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Category : Blog

What makes Southbourne a great destination for International Students?

Southbourne is a beautiful residential town situated on the south coast of England – home to some of the finest beaches that the UK has to offer; alongside three other beaches in Bournemouth, Southbourne Beach was awarded the 2016 Blue Flag status which is a mark of quality, cleanliness, safety and environmental management.Southbourne_SSE 7

Southbourne and nearby towns also offer great nightlife to students of all ages, with high class restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars and more. Deli Rocks is an Italian Deli and Espresso Bar on Southbourne Grove Road, with a range of delicious Mediterranean foods available all through the day. Smithson’s Fish & Chip Shop is one of the best examples of what traditional English food offers and students love it! Also, there are various Halal takeaway shops along Southbourne high street that give students with these dietary requirements various excellent options for eating out.

An advantage of studying in Southbourne is that everything you need is within walking distance of the residential area, allowing students to have the freedom to pack their day full of activities, without having to travel far and wide from their houses. The beach nearby provides opportunities for fun activities such as surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, beach volleyball, football and many more!

Hengistbury Head is a short journey away from the school and is an incredibly scenic nature reserve that offers a great walk and picture opportunity for students who enjoy beach trips – there are also various cafes and restaurants that students can visit to get a bite to eat or drink!

Bournemouth_SSE 3Bournemouth Town Centre is just a short bus journey from Southbourne and offers a great deal to students all year round – students can go to music/comedy events at the Bournemouth International Centre venue, visit the local Oceanarium that provides visitors with a journey around the waters of the world, and even go indoor or outdoor ice-skating in the winter months. Russell-Cotes Art & Gallery museum in Bournemouth is a trip into the past, hosting a beautiful traditional villa filled with a fine art collection open to the public for a low entry fee. In the evening students who are over 18 can visit the incredibly popular night clubs, such as Halo, Walkabout, Cameo & Myu Bar and many more – a great place to go with friends to dance the night away!

From 17th November onwards until 31st December, Bournemouth turns into a German Christmas Market, with the beautifully illuminated gardens, market stalls selling food, drink and souvenirs, traditional British bars, Christmas parades, a Santa’s Grotto and other festive events!


Bournemouth and Southbourne welcome lots of students from around the world – over 50,000 international students study in Bournemouth alone every year, appealing to those who want to combine their studies with great activities in an ideal seaside location. This fantastic community allows international students to meet so many people from numerous different countries when they visit Southbourne and the local areas – they leave with invaluable memories and lifelong friends.

Top 10 Traditional British Foods

International students absolutely love coming to study in England for a variety of reasons – but one clear one is the great British food that we offer! Take a look at our favourite Top 10 Traditional British Foods chosen by Southbourne School of English:

1. Fish and Chips (savoury)

Fish and chips is one of Britain’s most famous/popular hot takeaway foods – with battered fish and freshly fried chips served typically in newspaper. Delicious!

fish and chips

2. Bangers and Mash (savoury)

Bangers and Mash is a family favourite hot dinner food – consisting of yummy sausages and buttery mashed potatoes, often served with onions to add some extra flavour!

bangers and mash

3. Full English Breakfast (savoury)

Full English Breakfast is a morning feast that can fill any  hungry person’s stomach! These often vary depending on where you are living but the overall basics are the same: sausages, eggs, toast, bacon, tomato and beans – with tasty additions to suit your preferences. (personally I love mushrooms and fried French toast!)


4. Roast Dinner (savoury)

On Sunday’s us Brits have a traditional meal that can compete with any! Our traditional roast dinner! These normally include either beef, chicken or nut roast (vegetarian), roast potatoes, carrots, green beans, other vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, covered in yummy gravy sauce!

roast dinner

5. Toad in the hole (savoury)

‘Toad in the hole’ origins suggest that the name comes from the similarity the dish looks to a toad sticking its head out of a hole! Usually, Toad in the hole comprises of sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter, typically served with onion gravy and vegetables!

toad in the hole

6. Bread and butter pudding (sweet)

Bread and butter pudding is made by scattering slices of buttered bread across a dish and topped with raisins, lemon and other garnishes, then baked in the oven! This is then cut up and served with hot custard…mmm this is making me hungry!

lemon bread and butter pudding

7. Scones and clotted cream (Cream Tea)

A Cream Tea consists of buttermilk scones and a thick cream (clotted cream), usually eaten with strawberry jam! Also, what would a proper British dessert be without a traditional English Breakfast tea!

scones and clotted cream

8. Spotted dick and custard (sweet)

Spotted dick is made with suet pastry and dried fruit, which is then rolled up and cooked in the oven. It is then served with delicious hot custard – we love our custard!

spotted dick and custard

9. Eton Mess (sweet)

Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries or bananas with meringue and cream!

eton mess

10. Sticky Toffee pudding (sweet)

Sticky Toffee pudding is a very moist steamed sponge cake, covered in toffee sauce and served with vanilla custard or ice cream – a personal favourite of mine!

sticky toffee pudding

French Intern – Celia’s experience of England

I arrived in England on the 3rd of July, in my host family in Bournemouth. They were really nice with me, I felt really welcome. On Tuesday 5th I had my first day in Southbourne School of English, as administrative assistant.

