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.


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.


Good luck Cambridge students, welcome new students


Graduation Day for our Cambridge preparation course class

It’s amazing to think that 10-weeks have passed since our latest group of students arrived to prepare for the Cambridge exams. We wish them luck in their exams and future careers and hope that they enjoy their trips around Australia.

The students left very positive feedback relating to the course and their teacher. One student said I am sad but happy at the same time but above all I am grateful to you guys and our wonderful Cambridge teacher. A thank you is not enough.


BBELS continues to be busy. This week we had students arrive from South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Spain, and Japan. It is a great time of year to study at BBELS – Byron Bay has less tourists than usual and the surfing conditions are great.

We hope to see you here soon 🙂

A Class at Springbrook National Park

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge waterfall on the New South Wales-Queensland border.

A drive to the ancient forest at Springbrook National Park was a beautiful way for the Upper-intermediate class to start their week. With music pumping their teacher, Andrew, drove the school van from the blue beaches of Byron Bay to the green and misty mountains of Springbrook.

In the forest our students walked through a primeval forest with some trees said to be  3,000 years old. It is easy to imagine dinosaurs walking through this wilderness!


At BBELS we always try to take students outside of the classroom and into these local areas so that they can understand a little bit more about the Australian culture, wildlife and lifestyle. We think that this helps our students adapt to life in Australia and it also builds friendships between students in the class. Every trip also includes lessons introducing students to vocabulary and grammar that can be used while out in the field.

Thanks to our student Morgane for these photos.

Understanding General English Courses at Byron Bay English Language School

General English photo

General English is the most popular English course at BBELS. Students can choose between studying part-time or full-time depending on their type of visa and length of their study period.

BBELS offers 5 different levels of General English courses: Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced. Students are allocated in different levels according to their English skills and knowledge. General English courses are designed for students who want to improve their ability to communicate in English in both social and work situations. The programme provides a solid foundation of the English Language, with each level being designed to cover the skills of speaking, reading, writing, listening, as well as pronunciation and grammar.

BBELS Cooking Class

BBELS Cooking Class

Our General English classes are very dynamic and topic based. Students learn in a very natural and enjoyable way, including through the use of interactive materials, such as DVD’s, CD’s, books and outdoors activities. There is a variety of class activities too, from individual work to pair work to small group exercises.

At BBELS, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced students can choose elective classes to complete the General English programme. Elective classes offer full time General English (GE) students an opportunity to focus on their own special needs and interests. It is a very popular part of our GE programme. Student feedback indicates a high level of satisfaction with this component of our GE course. Elective classes are mixed-level, and currently we offer the following themes:

• Vocabulary and Speaking
• Australian Studies
• Cinema Studies
• English Structure
• Work in Australia – Hospitality and Tourism
• Listening and Pronunciation
• Reading and Writing skills
• Aromatherapy and Wellness
• Business English
• Conversation Class

Elective classes take place in the afternoons, and a minimum of 6 students is required for a particular Elective class to run.


BBELS English plus Surf

General English is also recommended to students who want to come to Byron Bay to combine studies and holidays. BBELS has different options for part-time students to enjoy the natural wonders of this area. For those who love sport, we offer our “English Plus” courses, which are a combination of General English part-time, and different sports. English learners can enjoy surf lessons, diving, music or Yoga after the English classes.

paula 14

BBELS English plus Skateboarding

No matter which English level you are, General English is suitable for you. Are you interested in an intensive English course, or do you want to combine English while immersed in the Australian culture? General English covers it all. Are you keen to enjoy Byron Bay’s beaches during your holidays and improve your English skills? Come to BBELS, enrol in a G.E. course, and learn to live!

Meet the staff: Chris

BBELS photo1

In this week’s installment of “meet the staff” we are introducing you to Chris. Chris is popular with the students, teaching in both the General English and Cambridge courses.

Chris, tell us about yourself. Are you originally from this area?

No, I’m not. I’m originally from a great town in New Zealand called Nelson. I first visited Byron Bay in early 2009 for a yoga teacher training course, and fell in love with the place! Three years later, I made the move here and here I am, still!

How long have you been teaching at BBELS?

So far, I’ve had 3 years of great times here at BBELS.

What do you especially enjoy about teaching the students at BBELS?

I love their enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and passion to learn new things and have new experiences!

What other fields did you work in before you started teaching English at BBELS? Has it helped you as a teacher?

I’ve done all kinds of jobs over the years, from bar and restaurant work to ski guiding and photography, gardening and building to surf/snow/skate shop retail. All of them have helped me develop into who I am today. Also, teaching yoga to some very unfit and inflexible people helped me develop the necessary patience to become a better English teacher!

We know you are very engaged with the local community, and you are always keen to engage your students in very special local projects. Could you tell us about it?

One of my true passions is the natural world, and I believe a healthy environment is the single most important thing for our own health and happiness. With this in mind, I work with a local NGO called Positive Change for Marine Life, which seeks to educate people and raise awareness of the massive damage humans are causing to the ocean ecosystem. One thing we do is conduct regular beach cleans, and I’m always happy to have students from BBELS join us with these! It’s also a great opportunity for students to meet and chat to other members of the local community.

BBELS photo2

Do you have any tips for the new students who want to improve their English skills?

Yes, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! Hahaha, I’m just joking! Well, I’m half-joking… You should definitely do any homework your teacher gives you, but more importantly, remember WHY you are learning English: to communicate with people from other countries! So, get out there and spend as much time as possible speaking English to all sorts of people. Your English will improve a lot, AND you’ll make great friends and learn things you have never thought about before!

What are some things you’d recommend students do while they are here in the Byron Bay Region?

Do all the things that really make life great! Spend time with great people, listen to great music, dance like a crazy person, try surfing, watch the sunrise from the lighthouse or top of Mt. Warning, do some yoga, think about life, go snorkelling or diving with the incredible marine life we have here, eat yummy local food and drink a couple of cold, local beers sometimes!