Making progress from Beginner to Intermediate at Kings Oxford
Mattheus Srulevihct-Moura, from Brazil, has been studying English at Kings Oxford for 10 months, progressing from Beginner to Intermediate (Level 5). We spoke to him before he left about his experience and what has helped him make such good progress.
Why did you decide to come to Kings? Are you studying English for a specific reason?
There is no specific reason but I think English is really important to our life in the future and before I couldn't speak one word in English and I just came here without English.
I started in Level 1, studying colours and basic things, and now I am in Level 5. I have really good progress and I could really make a relationship with people from a different nationality and understand the culture from a different kind of country. And also a big step for being successful if that you must be sociable — you must be friends with everyone.
You mentioned that you started with basically no English. How did Kings help you to achieve your progress from beginner to speaking English very well?
Since I came here they always cared about me. They say, "If you have any questions, come to me, I can answer your questions, I can help you with everything after class and then you can improve yourself". They were always by my side and told me "You can do it!".
Have you taken part in many social activities or events?
To be honest there is a lot of activity here. You can include young people and old people, you can go to play football or go to the pub together. There is always something to do together and that's really good if you want to improve your English because if you stay just at home you cannot improve your English. You have to make mistakes so you can correct the mistakes, and after that you improve.
Tell us about the friends you have made.
I actually have a really good friend from Saudi Arabia. When I came here I had a different view about people from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. I thought they were a little bit strange and different from my culture, but when I arrived here they were so friendly. I made really good friends with Ahmed and Fahad, and keep in contact with them every day. I also know a lot of words in Arabic now!
And what about your accommodation?
I stay with the host family. She was amazing, she was really friendly with me always and helped me with everything. When I arrived I couldn’t speak one word and was using Google translator to speak to her, and she'd always support me and eat dinner with me and tell me "Practise your English, practise your English!". That was amazing.
How do you find Oxford as a city? Why did you decide on here?
Well, my grandfather chose Oxford for me because I couldn't speak English at all at the start, and if I go to London people speak really fast and there's more people from around the world. He said I have to go to Oxford because there people speak good English, such as people from the university. I think it was an amazing choice — I would not change.
What would you say to students who are thinking of coming to Kings to study in the future?
One really important thing — you have to always be confident. Before I came here I said to myself, "I cannot improve my English, it’s too hard a language", but you have to believe in yourself. In Kings Oxford, the teachers are amazing, they will help you and you will make good progress with them. It will be really fun because there are a lot of things to do here, and a lot of different nationalities, and you can really improve yourself here, not just your English.
What are your future plans?
I will take IELTS this Saturday and I hope I get a good score. If I do, I will start university in England, but if I don't I will go to university in Portugal. If I go to study in Portugal, I will study half in English and half in Portuguese so that I don't lose my English skills. It's the most amazing thing that I've done in my life!