Thursday, 29 August 2013

Business English best location to learn is London for many. Why?

Many people whose first language is not English think they can get by in the business environment of the English speaking world with a working knowledge of general English. However, the subtle elements of quality and properly constructed written letters communication are vital to establishing credibility in a professional environment.
On the job experience in an English speaking environment may improve your Business English, but it will not ensure that you have an all-round knowledge of the technicalities surrounding Business English.

Normal English Language schools may not be suitable for this as you probably want a faster track to improve in this skill.
It is therefore worth considering colleges which specialise in Business Training which also offer English for Business Courses. The advantage of this is that you receive the training from a commercial perspective as opposed to a purely academic, language based angle. Many of these Business English schools are in London.

A good business school for this type of training will offer courses in things like administration, law , finance and office procedural functions such as office administration, secretarial procedure etc.

Image courtesy of and Author Stuart Miles
If you are an international student it is ideal to consider courses in London, as this way you can immerse yourself in the hubbub of daily routine in one of the busiest and most vibrant cities on Earth.
Learning Business English in London can set you apart in your later career as you will assimilate the best accent for the use of English, whereas quite commonly provincial schools will leave you with a regional accent which may not be the best for international commerce.

Whilst formerly written business letters are now used less commonly, it is good to be able to construct quality letters in Business English. Using this base you will be able to generate quality e-mails and other e-communications with confidence.
So when you are looking for the right source for your Business English courses in London, you should make sure that the provider is not a standalone English teaching unit but one with a broader commercial perspective.

For Business English courses in London be careful with providers in the Oxford Street area, as there are a few fairly poor quality providers who trade on their central location for walk in trade as opposed to the quality of their tuition; these are easy to spot as they tend only to specialise in English without other commercial subjects. Of course not all providers in that area are of poor quality.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Uruguay travels: Party in Punta Del Este, get culture in Montevideo and history in Colonia Del Sacramento

Overview of Uruguay

Uruguay is one of South America's hidden treasures. The most famous location is likely to be the capital, Montevideo. However, many South Americans will associate Uruguay with being a playground of the rich and famous. The coastal resorts of Punta Del Este are very exclusive and expensive, and during the summer months much of the wealthy in Argentina make their holiday here.
Food in Uruguay - Decidely Argentinean

The food and drinks in Uruguay is very similar to Argentina, you will find steaks, malbec wine, Argentinian style coffee and medialunas. The accent is very similar to the Porteno accent (Buenos Aires) and for a foreigner it is difficult to tell apart.

PUNTA DEL ESTE - Author Summ and Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Places to see in Uruguay

Key places to visit when in Uruguay; Punta Del Este, Colonia and Montevideo. Punta Del Este is a very tourist oriented summer beach town. Well heeled South Americans, particularly from Argentina, will often own summer houses here. It is surprisingly expensive in the peak season. Drinks and meals can often be at more European prices and the hotels can be more expensive, as well. The town is around 1 hour north of Montevideo, which ensures that the water is clear of the brown colour that the mouth of the Pirana river creates. If you are in South America in January and February, Punta Del Este, will be alive. There will be plenty of nightlife, meanwhile all the restaurants and bars will be busy.

Montevideo is Uruguay's capital, it is approximately 90 minutes from Colonia (the first stop in Uruguay from the Hovercraft from Buenos Aires). The City has a few modern indoor malls and some great eats around the town. The old town has some great nightlife and restaurants, culminating in mercado del puerto. The mercado del puerto is a feast for all the senses. It is an old covered market place full of fresh parrillas cooking a wide range of meats.

A Parrilla in Montevideo at the Mercado Del Puerto - Image courtesy of Wikipedia / Author Gonzalo Velasco.

Colonia is the first town from the Hovercraft from Buenos Aires, which takes 30-40 mins. It has a great river view, but is also quite an old and quaint town. The majority of the centre of the town is cobbled. It is an old Spanish colonial town and one of the oldest settlements in that part of the continent. The town is quite touristic due to its proximity to Buenos Aires, therefore there are lots of places to eat on the river, art and craft shops and the like. Altogether the town has a lovely atmosphere and somewhat of an old European feel.

All in all, Uruguay has much to offer and is easily accessible from Buenos Aires. Here 3 places have been highlighted but there is much more to see

Sunday, 7 April 2013

France: Chateaus and Wine in the Loire Valley

One of France's most appealing areas is the Loire Valley. It is rich in history, natural landscape, foods and wines. It truly embodies many of the attractive characteristics of France.

Author Touriste and image courtesy of - Chinon
The Loire commences around 1 hour south of Paris and meets the sea in the Nantes region. This convenient location makes it accessible to French, British, German and Southern European tourists. There are three main cities in the Loire Valley: Orleans, Tours and Nantes. Orleans was once the capital of France and possesses some wonderful historic buildings. Likewise, Tours is a larger city, but it also has a wonderful pedestrianised centre of the city. You should also be sure to visit some of the smaller towns, which are charming. Some of these towns include Blois, Chinon and Amboise.


