Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together a list of the some of the most frequently asked questions and put them into sections for you to see why the Isca School is the best English school for you!
If you have any other questions, please contact us. We’ll answer your questions as soon as we can.
Your English Course with Us
How many students study at Isca each week?
We usually have between 40 and 120 students from all over the world.
Do most students come to the Isca School as individuals or in groups?
Most of our students come to study English as individuals. Some students come alone and some come with a friend or relative. We accept one or two small groups each month to make a good nationality mix in the school
If you are coming on your own, please do not worry. You will make new friends very quickly.
How do you test my English to find the correct level for me?
You will take an online English level placement test before you arrive. This means that we can organise class groups in advance and your teachers can plan your first lessons before you arrive. You will start learning English on your first morning here. We don’t waste lesson time testing your English and hurriedly organising everything on your first day at Isca!
How many teachers will I have each day?
You will have two teachers at different times during the day. They work together to plan your course with lessons that are interesting, challenging and fun.
How do you check my progress?
You will have a weekly progress test. This allows your teachers to check that you are learning and which areas you need help with. In your first week, you will also have a 1:1 tutorial with your main teacher who will advise you about how to improve your English skills while you are here.
Can I change my class if I think it is not at the correct level for me?
Please tell you teacher if you feel the level of the class is too easy or too difficult for you.
Learning English at Isca is about activating the English you have studied at school, using it fluently and learning new structures and vocabulary too.
We sometimes find that students think the class is too easy because they recognise the grammar or structures in the lesson. That is not enough. You must be able to use the language in real life situations.
What must you do?
You must participate fully in the lessons to show your teacher that you can use the language and structures fluently. If your teacher sees that you are not in the correct class for your English level, he or she will talk to the Director of Studies and they will move you to another class as soon as possible.
How many students will there be in my class?
Our maximum class size is 12 but your class may be smaller than that: the average class size across the school is usually 10.
Where do Isca School students come from?
We welcome students from all over the world. The majority of our students come from Europe, with some from South America.
Will I receive a leaving certificate and report at the end of my course?
Yes, you will receive a leaving certificate at the end of your course. You will also receive a personalised report with information about your strengths and guidance on how to improve your English.
Do you have free Wifi at the Isca School?
We have free Wifi at the school for you to use to contact friends and family outside class times.
Can I use my phone in class?
You must turn your phone off during your lessons. If you are doing project work, your teacher may ask you to look online on your phone, using the school Wifi, to search for information.
Will my phone work in the UK?
Please check this with your phone provider before you leave home. If you cannot activate roaming in the UK and use your data, you will be able to contact your friends and family using the free Wifi at the school. You could also buy an e-sim which you can use in the UK but you must do this before you leave home. Please talk to your mobile phone provider to make sure you have internet and your phone will work in the UK
Living in an English home
What kind of families/hosts do you have?
We do our best to find kind, caring people who will welcome you into their home. Living in an English home, using day-to-day English and learning about English life and culture are some of the most important parts of your stay in England.
The families we find include:
Families with children
A couple without children
An older couple whose children have left home and who miss having young people in their home
A single lady with or without children
Will I live close to the school?
The homes we choose for our students are all in the city of Exeter. Students who live 20 minutes or less on foot from the school walk to school each day. If you live more than 20 minutes’ walk from the school, we will give you a bus pass for free travel to and from your home, at no extra cost. We choose hosts based on the experience they will give our students so you may have to travel up to 40 minutes to get to the school.
Will my hosts have pets?
Most English homes have pets. It is normally a fun experience for our students and also a great conversation starter when you first enter the home!
If you are allergic to pets, please tell us on your application form.
Will they clean my clothes?
Your host mother will wash your clothes with the weekly family wash.
Will my hosts provide me with bed sheets and towels?
Yes. They will provide you with bed sheets and towels. You must bring a towel with you for if you are going to go swimming on one of our excursions or as one of your sports activities.
Can I bring my friend to my home or visit my friend’s home in Exeter?
Please ask your English hosts before you invite a friend to your home. Your friend must ask his or her hosts too before you visit their home. They are not going to say no. You are a guest in their home and this is the polite thing to do.
Your friend cannot stay overnight in your home.
Can I take videos of the rooms in my home to show my friends and family?
Please tell your family that you would like to do this and ask if it is OK with them. Do not take videos without permission. You must not video the family’s private rooms.
What kind of bedroom will I have?
We have some single rooms available but most of our rooms are twin rooms.
A twin room has two separate full sized beds. You will share your room with another Isca student of a similar age to you and the same gender of course. We do not put two students with the same mother tongue in the same home, unless two friends ask to be together.
How will I get to school on my first day?
