Meet the BBELS Staff: Marcos Supioni, marketing.

Marcos

This month we had a chat with Marcos, from our marketing department. Marcos is the marketing manager for countries such as Brazil, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Arab Emirates. He is just about to finish his Masters in Consumer’s Behaviour, and as he pointed out, he began his amazing journey in Australia as a student at BBELS!

What is your role as the Marketing Manager?

I’m part of the marketing team at BBELS. I am the Marketing Manager responsible for promoting BBELS quality programmes to Portuguese and Arabic speaking countries. That means I look after the students and agents from these countries, from the initial contact till the students last day in our school.

I use my experience as a former BBELS student to help others students have a great time here in Byron Bay. I’m also responsible for sales, social media and developing new partnerships with the countries I mentioned.

How long have you been working at the school? 

I started working here in 2014. But I have been connected to BBELS since 2010, when I was a student and had my life completely changed (for better, of course!).

Why did you decide coming to BBELS? 

I decided to come to BBELS after extensively researching English schools in Australia. BBELS was the one that suited me best. I was tired of studying English in schools in Brazil and not learning properly. So I decided to find a school where I could develop my English skills in a beautiful locality.

I used to live in a big city (São Paulo), and I needed a break from the traffic jams and from the hustle and bustle of that place. So, BBELS was perfect, because here I found everything I was expecting from an exchange course: academic quality and a beautiful place to relax and have a good time.

What do you like most about working at BBELS?

The culture exchange between the students! Because we have such a big diversity of different nationalities (an internal year to date research shows 23 different nationalities studying at BBELS), there’s always something to learn from my experience with students from different cultures.

I also love the fact that BBELS is not a school chain. Unfortunately there is a trend in the education industry where schools are compromising their teaching quality in order to make more profits. They increase in student numbers, became chains, and they drop the quality and commitment with their students.  This is not the case at BBELS. BBELS is owned by a long-term local family who is passionate about teaching and they really take care of their staff and students. So here we are like a big family. This produces a very good working environment.

At BBELS everybody should …  

… Be like a sponge! Soak up the amazing atmosphere at school and absorb the cultural differences. When you are living in another country, surround yourself with friends and interesting people, and you’ll absorb their positivity and this will enhance your experience!

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Meet the students: Francisco from Chile.

Francisco_3

This month we are proud to introduce you to Francisco. Francisco is from Santiago, in Chile, and he has some nice tips to share with those who want to come to BBELS.

How long have you been studying at BBELS?
I studied in BBELS for 6 months. At the beginning my English skills were a disaster, however after the first month I started to improve more and more. My first class was “Intermediate” and when I completed that level I moved to the “IELTS” class. I think it was a perfect decision because during my last month in Australia I decided to take the IELTS exam and to be honest I am really happy with the score that I got.

What do you like best about BBELS?
The BBELS staff is just amazing. They are always dedicated to students’ needs and one of the things that I always remember from my first day in the school is their effort to learn the name of every student before they arrive and that is something I appreciated a lot.
The school is situated in a beautiful building and the teachers are excellent. Nevertheless, the feature that I like more about BBELS is the possibility to meet people from different countries, make friends and know new cultures. Overall, all knowledge acquired there is going to be useful for life.

Francisco_1

How did you find your job?
I printed some resumes as soon as I arrived in Byron and I left it in every shop that I was interested in. Furthermore, I got some jobs through the Job Club at BBELS and from some of my friends who I met in Byron Bay.

What kind of work have you been doing in Byron?
I worked in different places such as industries, restaurants and in the BBELS school, mainly as a cleaner. I worked in some houses as a painter as well, but it was just a temporary job. The most important one was working for BBELS cleaning the rooms after class time.

What do you like about Byron Bay?
Byron Bay has so many things that I love. The people are special, so friendly and environmentally conscious. In the town you can always feel a positive atmosphere everywhere and it is so peaceful if you are not in the main street where the fun is guaranteed, and the beach is just amazing. The hippie-style makes this town one of the best places that I have visited.

