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ECS Scotland English courses Answering your questions on Edinburgh and Scotland Frequently asked questions on English courses

Frequently Asked questions


When can I start a course?

You can start a course any Monday and finish any Friday.  You can choose the most convenient start date for you but please check availability before making your travel arrangements.

How many weeks is each course?

You can choose how many weeks you would like to study.  One week is the minimum length of course. There is no maximum length.

Which course is best for me?

This depends on your needs and what you would like to achieve during your course.

The ‘General English Course’ for 15 or 20 hours per week provides you with the opportunity to work together with other students of a similar level and practise speaking and listening skills. There is a maximum of 5 students per group.

A ‘Combination Course’ gives you the opportunity to practise General English skills in a small group in the mornings and then 1-to-1 tuition in the afternoon, focusing on your specific needs.  For example; Business, Financial, Legal, Medical, Aviation, Tourism and many other specific areas.

‘Individual Tuition’ focuses entirely on your specific needs.  You tell us what you would like to cover and we will design a course specifically for you.

How many students are there in each group?

ECS Scotland guarantees there is only a maximum of 5 students in a group.

What time do classes start and finish?

Classes start at 9.15am and finish at different times depending on the number of hours you choose to study.  In July and August classes start at 9am due to the increased number of groups.  We will inform you of your exact timetable once you have enrolled.

Can I change my course once I have started?

If you decide you would like to change your course, please discuss the possibilities with the Principal or Head Teacher. Depending on the time of year and requirements, a solution can usually be found.

How many levels are there at ECS Scotland?

ECS Scotland provides courses from beginner to advanced levels.

How do I know my level?

If you have studied English in the past you should have some idea of your level.  On the application form we ask you to approximately grade yourself on a scale of 1 – 8.  1 =  beginner level and 8 = advanced level.  On the first morning of your course we will give you a short test to ascertain your level and put you into an appropriate level of class.

Enrollment, payment and cancellation

How do I enrol in a course at ECS Scotland?

Send an enquiry to confirm your chosen dates and course are available.  When we confirm your dates, please complete the application form on our website.  When we receive your application we will send you an email to verify your dates and chosen course.   We will then ask you to pay a deposit of 100 GBP to confirm your course and one week accommodation payment to confirm your homestay (if applicable).  Once we receive your deposit we will send you a letter of confirmation and your invoice.  Please note that we will not organise your accommodation or send you a letter of confirmation without receiving your deposit.

How can I pay my deposit?

A. by bank transfer.  Please note that international bank transfers can take up to 10 working days to show in our account.  You must pay all bank fees in the UK and in your own country.

ECS Scotland bank account details:
Account Name: EC Scotland Ltd T/A ECS Scotland
Account Number: 10860861
Sort Code: 80 46 55
IBAN: GB06 BOFS 804655 10860861
Bank of Scotland, Shandwick Branch, PO B0x 1000, BX2 1LB

B. by Credit Card (Mastercard or Visa). We will email you a Credit Card payment form which you can email or fax back to us. Alternatively, you can phone us to give us your credit card details.

C. To save on international bank transfer fees, use the international student course fees payment option at Pay to Study.  To pay for your course or deposit at ECS Scotland, logon at https://ecsscotland.paytostudy.com

How and when do I pay for my course?

A. By bank transfer. This must be done at least two weeks before the start of your course.

B. By Credit Card. This can be done in advance or immediately on the first day of your course.

C. In cash (GBP Pounds Sterling) immediately on the first day of your course.

What is included in the course price?

All learning materials, one afternoon excursion to a place or cultural interest per week, Tea/coffee at morning break time, progress report and certificate of attendance, Wi-Fi internet access.

What happens if I need to cancel or postpone my course?

If the course or accommodation is cancelled more than 30 days before the course start date, money paid will be returned minus a £100 administration fee.

If the course or accommodation is cancelled less than 30 days before the booked start date, the £100 deposit for the course and one week deposit for the accommodation will be charged. Other money paid will be returned.

