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 questions please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Send a Message

A group of international students standing and sitting in the front garden of the Isca School of English
  1. Your English Course with Us

    How many students study at Isca each week?

    It depends when you come here to study but there will be between 40 and 140 students from countries 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 come alone and some come with a friend or relative. We also accept small groups of students who are integrated into the school and want to make new international friends.

    If you are coming on your own please do not worry you will make friends very quickly. We will help you to do that.

    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 your teachers can plan your course before you arrive and you will start learning English on your first morning here. No wasted time at Isca!

    How many teachers will you have each day?

    You will have two teachers who work together to plan your course. Their lessons are interesting, challenging and fun.

    How do you check my progress?

    You will have a weekly progress test. This allows your teachers to see which areas you need help with. In your first week you will also have a 1:1 tutorial with your main teacher where they will advise you about how to improve.

    Can I change my class?

    Learning English in the UK is about activating the English you have learnt and of course learning new structures and vocabulary. You must participate fully in the lessons to show your ability. If you and your teacher feel you are not at the correct level, we will move you to a different level as soon as possible.

    How many students will there be in my class?

    Our maximum class sizes are 12 but your class may be smaller than that. Our average class size across the school is 9.

    Where do Isca School students come from?

    We welcome students from all over the world the majority of our students come from Europe.

    Do I receive a leaving certificate and report?

    Yes, you will receive a leaving certificate showing your course dates and your CEF level. You will also receive a personalised report with information about your strengths and guidance on how to improve your English.

    Do I have to pay to use the internet at the Isca School?

    No, we will not charge you for using our internet but remember you must not use your telephone during your classes.

  2. Living in an English home

    Will I live close to the school?

    The homes we choose for our students are all in Exeter. Some students can go home on foot but nearly all return home by bus from the city centre.

    We will give you a free bus pass for travel in Exeter.

    Will they have pets?

    Many 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!

    Will they clean my clothes?

    Your host mother will wash your clothes with the weekly family wash. You will have clean sheets and towels too.

    Can I bring my friend to my home or visit their home in Exeter?

    Please ask your English hosts and make sure your friend has asked too before you go there. You are staying in their home please be polite. Your friend can not stay overnight in your home.

    What is a twin room?

    A twin room has two separate beds. You will share your room with another Isca Student of a similar age and the same gender.

    Will my host take me to school on my first day?

    Yes, they will bring you to school on your first day and they will also show you the bus stop near your home. We will be at the school gate to welcome you.

    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. If you do not tell us we will have to move you and not the other student. 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?

    Please telephone your family 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.

    Can I eat dinner with my friends in town?

    Yes but you must tell your host family before midday. 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.

    Why do I have a home-by time?

    We give you a home-by time according to your age. In England it is not normal for children to be out at night. Your home-by time can only be changed to an earlier time not a later time.

  3. Airport Transfers

    Where can you meet me? Which airports?

    An Isca School staff member will meet you at Bristol airport or London Heathrow airport on Sundays. Your host family will meet you at Exeter airport.

    Please 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.

    Here is a good website that will help you find flights online:

    http://www.skyscanner.net/

    IMPORTANT:  Please remember to book flights according to our meeting schedule.

    ** 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. Your parent must complete a parental consent form (to which your parent must attach a copy of his/her photo ID) : https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/travel-assistance/children-travelling-alone

    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 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 at a different airport?

    Please send us details before you book flights.

    We will then send you information about the extra costs of meeting you.

    Will you send me airport meeting information?

    Yes. A few weeks before you arrive, we will email you our airport meeting information which tells you how we will meet you. 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.

    What should I do if I cannot see the person waiting for me?

    First: do not worry. We will not leave you at the airport.

    Then, look around you to see a shop or café name near you. Telephone the number on the information we have sent you and tell our staff member where you are.

    Will someone wait for me at the airport if my flight is delayed?

    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. Then click “Choose Country”. Then click “Select your language”.

    https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/travel-documents-minors/index_en.htm

    I am from the EU. Do I need any special documents 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. Then click “Choose Country”. Then click “Select your language”.

    https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/travel-documents-minors/index_en.htm

    Do I need a visa to come to the UK?

