Cactus Language Newsletter – July 2015

Welcome to the Cactus Summer newsletter!

Our new quarterly newsletter brings you top tips and ideas for the coming months, as well as some offers and incentives to learn a language while the sun’s shining…

1. Junior language camps – a wise choice for the summer

newsletter-junior-language-camps

The summer holidays may be upon us, but it’s not too late to book a holiday of a lifetime for your children. Our junior language camps for 5-18 year olds are fun-packed, educational and confidence-boosting!

2. 10 top locations to learn Spanish this summer

newsletter-spanish

Tropical beaches, magnificent colonial cities, superb water sports, Mayan ruins, sumptuous food, wine tasting and nightlife…whatever you want from your holiday, you can find it with a Spanish course!

3. Sneak Preview! Ollie Phillips in Spain

newsletter-ollie-spain

Cactus Ambassador Ollie Phillips has recently jetted off to Spain with Cactus, to practise his Spanish in Seville and catch some waves surfing in Cadiz. We asked you what you wanted to see Ollie do in Spain and you voted flamenco…so see Ollie dancing flamenco and look out for the upcoming video of his trip!

4. Join Cactus at the Language Show and The Expat Show – Autumn 2015

newsletter-language-show-expat-show

Whether you’re learning a language for relocation, work, love or brain power, join us at these two fantastic shows where you can try a language class for free, win a language course and claim your free language learning voucher.

5. NEW Corporate Language Training Website

newsletter-tm-site

June 2015 marked the launch of our new Cactus Language Training website, your new platform for private and corporate language training worldwide. To celebrate we are offering a £50 voucher off your next course!

Have a great summer and we’ll see you in September!

The Cactus Team

Cactus Worldwide Blog: April 2014 – Focus on Spring Ideas

Focus On: Spring Ideas

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to the April 2014 edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog for our foreign language courses abroad! 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.

This month’s blog offers a quick update on some of the great special offers currently available to book via the Cactus website, and also offers some European destination ideas for brushing up your language skills over the next few months.

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.

1. Get twice as much for your money on selected dates in Ibiza!

ibiza

Special offer Spanish Course in Ibiza with Cactus Worldwide & Instituto de Idiomas Ibiza

Beyond her globally recognised reputation as a hedonistic ‘party island’, the destination of Ibiza has far more to offer a visitor than nightlife and club culture alone. Stunning beaches, beautiful green spaces and laid-back, friendly people make this a great choice for anyone looking to brush up their Spanish somewhere away from the mainland.

Affordable accommodation and flights from most international airports make this choice an easier one on the wallet as well, not to mention that fantastic new special offer we have for you on selected dates! If you book 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks of Spanish in Ibiza Town, for a start either on May 12th, or September 29th 2014, then you will receive twice as much for your money – that’s 2 weeks for the price of 1; 4 weeks for the price of 2; 6 weeks for the price of 3; or 8 weeks for the price of 4! The offer applies to the school’s essential General Course of 20 lessons per week (4 lessons per day) in international groups with a maximum of 8 students – all course materials and registration fees are included in the prices you see on our website, and classes are available for students of all levels. There are also huge savings to be had for the same start dates on the school’s Intensive Course of 30 lessons per week, for any students who want to push themselves that bit harder, and spend a bit more time in the classroom – you can see the info here!

ibiza_school

Independent, family-run, Instituto de Idiomas Ibiza is fully air-conditioned and equipped with computers, learning materials and free Wi-Fi, and is centrally located just moments from the coast on Avinguda D’Ignasi Wallis (https://goo.gl/maps/6J4ZC). Its medium size gives the school a welcoming and intimate atmosphere where all students quickly get to know one another, and there is always a great mix of ages, nationalities, and abilities in attendance – so a perfect choice for groups, couples, or solo travellers alike!

2. 5 weeks of French classes for the price of 4 on the French Riviera!

nice

5 weeks of French for the price of 4 in Nice with Cactus Worldwide & France Langue

This is a ‘Happy Birthday’ offer for our partners in Nice, on the French Riviera. This city centre school, owned and operated by quality small chain France Langue, turns 20 years of age this year – and to celebrate they are offering a free week of French classes for any students who are able to attend the school for a month or more, any time in 2014!

The offer applies to both the General Course (20 lessons per week), offering a saving of almost £200; and the Intensive Course (30 lessons per week), with a huge saving of £275 on the course fees, which are inclusive of all registration fees and course materials. Classes here take place in groups with an average size of 10, and occur in the morning or afternoon dependent on your level, and the time of year (outside of the summer season, most classes take place in the morning, when the school is quieter). The lessons focus on improving comprehension, grammar awareness, and all four vital skillsets of speaking, listening, reading and writing; and for students opting for the intensive course option, additional classes take place in the afternoons which focus on conversation skills, writing skills and understanding phonetics.

