Student Interview: A Life Experience at the Kaplan London School
JURI OGINO: KAPLAN LONDON
Our student interview today is with Juri Ogino. She's 21 years old and originally from Japan; intrigued by life abroad, she settled on our school in London to study English.
“I have been having such a lovely life here, so I’m sure your life in London will be absolutely awesome as well.”
English for your Career
Juri signed up to study a 6-month General English course at Kaplan, and, for her, the class schedule was ideal. It was the perfect balance between lessons and free time, which allowed her to balance her courses with the cultural and social side of living abroad.
“The General English course has 2 lessons per day. I really learned a lot. Moreover, I can use the rest of the time for self-study or sightseeing after class, so I have such a fulfilling day.”
The class structure at Kaplan is made up of boosting grammar, improving your reading, writing and listening skills, and working on your pronunciation. You’ll also constantly be practicing the fundamentals of the language. Group work and interactive learning are an important part of the lessons.
“I speak a lot in class, so I feel like my speaking is getting more and more natural every day. All the staff and teachers at Kaplan are friendly. I have really enjoyed it here – more than I expected.”
Many students choose to study English at Kaplan, either during their university studies or just after, with the purpose of improved career prospects. International businesses, no matter where in the world they are based, usually conduct business in English, and candidates applying for a job who can speak English stand out from others.
Juri has big plans after studying with Kaplan: she needs English to further her education and has spent time at Kaplan improving her language skills. Once she's at a higher level, she wants to put her English skills to good use continuing with her education and working hard to one day build a career.
“I’m going back to university in Japan to start preparing my thesis and job hunt. I’d like to get a job where I can use my English skills. In addition, I want to travel to many countries to see the friends I met at Kaplan.”
Student Life in London
For Juri, studying in the Covent Garden School in London has been an amazing experience. Our school is set in a beautiful historic building in the heart of the city; you’ll benefit from large social spaces and a lovely outdoor garden, where you can relax between classes and make new friends.
“The school is located in central London, so it’s easy to go sightseeing, do some shopping, see the theater, and even hang out with friends. Museums and galleries are all free, so London is absolutely the right place for people who love history, art, music, and fashion!”
Aside from all the exciting things you can do while studying, you’ll also be able to meet people from all over the world and learn about their culture as well. Juri insists that all students arrive at Kaplan a little bit nervous, but the best way to tackle this is to be open and honest and share your concerns with others.
“You might get nervous and afraid at first, but everyone is the same even if they’re from a different country. Once you share your anxiety with them, it’ll change into confidence. You’ll become even more confident by living in a foreign county, seeing that many people have different cultures, and learning about their cultures. Even if you don’t speak fluently, just speak to them about your worries. Don’t be shy!”
Once you’ve overcome feeling nervous, you’ll have the opportunity to meet all types of people from all over the world and learn about different cultures. This new knowledge and exposure to a different life will enrich you and add to your Kaplan experience.
“There are many students from European countries at Kaplan Covent Garden; you can make many friends from all over the world. I really enjoy studying English together with them and understanding their culture.”
PIERA: KAPLAN LONDON 30+
We interviewed Piera, a 33-year old Italian student at our London 30+ 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."
Have you seen your English improve?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Klaudia: KAPLAN LONDON
Recently we had a special guest at Kaplan, Klaudia Halejcio, a 24 year old Polish actress, who studied English at our Covent Garden school in London for two weeks. Natalia Wiśniewska, the editor of our Polish blog, asked Klaudia about her impressions on her stay in London. Read the interview with Klaudia in Polish.London is magical. It’s actually the second time I’ve been here, but this time I managed to see more.
I fell in love with the markets in Brick Lane and Shoreditch. I loved the food from all over the world and cheap London boutiques. I got myself a couple of nice things, such as an evening dress, which I will surely show on my blog.
During those 2 weeks I managed to see the most important things. If I had a chance to stay here longer, I would like to spend it in a less touristy part of London. I’d like to get to know London from scratch. The other place I loved was Camden Town. Lots of interesting people and cheap multinational cuisine.
Who was in your class?
There were people from Venezuela, Thailand, Turkey, Albania, Spain, Italy and many more. We were a huge international mixture and we loved it! I’m leaving London with very good friends.
Language classes are completely different from a Polish school. First of all, I was forced to think and speak only in English. In my group there was not a single Polish person, so I just had to use English. I’ve improved my pronunciation and widened my vocabulary. My class started at 2pm, so if I felt like it, I could come earlier and participate in some additional classes. There are also interesting activities after class, for example musicals, visits to museums, etc. These are opportunities to practice your English in real life.
Studying here is completely different than in Poland. First of all, the teachers are native speakers. They make it very easy to grasp the proper accent. They teach us useful, everyday vocabulary. The lessons are very engaging. There is a lot of interaction between the students and a lot of talking. We have an opportunity to use the new grammar rules and vocabulary straight away. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve his English in a short period of time. It’s definitely worth it.