Learn English in the heart of a world-class academic city

Arrival and First Day in Cambridge

We know the thought of arriving in a new country can be stressful, especially if you are travelling alone for the first time. That’s why we are there to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  At any point during your arrival or stay you can can call us on our emergency telephone number (you will be given this number when you book). We will make your arrival a no-stress experience.

You are not alone when you come to EC. Not only can we be there to meet you when you arrive, we'll also be there throughout your trip to make sure that your stay is fun, safe and problem-free, with a strong support network to make you as comfortable as possible.

This page is a short overview on what you can expect upon arriving. We will send you much more detailed information when you have booked your course.

Airport Transfers

For a convenient and easy arrival, we can meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation. When you have booked your flight, tell us your arrival airport terminal, time of arrival and flight number.

At the airport, you will be met at the arrival gate by an EC representative holding an EC Cambridge sign. If you cannot see the EC representative, please go to the airport's information desk and call the EC emergency number (you will be given the emergency number when you book your course). You should also call the emergency number if you are delayed at customs or immigration, so the EC representative waits for you.

If you booked your accommodation through EC and have not booked an airport transfer you must still inform EC of your flight details one week prior to arrival.

If you are staying at a residence and have not booked an airport transfer, you should telephone EC’s emergency number upon arrival at the airport/international train station etc. This will ensure that an EC representative will be at the accommodation to welcome you.

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You might be excited about your first day, but please don’t forget to take the following to school with you:

  • Passport


  • Credit Card

    For accommodation damage deposit if you book an EC residence

  • Pen and paper


  • Health Insurance Policy


  • 8:30

    Student arrival & Check in

  • 9:00

    Placement Test

  • 10:00

    Welcome Talk from Director of Studies

  • 10:15

    Welcome Talk from Admissions Officer

  • 11:00

    Orientation Tour

  • 12:45

    Intensive student's first class

  • 14:30

    Afternoon class(if students in afternoon bank)

Welcome Talk

On the first morning, you will have a welcome talk by the Director of Studies and Admissions Officer who will explain the course timetable, lessons, academic information and give you information on the options for your Leisure and Activities programme.

Placement Test

You will need to be at the Student Service Centre by 8:30am to be ready to take your placement test at 9am. This test assesses your key skills in all aspects of English (Reading, Speaking, Listening, and Written Comprehension) and helps us place you in the right group for your ability.


Students begin lessons on the second day. Students taking intensive courses and those with an afternoon timetable in their first week begin lessons on Monday afternoon. All students are reminded to take a notepad and pen to class.


Lessons at EC Cambridge alternate between morning and afternoon on a daily basis.This means you will have lessons in the morning one day, then lessons in the afternoon the next. Students taking intensive courses and those with an afternoon timetable in their first week begin lessons on Monday afternoon. You will be given the timetable during the welcome talk on the first day.

Students will be assigned to Group A or Group B and remain in the same group throughout their stay.

9:00-10:30 Group A Group B Group A Group B Group A
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:15 Group A  Group B Group A  Group B  Group A
12:15-13:00 Break
13:00-14:30 Elective Session for 30 lessons per week students
14:30-14:45 Break
14:45-16;15 Group B Group A Group B Group A Group B
16:15-16:30 Break
16:30-18:00 Group B Group A Group B Group A  Group B 
After school Language activities and social events / free time / study time