The best thing about this school is the huge range of activities and excursions available to students throughout the year, and this makes it a superb choice for solo or first-time travellers. Many students combine their French studies with sports sessions, cookery or culture classes, as well as taking advantage of the extensive social programme scheduled by their experienced team (20 years’ experience that is!). You can view the programme here, and check out the special offers on our website here. Profitez-en!

nice_students_beach

3. Great value German courses all year round at the Fremdsprachenforum in historic Cologne

cologne_students

Learn German in Cologne with Cactus Worldwide & Fremdsprachenforum

Have you ever been to Cologne (Köln)? If not, perhaps now is the time as this is another historic, must-visit European destination that is increasingly well served by affordable flights from a range of international airports. The medieval city spreads out on either side of the River Rhine in North-West Germany, and hosts some of the most incredible modern architecture in the country, as well as the famous Kölner Dom, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral is Germany’s most-visited cultural attraction, with approximately 20,000 visitors every single day! Plenty of quality shopping opportunities and a vibrant nightlife (more than 70 nightclubs and late-night bars) neatly round the city off as one of the key places to visit in order to discover Germany’s past, present and future.

Our colleagues at the Fremdsprachenforum on Lindenstrasse (Claudia & Chantal) run a true family-feel school close to the city centre, completely independent, and incredibly welcoming to students of all ages, abilities and nationalities. The school prides itself on providing the highest quality teaching possible, and at affordable prices, meaning you can take a General Course of 20 lessons per week here for as little as £88! A Combined Course which provides 20 group lessons per week, plus 5 private lessons, is also a bargain at £193 for one week; or a full-on crash course of 25 private lessons in one week is just £483 – a perfect solution for any student who needs to learn as much as they can, as quickly as possible. Long-term students, for example, can spend a month in Cologne, take 20 lessons per week, and stay with a host family in the city for a total of £820, which is excellent value. All the course listings are available to view on our website here.

cologne_cathedral

I hope this selection has been of interest, and may have given you some money-saving ideas for the summer months up ahead…

Any Qs at all, as always, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

Oliver Donovan

Agency Product Manager

Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

Cactus Worldwide Blog: March 2014 – Focus on Spanish Courses for Teens

Focus on: Spanish Summer Courses in Spain for Juniors & Teenagers

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to the March 2014 edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog for our foreign language courses abroad! 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.

This month’s blog is giving you a quick look at some of the options available for juniors and teenagers this summer in Spain – so if you are or know anybody who is preparing for an important exam, or about to move onto an GCSE or A-Level course, or who is just interested in learning a very useful foreign language, then there might be something here for you! There are three fantastic options below for students aged 5-17, and in some locations parents can study as well, so there is always the option to involve the whole family.

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.

1.       Sevilla (June 15th – July 26th)

Spanish in Sevilla for Teenagers, aged 14-17, with Clic & Cactus Worldwide

seville_clic_courtyard

This is a wonderful, specialised course for independent older teenagers, served as a package inclusive of 20 Spanish lessons, full board host family accommodation and a set package of excursions and activities, such as a visit to Isla Magica theme park and a trip to the beach of nearby Cadiz. Groups are kept as small as possible so every student remains an individual throughout their attendance at the school, and don’t get ‘lost in the crowd’ as can be the case at some larger schools. Accommodation is with host families, and twin rooms are available for anybody who would like to travel with a friend or as a small group. This is an ideal opportunity for committed students to attend a quality school, brush up their Spanish, and make some new friends from all over the world. 2 weeks on this course is priced at £945, fully inclusive of the course, board, and activities, and courses are available here for accompanying adults too – click here for the info!

seville_clic_outside

2.       Denia (22nd June – 23rd August)

Spanish in Denia for Juniors & Teenagers, aged 5-17, with TLC & Cactus Worldwide

denia_computerroom

Denia is the ideal location for younger students and families with children of a wider range of ages, catering for adults and juniors from the ages of 5 to 13, and teenagers from 14-17. The town itself is right in the middle of Alicante and Valencia airports (about 1 hour from both), so it’s incredibly easy to access from the rest of Europe with many of the most popular budget airlines.

The school itself is independent, welcoming and friendly, and is located just 5 minutes’ walk from the city centre and is very near the bus station, bars, shops and cafes. It is also just 10 minutes by foot to the port and 20 minutes to the beach, so there is no need for public transport at all after you have arrived. The school is contained within two renovated buildings offering 6 comfortable and equipped classrooms, TV and video facilities, air conditioning and coffee machines, and students also enjoy free access to a Multimedia centre with 15 computers, internet and interactive language programmes, plus a library offering additional materials. Classes are kept to a maximum of 8 students (12 for some junior courses), which is ideal, and all teachers are specialists in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, with many years of experience.

