My name is Yury Grishin and I’m from Yekaterinburg. Actually, Languages International is my second English school in New Zealand. For some reason, from January to June, I was learning English in the other school but then decided to change that. I’d been in three or four different schools, however, I chose Languages International, and that was the right decision.

Yury in Auckland street with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a crowd in the background
The woman behind Yury in the black and red jacket and white top is New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern 😲

Yury with Movenpick ice cream in Auckland, New Zealand
Yury in Mission Bay in Auckland, New Zealand enjoying a Mövenpick ice cream

I can say that it was both a difficult and very interesting 20 weeks. I think I liked the school from the first visit when I had quite an interesting dialog with Nick. I immediately wanted to be here. Organisational process is always very important to me. I can say that the management and system of the education process at the school were excellent. I chose “English for Business” and “IELTS Preparationcourses. Most of all I liked Business English. Every day, Simon tried to bring some new information, give useful vocabulary, interesting grammar and various practical exercises. Personally, it was very helpful. He does an absolutely awesome job and to anyone who wants to learn real English, I recommend this course. The IELTS course was quite difficult for me, I’m not a big fan of this exam. However, the way Michael, Peter, Pauline and Melissa organised classes, made it interesting and motivating. In general, I can note that there was always a very positive, energetic and friendly atmosphere in the classes.

Auckland harbour in New Zealand
Auckland harbour in New Zealand (Photo: Yury Grishin)

It is difficult for me to note any differences in the educational process between Russia and New Zealand, I have never seriously learned English in my country. I started learning English last year when I was living in Malaysia. In addition to studying, I was pleasantly surprised by how all the teachers tried to help with various issues. Also, the multicultural atmosphere made life much more interesting.

Auckland City lights at night in New Zealand
Auckland city lights at night in New Zealand (Photo: Yury Grishin)

After almost a year in this country, I feel at home. This is absolutely my lifestyle, comfortable climate and no allergies, from which I have suffered in Russia since I was seven years old. I visited various cities, so many wineries and other interesting places.  I recently passed the IELTS, now waiting for the results. My most immediate plans are to keep looking for a job in the wine industry, although it’s a very difficult task. The maximum – I’ll build a house on the ocean, and I’ll learn how to make wine.

Glass of white wine and the view at Goldie Estate in Auckland, New Zealand
Goldie Estate vineyard and winery on Waiheke Island in Auckland, New Zealand (Photo: Yury Grishin)

Yury on a beanbag in the grass with a glass of white wine at Cable Bay vineyard in Auckland, New Zealand
Cable Bay vineyard on Waiheke Island in Auckland, New Zealand

Yury taking a selfie with One Tree Hill in the background (Auckland, New Zealand)
One Tree Hill in Auckland, New Zealand

Yury and his classmates at Provedor bar in Auckland, New Zealand
Provedor bar in Auckland, New Zealand is popular with students

Auckland Art Gallery building (New Zealand)
The Auckland Art Gallery from Queen Street in Auckland’s city centre (Photo: Yury Grishin)