Blois is a wealthy town situated between Orleans and Tours. It sits on the Loire and is accessible by train and major roads. It is a true delight. The central area is overlooked by an impressive chateau, which is on a raise area in the centre. Within the town there are cobbled old street that are full of character. There are great cafes, bars and restaurants. One recommended restaurant is Vinomania, which accompnaies excellent French food with wine tasting.

Author Michael Osmenda and image courtesy of wikipedia


From Blois it is easy to get to some of the most famous Chateaus in France. The elegant splendour of Chambord is only a short drive from the town centre. Another nearby Chateau that is worth a visit is Cheverny. This is more stately and modernised than Chambord, but again very elegant. Cheverny is in village that boasts some excellent eateries. Both Chateaus have their own wines.

If you fancy a more medieval fortress style of Chateau, you can visit Chinon. This is a little far from Blois, but is accessible from Tours.


The area is famous for great red, white, rose and sparkling wines. It is truly a wine lovers delight. Some towns with a special focus on wine include Vouvray , in the Tour region, Chinon, Amboise and Saumur. All of these towns have wine tastings and shops dedicated to the wine of their vineyards.

The Loire Valley is truly a great place to visit and offers so much to visitors, year round.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Travel Brazil: Rio De Janeiro and surroundings

Rio De Janeiro is a truly beautiful and unique city. It is a cultural centre for Brazil and South America and plays host to the world famous Rio Carnaval. From a tourist’s point of view, the Zona Sul is the most important.

The Beaches

This part of the city revolves around three famous beaches; Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Each of these beaches are surrounded by fashionable and usually expensive districts. The beaches are a centre focus for socialising and entertainment, during any major event in the city. For a visitor to Brazil, these beaches can be a great place to people watch and take in ‘Carioca’ life.
                                     Image courtesy of wikipedia and Author Artyominc

Christ the Redeemer

However, there are many more great sites that are world renowned. One such site is statue of Christ the Redeemer which sits on top of one of the numerous steep hills that surround the coastal parts of the city. From this statue, the views are spectacular, with a panoramic view of the cities primary beaches.

Other sites of  interest

Sugar Loaf Mountain with its impressive cable car are a must for any tourist. Again the views are spectacular from this beautiful location. Maracana stadium is also a very popular place to visit in the northern part of Rio De Janeiro.
Favelas and Social Issues
                                         Image courtesy of wikipedia and Author Chensiyuan

Brazil and Rio are famous for a high crime rate and social inequality. You will notice in parts of Rio, many million dollar apartments, which are overlooked by favelas (slums) on the hillside. Many famous Brazilian moves like City of God and Elite Squad have illustrated this issue. However, Brazil has witnessed a period of extended economic growth. This has led to an improvement in the living standards of many people. Furthermore, with the onset of the Olympics and World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, the authorities are actively improving these issues in Brazil.

Day Trips

Rio is surrounded by small and beautiful beaches and islands. These towns are definitely worth a visit. We will focus on the beautiful island of Ilha Grande, which is a piece of nature close to a large city. There are no roads or cars on the island and some beautiful scenes to witness.

Paraty is a nearby town on the mainland, with stylish Portuguese colonial architecture. Paraty is like a little Venice, as the central streets flood during the high tide and drain on low tide. The town is popular with foreigners and Brazilians. There are great restaurants and bars in the town and it even has a colourful and loud carnaval. The harbour is full of boats which can take you on memorable boat trips in the crystal clear inlets between the mainland and the numerous islands. There is also usually great fish barbeques available on board.
                                         Image courtesy of wikipedia and Author Fontela01

Friday, 25 January 2013

Gem of the Caribbean: Grenada

The Caribbean is a sun seekers dream, warm all year round with numerous islands and beaches looking out at clear seas. However, it can be hard to choose the island that is right for you. Grenada is a real dream of an island. It is situated in the south of the Caribbean, close to the shores of South America and Trinidad and Tobago. The island possesses one of the best beaches in the world, Grand Anse Beach. This beach is a few miles long and possesses wonderful white sands and crystal clear water.
The Legendary Grand Anse in later afternoon
Author Varun Kapoor Image courtesy of wikipedia

Grand Anse is not overdeveloped like many famous beaches in neighbouring islands, but it still has amenities. There is a range or hotels, from high end through to more affordable. There are also some great places to eat and drink in the area.

The majority of tourists in Grenada come from the US, UK, Canada and neighbouring countries. However, the numbers are generally not as high as on the neighbouring islands, which makes for less crowds on the idyllic beaches.

The food in Grenada is varied due to the mixture of the people. The majority are of African-Caribbean, but there is also a sizeable minority of Grenadians of East Indian origin. There is also small number of Grenadians of French or English origins, due to Grenada’s history as a British and French colony. This means that there are excellent creole dishes, combining the various cultural influences that came to the island. You can also get great curries and rotis from the island’s Indian culture.
The island is volcanic, so it has steep mountains in the centre of the island and some beautiful remote waterfall, which can provide a perfect break swimming in sea water. The volcanic soil is hugely fertile, so this makes the scenery very green and fruits are abundant.