The junior courses here run from June 22nd until August 23rd, and solo students or families can stay either with friendly local hosts in their home, or in one of the school’s apartments in the town (some in the city, some by the beach). The programmes for young students aged 5-13 provide 10 Spanish lessons per week and a choice of a programme of land-based activities or afternoons of sailing at Club Nautico in the marina (for students aged 8+). For the teenagers, 20 lessons per week are taken at the school, and a full programme of cookery lessons, workshops and beach sports. Every group overlaps in some way, so there is a unique mixture of student ages and nationalities every step of the way here, providing an ideal setting for solo travellers or the whole family, and ensuring loads of fun is had by all! Well worth booking early to avoid disappointment.

denia_outside

3.       Segovia (29th June – 23rd August)

Spanish in Segovia for Teenagers, aged 14-17, with OISE & Cactus Worldwide

segovia_children

This Spanish summer programme in the beautiful landscape of Segovia (just outside Madrid – only 30 minutes by train) is aimed at the most ambitious young learners aged 14-17 who want or need to learn Spanish very quickly and effectively. What this school provides is a premium option for those students who are looking for a full Spanish immersion experience and they design their programme in a way that helps them make the maximum possible progress in the time available. This is achieved through an intensive day of study in small groups with a high degree of personal attention (the course only caters for an average of 20-30 students at any one time), and the small class size of 8 as a maximum also ensures that all students’ individual learning needs are met.

Students attending this programme are expected to complete homework each evening with their host family, or with the monitor at the residence, so although there are activities and excursions provided during the weekends (visits to Madrid, for instance), the focus here is much more on academic progress, cultural integration and communication skills, so it’s an ideal choice for a committed student looking for a demanding programme.

Segovia itself is a quintessentially Spanish city, close enough to Madrid to make it logistically easy for arrivals but at the same time it is a small city with a population of 45,000. Ideal for younger students, this town is safe, family-oriented and also a UNESCO cultural destination. The Spanish spoken in Segovia is also very clear and precise, making it the perfect destination for a serious academic programme! Two-week programmes start from £1,805, completely inclusive of meals, accommodation, tuition, activities, excursions and transfers from Barajas airport in Madrid. Places are limited, so again it’s well worth booking early to avoid disappointment!

We hope this selection has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for some study options for the year ahead. Any Qs at all, as always, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

—————————————————————————————————————–

Oliver Donovan

Agency Product Manager

Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

—————————————————————————————————————–

Panoramic image at top: Segovia, Spain

Cactus Worldwide Blog: February 2014 – Focus On TEFL

Focus on: Cactus TEFL Special Offers

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to the February 2014 edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! And also, welcome to our agency – Cactus Worldwide – where 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 or language-teaching experiences, all over the globe, throughout the year, for all of our fantastic students.

This month’s blog is all about the special offers we currently have available to those of you considering taking a TEFL course this year, in the U.K. or abroad.

If you have any questions about any of the special offers that you read about here, please feel free to contact our experienced TEFL admissions advisor, Peyman Shameli, directly via info@cactusworldwide.com and he’d be happy to answer any questions.

1.      £47 off the Cambridge CELTA course in April in Krakow, Poland!

Now only £868 for the 4-week CELTA course starting 7th April (finishing 9th May).

Click below to find out more about this last-minute offer and apply now!

Full-time Cambridge CELTA course in Krakow in April with British Council and Cactus TEFL – now just £868

2.       £50 off the Full-Time March Trinity CertTESOL + £100 off the Part-Time April Trinity CertTESOL in Oxford Circus, Central London!

Established in 1962, St George International operates out of a new purpose-built centre, situated in the Fitzrovia district of Central London. Although only three minutes away from busy Oxford Circus underground, the school itself lies in a wonderfully quiet back street.

The centre is widely regarded as being a specialist in the field of EFL, having run high-quality, good-value teacher training courses in Central London since the summer of 1993. Since then, over two thousand trainees have successfully passed through their doors as newly-qualified English language teachers of the globally-recognised Trinity College London Cert TESOL.

Click below to find out more about the 2014 special offers and apply now!

