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Spending a valuable year abroad in the UK

18 March, 2016

I haven’t decided yet about my future so I wanted to do a year abroad and study English because it’s an important language. At the same time, I don’t know which university I want to go to – I want to take time to think about the subject I want to study. I also wanted to meet new people and have a new experience.

Giacomo Galdenzi from Ancona, Italy, tells us abouthis experience of, and reasons for, learning English with us in Oxford.

Hi Giacomo. What made you decide to come here and study English?
I finished high school last year so this is my gap year. I haven’t decided yet about my future so I wanted to do a year abroad and study English because it’s an important language. At the same time, I don’t know which university I want to go to – I want to take time to think about the subject I want to study. I also wanted to meet new people and have a new experience. This is the first time that I’ve lived alone, without my family, and in another country and culture.

Have you enjoyed it so far?
Yes, it’s been quite exciting and at the same time demanding. I have had homework to make sure I learn as much as possible. I’ve learnt a lot.

Are you doing the Intensive course?
Yes, and in the afternoons I’m preparing for the FCE exam as I’d like to have a certificate. I think it’s quite important. In the future maybe I’ll also take the CAE.

What kinds of thing are you doing in the FCE preparation sessions?
We are learning about the format of the exam and doing a lot of listening, reading and writing practice.

Did you say you were doing a different Special Interest Group in the afternoons when you first started?
Yes, for three months I did the speaking and discussion class, as this was my problem area. After that, I did academic reading and writing, which might be helpful at university. I might do an ERASMUS year in the UK or another English-speaking country.

Why did you choose Kings as the place to learn English?
My agency in Italy recommended it.

So do you like Oxford?
Yes, I do. It’s very international here and Kings is right in the city centre, which I like.

Have you visited many of the attractions here?
Yes, some colleges, Carfax Tower, and some pubs!

Are you staying in a residence?
Yes, I’m in Wyville Court, which is close to the school. It’s more like a house so I can share more with my flatmates.

Are you happy with the teaching here?
Yes, the teachers are wonderful and I really love the lessons. My English is improving a lot.