Transition Year

  • Study in an exciting, safe environment in Antibes!

Secondary School Abroad or Language Course - which option is best for me?

The answer to this question depends on different factors. The key questions you need to ask yourself are:

How long do I want to go for?

Secondary School abroad is generally a longer term programme and is for those students who are prepared to commit to living away from home for a minimum of at least six weeks. Some transition year students choose to study abroad for the entire academic year. For those students or parents who feel they are not ready for a longer term programme like this a Language Course abroad would probably be the better option. Selecting a language course, you have the flexibility to choose how long the programme will last, starting from as short as one week.

When do I want to travel?

A Language Course offers more flexibility. Courses start every Monday, all year round. For the Secondary School programme you need to consider the academic calendar of the country you wish to travel to. Some countries prefer that students combine their programme start date with the school term start date. Others are more flexible but we still need to consider when school holidays fall etc. to ensure you get the maximum benefit from the programme possible. When you call us we will explain the specifics of each country in more detail.

What if I want to travel during the academic year?

A teenager who enrolls in a Language Course during the academic year will usually find that their classmates are older teenagers or adults. Typically Language Courses tend to enroll more teenagers during school holidays and we offer special youth courses during the Easter & Summer holidays. The partners we have carefully selected are happy to accept mature 15+ students during the academic year but you should be aware you will probably be studying with classmates who are older.

We would recommend that Transition year students who wish to travel during the academic year should give serious consideration to the Secondary School Abroad programme because they will be studying and interacting with peers of their own age group.

During the school holidays the Secondary School programme is not an option and you should look at one of the several youth courses, summer camp or Leaving Certificate preparation courses we offer.

Which option produces the best results?

Both programmes have advantages

Secondary School Programme

  • Complete immersion in culture
  • Live with a host family and really learn the culture
  • Less possibility to talk in English
  • Unparalleled in terms of improving fluency
  • Study all subjects through the native language
  • Experience a different education system
  • Learn tolerance and acceptance of a different way of living
  • Challenge yourself to become more independent
  • Become more mature and self confident

Language Course

  • Flexible start dates.
  • Shorter Term programmes possible
  • Choose between living with a host family or in a youth residence
  • Possibility to travel and study with friends
  • Can include a programme of activities and excursions
  • Study and learn with students from a variety of different nationalities
  • All levels accepted including complete beginners
  • Become more mature and self confident


In summary the Secondary School Programme is longer term and more intensive. The Language course option is usually for a shorter period of time, caters for all levels and offers more flexibility in terms of start dates. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or doubts.