Full-time Trinity CertTESOL in March with Cactus TEFL & St George International – now just £845

Part-time Trinity CertTESOL in April with Cactus TEFL & St George International – now just £895

st_george_international_london

St George International, Oxford Circus, Central London

3.       Free Course Book (Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener, worth £30) for every successful Trinity TESOL applicant in 2014 @ British Study Centres in Brighton! Exclusive to Cactus TEFL

BSC in Brighton was opened in 2008 and is located in a beautifully refurbished, four-storey Victorian house between Brighton and Hove, with a garden, a terrace and a 5-star cafeteria, and in an ideal location with the beach, Brighton attractions and city centre only 15 minutes away. The school has 15 spacious classrooms with large windows, a fully stocked study centre and library, a computer room as well as WiFi throughout the building. This school is not only newly-renovated, well-resourced and a pleasant training environment, it is also a real, thriving workplace where students can experience the reality of teaching.

Every little helps, and this year they are offering every successful Trinity TESOL applicant applying via Cactus TEFL a free copy of arguably the most highly-regarded text in the EFL industry – Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener – worth £30.

Click the link below to take advantage of this special offer!

Trinity TESOL in Brighton with Cactus TEFL & British Study Centres

british_study_centres_brighton

The garden at British Study Centres in Brighton

4.       Free Course Book (Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener, worth £30) for every successful Trinity TESOL applicant in 2014 @ Athena Teacher Training in Bournemouth! Exclusive to Cactus TEFL

Just two minutes from Bournemouth’s long sandy beaches and city centre, Athena Teacher Training forms one of Bournemouth’s largest language schools and prides itself on offering a friendly, professional atmosphere in which to develop the teaching skills vital to all good teachers.

The school is offering every successful Trinity TESOL applicant applying via Cactus TEFL a free copy of arguably the most highly-regarded text in the EFL industry – Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener – worth £30.

Click the link below to take advantage of this special offer!

Trinity TESOL in Bournemouth with Cactus TEFL & Athena Teacher Training

5.        Discounted Part-Time Trinity Cert TESOL course in Oxford this March – now only £795!

ISIS Oxford are offering £55 off off their part-time Cert TESOL course starting 4th March – normally £850, now just £795.

This 14 week part-time course leads to the award of the Trinity Certificate in TESOL. Along with the RSA CELTA, this is the most widely accepted qualification for teachers of EFL/ESOL, with recognition from schools and colleges worldwide and bodies such as the British Council and the QCA. You can anticipate a demanding but enjoyable month, at the end of which you will have the tools and the confidence to take up a first TESOL position either in the UK or abroad.

If you’re interested in taking a last-minute Cert TESOL course this is a wonderful opportunity to study in the beautiful, iconic city of Oxford at a reduced price.

Click the link below to find out more and apply!

Part-time Trinity Cert TESOL in Oxford with Cactus TEFL and ISIS Oxford

oxford

6.       10% off a CELTA course in the Sevilla sunshine this March, with Cactus TEFL & Clic! – but be quick, offer only valid for applicants applying before Friday February 21st

clic_seville

The Andalucian ‘Clic Sevilla’ school building

Are you considering teaching English in Spain this year? If so, we highly recommend taking a course in-country, as this offers many significant benefits, such as a valuable in-country contact for jobs advice and support. Trainees taking their TEFL course abroad also benefit from teaching students native to that country during their teaching practice sessions, so they graduate from the course already highly equipped with knowledge of these learners’ specific academic and cultural learning needs.

This highly popular school in Sevilla, called Clic, is part of an international network of schools (for teacher training and teaching Spanish as a foreign language) located in the heart of the town, just 10 minutes’ walking distance to the cathedral and 2 minutes to Plaza Nueva. The building is a very well-equipped Andalucian house with a reception desk on the ground floor, training director’s office, teachers’ room, classrooms, internet access, kitchen, vending machines and common room on the second and third floors and a large roof terrace. The school also owns its own cafe/bar (serving drinks and tapas) on the same street. This provides an excellent meeting place for both teachers and students from all over the world.

Interested? Visit the link below to find out more about the course and download an application form for the 17th March CELTA course!

Cambridge CELTA in Sevilla with Cactus TEFL & Clic International House

clic_seville_cafe

The ‘Clic’ cafeteria in Sevilla

We hope this selection has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for some bargain study options for the year ahead. Any Qs at all, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

—————————————————————————————————————–

Oliver Donovan
Agency Product Manager

Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: January 2014

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to the first 2014 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.

This month’s blog is aimed at letting you know about some of the best special offers and early bird discounts that are available to you this January, including some big birthdays and the birthday deals available to help celebrate them! 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 help.

1.       Thinking about taking a German course in beautiful Vienna this summer? Call or e-mail us to book any adult course for between June 1st and August 31st this year, and we’ll give you a discount of £100! Valid until the end of January.