Bournemouth is a really nice city. When you take the bus you can go anywhere you want, at any time. One of my favourite places is the town centre: here you can go to many great shops, restaurants, and there is almost always music there. It is a really nice place to have a good time.

During the weekends, I went to visit some other places in England. On the first weekend I went to London. It was a beautiful Saturday and I had the opportunity to see the House of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus. After that, I went shopping on Oxford Street, the streets were really busy with people enjoying that beautiful Saturday to go shopping in London. It was an amazing day. I also went to see Harry Potter Studios in the North of London by the end of July, as I am a huge fan. That day was incredible as well.

What I can say about England in general is that it is a really interesting country, and speaking English every day at school and every evening with the family made me practice a lot.

This travel has been a really positive experience to practice my English, and learn how to work too. Even if it is not what I study in my French engineering school, it is really interesting to see how it works in a school, especially in the office. When we are studying in a school we don’t imagine how much the office staff can be hardworking and busy, as they work hard for the students to have a good time in the school. The office is really well organised and I have learned how to get more organised too. Such an experience will be useful for all my life.

Top 5 Students Instagram Photos

Our students have taken some great photos of Southbourne, Bournemouth and other local areas. Here we have picked some of our favourites from our Instagram #SSEsnaps taggers, hopefully there are many more to come!

From a Titanic remake to a Lulworth Cove selfie, our students are very creative! These pictures are great to capture the life and spirit of the students we have the joy of taking on.

These students have been making the most of what Southbourne and Bournemouth has to offer and then capturing these moment to take back home – this is what it is all about, learning and having an adventure at the same time!

Here are our Top 5 Students Instagram Photos:

 “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing at all.”

Top 5 photos

50 Year Anniversary of the School

Southbourne School of English is proud to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This is a wonderful milestone to have achieved.

The school has gone from strength to strength and is still run by the Gallina family 50 years on. Over the years we have heavily invested in all areas of the school to make it a great place to study and to keep at the forefront of EFL learning.

We have come a long way from this,

10Old classroom








To this,


We now have top of the range interactive whiteboards in all of our 23 classrooms. These help our students have a modern and current learning platform that they are familiar with.

Although the look of the school has changed our ethics, vision and goals have remained the same. We are passionate about offering our students a first class education in a fun, caring and welcoming family environment.

With a wide range of courses available for adults, juniors, 50+, examinations, closed group courses and many more, there is sure to be a course to suit your needs.

The location of the school is wonderful and similar to when we first opened in 1966. It is still a lovely residential area. All families are within easy walking distance of the school and the beach is only a short walk away.

With a vision that exceeds many other schools, we try to lead EFL into the future.

Thank you for being a part of our rich history and celebrating how far we have come and being part of what lies ahead.


Top 10 Places to Visit in Dorset

Here are the Top 10 places we recommend visiting when you come to Dorset!

1. Monkey Worldmonkey world

Monkey World is a chimpanzee rescue centre based in Wareham, which rescue and rehabilitate primates worldwide. You can visit Monkey World and see monkeys and apes of over 20 different species that are kept in safe and naturalistic environments. You can either walk freely around the site and observe, or take a tour where you will be able to listen to the Primate Care Staff talk about man’s closest living relative. There are also cafes dotted around the site that serve hot and cold drinks/food.


2. The Tank Mtankuseum

The Tank Museum showcases tanks from across the ages, from 1915 to the present day. When visiting the museum you will be guided by accounts from veterans that used these impressive vehicles at the battlefronts. Go back in time and gain an understanding of the history of tanks from across the World Wars.

3. New Forest National Parknew forest pon

The New Forest is an incredibly beautiful national park that lies within the county of Hampshire and is a collection of open heathlands and ancient woodlands that stretches 150 square miles. The New Forest is a perfect place to visit to explore, go on long walks, see wildlife and have picnics. This area used to be a royal hunting ground for King William I and his noblemen, in the 12th Century AD and therefore holds much history to it.

4. Durdle Door

The incredible Durdle Door is a perfect example of the power and beauty of nature – presenting an arch and beach so serene and well-crafted that it feels surreal when you see it. The shingle beach is accessible via a path and steps from the car park and provides a beautiful picture opportunity through the door in the cliff to the sea’s horizon.

5. Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island provides a great opportunity to observe diverse habitats and wildlife, which includes the rare and highly endangered red squirrel, as well as a small population of peacocks. You can access Brownsea Island via a public ferry or private boat for a price that is worth every penny. Take a picnic, relax, watch the wildlife and enjoy the views that it has to offer.

Durdle_Door_Overview6. Jurassic Coast

95 miles of coastline, 185 million years of history. The Jurassic Coast consists of fantastic beaches, cliffs and landslides, of all which contain rocks and fossils from millions of years in the past. Exploring the coast is awe-inspiring, this area reveals the records for millions of years of our Earth, giving an understanding of the beautiful natural history of the formation of these rocks. This is the reason Dorset and the East Devon coast was designated as England’s first natural World Heritage Site in 2001.

7. Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is a natural reserve that offers numerous areas of exploration, including various outdoor activities, wildlife, geology and a hugely interesting history. It is suitable for anyone, with a land train available for access to Mudeford Sand spit with scenic views and a café if you want a tea or coffee. For the more adventurous, you can take an educational tour or see the spectacular views from the top of Warren Hill.

8. Moors Valley Country Parkmoors valley 3

A 1000-acre country park and forest that has activities for everyone. With an Adventure Play Trail, Tree Top trail, a steam railway, golf centre, Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway’s, restaurant and gift shop. This country park is a beautiful place to visit for a day out and walk.

9. Bournemouth International Centre

The Bournemouth International Centre is a great venue for a whole host of events – from music gigs, comedy shows, broadways and musicals, the BIC has it all! See all the events they have on and buy tickets online on their website.

sandbanks beach10. Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach is arguably one of the best beaches in the UK, holding European Blue Flag status for a record 20 years, it presents a beautiful golden beach and was the only beach to be awarded 100% by the Tidy Britain Group. Along the beach there are various café’s, ice cream kiosks and even a mini golf course. This beach is a definite must-see as it also holds a record for the 4th most expensive place to live per square metre in the world – along the peninsula are some of the finest and upmarket properties that the world has to offer.


FREE English Course Competition – Win 2 weeks English tuition!

We thought what better way to start the summer than to give someone the opportunity to win 2 FREE week’s tuition to learn English in the UK! If you’re coming to learn for fun or if learning English is important to your studies, enter our competition and see if YOU are our lucky winner!

To be in with a chance of winning our English Course Competition for 2 weeks English tuition at Southbourne School of English visit our Facebook page!

There you will find our competition post! Like, Tag and Share with friends to win lessons to learn English in the UK!

Our Facebook page URL –

Good luck!

Competition graphic

10 Reasons Why Learning English in the UK is Great!

The reasons behind people learning English can vary from person to person, however, doing it in the UK can be the best way to do it! Here are a list of reasons why learning English in the UK is fun and effective:

  1. You learn about the culture, not just the language! We pride ourselves on a totally English experience here in Southbourne, therefore excursions to traditional cities and nearby towns provide exactly that!
  2. We offer education to a huge age range! – from next year we’ll be offering our courses to 9 year old individuals and above (currently ages 9 and 10 have to be in a group). This means we offer a great variety of courses for all!
  3. Accents and regional words – when you’re in England you don’t just learn the national words, you also learn fun idioms and phrases from the region you’re studying that extends your knowledge of English even further!
  4. Knowledge is power – when you learn English you open up doors for yourself for further education and career paths that may need an English qualification!
  5. Quality assured – accreditations assure that you will receive the best education on offer in England. Here at Southbourne School of English, we are accredited by the highly credible likes of English UK, British Council, Quality English and many more!
  6. Meet new people from all over the world! – coming to England is a great opportunity to meet lifelong friends and create incredible memories to take home.
  7. Education = Holiday – not only is coming to England to study an effective way to learn the language, but it’s also a vacation too! You can sightsee in places like London, Bath and Oxford – as well as going on fun excursions to waterparks, rollercoaster parks and many more!
  8. Goldilocks courses! – we offer numerous different courses, this means that you can find the best course to suit you!
  9. Hear it, speak it, read it, learn it! – when you’re in England, it means everyone is speaking it, writing in it, reading, etc. and when you’re exposed to it regularly you will pick it up faster than you can say Southbourne School of English!
  10. It’s where the English language was born! – So where better to learn it?

If you’re looking for courses in the UK, then check the courses area of our website and come study at Southbourne School of English!

Celebrating the start of our summer programme!

With the long awaited summer finally here, we are celebrating the start of our summer programme for our Junior and Adult students, which began 13th June – we also welcome all of our enthusiastic and motivated activity staff that will be hosting our summer programme activities for the juniors!

With activities from Beach Volleyball to day trips to traditional towns and cities such as Christchurch and Oxford, we are looking forward to educating and creating unforgettable memories for our students who visit from various countries across the globe.

Bournemouth, Southbourne and the rest of the UK has plenty to offer this summer for our students – with national, regional and local events/excursions, this allows them to build an in depth understanding of the British culture and leave with a quality level of English they wish to achieve and often even further!

Euro 2016 is extremely popular in England and this gives our students a fun and competitive event to follow throughout June until July 10th – and for junior students who are arriving in July, they will have the opportunity to play and be trained by a FIFA Football Association Coach that is coming to our school. Wimbledon also begins on 27th June and to accompany this, we have available an LTA certified Tennis Coach to our junior students throughout the month of July.

Overall, this summer at Southbourne gives a great opportunity for any foreign language students to not only LEARN English but to LIVE English also!


Summer adult course Summer Junior programme

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