Monthly Archives: August 2009

Beachdown Festival 2009

Set just north of the coastal city of Brighton, in the breath-taking South Downs, the Beachdown Festival 2009 will be the direst festival site of the whole season; the South Downs have a chalk base and the rain simply disappears straight away into the rocks. There’ll be no need for wellies as you certainly won’t find any mud. Instead, you’ll find 42 hours of performances across four stages at Beachdown Festival 2009 from August 29 – 31.

And even if you don’t fancy camping over the holiday, there are a whole range of hotels and hostels available in nearby London and Brighton meaning all budgets and levels of adventure can be catered for. The Beachdown Festival, with takes place annually, is 42 hours of nonstop fun! With the best live entertainment that the UK has to offer, there are music performances, comedy acts, film screenings and much more.

Beachdown Festival 2009 kicks off in Camden, North London, with a killer warm-up party. Once party goers have recovered, everyone moves down to Beachdown and the real fun starts. Alongside some of the world’s biggest starts you’ll find live performances from some of Brighton’s most popular bands. Combined with DJ sets which happy daily and last most of the night, you really can party like an animal, all day and all night long.

When you’re ready to take a break from the music, there’s so much more to keep you entertained. At the Beachdown Festival 2009 there will even be a cinema, screening classic masterpieces to cult hits and everything in between. For families who all travel down together, there are also special programmes designed just for the kids, so you all can have a great day out.

You should also be ready to laugh as at Beachdown 2009 there will be three stand-up comedy shows, including international stars and Brighton up-and-comers, all support by a crazy selection of cabaret acts, including Mr Solo and Princess Knickers.

To keep your energy up during all this partying, you’ll find some fantastic food. Your taste buds are in for a great few days, with delicious and organic dishes from culinary experts such as Herman Ze German and Due South. From juicy steaks to sweet Chinese dim sum, no one is likely to go hungry over August bank holiday weekend at Beachdown Festival 2009.

About IELTS

IELTS – the International English Language Testing System – is for people who want to study or work using the English language. This English language test measures a candidate’s ability to use English in day-to-day situations across the four major language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The English test is run, managed and administered in more than 350 centers across 120 countries, by the British Council, IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

So, if you are considering studying abroad, applying for international jobs or immigrating to a new country, you will no doubt have to take this international English test. So read on to find out all about IELTS.

Why IELTS and What is the Importance of IELTS?

Of all the different English language tests, the IELTS test offers a fantastic way for you to grade your English skills in a meaningful way. Students’ results from the IELTS test are graded from 1 – 9, with 1 being a complete beginner and 9 being a native speaker. Points are awarded to candidates across the four components of the language test: speaking, writing, listening and reading. Because of the grading system and the excellent comparable scores it produces, the international English language testing system has become the most popular way to assess English ability in a number of different scenarios.

The best answer to ‘why IELTS’ is that it gives you access to over 2,000 education institutions, government agencies and professional organizations across the 120 countries where the international English test is recognized. A good score, often if 6 or more is required to undertake courses of higher education in countries that speak English; the UK, Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand are among the most popular.

Another equally important reason why IELTS is important is that the English test has become compulsory for students from many countries to get a student visa. For example, in Australia and the UK, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, to name but a few, will not be able to obtain their student visas without proof of having taken the international English test. Moreover, the IELTS test is the only English language testing system to be accepted for this purpose; TOEFL will not be accepted. The only exception is America, where the opposite is true: most universities require TOEFL and not IELTS.

In fact, it was immigration which first prompted the development of the IELTS test more than 50 years ago. Historically, English ability of visa applicants used to be assessed through face-to-face interviews. However, this system was by no means perfect and often resulted in prejudiced decisions. The international English language testing system allowed immigration officers to judge applicants’ English ability of the four key skills, a process clearly not possible in a short and conversation based face-to-face interview.

About IELTS Test Structure

All candidates of the IELTS test must sit four modules: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The total test time is 2 hours 45 minutes and candidates will have to site the listening, reading and writing modules on the same day. Depending on the rules of the individual test center, you will be able to take the speaking component of the test up to 7 days after the other modules.

If you are not comfortable with your English skills, you could always enroll in an IELTS preparation course. IELTS preparation courses, varying in length, are fantastic ways to quickly and firmly enhance your English skills.

UK Students seek work Experience in India

Students in the UK who have recently finished their business and finance studies are turning to work experience in India. Already in 2009, ten British students from a cross-section of UK universities have begun work experience in India, through the UK-India Business Council Scholarship (UKIBC) Scheme.

A UKIBC spokesman announced that there has been a clear upward trend in British students seeking to work in India. Students are reported to see this as an excellent opportunity of work experience in India and many use their work experience to judge if India is a suitable place for students to build careers.

The 10 students who are currently on work experience programmes in India are working in a range of sectors, from banks to social organizations and non-governmental organizations. Being able to gain valuable experience in a key emerging market and the rapid progression available to the right candidates, it is no surprise that work experience in India is becoming more attractive.

“This exchange will strengthen our aim to position ‘modern’ India in the minds of the next generation and also strengthen the business, trade and investment ties between India and the UK,” said Sharon Bamford, CEO of UKIBC.