Grenada is one of the world’s largest producers of high quality nutmeg and mace. This is why the island is often referred to as the Island of Spice. There are also many cocoa plantation that produce very high quality cocoa. Near to Grenville on the Island’s east coast, there is a great plantation to visit called the Belmont Estate. This estate has a lovely colonial feel, with a large restaurant serving high quality local food. You can also sample some of the cocoa, cocoa balls and chocolate.

                                                                Grenada's Nutmeg
                                                              Author Brocken Inaglory
                                                              Image courtesy of wikipedia

Fish is another attraction to Grenada, on Fridays you should visit the west coast town of Goyave. Here there is a special event in the streets called Fish Friday. Here are the local varieties of fish are sold in a street market. There is a real party atmosphere with soca bands and live music.

If you are looking for an exotic break or winter sun, look no further than Grenada.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Travel Spain: Madrid a place to visit for everyone

Madrid is Spain's capital city and is a very vibrant and diverse city. The history of Spain and the warm culture is evident at every street corner. We will highlight some great locations to visit and also talk about the Spanish capital's food and nightlife.


Madrid has two globally prominent art museums in the centre of the city. El Museo del Prado (The Prado) is truly spectacular, with arguably the best collection of Spanish art in the world. The art includes a wide range of artists from the 12th - 19th century. This is definitely worth a lengthy visit.

Reina Sofia, named after Queen Sofia of Spain, is a great testimony to modern art in Spain. It was founded in the name of the reigning Queen in 1992. It holds a wonderful collection of art by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso and so much more. The closest staion is Atocha and it is definietly worth another lengthy visit.


The City is certainly not all about museums, for those who love gardens and outdoor life, there are parks. The most famous and prominent is the central park of Parque Retiro. Here ther are tree-lined paths, cafes, bars, a large lakes, ornaments and nice gardens. Given Madrid attractive dry climate, this can be a great place to relax.
Retiro Park, courtesy of wikipedia buy author Jkiang

There are many great areas to go out in Madrid. In the area aorund Banco De Espana, there are some upmarket bars. One of these bars is Ramses bar, they have great interior design and are quite an experience. If bars in the day is your interest, why not finish a lovely walk in park with a quick champagne in Ritz Garden Bar. For shopping, Gran Via, Sol and in particular the El Corte Ingles (Department Store Spanish Chain) may be of great interest.

Above: Plaza Mayor with thanks to Wikipedia from author Sebastian Dubiel

For Plaza and sitting out in large square, Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Ana are very popular.


All the same food is extremely important in Spain and a night of tapas is most common. La Latina, Chueca, Plaza Santa Ana all possess speciality tapas bars. Be sure to try Bacalao (Cod), Gambas Ajillo (Garlic Prawns), Jamon Iberico (Ham of the highest quality), Lomo Iberico (Pork Tenderloin in a type of Ham/Chrorizo format) and much more. Madrid is a city where wondering around can lead to you stumbling on a great find.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Travel and Life in London: Why is the City so popular amongst the Young?

London is a major cosmopolitan city, with a robust economy. At present, it is very popular with young, job seeking Europeans.

Why is London so popular?

In term of population London is the largest in Western Europe. The population for a large part is diverse and young. Many people who are looking to travel to a foreign city will want to feel comfortable, rather than an outcast or foreigner. London has many different communities within it, which makes many young migrants feel more comfortable. The fast pace of life and numerous attractions is also appealing to many young people.

The Economy

The main reason for mass migration is usually economic. At the moment many European Peripheries are struggling with unemployment. This has encouraged upwardly mobile Spanish and Italians to seek work and opportunities in London. Elsewhere, the EU has enabled many Eastern Europeans to seek a brighter future in London.


The United Kingdom is Europe’s largest English speaking country. English is the most important language for international travel and commerce. This means that is important for many young European to develop their Business English Skills. Therefore, many come here to work part-time, whilst attending Business English Courses. This will not necessarily mean that they are seeking to gain a career in London, but to take the newly found language skills back home to their native countires and advance their careers.

Pace of life

London is unique within the United Kingdom, as the pace of life is very fast. There are constantly people departing and arriving in this international hub. This can make the city somewhat transient, but it does mean that there are always others who are new and looking to form a circle of friends. This is heartening for any new arrival and encourages more immigration.

Culture and Nightlife

The City’s culture is thriving, with all the great museums such as the Tate, National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, the British Museum and all the great theatres of the West End. New trendy areas are constantly being revitalised by the artier types of Londoner, which makes for fun and diverse nightlife.

Coming to London to Work and Learn English?

London is a great place to visit for one or two years, whilst you work and pay for learning English. The City is multi-cultural, so it can be welcoming to any a wide range of new arrivals.

If you want to learn English, there are many great colleges and institutions, but be clear on what you want to learn. You need to check out the criteria of the schools and your teacher. Make sure that they are offering the right course and that the teacher is qualified.

If you want to use your English commercially or to get a job, you should look for a Business English Course. This will ensure that you learn all the rhetoric to handle issues in a business environment.

Also, be aware that the city is large and you will need to research the best area to suit your finance and personal needs. This can take some research so plan out  your accommodation and don’t be rushed into taking the first place that you encounter.