Meet the students: Oscar from Chile

Hey, it’s Oscar!

This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the nicest students that we have had here at BBELS … Oscar from Chile. Oscar arrived in Byron Bay in April and will continue studying here until April 2019. This is a great thing for the school as he brings a sense of peace, good humour and respect in whichever class he studies in.

We should also tell you that Oscar has just returned from a trip to Japan where he was interviewed by a Japanese TV show. He is going to be famous very soon 🙂

We sat down with Oscar and asked him a few questions about his life in Chile and Byron Bay.

Oscar surrounded by a few of his fans friends

Can you tell us where you are from:

I’m from a city in Chile called Viña del Mar. It is Chile’s 4th largest city on the central coast. It’s a nice place where it’s still small enough for people to get to know one another.

Why did you decide to study in Byron Bay:

At first I looked at some of the Australian cities as a place to study but I knew that what I really needed was a quiet place. I wanted to find a calming location that was natural and undeveloped. Byron Bay looked like the perfect choice.

How is your daily life here different from your life in Chile:

The biggest difference is that in Chile I had just finished High School, my life was based around class times and homework. I hadn’t experienced much time for personal freedom and growth. Here in Byron Bay I am still going to school but I am also working and earning money which allows me to travel more. I also use my free time differently … I am becoming more aware of my mental and physical health through meditation and good vegan food.

Oscar at the lighthouse with some fellow Chilean students

How do you think your time in Byron Bay will benefit you back in Chile:

I am really interested in naturopathy however in the past my access to learning about it was limited because most of the sources are written in English. Now that my English has improved I have a greater access to medical books which will help me in my future studies in naturopathy.

Being in Byron Bay has also changed the way I look at my social environment. I have learned to appreciate my friends more than I did before. I have also learned the value of self-discipline and responsibility to myself and others.

…….

Oscar is such a friendly and open-hearted student. If you see him around school or around town, make sure you say hello. We wish him luck in his future studies here at BBELS and back in Chile.

Excellent Cambridge Results

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge Proficiency students (dark green) with national and international students

Students have been coming to BBELS to prepare for the Cambridge English exams for over 15 years. During this time period our students have received some brilliant results. This period has also allowed out teachers time to develop skills and strategies to help our students get the results they dream of.

 

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge Advanced students (dark green) with national and international students

By looking at these graphs you can see that students who study the Cambridge Preparation courses at BBELS receive higher grades than the international and Australian national average. This is a great visual representation of the quality of our courses and academic staff.

A graph comparing BBELS Cambridge First Certificate students (dark green) with national and international students

Our students work hard to achieve these results (but they still have time to enjoy our beautiful beaches). Our next Cambridge preparation course starts on January 7th 2019. If you would like to study in a relaxing natural environment with highly dedicated teachers, please contact us at info@bbels.com.au

A Morning in the Sunshine

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Students from Chile, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil enjoying the sunshine

It may be winter in Australia but the sun is shining and our students are enjoying the warm days. Having just finished a mid-course test our Intermediate teacher thought a good reward for excellent results was to take the students on an excursion into the Byron Bay hinterland. First they traveled to Minyon Falls to check out the amazing view down into the forested valley.

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The class then drove down the hill to the beautiful beachside village of Brunswick Heads. If you look carefully in the photo you can see Byron Bay just to the left of Rina’s (white cap) head!

We love taking our students out of the classroom and placing them in authentic learning environments. These short excursions are such a great way for the students to understand more about the region where they are studying too.

If you would like to know more about the Byron Bay English Language School please follow this link.

 

Whale Watching Excursion

Students from Germany, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Thailand at the lighthouse. (Thanks to Julika for the photo).

It’s whale watching season here in Byron Bay! We love this time of year. From July till early November Humpback Whales swim past Cape Byron during their northern migration to Queensland. We are so lucky here because Byron Bay is one of the best locations in Australia to see the whales. Great viewing spots are at the lighthouse and Main Beach.

 

At Australia’s most eastern point. This is one of the best places to see whales.

This week our Intermediate class spent a couple of hours watching and counting the whales from the Byron Bay lighthouse. They had a beautiful morning in the winter sunshine and saw quite a lot of whales close to the shore. We love providing our students with the opportunity to study together in the outdoors. It encourages learning in a natural context and helps them understand a little more about the local culture.

It’s not too late to join us here during the whale watching season. If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

 

Winter at BBELS

A view of the school and the bikes students ride from their houses each morning.

