London Meridian College

Did you know that…..

 

A language dies (becomes extinct) roughly every two weeks?

Although there are between 6,500 and 7000 languages spoken in the world today, about 40% of the  world’s population (7.125 billion) speak only 10 languages as their native tongue?

In terms of numbers of native speakers, the top 10 are :

  1. Mandarin Chinese
  2. indiHindi
  3. SpanishSpanish
  4. English
  5. Arabic
  6. Portugese
  7. Bengali
  8. Russian
  9. Japanese
  10. German

 

Source : the font of all wisdom : David Page.

Where is this (Part 1)

We are going to start a new series of posts Where is this…. featuring some of the less well known but equally interesting places to visit in London. Everyone recognises St Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin

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But there are so many interesting places to go in London. The first place we are going to visit in this series is Somerset House in the Strand.

And what a varied history Somerset House has had from Royal Palace, Academy of the Arts, Tax Office, Admiralty Office to  concert and arts venue. It was originally built in in 1547 by Edward Seymour, but he did not really get to enjoy it. He was executed in 1552 and the Palace passed to the Crown. Princess Elizabeth lived there from 1553 to 1558 when she became Queen.  The Great Fire of London ravaged much of the neighbourhood in 1666, but stopped just short of the Denmark House, as it was then called.

In 1685, Catherine of Braganza moved in after the death of her husband, King Charles II, and she was the last Royal to live there.

After years of neglect, it was demolished in 1775 and rebuilt. IN 1779 The Royal Academy of Arts moved in and remained there until they moved to Burlington House in Piccadilly, where they are today. The General Register Office, responsible for registering births, deaths and marriages occupied part of the building , as did the Inland Revenue, responsible for collecting tax.

In 1970 the General Register Office moved out and the Inland Revenue (now called HMRC) moved in 2011.

In 2000 a temporary Ice Rink was installed

In 2001 American alternative band Lambchop placed the first gig in the Fountain Court, and there is a now regular Summer series played there.

In 2009 London Fashion Week was hosted from there.

And now, 2016, Somerset House Studios opened, one of the largest creative hubs in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories

 

We’ve been doing some laptop “spring cleaning” and came across some photos of various activities we have undertaken through the past few years. Anyone recognise themselves here, and would anyone like to guess where these activities are?

What could possibly go wrong?

Find an interesting exhibition  in a quirky venue:   Check

Arrange with the artist to meet with our students :   Check

Travel routes to the venue in spite of road closures and train cancellations :    Check

Persuade, cajole and bully students into coming :   Check

What could go wrong with a trip to the Other Cafe Gallery  to see an exhibition of photos and poems by Cath Forrest at her family home in Oxford while preparing her mother to go into a nursing home. The exhibition seeks to catch the “last light” as her mother’s mind slowly disintegrates. It is of course a painful process but the artist also catches moments of beauty in simple settings, a moment of pause amid the hurly burly.

The exhibition is part of Photomonth, an annual photography festival held in East London to demonstrate the diversity of contemporary photography and to reach a wider audience. Quite often exhibits are held in strange and unusual places, and the Other Cafe Gallery certainly meets that criteria. Opened a few years ago by an Italian Fine Artist, the cafe is more like stepping into someone’s sitting room rather than a cafe, and the gallery is in the basement below.

So what could go wrong? We hadn’t counted on the owner deciding the night before to embark on major refurbishment, believing that he could finish that night and open the next morning. He confessed that several bottles of wine had contributed to the decision to refurbish and also explained one of the reasons why he had not completed it before we arrived. The one sign you do not want to see on a cafe when you arrive hungry and thirsty: CLOSED UNTIL 09.30 tomorrow!

Fortunately the owner saw us outside and quickly agreed to tidy up and reopen so that we could meet with the artist and see her work. We decided to repair to another local cafe, Reilly Rocket  which really does server up fantastic coffee!

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At the Rocket Reilly Cafe

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At the Rocket Reilly Cafe

 

After perhaps the best coffee and croissants Dalston has to offer, we headed back to the exhibition and met up with Cath Forrest. She spoke about the theme of the exhibition, explaining the importance to her of her mother’s house. The exhibition is called Last Light, so unsurprisingly light and the quality of the light played a great part in the creation of her work

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Cath Forrest

Everyone had their own favourite pictures and it was interesting to hear students explaining their reasons. So in spite of the inauspicious beginning, it was a very enjoyable day out!

