Meet Fatma from Oman

So, what made you want to come to England to study English?
I’m studying English to help prepare me for school English exams. I wanted to learn British English rather than American English! Also, I might study at University in England one day, so I wanted to see what life is like here in case I come to live here in the future.

Was England as you expected?
My brother had been here before and had told me a bit about it. Overall, it was better than I expected, but I was surprised by the weather! There are four seasons in one day! Also, I don’t like the food so much, but I found lots of restaurants from different Arabic countries, so it’s okay!
The people here are very polite. Everyone always says “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”.
Before I came I thought there would be a lot of racism, but I haven’t experienced that!

How was your experience of living with an English family?
I’ve been in two host families. Before I came I thought it would be difficult, but the first day the family was so welcoming to me! I like staying with a host family whenever I go somewhere to study. It’s useful for me for practising my English. My first host-mother was a really good cook – I enjoyed her food a lot!
My current host family has dogs. I used to be scared to touch dogs – I thought they would hurt me. But now I want to have a dog myself! My host family take me to different places, like Southampton. They invite me to things like birthday parties and meals, which I enjoy. It gives me lots of practice for my English.

What’s the most memorable moment of your time here in England?
I really enjoyed going kayaking with the school on my birthday! I really had a lot of fun. Also, I visited the New Forest one day and I used to be scared of horses, but now I love them.

Is there anything you’d like to warn other students who are thinking of coming to England about?
They should prepare for the weather! Also, I wouldn’t take so many clothes with me, but buy some more here, because there are lots of good shops to buy clothes from here.
I’ve really faced my fears here! For example, now I’m not scared of animals or heights (I went on a zip wire one time in Bournemouth!). I feel more confident about my English now. Also, I’ve learned to be more independent being here. For example, I’ve learned how to budget. At first it was very difficult, but now I can do it! I’ve learned a lot here.