Your host will bring you to school on your first school morning here.
Sarah, the Principal and staff will be at the school gate to welcome you to Isca.
Will I share my host family with someone who speaks my mother tongue?
We do not place students with the same mother tongue in the same family unless two friends choose to share.
You must tell us when you enrol if you speak more than one language as a mother tongue. We want all the students in the same home to speak English.
I am going to be late home for dinner. What should I do?
You must telephone your hosts if you are going to be late. Tell them what time you will arrive. It is the polite thing to do and they will worry if you are late. Please try not to be late. We will tell you the bus times so please make sure that
Can I eat dinner with my friends in town?
Yes but you must tell your host family before midday that day.
We do not encourage you to do this because we want you to spend time talking to your family in English. It is an important part of your experience here.
Can I use my host’s telephone to telephone my family and friends?
No. You can only use the telephone if there is an emergency. The UK emergency phone number for the Police, Fire or Ambulance is 999
What time must I be home each evening?
If you go out in the evening when there are no school activities, you must be back inside your home by 21.30. When there is a school evening activity, you must go home immediately after the activity.
This home-by time can only be changed to an earlier time not a later time. Your parent must email or telephone the school to do this
Where can you meet me? Which airports? Which day?
We can meet you at Bristol airport or London Heathrow airport on Sundays. If you fly to Exeter airport, your host family will meet you.
You must book flights according to our meeting times – see our Travel to Exeter page for more details
How can I book flights?
You can book flights at your local Travel Agency or online.
IMPORTANT: You must book flights according to our meeting schedule.
Here is a good website that will help you find flights online:
Students aged 16 and 17:
Students aged 16 and over travel as adults on all airlines
Students aged 14 and 15:
Ryanair and Easyjet: Students must be 16 or older to travel alone on Ryanair or Easyjet. If you are younger, you must travel with a person aged 16 or over.
British Airways will carry children aged 14 and 15 travelling alone or with a friend. Your parent must complete a parental consent form (to which your parent must attach a copy of his/her photo ID). You must carry this with you, not send it to Isca. See details here: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/travel-assistance/children-travelling-alone
Please check with your travel agency about other airlines. You may have to travel as an “Unaccompanied Minor” (see below) to travel with them
I am under 14 years of age. Can I still travel by air to the UK without a parent?
Yes, but you must travel as an “Unaccompanied Minor”. This means that your parents must pay an extra fee to the airline. The air hostess will look after you during the flight and will walk with you from the plane to meet our staff member in the terminal. Only some airlines offer this service.
If you travel as an unaccompanied minor, we make an extra charge to check you in for your flight home on your departure day (see the dates and fees page for cost). This is because our staff member must wait in the terminal until your flight has taken off and cannot do other work for us during that time.
Can I book flights outside the Isca School meeting times schedule or to a different UK airport?
If you want to book flights at different times or to a different airport, you must send us details before you book flights. We will then send you information about the extra costs of meeting you.
What information will you send me about meeting me at the airport?
We will email you our airport meeting information which tells you how we will meet you a few weeks before you arrive. It includes the phone number of our staff member at the airport.
We will also send a floor plan of the terminal where you arrive, showing where our staff member will wait for you. This is after the exit from UK Customs, where you see people waiting for arriving passengers.
Our staff member will have an Isca School of English, Exeter sign so that you can easily see him or her.
We will send you a letter to complete for you to show the UK passport officer when you arrive. This tells the officer that you are coming to study English at the Isca School.
What should I do if I cannot see the person waiting for me?
When you come out of the terminal, there are a lot of people and it is confusing. Do not panic. Check the boards of all of the peoples who are waiting to meet people. Our staff member is likely to be there holding a board with your name or the name of the school on it but they might have been delayed.
Do not worry. We will not leave you at the airport. Uk Airports are very busy places and although normally we have a staff member in each terminal they are also responsible for checking in departing students. If your flight has arrived early (or been very delayed) they might have to look after other students before they can come to you.
If you cannot see our staff member , please go to the meeting point marked on the map we have sent you. Hold up the Isca School of English sign that we sent you. Look around you just in case you have not seen our staff member or if there are other students holding the Isca School sign too. Then, telephone the phone number on the information we have sent you and tell our staff member who you are and where you are. He/she will come for you as soon as possible. Wait at the meeting point until our staff member comes for you. Do not go with anyone who does not know your name.
Will someone wait for me at the airport if my flight is delayed?
If your flight is delayed, an Isca School staff member will wait for you.
I am from the EU. Do I need any special documents from my government to leave my country?
Many EU countries need your parents to sign documentation to allow you to travel out of your country without them.
Check by clicking on the link below. Click “Choose Country”, then click “Select your language” and look for the information about what your parents need to do.