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Agent in the spotlight: Russia!

Today we spoke to Natalia from Inter-Air Group in Russia who  have been working with us since 2009. They were recently visited by one of the main channels on Russian TV to talk about what they do.

How long has your agency been established?

19 years. We were founded in 1996.

 How does an agency pick which schools they work with?

Quality, location, accreditations, student’s feedback, prices, terms and conditions.

 What should students keep in mind when choosing where to study?

Quality, location, accreditations, prices.

 How can your agency assist students with the visa application?

We have our own visa department which helps students in all steps with their visa application.

What are the most common rules for refusals and what should students do to be well prepared?

Money issues. So we  are always checking correct amounts necessary for visa application.

How can studying English benefit students in your county? 

Good career opportunities.

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Agent in the spotlight, today: Algeria

Today we spoke with Salim from the agency Bureau d’affaire. They have an office in Algiers and London and assist students from Algeria with all aspects of studying in the UK. We have several agents in Algeria so feel free to contact us!

  • How long has your agency been established?

Our agency was established in 2010, in London UK and has been serving the public faithfully since then. We opened the Algerian branch in 2013.

  • How does an agency pick which schools they work with?

Our agency currently worked exclusively with language schools in the UK but since our agreement with LMC we refer student who are willing to study English to LMC. Our aim is to offer our clients reliable service in connecting them with quality institutions to best further their language skills.

  • What should students keep in mind when choosing where to study?

The most important aspect of any language school is the quality of their program. Our clients also care for the price, the location, the duration of the program, and any perks that will help them to best improve their understanding of the language of choice.

  • How can your agency assist students with the visa application?

Our agency prides itself in providing a thorough service. We are up to date on all immigration laws, work within the system and uphold the law, and keep our clients apprised of any changes and updated on all requirements. We help them with the visa application, explain anything that is unclear and do our best to make our service comprehensive for their convenience.

  • What are the most common grounds for refusal and what should students do to be well prepared?

The most common grounds of refusal are based on the maintenance factor such as not having a reliable sponsor and not having strong ties to Algeria. The interested client should ensure enough funds in their account or a reliable and acceptable sponsor. They should also be able to show very strong ties to Algeria, which would indicate that they will return after the program of study is finished.

  • How can studying English benefit students in Algeria?

Our clients are interested in learning or improving their English in order to better their chances of getting good jobs here in Algeria. Most companies appreciate fluency in English in addition to the French and Arabic that is common here. Further, most international companies based in here use or require English for communication and in transactions. Therefore, to acquire a good job or to be selected for business opportunities, it is best if one can understand and easily communicate in English.

  • Any other tips or recommendations to future students?

To maximize the chances of getting your visa application accepted, its best for the client to opt for six months or more of studying abroad, be able to show strong ties to Algeria, and to have a strong sponsor or sufficient funds in their account to be able to support themselves as well as pay for the program of study.

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EFL Agents: Brazil

This week we will be speaking to some of our agents and try and give you an insight on how an agency works and what are the advantages of enrolling through an agency.

First up is Intercambio Cristao who have been working with LMC since 2010, we work with several agents in Brazil so students who would prefer to register via an agent can always contact us to find the nearest agent to them.

Here is what Karoline from the agency had to say!

How long has your agency been established?

We were established in 2008.

How does an agency pick which schools they work with?

Through our students, partners’ recommendation, and search. 

What should students keep in mind when choosing where to study?

Know a new culture and language, their goals, and the price.

How can your agency assist students with the visa application?

Brazilians only need visa if they will stay more than 6 months. When is necessary, we can help.

What are the most common rules for refusals and what should students do to be well prepared?

We never had a denied visa. Because our student usually stay less than 6 months.

How can studying English benefit students in your county?

The English is a very important tool at Brazilian market, so an international experience will provide a good luggage for future jobs.

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Stay tuned! Tomorrow we will be talking to one of our agents in Algeria!