This programme of increased foreign exchange programme ties between India and the UK is strongly supported by the British High Commission in India too. Sir Richard Stagg, the High Commissioner, has spoken in support of work experience in India on several occasions.

One of the students who were successful in securing a scholarship through the UKIBC for their work experience India programme said, “Having studied in Singapore, I would consider Asia and India as a destination for my career. These next few months will help me concrete this decision.”

A recent Cambridge University graduate, Simon Milward, saw the opportunity of work experience in India as highly valuable and has found that the programme fits well with his aspirations to have a career in social enterprise. “I want to take this scholarship as an opportunity to work in India, especially with the poor. India is one of my preferred destinations.”

A recent Kingston University graduate adds, “Due to India’s shift towards becoming a global power, I feel that this experience would be hugely beneficial to me.”

One of the companies offering work experience in India as part of the scholarship scheme is KPMG. Ian Gomes, chairman of the High Growth Markets division said, “As the epicentre of business activity moves towards the emerging markets, it is inevitable that future generations of international managers will require hands on experience of working and operating in these markets if they wish to progress their careers rapidly.

“It’s never too early to build a better understanding of new peoples, their cultures and work styles in today’s globalised world.”

Problems Faced by International Students in Eastbourne

Chris Moffet, manager of a furniture shop in the south coast town has banned international students from his shop, Perfect Homes. Putting up a rather uncouth sign, Mr Moffet cites damage to stock as reason for the outright ban.

The “polite” notice – pictured – on the front of the shop informs students not to enter, blaming the actions of a minority group of foreign exchange students.

Mr Moffet claims that damage was caused to his stock by international students spilling drinks on the tables and leaving rubbish on the floor. However, in contradiction to Mr Moffet’s account, owners of several language schools in the area do not believe foreign students would behave in such a way.

“They will go to sports shops and internet cafes and spend hours and hours there, where they are welcome because they are spending money. But a furniture shop is not an attraction for students anywhere in the world that I know,” said Jergen Matthes, owner of a language school in Eastbourne.

International students are an important part of the local economy and international problems such as this should be avoided at all costs. With 25 language schools and 25,000 foreign exchange students in Eastbourne every year, you’d of thought that the local business and people would be well aware of any cultural differences that may exist. And with international students contributing £12m to the local economy, perhaps Mr Moffet should reflect on his handling of this international student problem. Why not simply put up a sign banning food and drink, instead of foreign students?

And even if he doesn’t have a change of heart, he is falling foul of new race relation laws and is leaving the store open to prosecution. Paul Gilbert, a solicitor, told us the award of damages would be unlimited should a prosecution ever be brought.

We hope it doesn’t come to that as it would benefit no one. What’s needed is a bit of common sense from Mr Moffet.

St Giles International – New Programmes

We are delighted to announce a SPECIAL OFFER for our University Foundation Business Course (UFBC) at St Giles Brighton and St Giles London Highgate.

St Giles now has partnerships with four British universities offering guaranteed places to successful UFBC graduates and we have placed students at over 30 other universities throughout the UK. This, combined with our record of excellent results, makes St Giles your choice for students looking for successful university placement.

We have places still available for our September 2009 UFBC intake; so please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your places and avoid disappointment. We are also delighted to welcome applications for the January start date now.

  • Stronger Foundations: Our University Foundation Business Course (UFBC) continues to mature with the Universities of Chichester, Plymouth and Sussex, joining Oxford Brookes and Brighton as our partners.  These universities now welcome successful graduates from our UFBC onto a wide choice of undergraduate degree programmes.  We continue to strengthen our reputation with 100% of our students gaining access to the university of their choice.   Foundation courses are available at our Brighton and London Highgate Colleges.
  • More Availability:  The acquisition of new premises just opposite our San Francisco College, in the heart of downtown Market Street, means even more availability for your students in 2009 and beyond.   We offer bright modern classrooms with lively recreational spaces and cafe, combined with on-site Customer and Academic Services teams.  Our Brighton, London Central and Eastbourne Colleges have also expanded in 2009.
  • Academic Summer:  The launch of our new fast-track 6 and 8 week intensive FCE preparation course for the summer of 2010 will now offer a focused, results-orientated programme for ambitious learners at our Brighton and London Central Colleges.
  • New Beginners Courses: All of our Colleges now offer dedicated Beginner Level courses with dedicated start dates throughout the year.  These are designed to ensure a supported learning programme for those studying for the first time.
  • Superior Accommodation: Now includes, as standard, internet access and TV in large well-furnished rooms.  We are delighted to also launch a new Superior private bathroom option for all our UK Colleges with Platinum Centres.
  • New London Central Residence:  Our modern year-round residence, only minutes from the London Central College, offers modern, single en-suite rooms, ideal for the more independent learner.   This residence is also available to students studying at London Highgate.

  • New Vancouver Residence: Our new Vancouver residence (available from April 2010) offers the modern, independent living experience, within easy travelling distance of our city-centre College and downtown. 

  • Junior Summer Camps:  2010 is looking to be an exciting year of expansion, with new centres joining our portfolio of residential summer camps for young learners.  More details to follow.

I hope that you will find this information useful and, as always, please feel free to contact us should you have any questions – we are very happy to help.