From Taiwan to Kings London and Kings Brighton | 我在Kings的英語學習之旅
23-year-old Tse Yuan Chen (Albert), from Taiwan, has been studying English at Kings London for four months, and will spend three weeks at Kings Brighton this summer. He talks to Liz Gilbert about his 'lovely' host family, the best way to make friends, and the things he has enjoyed in London.
Hi Albert. Where are you from?
I am from Taichung, the second city in Taiwan.
What course are you taking and what are your lessons like?
I'm doing morning and afternoon class — Intensive Course. I am really enjoying the course. It is a really different study style from Taiwan. When we study English in Taiwan it is really boring. We just sit in the classroom and write and listen to teacher, pay attention. But in Kings we can speak really more and we can practise our pronunciation and grammar when we are chatting with other students and teachers. And we have a lot of different games too!
Why did you decide to take this course? Do you have specific future plans which require English skills?
Because when I go back to Taiwan I want to find a job and I want to be a salesman so I need to improve my English and then I can be an international salesman. I love Business class!
What made you choose Kings London?
Because I searched a lot of different language schools in Taiwan with my agent but I prefer to study in the countryside. I don't like if the place is too busy because in Kings you have a very big house and you can feel relax when we are study. And we are close to London it is just 30 minutes by train.
Where are you staying?
I'm staying in a homestay. Actually I stayed two different homestays because my first homestay the mum was going on holiday so I changed houses. Both homestays are really lovely and they really take care of me, but this homestay is so amazing. They are such a lovely family.
At the weekend we rode bicycles to Greenwich and we do dinner together. They have two children. The boy is 8 and the girl is 12 years old. I can practise my English with them! We hang out and they took me to a Chinese supermarket to buy food, and we went for dinner in a Chinese restaurant. The food is really nice!
"I extended my course one month more because I love my host family so much!"
My host mum said I can take whatever food from the kitchen I like and every day she cooks different, fresh meals. Yesterday was pasta pie, sometimes she cooks Mexican food or Italian food. She never uses microwave meals, she always cooks fresh. I prefer that.
Which activities or excursions did you take part in?
I loved the May Ball. It was a very special experience in London. I have never been to a May Ball on a ship in London. It was so exciting. And I was very surprised because when I went to school everybody looked like they were going to get married! [Because they were wearing formal clothes.] It was really cool. Everyone did a lot of dancing, we were happy and it was an amazing night. We could see a lot of different places in London.
I went to the lectures a lot because I think they help improve our English skill, and we can learn things of culture from English or learn about Brixton and Britain. Yesterday the subject was conditionals.
Oh great! Do you feel more confident about conditionals now?
Yes, about third and mixed conditionals, but they are still hard! But it was a really good lectures.
Have you made any friends?
Yes from every country! South American and European and Korean and Japanese. I like my Spain and South American and European friends because they are very friendly and always relaxed.
What do you think of the school's location in Beckenham? Have you spent much time in central London?
I think it's good, because I don’t need to go much time to central — it is so easy, just 20 minutes, and in Beckenham there are lots of different train station.
From my homestay it is just 8 minutes walking to Kings. There are restaurants and pubs. All the students go to the White Horse — if you want to make friends you can just go to the White Horse! But with my friends we go to central London for food and then we can look around.
I spend a lot of time in central London. I have been to lots of different museums and I love the different markets. I love Borough Market and Covent Garden and Camden Market.
At the weekend I travel, I go to other countries with my Kings friends like Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin and it's the best experience because I've never done it before. With the other students we can exchange a lot and we can speak in English.
Amazing Albert, you have improved so much from when you started! What will you do this weekend?
I will go to Prince Harry's wedding! With Kings friends, some Brazilian and Korean and Switzerland friends. We will go to Windsor and try and take some pictures and enjoy the day.
It will be a very British day! It's a small town but there will be lots of British food and drink.
What about Brighton? Are you excited to go to study at Kings Brighton?
Yes, I'm really excited. I already searched on the internet. In the summer in Brighton I saw they have a lot of activities about arts and about gay pride. I'm interested in art and enjoying sunshine on the beach.
What would you say to anyone considering coming to Kings to study?
If you have never been to another language school, you can come to Kings and the teachers will really help you and they are so kind. They will help you with grammar and vocabulary. The students are very kind and you can make lots of different country friends.
我住在寄宿家庭，他們是非常棒的家庭! 週末時我們一塊騎腳踏車到格林威治，以及一塊吃晚餐。他們有兩位小孩，一位8歲的男孩和一位12歲的女孩，我可以和他們練習英語，提升口說能力。我們常一塊出遊，他們帶我到中國超市買食物，也一塊在中國餐廳用晚餐。他們提供的伙食也很讚。我實在太愛他們了，所以我延長住宿一個月。他們說我可以從廚房拿我喜歡的食物，每天都提供不同的新鮮餐點，有鹹派，墨西哥菜，義大利菜， 沒有微波食品，每天都是我喜歡的現煮料理!
我喜歡五月舞會! 對我來說是個非常特別的體驗，我從未在船上參加舞會，我感到非常興奮。每個學生看起來要去結婚(因為大家都穿著正式服裝)，這真的很酷! 同學們一塊跳舞，度過了一個很開心很難忘夜晚。此外，我也經常參加課後講座，這可以協助我提供英語能力，也讓我更加瞭解英國文化。
我覺得學校地點很好，去倫敦市中心也很方便，只需要20分鐘。在貝肯罕，這裡有好幾個火車站。從寄宿家庭走路到學校上課只需要8分鐘。學校附近也有餐廳和酒吧，同學們常去White Horse，如果你想認識新朋友，你可以去White Horse。我和朋友們會一塊去倫敦市中心用餐或是逛逛走走。我常去倫敦市中心，有參觀過不同的美術館，我喜歡不同市集例如波羅市集，柯芬園和肯頓市集。