Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: November 2013

Welcome to the November edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! This month we’re bringing you ideas and inspiration for the fast-approaching festive season…

Hello, and welcome to November’s edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! My name is Ollie, and I am the Product Manager for our agency, Cactus Worldwide. Our team of experienced course advisors are here every day to discuss options with you and help set up a varied range of unique language-learning experiences, all over the globe, throughout the year, for all of our wonderful students.

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This month’s blog is aimed at letting you know about some of the best options that we have available for language study over the fast-approaching Christmas period! As the vast majority of the private language schools out there close for a few weeks around this time, it can be difficult to find the right option for a special seasonal getaway – so here are our recommendations.

If you have any questions about anything you read here, please feel free to contact me directly via oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions.

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English in Brighton with Cactus Language – Christmas 2013

Regent Language Training, one of our partners here in Brighton on the south coast of the U.K., are keeping their doors open during the festive period (closing only for the Bank Holidays on the 25th and 26th of December, and January 1st) – and they are offering a very special package of classes, host family accommodation and activities for any students who would like to spend the festive season in England, and enjoy a unique cultural experience! You can click on the link here for more details, and please feel free to contact us via info@cactuslanguage.com to check availability, or if you have any questions.

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Regent is an academically-focussed language school, which places emphasis on helping students to achieve their goals in terms of English language. As a medium-sized school, students here benefit from a family-feel environment, excellent facilities and large, bright classrooms, and also receive a personalised learning experience where all teachers really get to know each student and are happy to help with any issue.

Also, why not come to Brighton a day or two early, so you can see the traditional ‘Burning The Clocks’ ceremony on December 21st! The event is a winter solstice festival unique to Brighton, created in 1993, and known for its alternative carnival atmosphere. (Image at top of page)

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German in Berlin with Cactus Language – Christmas 2013

Alternatively, why not spend the holiday period in the second-biggest European city, and arguably the must-visit destination of the decade? Everybody seems to be talking about Berlin at the moment – so why not take the opportunity to visit our partners, GLS, for a very special ‘Christmas Culture Special’, and take the time out to experience the best that this incredible city has to offer.

The full seasonal course is priced at a reasonable 950EUR (£819) all inclusive, or 650EUR (£560) without residential accommodation, and the site opens on December 22nd and closes on January 4th 2014. The course attracts students of all shapes and sizes from across the world – between 40 and 80 students each Christmas, made up of solo travellers, couples and small groups – so you can be assured of plenty of company from friendly, like-minded people!

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Image: the ‘unofficial logo’ of GLS Berlin, who are based on Kastanienallee.

Here’s the full schedule:

22nd:  Arrival, check-in, plus a traditional 3-course German Christmas dinner at the school
23rd: 4 German lessons, plus a Pergamon Museum visit
24th: A guided walk along the famous Under den Linden boulevard, plus movie night at the school
25th: Christmas market shopping at Gendarmenmarkt, plus an evening organ concert at Konzerthaus Berlin
26th: Day trip to Potsdam, a visit of Park Sans Souci, Neues Palais, plus coffee in town
27th: 4 German lessons, free afternoon, plus ballet (Der Nusskracker) in the evening
28th: Guided day trip to Dresden
29th: Visit to Berlinische Galerie, plus a traditional dinner at Max und Moritz
30th: 4 German lessons, shopping, plus a visit to the Johanna Keimeyer art studio
31st: Guided walk in Treptower Park, plus Opera del Futuro & a NYE party at Radialsystem
1st: Ice-skating, plus an evening concert at Berliner Dom
2nd: 4 German lessons, plus a guided visit to the Topographie des Terrors museum
3rd: 4 German lessons, a guided visit of the Jewish Museum, plus farewell drinks and tapas
4th: Departure

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Image: a panoramic view of one of the high-quality studio rooms in the on-site student residence at GLS.

If you like what you see, you can book online here – or feel free to contact us if you have any questions, via info@cactuslanguage.com!

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European Portuguese with Cactus Language – Christmas 2013

Finally, how about a Christmas trip to Lisbon? Our partners, CIAL, also stay open throughout the festive period, closing only to observe the Bank Holiday on December 25th, and what they offer here isn’t a full package of activities and excursions, but an affordable closed group course for a maximum of 12 people, either at Beginner level or Intermediate (two groups). This makes it much more suitable to the independent traveller, and the cost is very reasonable at £401 for the fortnight, so great value in comparison with the high season.

Eirill Søiland, from Norway, spent 4 weeks with CIAL back in August, and she has been kind enough to provide us with some great photos and a brief personal review of the school, her course, and the surrounding area:

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“I did a 4-week Intensive Course at CIAL in Lisbon. I originally wanted to live with a host family, but applied too late for this so did my whole stay in a hostel close to the school, Unreal Hostel. This turned out for the best, as other people from the school also stayed here.

I do not have any Latin language background at all, so found it a bit frustrating to be placed in a Beginners’ class where 5-8 students spoke (almost) fluent Spanish. I felt a bit uncomfortable in this class, so I asked to move, and was placed in a new class which was much better for me.

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Together with the language school I had signed up for 10 surfing classes, which were well organised and really fun! The whole experience was really good, and the only thing I would have done differently would be to change my class a bit sooner, as I think I would have learned even more this way. Lisbon is an amazing city and I would love to go back.”

Again, I hope this has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for a great way to end the year! Although availability tends to be good on seasonal courses until late on, I would still suggest early booking, before those holiday flight prices shoot up.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning! 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

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Oliver Donovan
Agency Product Manager
Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

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