Posted in: Home / Archives for July 2008

Flamingo Beach, Pure Paradise!!!

I’ve just finished four weeks in Costa Rica and it was the most incredible experience of my life! The school in Flamingo Beach is amazing and classes are small, so you learn better. Plus, if there is not a group for your level, then you get offered private classes – which is fantastic – but there was always a class for my level!

Also, everyday at break there is fresh fruit, fruit drinks and something savoury, all for free!! Not what you normally expect! I loved my ‘second breakfast’, sitting by the school pool, relaxing in the sun with my classmates.

The school is by some great beaches and with your student pass you also have free access to a nearby hotel swimming pool and discounts in certain bars!!!

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Having fun in Antibes!

I really enjoyed the course. Though I chose to take an Intensive course and was therefore at school from 9 – 4 (with a long lunch break) Tuesday- Friday (9-12 on Monday), it didn’t really feel like I was spending much time in class!

The hours simply flew by! Morning classes focused on grammar, while the afternoon classes were like conversation groups. The sun doesn’t set until 9 or so, so you still have plenty of time after class to hit the beach or go on excursions and activities organized by the school, even if your lessons don’t finish till four.

My accommodation was nice and there was a great sense of community there, probably because of the patio/kitchen/ bar area. The residence I stayed in had a great location near the beach at Juan les Pins, close to a grocery store, and within walking distance of the school and Antibes. I had 3 roommates over my 5 weeks, all from different countries.

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My week in Aix…

As far as the course is concerned, the lecturers in Aix were very, very good and also very, very helpful. The lessons were of a very high standard and also very enjoyable! The school itself is very pleasant, not too big, in a good area and it’s easy to get to and from everywhere. My classmates were really great and I already miss them… I want to thank the school for a wonderful week!

As regards my host family, all I can say is…what a lovely experience! I couldn’t have hoped for better! The lady took me to the centre of town to help me book tickets for the rest of the trip, showed me everything, shops, places of interest and spent an afternoon with me in town!

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Russian with a ‘babushka’!

The school is very modern, with contemporary surroundings and free online facilities. situated in a private compound and very close to the Belarus Train/Metro station. Teaching standards really were very high with experienced and qualified staff teaching expatriates from around the world.

The courses were stimulating and tailored to my linguistic level. The use of all mediums helped me appreciate the complexities of Russian language, and each 50 minute lesson was fun, making the grey matter buzz far more!

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Missing Florence…

I really enjoyed the course. There was a small group of just 6 us in class for two weeks, then 3 or 4 in the group for the following 2 weeks. With this small class size, we had plenty of opportunities to speak Italian individually.

The teacher, Enrica, was very skilful at drawing us out and was very nice. We all liked her a lot. The course was a mixture of discussion, speaking, using grammar, verbs, etc. We also had quite a lot of homework, which was good for reinforcement.

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I’d never heard of San Giovanni Valdarno!

I attended the school in San Giovanni, Italy. I was in school for 11 weeks. I thought that the instructional program was excellent. The instructors and staff are very helpful and work hard to make sure that you are doing well and that there are no problems with your course.

My instructor, Stefania, was outstanding. Her methods of teaching were extremely helpful in my learning Italian. Her patience and perseverance, as well as her style of presentation, made learning Italian interesting and fun. I am confident that I can now speak enough Italian to converse with most Italians! In addition to the regular instructional program I had the special opportunity to take several cooking classes. They were very informative and fun. The instructor was outstanding.

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Munich – Beer, sausages & castles….

A few days ago, I came back from a German course in Munich, Germany. Before leaving for Munich I had already heard a lot of interesting things about the city and Bavaria: beer, sausages, dream-castles, and festivals… And it was true!

My classes started at 2.30 pm, how wonderful! Being a bit tired from the long journey, I was happy to be able to sleep until 10 am. Finally I arrived at school at around 2 pm after a little sight-seeing tour through the city center, since the school is in the very heart of Munich.

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Beaches (and lots MORE!) in Berlin

My friends advised me to go to Berlin for my German course. “It is the most amazing city in Germany”, they told me. And it is true: Berlin is just fantastic!

You can find everything here! Wonderful streets with colourful shops, flea markets, cafes, museums, great architecture, important historical places, all kind of exhibitions and arts.

Maybe it’s a kind of laboratory for creating new crazy things. Once I went with my friends from school to an exhibition of sounds called “Listen to listening”. There we found some works of the Austrian composer Peter Ablinger who lives currently in Berlin. Out of a piano he created a machine which can imitate the human voice. Yeah, it is astonishing! And he also recorded the sound of different trees… Yes, the sound of TREES! I listened to them and even if you find it difficult to believe, every tree has a different sound or language… or whatever you want to call it!

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San Giovanni – I keep coming back!

When I started to look for Italian schools, what I wanted was a doorway into the real Italy, beyond the swarming mobs of tourists and the MacDonalds and Starbucks that you find in the big cities. But at the same time, I wanted to be close enough to famous cities —you can’t study all day. After much research, I decided on the school in San Giovanni Valdarno, a family-run school in Tuscany.

That was almost ten years ago and since then, I have been coming back to the little school in San Giovanni Valdarno every year. Why? Because I get a taste of what it’s like to live in Italy. The town is perfectly convenient to get around—everything is within walking distance, and an easy, flat walk at that. You can bike five minutes out of town and find yourself in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. By train, it’s 40 minutes to Florence and only thirty minutes to Arezzo.

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Lindau – where on earth is that?

When I decided to improve my German last year, I wanted to do it somewhere with a friendly atmosphere, in a place where I have a lot of leisure possibilities and in a region or city which I hadn’t yet been to.

So, I noticed this school in Lindau, Bavaria, and I suddenly started to really look forward to going there and seeing what it was like!

On my trip from Oslo to Munich I started to read up on the beautiful countryside of the south of Germany and I couldn’t wait to see all that in real.

Throughout my stay in Lindau, which is situated at Lake Constance and just on the border to Austria and a few kilometres away from Switzerland, I lived in the school’s own student residence There I had a nice room, I shared the kitchen with other students from the school, so it was really easy to socialize and get integrated in my ‘new world’. In just 8 weeks I made a lot of friends and I don’t know how I’m going to be able to visit them all!

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