Taking the Compact Course at Kings London to prepare for university
Lisa Echeverría, from France, is taking the Compact Course at Kings London for 3 months. She wanted to gain confidence and fluency in English before starting university. She tells us about improving her English, exploring London, making friends, and living independently for the first time.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Lisa Echeverria, I’m from France and I’m 19 years old.
What course did you take? What were your lessons like?
I’m taking the Compact Course - I just have English lessons in the mornings. It was good - I started in Level 6 and we were talking a lot, and then I moved to a Cambridge Exam prep class and it changed a lot because we couldn’t talk as we had done before. It was more exam and exercise focused rather than speaking. Now I have moved to Level 7 and it’s much better as we do a lot of talking!
Why did you decide to take this course?
Well I took the course because I wanted to improve my English, and I didn’t take any afternoon classes because I wanted to visit a lot of places around London and so with free afternoons I can do this.
Do you have future plans that require English skills?
Next year, I’m gonna start my studies and it’s English Literature and Culture studies, so I need English!
Do you think the course has made you feel more confident ahead of your university course?
Yes I think that I understand more accents, and for me personally, I think I can speak more fluently.
What made you choose Kings London?
Well, it’s not too far from my home country - just two hours by plane. That’s good, and as London is a capital city it’s just a melting pot of different people and cultures.
Where did you stay? How was it?
At the residence [The Kings Apartments]. It was cool. It was cosy — the only thing that I don’t like too much is when we change the roommates. It’s quite hard as you are just starting to get to know and be friendly with your roommate, and then another one comes.
What do you think about the school facilities?
It’s great, it’s well-placed, between Beckenham and not that far away from London. I heard a lot of people say that it’s quite far away from London but 15 minutes by train is nothing. I think it’s well connected.
Have you taken part in any activities, excursions or social activities?
Yes, I went Oxford, Windsor and Eton, and also to Stonehenge. We were at Stonehenge for 2 hours and we were turning around it taking a lot of different pictures of the stones from different angles! Afterwards in the bus we were like, “did we just take a hundred pictures of stones?!”.
Have you discovered many good places to shop, eat or explore around London?
Yes, a lot! It’s difficult to say what I prefer because there’s lots! I think the most interesting thing to do when you are here is just to lose yourself a bit in the city. By doing that, you can discover a lot of different things, just by walking around!
Was it your first time studying in the UK?
It was my first time staying for such a long time, yes. I’m here for 3 months in total.
Has it been how you expected? Has it been challenging to live independently?
It was a challenge because I am really close to my friends at home, and for the first month I felt very lonely and it was hard to adapt and so I was a bit lost. But then, you get used to it. If I was alone in France, in a different city to my friends, it would be the same.
Yes, so maybe it’s a good way of adapting and getting used to being independent before you go to university.
Would you recommend London as a destination for other students?
Yes definitely It’s a city that is really interesting during the day, and also during the night. Beckenham is a bit far from central London to be really interesting at night, but as I said it’s only 15 minutes by train so you can go out in central London and then come back easily.