International Study

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Studying at CI as an Overseas Student


Colchester Institute is a college of further and higher education in Essex and offers a wide range of courses to help you with your education and chosen career. Every year Colchester Institute welcomes international students from many different countries. The majority of our students are from the Essex area however we do currently have representation of 80 nationalities within the College.
International students choose Colchester Institute for many different reasons and these include lower cost of living, smaller class sizes, one to one support from tutors, approximately 50 minutes by train to London, quiet countryside environment, beautiful East Anglian coastline and the opportunity to experience British culture and make new friends.

Our students can study Higher Education or Further Education courses in English Language, Art and Design, Computing, Business Administration, Hair and Beauty, Hospitality, Professional Cookery, Management, Health and Social Care, Child Care, Music, Construction, Auto Mechanics, Engineering and much more. For more information you can view our course finder.

Further education courses are taken by students after compulsory school age, i.e. 16 years of age. Many further education qualifications are designed to enable entry to higher education courses, such as a Bachelor degree. Students take higher education courses from the age of 18, usually after completing a two year further education course, such as a BTEC National Diploma or A Levels.

Cultural Differences

It is a very exciting time, moving to a different country, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. However, it can also be a bit of a shock and you may experience many emotions during the first few weeks whilst you adjust to your new environment. Studying in an English college means that you will meet British students and will have opportunities to develop your language skills faster through regular practice. Events are organised through the Student Union and International Society so that all students socialise together. There are many facilties including 5 restaurants, a multi-gymnasium, games rooms, library and computer suites where students can meet either to talk about every day life or to work on projects. Quite a few of our students progress on to British universities or continue studying at Colchester Institute.

If you live in a warm climate you may find the weather in the UK cold and wet at certain times of the year. British food may be very different to what you are used to, however, local supermarkets stock a very wide range of foods from around the world so you should be able to find some familiar food. There are plenty of places to eat on our campus, offering a variety of meals.

Social behaviours may confuse or surprise you, and you may find the relationships between men and women more formal or less formal than you are used to. British people generally have a reputation for punctuality, therefore, in business and academic life, keeping time is important; you should always be on time for classes, lectures and meetings, and should let people know if you are going to be late or unable to attend.

You may be surprised that other cultures do not share the same values and beliefs as you. Give yourself time to adjust and understand others, and remember that other people will take time to understand your behaviour too.

Guidance and Information

UKCISA produce some guidance on culture shock that you may find interesting to read and the British Council have information on their website about UK life and culture.

If you have any further questions please email the University Centre Colchester office at or telephone 0044(0)1206712152

Study in Britain’s oldest recorded town!

Colchester-Castle-ParkColchester Institute is set within Britain’s oldest recorded town, a town rich with history, modern culture and creativity. With a population in excess of 170,000, and a vastly growing diversity of cultures and backgrounds, the thriving university town of Colchester offers a dynamic and exciting urban lifestyle.

Shopping, food and nightlife

Studying with us means being only a ten minute walk away from the town centre, where you can find an abundance of shopping facilities, bars, clubs and restaurants. Whether your taste is English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian or Indian – Colchester has it all and, what’s more, caters for all budgets!

Colchester’s nightlife has something for everyone too. If a traditional pub is what you’re looking for,

or a livelier club atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Instead of dancing until you drop, perhaps shopping until you drop is more your style. The town offers quirky, independent boutiques along the little lanes, as well as the larger, more famous brands and stores.

Culture and History

There’s a diverse range of modern and historic cultural activities to take enjoy. The magnificent Colchester Castle – the largest Norman Keep in Europe – is situated in the beautiful Castle Park. Castle Park not only encompasses much of Colchester’s rich heritage within its boundaries but is much loved and used as a part of present day life. It boasts over 1 million visitors a year.

Providing a green oasis in the town centre, you can sit, walk, enjoy music, play games, or picnic amongst wonderful flowers and trees. Its horticulture is award-winning and the park has long been a superb venue for the town’s big events.

Colchester is rich with history; the capital city of Roman Britain, sections of the original town wall still stand, as do the foundations of the Roman temple of Claudius (built between AD 54–60) on which Colchester Castle is built. During the Second English Civil War, a pursuing Parliamentary army surrounded the town for 11 and a half weeks, a period known as the Siege of Colchester. The town is also noted for its Victorian Architecture – the famous Jumbo Water Tower and the Town Hall are two significant landmarks.

Theatre and Arts

Fancy taking in a show? The Mercury Theatre, well known throughout the town, offers quality performances staged during the year. As a centre for creativity and a space for creation, it is open and welcoming, working with a variety of voices and a diversity of communities, audiences, artists and staff. It has played host to many well-known acts, including Lee Evans, Punt & Dennis and Michael McIntyre!
Our very own Art Gallery, The Minories in Colchester High Street, hosts regular events and exhibitions with our students’ involvement in a multitude of projects. We are also proud to host our own live performances and showcases through Creative Arts Live – an exciting mix of live events and performances for all ages with some unmissable touring shows. An exciting programme of exhibitions, lectures, films and events takes place at Firstsite, Colchester’s spectacular new venue for world class contemporary arts.

There is also the Charter Hall and the Colchester Arts Centre (whose home is a converted church – and has seen the likes of Lucy Porter, Tim Vine and Sean Lock perform as part of their nationwide tours) with upcoming performances including comedians Milton Jones and America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin, the hit show A Midsummer Night’s Scream and popular musical Little Shop of Horrors, to name just a few.

For music enthusiasts there is also the ever popular V Festival in nearby Chelmsford and Latitude festival in Suffolk to enjoy.

