to know more about working while studying at BBELS please contact us directly at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

 

 

 

Cambridge Classes visit the Farmers’ Markets

Some happy Cambridge students standing outside the free double-decker bus to the markets

It’s a beautiful spring day here in Byron Bay … ideal weather to take our new Cambridge classes to the local Byron Bay Farmers’ Markets. Both classes took the free bus that runs from town to the market area where they then spent an hour looking at the local organic produce while talking to each other in English.

Nino, Lucas and Thomas, plus some photo-bombers in the bus.

Excursions like these are a great way for our students to understand the local community more comprehensively. They are also a friendly way for our students to spend time with one another, making friendships that will hopefully last long into the future.

If you look very closely to Nino (on the left) you will see that he looks 1-year older. Happy birthday Nino 🙂

Meet the Staff: Lauren at Reception

In this post we are happy to introduce you to Lauren. Lauren works at reception where she helps students with general enquiries. She is also fluent in Japanese and so she is able to help our Japanese students if they need to speak in their first language.

We asked Lauren to answer a few questions so you can get to know her better. Here they are 🙂

1. What is your role at BBELS? 

My job is student services and reception. I help our students adjust to life in Byron Bay and assist with any questions or problems they might have. I’m also in charge of Japan marketing because I can speak Japanese.

2. What did you do before coming to work at BBELS?

I worked as an English teacher in Japan for 6 years. I spent a lot of time traveling around the country and lived in Tokyo, Hokkaido and Kyoto. I have just moved home to Australia recently and was lucky enough to have the chance to continue my connection with English education at BBELS.

3. What are your tips for learning a 2nd language?

Do what you love in English! Whether it’s watching movies, listening to music, reading. Whatever keeps you interested will keep you motivated and help you to learn how to communicate in natural English, not just textbook grammar.

4. Where is a nice place you enjoy going to in the local area?

Byron Bay is very beautiful, but I also recommend visiting the surrounding areas such as Ballina (my hometown), Lennox Head and Bangalow. They have all the charms of Byron but without the crowds!

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If you would like to know more about our courses, you can contact Lauren at info@bbels.com or visit our website.

Welcome to BBELS, Byron Bay’s only independent English Language School

This year the Byron Bay English Language School is so excited to be celebrating its 21st birthday. Since 1998 we have had over 10,000 students from all over the world enter our classrooms. These students have successfully graduated from our General English courses as well as our Cambridge and IELTS exam preparation courses.

As you can see from this previous post our students graduate with results that are above the national and international average. So not only do we have a school in one of Australia’s most beautiful beach destinations, we also ensure that our students are receiving high quality lessons that will benefit them in their future chosen paths.

Being an independent school we are able to treat students according to their individual needs, unlike the bigger chain schools which follow programs with only a mass market in mind. Our students love it here and we know that you will too.

For more information about BBELS visit our website.

 

BBELS Flexi Program: an interview with Carlos and Ana

Ana and Carlos (from Spain). Two students enjoying the BBELS Flexi Program

Did you know that BBELS has connections with other English Language Schools throughout Australia? These connections allow our students to easily move between schools in different cities if they enrol through our Flexi Program.

What is the BBELS Flexi Program?

We know that some students are keen to study at BBELS however they are concerned that Byron Bay may not be the right place for a long enrolment. This is why BBELS has created the Flexi Program. It provides students studying long term at BBELS (24 weeks or more) with the opportunity to move to a city school after completing 50% of their course. The BBELS Flexi program therefore gives some assurance to our long-term students that they can change destinations if Byron Bay is not “their place”.

We have found that only 5% of our students choose to move once they have been studying here. The other 95% choose to stay in Byron Bay due to friendships, work, the relaxed culture of the town, and of course because of our wonderful teachers and staff.

To learn more about our students’ experience on the Flexi Program we interviewed Carlos and Ana. Please read their interview below.

Flexi Program: interview with Carlos and Ana

Ana and Carlos at Byron Bay’s Lighthouse

This week we spoke with Carlos and Ana, a Spanish couple who enrolled through the Flexi Program. These 2 lovely students arrived here in February and recently decided to stay until August. We sat together to discuss what concerns they had before they arrived and why they decided to stay at BBELS.

What were your concerns about studying in Byron Bay before you arrived here?

Ana: we knew that we would be studying during winter and we weren’t sure if we would be able to find work. Luckily we have both found jobs here.

Carlos: also, we didn’t know if we would still be enjoying the lifestyle here after 3 or 4 months. We felt like we needed the security of a flexible program.

Why did you decide to study in Byron Bay?

Carlos: we were living in Barcelona where it was very stressful. We needed to have a break from that life. So we preferred to live in a town rather than a city.

Ana: we also liked the position of Byron Bay. It’s in the centre of Australia’s east coast, so we can easily drive north or south to see different parts of the country.

You recently decided to continue studying here rather than move to another Australian town. Why is that?

Ana: we feel so comfortable with the local people. We love the town. It is close to the beach and it’s close to the mountains too.

Carlos: yes, it’s like we have found our own little space here. It is especially good that we are able to work here and afford a car so we can drive to local places.

Ana: Carlos has joined Byron Bay’s local basketball team too so he is making friends with local people and his English has improved because of this.

Thanks to you both for your time and beautiful photos 🙂

If you would like to know more about the BBELS Flexi Program or any of our courses please visit our website or contact us directly at info@bbels.com.au. Please note that the Flexi Program is limited to certain nationalities.