An interview with Elsa, a student in London who plans to work for the UN
After we spoke with Patrick, the football agent, about his motivations and objectives for studying English in London, we had the chance to speak to Elsa, a French student taking an Intensive English course in London, about why she chose Intensive English and what she thinks of Kaplan International.
Elsa did this interview with us in English, showing just how much she's learned during her English lessons in London. You can also read Elsa's interview translated to French.
Tell us about yourself – where are you from, and how old are you?
I am 25 years old and I recently finished my master’s degree in human resources. I am from Haute-Savoie, in France, on the border of Switzerland.
How long are you studying for, and what course are you taking?
I started at Kaplan Leicester Square on February 24 and I will be here for 5 months. I am studying an intensive English course, and my elective classes are vocabulary and pronunciation.
Why did you choose Kaplan?
I did some research on the internet and I found Kaplan. Also, one of my friends studied at Kaplan Edinburgh, and she recommended it to me.
Since your arrival, do you think your English has gotten better?
Yes, every week I see the progress. when I arrived, I was only studying for one month, to see if the results were significant. I decided to extend my stay because I could see a change every day, and the teaching methods are very good.
What level were you when you arrived, and what is your English level now?
I started my course at lower intermediate level, and now I am advanced!
What are the advantages of studying in London?
I chose to study in London because of how close it is to France. Also, I think that learning English abroad is the best way to progress rapidly. In fact, the immersion pushes us to test our limits because we are forced to speak in English. Although I obviously also meet people who speak French.
What do you do with your free time in London?
I go to the gym a lot, because there are a lot of temptations. I pass most of my time with my friends, we like going to the parks, we visit different museums, we go salsa dancing… I can get a lot out of the city and practice my English.
What do you think of the activities program that Kaplan offers?
The program is great because it is different every week. We can take advantage of a lot of activities, we can travel, discover unusual places, visit museums, and thanks to Kaplan we pay lower prices for the tickets.
How is student life in London?
When you make the choice to go abroad, you have to rebuild your social life, as you don’t know anyone. Everyone is in the same situation, so it is very easy to meet new people and make friends.
How do you think this course has helped your personal development?
From a personal point of view, I am naturally shy, and I have made a lot of friends, and I am always pushing my limits. From a professional point of view, I want to work in Switzerland in an organization such as the UN, so being able to speak English is essential.
How are your courses? What do you think about the teaching method and the teachers?
I started with Beckie, though she recently left Kaplan. Her teaching was very good, because I did not feel like I had to learn. This is a different type of learning, especially when it’s compared to school. The relationship between the teachers and the students is totally different. The methods are fun, so we learn English with pleasure and excitement. Currently, my teacher is Christian, and his methods are just as good.
What is the different about this course, compared to learning English in French?
I think the system for learning in France is very bad. You learn the irregular verbs every year. However, before I got here, I was unable to have even a basic conversation in English. That is why I was pleasantly surprised when my progress changed daily. We also have modern tools, such as interactive whiteboards, and a lot of support from the teacher.
Do you think this course is an investment for your future?
I think yes, because I need English for my career and so I can get a job in line with my plans and what I want. Kaplan is a well-known school and serious, so for me it has been a rewarding experience from a personal and professional point of view.