An interesting two weeks improving my English in Brighton
Oleksandra Sarbaieva, from Ukraine, studied the Intensive Course at Kings Brighton for two weeks this Summer. She spoke to us at the end of her course about her interesting, challenging and exciting experience.
Hi Oleksandra. Why did you choose to come here to study English?
I wanted to improve my English and for me it's interesting. It's interesting because all of the world is starting to speak English, and you must know it very well to speak it. And, for my job it is good to know English.
What do you do for a job?
I will be a Psychologist. Most of the books are written in English or German. For me it’s easier to learn English, not German nor French.
When you first arrived at the school, were you nervous?
Yes. I was afraid I couldn't explain what I want — that they wouldn't understand me. I have some difficulty in pronunciation. In my country they don't understand me and I have to repeat myself four or five times. I don't have good hearing so not knowing what the teacher said, and other people, I think was a bit scary.
Has that made learning in classes more difficult?
Sometimes, if someone speaks quietly I can't hear what they say. I can't hear during the grammar classes on whether it's right or not.
How have your teachers helped you?
If I don't understand them or if I'm not sure, I can find them and ask if they can repeat what they said. Teachers will say 'Yes, it's OK' and they will give me the correct grammar.
How’s your course going so far?
It’s very interesting, I’ve met interesting people. I'm very pleased about the teachers because they are always happy. They do something interesting, they laugh, and they play us music. Like Fiona, she would say ‘OK, what music do you like? You don't know this music? Let's try it!’
Do you get along with all your teachers?
For me, a teacher is of a high status. The last two weeks I saw that a teacher can be friendlier, of the same age or maybe a bit older. It's very interesting because in my country the teachers are very old. They have a system where it's, ‘No, you can't do this. You must do only as I say and you don't interrupt. Teachers here are more relaxed.
For homework, it was very surprising that you can do and not do homework. Why would you not do it? You must do it!
Do you like your class?
Yes, I like my class. Sometimes some people are kind of boring and you must say 'Hey, hey, we must do something'. Sometimes I want to say 'OK, I will bring you coffee. You drink it, and then we work!'
To be able to talk to lots of people was very interesting for me. The teachers were amazing, sometimes I was very tired and when I saw the teacher, when they smiled, I smiled back. I was then in a good mood.
Where have you been staying?
I live in Phoenix Summer Residence. I like it because of the distance. It's not too far from the school. You go to the school and you can see the park, I like the skateboards. It's very quick to go to the shops, and it's not very noisy.
Why did you choose to come to Brighton in particular?
I didn't choose it myself, my parents chose it for me. I just said OK and I was fine. London is bigger and in Brighton I assumed it would be smaller, like a village. But when I go from the school to the Marina and come back I thought, 'No, this is not a village!' It's very big, huge.
But I've seen that people here can smile and say Hi when they don't know each other. They don't know each other but they speak. In my country it's very strange to say 'Hi, how are you?' if you're a stranger!
Is this the first time you have left your country to study English?
Would you do it again?
Me, yes. It is very interesting and exciting. It is very important to do the journey from another country, another city. You see a lot of people and cultures.
Overall, how do you feel about your whole experience in Brighton?
For me it was very important. I have experience more and practiced speaking more. I met a lot of people and it was very nice.