German Courses in Vienna with Actilingua and Cactus Language

vienna_school

For anybody out there thinking about taking some time out to learn German abroad this summer, this is a deal well worth checking out! Our partners in Vienna, Actilingua, are offering a discount of £100 off any adult course booked during January for the summer months of June, July and August – and all you have to do is call or e-mail Cactus quoting ‘Early Bird’ and we can apply the discount to your enrolment straight away.

vienna_school2

The must-visit city of Vienna has a historic cultural tradition and the Actilingua Academy can help you learn not only the local language, but also find out much more about Viennese literature, famous Austrian painters, the local film scene, and the fascinating architecture of what is perhaps also the safest and cleanest city in Europe.

vienna_residence

To make things easier, the school also own and operate their very own clean and modern student residence, which consists of 20 tidy en-suite apartments in a renovated Art Nouveau building just 10 minutes away from the school on foot (photo above and below). The residence fills up quickly, so it’s worth book early to avoid disappointment. Click here for more info.

vienna_residence2

2.       Happy 25th Birthday to IH Lacunza in San Sebastian, Spain! Call or e-mail us and say ‘Happy Birthday Lacunza!’ before booking, and we’ll discount £30 off the total price – on all bookings until the end of April.

Spanish in San Sebastian, Spain, with IH Lacunza and Cactus Language

lacunza

Perhaps one of the most significant birthdays being celebrated amongst our colleagues in Europe this year is that of IH Lacunza in San Sebastian on the northern coast of Spain, who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their inception in 1989! To celebrate, they themselves are giving away the presents, by offering Cactus students an immediate discount of £30 off the course price just for wishing them a ‘Happy Birthday’ – and then a further surprise birthday present on arrival at the school, which could be a free dinner, tour, excursion, or ticket for a local activity! The offer is valid on all courses starting in 2014, and is valid on all bookings until the end of April – so plenty of time to get organised.

san_sebastian

Lacunza is just 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of San Sebastian, a town less well-known than some of its bigger counterparts, but growing in popularity for its sandy beaches, surf, nightlife and a generally cool, laid-back and authentically Spanish atmosphere. The school itself offers everything expected of a large and successful language school, including 10 bright air-conditioned classrooms and an excellent range of study facilities. All Spanish teachers are native speakers and work alongside school staff to help students get the most out of their stay in San Sebastian via the social programme, and encouraging students to join their intercambio programme, to meet other students and local people! Lacunza’s success is in their experience, and they are well worth joining for a party this year if you find a spare week or two. More info here!

3.       And finally, Happy 20th Birthday to Intercultura in Heredia, Costa Rica! To celebrate, we can offer our students a discount of $50USD per week – again, just call or e-mail us to say ‘Happy Birthday Intercultura!’ and we can discount your booking for you (Heredia only, not valid for courses on Samara Beach).

Spanish in Heredia, Costa Rica, with Intercultura and Cactus Language

costa_rica_heredia

Throughout 2014, our partners in Costa Rica are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of their school in Heredia, in the capital area, close to San Jose. To share the celebrations with their students, they are offering a discount on all adult group courses of $50USD (approx. £32/37EUR) per week regardless of how long you stay in the town. Better still, this offer is valid all year long! You can call or e-mail us anytime, and as long as your course starts in 2014, the discount is all yours.

costa_rica

Why visit Intercultura in Heredia? From the second floor roof terrace of the school you can see the mountains to the north and the valley to the south; from the balcony you can see the colonial church spires and the palm trees of the central park, 4 blocks away, where bright green parakeets gather at sunset, singing so loud you can sometimes hear them all the way from the school! Nearby you also have Barva volcano, the Ojo de Agua natural spring pools, and the La Paz waterfall gardens, where you can hike down a path right next to 6 giant waterfalls. Enough said? Click here for more info.

We hope this selection has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for some bargain study options for the year ahead. Any Qs at all, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

—————————————————————————————————————–

Oliver Donovan

Agency Product Manager

Email: oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com

Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: December 2013

In our last blog of the year we’re bringing you some exciting new locations to look forward to in 2014. A very Happy Christmas from us all at Cactus and we look forward to sending you on more language learning adventures in the new year!

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to December’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.

This month’s blog is aimed at letting you know about what’s brand new at Cactus Worldwide for the year ahead, and if you have any questions about anything you read here, please feel free to contact me via oliver.donovan@cactusworldwide.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions.

