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

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20 reasons to study English at BBELS in Byron Bay

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The BBELS school building

Thinking of studying English in Australia?

Here are 20 things that show why BBELS in Byron Bay is a great study destination for you!

  1. Location – BBELS is in the CBD – heart of Byron Bay

It will only take you a few seconds to be on Jonson Street, Byron Bay’s main street with plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops. And only a few minutes to be at some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. We have it all just around the corner!

  1. Class hours

We offer 22.5 hours of face-to-face tuition with highly-qualified teachers. All of them are native speakers, and have been working at BBELS for many years.

  1. BBELS Job Club

Brian, our Job Club Manager, can help you find a job in Byron Bay. During his Job Club workshop he will also show you how to create a CV in English, apply for your TFN, and set up an Australian bank account.

  1. Owned by a long-term local family- BBELS is a beautiful and charming boutique school

If you are looking for a school with a laid-back atmosphere which is also very professional, then BBELS is the ideal place for you!

  1. BBELS has 2 dedicated people to activities and travel desk

Max, our activities coordinator, organizes activities for our students each and every day. Whether you’d like to combine your English course with surfing, yoga, or some music lessons, you will surely have a ball in Byron Bay!

Reuben, our travel advisor, can help you with the booking of some Aussie tours including accommodation and flights. This way, you will have the chance to explore the rest of this amazing country just before you head back home.

  1. BBELS offers a supervised school party evening every 2 weeks at the school

The school parties on the BBELS balcony are legendary! The students easily make friends at these functions, and enjoy the evening with some live music.

  1. BBELS offers Buddy BBQs every 3 months

Each student joins the FREE barbeque with another BBELS student from a different country.

Our English only policy is a must during this fun event, and you will enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

  1. BBELS has its own licensed café- Café Oska

We have a school party on the balcony every second Friday, and a Buddy Barbeque every 3 months.

What happens when we don’t have the school parties? Then the fun goes on at Cafe Oska!

Besides special live-music events during the weekends, Cafe Oska offers some delicious breakfast and lunch specials with a great student discount. And yes, there is also a happy hour from 3pm until 5pm.

  1. BBELS has multi-lingual staff to assist low level students (we speak Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean at the school)

 We understand that our students might struggle with the language barrier during their first weeks in Australia. That’s why we are here! The team at BBELS is fluent in many languages, and we can assist you with anything you might need to know in your mother tongue.

  1. BBELS building is solar powered

Because here in Byron Bay, we like to protect our environment!

  1. BBELS is an IALC school

We have all the accreditations that Australian language schools require, but one accreditation is a bit special. IALC consists of a network of language schools world-wide that „have individual character and a real connection with their local community. All IALC language schools are quality assured and boutique, providing guaranteed professionalism, personal attention and an exceptional learning experience.“

For further information about IALC, please check their website here.

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One of our Cambridge classes on graduation day

  1. BBELS is an authorized Cambridge exam centre in Byron Bay

This means you can sit your Cambridge exam at BBELS, there is no need to travel to any other testing centre up the Coast.

  1. Excellent Cambridge exam preparation courses

Cambridge teacher Ash has been working at BBELS for 11 years, read an interview with him here.

Cambridge coordinator Kat has been working at BBELS for 8 years, read an interview with her here.

If you are still wondering why you should study Cambridge at BBELS, then read this interesting article here.

  1. Excellent IELTS exam preparation courses

IELTS teacher Liese is also an IELTS examiner, and has been working at BBELS for 9 years. Read her interview here.

Are you not quite sure what the differences between our IELTS and Cambridge exam preparation courses are? We explain this here.

  1. Own student housing close to school

We also have our own shared-accommodation for our students. All student houses are close to the school, so you can simply walk or ride by bike to BBELS!

  1. Lovely homestay family accommodation

Many BBELS students also choose to live with an Australian homestay family in Byron Bay. This is the perfect way to practice your English with some locals after classes while getting to know the Aussie culture.

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Satomi, one our Japanese studenst, volutnerring in the Northern Territory

  1. Own volunteering programs

As a volunteer you won’t only make a positive impact, but you’ll also have the chance to meet the locals, improve your English language skills and boost your CV!

Read an interesting article about the benefits of volunteering here.

  1. Academic Pathways with Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW

After successfully completing their English studies at BBELS, many students decide to continue studying at an Australian university or TAFE. BBELS offers an Academic Pathway with the Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW, which means you won’t need to sit an IELTS* exam. As long as you enrol for a General English upper-intemediate/ advanced or IELTS exam preparation course and you pass the English test with our Director of Studies, we can give you a reference letter confirming the direct entry to SCU or TAFE NSW.

