Life @ Kaplan: An Interview with Maria, a Manchester Student Winner

Back in July, we launched a photo competition asking our fans to send their messages of support to Carlo Schmid. Carlo was attempting to break a world record by flying around the world solo in association with Unicef.

The prize was a 2-week English Vacation course at our Manchester school. We had lots of fantastic entries and after a two week voting period, Maria Fernandez, 22, from Argentina was voted our winner for her very creative photo!

Maria started her course last week, so we've asked her a few questions about how she was finding her course, Manchester and the Kaplan social program!

What made you enter the competition?

I found out about the photo competition while I was searching for institutes that offer courses where you can study abroad. I didn’t know much about Kaplan, so I visited their Facebook page for more information. I've always been a fan of British culture, so when I saw the advert for the competition, I couldn't let the opportunity slip away!  I uploaded an entry and asked all my friends to vote for me. I couldn't believe it when I got the congratulations email.

Carlo flew into Manchester during Maria's stay
Carlo flew into Manchester during Maria's stay

What were your impressions of Manchester before you arrived?

I had never been to the United Kingdom before, and I didn't know much about Manchester before coming here. Just before I came here I found out that this was the first city in the world to be industrialized.

Are you enjoying your course?

I love the course! I feel that everything I am learning right now is being put to practice here because I can speak English to the local people.  Being in a native country where the language is spoken in always improves your understanding and is the best way to learn.

Describe a typical day at school.
On a regular day I wake up at 6:50 am, I have breakfast with my host family and walk 5 blocks to reach the tram station. It takes me 15 minutes on tram to get to college. As I have classes only in the morning, I can study and do my homework and then leave the school to go for a walk and visit the city in my free time.
I have a warm family who care about me, so it’s a great support when coming back from school. It also really helps to improve my English, because I can talk to them so openly.

Maria and her classmates at the Manchester college
Maria and her classmates at the Manchester college

What is your favorite thing about Manchester?

My favorite thing about Manchester is the structure of the city, from the houses to the tall buildings in the city center. I also love the accent of the residents, which is called "Mancunian".

You are also going to visit London during your stay. What are you most looking forward to when you visit?
I'm really looking forward to visiting Tower Bridge. I’m also going to meet some of the Kaplan team, which I’m excited about as they made it all possible for me to come here!

We’re really looking forward to seeing Maria too! Stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out more about Maria’s visit to see us at Kaplan Headquarters!

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