1. Olinda Portuguese Language School – Olinda, Brazil

olinda

For all of our students of Brazilian Portuguese we are very happy to announce a new partnership with the Olinda Language School, located in Olinda, Pernambuco, one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil! From 2014 (and just in time for the World Cup) we are pleased to be able to offer an alternative destination to the more frequently visited cities of Rio and Sao Paulo, and offer our students the opportunity to spend some time at this exceptional independent school and not only be immersed in authentic Brazilian Portuguese, but also have the opportunity to combine language classes with a variety of social programmes –including activities such as photography, percussion and football coaching with a local expert.

image

The school is run by directors Justin McPherson and Norman Monteiro (as an Australian & Brazilian partnership) and all the teachers in Olinda are local native speakers and experts in teaching Portuguese to foreign students. The classrooms are comfortable and climate-controlled, and a reading room and break room are available to the students, as well as a large auditorium and a kitchen. Walking distance homestays are also readily available. If you need any more reasons, please feel free to get in touch, or visit the link below for more info!

Brazilian Portuguese Courses in Olinda, Brazil

2. France Langue Opéra – Paris, France

image

France Langue are a small chain of quality language schools who have been teaching French to thousands of students from over 80 countries since their inception in 1976 and they still welcome students all year round at each of their centres: Paris, Biarritz, Bordeaux & Nice. Cactus and France Langue have worked together for many years, but new to us for 2014 is the offer of French courses at their elegant school in Opéra, Paris, in a lively neighbourhood between the department stores along Boulevard Haussmann and the fabulous jewellery shops in Place Vendôme. All in all, this is a perfect choice for the student looking at visiting Paris to study French, but seeking a comfortable and quiet school in a classy neighborhood. Class sizes here are limited to only 10 students as a maximum, and the average age is 32, so it’s ideal for the focused student for whom individual attention is of the highest importance.

image

The school itself is in a calm setting, in a typically Parisian building on the Boulevard des Italiens, away from the bustle of the street. With several bus and metro stations close by, access to the school is very simple wherever you are staying in Paris.

You can visit the link below to see much more about what’s on offer:

French Courses in Paris Opéra with Cactus Language & France Langue

3. London Weekend IELTS – Kilburn, London, United Kingdom

Finally, new for 2014 is an intensive 2-day IELTS programme in Kilburn, London, designed for any students of English who are looking to rapidly improve their writing skills in preparation for the exam date.

The course is always scheduled to run 2 weeks before the official IELTS exam dates, and is delivered by our partner, Robin Ashenden, who has nearly twenty years of teaching experience and is a DELTA qualified English language teacher. He has taught IELTS regularly over the past five years and has specifically taught writing and creative writing for non-native speakers at the annual University of Westminster summer school, a course he has now delivered for four years running. Robin has an MA in travel literature, and has been a travel journalist for publications like Sunday Times Travel, Wanderlust and the Guardian.

image

Nisrine Zaaraoui, from France, writes: “I really enjoyed my English lessons with Robin. He is a very good teacher – I can even say he is one of the best I ever had. His classes are very dynamic and interactive. He has very good communication and pedagogical skills. He is very open-minded and interested in others’ cultures, and he always brings new interesting topics to debate in class. You never get bored in class and he teaches you expressions used in the “real world”. So if you want to improve your English quickly, Robin will be able to make this happen. I guarantee you that you will really enjoy your English class.

To find out more about the weekend programme, please visit the link below:

London Weekend IELTS – Intensive Weekend Writing Course with Robin Ashenden

We hope this selection has been of interest, and may have even given you some ideas for study options for the year ahead. Any Qs, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Happy planning 😉

Best Wishes,

Ollie

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

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.

ollie_small

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

image

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)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!

image

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

image

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!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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:

image

“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.

image

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

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

Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: September 2013

Welcome to the September edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! This month we’re taking you behind the scenes to meet the people behind two of our most popular partner schools…

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to September’s edition of the Cactus Worldwide blog! My name is Ollie, and I am 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.

This month’s blog is aimed at letting you take a look at some of the people behind two of our most popular partner schools in Europe – The Language Centre in Denia, on the east coast of Spain; and Centro Fiorenza on Via di Santo Spirito in the heart of Florence, Italy.

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.

1. Spanish in Denia with Cactus Worldwide & The Language Centre

Firstly, please meet Mari Carmen Timor, the Principal of The Language Centre, situated in the historic part of Denia on Carrer de la Barbacana! TLC is a comfortable, modern and spacious school, fully equipped with wi-fi, audio-visual equipment, air-conditioning and drinks machines. It is an ideal location for families, individual adults or juniors all year-round, with a range of course and accommodation options to suit students of all shapes and sizes.

Denia is located half-way between Alicante and Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Still not sure? Click here to see its exact location on Google Maps.

Here is what Mari Carmen has to say about her school, and why it’s worth considering a visit to Denia this autumn/winter:

Who are you?

denia
My name is Mari Carmen Timor and I am currently the FEDELE president for the Valencian region of Spain, as well as school principal at TLC Dénia Spanish school (Dénia, Valencia). My personal philosophy is that it is important that students experience everything there is about a language, its people and their culture, as well as a receiving a high quality education.

