FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

About Cardiff Millennium College (CMC) and Cardiff

Where is CMC located?

CMC is located in the city centre of the capital city of Cardiff. It is on the stunning south coast of Wales. CMC is just 1.5 miles from the beautiful Cardiff Bay within walking distance from many of Cardiff's local attractions.

What is the weather like in Cardiff?

Click here for up to date information on the weather in Cardiff.

When is CMC closed?

2012

  • Easter Holidays from Friday 6th April to Friday 13th April
  • National holidays:
    • May 7th May Day Bank Holiday
    • June 4th Spring Bank Holiday
    • June 5th Queen's Diamond Jubilee
    • August 27th Summer Bank Holiday
    • Christmas Holidays from Monday 14th December to Friday 7th January 2013

2013

  • Easter Holidays from Friday 29th March to Friday 5th April
  • National holidays:
    • May 6th May Day Bank Holiday
    • June 27th Spring Bank Holiday
    • August 26th Summer Bank Holiday
    • Christmas Holidays from Monday 16th December to Friday 3rd January 2014

How much money do I need to live in Cardiff per week?

If you choose to stay with a homestay host, the only extra money you will need is for lunch during the week. You can eat in any of the local cafes or takeaway restaurants - most snacks or lunches cost between GBP3 and GBP5. You may also need to buy a bus pass; this costs approximately GBP14 per week. Look in our student handbook for ideas of local prices to give you an idea of costs of basic things. If you need any information about costs of particular items or services, email us on info@cardiffmillenniumcollege.co.uk

How do I get to Cardiff?

Cardiff is an easily accessible city from all major UK airports by car, train, coach or airplane. Click on http://wikitravel.org/en/Cardiff to find a comprehensive guide on 'How to get to Cardiff'.

When should I arrive in Cardiff?

Students normally arrive and depart on Sundays. Your homestay host will meet you upon arrival in Cardiff (please arrive between 07:00 am and midnight, otherwise you will need to pay for a taxi transfer to your host. If you are delayed for your arrival you should telephone your host family).

Please let us know before your arrival if you do not have your host's address or telephone number.

How old are the students at CMC?

The minimum age to study on our adult courses is 18 years, but most students are between 18-45 years of age.

Which countries do the students at CMC come from?

We cater for a wide variety of nationalities for example, German, Italian, Libyan, Spanish, Saudi Arabian, Belgian, Kuwaiti, Chinese, Emirati, French, Hungarian, Swiss, Bahraini, Russian, Omani, Brazilian, Columbian, Portuguese, Korean, Malaysian, Qatari and a host of others. Everybody is welcome to join our CMC family.

Do I have access to the Internet in CMC?

Yes, you have access to the Internet and it's absolutely free! So you can Skype or send e-mails to your friends and keep in touch with friends and family!

Do you offer a Social Programme?

We organise International food and music evenings, fitness events, discos, quizzes and game evenings. We like to know if a student is celebrating a birthday, so we can all join in and make it a day to remember. We also offer full day pay-as-you-go Saturday excursions! We organise visits to towns and cities in the UK including London, Bath, Swansea, Bristol and a host of others, and welcome ideas from our students.

Is there a Student Guide?

Yes - this contains a lot of useful information and is available from our International Student Administrator (ISA) during your induction on your first day at CMC. Please refer to this from time to time.

About the course

Are the teachers native English speakers?

Our teachers are qualified native English speakers.

When can I start my course?

For many of our English Language courses you begin on any Monday, and study for as many weeks as you choose depending on your own individual requirements.

Do you always have free spaces to join the classes?

We can't always guarantee a space on your chosen course, but we will always try to accommodate your needs and allocate you to a class suitable for you.

Can I change my starting date and should I pay for it?

If you notify us two weeks in advance you can change your starting date free of charge. If you already have been issued a visa then you are no longer able to change your starting date. In order to request a new visa letter with a new start date a further charge of £10 will be made.

What is the minimum age?

Adult courses: students must be at least 18 years old.

How do you run classes?

Each lesson is 1.5 hours with a 30 minute break between each class.

Which levels do you teach?

We teach Beginner (A1), Elementary (A1-A2), Pre-intermediate (B1), Intermediate (B1-B2), Upper-intermediate (B2) and Advanced (C1-C2).

Are the course books included in the price? If not, how much do they cost?

Books are not included in the course fees. You can purchase them from reputable book stores or online with the assistance of our ISA. On average they cost £18.00. From time to time we may have second hand books available at lower prices.

How many books do I need to buy during the whole course?

This depends on the duration of your course but you should count on spending 12 weeks at one level. Each level requires a student book.

How many students are there in each class?

Average 8 students (max. class size is 12)

How do I find out the most suitable level for me?

Upon arrival at the College you will complete an entry-level test. Based on this and a short interview with our academic manager you will be placed in a level suitable for you.

Do you do summer courses? What is the price for such a course?

Our courses run all year round so you can join us during the summer, spring, winter or autumn. During the months of July and August we offer a holiday English course with a fun-filled social programme. From time to time we may have special offers for certain courses and seasons, so keep an eye on our website for regular updates.

Do you run evening classes?

Yes, we run evening classes at CMC on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 18:00-20.00. These classes will only start if there are a minimum of 6 students.

When can we start the evening classes?

If there is a class confirmed you can start any Tuesday you like.

Do you offer degree courses?

CMC does not offer degree courses. If you are planning on doing a degree course we can prepare you for the Academic IELTS or TOEFL exam and assist with the application process and confirmation of a conditional offer at a UK university.

How fast can I improve my English?

CMC teaches English from Beginner to Advanced. On average students progress one level per 12 weeks. However, the amount of improvement you make depends on a number of factors, such as your motivation, study habits and even how close your mother tongue is to the English Language. Your talent and motivation will certainly speed the rate of progress.

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, all CMC students receive a Cardiff Millennium College certificate at the end of their studies. The certificate is prepared by our ISA on your last day at the college and will detail your study dates, English Language level and what course you completed.

Do I receive a report in regards to my progress?

Yes, you will be given a monthly report detailing personal comments from your teacher/s as well as future goals and academic advice.

What happens if I am absent?

CMC's policy on absenteeism can be found in the student guide.

What if I need to cancel my course?

Our cancellation policy can be found on your enrolment form.

Cancelling before your course begins:

The course booking fee of £100 is non-refundable. If you decide to cancel your course the remainder of the fees will be refunded.

If a student wishes to leave during an English Language course, they must give 4 weeks' written notice. We will refund 50% of the remaining fees. All tuition is calculated on a weekly basis, a full weeks' tuition fees will still be required if you attend for only a part week. No fees are returnable for any absences, including bank holidays or lessons not taken during your course. No refund will be made if you withdraw in the final 4 weeks of your course.

Do I need a Visa to study at your College?

If you are from any country within the EU (European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area) you do not need a visa to study in the UK. All other students need a visa to study here. Different countries have different visa requirements, so for up-to-date information please visit the UKBA website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying

Can I study more than 15 hours per week?

Yes, we have different programmes available. Our website has details on our intensive courses.

Can I study less than 15 hours per?

If you are non-European on a student visa our standard full-time 15 hours per week course is the required minimum. However, if you are European or an au-pair you do not require a visa then we can organise a part time course for you.

I want to apply to get my visa, but I don't want to attend the classes. Can you help me?

It is a Home Office requirement that all non-European students on a TIER 4 General Student Visa (GSV) attend classes for a minimum of 85% of the course. However, if you have legitimate reasons for your absence such as illness or personal problems, it is important to keep our ISA informed so we can keep your file up to date. If you are a visa student and you miss 10 consecutive lessons your course will be terminated and sponsorship withdrawn.

How many weeks of holidays am I entitled to have on a TIER 4 General Student Visa (GSV)?

8 months to 1 year: 12 weeks holiday (including school holidays).
6 to 8 months: 8 weeks holiday (including school holidays).
3 to 6 months: 4 weeks holiday (including school holidays).
Less than 3 months: no holiday entitlement.

This holiday entitlement is not mandatory. Students may use it as a whole or in part. The holiday period is part of the study period and is not at the end of it. In other words, a 52-week course is a total of 52 weeks and not 52 weeks + 12 weeks holiday. Please note that the dates indicated above are part of CMC's holiday schedule and only apply to class based courses at CMC.

Do I start from the same lesson as when I left for holiday?

No, if you go on holiday for a short period you will join the same class when you come back. However, if you go away for a longer period you may be assigned to a different class when you return from your holiday.

What happens on a Bank Holiday?

On Bank holidays (and all public holidays) there are no lessons as the College is closed.

How do I book a course?

Complete our booking form with all the requested documentation and send a course booking fee of GBP100 to secure your place. We can then send you a confirmation letter to assist with immigration procedures.

