EF Stories: Marta from Italy at EF Miami
Hello, everyone! I'm Marta, and I come from the province of Trento in Northern Italy. I attend a language-focused high school, where I study English, German, and French as my third foreign language. This past summer, in July, I had the incredible opportunity to spend three weeks on the EF Miami Beach campus in the United States.
It was, without a doubt, the most remarkable experience of my life, one that I will forever hold close to my heart. This experience allowed me to gauge my English proficiency, which I initially believed to be lower, as I found myself expressing thoughts and ideas more fluently in Miami than I did in school. A moment of immense pride washed over me on the second-to-last day during the graduation ceremony. It was then that I realized I had confronted numerous challenges independently, such as taking a flight, communicating in a foreign language, residing and studying in a bustling city, and forming friendships with people from different parts of the world. These were all part of my individual journey to embark on an unforgettable adventure.
The activities organized by the EF campus were truly captivating and engaging. I made an effort to participate in as many as possible because they provided opportunities to meet new people, form friendships, and get to know Miami better.
On the first day of the course, I opted for a guided city tour, during which we visited three famous neighborhoods in Miami: the Wynwood Art District, an open-air museum adorned with large murals created by renowned street artists; Little Havana, a neighborhood entirely dedicated to Cuban culture; and Bayside Marketplace, a shopping mall located in Downtown Miami.
One of the most enjoyable experiences was a trip to Key West, which was organized by EF over the weekend. During this trip, I had the chance to explore the island, soak up the sun on the beach, and even see the iconic "Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.A.," marked by a cement buoy anchored to indicate the southernmost point in the United States.
Another activity that left a lasting impression was my visit to the Superblue Miami interactive museum. This unique art center offers immersive experiences within its exhibits, complete with lights, sounds, mirrors, and bubbles.
One Saturday, I decided to embark on a "Boat Tour" that started from Bayside Marketplace. It gave me the opportunity to explore Biscayne Bay, take in the sights of Downtown Miami, and even catch a glimpse of some celebrity villas. The boat tour was truly delightful.
I was also quite impressed with the teachers and their teaching approach. It was far more engaging and interactive than what I experienced back in Italy. The lessons were diverse, covering various aspects: grammar, American culture, speaking and discussion sessions, and even collaborative projects such as presentations and videos, which we worked on with fellow students and then presented to the class. Additionally, every week, we had two classes called "Communication Games," where we learned the language, especially new vocabulary, through movies, music, texts, and more.
The staff, both in Italy and in Miami, were always friendly and supportive. They helped me clarify any doubts I had at any time.
Additionally, I made a deliberate choice to interact exclusively with international people to achieve a full immersion experience in the English language. Fortunately, luck was on my side, as I had the opportunity to meet and form wonderful friendships with girls from countries such as Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, and many others. Together, we often frequented the beach right after classes, enjoyed shopping on Lincoln Road, strolled along the waterfront to South Beach, dined at various clubs and restaurants, participated in campus-offered activities, and much more.
For those contemplating an individual study abroad experience, I wholeheartedly recommend not hesitating to seek information when you have questions and making the most of this opportunity to engage with people from different nationalities. It's a rewarding way to enhance your experience.