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EF Stories: Abdullah Saleh from Saudi Arabia at EF Cambridge

Meet Abdullah Saleh Al-Sayyari, a 21-year-old civil engineering student from Jeddah. Abdullah studied for 6 months at EF Cambridge Institute, where he enrolled in an English language course.
EF Stories: Abdullah Saleh from Saudi Arabia at EF Cambridge

Abdullah shares his experience of learning English in the UK with EF

Why did you choose to study with EF?

In the first semester of my university year, I was surprised to find that all the subjects were taught in English. At that time, my English proficiency was very basic, and I faced significant difficulties in keeping up with the coursework due to the language barrier. When I couldn't achieve the grades I aimed for in that semester, I decided to learn English abroad and then repeat the preparatory semester to attain the required grade.

That's when I started researching language schools abroad, and I found EF. EF caught my attention because it is a global company with extensive experience in education. EF understands the needs of students and how to keep them motivated to learn. It also provides the necessary environment for language learning.

My first encounter was with one of the teachers at EF Cambridge. She began by telling me about EF and its teaching methods, accommodation, and answered all my questions. Her responses truly highlighted the quality of education offered by EF, and I felt that studying with EF could be both enjoyable and beneficial. So, I decided to enroll at the institute for six months.

Why did you choose to study in Cambridge?

One of the main reasons that encouraged me to choose EF Cambridge was the desire for a destination with a low number of Arabic speakers. At the time of my studies, the institute in Cambridge had fewer Arabic speakers compared to other locations. This allowed me to interact more with foreigners in English during my studies in Cambridge.

When I arrived in the city of Cambridge, I was amazed by its beauty. It was already prepared to accommodate students, offering transportation, comfort, libraries, gardens, and recreational areas. Additionally, it is a quiet city that allows students to study without the distractions and noise of larger cities.

What was your experience like studying abroad?

My experience of studying abroad was absolutely fantastic. It was my first trip abroad, which made it a very special and wonderful experience for me.

What challenges did you face during your study abroad?

The challenges that I had heard about related to facing cultural shocks, but I did not experience this type of shock. Instead, I felt that I was able to adapt and immerse myself in the culture, getting along with people and exploring the surrounding culture. This might be due to the internet and the means of communication that allowed students to learn a lot about other places in the world before traveling there, which prepared me psychologically.

What advice do you have for students who want to study abroad?

What helped me the most in learning during my studies abroad was my passion for learning and my curiosity about other cultures. I always sought to learn about the cultures of students coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe, and I asked them all the questions that came to my mind. This opened up communication with others and allowed me to develop my English language skills.

I also advise students who wish to study abroad to choose institutes where there are few Arabic-speaking students. Practicing listening, speaking, reading, and writing every day is essential to feel a natural improvement over time. Patience and effort are crucial because time is the key to learning.

Why do you recommend studying abroad to others?

I recommend studying abroad because it offers a different experience from studying in Saudi Arabia. There are special and distinct curricula abroad, and they are experts in teaching languages. I noticed a clear difference in the curriculum between studying abroad and studying in Saudi Arabia, and the clarity of the curricula allowed me to apply the rules immediately after learning them.

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