Support for universities
The role of university co-ordinator is extremely important in helping students become Language Assistants.
Among other things, you will help raise awareness of the opportunities available and support the application process.
This will enable students to gain all the benefits of a year working abroad, including improved language skills, heightened cultural awareness and increased confidence.
Below you will find: an outline of the application process and what to expect afterwards.
You can raise awareness of the programme and the benefits it brings by distributing the Language Assistants flyer (available in both English and Welsh) to students. A separate version is also available in English and Welsh for those students wishing to teach in China.
To help you prepare for co-ordinating your students’ applications to become a Language Assistant, in September the British Council will send you information containing any programme changes for the following academic year.
An invitation to a webinar for co-ordinators is also distributed at this time, with the webinar usually taking place in late September or early October. Attending this seminar is highly recommended, as it presents a great opportunity to learn more about the co-ordinator role and ask any questions you may have.
When you have all the information and have attended the webinar, you will be ready to support students in their applications.
Applicants are expected to initiate their application online unless there are medical reasons that might prevent them from doing so. Such a case should be discussed with us before the candidate starts the application process. An applicant will provide their basic information using the online system, and will then be e-mailed an additional form to complete and print out. Guidance notes for the application process are available here.
Final year students applying for an assistantship in China should apply to us directly and not go through their university. If your students ask you for advice, please direct them to our website which has all the information they need.
You (or another nominated person in the institution) will also need to provide a university reference for each student, using this form.
Students should use the application checklist to make sure they have included all the necessary information.
As co-ordinator, you will then collect and submit to us all the completed application forms from your students. This should be done before the application deadline. A separate cover form should be completed for each country applied for, and a cover list should be used to list the names of your candidates in alphabetical order.
The role of the university coordinator continues after the application deadline. The British Council will be in regular contact with regard to the progress of your candidates’ applications, including reminders about missing documents or information.
All candidates will go through roughly the same application process and will receive very similar information. However, the fact that we run programmes with 14 countries worldwide means that the timing of, for example, assessment days, allocation meetings, confirmation letters and pre-departure information packs varies from one country to another.
Some candidates may be asked to attend an assessment day. Typically these will consist of group-based activities in the morning, then an individual interview in the afternoon. The day is designed to test, among other aspects, students' presentation skills, enthusiasm and adaptability. Students should be encouraged to prepare for these as much as possible.
When students have been accepted onto the programme, you should help them to prepare for their placement.
If you have any questions, you can contact us.
When students return
Returning students have the chance to take part in the Language Assistants Ambassadors programme, to pass on guidance to future Language Assistants. An induction day for new Language Assistant Ambassadors is held each September to provide information on the programme and other roles they may be interested in within the British Council.
This is a great opportunity for students to pass on their experiences and could lead to future employment opportunities, so they should be encouraged to take part wherever possible.