The honest truth about Glasgow School of English (according to our students).

When students and agents are considering which school of English to study at in the UK, they take many different things into account. They want to know: is the school accredited, is it in a big city, does it have a programme of events and activities, is it a cheap place to live and study and, of course, does it have a good reputation for the quality of its facilities and teachers?

It’s easy for any school to make claims about the city in which it’s based, or its programme of activities, but important as these are, the key factor in any decision to come to the UK to learn English is the quality of the school and the teaching it provides. Reputations are hard won, and equally hard to maintain.

Glasgow School of English has a full round of official inspections, but we also ask our students to fill in a quarterly survey, where they can be as honest as they like about their experiences with us.

Our last survey covers the first quarter of 2017, from January to March, and we’re delighted to say that we have received excellent reviews and comments from our students. The full details are shown below, but perhaps the most important one for anyone thinking about coming to learn English in Scotland is that 98% of our students would recommend us.

Some students added comments. A representative sample of these is shown below.

“The office staff are very kind.”

“My class size with 8-10 students is good”

“The location in Glasgow is perfect!”

“Thank you for everything.”

“It was a great experience to be here. Thank you and best wishes.”

“It was a pleasure to have met you and I look forward to see you again.”

“I appreciate the school. All was very well. I’m looking forward to come back.”

“I think I will come back in the future.”

“Here I met wonderful people who I’d like to keep in touch forever!”

“I’m really sad to leave! And I will spend 15 days travelling in Scotland. We had an amazing IELTS teacher (I got 7/9).


Korea to Cádiz – we have students from all over the world!

Hye Yeong Hwang comes from Seoul in South Korea. Julio Sanchez comes from Cádiz but works in Sevilla in southern Spain. Both of them are pictured here and are studying at Glasgow School of English. I met with them in the School and we had an interesting chat about what they think about Glasgow, Scotland and the School in general.

Neither had visited Scotland before, but Hye Yeong’s husband had studied for an MBA at Strathclyde University (probably the best Business School in Scotland and one of the best in the UK) so she came here six months ago and her English is improving a lot. Julio had only studied English for one year at school in Spain and has only been at Glasgow School for a week, but his English too is improving considerably.

Both of them agreed that one of the big attractions of Glasgow as a place to study is that it’s a lot cheaper than London and some of the other big cities in England. They also agreed that the teachers at Glasgow School are very good. Julio explained how his teacher is helpful, friendly and uses great examples to help him improve his English. “The hour in the classroom goes very quickly”, he said, “and that is because the class is interesting and fun”.

Hye Yeong agreed, telling me “my teacher is kind and friendly too and when I don’t understand a word she helps me learn it”.

Julio and Hye Yeong told me that when they studied English in their own countries, there was a focus on grammar rather than actually speaking. Here, they said, it’s great to be able to practise speaking in the classroom.

I asked what they knew about Scotland before they arrived. Hye Yeong said, “whisky and golf”! She plays golf and she knew that Scotland, and in particular St Andrews, is famous as the “home of golf”. Julio said the weather is “different” from southern Spain but he finds Glasgow a beautiful city and he has enjoyed visits to the Cathedral and to the Riverside Museum and Tall Ship. You can see pictures of these trips on our Facebook page.

Finally, I asked what they particularly liked about Scotland. Julio, who works in Physical Education, said he really liked the fact that no-one smokes outside. “In Spain, this is not enforced like it is here. It’s much healthier here and no-one drinks outside in the streets either”. Hye Yeong told me that she loves fish and chips, and also our black (blood) puddings!


Interview by Alastair Blair