Meet Maria from Chile

So, what made you want to come to England to study English?
It was a wonderful opportunity to come where the ‘original’ English is spoken. Also, being part of Europe, I also got the chance to visit other European countries, as they’re so close. The main objectives of my stay were to improve my English and learn about teaching methodology. I learned a lot about different types of activities, games and feedback that I would like to put into practice when I go home.

Was England as you expected?
I think it was very similar to how I imagined. However, I thought that the language and accent would be more uniform, but I realised that, like in all countries, there were many different varieties of English. Before I came I was afraid of teaching English in a wrong way, but now I feel more free and secure about how I’m teaching. I know that my students are learning in a good way.

I found the people very respectful and polite and used to dealing with foreigners. Before coming here I had an idea that English people were very polite but serious, but fortunately I found them to be very friendly, caring and warm!

I feel like there is not enough time to see everything there is to see here, because there is so much to see!! I found the history very interesting – the mix of old and new in the buildings – and how important it is for British people to keep and respect their history.

How was your experience of living with an English family?
It was the best experience I could ever have had! They were warm, friendly and caring. They cared about spending time with me and getting to know me. They helped me a lot if I got lost and advised me about the best places to go and things to do. The house was very good as well. My bedroom was very clean and tidy and I had my own private space. The meals were delicious too. They were a very fun family. I felt at home.

What’s the most memorable moment of your time here in England?
My trip to London was astonishing! I couldn’t believe that I had travelled from the end of the world to a country that is like an icon to English teachers. Learning English for me has opened the world for me. I was in London where everything started.

Another thing was that I felt so comfortable with my classmates here. I was able to be myself fully – not the Chilean teacher any more! We had some really funny moments in class together that made my stay more enjoyable. I think with it being a Christian school, it fosters a family atmosphere where everyone is important and respected. Every day was a happy day. It was nice to come here, even though I’ve been missing my family back home!

Is there anything you’d like to warn other students that are thinking of coming to England about?
I want to encourage them to use their English! It doesn’t matter if they make mistakes. They can start a conversation by just using a few words. All they need is motivation. Make the most of the opportunity to meet new people and have fun! Learn from lessons, from people, from experiences, etc.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank God and my family for this blessing! In one way or another this experience has changed me both as a person and as a teacher.