Another BBELS Love Story

How many more stories can we post about relationships that have started here at BBELS?

In September 2010 Michael Jud and Nadine Lauber met while enrolled in our Cambridge Exam preparation course. Although they studied in different classes Michael and Nadine still managed to meet one another … and the rest is history! Michael said that he “fell in love with Nadine on the first day of school but it took her a little longer” 🙂

Our fabulous activities officer Max reuniting with Michael, Nadine, and Merel.

This week the lovely couple returned … with their newborn baby Merel! Interestingly September seems to be “their” month. They met in September 2010, they married in September 2015, and their baby Merel was born in September 2017.

We are so happy to see the three of them here at BBELS where it all began. If you have any more stories about friendships or relationships that started at BBELS please let us know.

 

Brazilian Friends at BBELS in Byron Bay

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In this post we are happy to introduce you to Guilherme and Eduardo. These two very cool Brazilian students arrived at BBELS in December 2017. We love the fact that they travelled here together – this is a great experience for two people who have been friends since they meet on a beach when they were 8 years old.

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Guilherme and Eduardo both study Engineering in Sao Palo but their real passion is surfing. When their classes finish at 12:30 each day you will find them at one of the many beaches in Byron Bay.

So why did two Brazilian men decide to study English in Byron Bay?

Guilherme and Eduardo had a friend who used to live in Australia. He knew that they loved surfing and that they wanted to live in a village with a peaceful atmosphere so he immediately recommended Byron Bay. They both said that the way of life in Byron Bay was quite similar to small towns in Brazil so they immediately felt comfortable here.

They love Byron Bay and they also recommended the nearby beaches at Lennox Head and Broken Head.

Studying at Byron Bay English Language School

Although they have only been studying at BBELS for 2 weeks they really enjoy the style of teaching here. They agreed that the teachers don’t just teach from books but they also try to include a wide range of activities both inside and outside the classroom. Guilherme and Eduardo said there is a strong emphasis on speaking which has helped them in their daily life around town.


We love that these 2 students have come to study with us. They are a friendly and welcome addition to the school.

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

Student’s story: how to achieve a dream

In this week’s student story Sara from Spain talks about the steps she took to come to study here at Byron Bay English Language School. It is an inspirational story and we hope it motivates other people to pursue their dreams …

After working for ten years in the same office I decided to abandon my comfort zone and chase my dream: to live for 1 – 3 years abroad, as far as possible away from home.

This wasn’t an easy decision and most of the people I know wouldn’t dare try it. However, if you are reading this article, you have already gone half-way.

Follow these tips to achieve your dream, they are based on my own experience.

  1. Start by writing on a piece of paper what you would love to achieve and the steps you have to take. It’s very useful to make sure you know what you want. Don’t panic if you have doubts at the beginning.
  2. One classic mistake is to rush into things. Take your time to save money and organise your steps. Everything needs its own time, be careful not to make decisions in emotional circumstances.
  3. Tell everybody about your dream. Take every opportunity to talk about it with your friends and family. It is absolutely essential that you are not embarrassed  – you are doing something very brave. Always remember this: if you follow your dreams the universe will conspire. People that love you will help you to achieve it.
  4. Make as many contacts as you are able to. It’s better to have several telephone numbers in case of an emergency. The last thing you want is to be alone away from home.

Good luck and at least try it!

Student interview: Mar and Leandra

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Mar from Spain  and Leandra from Switzerland

As part of an upper-intermediate class activity Mar interviewed her classmate about her time in Byron Bay. Here is the interview:

Yesterday I spoke to Lea, a 21 year old Swiss girl who is studying a sixteen week general English course at Byron Bay English Language School. I spoke to her about her life in Byron Bay and her experience as a BBELS student.

I asked Lea how she would describe Byron and she said that it is an awesome place where you can find nice beaches and an amazing and healthy lifestyle. Lea added that the people there are really friendly, open-minded, spontaneous and very relaxed.

