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Your First Day at an English School

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Travelling to a new country to learn English is very exciting. But, doing something new can be scary. Meeting new people, visiting a new place, it can make anyone feel nervous. That is completely natural.

Your first day at school may feel like a big deal. But, here at IH Manchester we want to make you to feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible, as soon as possible.

In this blog we want to explain what will happen on your first day at school. If you know what to expect we hope you will feel more comfortable before you even arrive!

Your First Day at IH Manchester

We ask all students to arrive at school by 9am on their first day. You will be greeted at reception by a member of staff who will sign you in. Please remember to bring your passport with you!

English Level Placement Test

Next, you will take the placement test. This is to make sure you are placed in the most suitable class for your current level of English. This will start with a written test. You will then have a chat with either John, Joseph or Marie (our academic management team) to access your speaking skills. More importantly it is a chance to talk about your level, your aims and your plans for the future.

Tour of School

You will be shown around school. See the classrooms, kitchen facilities, where to find the social activities board and everything you need to make the most out of your time in school.

Student Induction

Claire, our Accommodation and Welfare Officer, will start by talking to you about who you should talk to if you have any concerns or experience any problems. We also talk about showing respect to all other students and members of staff, this is very important at IH Manchester. We want our school to be a place where everyone feels happy, welcome and respected. Claire will also talk a little about homestay and how students should behave while staying with a homestay host.

Claire will try to speak to you individually on your first day to check you know how to travel to school, that you are settling into your accommodation and help with any questions you may have.


You will be asked to complete a medical form. This is to make sure we aware of any medical conditions, or allergies etc, that may affect you while you are with us in Manchester. We will not share this information with anyone other than our staff members.

We will ask your permission for us to share videos and photos of you during your stay. The choice is yours.

Next one of our Academic Management Team, usually John or Marie, will talk you through everything relating to your lessons. This will cover timetables, school rules and how to learn effectively.

They will also explain how we use Microsoft Teams and check you can access your account and all the school information you need.

john marie

Finally we take your photograph, Amanda will create a student card for you.

Tour of Manchester

During lunchtime Marta will take you on a brief tour of Manchester pointing out helpful and interesting places.  Things like shopping areas, where the main train stations are and the travel shop to buy travel cards.

Afternoon Lessons

If you are having 1 to 1 lessons or a GE20/25 you will start lesson in the afternoon.

Welcome Social Activities

Every Monday we hold a welcome social activity in school to welcome our new students. It may be something like a games night, quiz night or movie night. It is great chance to meet your new classmates!

Student Blog

Student blog

Student Ayeon joined us for a short 1 week course. She wrote a blog documenting her first day at school.

“Today is the first day of school!  It’s cold in Manchester so put on a warm scarf and take the bus to school. The weather in Manchester is really cold.  England gets a lot of rain, but it is famous for having nice Sundays.

I safely arrived at school in 10 minutes. I was surprised by the size of the building. The academy is located on the 5th floor! While drinking the coffee I bought at the Korean supermarket yesterday, I waited for the welcome orientation!

The orientation took about 4 hours, starting with basic school information, how to study, activities, and how to deal with class-related emergencies. Young people under the age of 18 were reminded that the school have a duty to protect you here. It is a very responsible school I felt. 

The social activities were also explained and I plan to participate in at least one each week. 

I took a level test before coming to the academy and I placed in the “Upper Intermediate” level. It was a goal. Since I had never studied English since I was born, I was embarrassed by the high result and thought of going to the academy and asking for a lower level, so I asked the academy. 

It was a little difficult because it was my first time writing an essay to fit the topic. Talking was more of a test in the way I usually talk, but, living in Opta for 2 years must have helped a lot! I said that I’d never studied English and that I had just learnt it naturally whilst playing with friends. He told me to have confidence. It was so touching.

The academy feels state of the art, because everything is done on the Teams App. It’s easy to check my homework, whiteboards etc. So you don’t have to carry a book around with you. 

When the orientation was over, the academy gave me a city tour. I thought that the academy really cares about the students. I came back to the academy and I was eating, but Joseph, the manager, came up to me and said, “Ah, you’re only here for a week, but you missed classes because you spent the morning on orientation. If you don’t mind, you can take an extra class in the afternoon!”. It was so touching. 

So I took the existing 1 o’clock class and the extra 3 o’clock class! The afternoon class was a speaking class. I had many Middle Eastern friends in my class, 2 Italians and 1 French. We talked and discussed the news we saw today. And we also talked intensively about the media where we can access news (pros/cons), but at the same time, we learned more about advanced vocabulary and British English! Actually, the class was so much fun that I couldn’t take many pictures because I was so engrossed in the class haha! 

Everything was perfect. For a newcomer, everyone introduced themselves at the beginning of the first class, and the class was very understandable, and it was great to be able to focus more on British English (vocabulary and accent). Before, I was at a loss as to how to study English, but it was a great help as it taught me how to study in terms of grammar, writing, speaking, and reading. I want to go to school tomorrow!

Lastly, while eating Brandon’s (host family’s) cooking, we finished the day talking about what we felt after going to the academy. And now I’m going to study…!”

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