We know your time is precious, so here are the answers to the questions we get asked most often here at Oceanside English Academy.
Q: What is the maximum class size at your school?
A: Eight. (The average class size is 4-6, but in the high season of summer, we may stretch to ten.) *This is for our regular ESL program (exceptions can be made if you are coming as part of a special group.)
Q: What is the total size of your school?
A: Oceanside English Academy has a maximum regular enrollment of just 18 students. Special groups may mean that temporarily we have up to a maximum of 30 students. Either way, we are very proud to maintain a boutique-sized school to make sure you get the best quality attention.
Q: Where do most of your students come from?
A: The majority of our students are from Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Spain, and Germany, however we are a very diverse school, with students from all continents spending time with us.
Q: What is the average age of your students?
A: Students of Oceanside English Academy have ranged in age from 14 to 50+ years! The most popular age group is early twenties, which is a great age to have an adventure.
Q: What is the average length of study at Oceanside English Academy (OEA)?
A: From 3-5 months. Shorter stays are welcome, and very popular especially in the summer when the sun shines, and the outdoors is at its prime.
Q: What is the reason most of your students come to your school to study?
A: Most students want to improve their overall English (for work, school and travel), and also to experience the great Canadian outdoors in a perfect combination.
Q: Do students need a Visa to attend OEA?
A: Students may study up to 6 months on a Visitor’s Visa. For longer periods, a Study Permit is required. If it is possible that a student might study longer than 6 months, we strongly recommend applying for a study permit. (Note that students cannot apply for a Study Permit from within Canada.)
Q: Can students work and attend school at the same time?
A: Visitors cannot legally work in Canada on a Visitor’s Visa or a Study Permit. To work in Canada, students will need proper authorization. The most popular choice is a Working Holiday Visa. This allows visitors to work, travel and travel as they like. And yes, we have had quite a few students find interesting work while they study with us.
Q: Do you offer night classes?
A: Not for international students. Based on demand, Oceanside English Academy has options for night classes for people who live in the Comox Valley who want to improve their English. If that is you, we would be happy to hear from you.
Q: Do students receive recognition at the end of their study period?
A: Yes, each student receives a ‘Certificate’, a ‘Letter of Recommendation’ from the Academic Director, and a ‘Transcript of Credit.’
Q: What happens if a student cannot get a Visa?
A: This is rare, however if it happens, simply let us know in writing, and send us a copy of your rejection letter. If you have deposited any tuition fees, we will refund those upon receipt. Please note that registration fees are non-refundable.
Q: Are there any age requirements?
A: Yes and No.
- Yes – We usually require students to be 16 (grade 10) or older for our regular ESL program.
- No – We will make exceptions for families who wish to study together.
- OEA’s regular ESL program is an adult program as most of our students are between 20 and 25. However, there are many students, especially during the summer months (May –August), who are 18 and under. Conversely; it is not unusual to have students who are older than 40.
- OEA is a flexible school, and can therefore custom create programs specifically designed for middle school students, or even upper elementary students. If you are interested in something special, we may be a very good choice for you!
Q: Can students take some time off if they want to travel or if they have visitors?
A: Yes. Travelling and exploring British Columbia and Canada is an important part of language development. However, we ask students to limit their days-off to a minimum, and to tell their instructors at least 1- week in advance.
Q: Can students attend Oceanside English Academy if they don’t know any English?
A: No. A requirement to attend OEA is fundamental ability in English. If students don’t know any English yet, we recommend taking an ‘Introduction to English’ course in their native country before coming to OEA in Canada. This way they will have a more enjoyable time, and get more value out of their study.