I wanted to know what the classes were like and she told me that they were dynamic and interesting. The teachers are also very professional but what she likes most is that she is able to work on each language skill daily (speaking, writing, listening, reading and grammar).

I then asked her what she was going to do when she finished her English course and she told me she has planned a seven week trip to visit the most stunning places in the country such as: Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Cairns, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island and Uluru.

Finally I asked her if she thought that Byron Bay was a good place to study English. She didn’t have any hesitation in answering “Of course!” She explained to me that the natural environment, the relaxed lifestyle and the multicultural atmosphere made Byron an unbeatable destination. She added that everyone should come here at least once in a lifetime.

 

Meet the students: Renan from Brazil

 

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Renan, our 16 year old student from Brazil

In this post we will introduce you to Renan. Renan travelled to Byron Bay by himself to study English. He became a favourite student in his Intermediate class with both his teacher and classmates. He also became a popular house-mate in his Australian homestay house. In this interview Renan talks about his experience in Byron Bay as a 16 year old student …

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

I wanted to improve my English and I had two options. I could go to Australia or to Canada. But honestly, I think Canada is too cold. A friend of mine, who went to Australia before, showed me some pictures and told me a few things about the country. And I really liked it.

How long have you been studying in Australia?

I have already been here for three months. And I really would like to stay for a longer time. But I have to go back to Brazil, because I only took a break from high school.

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Meeting the wildlife on a school trip to the local wildlife sanctuary

 What do you like most about BBELS?

The methods of teaching are very interesting. It is never boring in class. My teacher does a lot of different things with us, and we also do excursions or just have a class outside. We went to the Currumbin zoo, to the lighthouse and to some cafes in Byron Bay.

You are one of our underage students. What did you experience about being one of the youngest students at school?

All students and staff at school really take care of me. On orientation day I made a lot of friends from different countries already and everybody helped me. So I do not feel homesick at all.

The only thing that is a little bit different is going out in the evening. I am not allowed to go out, and I have to be at home when my homestay family wants. But I understand it because my homestay family and the school, are responsible for me.

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Renan with his homestay family and housemates

You live in a guardian home stay family. Tell us a little bit about it.

My family is amazing. They care a lot and help me with everything. We really have a good relationship. And they cook for me what I want. There are 5 other students living in this big house, and I really feel like home in a big family. And they help me with my English.

Can you also tell us about the activities you do here at school?

 I like to play volleyball and go to the beach. It is good to meet the other students and become friends with them. I also took some surf lessons with the school. And now I go surfing a lot. And I like the school parties of course, because these are the only parties I can go to.

 

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A big family meal at the homestay house

What do you like most about Byron?

The people here are very friendly and open minded. In my first week here, I was lost. I could not remember the way home. So I asked a guy in the street and he was very nice and just gave me a ride home.

I also love the beautiful beaches here. You have good waves and good places to surf.

Check out this interview with Renan and another teenage student Laura in Portuguese

Meet the students: Mily from Colombia

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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.

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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.

Mily

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!

 

Meet the students: Monica from Mexico

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As summer gets closer the variety of nationalities studying here at Byron Bay English Language School is increasing. At the moment we have students from France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Argentina, Spain, Korea, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Chile, New Caledonia, Colombia, Mexico. This cultural diversity makes studying at BBELS a very rewarding experience.

In today’s post we are introducing you to Monica from Mexico. She is studying in our IELTS class and is working at one of Byron Bay’s elite restaurants.

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

First, because I love to travel, learn about different places and grow as a person through experiences and adventures. In addition, I grew up in Mexico City which is one of the biggest cities in the world and I wanted to find a place where I can be in touch with nature, enjoy a slower pace of life and be able to appreciate the little thing in life, such as seeing a sunset in the beach or drinking a cup of tea with my friends. These activities perfectly describe a regular afternoon in Byron Bay.

How long have you been studying in Australia?

I have been studying in Australia at BBELS for three weeks now. I’m in the IELTS preparation course, learning a lot every day and really enjoying it.

What do you like best about BBELS?

I like everything! 🙂 the fact that the teachers and everyone who is part of the staff are totally interested in what the students need and care how they could help to make our experience better. Learning English at BBELS is the perfect place to study, improve your knowledge and at the same time make friends from all around the world while you enjoy all the amazing activities the school has for us.

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You are a chef, tell us about your job:

I’m working as a chef in “The Fig Tree Restaurant” in Byron Bay, which is a beautiful place that does weddings and special functions. They have an amazing international staff, a stunning venue and a veggie garden where we get our own fresh and delicious ingredients to cook every day. I’m learning everyday something new and I’m totally grateful for the amazing opportunity to be part of one of the best restaurants in Byron Bay.

What do you like about Byron Bay?

I would like to say that I can declare myself totally in love with Byron Bay. In general people in Byron Bay are kind and relaxed. The vibe that surrounds the place makes me feel blessed and alive. I love that there is music all around, awesome beaches, and of course, one of the reasons I love Byron is due to my school.

Student of the Month – Davide Degano

P1050555What and how long have you been studying at BBELS ?

I’ve studied for three months, attending an IELTS course in order to get the necessary skills to take the exam.
What do you like best about BBELS ?

It’s a difficult question because my stay at this school has been amazing and for this reason I can’t find any negative aspect. If I have to choose, I think that the best thing that this school can give you is the opportunity to meet and know people coming from all over the word and to understand and find out new cultures that you can’t find in the school’s book.

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How did you find your job?

Since I am in Byron I’ve done different kind of jobs. I’ve got some of them applying through the school’s “ Job Club “. This is one of the facilities that the school offers to you. It allows you to get a job in Byron Bay and If you have a Working Holiday Visa, to get your second Visa.
The other way to find a job in Byron is to give your resume to all the shops, restaurants and keep going doing it because the competition might be difficult during the summer as it is high season. Last but not least important is Gumtree. It’s a web site where periodically the employers publish advertisements for stuff.

Where do you work/ where did you work?

I worked at Corner Shop as a “ fridge boy “ and kitchen hand and at “Eatery” as a dish-washer and waiter. I got this two jobs giving my resume around Byron. Now I’m working at the school as a cleaner and at Chicken Factory in order to get the second Visa. I’m doing this two jobs thanks to the school’s “Job Club”.

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What do you like about Byron Bay?

I really love this place. If you need some knowledge concerning how to treat the environment, you should spend part of your life in Byron. Here you can learn how to live and respect the nature but the most beautiful aspect of Byron is definitely its “easy-going” lifestyle and passion for art. You can see every day artists performing around the town making even a cloudy day amazing.

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON YOU

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Name: Timo
I feel happiest when … I accomplish something very hard

In Byron Bay everybody should … be happy

The world could be a better place if …there was no stress

I wish English was … easier

Today or tomorrow? today

Why? always today, don’t think about tomorrow

I still haven’t … snorkelled or scuba dived

When I was a child, I used to … play a lot

I always … one of the most trusted guys

This time next year … I will be studying in Holland

My favourite afternoon school activity is … hanging out with friends

What I am going to do next is … going to Sydney for 2.5 months

Spotlight on YOU!

Name: Silon Dall Bosco

Info: Brazilian/Italian

I feel happiest when … I go surfing with my friends

In Byron Bay everybody should … take care of the environment

The world could be a better place if … people became more lovely

I wish English was … fun to learn

Today or tomorrow? Today

Why? Yesterday is past, tomorrow is a possibility but today is a gift! This is why we call it present 😉

I still haven’t … enough vocabulary to arrive where I want

When I was a child, I used to … play without thinking. Now I’m thinking about playing!

I always … feel happy when I see my friends

This time next year … I’ll have travelled around the world

My favourite afternoon school activity is … Yoga

What I am going to do next is … travel around Asia, Hawaii, California, Central America and finally go back to South Brazil