    You do not need a visa to travel to the UK from an EU or EEC Country.

    You can check here if you are from another country to see if you are a “Visa National” and need a visa to enter the UK.

    https://www.wmimmigration.com/immigration-uk/visitor-visa/visa-nationals/

    If you need a visa, we will send you our Visa Support Letter after you have paid the deposit.

    Can I arrive a day early or leave a day later?

    Please email us to see if this is possible.

  4. 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.

    Some students can go home on foot but nearly all return home by bus from the city centre.

    We will give you a free bus pass for travel in Exeter. Our staff will walk with you to the city centre to show you the bus stop for your bus home. They will give you a map showing both the bus route from the centre to your home.

    The bus pass is included in the fees you pay, but if you lose it, you must pay for the new one, so keep it safe!

    Do I need to carry my national Identity card or passport with me?

    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 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 come on the Isca School excursions and you can go out of the city 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 and 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 can go swimming or to the cinema but you must be back inside your home by your home-by (curfew) time.

    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. We will make an appointment with a dentist for you. If you have a problem with your braces, you may have to pay for this to be repaired.

  5. Excursions and activities

    What will we do on a typical excursion?

    We want you to have a great experience with us so we make sure that we take you to places you would like to visit.

    We pay all the entrance fees and take you to visit well known attractions for example the Roman baths, the Eden project

    On our Saturday excursion you will normally visit an attraction and have some free time for shopping. 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 and there is so much to see here. If it is going to rain we change our excursions to take you to places where you won’t get wet!

    Must I come on the school excursions and to the evening activities?

    Yes. You must come on all excursions and to our evening activities 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 going to take you this year.

  6. Course Enrolment

    How do I book a summer course for my child?

    1. Check our Dates and Fees page to see if the course date you want is available.
    2. 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.
    3. When completing the form, please write your complete postal address.
    4. Please check carefully that you have written your email address correctly.
    5. 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!
    6. Complete the form and send it.
    7. 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.
    8. Do not book flights before we have confirmed to booking by email – see below.
    9. 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 about a month before your child arrives.

    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

  7. International Student Travel Insurance

    My return home has been delayed due to reasons beyond my control, will my policy continue to provide cover?

    During the current pandemic, if you cannot return home due to reasons outside of your control, your insurance policy will remain in force, without additional premium, for up to an additional 60 days whilst you attempt to return home – this extends to all section of cover.

    I have symptoms of Covid-19 or have been diagnosed with the condition. What should I do?

    In the first instance you will need to comply with local authority or government guidance.

    If you have fallen ill, you (or someone on your behalf) must contact the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Service as soon as possible. For full details, please refer to your policy documentation under “Emergency and Medical Service”.

    If I am quarantined to my accommodation but I have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 and will miss my transport home am I covered?

    There is no cover under your policy for costs related to an extended stay but if you cannot return home due to reasons outside of your control, your insurance policy will remain in force, without additional premium, for up to an additional 60 days whilst you attempt to return home – this extends to all section of cover.

     

    You should speak to your accommodation / transport provider to establish if they are able to arrange early / alternative transport home.

     

    I have had to quarantine on entry to the UK/ROI (whether in a government hotel or to my accommodation). Does my insurance cover the cost of testing or assessments to end my quarantine?

    If this is part of the routine quarantine process this cost would not be covered under your insurance. You will need to pay any costs associated with tests or assessments.

     

    If you fall ill with or develop symptoms of Covid-19 during your trip you will be able to obtain a test through the NHS. You (or someone on your behalf) should also contact the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Service as soon as possible. For full details, please refer to your policy documentation under “Emergency and Medical Service”.

    I am required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before leaving the UK/ROI. Will my insurance cover this?

    This is not a covered cost under your insurance. You will need to pay any costs associated with tests or assessments.

    My flight from the UK/ROI has been cancelled by the airline due to Covid-19 restrictions. Is the cost of a replacement flight covered under my insurance?