*Direct entry is not accepted for the Bachelor of Nursing and Interpreting Services. Direct entry might also depend on the assessment level of the student visa application.

  1. Teen programs during Aussie winter months

 We understand that teenagers would also like to experience the fun at BBELS, and have therefore created a customized teen program which includes a General English course in combination with some typical Aussie activities like surfing, playing the didgeridoo, bush walking, and a lot more.

  1. Great nationality mix

Students from all around the world come to share the same experience at BBELS:

Study English and have fun with some typical Australian activities in beautiful Byron Bay!

 According to the BBELS motto: Learn to Live!

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Teen Program

Teen Activity Program

Every year in July and August, we offer a special teenager program here at BBELS. For the duration of 2 to 6 weeks, international teenagers between 15 and 18 years can enjoy a special time in Byron Bay. Our “summer camp” style teen program includes a part time English course during the week and afternoon activities every weekday and one day at the weekend.

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Walking through a local rainforest

The teenagers take General English courses from 9am till 12.30pm during the week. Afterwards there are some special afternoon activities from 1.30pm. At the weekends there are exciting activities during the day. We offer different sport activities, like volleyball and golf, art activities like Indigenous painting and craft working and of course some interesting and fun trips like bush walks and sea kayaking. All of the arranged activities are guided by one of our supervisors.

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Teen skateboarding class at the Byron Bay lighthouse

The students live with guardian home-stay families and experience Australian life as a part of the family. The teenagers have a single room in a house close to school, including 2 meals every weekday and 3 meals during the weekend.

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Snorkelling in the sub-tropical ocean at Byron Bay

The price of our program includes the airport transfer to Brisbane or the Gold Coast airport, all tuition materials and a free BBELS T-shirt.

So come to beautiful Byron Bay, and become a member of our big family!

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Friday afternoon classes at BBELS

At BBELS full-time students have the option to study in our Friday afternoon clubs. Students can attend a conversation club; a homework help club; a resume writing club. These clubs are a nice change in routine for our students.

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In our conversation club students from different classes and levels are encouraged to sit down in a relaxed environment to discuss various topics introduced by the teacher. Our students love this club as they can finish the week practising the vocabulary they have studied in class and also learn new vocabulary from other students (and of course the teacher).

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The homework help club is another popular class that our students regularly attend. In this club students can ask for extra help on certain points that they may have had trouble with throughout the week. It could include grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. This club is usually small enough for the teacher to give personalised help to the students.

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Finally, the resume writing club helps students who are looking for a job to write a clear and professional resume in English. Our Job Club manager can then assist students to find a job here in the Byron Bay region or in other areas throughout Australia. It is a valuable service to our students.

The BBELS clubs are held from 1:15-2:45 each Friday and are open to all our full-time students. They are a great way to improve your English while making friends from other classes.

 

 

 

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Brazilian Carnival at BBELS

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Gustavo dressed as a pre-historic man

Last Friday night BBELS hosted its own Brazilian Carnival. It was a night of fancy dress and costumes and of course it was another great chance for our students to have fun together while learning a little about the Brazilian culture.

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Our students always know how to have fun and they are very interested in making friends with people from other countries.

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We hope to see you again at our next school party. Remember, we host them every two weeks.:)

 

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BBELS: Classrooms in action

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Liese teaching her IELTS class

Each classroom in BBELS is designed to encourage students to communicate comfortably with the teacher and each other. Our classes have a maximum of 15 students and we always try to ensure that the class has a balance of gender and nationalities. The result is that we have dynamic classes filled with conversation, learning, and laughter.

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Jim teaching his Intermediate class

Our classrooms open onto a computer area where students can research topics covered in each lesson. Students can also walk from the classrooms to the balcony where they can continue self-study activities in a relaxed and quiet environment.

Each classroom is connected to the internet through the school’s WiFi network. We also provide televisions for video and computer-based presentations. Our students often tell us how much they love the unique vibe of the school building and that it helps to create a very easy-going atmosphere. Why don’t you come here to see it for yourself?

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Friday Night Activity: Buddy BBQ

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Last Friday evening BBELS hosted another one of its very popular Buddy BBQs. The idea for these events is that for one evening students are given a “buddy” from a different country, class level and language group. This is to help provide a space where our very multicultural group of students can make new friends. The “buddies” sit together and have a free dinner on the school balcony before mixing with all of the other students to listen to live music and dance the night away.

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Antonio from Spain and Louise from France

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Students from Switzerland, Brazil and Japan enjoying the evening.

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Tito from Spain and Medina from Switzerland

The Buddy BBQs are held quite regularly and are always a lot of fun. The BBQs are part of our activities program that is designed to help balance the needs of study with pleasure.

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