Do I need a visa to come to the UK?
You do not need a visa to travel to the UK if you have a passport from an EU or EEC Country.
If you are from another country, check here to see if you are a “Visa National” and need a visa to enter the UK:
If you need a visa, we will send you our Visa Support Letter. You must pay a deposit to the school before we send this to you.
Can I arrive a day early or leave a day later?
Please email us to ask if this is possible. If we can manage this, we will.
Information about your life in Exeter
How do I travel to and from the school each day?
Your English hosts will bring you to school on your first morning. Sarah (the Principal) and staff will be waiting to welcome you.
If you live 20 minutes or less on foot from the school, you will walk to school each day.
If you live more than 20 minutes’ walk from the school, we will give you a bus (or train) pass for free travel to and from your home at no extra cost. We will walk with you to the city centre to show you the bus stop for your bus home on your first school day. We will give you a map showing you the bus route from the centre to your home.
Do I need to carry my national Identity card or passport with me each day?
No. Please leave this safely in your bedroom. It is a big problem for us all if you lose your national documents.
We will give you an Isca School Identity Card on your first morning at the school. You must carry this with you always. It has your Exeter address, the phone number of your home in Exeter and the Isca School 24 hour emergency phone number on it. If you lose it, come to the office for a new one.
If I get lost or need your help, what should I do?
Phone the Isca School 24 hour emergency phone number. Tell us where you are. We will come to find you as soon as we can.
Can I leave Exeter during my stay?
You can only leave Exeter on the Isca School excursions or with your English hosts. Apart from that, you must stay in Exeter.
Don’t worry; it’s a lovely place with lots to do!
Can I go out with my friends to the city centre?
Yes. You can spend time in the centre with them after class before you go home for your evening meal. A lot of our students enjoy shopping together. If you buy something, be sure to keep your receipt please.
You can also come to the centre to meet friends on the evenings when there are no Isca School activities. You must be back inside your home by 21.30 each evening
If I need the doctor or dentist, what should I do?
If you are not well, tell us or ask your host mother to phone us. We have trained First Aid staff at the school who will assess you and take you to a National Health Drop-in centre to see a doctor if this is necessary. Emergency medical treatment using the National Health Service is free if you have a valid European Health Card – so please bring this with you.
If you need to see a dentist, we will make an appointment for you. You will need to pay for dental treatment in the UK.
Excursions and activities
What will we do on a typical excursion?
On your Saturday excursion, you will normally visit an attraction and have some free time for shopping. Examples of places we visit each summer are: the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath with its famous Roman Baths, the Eden Project in Cornwall, King Arthur’s Castle at Tintagel, Salisbury and Stonehenge, Dartmoor and the sandy beaches in Devon.
On our half-day Tuesday excursion you will visit a local town or beach. Devon is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK where there is so much to see and do.
All entrance fees to the attractions we visit are included in the cost of your course.
Must I come on the school excursions and to the evening activity?
Yes. You must come on all excursions and to our evening activity too.
Will I have the same excursions this year as last year?
We change our excursion programme every year. Please look at our excursion page to see where we are planning to take you this year.
How do I book a summer course for my child?
Check our Dates and Fees page to see if the course date you want is available.
Follow the “Book your course” link on our website to access the enrolment form. You will need your child’s passport or ID card number. You will also need the telephone number of the phone your child will bring to the UK. Please write the international dialling number for that phone: + County code and number. For example, the Isca School 24 hour emergency number is +44 7527553439.
When completing the form, please write your complete postal address.
Please check carefully that you have written your email address correctly.
There is a box near the end of the form where you can write extra information. We do not check through emails that you may have sent us for special requests or information we should know about your child. You must write them here, please!
Complete the form and send it.
We aim to reply the next working day. If you do not have a reply from us within 2 working days, please email to check we have received the booking.
Do not book flights before we have confirmed your booking by email – see below.
When you receive our course confirmation, please book flights for your child according to our meeting schedule.
What information will I receive from you when I book a course?
We will send you our confirmation email, the invoice for the course, details about how and when to pay and our terms and conditions.
We will also send information about Medical treatment in the UK, our welcome booklet, our student handbook and we will send information about booking flights, including our meeting schedule.
When will I receive airport meeting information?
We will email this to you a week before your course starts.
When will I receive information about the home you choose for my child?
We will email this to you 2 weeks before your child arrives.
Returning students: I want to come back again and I have told my host mother. Is everything ok?
We are so glad you want to come back but please book with us not your host. Your host cannot book your place for you. You must complete a new enrolment form to book your course
International Student Travel Insurance
What does your insurance cover?
Please read about insurance here