How long has TLC Denia been in operation?

TLC Dénia first opened its doors in 1994 and since then I have strived to continuously stay at the forefront of teaching methods, along with keeping our accommodation satisfactory and our range of activities interesting. We specialise in offering families travelling with children the opportunity to learn the language together. For those students who want to experience a relaxed and friendly city, where they can integrate with the local people and their culture, TLC Dénia is the ideal place for studying Spanish.

What’s happening at TLC Denia this autumn, and why should students come to Denia and take a Spanish course?

denia_sea
As autumn falls I think many of us consider taking on new challenges in our lives, and for those who wish to learn or improve a language it is a fantastic time to start. The summer heat wanes making way for that magical change of light that autumn brings. The streets that were before filled with tourists now have a nostalgic calm about them.

Far from looking like a shadow of summer, Dénia thrives with the sound of its kitchens. Its wide range of restaurants makes the low season months absolutely perfect for those of our students who wish to enrich their stay with the best quality food.

For students who are nature lovers, Dénia and the surrounding area in the autumn offers wonderful mountain scenery with extensive trails of varying difficulties through breathtaking terrain, suitable for hiking or cycling. 
Not forgetting, of course, that Dénia is dominated by the ‘Montgó’, a 750-metre mountain remarkably similar to ‘Table Mountain’ in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a truly spectacular sight.

Due to all of this and much, much more, studying in the autumn months is a fascinating experience both inside and outside the classroom. And thanks to a select set of activities, our students always have a broad view of authentic life and customs here in Dénia.

2. Italian in Florence with Cactus Worldwide & Centro Fiorenza

augusto_florence
And now, please meet Augusto Merlini, the owner and Director of Centro Fiorenza in Florence! Centro Fiorenza is a medium-sized school that hosts 120+ students during the high season, and a few more even at their sister school on the Isle of Elba (2014 dates and prices will be up soon!). The school prides itself on providing a welcoming, family atmosphere in an international environment, and attracts consistently excellent feedback from our students.

Centro Fiorenza is located on Via di Santo Spirito, slightly set back from the Arno in the centre of Florence. Still not sure? Click here to see its exact location on Google Maps.

Here is what Augusto has to say about his school, and why it’s worth considering taking a trip to Florence this autumn/winter:

Who are you?

I am Augusto Merlini, the owner and director of Centro Fiorenza – International House Florence. I have been running Centro Fiorenza since 1982, first as a teacher in Florence and then when we opened our summer school on Elba in 1984 I spent whole summers there teaching and entertaining our students. Now I am in charge of our marketing and promotion.

What’s happening in Florence this autumn/winter?

florence duomo

Are you an art lover? If so, then don’t miss this exhibition! Forte Belvedere, the most beautiful exhibition space in Florence, has reopened after 5 years, with works by Zhang Huan. You can admire sculptures of enormous Buddhas and paintings with Huan’s particular technique in ashes. To finish the show enjoy an “Aperol Spritz” or “Hugo” at sunset on the terrace overlooking the city on one side, then turn round and take in the breathtaking view of the Tuscan countryside on the other side.

Also don’t miss a string of events in Florence and the Chianti region in September and October such as tasting Chianti Gallo Nero, Chianti Classico and Super Tuscans along with food of the region (Tagliatelle ai Funghi, Pappardelle al Cinghiale, the famous Peposo from Impruneta and many other specialties!).

And of course, you should also come and enjoy an Italian language course at Centro Fiorenza!

TI ASPETTIAMO A FIRENZE! – CIAO A PRESTO!

I hope this has been of interest, and may have given you some ideas for the colder months which are on their way! I’ve just had a peek at a few budget airline websites, and you can certainly still steal a return flight to Alicante, Valencia or Pisa in November or December for less than £100 – so it really is a great time to go. Happy planning 😉

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

Best wishes,

Ollie

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

Cactus Worldwide Monthly Blog: August 2013

In this first of our monthly blogs dedicated to language holidays abroad, we’re sharing with you what’s new, what’s on offer and where our students are going. We hope that you’ll be informed and inspired!

ollie_small

Hello, and welcome to a new monthly blog here at Cactus! 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.