Something for all ages

If that wasn’t enough, Colchester offers many more attractions including one of Europe’s finest zoos, a multi-screen cinema in the town centre and a spa combined with top notch leisure facilities at Leisure World. The town really does cater for all ages, interests and tastes.

The town is visually stunning and you’re never far from a Roman ruin, heavily beamed medieval buildings or grand Georgian houses in Colchester. If it’s modern architecture that gets the thumbs up, Colchester has this in abundance too, including firstsite, the contemporary art gallery designed by award-winning architect, Rafael Vinoly.
Making Colchester your place to study or live means you are in good company. TV presenter Dermot O’Leary lived and studied in Colchester whilst Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame and X Factor winner Matt Cardle, are also from the area. Colchester is situated in north east Essex, just a few miles from the Suffolk border, with more towns, countryside and coastline to explore.

Need access to the big city or a coastal escape?

For those with a penchant for the bright lights of the big city, they are less than an hour by train from London. Colchester Institute is only a 10 minute walk from North Station, where you will find regular trains into the capital. If a little sea air is what you’re after, then you’re in luck too. The beautiful sea shores of the award winning Frinton coastline are only a half-hour drive away, along with the seaside towns of Clacton and Walton.

Study with Us


English Language
Email us
Call us – 01206 712147
Full-Time English Language Courses for Overseas Students
Full-Time/Part-Time English Language for 16 - 19 Year Olds (UK & EU Residents)
Part-Time ESOL (For UK & EU Residents)
Part-Time EFL (For UK & EU Residents)
Part-Time IELTS (For UK & EU Residents)
What our learners say about us

Our English Language courses are delivered by tutors who are experienced practitioners in various subject languages. Their specialist backgrounds, professional expertise and knowledge is highly valued by our students. We offer a supportive and stimulating environment for those working towards specialist qualifications for adult literacy, ESOL and TESOL teachers. Our courses combine theory and practise based studies, enabling students to develop the relevant skills and experience to enhance their professional knowledge and career progression.

Our Higher Education Centre provides a great range of specialist facilities for degree and postgraduate students including well-equipped teaching spaces and private study areas.


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Adult Courses: 19+ Learners
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Teaching, TESOL & Learning Support

English Language School

Colchester Institute International English Language School is for those who wish to improve their skills in all areas of the English language. English Language School programmes can be tailor made to meet you or your group’s needs.

We can offer:

English Language International Summer School
Location : Colchester –Essex
Duration: 1 or 2 weeks One Week: £280; Two Weeks: £49

  • 15-20 hours of English Language tuition per week
  • Development of speaking, reading, listening and writing skills
  • Full-time two week intensive programme
  • Awarded Centre of Excellence by EL Gazette
  • Highly professional and experienced tutors
  • Two afternoons of film production activity per week
  • Two afternoons of cultural activity per week
  • Two local excursions included per week
  • Excellent facilities and learning environment
  • Free unlimited use of internet and Wi-Fi
  • Colchester Institute achievement certificate
  • Work experience opportunities to enable you to develop your language skills
  • IELTS training opportunities

Entry Requirements

You must be 18 years old or over. To enable you to find out more about our summer programme we will set up with your Skype interview prior to the start of the course. In addition we will assess your level of English during the first day of the course to ensure we meet your individual learning needs.


You need to arrange where you are going to live during the International English Language School programmes before you arrive in the UK.  Colchester Institute is able to offer accommodation to students but it is limited depending on demand. Stay with a host family or independantly. Prices from £85 per week.


Applying to CI as an Overseas Student

To ensure that all students have the best chance of succeeding, students at the start of the course must meet the entry requirement for the course and have a minimum level of English Language ability. We require an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent for Further Education and IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent for Higher Education courses. English Language support is provided while you are following your main course of study. For overseas fee payers this language support is included in the tuition fee.

International Students entering or currently in the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa are only eligible to apply for full-time courses in English Language, full-time courses at National Qualification Framework Level 3 or full-time Bachelor Degree programmes offered at Colchester Institute.

Ready to Apply?

If you meet the entry requirements for Colchester Institute and the course you are applying for, all that’s left to do is apply for your chosen course. To do this, see our “How to Apply Page” below for further information and application forms:


When your application form is received we will send you an acknowledgement within 7 working days. Where possible this will be done by email. Your application form will then be passed to the relevant course tutor to decide whether you can be made an offer of a place, depending on the course you may be asked to provide more information. If an offer is made you will need to decide to accept your offer after this acceptance we will request payment of a deposit or full tuition fee to confirm your place on the course. Further information on deposit and tuition fee payment is available in the fee payment and refund policy.

What Happens Next?

After you have made an application to Colchester Institute and received an offer of a place on your chosen course you need to plan your arrival before you enter the UK.

Use the checklist to help you identify the areas that need advance planning:

Immigration permissions to Study in the UK
Travelling to Colchester
Health Check
Working Part-time

ERASMUS Exchange

Colchester Institute supports students to complete ERASMUS study placements, and will provide support and guidance to outgoing (Colchester Institute students going abroad) and incoming (Students coming from our partner universities to study at Colchester Institute) students. Click on the link below for information relevant to you.

Outgoing ERASMUS Study Placements – information for current Colchester Institute undergraduate/postgraduate students wanting to complete a period studying abroad.

Incoming ERASMUS Study Placements – information for current undergraduate/postgraduate students at our partner universities wanting to complete a study period at Colchester Institute.

Outgoing Students
Incoming Students

International Agents


Here you will find details of International agents for education and recruitment representing Colchester Institute around the world. If you need any assistance in applying for a course here, please contact them as soon as possible and they will be very happy to help you though the application process.

European Union
Europe (Non-EU)
Asia and Australasia
The Americas