If you need to postpone your course to a later date, please contact us to discuss availability.  Changes to course and accommodation dates after the issue of a confirmation letter and will incur an administration charge of £50.

Please read our Terms & Conditions


Will ECS Scotland help me with obtaining my visa?

Students from outside the European Union need a visa to study in the UK.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you a letter of confirmation and your accommodation details which you can take to the British Embassy in your country to help obtain your visa.  Please contact the British Embassy in your country to find out your specific requirements.  You can also find more information at UK Border Agency website: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk

What happens if my visa is denied or I cannot enter the UK?

If you are denied a visa or entry to the UK we will return your money, minus a 100 GBP handling charge.


Can you organise my accommodation?

ECS Scotland will organise homestay accommodation for students studying at ECS Scotland at ‘standard’ or ‘executive’ level.  Please check our blog for other possibilities available in Edinburgh.

What is included in ‘Standard’ and ‘Executive’ homestay?

‘Homestay with shared bathroom’ accommodation includes Bed & Breakfast every day and dinner 6 nights per week.  You have access to a shared bathroom.

‘Homestay with private bathroom’ accommodation includes Bed & Breakfast every day and dinner 6 nights per week. You have your own bathroom.

‘B&B with shared or private bathroom’ means your host provides you with breakfast and you eat your other meals out.

The School

Why is ECS Scotland different?

ECS Scotland is a small, independent, family-run school which has been accredited by the British Council since 1995.  We pride ourselves on personal service.  We enjoy getting to know our students and helping them to learn English in a safe, friendly and comfortable environment.

Where do the classes take place?

ECS Scotland is located in a converted 18th Century building on Young Street, just off Charlotte Square.  The school is easily accessible from all the main bus routes and is a few minutes walk from Princes Street.

Please note: In July and August some classes may take place in another building close to the school.

Does the school close on Public Holidays?

ECS Scotland does not close on Public Holidays or at Easter.  We are closed for an annual 2 or 3 week holiday at Christmas and New Year.  Please contact us for exact dates.

Frequently Asked Questions about Edinburgh and Scotland

Where is Edinburgh?

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is located in the North East of the United Kingdom.

Why should I choose to study English in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with many attractions to keep you occupied when you are not in the classroom. Its people are friendly and helpful and it is an easy city to travel around.

When is the best time to come to Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is popular destination year-round.  During the Autumn and Winter seasons, the days are shorter and the locals tend to do more activities indoors; visit galleries and museums, shops, cinema, sport centres, pubs and cafes.  During the Spring and Summer seasons, the days are longer and more activities take place outside.

What is the weather like?

Contrary to popular belief, it does not always rain in Scotland!  However, as an island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the North Sea on the other, Scottish weather is variable.  It can be common to experience the 4 seasons in one day.  The average temperature in winter is about 5°C and the average temperature in summer is about 17°C.  For more information about weather in the UK you can visit www.met-office.gov.uk

Will I be able to understand the Scottish accent?

Like all countries and regions in the world, Scottish people can have a particular accent.  It is not true that the ‘Scottish’ accent is any more difficult to understand than other regional accents in the UK.

Accents reflect people’s upbringing, education, work, social circles and a variety of other factors.  Edinburgh is a multicultural city with a wide variety of accents throughout the population.

Is Edinburgh a safe city?

In general Edinburgh is a safe city.  However, you should always be aware, take care if walking alone at night and remember to look to the RIGHT when you cross the road.

Can I work in Edinburgh?

Students from the EU can work for 20 hours per week without a work permit.  For more information about working in the UK: www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk

Are there any famous Scots?

Scots have travelled the world for many centuries and have had a great influence on the world.  Here are a few: Andy Murray (tennis player), Sir Sean Connery (actor), John Muir helped (to set up the National Parks in the USA) J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan) William Wallace (freedom fighter), Robert Louis Stevenson (writer of Treasure Island and other novels), Sir Alexander Flemming (Discovered penicillin)… Find more famous Scots: www.rampantscotland.com/famous

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