An intensive English course in London: Piera's story
We met Piera, a 33-year old Italian student at our London, Leicester Square school. She is taking an Intensive English and a Cambridge Exam Preparation course, and took some time out of her studies to tell us about her experiences with Kaplan, the current job market, and her future plans. Piera started her studies at an intermediate level, and has advanced quickly to a proficiency level. She tells us why Kaplan was the right course for her.
"In Kaplan, I like the organization and the style of the teaching, because we learn in a fun way. It’s never boring, it’s enjoyable."
Reasons For Study
Why did you choose to study with Kaplan?
Because two of my friends recommended me Kaplan, I didn't know any school in particular, so I had to choose.
Have you seen your English improve?
Definitely, when I arrived I felt like I couldn't speak. I studied English at school but I never practiced so I was not bad at writing or reading but I needed to practice. I see a big improvement.
How do you think the course has helped your development?
It's good for work, because I finished my studies a long time ago. I work in online marketing. I had studied English at school, but I was not able to speak English very well. Last year, my company had financial problems so I was made redundant, and I thought it was a good moment to learn English, and to get a good job in another company. Today with the crisis and economic problems, it’s difficult everywhere, so for me it’s to get a good job. And also it’s useful when you travel, because you can communicate with other people easily.
What do you think are the benefits of studying at Kaplan, and the benefits in London?
In London, maybe not just London, but in an English country, it’s completely different if you learn English at home because you only learn English at school. But here you speak English everywhere, and you can speak to a native speaker. I recommend learning English in England.
"We study hard but it’s always enjoyable, and the teachers I had – I had a lot of teachers – are very nice and friendly and really good at listening, and professional. I would say it is the way of learning at Kaplan."
Life in London
What do you do in your free time?
I try to do something that I can’t do in my country, for example I went to see a musical with Kaplan, last week I went to the cinema. But in general I meet my friends and I go to a pub or bar. I also like to go places where I can speak with my friends and listen to music at the same time, or go dancing.
Do you take part in any of the social activities?
Yes, I’ve been several times to salsa class, on Wednesday. So I bought a ticket for a musical, and for a trip to Oxford, because I want to see more of England. I also bought tickets for parties in London and tickets for Madame Tussaud’s, because it was cheaper.
What is student life like? Have you made lots of friends?
People are nice here in Kaplan. Often people don’t stay a long time, so we meet people but they go back to their countries... but yes, my friends who I have here are from Kaplan, or my flatmates, we go out together. I can say that I meet nice people.
Do you think that the social program is affordable?
Yes! It’s convenient because everything is cheaper than usual. I’m not interested in all of the activities, but it’s affordable.
What about Kaplan?
What do you think of the teaching methods?
Wonderful. I’ve had 5 or 6 teachers, maybe more, including elective classes. They are professional, good teachers, they are nice, they are friendly, the method is good because they do various activities. And we practice every task and area in English. They get people to interact with each other and they interact with us.
What do you think about the SMART boards and the lesson books?
It’s modern! With the board, I have never studied with a teacher who writes on a board like that. I have a different book because I’m in a CAE class, but the book is good. It’s clear because we are not too many in class, and we can follow the lesson on the board. It’s a good method, nothing is missed.
What is different about learning here from learning English back home?
It’s completely different. For example when I was in Italy, my teacher sometimes spoke in Italian, here the teachers always speak English. You have to speak in English with the teacher and other students, and if you go shopping or if you want to ask information on the tube. It also depends on you because you have to be available to be friendly and open and to interact with other people. I do a conversation exchange with a native English speaker who wants to practice French. So I meet a person once a week and we speak one hour in French, one hour in English. There are many things I cannot do in my country.
Would you recommend Kaplan?
Yes. Kaplan had the best quality and price. It was not expensive compared to other schools, and at the same time the program was good for me.
"Here you speak English in real life every day, and you can meet native speakers."
If you are interested in studying abroad and would like to know more about how to learn English in the UK, feel free to contact us and see how you can experience the wonders of learning the English language like Piera.