Frequently Asked Questions

Have you got a question? Below we keep the answers to most of the questions we receive.


Courses and Classes

Courses and Classes

CCEL's teaching staff are professional and experienced. All CCEL teachers are qualified to teach English:
Teachers have an average of 5 years' experience
IELTS and Cambridge examiners give students expert advice about exam courses
The Academic Team helps students achieve their study goals

You will be given a placement test on the first day of your course and placed in a class with other students at the same level. Assessment is continuous throughout the course and you will have a test every 6 weeks and receive individual progress reports. Each student is different but a general guideline on the time it takes to progress through the levels (based on 25 hours of tuition per week) is:

Beginner to Elementary (Level 1-2) - 2 months
Elementary to Pre Intermediate (Level 2-3) - 3 to 4 months
Pre intermediate to Intermediate (Level 3-4) - 3 to 4 months
Intermediate to Upper Intermediate (Level 4-5) - 6 months
Upper Intermediate to Advanced (Level 6) - 6 months

At the end of your course, you will receive a Certificate of Studies and a Report of Studies which shows your attendance rate.

Students from all over the world study at CCEL and the total number of students depends on the season and the timing of examination courses. Usually there are between 100 - 200 students studying at one time at CCEL.

Many students decide to stay at CCEL longer than they had originally planned. Some also upgrade their course to exam preparation during their stay. If you want to extend your course it is very easy and our Sales Team will help you with all the information you need.

It is usually easy to change your course while you are at CCEL. You can talk to someone in the Academic Team about this. They will check with you whether your level is suitable for the course, if your enrolment is long enough and if it matches with your English needs.

The Academic Team is available to discuss your study plans and to advise you on university entry requirements to CCEL's pathway partners, the University of Canterbury (UC) and UC International College (UCIC). Visit this page for more information about our pathways and partner institutions

At School

This is your timetable for your first day at CCEL:

9.45am - Arrive at CCEL reception (bring your passport and insurance). You will meet some of our staff and the other new students
10.00am – 12.00am - Welcome / Test and interview / Orientation and tour
12:00am – 12.30pm - Break
12.30pm – 2.00pm - You will join your class
2.00pm - 2.15pm - Break
2.15pm - 3.15pm - Class (Part Time students finish at 3.15pm)
3.15pm - 3.30pm - Break
3.30pm - 4.30pm - Class

Bring your passport and your certificate of medical and travel insurance (English translation) so we can take a copy for your student record.

At CCEL you will find plenty of people to help you including your teacher and the administration staff. We also have some people who can give you specialised help:

Student counsellors can help you in your own language. They are available by appointment. The counsellors have been selected because they have lived in New Zealand for a long period of time, and have an excellent understanding of the New Zealand culture and how students will adapt to it.

The Academic Team is available to discuss your study plans and to advise you on entry requirements to university and other tertiary level study options in New Zealand.

You can also get advice about extra study you can do to help improve your level of English.

Yes, students have free Wi-Fi internet access at CCEL Christchurch. There are also computers available at both schools for students to use.

The simple way to enrol is online. It will automatically be sent to us and we will be in contact with you. You can also visit an educational agency in your own country and ask to enrol at CCEL.

Student Life in New Zealand

There are a lot of things you can do in and around Christchurch. You can enjoy movie theatres, beaches, sports facilities, shopping malls, parks and gardens, art galleries and tourist activities. CCEL also has organised weekend activities which take students to some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenic attractions.

Yes, we have activities and trips outside school hours. Check out our Facebook page to see more.

In Christchurch, you will have access to all of the University of Canterbury facilities including the libraries and cafeterias and can also join the university’s clubs. In addition, living in a homestay family is a good way to improve your English and experience the Kiwi lifestyle.

Please visit this website for useful information on the cost of living in New Zealand

Work and Study

Yes, CCEL is an NZQA Category 1 school. This means our full-time students doing a course of 14 weeks or more can get work rights on their Student Visa.

Students can join our 4 week Job Search Add-on Programme to learn skills and strategies for getting a job in New Zealand.

Please follow this link for useful guides for working in New Zealand. Please remember that to work in New Zealand, you will need to have a valid visa with work rights as part of the conditions.


You can choose to live in a homestay, in student residence accommodation or go flatting with other students. Our staff can give you more information on accommodation options if you don't want to live in homestay. There is a noticeboard on campus advertising flats in Christchurch. Living with a homestay family is a great way to practise your English in everyday situations while becoming more confident about living in a new country. We recommend this when you first come to New Zealand and if you require homestay you need to send CCEL your enrolment form at least 2 weeks before your starting date

If you are studying at CCEL Christchurch,(and you book an airport transfer with us) your homestay family will be waiting for you in the Arrival Hall of Christchurch Airport. They will be holding a board with your name on it and showing the CCEL logo .

If you do not book a transfer with us, you will need to catch a taxi or a bus to your accommodation. Please email us for advice / information on this.

At your homestay you will have a single room with a bed, a desk, a wardrobe, and a heater. Your host family will provide you with dinner and breakfast each day, and three meals at the weekends and during New Zealand holidays. CCEL's host families are carefully chosen for their comfortable homes and their caring attitude towards students. Your student handbook will give you more information about homestay and adapting to life in New Zealand.

CCEL Christchurch's location means it has access to good quality homestays very close to the school. Some are within walking distance of CCEL and some are in the bus zone so students take a short bus ride to and from CCEL each day. Travelling in Christchurch is easy and convenient, and the bus service is regular.

Quality Assurance

CCEL is an NZQA category 1 school. This means the New Zealand government has given it the top quality rating for English schools. Please follow this link to our latest report

Yes, CCEL has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. Copies of the code the Code of Practice (in English and other languages) and a pamphlet that summarises the Code and provides important information for international students and their families can be found here: