For all BBELS students,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times. Our goal is to support our current students to ensure safety, survival and maximum flexibility in the current crisis. We also want to help you to make the right decisions.

The current experience at BBELS and in Australia is not what we hoped to give you. We must all adapt and make some careful decisions.

The Future

I ask you all to consider possible outcomes from this situation:

  1. This situation finishes within 3 months
  2. This situation finishes within 6 months
  3. This situation continues indefinitely

I hope for 1 and maybe 2. But 3 is also a possibility. We all need to be ready for that.

Outcome 3 – you must consider your situation if you are forced to stay here in Australia for a long time. Do you have the financial ability to stay? Do you have the ability to buy food and live? Will you enjoy it?

Flights – also a major consideration. There are flights now. Will they eventually stop? Will you be able to return? We do know that 2 students were able to fly from Brisbane yesterday. There are also “rumours” of government flights to help non-residents return to their country. Please consider your situation.


As mentioned in our meeting yesterday, our existing refund policy applies. Simply this means that there are currently no refunds for your course. But deferrals are possible – see below.


On Tuesday we moved our classes online. This was done for everyone’s safety. It may be a different way to receive your lessons. Many other schools are now delivering their lessons online.  Please adapt and enjoy them. We will have further information about next week’s classes on Friday afternoon.


We are allowing you to defer any remaining weeks for which you have paid until a later date. This will apply for any remaining weeks starting 30th March 2020 – Monday. This means that if you have 4 weeks remaining, you will be able to receive those 4 weeks when the school opens again. It is only possible to defer your remaining weeks from 30th March 2020 – Monday. Deferrals are also subject to your visa status.


For existing students our usual cancellation / change policy will apply. You must give 2 weeks’ notice if you plan to leave your accommodation. UPDATED 30.3.20 – Vouchers will be available for the remainder of your paid accommodation to be used at a future date. refunds are not possible. Extensions for students who are not studying are also possible. We will consider each case as it arrives. Please communicate if you have concerns – jessika@bbels.com.au

Travel Insurance

Most of you will hopefully have travel insurance. Some or all of your tuition and accommodation fees may be covered by your insurance. We advise you to check with your insurance provider.

Consulate Registration

I ask you again to register with your local consulate – by email. Do not phone them. It is very important to do this – both at your country’s local consulate (most likely in Sydney or Canberra) as well as in your home country.

Finally – we are so sorry. This is not what we hoped for you in Australia.

We wanted you to enjoy Byron Bay – the people, the nature, the beaches, the night life and activities. We wanted you to enjoy our wonderful BBELS teachers in fun friendly classes, full of beautiful people – sharing their lives with you and fostering new friendships. We wanted you each night to go home to your local homestay family or student house, to experience their lifestyles and dinners together. None of this is now possible for you. This experience is far from what you imagined.

Take the time to consider your own situation – if you should return home to your country and family. BBELS is open every day. Visit us. Ask for our help.

Please – if you leave or have left us to return home, know that we, as an industry, are now trying to survive very difficult times. We want to survive so that we can be there for you on the “other side” – when life gets back to normal, if that’s possible. We will survive and we will do everything to be ready to welcome you back to BBELS for what will be – the best experience of your life.

Stay safe and strong!

Learn to Live!

Michael O’Grady – director@bbels.com.au