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EF Stories: Nicole from Switzerland at EF Vancouver

EF Stories: Nicole from Switzerland at EF Vancouver

1. My first language stay

Before deciding on a language stay in Canada, I gathered information about the different language schools in my region. EF was the one that appealed to me the most. Then I continued to search for the destination.

America was quickly ruled out: too young... England: too close. Australia: too many strange animals.

Canada, Vancouver - perfect! From the beginning, I was well-supported and advised. Although my anticipation was very high, I also had negative thoughts and fears about a negative experience. However, my flight to Vancouver via London went smoothly. Entry into the country also went smoothly.

2. Experience with my host family

After some initial difficulties with my host family (I quickly felt homesick and found it hard to handle), everything fortunately went well, and I am happy to have been able to live with them for four months. My individual room was small but comfortable. Everyone in my host family was friendly and offered their help.

3. The first day at the language school

On the first day of school, we had a morning orientation and a little city tour in the afternoon. I quickly made friends with someone in my class.

The EF language school in Vancouver is located on the famous Granville Street. Something cool is always happening there, no matter what time it is. The school itself is spread over two floors. On the ground floor are the general class classrooms, the reception, offices, and the lounge. Upstairs are the classrooms for Cambridge courses and the University Preparation Year. The teachers and all the other staff at the language school are extremely friendly, open, and helpful. Depending on the issue or request, there was a different contact person who would find a solution with great effort.

The General Class courses were not very demanding, more for fun. However, I was happy with the language courses; my brain had to first adapt to English. In mid-March, I switched to the Cambridge Advanced Course to take the CAE exam in June.

My class consisted of 15 students, most of whom were from Switzerland. However, my friends (all Swiss) and I spoke almost exclusively in English. Our teacher Simon always reminded us that progress in English in our brains would "break" if we spoke our own language. And it's true. The more we focused on English at school, by listening to music, or watching television, the more progress we made.

The CAE course was strict and demanding, but I expected nothing less. My goal for this time in Vancouver was to live and learn as much as possible. In hindsight, I know I succeeded in both. My English level skyrocketed, and I could easily converse with everyone and make jokes.

We took our CAE exam. Everyone was nervous and didn't know exactly what to expect. The exam went faster than expected.

4. My friends in Vancouver

With my new friends, I did quite a few things, like taking a trip to Seattle or to the Whistler Mountains. It was the beginning of my stay in Vancouver.

When I changed classes, I got to know my "real" friends. When you're together all day at school, do things after school, and spend weekends together, you quickly become close. Especially since we're still in a foreign city. English Bay, Lighthouse Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, Rogers Arena of the Vancouver Canucks, Cambie Bar, Victoria, Van Dusen Botanical Garden, and Grouse Mountain are just a few of the places you absolutely have to see in Vancouver.

To be very honest, at the beginning, I just wanted to go back home. The city was far too big for me, I didn't understand a word, and I missed my family a lot. But the longer I stayed, the better I felt.

In the end, I had very good friends, I knew the city better than my home in Zurich, I had no trouble speaking, and I experienced so many positive and exciting things every day that I didn't want to go back home anymore. Unfortunately, every wonderful period has an end. Despite my ups and downs, I would choose EF and Vancouver again without hesitation.

I can only recommend having this experience and coming out of it grown.

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