10 Reasons to Study English at BBELS

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BBELS and student bikes

Since opening in 2008 the Byron Bay English Language School has hosted over 10,000 international students. Many of our students loved studying here so much that they came back a 2nd time … some even for a 3rd time!

We are so lucky to have such a high quality school in this beautiful part of Australia. If you are thinking about studying English but you aren’t sure which school to choose, here are 10 reasons why studying at BBELS is a great idea.

  1. Academic integrity in a relaxed environment. Our teachers are passionate about teaching students of all different levels and nationalities. We identify the needs and interests of each student so that we can plan lessons according to their targets.

BBELS Teachers and Administrative team

2. Experienced group of teachers and administrative team.  The individuals in our team each speak a 2nd language, they are all well-travelled and understand the needs and frustrations of English language students. Several of our staff members love working at BBELS so much that they have been here for 10 years.

An Advanced Cambridge class on their graduation day

3. Cambridge exam success rate. Our Cambridge and IELTS exam teams are highly experienced and have successfully guided students towards their exams for years. We are very proud of the fact that the results our students achieve is above both the national and international average. Many of our Cambridge students have been able to join the company of their dreams or enter their chosen university course after studying at BBELS.

4. Activities programme. Our activities officer makes sure that there are activities after school that all of our students can enjoy. Beach volleyball, music lessons, dance lessons, yoga lessons, card games, and cooking lessons are just some of the activities that our students can join if they choose. By participating in these activities our students often make new friends while enjoying themselves outdoors.

Afternoon elective classes

5. Afternoon classes. Students in the Intermediate to Advanced level classes join “elective classes” 3-afternoons per week. Depending on the time of year, students can choose to join classes such as: vocabulary and speaking, grammar, environmental studies, Australian Studies, Business English, cinema studies. By joining these classes students have the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of their interest.

Student accommodation

6. Student houses and homestay options. We have several houses throughout Byron Bay where students can live together. We try to make sure that students only live with other students from different countries. This is a great way for them to learn about each other’s culture while practising English. We also provide the option for students to live with local homestay families. Students who take this option get to learn about the local culture while living in a family environment.

An excursion to a local forest

7. Class excursions. Trips to local villages, forests, markets and galleries are a monthly event for our classes. We always try to make sure that students have the opportunity to see places around the Byron Bay area so they can understand the local culture a bit better. It is also a perfect opportunity to use  English outside of the classroom.

The side entrance to the Laneway Cafe

8. The school (Laneway) cafe. At BBELS we are so lucky to have a school cafe. The meals are delicious and within a student’s budget. The cafe is also popular with the BBELS staff who believe that this little cafe has the best coffee in Byron Bay.

Trip to Fraser Island

9. Travel desk. BBELS has its own travel officer who has helps our students get fantastic discounts on bus and plane tickets, and accommodation in hostels and hotels throughout Australia. The travel officer also organises cheap trips to nearby towns and national parks at the weekends.

March Nationality Mix

10. Nationality Mix. As you can see from this pie chart, we are lucky to have students join us from all the continents of the world. Our students love the opportunity to meet people from different countries, many of whom make lifelong friendships while studying here.

Sunset in Byron Bay

11. Location. Yes, I know the title says “10 reasons to study at BBELS”, but here is 1 more. BBELS is located right in the middle of town. We are just a few minutes walk from cafes, supermarkets, bars and clubs. After school you can walk 10-minutes down the street to Byron Bay’s Main Beach. Byron Bay is a beautiful place to study. After school you can relax in our natural environment or enjoy cultural activities in town.

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

 

February Nationality Mix at BBELS

A graph detailing the BBELS nationality mix for February 2019

It’s already February (!!) and our students at BBELS are enjoying dynamic lessons throughout the day and beautiful summer weather before and after class.

We are especially pleased to have such a diverse nationality mix at the school. Our students are meeting people from countries whose cultures are very different from their own. Studying with classmates from different countries (and different continents!) is one of the most satisfying experiences for our students. They enjoy the exposure to cultural differences and also make friends for life.

If you are interested in studying English with an international class, contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

Excellent Cambridge Results

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge Proficiency students (dark green) with national and international students

Students have been coming to BBELS to prepare for the Cambridge English exams for over 15 years. During this time period our students have received some brilliant results. This period has also allowed out teachers time to develop skills and strategies to help our students get the results they dream of.

 

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge Advanced students (dark green) with national and international students

By looking at these graphs you can see that students who study the Cambridge Preparation courses at BBELS receive higher grades than the international and Australian national average. This is a great visual representation of the quality of our courses and academic staff.

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge First Certificate students (dark green) with national and international students

Our students work hard to achieve these results (but they still have time to enjoy our beautiful beaches). Our next Cambridge preparation course starts on January 7th 2019. If you would like to study in a relaxing natural environment with highly dedicated teachers, please contact us at info@bbels.com.au

Fantastic Results. Congratulations to our CAE students!

Congratulations to our CAE candidates for doing so well in their exams. We were so pleased to see such a high pass rate.

We would especially like to offer a Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Thomas (from the Netherlands)  and Meva (Switzerland) for scoring an A in the March CAE exam. They achieved CPE level scores for Use of English and speaking and a perfect listening score of 210. Well done! We should also say a big thank you to the Cambridge teachers, Kat and Ash, whose dedication, knowledge, and good humour helps our students achieve good results.

When Thomas contacted his teacher with the happy news, he said:

” Thank you! Without you it would not have been possible”

At BBELS we love meeting students like these who are talented, hardworking and apply themselves to their exam preparation while still managing to have a great time in Byron. 🙂

If you think this sounds like something you’d like to do, take a look at our next Cambridge exam preparation dates by following this link. We look forward to meeting you soon.