Francisco_2

What advice would you give to a new student?
First of all, the most important thing is to always speak in English, even when you are speaking with people from your own country. It makes a big difference between improving your English skill a lot or just a little bit.
Another important piece of advice is to try to get involved with locals. For example, when I was studying at BBELS I played in a local soccer team and we qualified to the final round of the tournament. It was my best experience there due to the people I met. The Eureka soccer team is a wonderful family.

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Welcome to Byron Bay English Language School, 2015!

2015-01-05 12.58.32
Some of our new students for 2015. Good luck everyone.

Happy New Year to all of our students. We hope that all of your dreams and ambitions for 2015 will be realised.

The school year has started well with over 70 new students arriving from Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Chile, Columbia, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia.

We have a really diverse international community studying here. One of the greatest experiences our students enjoy while studying at BBELS is making friends and connections with people from all over the world. We have even had a couple of students marry their classmates over the years!

In 2015 we continue to offer the Cambridge Exam preparations courses, an IELTS course, courses in General English, as well as our combined courses such as English Plus Surfing, English Plus Diving, English Plus Yoga. There are plenty of study options to choose from so please visit our website to learn more about our courses.

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Merry Christmas from Byron Bay English Language School

BBELS xmas Postal Card

2014 has been a big year for the Byron Bay English Language School. Over 900 students have entered our classrooms since January, many of whom successfully completed our Cambridge and IELTS testing courses.

Throughout 2014 students of all nationalities improved their English levels while also enjoying tours to local national parks, Fraser Island and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. We were also fortunate in having study tours from the United Arab Emirates and Japan join our General English classes during the winter period.

We are happy to report that in 2014 BBELS established a pathway programme to Southern Cross University. This pathway enables our students to enter SCU’s courses on the recommendation of our IELTS teacher. If you would like any further information about this programme please speak with Sonia.

It is always rewarding to see students of diferent nationalities and backgrounds forming life-long friendships during their time here at BBELS. After graduating from BBELS students often travel around Australia together and we have heard of quite a few students who continue to visit each other in their respective countries.

For many of you this December 25th will be slightly different from the usual Christmas you experience back home. The Australian summer-Christmas is a good time to have a quiet BBQ or picnic outside at a park or a beach. Hopefully you can do this with your new BBELS family.

From all of the BBELS team we wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas.

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Meet the BBELS staff: Jay-Dea, the Director of Studies

Jay-Dea
Jay-Dea, the Director of Studies at BBELS.

Meet the BBELS team

This month we had a chat with Jay-Dea, our Director of Studies. Jay-Dea is responsible for ensuring a high quality programme is delivered to all our students. He is in charge of the implementation and administration of all aspects of our academic programme, including the management of the teaching staff and their performance.

What is your role as the Director of Studies?

As the Director of Studies I am responsible for the academic side of BBELS. That means I look after the students and the teachers. I test new students when they arrive and allocate them into classes; organise the timetable; help new teachers with lesson plans; assist students with academic problems. Basically I try to keep the experience for the students in the classrooms as smooth as possible.

How long have you been working at the school?

I started working here in 2005. Was it really that long ago?
What is your secret to have so much success with the students?
I think the students are always happy to engage with someone who is friendly and approachable rather than authoritarian. I’ve always tried to develop mutual respect between myself and my students. This often happens over time as we get to know each other.

What do you like most about working at BBELS?

As a teacher I love the exchange of energy between myself and the students in the classroom. I enjoy watching the progress of students in their use of English and I also enjoy the process of discovering their personalities over weeks and months.
As a Director of Studies I enjoy meeting students on their first day, trying to make them feel welcome and comfortable. I also enjoy assisting teachers in the staffroom.

At BBELS everybody should …
… respect cultural and idiosyncratic differences; remain enthusiastic about learning (it was your choice to come here); enjoy the natural surroundings with classmates and local people.

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Byron Bay English Language School: Student Interviews, part two.

Chris and Laura
Christian (Germany) and Laura (Spain) interviewing each other as part of an Upper-intermediate activity focussing on reported speech.

Today I spoke with Christian about his experience in Byron Bay. I began by asking what his first impression was of the town and BBELS. He explained that the people here are open-minded and very friendly. He met a lot of people on his first day. He told me that the weather is better than in Germany and the beaches here are awesome but sometimes it can be a bit windy.

