Orientation

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Orientation

We welcome you to learn English in Australia at AICOL Gold Coast Language School and  we will provide you with a complete orientation on arrival.  In the meantime we provide the following useful information.

In order to settle into your accommodation in Australia and become familiar with your new surroundings we recommend you arrive a couple of days before the course starts.

  • For a small fee we can arrange a door to door airport pick-up – mini bus or private car.
  • If you are joining a homestay family they will accompany you to AICOL on your first day.
  • On arrival at AICOL you will be interviewed by our Director of Studies and (except for young learners) given a short written test to enable us to place you in the appropriate class.  You should bring with you your passport, pen and you may also wish to bring a notebook and/or dictionary although this is not essential.
  • On a Monday all new students are taken on an orientation of the local area to see where things are located: banks, post office, taxi, buses, medical facilities, police, immigration office, shops, international food hall etc.
  • As we accept students from 6 years of age can also arrange for the homestay families to drive students to and from AICOL each day.  this service is also available to adults for a limited period.
  • When you have read the following information and if you have further questions please feel free to contact us.

This is a summary of matters which you should consider when attending AICOL.

1. WEATHER:

July/August in Australia is the winter season.    On the Gold Coast in Queensland the daytime temperatures average 18-20 degrees, and the evening about 8 degrees.    We recommend you bring a sweater to keep you warm on the colder days.    July/August are also dry months, so we do not anticipate many wet days.  We usually have wet summers and dry winters.  January/February are our summer months, with the average maximum being 28-30 degrees, and the minimum 15 degrees.    Some days can occasionally get as high as 35 degrees or more although this is not common.

2.  LANGUAGE:

The national language of Australia is English.   European settlers came to Australia in 1788, mainly from England, Ireland, and Scotland.  Since the end of World War II Australia has welcomed immigrants from many different countries.   Now approximately 30% of Australians were born overseas.   As a result many Australians speak English as a second language.  Because of the multicultural influence, the Australian English accent is more universal.   Also we enjoy an enormous variety of food types and cultures.  

3. FOOD:

Several decades ago the typical Australia food was steak and vegetables,  often for 3 meals a day. Now our food is very varied  and includes a lot of salads,  seafood, and dishes from other countries such as curries, pasta dishes and sushi.    Near AICOL there is a major shopping centre (Australia Fair) with over 200 shops  including an international food hall selling  Japanese, Korean,  Lebanese,  Chinese, Turkish, Italian and other food.  There are also many other international restaurants near our college including Indian, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese.    Next to our school  is a small café/coffee shop selling noodle dishes, and within 100 metres there is a Lotte Korean food store.

4.  SWIMMING:

Australia is famous for its beaches, lifeguards,  surfers and Olympic swimmers.   Many students are not familiar with swimming in the ocean  and in such cases we always warn them to be very careful.   In particular please remember we always swim between the flags.   Gold Coast beaches have flagged areas which are patrolled by lifeguards who can rescue you if you get into difficulty.  If you swim outside the flags there may be no-one there to rescue you.    Never swim alone,  whether in the ocean or a swimming pool,  and never swim beyond your capabilities.

5. SUN:

Queensland’s sun is very strong in comparison with the sun in the northern hemisphere.    All students should put on sunscreen and wear a hat to minimize sunburn and skin cancer risk.  It is also advisable to wear a T-shirt, even when swimming, and to wear sunglasses to minimise the risk of eye damage.  You can burn after 10 minutes on a hot day.

6. SAFETY:

Although Australia is a relatively safe country, there are always risks wherever you travel.   To minimize these risks we recommend that when going to Surfers Paradise and other areas frequented by tourists  that  you do not go alone.   There are  a lot of international tourists visiting the Gold Coast during July/August  so be careful not to carry large sums of money with you.   And always make sure you keep your bags,  purses,  cameras, mobile phones  and other valuables with you at all times and do not leave them unattended.

Please do not forget that in Australia cars drive on the same side of the road as in England and Japan, which is opposite to America, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Russia, and most other countries.    Always be extremely careful when crossing the road.

7. HOMESTAY:

This is one of the most important parts of your stay in Australia and we will give you separate guidelines relating to homestay.  We would like initially to stress a few important matters.

  • Please understand that you are a guest in your host families home and that your host family  is not a hotel and does not provide a taxi service.   You are part of the family and should observe the normal rules of that family regarding meal times and bed times which may be different to what you are used to.
  • The food at your homestay may be different to what you have at your own home.   Our homestay families are trained to appreciate the different diets of overseas students, and do their best to satisfy students’ needs.  Many homestay families in fact take the students with them when they shop for food to make sure the student chooses what they want to eat.    Should you have any problems, please advise our homestay coordinator.
  • If you have any concerns regarding your homestay, please advise our Homestay Coordinator or other staff member as soon as possible.   Do not wait until you have returned to your own country.   If you do not tell us if there is a problem, we cannot fix it for you.
  • Try to practise your English all the time when with your homestay family.   This is a good opportunity for you to practice your English conversation.  When you return to your own country you will not have such a good opportunity, so please do not waste it.   Do not be afraid to make  mistakes.        It is the only way to learn.

8.  AICOL CLASSES

On arrival at AICOL you will be tested and placed into a class based on the test results.   If you find the class too difficult please be patient.   If after the first two days your class is still too difficult,  please advise your teacher.  Your teacher will advise our Director of Studies, who will discuss the matter with you and if warranted place you in a lower level class.

If initially you find your class too easy, immediately advise your teacher, and our Director of Studies will discuss the matter with you and if warranted place you in a higher level class.

Remember that you are here to learn English.    If you do not understand anything please do not be embarrassed to ask your teacher.    You will not learn to speak English if you sit in class and say nothing.    Practice your English at every opportunity.

During class it is a policy of AICOL that only English be spoken.

9.  AICOL RULES

AICOL expects all students to be well behaved and polite at all times,  not to be late for class,  not to cause any disruption in class, and to show respect to the teachers.  Any students who do not follow these requirements will be warned,  and if the problem persists AICOL may ask the student to leave the school.

  • No chewing gum
  • No smoking
  • No spitting
  • No food in classrooms
  • No use of lift

Remember you are here to learn English, experience the Australian way of life, and enjoy yourself.  It will not be the same as your own country and this is part of the joy of travelling.  If you participate whole-heartedly and keep an open mind you will have a wonderful experience learning English in Australia at AICOL.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU !