On 5th January 2009 ten students from Switzerland, Korea, Japan and Germany had their first day at Languages International. Now – three weeks later – we are going to write a blog about the impressions and experiences we have had in these weeks. Not only have we had a marvellous time in the Social Programme and at the weekends, but also we have enjoyed studying in class. Thanks HD and Simon for your efforts.

Lisa Bracher
My classmate Lisa must be one of the classmates who is studying the hardest since she found it very demanding studying CAE level English from the very beginning. She has consistently spurred herself on. Her strength is speaking, reading and listening and weak areas are grammar and writing. But she is quite confident she will do well if she practices more and gets familiar with different types of writing.

Sue Jeon
Sue has been studying in New Zealand for almost 8 months, so this CAE course is the last one for her because she needs to go back to Korea. It’s her last chance to be abroad for the next few years and that is the reason why she is really enjoying studying and she is working hard to reach a good level. Her first impression was like: “Oh my God, all of my Swiss classmates speak very well.” But she recognized soon that she’s good at grammar and writing and she doesn’t have to worry about the exam. One of her targets is to speak more because this is one of her weak areas.

Giselle Germann
Giselle´s from Switzerland and doing her CAE course in Auckland. On our first day at school she was well informed, not only concerning our studies but also the social programme. Besides the activities organized by Simon at Languages International, where there are a lot of activities which must be recommended to everybody staying in Auckland for a little while, she has four hours class time every day. In the week two test Giselle recognised that the CAE course is quite challenging and she has to work hard.

She thinks the Sky Tower is a perfect place to get a first impression of almost the whole city, especially on beautiful days. On the weekend she prefers spending her time on trips. For example last week she was travelling through the lovely countryside of New Zealand to the Bay of Islands.

Daniel Gussmann
Daniel feels at home with his host family, as they treat him like a family member. His first day at school was too long for him. The entry test was a good way to see if everyone has chosen the right course. Daniel noticed that he has to improve his speaking and vocabulary range. The social programme is great: every week it’s possible to do a different activity! Daniel is enjoying his time in New Zealand. He has done a bungee jump and has already visited a lot of amazing places around Northland.

Daniel Knüsel
Daniel from Switzerland told me that the second week of the course was quite hard as he found it difficult to pass the exam, especially the Use of English. He also discovered that he has strong skills in listening and reading. During the course, there is a lot of homework, so he is busy and feels the challenge in studying English. He travelled to the Bay of Islands last weekend and explored outside Auckland city, which was a great experience for him. He has also bought a racing bike here to do exercise while he studying at Languages International. Overall, the school encourages him to be lively and enjoy his time in New Zealand.

Sanae Matsuyama
Sanae arrived a few months before the CAE course. Although, she took the FCE exam one year ago, she was really surprised about the high level of the 2nd week test. Particularly the reading part wasn´t so easy for her. However, she says: “Everything seems to be useful for improving my English, so I do all homework and writing tasks with passion.”

She has been to different places in Auckland, for example, she has been to the Domain, the Harbour and she also walked to the top of One Tree Hill, but she has also been to the Bay of Islands and Piha Beach. She likes the totally different atmosphere, compared to Japan.

Adrian Morf
Adrian arrived 3 weeks ago in Auckland and is really enjoying his time. On his first day in school he received lots of information and details about the next ten weeks of his CAE course. He is very happy about the good organization of his first day, and the explanations from all the teachers and the school staff about the course. He was a little surprised about the high level of the course- he realized this in the second week when he got back the results of his first tests. His biggest problem is lacking a wide range of vocabulary. On the other hand, he loves the environment of the school with its lovely park, where he spends a lot of time.

Adrian likes taking part in the school social programme. For example, he has visited the sky tower. But his greatest experience ever here in New Zealand was skydiving in Taupo. I saw his video and it looks great fun.

Kristina Skulj
Kristina stayed for three months in Cairns, Australia, before she came to New Zealand. She did a General English Course and is now in HD’s CAE class. In the second week she was really afraid of doing the test because she didn’t know about her current English level. She wasn’t happy about her test results and is now more determined to work hard to reach the CAE level.

In her spare time she has done a lot of different trips in just three weeks. She has already been to Rangitoto Island, the Tongariro National Park and done the alpine crossing there which is an 18 kilometre long walk. There she was absolutely impressed with the active volcanoes.

Bettina Wagner
Bettina Wagner started studying English at Languages International in Auckland on 5th January 2009. Everything was new for her but she got to know the new circumstances quickly. She appreciates the good organization and the amusing people at school.
She was really happy with the results of the week two tests. She knows exactly what she has to learn now. Bettina has to learn the different grammar rules and wants to enlarge her vocabulary which is very important for passing the exam.

Bettina likes going to school as well as enjoying her free time which she often spends at the viaduct basin on the harbour. She has already visited the beautiful Bay of Islands where she enjoyed watching the dolphins.

Janine Wegmann
Janine, from Uster in Switzerland, came to New Zealand to have a better opportunity to get a more challenging job. She hasn’t been to school for four years, and found it hard to get back into the student’s life. After the test we had in the second week, she is now more worried about the CAE final exam. She has to use the grammar which we learn every day and enlarge her vocabulary which will improve at the same time as her speaking.

Of course, she enjoys the activities which the school offers. She has been to Rotorua and to the Bay of Islands where she met new friends. But that’s not going to end here. After the course she’s going to travel throughout New Zealand and Australia.