Student: Gabriela, 52 years old, Swiss hairdresser
Course: 4-week course, extended to 8 weeks
“After six weeks travelling in New Zealand I made a spontaneous decision to enrol for a language course in Christchurch. My name is Gabriela from Zurich, Switzerland and I was born in1958.
It was important for me to find the right school. When I got to the city I looked at four different schools. It was clear to me that Languages International was the one! It was a well-presented building in the heart of the city with easy access to everything. I had a nice introduction and was shown the school on the spot; my first impression was that the school was good and well-organised with classes of no more than 12* students and no dominant nationality.
The second step was to find the right accommodation. I was also well-advised in this matter, [with the staff] taking into account my wishes and my not so youthful age. Homestay was a great solution and I can absolutely recommend the Wilson family who caringly looked after and spoilt me. And speaking English every day [in the homestay] is recommendable.
On the first school day my heart was beating hard, but it was not so bad and good to know that with any language, homestay or other problem, there was someone to help and that help was available in my mother tongue.
In the class itself I was immediately warmly welcomed and most of the students, who could have been my children, were very patient, helped me with things I didn’t understand, fully accepted me and we often had a lot of fun! It’s obvious that the different teachers contribute greatly to making the classes full of variety and entertaining; they always check to see whether the material has been clearly understood. I think that it’s not always easy for teachers to bring all the different nationalities under one hat. A huge compliment [to the teachers].
As in life there are also times when you come up against obstacles and it seems too hard to go on. A big thank you to Kate Rouse who knows every student by name, always keeps a watchful eye on everything, and in particular is a good listener in a sensitive conversation, takes time to ensure you are supported and gives you courage when learning is not so easy. Taking all of this into account, I decided to enrol for two months.
Part of learning is also the free time and I found the Learning Centre great; it’s open until 5pm with competent staff to support you and the team spirit makes it easier. There’s variety and entertainment in the offerings after school [the school’s social programme] and at weekends and I’m sure that everyone can find something which appeals and that also provides an opportunity to develop their English language skills.
I can highly recommend this school regardless of your age; it is like a large family!
For me it was a very enriching experience to try something new and very easy to escape from the daily grind. I will never forget this time and would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for the support and the experience.”