    This is not a covered circumstance under your insurance. You will need to speak to your transport provider or travel agent to rearrange your flight.

    Will I be covered for illness relating to Covid-19 during any excursions to Europe from the UK/ROI under my policy?

    Provided that the trip is covered under the terms of the policy and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) (or equivalent government or national authority or the World Health Organisation) are not advising against all travel or all but essential travel then cover will remain in place under the “Emergency and Medical Service” section.  For full details, please refer to your policy documentation.

    Does my policy cover me if I have a long-term medical condition and require specialist treatment while in the UK/ROI?

    The policy covers emergency medical treatment only and would not cover costs of ongoing or specialist treatment for a known medical condition; however, if your trip is 6 months or more in length and you have the NHS waiver as part of your visa you will be entitled to use the NHS health service.

     

    Please refer to the “Important conditions relating to health” and the “Emergency and Medical Service” sections in the policy documents.

    Does my policy cover me, if whilst I am in the UK/ROI, I catch Covid / I break my arm / I have an accident / I become unwell and need to go to hospital / require medical treatment?

    The policy covers emergency medical treatment and associated costs. Additionally, if your trip is 6 months or more in length and you have the NHS waiver as part of your visa you will be entitled to use the NHS health service. You (or someone on your behalf) must contact the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Service as soon as possible in the event that you suffer an illness or injury that requires treatment.

     

    Please refer to the ‘Important conditions relating to health’ and the ‘Emergency and Medical Service’ sections in the policy documents.

    Does my policy cover me if, on arrival at UK/ROI airport, I test positive for Covid?

    If you have fallen ill during your trip there is cover under the “Emergency and Medical Service” for emergency treatment. Refer to your policy documents for full details.

    A close relative has contracted Covid-19 and I need to return home as they have sadly passed away / are gravely ill. Am I covered to return home early?

    If you purchased your policy prior to the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 and you need to return home due to Covid-19 causing the death or ill health of a close relative, you can contact our claims team to submit a claim for consideration. For full details of how to submit a claim, please refer to the policy documentation under “Claims Conditions”.

     

    If you purchased your policy after the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 there is no cover under your policy.

    Not yet Travelled: What happens if I catch Covid-19 or I am under medically advised self-isolation / quarantine before I depart and am unable to go on my trip?

    In the first instance you should speak to your accommodation / transport provider to defer, rearrange or cancel your trip as appropriate. You can also contact your credit card provider to recover costs if the trip was paid for via this means to obtain a refund via their chargeback facility should there be any costs that cannot be recovered.

    If you purchased your policy prior to the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 and you are unable to commence your trip due to falling ill with Covid-19 or are under medically advised (by a qualified medical practitioner) individual self-isolation / quarantine, you may have cover for cancellation.  Please refer to your policy documentation for details. If there are any costs you are unable to recover, contact our claims team to submit a claim. For full details of how to submit a claim, please refer to your policy documentation under “Claims Conditions”.

    If you purchased your policy after the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 there is no cover under your policy.

    Not yet Travelled: Does my policy cover me if I have an accident in my country shortly before I am due to travel to the UK/ROI and I have to cancel my course?

    If you are medically unfit to travel and are forced to cancel your trip due to illness or injury you can submit a claim for the irrecoverable costs under your policy.

     

    In the first instance you should speak to your accommodation / transport provider to defer, rearrange or cancel your trip. If there are any costs you are unable to recover, contact our claims team to submit a claim. For full details of how to submit a claim, please refer to your policy documentation under “Claims Conditions”.

    Not yet Travelled: What happens if I am due to travel and a close relative is diagnosed with Covid-19 and I need to cancel my trip?

     

    In the first instance you should speak to your accommodation / transport provider to defer, rearrange or cancel your trip as appropriate. You can also contact your credit card provider to recover costs if the trip was paid for via this means to obtain a refund via their chargeback facility should there be any costs that cannot be recovered.

     

    If you purchased your policy prior to the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 and a close relative falls ill with Covid-19 which prevents you from travelling, you may have cover for cancellation.  If there are any costs you are unable to recover, contact our claims team to submit a claim. For full details of how to submit a claim, please refer to your policy documentation under “Claims Conditions”.

     

    If you purchased your policy after the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 there is no cover under your policy.

    Not yet Travelled: If I don’t travel can I get a refund of my travel insurance policy premium?

    If you purchased your policy prior to the WHO pandemic declaration at 4.27pm on 11th March 2020 and are unable to travel duel to Covid-19 disruption you can cancel your policy and receive a full refund (subject to no claims made or pending on the policy).

    If you purchased your policy after 11th March 2020, Covid-19 is a known event and therefore eligibility for policy cancellation and refund applies as detailed in the policy terms and conditions.

    Not yet Travelled: My trip has been cancelled due to Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) (or equivalent government or national authority or the World Health Organisation) advising against all travel or all but essential travel. Can I get a refund of my travel insurance policy premium?

    If you are unable to travel due to a change of FCO advice you can cancel your policy and receive a full refund of premium (subject to no claims made or pending on the policy).

    Not yet Travelled: I haven’t travelled yet but still intend to do so, am I covered?

     As long as the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or equivalent government or national authority, or the World Health Organisation has not advised against travel or all but essential travel, cover will remain in place for emergency medical expenses as a result of Covid-19 along with all other standard policy cover for the duration of your trip.

    Not yet Travelled: My flight to the UK/ROI has been cancelled by the airline due to Covid-19 restrictions. Is the cost of a replacement flight covered under my insurance?

    This is not a covered circumstance under your insurance. You will need to speak to your transport provider or travel agent to rearrange your flight.

    Not yet Travelled: Does my policy cover me if I buy the insurance now for a trip to the UK/ROI in 3 months’ time? Am I covered while at home for other non-UK/ROI trips?

    Please refer to the Period of Cover in the ‘Definitions’ section of your policy documents where it confirms:

    Period of Cover – Section 1 and Section 10 – the cover provided for Cancellation shall be operative from the time the Beneficiary is accepted for cover and shall terminate when the Beneficiary leaves their Home in their Home Country to commence their Trip to the United Kingdom. For all other sections of this Group Policy, the insurance commences when the Beneficiary leaves their Home to commence their Trip to the United Kingdom and terminates at the time of the Beneficiary’s return to their Home in their Home Country on completion of their Trip. Any Trip that had already begun at the time of the Beneficiary being accepted for cover will not be covered. The Period of Cover is automatically extended for the period of the delay (but not exceeding 30 days in total unless otherwise agreed in writing by The Insurer) in the event that the Beneficiary’s  return to their Home Country is unavoidably delayed due to an event insured by this Group Policy.

    The policy DOES NOT cover the following events:

     

    • inability to travel due to a government or regulatory authority advising not to leave home i.e. “lock down”.
    • voluntarily choosing to “self-isolate” without orders treating medical practitioner or NHS Track & Trace
    • disinclination to travel due to concerns / fear around Covid-19.
    • cancellation/ curtailment of the trip where the main purpose was to attend an event that has now been cancelled or visit an attraction that is now closed.
    • known circumstances/events at the start date of cover (date insurance was purchased by beneficiary). Effective from 4.27pm on 11th March 2020, Covid-19 (Covid-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and became a global known event. All policies sold after this time (or new trips booked under existing policies) will not cover claims under the ‘Cancellation or curtailment charges’ section due to Covid-19 except where limited Covid-19 cover has been purchased.
    • travel to a country or region that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or equivalent government or national authority, or the World Health Organisation has advised against travel or all but essential travel to.
    • visa suspension due to the Covid-19.
    • cancellation of a trip where you need to self-isolate upon your return.

     

    You should speak to your accommodation / transport provider to defer, rearrange or cancel your trip.

     

    You can also contact your credit/debit card company as you may be able to obtain a refund via their chargeback facility.

     

    Regularly review the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)  website https://www.gov.UK/ROI/foreign-travel-advice and the UK/ROI Government  website https://www.gov.UK/ROI/coronavirus  for updates and follow the advice given.