A year as a Language Assistant gives students the opportunity to develop transferrable skills that will make their CV stand out from the crowd. 

University students must meet the general criteria which includes having spent 5 of the last 10 years in the UK , and be highly proficient in English (C2 level). Teaching opportunities are available in 14 destinations and students do not need a formal language qualification to become a Language Assistant.

Promoting the programme to your students

UK higher education institutions, especially study abroad co-ordinators, faculty members and career offices, can raise awareness of the programme and its benefits by highlighting:

Key changes for 2022/3
  • Chile is no longer available as a destination 
  • Candidates must have lived in the UK at some point in their life for a total of two years prior to application
  • Knowledge of UK culture will be assessed through questions in the application form
  • Minimum qualifications are A Level, Scottish Highers or Equivalent. However some destinations have additional academic requirements. 

Language Requirements

  • There is no longer a target destination language requirement for Spain, Hong Kong and China. Applicants need to be highly proficient in English - C2 level
  • Austria, Germany and Switzerland is now A2 in the target language 
  • The reference deadline for 2022/23 is a week following the applicant submission deadline 
  • As well as two completed years at university, other minimum qualification equivalents are welcomed as specified on our website

Getting involved

In the sections below, you will find an outline of what universities are required to do in order for your students to take part in this programme.


The application process is all online unless there are medical reasons that might prevent them from doing so. Such a case should be discussed with the British Council before the candidate starts the application process. 

For any applicants who may have additional requirements, please see this guidance video.



If requested, the British Council can provide updates to university departments regarding the progress of the candidates’ applications.

When students have been accepted onto the programme, referees should help them to prepare for their placement.

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 destinations worldwide means that the timing of, for example, video interviews, matching meetings, confirmation emails and pre-departure information packs varies from one country to another.

Some candidates may be asked to complete a video assessment. The assessment is designed to test, among other aspects, students' motivation, enthusiasm and adaptability. Students should be encouraged to prepare for these as much as possible.

When students return

Returning students have the chance to take part in the Language Assistants Ambassadors programme, to promote the opportunity and pass on guidance to future Language Assistants. An induction day or webinar for successful Language Assistant Ambassadors is held each September to provide information on the programme and how to promote it in their university. The Ambassador role can be online and/or in person where possible, with selected ambassadors participating in promotional presentations, self-led activity and development webinars.  

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.

Promotional materials

Video presentation

This short video presentation produced by members of the English Language Assistants team is designed to give both students and tutors an overview of the programme offering for the 2022-23 academic year. We would encourage you to share the video with any potential applicants, including soon-to-be graduates in all disciplines.

From finding accommodation, money matters and insurance, to settling into school life, managing culture shock and country specific advice, our Language Assistants Podcast allows applicants to hear more about the programme.  
Additional resources

Further information about the Enlgish Language Assistant programme is here. You can download materials in the section below. New content will be added soon.

We are always keen to receive feedback on the programme. If you have any comments or questions, please email us on languageassistants.uk@britishcouncil.org.

 Last updated: 19/01/2022

External links