Programmes: For Students

Our very successful intensive English language programmes have been running for 26 years.  We have welcomed over 46,000 students on these, almost all from Eastern Central Europe – but all are welcome!    Students only come as part of a group with their teachers. Our pre-course consultation ensures that what we provide is what will most help your students!   Our aim is to not replicate what you do, but to take full advantage of them being in England by using their own experiences to develop their knowledge of real English and especially their confidence in using it.

We have consistent outstanding feedback and our 2018 programmes will see the continued emphasis given to the integration of visits, the time in the family and classroom work – and ensuring it is made appropriate for all levels.   Fieldwork provides opportunities to use real English as well as to give a better understanding of the English way of life and the context of the language.  Tasks are set for the evenings and give host families a chance to help too and where students learn things they can share with their friends the next day. It is this student-centred approach to the language which is so important in a SOL programme.

We want to make maximum use of all the time spent with us, to make it effective and enjoyable!

Our great locations in Barnstaple and Bideford, and sometimes Tiverton in Mid-Devon, further enhance our courses.

The daytime is divided into two; one half in our centre, the other on short trips or activities.  Time in the centre involves a great deal of practical use of language, dealing with real situations, and often relates to work done with the families or in the visits undertaken.  The visits are to beautiful places and always with interesting language or observational tasks to do as well.


The summer is always too popular and busy.  Coming in winter, spring or autumn is recommended as it is cheaper and there are less traffic jams and the weather can be just as good.  The climate is moderate in all seasons, and the good sunshine record is one of the reasons why Devon is such a popular holiday area.   Although it can be unpredictable, most groups find it much better than its reputation!!   When it rains, it rarely lasts long, and, even in winter, day temperatures are always above 0°C.

Arrival in Devon will normally be on a Sunday (for one week programmes) or Monday.   When leaving, the departure at 06.30 allows a full 8+hour day in London for groups using their own coach.  In Devon the whole programme is fully organised, but after leaving Devon the responsibility lies with the group leader, though SOL is ready to give as much assistance as needed in planning further visits.   Many groups plan extra nights near London or elsewhere enabling the group to visit other places of interest (e.g.: Bath, or Oxford).


  • We are more than a typical “language school”, and offer an outstanding language development experience for both students and teachers.
  • This offers the best value in terms of motivating students and giving them confidence to use English for real purposes.
  • Our experience with students and teachers from Central and Eastern Europe is second to none
  • 1 teacher comes free for every complete group of 8 students (sometimes less)
  • 10% deposit confirms the booking – we hold an initial booking provisionally for one month.
  • We are open all year! The climate is moderate, and winters are mild – the Atlantic Ocean is just 10 km away!
  • The price is inclusive – no hidden extras, other than any special visits or requests or bookings before or after leaving Devon.
  • Full 8½ hour programme each day including fieldwork on visits, plus tasks with the family in the evening.
  • Sunday is family day.
  • Students are placed in friendly and supportive families, preferably with friends as they will speak more English this way.
  • 1 half price place is available, for children of accompanying teachers for every 15 students brought – but does not count towards the number of teaching groups or free teacher places.
  • We can book hostels to extend the stay in the UK, but must be paid for at the time of booking (exact price + £20 fee/group)
  • For schools with small groups of students who wish to travel by coach we try to find similar schools to join with them to keep the cost down.
  • A small budget for each group is also set aside to cover expenses incurred by the organising teacher (except travel), so no teacher will be out of pocket organising a group.
  • Safety and security of students are paramount. Evenings are with the families unless written responsibility is transferred to the visiting teacher.
  • Adults are welcome but only as full participants wanting to study – and there is a small daily supplement to pay.
  • SOL is a small, friendly organisation and we treat everyone personally before, during and after the stay.


Full groups booked and 50% paid for by Dec 31st can have a choice of 1 extra free place OR £5 less (excluding Open courses) for all students booked in by that date.

Stonehenge and Tintagel can only now be booked by the visiting school itself  – the school must be a bone fide State or private school, not a language school – and this can only apply to whole groups using their own coach or booked as an air group.   It is not possible for any Open Course booking.    We provide instructions and help with the booking.

Printable 2019 prices


Hungarian Group Photo Diary of SOL Course

06.30 Sunrise - leaving France by ferry.

The ferry crossing - A new experience.

Time for photos

Relaxing in the warmth of the ferry lounge

England is getting closer - The Iconic White Cliffs of Dover

8.30 am - Back on the coach ready to dock in England

UK - We're here!

First stop Canterbury

... with its narrow streets

....and famous names.

Past the shop

A 2.5 hour drive Stonehenge, walking to the entrance

Catching the bus to the stones.


First sight of the prehistoric monument

The view of Stonehenge

A little bit of history near the visitor centre

Meeting the group - introductions in the Guildhall

Orientation with a town map

In the SOL centre  - First lessons

Using realia ...reading labels

Introducing  the journal

Maps of Devon and where the visits will be

The Classrooms reflection Exmoor wildlife

Our teacher orientates the students in Barnstaple

A little research in the Museum

Some work on the town trail.

Meeting the Town Crier and Town guide

A little more orientation.

O Yey O Yey! Our Town Crier will always be heard on the town tour!

Time left to browse the Market

Preparing for tomorrow's trip - The Legend of King Arthur

Some drama to rehearsals to bring the legend to life.

The drama team is ready!

Off the coach.

Walking towards the beach.

First view of the Ocean - the tides is "Out".

That means 400m more to walk!

Testing the water, 15C in October.

....but some are braver than others.

Others check the rock pools and seaweed.

Then on to Ilfracombe harbour - it is low tide!

Narrow streets to explore.

The RNLI Lifeboat - an important topic on the course.

St Nicholas' Chapel on Lantern Hill.

Our guide talks with the students. Wales is 40km across the sea.

Damien Hirst's statue "Verity" dominates the harbour entrance and stimulates discussion!

On the way to Tintagel a stop at the coast

Tintagel - the Old Post Office

King Arthur's hall where the legend is told in an entertaining way

"The Round Table"

Knight in armour - spot the student!

Our Guide explaining about the visit to the castle

The path to the castle

Now very close to the Castle

...and one of the most photographed views from the Castle

...and back in the village a chance to sample the local treats.

Our Teacher discussing the last two visits

In town visiting a Charity Shop and asking questions

Oxfam is one of the Charity Shops in town

Then another visit in the afternoon accompanied by our guide

The spectacular (but safe!) path near Lynton

The remarkable and famous Lynton goats don't suffer from vertigo!

Nearly every seat is dedicated to someone who has died but loved this area

One of many poems posted on the path to Lynmouth

Lynmouth a village destroyed in 1952 by a cataclysmic flood

The choice of fudge is endless.

The unique cliff Railway between Lynmouth and Lynton 125 years old.

Students board for the ride up the cliff

Here they see that is works on water power only. Totally green power!

Another visit- The village without cars, Clovelly

The high Street, going down to the harbour

The High Street looking up. Deliveries have to be on sledges.

 The harbour

The sign shows where you can get a Land Rover to take you back up the steep road.

Two clocks showing high and low tides

Walking on the pebbles needs care and proper shoes!

It's low tide again and another lifeboat and house and slipway

Students walking across the beach to the waterfall

The walk back on the cobbles is quite a long one

...then on to Westward Ho! Another Altantic beach and more pebbles

Rudyard Kipling went to school here!

Famous in North Devon 'Hockings Ice Cream' - You cannot leave without having one!

Our teacher outlining the final day.

Students enjoying another joke

Finalising the journals

...which are pretty full

Preparing to do the town challenge, interviewing people in the street about their chosen topic

Back in class analysing responses and preparing presentations

...this needs a lot space and cooperation

Finally the presentation are ready - this one on Food

...this one on Fashion

... this one on festivals

... this one on shopping

... and then the certificates are presented

Before a final photo with teachers

There is still time for a day trip to London before the students catch the ferry home...

Plan of Greenwich

This has to be London with those buses

The Cutty Sark

On the river – looking at Canary Wharf

... and soon to pass under Tower Bridge

The Shard

The Tower of London

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

St Paul’s Cathedral

The impressive ”80 The Strand” home to Pearson publishers

Students on deck

London Eye

Big Ben