This short blog is designed purely to keep you informed about what we’re up to at the moment: what’s new, what’s on offer, and where our students are going. I hope this will be of interest, and may even provide you with inspiration for your next language-learning experience with Cactus. This month’s topic is Focus on: Spanish and if you have any questions about anything you read here, please feel free to contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Contents:

1. Green season in Costa Rica – why go now?
2. La Tomatina in Spain – not to be missed!
3. 2 weeks for £200 in Granada, Spain
4. 20% off in Sosua, Dominican Republic
5. Spotlight on Karoline Lamb – learning Spanish in Cartagena, Colombia

1. Green Season in Costa Rica @ Intercultura – Colonial Heredia & Playa Samara

samara_gardens

We are still accepting enrolments for students looking to study Spanish in Colonial Heredia & Playa Samara during Costa Rica’s ‘green season’ which runs up until November. There is traditionally more rain during this time, but you certainly shouldn’t let it put you off! It’s definitely worth enduring a bit of drizzle for the great value flights that are available and opportunities to visit incredible sites such as Arenal volcano, La Paz Waterfall and Monteverde Cloud Forest during the low season.

This season in Heredia and Samara is very popular with individual students in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and we can also arrange set programmes of classes, accommodation, activities and all-inclusive excursions for groups of 3 or more from £720 per person, per week. Highlights this season are performances by the National Symphonic Orchestra on October 31st and November 25th – so try and make those dates if you can! The school has two centres – one in Heredia, close to San Jose, and another on Samara beach, so students can split their time between the two.

2. La Tomatina 2013! @ Taronja – Valencia

August 28th 2013 is the date set for this year’s ‘La Tomatina’ – an epic food fight (mostly involving tomatoes) which happens in Buñol, close to Valencia, on the last Wednesday of August every year. In 2012, 50,000 people turned up to pelt one another with over one hundred metric tonnes of over-ripe fruit. Giant trucks deliver the fruit to Plaza del Pueblo at 11am on the day, and then the fight ensues…

The week-long festival also includes live music, parades, dancing and firework displays, and our partners in Valencia still have good availability for all course + accommodation options for the week if you are looking for a late last-minute summer break! They will be arranging a school trip to La Tomatina, so that would all be arranged for you. Just don’t forget your goggles…

paella

The great ‘Chef Nando’ in Valencia, preparing pre-Tomatina paella.

3. Special Offer: 2 weeks for £200 in Granada, until the end of 2013 – Granada, Andalusia

If you are looking for a great autumn/winter deal this year then look no further than our partners in Granada, who are kindly (and exclusively) offering Cactus students 2 weeks of classes for only £200, inclusive of course materials and registration fees. The course provides 20 lessons per week, Monday to Friday, usually occurring in the morning between 9am and 1.30pm, and there are activities and excursions available.

Centrally located, the school is medium-sized and provides a friendly, relaxed and international atmosphere in which to enjoy your studies; this option is highly recommended by Cactus for a great value late-season trip to brush up your Spanish.

4. September Special: 20% off course + accommodation in Sosua – Sosua, Dominican Republic

For those of you in the U.S. or those looking for something further afield, how about a course on the beach in Sosua this September? It’s a great month for learning Spanish in the Dominican Republic – especially for students interested in water sports and scuba diving. The conditions are superb, with very good visibility, warm water temperatures and very few other tourists around.

Cactus can currently offer 20% off all listed course and school accommodation prices on request (via info@cactuslanguage.com) and you can check out the listings online here. The school accommodation is basic, but on-campus and with breakfast included (and a pool!), so you can relax as much as possible between your classes.

sosua_pool

The private apartment complex (in the school grounds) in Sosua, Dominican Republic.

5. Spotlight: Karoline Lamb – Cartagena, November 2013

One of my favourite students to have helped in the last month is Karoline Lamb, who has just booked a 4-week Intensive Spanish course with host family accommodation in Cartagena, Colombia, with Cactus, for this coming November, en route to visiting her daughter and family in Australia. The accompanying photograph, kindly provided by Karoline, is of her on her travels and trespassing in South America last year.

kristina_lamb

Karoline’s unquestionable passion for people, learning Spanish and exploring South America is admirable and infectious, and she also intends to contribute to the Juan Felipe Gómez Escobar Foundation as a volunteer during her time in Cartagena – an institution set up to offer assistance to under-privileged children and young parents. I hope she has a wonderful time, and we are all looking forward to receiving her feedback!

Thank you for reading, and I hope this blog has been of interest – please feel free to call us, or contact me directly by e-mail, if you have any questions about anything you have read here. Of course, if you are interested in arranging a trip for yourself later this year, I’d be happy to help!

Best wishes,

Ollie

—————————————————————————————————————–
Oliver Donovan
Agency Product Manager
Email: oliver.donovan@cactuslanguage.com

July 2013: How do you take your tea?

Does everything really stop for afternoon tea in England and did you know that you need to ask for the ‘restroom’ in the US?

Click here to read the newsletter