Do you have a question that is not on the list? Get in touch and we will try to answer.
- When can I start a course?
Most courses are available to start any Monday. Some specific courses have set course dates, such as English with Yoga & Wellbeing.
Individual Tuition and private mini groups have flexible start dates, you can choose when you want to start.
Combination Courses are available to start most Mondays, please check availability for your preferred dates before making your travel arrangements as some weeks become fully booked quite far in advance.
The school closes for three weeks over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Please contact us for specific closure dates.
- How many weeks is in each course
You can choose how many weeks you would like to study. One week is usually the minimum length of course. However, some very busy clients come for intensive three or four day courses (individual tuition).
12 weeks is usually the maximum length of stay. The majority of our study for 2 to 4 weeks. Please contact us to discuss the most suitable length of course for you.
- What is the minimum age for students?
For all group and combination courses the minimum age of students is 30.
We may occasionally accept 25 - 29 year olds for specific English 1-to-1 classes (such as Legal English, Medical English or OET Preparation).
If you are under 30, please contact us to discuss your course requests.
- Which course is best for me?
This depends on your needs and what you would like to achieve during your course.
The English for Communication at Work course provides you with the opportunity to work together with other students to practise speaking and listening skills in a work setting and will give you information about cultural communication and misunderstandings.
The Experience Edinburgh General English course is most suitable for students who do not need to use English at work and want a more general English focus. This course includes some hours in the school (9am - 11am speaking & listening group) with some hours outside the school in Edinburgh. The teacher will take you to different locations in Edinburgh each afternoon and you have lunch and a language review together.
A ‘Combination Course' gives you the opportunity to spend a few hours in a general speaking & listening group to improve communication skills with other students and then 1-to-1 tuition, focusing on your specific needs. For example; Business, Financial, Legal, Medical, Aviation, Tourism, Environmental, General communication 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?
You will be informed of your exact start time in your Letter of Confirmation. However, classes usually start at 9am and finish at different times depending on the number of hours you choose to study. 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 Senior Teacher. Depending on the time of year and requirements, a solution can usually be found.
- How many levels are there at ECS Scotland?
Combination Courses include some hours in a multilevel (B1 - C1) general English speaking and listening class with level specific 1-to-1 classes.
For Beginner (A1), Elementary (A2) and Proficiency (C2) level students Individual Tuition courses (1-to-1) are available.
- 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. You can tell us the level of the last English course you studied or exam you took, even if it was a few years ago.
You will be sent a needs analysis form before arrival and have a Skype or Zoom call with one of our teachers before your arrival.
To help you get an idea of your approximate level of English, you can take a quick online level test with Cambridge English https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/test-your-english/
Enrolment, payment and cancellation
- How do I enrol in a course at ECS Scotland?
Send an enquiry with your chosen dates and course. We will confirm availability or give you specific options for the dates chosen. We will then ask you to pay a deposit of 250 GBP to confirm your course. Once we receive your deposit we will send you a letter of confirmation and your invoice.
For homestay accommodation bookings, one week accommodation payment is required to confirm the accommodation booking.
Please note that we will not send you a letter of confirmation without receiving your deposit.
- How can I pay my deposit?
Secure online payment with Flywire international student payment service. Flywire saves you expensive international bank transfer and credit card fees. Pay only local transaction fees. For secure online credit card and bank transfer payments with price guarantee, we recommend using Flywire. : https://www.flywire.com/pay/ec...
If you are paying from a UK bank account, please contact us.
- How and when do I pay for my course?
Full payment must be made two weeks before the start of your course via Flywire: https://www.flywire.com/pay/ec...
If you are paying from a UK bank account, please contact us.
- What is included in the course price?
All learning materials, tea/coffee at break time, progress report and certificate of attendance, Wi-Fi, use of library materials
- What happens if I need to cancel or postpone my course?
- If the course is cancelled 30 days or more before the course start date, money paid will be returned minus a £150 administration fee
- If the course is cancelled 29 days or less before the booked start date, the £250 deposit for the course will be charged. Other money paid will be returned
- If the course is cancelled due to a Visa application refusal, send documentary evidence of the refusal with the ECO signature and date of refusal. Course fees will then be refunded minus a £150 administration charge and minus any bank fees applicable.
- To cancel or change a course which has started, a client must give 10 days’ written notice to the Principal (two full study weeks, Monday to Friday). A cancellation fee equivalent to 1 week’s course fees will be charged from the end of the 10 days notice.
- Changes to course dates made 30 days or more before arrival are subject to availability and an administration charge of £50
- Changes to course dates made 29 days or less before arrival are subject to availability and an administration charge of £100
Please read our Terms & Conditions
- Will ECS Scotland help me with obtaining my visa?
Some countries from outside the European Union need a visa to study in the UK.
Once we receive your deposit and a scanned copy of your passport, we will send you a letter of confirmation 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: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
- 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 150 GBP administration charge.
- Can you organise my accommodation?
ECS Scotland has a small network of local hosts. See here for homestay information.
There are many accommodation options available in Edinburgh via AirBnB and the usual accommodation booking websites such as booking.com
For apartments in Edinburgh, Dickins offers many suitable options and locations.
VisitScotland also has information about accommodation options in Edinburgh and Scotland.
- 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 enjoy getting to know our students and helping them to learn English in a safe, friendly and comfortable environment. We believe in offering a client-led approach and tailor-made courses for all our students.
- 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 or other peak season weeks 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 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 16°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.
To hear a variety of our teachers' accents, listen to the videos on our course information pages.
- 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, keep valuables out of sight and remember to look to the RIGHT when you cross the road.
- 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: https://www.scotland.org/about-scotland/our-people/famous-scots