Meet Jan, a 19-year-old high school student living in Brno, Czech Republic. He is interested in fitness, biology and history, and he joined our college for two weeks during the summer.
We were curious to find out why he decided to improve his English, what it was like to learn English back home and here in London, and what he enjoyed the most about his study abroad experience.
Jan told us he started learning English in primary school, where his teachers practised mainly colours and numbers with the pupils and some basic skills. Later on, Jan didn't feel that he had made much progress.
He explains: "My teacher and the level of English wasn't very good."
Moving to high school, he noticed improvements in his English. Jan built up his vocabulary and comprehension by watching various series on YouTube. However, he desired to master his English skills further. But how did he come up with the idea of learning English abroad?
He enthuses: "I wanted to travel and visit a new place. In my current school, I haven't learnt anything new, and I wanted to meet new people."
London is a culturally rich city with various fun activities for students, and we believe it is the best place to make international friends. On top of that, there is no better way to learn English than to immerse yourself in British culture. As an international student, you get plenty of opportunities to practise your skills, from ordering food at a restaurant to shopping at a grocery store and a lot more.
Jan organised his study abroad trip with Alfa agency, and there were options to travel to several cities in England and even throughout Europe, but Jan had his eyes on London. He wasn't keen on living in homestay accommodation because his primary goal was to meet a lot of new people, so the SCL campus experience in London sounded like something he wanted to explore further.
We were glad to hear that our college was Jan’s number one choice!
SCL International College is a modern English language school with quirky designs and British Council-accredited courses. We have campuses in several London locations with an easy commute to all areas of the city. Our college is designed for international students who want to make the most of their time in London. We offer an all-inclusive experience with accommodation, English lessons, excursions, catering and social activities.
"We have a very small airport in Brno, I think three gates, so arriving at Stansted was a shock," Jan laughs.
"The people in London were very nice." From his first moment of arriving in London, Jan was pleased that everyone was amiable and helpful. Jan admitted that he didn't expect such a friendly attitude in this big city.
At some point, he was unsure about public transport or how to use the Oyster Card, but not for long; soon after, a kind Londoner helped him to find his way to our Camden Town campus.
We recommend getting an Oyster Card once you arrive in London. Oyster Card is a smart card that you add money to and can travel on a bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, IFS Cloud Cable Car and Thames Clippers River Bus services. Many contactless bank cards issued outside the UK can be used as an alternative, however, most travellers prefer the Oyster Card because it helps them save on overseas transaction and conversion fees. For more information about different types of Oyster Cards, please visit tfl.gov.uk.
As we mentioned earlier, Jan stayed at our Camden Town campus, located opposite Camden Market. Jan describes his check-in experience: "People at reception were very nice. I felt very welcomed."
Jan was impressed by our modern facilities and his studio room. He added full catering to his booking so he could enjoy meals on campus and he appreciated that he didn't need to worry about breakfast, lunch or dinner.
After lessons and off-campus, he met with his newfound group of friends, and they travelled around London. Jan was fascinated by the city’s monuments such as the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, to name a few. In his free time, he also enjoyed using the gym or meeting with classmates and friends during weekly events such as karaoke or disco.
“Meeting new people helped me to improve my English,” he confirms.
We take pride in creating a comfortable and friendly environment for our English learners and staff. Denisa, our Student Experience and Welfare Manager, interacts with international students daily and liaises with other team members to ensure everyone has an impeccable experience. We were curious to know whether Jan felt supported throughout his stay.
"Denisa was taking good care of us. She was always available for a talk, or if I needed anything, I would speak to our teachers,” he said. "The teachers created very engaging games; they helped me a lot with my speaking. I learnt new vocabulary and grammar. There were a lot of new things to learn."
Jan believes he improved his pronunciation, listening, and speaking skills during his stay at our college.
"When I arrived at the airport, there were shops with many different adapters, but all of them were for foreign countries, not England. I forgot to pack this! But I was able to find the adapter I needed somewhere else," Jan explains.
If you feel a bit anxious about packing, don't worry! Our friendly staff can help with questions during the admission process and throughout your stay with us. Also, the Camden campus is located opposite the world-famous Camden Market and is surrounded by little shops where you can find all sorts of necessities if you realise you forgot something.
Jan is passionate about biology, and he is interested in travelling around the world with his job. He is also considering studying abroad full-time in the future.
Perhaps we’ll see him back at SCL because we offer a two or three-term University Foundation Programme for students who wish to progress onto undergraduate courses in the UK. The programme consists of academic modules, study skills, and one-to-one tutorials. A pathway programme like this one bridges the gap if students don't have the right qualifications to apply to a UK university yet. We help our students enhance their Academic English skills and get ready for higher education.
It was a delight to speak with Jan and we wish him the best of luck in achieving his future goals!
If you would like to speak with us about our programmes, you can book a FREE discovery call with us by using our Callback Request page or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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