Do I need to pay a registration fee?

No - We do not charge a registration fee.

How do I pay for my course fees?

The balance of the fees must be made in full at least 4 weeks before arrival. Payment can be made by:

  1. Bank-to-Bank transfer:
    Name: Cardiff Millennium College
    Sort Code: 40 - 16 - 35
    Account Number: 01715666
    IBAN: GB50 MIDL 401635 01715666
    Swift Code: MIDLGB22
    Address: HSBC Bank, 18 Churchill Way, Cardiff, CF10 2HD
    Ensure your name appears on the transfer document.
    Please pay all bank charges. If charges are deducted in Britain, we will ask you to pay them when you arrive. You should also email a copy of the bank transfer document to info@cardiffmillenniumcollege.co.uk stating clearly your name and course dates.
  2. Cheque
    In sterling drawn on a bank in the UK, make cheques payable to Millennium IC.
  3. Cash to the International Student Administrator at the reception desk.
    Note: a minimum of 4 weeks fees must be paid at enrolment (or full fees for courses less than 4 weeks)
    If you are a sponsored student please provide the name and address of the person/organisation/company responsible for paying your course fees.

Accommodation and Welfare

What type of accommodation do you offer?

Most of our students choose homestay accommodation. Staying with a local family helps you practise your English and learn more about the British/Welsh way of life. It is also quite economical. During the summer months, we can also offer accommodation in the University Halls (self-catering). If you prefer to arrange your own accommodation, please tell us as we can assist you to search for private housing.

How do I book a homestay host?

Complete the 'accommodation' section on the booking form, an initial payment is to be paid to the College in advance for the first weeks rent which includes a small administration fee. After the first week, your weekly rent payment must be paid directly to your host family on the same day every week. Please note: This initial homestay host payment is non-refundable if you do not arrive at your host's house on the date expected without prior notification to CMC. No more than three students will be accommodated in a home stay host at any one time.

What can I expect from my homestay accommodation?

Your homestay host will treat you as a member of the family, meeting you upon arrival in Cardiff and taking you to your departure point when you leave Cardiff. Your host will guide you to and from college on your first day of lessons or if they are unable to take or bring you they will direct you to the relevant bus stops.

Students can expect: A single room, breakfast and an evening meal (Monday to Friday) and breakfast, a light lunch and evening meal at the weekends. Homestay accommodation is the most popular choice because it gives you the opportunity to speak English for most of your time outside college, it not as expensive as self-catering accommodation, your family will help you with English and everyday life, breakfast & evening meals are provided and from time to time companionship in the evenings and at weekends depending on the occupation of your host. The homestay host often becomes the basis of a student's social life and can often lead you to meet other English speaking people - family friends and relatives and every so often leads to a relationship which continues after the course. Staying with a homestay host offers you real experience of the culture and way of life.

How far are homestay hosts from CMC?

Most of our hosts are 15-30 minutes bus ride from the city centre. From the city centre you can walk or take a bus to the College (there is a bus stop near CMC). You can buy a monthly bus pass from the Cardiff Bus station. Your host will be able to tell you which number bus to take and where to get on and off.

Can I make a special request for my homestay?

As long as we are informed at the time of booking, we will do our best to meet any special requests. These requests are usually due to pet or food allergies or you may prefer accommodation with or without young children. There is a special section on the booking form where you can indicate your preferences. Please ensure that you tell us if you have any illnesses or allergies or if you have any special dietary needs. We always do our best to find a host to match your preferences but the more flexible you can be then more homestay options will be available for you.

Will I have access to the Internet at my accommodation?

Homestay hosts are not required to offer Internet access. You will have unlimited free access to the Internet on the college's computers and Wi-Fi service. Our computer terminals are open from 11.00 to 17.00 between Monday and Friday. Some hosts do have Internet access and may make a small charge to students who wish to use it.

Will I be able to smoke in my host family accommodation?

Many homestay hosts prefer non-smokers but we do have some hosts who smoke themselves. There is a special section on the booking form where you can tell us if you are a smoker and we will do our best to find accommodation where you can smoke. Most hosts are happy for you to smoke outside the house. You should never smoke in your bedroom, even if your host smokes.

What happens if I don't like my accommodation?

A great deal of time and care is taken to recruit homestay hosts. Students are placed with the most suitable host possible. It normally takes a few days at least to settle in with a host. Talk to our ISA if you are unhappy and we will do everything we can to try to resolve the problem and if necessary may change your accommodation.

