Frequently Asked Questions
What countries do AHISSers come from?
Our students come from all over the world and we have a very varied nationality mix. In the past we have welcomed students from every continent. We love welcoming new nationalities to AHISS, why not get in touch and find out if you’ll be the first AHISSer from your country?
Which airport should I book flights to?
We offer a free airport transfer service on arrival and departure days to/from Glasgow and Edinburgh International Airports. Glasgow Airport is recommended and is 55km from Ardmay House. Edinburgh Airport is 130km from Ardmay House.
I would like to bring a group to AHISS, is this possible?
Please contact us directly if you wish to bring a group to AHISS
Will my child be looked after when they are at AHISS?
Yes, students are looked after at all times. We have a ratio of 1 adult to 4 children. Our safety and welfare provision were highlighted as points of excellence in our recent BAC inspection. For further information, please visit the ‘Supervision & Safety’ section of our website.
My child takes medication, is this a problem?
No, we are very used to dealing with medication! All medication is collected on arrival and is handed into the Office. Medication is not allowed to be kept in student’s dorms and must be administered by an adult. We make a note of all medication that is given to students. It would be very helpful if any medication that you are sending is put in a bag and labelled with your child’s name. Students are not allowed to keep their own medication in their dorms for reasons of safety and security.
What if he/she is homesick?
Our staff are all highly experienced in dealing with children who are away from home for the first time. It is natural for a child to feel homesick, however we aim to keep our students so busy that they are occupied at all times. If we have any major concerns about your child we will contact you.
My child is coming with a friend/sibling, will they be in the same bedroom?
We do our best to accommodate accommodation requests, however all requests are subject to the ages of the students, nationality mix and dorm availability. You can also request for siblings to be separated in bedrooms.
How can I keep in touch with my child while they are at AHISS?
Upon arrival, we encourage all students to phone parents to let them know that they have arrived safely. Mobile phones are allowed at Ardmay House International Summer School, but we do not allow them to be used in class or during activities. Mobile phones are allowed to be used between 4.45pm – 5.45pm (all students) and from 9pm – 9.45pm (students aged 13+). Mobiles are kept by Group Leaders at all other times. Please note that we are not able to accept responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones.
There is wi-fi at Ardmay House, but it can be slow as the house is very old with thick walls. There are also computers which students can use to access the Internet and email. We are happy to print out and pass on emails. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org using your child’s name as the subject.
How do you decide what level of class my child will go into?
On their first day of classes students sit an English language test. There is a reading, speaking and listening component to this test however we stress to students that this is not an exam and we try to create a relaxed environment.
We operate a class mobility policy where our teachers will meet each week and decide if any student should be moved up to the next class level.
I have heard that the Scottish accent is very strong, will my child be able to understand?
Yes! There are common misconceptions about the Scottish accent, however official statistics state that it is one of the clearest pronunciations of the English language in the world. Our teachers and instructors are all native speakers, and come from all over the United Kingdom.
Scottish people are very friendly and love to talk, so in coming to Scotland students have real opportunities to speak to local people and try out the English that they have learnt in real-life situations.
How many students are in a class/activity group?
Classes have a maximum of 12 students however there is an average of 8 students per class. There is a maximum of 10 students per activity group for Adventure Activities.
What is the average age of your students?
Students from 8 – 16 years old are welcome, and we have two distinct groups of children (8 – 12) and teenagers (13 – 16). Teenagers get a little more free time and have a later bed time than younger students.
Can my child travel as an Unaccompanied Minor?
Yes, absolutely. We do not charge any extra to pick up/drop off Unaccompanied Minor students. KLM, Air France and Emirates Airlines all offer excellent UM services into Glasgow Airport.
What should I pack for my child?
Upon booking, a full list of what to bring will be provided.
What is the maximum number of students at AHISS?
We are a small summer school with a maximum of 62 students per week. This ensures that all students receive personal attention and we are able to create a family atmosphere in the house.
Can you provide a Visa Invitation Letter?
Yes, we are able to provide full visa support. Please contact us for further information.
Please ensure that you leave ample time to apply for a visa. Particularly leading up to the summer months, some British Embassies are very busy and can take a long time to process visa applications.
My child has special dietary requirements, is this a problem?
This is not a problem. We cater to all dietary requirements, ranging from vegetarian and halal to wheat-free, dairy-free, allergies and intolerances. We ask that you highlight any special dietary requirements on the ‘Medical/Dietary Requirements Form’ which you will receive upon booking.
How long do students normally attend the summer school for?
Most students attend for 2 – 3 weeks, however students are welcome to attend for a minimum of 1 week up to the full 8 week duration of the summer school.
How do you ensure my child will speak in English and monitor their improvement?
We work hard to ensure that we have a completely immersive English speaking environment.
We also limit the number of students from each language group to make sure that we have a diverse mix of nationalities and again to ensure that our students are speaking in English.