Cape Town English Schools Questions & Answers - © Unknown

Questions & Answers

There are no surprises at Ailola Cape Town. We're a small, locally-owned and operated language school, with a commitment to ensuring maximum satisfaction among our students. That's why we have prepared a comprehensive Q&A section to address any concerns or questions you may have.

Language School Questions

  • What makes Ailola Cape Town different from other language schools?

    Ailola Cape Town sets itself apart with its unique location in the Sea Point neighborhood, its modern facilities and the more than 15 years of experience we have under our belt in teaching English to foreigners. We are a locally-owned and operated school. Boutique and unique! Our school is also recognized by a number of prominent institutions, both international (Quality English, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and local (South African Youth and Travel Confederation, Cape Town Tourism, Education South Africa, South African Qualifications Authority). Our programs are designed to immerse students in the English language, through volunteer programs, homestays, activities and more.

  • What qualifications do the teachers have?

    Ailola Cape Town's teaching staff is comprised of native English speakers with either an undergraduate degree or TEFL qualification with a minimum 40-hour course and two years' experience in an EFL center, either locally or abroad. All teachers have a matriculation exemption with English at Higher Grade, or international equivalent, meaning they have the English-language level for university entry in South Africa. Our staff attend training and workshops throughout the year and are supported whole-heartedly in their own personal and professional growth. With an innate knowledge of local cultures, they are personable, experienced and enthusiastic about the English language.

  • When are program start dates?

    Our English courses in Cape Town begin every Monday of the week, unless otherwise advised. Private lessons can start any day of the week, though we highly recommend students start private lessons on Monday. For information on public holidays, click here!

  • How can I extend my stay?

    Students are more than welcoming to extend their stay at Ailola Cape Town. Just speak with one of our friendly staff members and we'll organize your extension. Keep in mind, extensions to your accommodation are subject to availability.

  • Should I bring any materials to class?

    We recommend you purchase an English pocket dictionary and writing material, including a notebook. Students taking courses that last 4 weeks or more are required to purchase our text book. Students taking courses that last less than 4 weeks can rent one of our text books for a small fee.

  • Am I too old for a language school? Too young?

    Too old? Of course not! Ailola Cape Town is a firm believer in the idea you're never too old to learn a language. Since our students come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Ailola Cape Town's teaching team is used to diversity. Too young? You must be 16-years-old to enrol in an Ailola Cape Town English course.

  • How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?

    Ailola Cape Town highly recommends students consider our airport transfer. Cape Town has a chronic problem with illegal taxi services running from the airport. Our transfer offers value for money and convenience, with our drivers communicating directly with our staff members to ensure you're picked up and dropped off.

  • Is there someone I could speak with about your school?

    For more information, send us a message! We operate mostly via e-mail and have quick turn-around times for responses.

Cape Town & South Africa Questions

  • Why should I choose to study abroad in Cape Town?

    Cape Town is South Africa's premiere destination for culture, food, adventure and natural beauty. The capital of the country's Western Cape region, Cape Town offers visitors the very best of South African culture with its rich cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, not to mention its reputation as Africa's most liberal city. With neighborhoods and experiences for every taste, Cape Town is also a fantastic destination to learn English. You can spend your afternoons at the beach, in our beautiful parks and gardens, or enjoying the restaurant and bar culture we've come to be known for. Read more about Cape Town here!

  • Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?

    South African visa requirements vary from nationality to nationality. While many foreign nationals do not require visas for visits of up to 90 days, you are advised to check with your nearest South African embassy or consulate about the requirements for entry to South Africa that apply to you. Visas cost R425.00, or around US$47.00 or €43.00. Ailola Cape Town can help you with any paperwork you need to process your application though it does not take any responsibility in the event your application is rejected by the South African consulate or embassy nearest to you.

  • Do I need any vaccinations to enter the country?

    No vaccines are required to enter South Africa, though travellers should consult their family doctor prior to departure for any individual recommendations he or she may have about your trip, especially if you plan to visit neighboring countries. For updated travel alerts, potential health hazards, and other related issues, please consult Travel Health Online.

  • Do I need to permission to travel to South Africa if I am under 18-years-old?

    Yes. The South African government enforced regulations in June, 2015 that require any minor entering the country to travel with a birth certificate that shows the names of the child and the child's parents. Children who are traveling with only one parent, or who are traveling unaccompanied by either parent, must travel with an affidavit of consent executed by the non-traveling parent(s).

Language Course Questions

  • What level of English-language classes should I take?

    Leave this to us! At Ailola Cape Town we assess your English-language skills prior to placing you in a course. We offer courses of all levels including examination preparation courses.

  • How many weeks should I study?

    We recommend students consider staying as long as possible for the obvious benefits of prolonged exposure to the English language through courses, conversation and life in Cape Town. Our shortest course lasts 1 week. Students wishing to progress to a higher language level should consider a 10-week course with 20 lessons per week, though progression to a higher level will depend on the outcomes and capacities of each student.

  • What is a typical day like?

    Morning classes are held Monday to Friday from 9am to 12.40pm. We take short breaks before each hour. Students continuing in the afternoon will have a one-hour lunch break from 12.40 to 1.40pm. Afternoon lesson times depend on your course type.

  • What is the average class size?

    Ailola Cape Town is committed to ensuring the quality of our learning environments. That's why our students enrolling in group courses will learn in small, intimate environments of around 4 to 6 students, with a maximum of 10 students per course.

  • How do I choose between the group and individual English programs?

    Group and individual English courses can be entirely different experiences. Group English courses are a great way to learn the language in a natural social environment where oral tasks including conversation and debate encourage students to put the language directly into practice. On the other hand, individual lessons are ideal for those students wanting to advance quickly and thoroughly, and/or focus on specific aspects of the language. Private course students also benefit from the one-on-one attention of their teacher.

