Life and learning in London: my story
Damar, from Turkey, recently took the Intensive English programme with us in London. He spoke to us about his time at the school, the highlights of his homestay experience, and his reasons for learning English.
Hi Damar. What were your lessons like here at Kings?
I’ve had online and face to face class. I like both kinds of classes. Face to face is better because communication is easier. We can’t touch but we can see each other. We were so close [i.e became good friends]. It’s too difficult to relax online. We can learn but it’s different – we might turn off our cameras so we can’t learn.
My first day was a struggle, I couldn’t speak English. I’ve improved so much now!
I think to learn we need to learn idioms and the culture of the language if we really want to learn it. With my host mother, for example, we talk every day and she teaches me idioms like ‘lovely jubbly’ and ‘Gordon Bennett’!
"Our teachers are perfect. They always support us and ask how we are feeling."
Why did you decide to take this course? Do you have specific future plans which require English skills?
Before I didn’t have any idea about education. I spoke to an agent and asked for their advice. He said if you go to Kings, you will be successful!
I work with my brother who has a business in import/export and we need to know how to speak English because we work with different countries. It’s the most important thing for us. My brother started to work when he was 19 but he doesn’t have English. So he wanted me to go to London and learn English to support him.
What made you choose Kings London?
Because I wanted to see London, so I chose this school. I didn’t have any idea about English but it didn’t matter because it is my first time in a different country. In Turkey I didn’t use to travel but now it’s important for me.
Where did you stay? (Could you tell us about your homestay?)
My agent and me decided on host family. I was scared about this situation because I thought I won’t have any friends, but when I saw my host mother everything changed. She’s so cute and sweet. She’s really clever, she has been supporting me for five, maybe six months. Always, every day, we speak every day and watch something, like the News, documentaries, Coronation St and EastEnders (tv soap operas).
I like to learn about new cultures and new people. For example, three weeks ago we went to Kelsey Park and met some British people and played ping pong and talked about our lives. It was such a good day. We went again two weeks ago and met them again. I think the most important thing is meeting new people and learning their culture.
I will miss her so much. She knocks on my door every morning to wake me up.
What do you think about the school facilities? (the classrooms, whiteboards, the Link, etc)
I think our school has everything. It’s modern. We have lunchtime in the main building in the Link. If you want to buy food, we have machine [vending machines]. We have interactive whiteboards and we have ping pong table and racket and ball. We have so many activities at Kings.
Rob [Activities Coordinator] usually supports us with some activities and exercise. For example, we had some movie nights and cable car trip [a trip to Greenwich peninsula including the Emirates cable car ride with views over London]. Actually last year Kings had football and basketball with six people outside too.
Did you discover any good places to shop/ eat/ explore while you were in London?
I didn't travel too much because of coronavirus and because I was working hard. I know some places. Ashford outlet centre. The O2. Bicester village. They are all outlet centres and are cheaper than other shopping centres. I went to the London Eye and it was really nice. I really enjoyed it in the evening. It has purple lights and I like them. I went to the London Eye, Oxford Street and the Sherlock Holmes museum. It was so good for me because I have so many books in Turkey on Sherlock Holmes. I love sci-fi and detective books. I saw so many old things in the Sherlock Holmes Museum and I bought so many things.
Kelsey Park – when we were travelling around Beckenham I loved Kelsey Park.
I also discovered some Japanese and Korean food. They were so good. Do you know Indian Ocean Tandoori? Vindaloo! It’s don’t recommend it, it’s too spicy! But I like it, when you start to eat it’s so good. But when you finish you can’t understand how you ate it because it’s so spicy.
Would you recommend London as a destination for other students?
Absolutely! Kings has so many things and it’s a modern school with lots of options. The most important thing is the teachers and all of Kings staff. They are so helpful and they are always supporting us with everything. For example, Margharita [Welfare Officer] is there to help us if we have any problems. Our teachers usually know something about us and ask about our lives. Every day they ask if we are OK. If you have a problem and you don’t know how you can fix it you can tell them and they will do their best to help you. Everything is perfect.