Frequently Asked questions


Courses
1When can I start a course?
For all adult courses students 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.
2How many weeks is each course?
You can choose how many weeks you would like to study. Two weeks is the minimum length of course. There is no maximum length.
3Which 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 8 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,Health and Safety, IT, 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.
4How many students are there in each group?
BILA guarantees there is only a maximum of 8 students in a group.
5BILA guarantees there is only a maximum of 8 students in a group.
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.
6Can 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.
7How many levels are there at BILA?
BILA provides courses from beginner to advanced levels.
8How 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. BILA provides courses from beginner to advanced levels.

Enrollment, payment and cancellation
1How do I enrol in a course at BILA?
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 150 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.
2How 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. BILA Bank Account Details are: Account Name: Belfast International Language Academy Account Number: 60 06 68 77 Sort Code: 40 20 55 IBAN NO: GB36 MIDL 40205560066877 SWIFT BIC: MIDL GB22 Bank Name: HSBC. Bank Address: 25/29 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1. Northern Ireland

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 BILA, logon at bila.paytostudy.com
3How 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.
4What 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. Accommodation options for Adult courses, as well as Airport Transfers and participation in a full weekly activities and excursions programme are not included in course fees prices.
5What 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 £150 administration fee. If the course or accommodation is cancelled less than 30 days before the booked start date, the £150 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.

Please read our Terms & Conditions

Visa
1Will BILA 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
2What 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.

Accommodation
1Can you organise my accommodation?
BILA will organise homestay accommodation or Residential accommodation for all our Junior students. Additionally, Homestay accommodation for all Adults students will also be organized by BILA. Residential accommodation will only be available for Adult students from June through to August. Your preferred accommodation option MUST be stated on application form.

The School
1Why is BILA different?
Belfast International Language Academy is a small, independently run school. 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.
2Where do the classes take place?
BILA is located at BMC, Whiterock road, Belfast BT12. The school is easily accessible from all the main bus routes and is a 25 minutes’ walk from the city centre.

Frequently Asked Questions about Belfast
1Where is Belfast?
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is located in the North East of the island of Ireland.
2Why should I choose to study English in Belfast?
Belfast 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.
3When is the best time to come to Belfast?
Belfast 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.
4What is the weather like?
Contrary to popular belief, it does not always rain in Ireland! However, as an island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Irish Sea on the other, Irish 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
5Will I be able to understand the Irish accent?
Like all countries and regions in the world, Irish people can have a particular accent. It is not true that the ‘Irish’ accent is any more difficult to understand than other regional accents where English is the native language.

Accents reflect people’s upbringing, education, work, social circles and a variety of other factors. Belfast is a multicultural city with a wide variety of accents throughout the population.
6Is Belfast a safe city?
Like all countries and regions in the world, Irish people can have a particular accent. It is not true that the ‘Irish’ accent is any more difficult to understand than other regional accents where English is the native language.
7Can I work in Belfast?
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
8Are there any famous Belfast people?
Irish people have traveled the world for many centuries and have had a great influence on the world. Here are a few from our great city: Van Morrison (Famous Musician), George Best (The greatest footballer ever…!), Kenneth Branagh (Actor and Director), C.S Lewis (Author of Narnia Chronicles), Michael Longley (Poet), and many more…