A busy two weeks discovering London and improving my English
Nicolas Ramirez, from Colombia, took a two-week Intensive Course at Kings London in December to refresh his English skills after living in France for a few years. He tells English teacher, Liz, about how he found the course and the activities he has been enjoying in his spare time.
What’s your name and age, and where are you from?
My name is Nicolas Ramirez Ibanez. I’m from Colombia and I’m 25 years old.
What course have you been taking and what are your lessons like?
I have been taking the Intensive Course for 2 weeks. I really liked the schedule and the classes that I have taken, because they helped me to improve my grammar and my speaking.
So you’ve got general English in the morning, and what is your afternoon class (SIG)?
It’s listening and speaking. We talk about different topics, like nature and also British history.
Why did you decide to take this course?
Yes I have studied English in Colombia with the British Council, and I had finished my Advanced level, and after that I moved to France and since 3 or 4 years ago I have not been speaking English, so I decided to book this course to refresh some topics and remember more.
Do you need English for your job in France?
Yes because we have a lot of guests that come from different parts of the world, and sometimes the staff of reception can’t find a way to communicate with them so they need help with languages. I work in a hotel - in a bakery. I’m a chef. Also, if I want to move to a different country in the future it will open up more opportunities.
What made you choose Kings London?
Actually, I received information from the British Council about the programme and the experience. I really wanted to know about Christmas in the UK and some of the traditions that you have at this time of the year.
Where are you staying?
I’m staying with a host family. It’s really cool because I can spend time with them and it’s a really good way to understand British culture.
How have the facilities and experience been?
I think it’s very good because it’s a different way to learn - the activities involve you with real life in London. There are a lot of cultural activities and we have received a lot of information which helps us to learn English.
What are the different activities that you have done so far with your group?
We’ve been on different tours and visited lots of places in London - iconic places, and some museums. It’s been good as I’m really interested in architecture and art.
What have been your top 3 places that you’ve visited?
Trafalgar Square - I think it’s amazing. Oxford Street with the Christmas decorations is very cool. And maybe… Buckingham Palace.
I really like that you have the Christmas markets so there’s lots of little places where you can eat things, like German sausages, and it’s really good.
Was this your first visit to the UK? Was it how you thought?
Yes. It’s better than I thought. You have a lot of cultural activities and places to visit, and although I am here for just two weeks, there are a lot of things I want to fit in. Last Saturday, we went to Greenwich and spent the day there. Next Saturday, we will go to Oxford and Windsor. Some people have told me that they are very beautiful.
Last Sunday, me and some of my friends went to Abbey Road, Notting Hill and Camden Town.
Wow you’ve been busy! You must be tired!
Actually yeah, but I think that we have to use the time here in a good way. I think probably next Sunday we will go to Madame Tussauds.
Would you recommend London as a destination for other students?
Yes, because I think that British English sounds better than American English so I think it’s a good destination to learn English. Also this school has a lot of activities to help you learn English in a different way, Also, if you’re staying with a host family, you can eat with them, and talk with them, and they care about you and it’s really good.
Thank you very much, Nicolas.