Mily is our latest student to be interviewed for our series focussing on our students at BBELS. Mily has been particularly liked by teachers and fellow-students for her warm and easy-going personality.
Why did you decide to come to Australia?
I’m from Colombia and the USA is close to South America so a lot of people speak Spanish there. Colombians also feel excluded from the USA; hence we look for destinations where we feel welcome. I have always thought that Australia has a better English dialect than other countries, plus the people here are friendly and love the environment, the culture is interesting and it is a beautiful destination.
How long have you been studying in Australia?
I studied for 6 months, and then my school organised a study plan which has allowed me to have time to work and make some money, and also see some new places.
What do you like best about BBELS?
The school has a special atmosphere, the teachers are friendly and patient, also the installations are beautiful. At the school we have a lot of activities and some are free which help people that don’t have enough money to travel and see new places. The classes at school are dynamic and the students have the opportunity to speak with other people from around the world!
What’s more, the students can choose different electives, which make it easy and a fun way to learn English, so you can enjoy yourself while learning!
You did some voluntary work here… Tell us about it.
I am volunteering at “Feros Care”, it is a place where elderly people live with special care and different activities. It is a good place to improve my English, because I have the opportunity to listen and speak. I also meet new people and friendships are created that make me feel at home!
Do you have any other jobs here in Byron Bay?
I work in a restaurant (as a kitchen hand) after my class. I do babysitting and also I am an Au Pair for an Australian family, these jobs help me with my expenses, as well as giving me the opportunity for know more about the Australian culture. This extends my network of friends who support me while helping me to save money to continue my studies.
Can you also tell us a little bit about your salsa experience?
Well, the school gave me the opportunity to teach salsa dancing. It has been one of the most amazing experiences because I had the opportunity to show people about my country, our culture, our music! And the students also taught me some differences between their culture and mine.
What do you like about Byron?
I chose Byron Bay, because in Colombia I lived for a long time in the capital city, so I know the risks of living in a big city. For that reason I looked for a small place, where I can feel safe and at peace. Now I think that I made the best choice, because Byron Bay is absolutely beautiful, I find the gorgeous beaches and its hippy atmosphere extremely friendly!
What are you planning to do next?
I want to continue my studies, I think that I need more time to improve my English and I would like to have an experience working in my profession here. Also I hope to commence a Doctorate and keep on studying in Australia! For the moment, my plans for next year are to continue studying English at BBELS, to help prepare me to do the IELTS exam, and study age-care at TAFE!