Anyone moving to Austin, Texas, gets told all the time how lucky they are. Thanks to events like South by Southwest and its legendary live music scene, Austin is known far and wide as a cool city.
But if you’re an HR official involved in international relocations to Austin, you know that while your employees may feel excited about the move, they also have a lot of questions. Where can expats take English classes in Austin? Does the city live up to all the hype? What’s the best way to make friends with similar interests and start feeling at home?
Never fear. We’ve put together some handy resources for both HR professionals who coordinate employee relocations to Austin and the international expats who are making the capital of Texas their new home.
English Language Training in Austin
One of the first things any international expat moving to Austin will want to do is take English classes. Even employees who have spoken English at work before might discover that it’s hard to understand Texas co-workers — and that they’re also having trouble being understood themselves. Outside of work, being able to communicate clearly with neighbors and fellow parents at school will help expats enjoy life in Austin more.
Working with an English tutor in Austin will do much more than improve language skills, though. A local English instructor can also be a valuable guide to Austin culture. The right language trainer can help with everything from understanding locals’ quirky pronunciations to knowing when traffic will be bad downtown or around the University of Texas campus to explaining why tacos are a breakfast food in Austin.
Luckily, there are many choices for English classes in Austin. As part of relocation packages, your company may even select a language training company in Austin for expats to work with. If not, you can suggest that your employer provide English training and accent reduction lessons at your office.
How can you find English classes in Austin that are right for your company? Of course, we suggest that you start by exploring our offerings at Fluency Corp. We’re based in Dallas, but we also offer customized, private or small-group corporate English lessons in the Austin area. You can think of us as your fluency partners. We offer English training that’s live, not recorded, and all instructors are native speakers. Our classes are more effective because they’re tailored to your employees’ specific needs. They can study with us at your office, at their home or even online. They’ll soon be speaking confidently, clearly and with ease.
Other language trainers we recommend in Austin:
- TIEP (Texas Intensive English Program) – TIEP offers programs for English learners at all levels. Sessions run throughout the year. Students interested in attending universities in Texas may be able to transfer some credits from TIEP. Private English tutoring and test prep are also available.
- Inlingua Austin – With Inlingua, language learners have the option of studying English in private or group classes, whether at home, at their office or online. This company also offers translation, interpretation and voice-over services.
Support for Austin Relocations
We know there’s a lot more on your mind than finding English classes in Austin, though. These companies can help with the transition to a new country and culture.
- Place2Place – Need a trustworthy partner to help with your Austin relocations? Place2Place eases your employees’ transitions. Founder Clivia Bettelli Baskin and her team are experts at spousal support, culture training, language training and more. Place2Place’s resources list will be very useful for expats.
- Cornerstone Relocation Group – This is a larger company that handles big relocation projects with an innovative, high-tech approach.
- TIS Worldwide – This family-owned, El Paso-based moving company can help you with relocations from Mexico to Austin (and vice versa). You can also enlist them for other international moves. The company has been around since 1976.
Making Friends as an Expat in Austin
Austin has so much to explore and lots of friendly people to meet. Befriending some locals will help expats both enjoy all Austin has to offer and provide valuable practice in speaking English. We’ve rounded up some ideas on socializing in Austin that you can share with your colleagues who are moving to the ATX (as you’ll often hear Austin called).
- The University of Texas brings students and faculty from around the world to Austin. Expats can get to know this global community by attending UT events that are open to the public.
- Austin is definitely a coffee-shop kind of town. They’re great places to strike up a conversation.
- You have to wait in line for Austin’s famous Franklin Barbecue, but it’s a chance to chat up fellow barbecue fans.
- Especially in the spring and fall, Austin is full of events where expats can mingle with both their new neighbors and visitors to town. Events with an international flavor include the Cine Las Americas film festival, film screenings by Alliance Française d’Austin and Diwali Fest in nearby Round Rock.
- Internations helps expats from different countries connect in their new cities. Follow the link for Austin event information, as well as guides to living and working in Austin.
- Expats can find people who share their interests at Meetup.com.
We hope that this quick guide answers some of your questions about moving to Austin from overseas. If you’d like to learn more about taking English classes in Austin, we invite you to get in touch with us for a free consultation.