Meet Song Guo from China

So, what made you want to come to England to study English?
I did Sociology and International Culture at University in Japan, but I want to also learn Diplomacy and International Relations in England, so my professor suggested that I improve my English first. I’m also personally interested in British culture. My English teacher recommended this school to me when I was back in China.

Was England as you expected?
It is very different from my country (China) and Japan (where I studied before). For example, the food, weather, how people communicate, as well as cultural and religious differences.

How was your experience of living with an English family?
Personally I like my host family, because they are friendly and kind. They always look after you, as if you are their real son. Sometimes we’ve had some communication problems and misunderstandings, but nothing serious. Sometimes it’s funny. But when we talk about it we can understand each other. I always talk with my host grandmother every Sunday and she talks to me a lot about British history. We’ve also had some parties together. They loved my Chinese song which I sang for them on their birthdays.

What’s the most memorable moment of your time here in England?
Getting to know lots of friends from different countries has been very memorable. I was happy to introduce my country’s culture and food to them. My favourite memory was cooking Chinese food for friends at Chinese New Year.

One of my hardest times was near the beginning of my stay when I found it harder to speak English, which meant it was more difficult to make friends. Also I still had culture shock at the beginning, which affected my communication and social skills. I have become more confident though, particularly through the friends I made here who encouraged me a lot when I was finding it harder.

Is there anything you’d like to warn other students that are thinking of coming to England about?
For Chinese students I would say that they should try to understand other cultures and religions which are different from ours when they come here. Also, we should be open-minded towards other students and their cultures, not just students from the same culture as us. It’s really good to mix with people from all different countries and cultures, especially when you’re learning English.