What should I do if I become ill?

If you feel ill, tell your host. Your host can register you as their local doctor's surgery to register you. Please inform our ISA if you are ill as soon as possible or ask your host to inform us.

Examination Guidance

What exam preparation courses do you offer?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language and BEC (Cambridge Business English Certificate). All CMC exam courses help students work with material from past papers to familiarise themselves with the format of the exam. They will focus on the exam techniques and strategies required to be successful in the exams. In order for any of our exam preparation classes to start there must be a minimum of 6 students; alternatively, you are welcome to take our one-to-one intensive option. All exams listed on our website take place several times a year in the UK. We are happy to help students register for these exams at the local exam centres in Cardiff in other parts of the UK. For course prices, exam fees and local test centres please see our dates and fees section.

Cambridge Exams

What is the Cambridge exam and why should I take it?

Cambridge offers a range of exams KET, PET, FCE, CAE and CPE, which provide proof of a student's English language ability at different levels. These qualifications are prestigious and widely-recognised, enhancing student employment opportunities and confidence with the English language. The most popular exams are the First Certificate in English (FCE), which is for Upper-Intermediate level students and the Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) for advanced students. CMC offers all the Cambridge preparation courses. Classes are offered providing we have a minimum of 6 students, or you have the option to take one-to-one intensive lessons. The Cambridge exams are offered at our local test centre Cardiff and Vale College on three occasions throughout the year. Please note that the average price for external exams is between GPB80 and GPB115 depending on the type of exam.

IELTS

What is the IELTS exam and why should I take it?

For general information on this exam please visit www.ielts.org

How can I prepare for IELTS?

You are welcome to join our IELTS preparation course. There are also some good books available, which we recommend at the College. The British Council recommends the IELTS Specimen Materials, which costs approximately £13.00

When does the IELTS preparation course start?

You can join the IELTS course on any Monday.

How long does the IELTS preparation course take?

This depends on your starting level and the score you need to achieve. Before you start the IELTS course we can pre-test you or you can discuss this with our Academic Manager.

How do I apply for the exam?

Our local IELTS test examination centre is at Cardiff University. They run an examination approximately once a month. It is possible to take this examination in any centre of your choice at any location in the world. The test is standardised worldwide.

Application forms are available at the college reception. You need to complete the IELTS application form, attach 2 passport photos and provide a colour photocopy of your passport. We can help you complete your application form and you must then go personally to the IELTS office to register. We cannot register you for the exam at CMC. Please ask our ISA for assistance.

Contact details for the Cardiff IELTS test centre are:
IELTS Administrator IELTS Office, Cardiff University Deri House, 2-4 Park Grove, Cardiff, CF10 3PA
Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 9156 Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 9155
Email: ielts@cardiff.ac.uk
Web: www.cardiff.ac.uk/ielts

When do IELTS results come out?

Thirteen days after the exam (the second Friday following the exam)

How soon do I have to apply for the IELTS exam?

The official closing date is 5 weeks before an exam. Cardiff University will accept applications up to 1 week before. The Academic IELTS test is becoming increasingly popular and it is important to book your test at least three months in advance of when you would like to take it to ensure you are allocated a place, especially in the summer months of May to August. Please check the website www.cardiff.ac.uk/ielts or call us to see if they have places left for your desired date.

How long do I have to study to get a good IELTS result?

Research suggests that about 100 hours of tuition is required to improve by 1 band. However, this obviously depends upon how hard you work in class, how much extra study you do at home, and how quickly you assimilate and use new language.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

What is CEFR?

The Common European Framework (CEF) of Reference for Languages was developed by the Council of Europe to establish international standards for Language Learning, Teaching and Assessment in all modern European languages, including English Within the framework, there are six common reference levels of language proficiency:

A1 (Elementary)
A2 (Pre-Intermediate)
B1 (Intermediate)
B2 (Upper-Intermediate)
C1 (Pre- Advanced)
C2 (Advanced)

These reference levels describe what a learner can do at each of the six levels.

We hope you enjoy browsing our website and find it useful and informative. If however, there is anything you would like to ask us or feedback, please email info@cardiffmillenniumcollege.co.uk

What is the approximate cost for Social Programmes?

Entrance fees to local museums and places of interest vary between 5 and 10
Long distance trips to places out of Cardiff vary between 20 to 30 (This includes transports and entrance fees)

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