  • What is the focus of advanced classes?

    Advanced classes are designed to work on the most complex grammatical rules such as subjunctive tense. Our teaching staff will gauge – whether in private or group classes – the weaknesses in each student's skills, then seeking to work on the stubborn language mistakes holding him or her back. Emphasis is placed on more complex listening and speaking tasks.

  • What happens in the event of a public holiday?

    Lessons missed on public holidays, when Ailola Cape Town is closed, will not be made up, with the exemption of private classes. For exact dates this year, please see our course dates page.

  • What happens if there are no other students in my level?

    If, in the unlikely event, you test into a level with no other students we'll offer you private lessons. These will be offered at the same price as your originally-chosen group course, but with fewer contact hours.

  • Can I get university credits from taking these English classes?

    No, however Ailola Cape Town can help students wishing to apply to enrol in a South African university by preparing the necessary paperwork to document their English-language skills.

Volunteering Questions

  • Do you offer volunteering opportunities?

    Yes. The Ailola Cape Town Volunteering Program is a truly South African way to engage with the English language and our beautiful local culture. We offer students a range of opportunities from social work to conservation in locations near Cape Town. The volunteering program is a great opportunity for students to enhance their language skills and discover a different side to the Western Cape area. Read more about our program here!

  • What are the requirements for enrolment in a volunteering program?

    Volunteering opportunities are available year-round. Requirements for each program vary, so please check our Volunteering Projects page. Applicants do not have to take courses with us to be eligible.

Activities Questions

  • Do you offer any additional activities besides English courses?

    Yes. Our optional afterschool activities schedule is constantly updated according to what's happening in and around Cape Town. For instance, we'll take you to some of Cape Town's best restaurants, to sunset picnics at some of the great parks and viewpoints across the city, museum tours, dance outings, and more. Weekend trips include wineland tours, mini safaris and nature walks.

  • Are the afterschool activities free?

    Some afterschool activities are free of charge while others include a small fee based on entry fares or the costs involved in carrying out the activity. Students will also be required to pay for some optional elements of the activity like dinners. Fees vary according to each trip or activity and will be advised well in advance to allow students to make a decision about their participation.

Accommodation Questions

  • What accommodation options do you offer?

    Ailola Cape Town can help you with a number of accommodation options in visitor-friendly Cape Town. From hotels, hostels, guest houses, private apartments and more, the city boasts something for all tastes and budgets. We highly recommend that students consider our unique South African homestay option for immersion into local culture and direct exposure to English.

  • What kind of families offer homestays in Cape Town?

    Our families are varied in their composition. All families live in the Sea Point neighborhood, which is considered an affluent area. Here residents generally enjoy great food, the beach, sports and outdoor activities. However, each is carefully chosen to ensure you feel comfortable there. Ailola Cape Town screens all families prior to inclusion in our homestay network.

  • Do I need to book accommodation in order to attend English school?

    No. You can book your English courses in Cape Town without booking accommodation.

  • Can I move into my accommodation before classes start? Can I stay longer than the duration of the course?

    Ailola Cape Town accommodation options are available at any time before or after the commencement of your course. However, given the high demand for our accommodation options, we recommend students book well in advance. Students booking one of our apartment options are required to arrive before 6pm in order to be let into the building and given their key.

  • Does Ailola Cape Town take responsibility for me when I'm living in one of its accommodation options?

    We are committed to ensuring students feel comfortable in their accommodation, so any concerns should be directed to our staff as soon as possible. However, Ailola Cape Town will not be held responsible for any accidents, illnesses, or loss or theft of valuables when living in one of the accommodation options we arrange. Students should consider an appropriate travel insurance policy for activities and plans that take place outside Ailola Cape Town's premises.

Payment & Registration Questions

  • What does the course price include?

    Ailola Cape Town's course prices include registration fees, accommodation placement fees, internet access in school, access to the lending library, Ailola Lingua certificate and course report, some of our amazing weekly social activities with teachers, 24-hour emergency attention, and our student card. Students are also covered by our liability insurance policy within our school's premises.

  • What is not included in the course price?

    Course books and materials (available for rent or purchase), examination fees (depending on the examination type), visa courier if applicable (€80), airport transfer fee (€30), course and accommodation change fee (€25).

  • When should I pay for courses?

    Payments must be made at least 14 days before the student's arrival.

  • When should I pay for accommodation?

    We recommend you book your accommodation with us at least 14 days prior to arrival in Cape Town. Full payment is required to guarantee your room. Given the high demand for our accommodation, and in particular our homestays, students are advised to book and pay well in advance.

  • Can I get a refund on my accommodation?

    Students are required to pay in full for their accommodation in order to secure their room. Cancellations must be made at least 1 week in advance in order for students to obtain a refund. Refunds for other reasons will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • What payment types do you accept?

    Ailola Cape Town accepts payment by bank transfer and credit card. An administration fee of 4% is charged on all credit card payments. Prices quoted are net of all transfer and bank charges.

  • Can I modify aspects of my enrolment?

    Students will be charged €25 for any changes to their course or accommodation following their initial booking.

  • What is your cancellation policy?

    In the event of cancellation, Ailola Cape Town must be notified in writing two weeks prior to the commencement of their course start date. After a program has started there is no refund for any course, accommodation or other item booked.

  • How do I register for a course?

    To sign up for our English courses, complete our registration form, verify that you have read and agreed to our Terms and Conditions, and then submit the form. Once we receive your registration form, you will be sent a confirmation email with an attached invoice, along with an English level test.

Did we miss something? Reach out to us today with any additional queries or concerns!