Learn a language in Edinburgh
Are you planning to learn English? Many language schools in Edinburgh offer English speaking courses, conversation classes, grammar lessons, easy English courses for beginners, and many other language training courses that can be tailored to almost every demand and level! Find out why Edinburgh is a great city for English language learners from all over the world. Read top facts about the benefits of taking English language courses in Edinburgh, also considering the best accommodation options and the living costs in Edinburgh. Don’t miss out on important safety tips and information about the weather, either. Find and compare the best English programs in Edinburgh to start studying at one of the top language schools in the UK.
Edinburgh is one of the largest university centres in the UK and the home of many international English language schools. You will have the chance to take a language course that matches your level and objectives, from general English classes to English for business, IELTS exam preparation or English for teachers. Take a language course in Edinburgh and immerse yourself in the cheerful Scottish atmosphere that fills this magnificent city!
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, Great Britain, located near the Firth of Forth and close to the North Sea. The city is the second most popular tourist destination in UK, attracting over one million overseas visitors annually.
English language courses in Edinburgh
In Edinburgh, you can find plenty of English language schools that offer the ideal climate to learn a new language and interact with a multinational community of learners. Many schools are accredited by the British Council and offer a large variety of language programmes. Courses typically cover general and intensive English, teacher training, private tuition, exam preparation for language certificates (IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge, PET) and specialist courses.
Language schools in Edinburg also offer executive English and English for business courses, which are popular among working and young professionals. Edinburgh is one of the largest financial centres in the UK. Other prosperous industries here include scientific research, education and tourism, to name only a few.
International students are highly interested in university foundation year and university preparation courses. The university preparation programmes combine general English and academic English classes, and sometimes IELTS or TOEFL training, to help foreign students attend the English-speaking universities in Edinburgh.
The city’s economy is now based mainly on financial services, law, scientific research, higher education, and tourism. Join a business English course to gain the specialised terms you need to excel in your future position in the city or abroad.
In summer, some language centres offer more entertaining ways to learn English and to enjoy the cultural life of Edinburgh, such as English travelling tours to local festivals, film afternoons and quiz nights. These social events are especially designed to improve your communication skills and general vocabulary.
Foreign language courses are available in Edinburgh, from beginners to advance, for languages such as: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Russian, or Swedish.
Speaking English in Edinburgh
People in Edinburgh will say that they speak either Scottish, Scots or Scottish English – all of which are similar names for an English dialect with Scottish accent, slang words and a fast speech.
The best way to develop your English is to expose yourself to conversations with the friendly inhabitants of Edinburgh. The Scottish dialect might be hard to understand at first, even for mid-level English speakers, but locals are quite used to foreigners and they will talk slower or explain slang terms if you ask them.
The nationality mix, specific for the students’ community in Edinburgh, will also make the practice of English more fun. This will give you the opportunity to hear and become open to other foreign dialects and English accents.
Edinburgh is a city full of iconic sights and historical places, and a mixture of contemporary urban with medieval vestiges. Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Language schools make sure you will have the opportunity to visit these places during your language learning experience in the city, by providing cultural immersion programmes with city trips and social events.
Don’t miss the opportunity to trek up Arthur’s Seat and enjoy a 360 degree view of the entire city, explore the Cramond beach and see the remaining WW2 fortifications, visit for free the National Museum of Scotland, or have a picnic in the Meadows.
Other popular tourist attractions in Edinburgh include: the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, the Murrayfield Stadium, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden, and more.
Edinburgh is also a city that loves festivals and festivities. Between June-September, you can attend the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh’s International Film Festival, and the Fringe, the largest annual international arts festival in the world.
Accommodation and living costs
Edinburgh is a relatively expensive city, especially when it comes to housing rents. An average monthly budget of around 800-900 GBP should cover your expenses, including trips and activities.
A number of language schools and centres in Edinburgh provide accommodation for their language learners. Typically, options include homestay, private accommodation, student residences, hostels and hotels.
Booking accommodation with a host family in Edinburgh gives you a great opportunity to practise your English with real native speakers, and to learn more about British and Scottish culture. Generally, you will have one or more meals per day included in the housing prices. Sharing a private flat or apartment with other language learners will be cheaper than renting a one-bedroom studio.
On average, a monthly food budget of around 300 GBP should be satisfying. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around 10 GBP.
Edinburgh regularly receives high satisfaction ratings for safety and security. You are advised however to take some minimum safety precautions that are wise to apply in any urban environment. Plan your journey across the city in advance and avoid walking alone at night. Pay more attention in some areas of Edinburgh, including Leith, Princes Street, Calton Hill, the Meadows and in the Cowgate area.
In Edinburgh, the warm season lasts from June to September, with average temperatures of 15°C (59°F) and rarely exceeding 22°C (72 °F). The cold season lasts from November to March, with temperatures often falling below freezing; the coldest month is January at 3°C (37°F).