 

 

Interview with our top CAE student Peter.

Peter and his CAE teacher Kat

The latest Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) results have been released and once again we are very happy with the high standard of our students. Congratulations to our students for doing so well, some of whom got the highest level possible in the listening, reading, writing components of the exam. We are so happy for you and we hope that your CAE certificates will grant you entry into the jobs or university courses of your dreams.

One student who did exceptionally well in the exam is Peter (Germany). Peter was a model student (and a really nice guy). He didn’t miss a single lesson throughout the 12-week intensive preparation; he consistently listened to his teacher’s advice; he worked hard in class even after big nights out on the town. The result? Peter got an incredibly high “grade A” (CEFR C2 level). This included 100% in the listening component. Well done!

Peter with his classmate Julien (Switzerland)

While Peter was at BBELS he made the decision to change his life and find strong connections with the people around him. Over the period of the CAE course he became an exceptionally social person. After class each day he could be found chatting with other students around the school or playing beach volleyball at Main beach.

A classroom activity

We asked Peter a little bit about his experience at BBELS…

Why did you decide to study in the CAE preparation course?

My objective is to study a Masters in Business back home in Germany. For this it is compulsory to show you have a certain level of English. A high level CAE test result is also good for employment, especially in the sales area.

Peter’s CAE class

What did you like about the course and your teacher’s methodology?

Kat is an amazing teacher. Her explanations and directives in the classroom are very clear. She combines this great methodology with with a very warm heart. She cares for the welfare of her students, often spending extra time with them when they need someone to talk to. Kat also helped us feel comfortable in our new town, she recommended places to visit, gave us the names of good cafes and so on. At first Kat was very serious but once we knew the school rules she showed that she is quite a funny person.

Now that you have achieved such a great CAE exam result, what is your next plan?

I will travel around Australia for 3 months. I made some great friends at BBELS and we will travel together along the east coast. It’ll be a continuation of study in a way because my friends are from different countries so we will have to speak English during our travels.

If you would like to know more about the courses at Byron Bay English Language School please follow this link or email us at info@bbels.com.au

2017: BBELS Highlights

Students from Italy, South Korea, Japan, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain

2017 has passed so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were meeting our first intake of students for the year.

A year of many nationalities studying together

Over the past 12 months we have had over 800 students come to study with us from an amazingly diverse range of countries, including: Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil.

Quality Assurance Inspections

Australia has very strict educational organisations that check if ESL schools are providing the best possible quality in terms of lessons, teachers, student services, accommodation. This year BBELS was inspected by 3 organisations (IALC, NEAS, ASQA)  and we passed each inspection with extremely positive feedback. The great comments from these inspections demonstrate our commitment to providing fantastic educational services to our students.

Study Tours

Some students from one of our Japanese Study Tour classes

Winter is the study tour season at BBELS. During this time high school groups come to study with us for 1-4 weeks. This year we had 4 Japanese groups and 1 South Korean group. These young students always enjoy their time here – they study English in the morning and then they join organised activities around Byron Bay in the afternoon. Their teachers were really happy with the level of the students’ English and their participation during outdoor activities.

Cambridge and IELTS Exam Results

 

As usual the BBELS exam teachers did a brilliant job in helping our Cambridge and IELTS Exam students achieve high results. Our exam teachers are extremely attentive to each individual student’s needs. They often work extra hours counselling students, identifying the student’s weak points, and helping students develop strategies to improve in different parts of the exams.

Many of our students still message their teachers to express their thanks and update us on how their exam results helped them. A recent message came from Jule (Germany) an IELTS student who studied in Sarah’s class. Jule wrote:

Hey dear BBELS family!

I studied IELTS at BBELS for 2 months and received my results today! I’m overwhelmed and am very proud to say that I got 8.5! Thank you so much for this perfect preparation at your language school.

Jule from Germany

Educational Excursions and the BBELS Travel Agency

Bush-walking through a  local forest

This year the BBELS teachers have provided many opportunities for our students to use English in practical settings outside the classroom. We have had excursions to local towns, national parks, art galleries and museums. Our activities team also organise regular sport events, art and music classes, cooking lessons during the weekday afternoons and during the weekend.

Our travel agency has also helped 100s of students book discounted flights and accommodation for their Australian holidays. Reuben, our travel manager, always gets extremely positive feedback from our students about the friendly and helpful services he provides.

Come and study with us!

BBELS is a great place to study English, prepare for exams, discover new cultures, make new friends. We provide top quality lessons with very experienced teachers who will improve your English and introduce you to new ideas about the world. All of this can be found here in Byron Bay, a beautiful beach town on the east coast of Australia.

If you are interested in knowing more about our school and courses please follow this BBELS link.  We hope to see you in 2018.

 

 

 

 

BBELS goes to Fraser Island

BBELS students in front of the Wreck at Fraser Island

Last week Reuben, our activities and tour manager, organised a trip to Fraser Island in Queensland. For 3 days our students got to enjoy the amazing environment of the world’s biggest sand island.

Fraser Island is famous for its biodiversity. It has beautiful coloured lakes and creeks, forest, and plenty of beaches. It is a quiet place to chill and recharge with friends, ideal for our students who have spent several months studying English .

BBELS usually organises a trip to Fraser Island every 12 weeks. Our students always return to Byron Bay feeling refreshed and they have many stories about the great time they had there. We believe these trips help maintain students’ motivation while also helping them to appreciate the gorgeous Australian natural environment.

For more information about the BBELS courses and activities please visit our website.