Christian said that there are a lot of different cultures at BBELS and for him this is really interesting. He insisted that the teachers are very good and friendly and you can learn a lot of English.

Next I asked Christian what he had been doing after class and if he had any favourite places to go. He explained that he often goes to the beach or he stays at home in his pool. He also goes surfiing or meets his friends in town. He recommended going to his favourite places such as Tallows Beach, the lighthouse nad the tea-tree lake.

Then I asked Christian if he thought Byron Bay is safe and if he’d had any problems here. He assured me that Byron Bay is safe. He hadnt seen any fights but he insisted that you need to be careful with your bikes as they can be stolen.

My next question was about his accommodation. He told me that he lives in a student house. He admitted that he is very lucky because he has a beautiful house which is very clean and has a pool. He lives with four international girls. He told me that the house is really near the town, only ten minutes on foot or five minutes by bike.

Next I wanted to know what he has been doing at the weekends and whether he travelled around Byron Bay. He told me that on his first weekend he went to Brisbane, on the second weekend he explored around Byron Bay by bike and on the third weekend he went to Sufers Paradise.

Finally I asked him if he thought Byron Bay is a place he’d like to live for the rest of his life. He told me that it was a very good question. He said that he thought it is a nice place to live but he missed the winter and his family. I wanted to know if Byron Bay is a good place to have a family and he admitted that it is difficult because even though the people are really friendly he thought it is not easy to make a “very very” good friends.

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Byron Bay English Language School: Student Interviews, part one.

heiko and maria
Maria and Heiko at BBELS.

This week Caroline’s Upper-intermediate class interviewed each other as a way to practise reported speech. Caroline was so impressed with the students’ work that we have posted a selection of it on our blog. The interviews reflect the experiences of the students who come to study at our school in Byron Bay.

The first interview was between Maria and Heiko.

AN INTERVIEW AT BBELS:

Today I’m here at Byron Bay English School (BBELS) in Byron Bay meeting Maria from Barcelona.
I began by asking her how long she is staying in Byron Bay. Maria expained that she will stay for seven months. She arrived in Australia on the 15th of September and began her studies at this time.

Her travel plan sounds fantastic – she is going to take a break from her studies on the 11th of December to travel around Australia for two months. In February she will continue her studies at BBELS for another month before she departs Australia at the end of March.

I wanted to know where she is living in Byron. She told me that she used to live in a share house before she bought her campervan. Now she is living in the van and loves to go and visit the stunning places around Byron in her free time and at the weekend.

At this moment I realised I was speaking to a real expert who finds out all the awesome places to visit here on the East Coast of Australia so my next question to her was, “What have you seen in Byron and this region?”
Maria recommended that a “must do” is to go to the lighthouse and have a walk on the walking track there. She explained that there are amazing views of the ocean, the beaches, The Arakwal National Park and Byron Bay itself.
Other terrific things are to walk to the top of Mt Warning, which is the highest mountain in the region and the point where the first rays of the sun meet the Australian mainland every morning. Also breathtaking are the abundant waterfalls in the region, for example “Minyon Falls” near Federal.

Maria looks very sporty so I asked her which sports activities she recommends here. Her suggestions came promptly. She said that everyone should try dolphin kayaking, surfing and local sports like cricket. I also wanted to know where I could meet other students or local people. Maria answered that it is really easy to get to know other people. Everywhere you go people want to help you or talk to you. She added that it was easy to meet other students at the school and learn about other cultures.

Byron Bay also has plenty of international restaurants and I wanted to know which kinds of food Maria liked the most. Maria explained that restaurants were too expensive for her however she loved local tropical fruit, especially mangoes.

Finally I had a last question to Maria. I asked her where you can find the best music in town. Maria said that it would be dependent on what kind of music you like. There are so many places where you can find excellent musicians playing their own songs. She advised me not to miss all the music festivals too.
I’m absolutely impressed by the variety of fabulous information I received. I’m very grateful as I say goodbye to the enchanting Maria from Spain.

(Heiko from Germany)

In our next post we will introduce you to two more students from this class. We hope that you can come here and enjoy the same experiences that Maria has described in this interview.

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