Winter is a great time to come to Byron Bay if you are interested in studying English. The town is a little quieter than usual so it is easier to meet local people and make friends. If you are looking for a job there is less competition among employees for work in the local restaurants, cafes and bars. If you are interested in surfing, some of the best waves can be found in winter. The water is still warm enough to wear a light spring wetsuit, and you might be lucky enough to share the water with the whales that swim through the ocean during winter.

Here at Byron Bay English Language School our class sizes become smaller – many of our students enjoy this as it means more face-to-face time with their teachers. If you are European or South American this is a particularly good time to study because the number of students from your country will be less than usual, this will motivate you to make friends with students of other nationalities.

Many people think that Byron Bay is a summer destination, however the weather is still warm with a blue sunny sky, the beaches are quiet and relaxing … it’s a great place to study 🙂

If you would like to know about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

Meet the Students: Lucas and Joao from Brazil

Two friends from Brazil: Lucas and Joao

This week we are very happy to introduce you to two students who are loved by all the BBELS staff and students. Lucas and Joao are friends who studied in the merchant navy in Brazil. They then decided to come to Australia to study English so that they can improve their job prospects internationally. They have been studying with us for 16 weeks and are now finishing an IELTS preparation course. We love their positive attitude, good humour, dependability and sense of respect towards people.

Please read below for an interview with Lucas and Joao:

Why did you decide to study in Byron Bay?

We knew that the weather is similar to Brazil, that we could enjoy the day surfing in beautiful natural surroundings. We also knew that Byron Bay is a destination for Europeans rather than Brazilians so it provides a good opportunity to study English. Living here rather than in a big city we can appreciate the smaller things in life, for example sitting on the beach and watching a beautiful sunset. We don’t need all the things we had back in Brazil.

What do you like most about BBELS?

The methodology and patience of the teachers, the mix of cultures, even the building itself. We can go on trips with our classes where we can see more of the Australian culture and landscape and learn English in an authentic environment.

How do you expect the English you have been learning at BBELS to help you when you return to Brazil?

The best companies in the merchant navy are multicultural. You need to be able to communicate with other crew members in English as well as read manuals in English. We hope to prove that our English is good enough to be hired by one of these companies.

What do you like most about the Australian culture?

Australians are generally honest, they follow the rules, it creates a safe environment to live. They are also kind and friendly. People say “hi” to you in shops or in the streets, we are looked after well by the local people.

Both of you have found jobs here in Byron Bay. Can you tell us a little about them?

The work that we do is very different to back home but we enjoy it. Lukas works as a part-time support worker for an elderly woman at her house. Joao works at a local restaurant doing dish-washing. Both jobs help support us financially plus improve our English. We should also mention that we have a second job as cleaners at BBELS.

We genuinely love having Lucas and Joao at the school and we will miss them when they graduate.

If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

Meet the students: Laisa from Brazil

Laisa enjoying her 20th birthday with school friends

Six months ago Laisa arrived at BBELS. She is a confident person who loves to talk and laugh. This confidence helped her move from an Elementary class to an Upper-intermediate class in just 6 months. We are very proud of her achievement and so we thought this interview would help inspire others who are thinking of coming to Byron Bay to study English.

1) Could you tell us a little bit about Byron Bay and your experience studying at BBELS?

I studied at BBELS for 6 months, during the entire period of the course I felt very well looked after and welcomed by both the teachers, the administration and all the school staff. BBELS provided me with the chance to be in contact with diverse cultures. The school always encouraged the integration of everyone through activities outside the classroom, such as going out for a coffee or a walk along the beach and weekly activities of sports, surfing and yoga classes. These things impelled us to always get to know more and take advantage of everything that Byron Bay has to offer, that is, being a beautiful, small and cozy town, with interesting weekly markets. It also has a strong sense of environmental responsibility.

Practising some moves …

2) How has your English language level progressed?

When I came to Byron Bay I was in the Elementary level but after 6 months I finished  in Upper-intermediate. I achieved great progress in English through great encouragement, lots of practice, having day-long speaking classes. and a lot of attention and patience from all the teachers.

Graduation day. From Elementary to Upper-intermediate. Well done!

3) What would you say to people who are thinking of doing travelling to Byron Bay and studying at BBELS?

I would say that BBELS is a school that can provide you with incredible experiences beyond the quality of teaching. Byron Bay is a special place with lush nature, a good opportunity to learn English. You can enjoy the magic of Byron Bay. Despite it being a small town there are many tourists so this provides great employment opportunities in the hospitality area.

Thank you Laisa for being such a positive force around the school 🙂

If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.