BBELS students working with the Byron Bay community

This week our pre-intermediate class mixed with the local Byron Bay community in a beach clean-up. These regular beach clean-ups are organised by an environmental group called Positive Change for Marine Life in an attempt to remove rubbish, particularly plastic, from the local marine ecosystem.

According to the Positive Change for Marine Life website, over the past 5 years the beach clean-ups have:

 ensured that over 400,000 pieces of trash have been removed from and kept out of marine ecosystems.

What a fantastic result! Every little bit helps, if every beach-side town had similar action groups we could prevent so much plastic entering our beautiful marine ecosystems.

The beach clean up was a great way for our students to feel as though they were part of the local community. The students got to meet the locals and enjoy the beautiful summer sunshine. Some students even got to practise their English while being interviewed for a documentary!

If you want to know more about the BBELS English courses please visit our website.

 

Returning students: Rahel and Patrick

Rahel and Patrick returning to BBELS for a visit

February must be the month for BBELS reunions! This week we received another surprise visit from 2 of our lovely ex-students Rahel Millhausler and Patrick Appenzeller. Rahel studied CAE with us in 2012 and Patrick studied General English in 2014.

Interestingly Rahel & Patrick met at the “Rainy Zurich BBELS Reunion” of 2016 and spontaneously decided to travel back to Byron together. It’s great to see them again as they are so positive and good to have around.

This is Rahel’s 3rd visit to Byron and Patrick was so inspired by his time at the live music parties at BBELS that he decided to learn guitar!

We are very happy to see them again … ROCK ON!!!

Nicolas from Brazil – a class activity

Nicolas from Brazil

This week our General English Advanced class was asked to write a report detailing the differences (both good and bad) between the students’ home town and Byron Bay. It is always interesting to read the perceptions our students have of our beach-side town.

One student who wrote a particularly good report was Nicolas from Brazil. Here it is …

Byron Bay is really different from my home city, Rio. We have great beaches in Brazil but the Australian style is unique. Byron Bay has many conservation rules to keep its nature vivid and clean. The street design here is way more modern than Rio’s and the architecture feels a lot more organised than in my city. Byron Bay can be more expensive to live as it is a tourist town and the population is quite small.

Something I really love about this place is the atmosphere, it’s so peaceful and friendly. You can have a good conversation with anyone on the street, they are polite and ready to help.

Another thing I love here is that this is a surfing town, there are many sports you can go and do and you can catch awesome waves.Rio is not as good as here for surfing as the waves are usually bad.

The animals here are really different from the ones in Brazil. There are kangaroos, sharks, salt-water crocodiles, giant spiders and dangerous snakes.

Thanks Nicolas, for this excellent piece of writing. Your ability to express yourself in English is impressive and we love what you had to say 🙂

 

 

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.

 

Afternoon Elective Classes at BBELS

 Prue in her Business English class

As part of our General English program we offer full-time students the chance to study “elective classes” in the afternoons. These classes are open to full-time students in the Intermediate – Advanced levels. The classes are very popular as the subjects combine English with practical knowledge and skills that can benefit students in their careers or university courses.

The elective classes that we regularly teach include: Vocabulary and Speaking, English Structure, Australian Studies, International News and Presentation Skills, Hospitality and Tourism, IELTS preparation, Cinema Studies.

This week we have added a new elective class: Business English. Using one of the Cambridge Business Vantage Exam preparation coursebooks this elective focuses on vocabulary and information relating to business and economies in the modern world. It teaches students how world economies operate and helps them acquire the knowledge they need to communicate effectively in a business situation.

If you would like to know more about our classes please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or click here.

Congratulations to Thomas and Rosa

Rosa and Thomas with Marlon

Here at BBELS we would like to offer a BIG congratulations to Thomas Schenker and Rosa Fazari on the birth of their beautiful baby boy Marlon.

Thomi is a former student at BBELS. He first studied with us in 2009 when he completed a 12 week Cambridge preparation course. He enjoyed his time here so much that he has returned twice! Thomi and Rosa met at the Primary School where they teach. On Thomi’s 3rd trip here Rosa also studied with us in our General English program.

 

We love hearing from our former students. If you would like to share any updates about yourself please contact us at info@bbels.com.au. Meanwhile, once again, congratulations to Thomi and Rosa.

Elementary Class Excursion to Lennox Head

Walking in the beautiful summer sunshine at Lennox Head

Yesterday our Elementary class drove 25 minutes to the nearby surfing town of Lennox Head. Not only is Lennox Head listed as one of the world’s top 20 surfing spots, it also has a beautiful lake and a small town filled with cafes and bars. We are so lucky to have a school bus so that we can share these beautiful places with our students.

The class had a great time walking along the headland while learning the vocabulary for all of the trees and animals that they saw. These real-life experiences can be so much more valuable than only learning inside a classroom.

Thanks so much to the Elementary class for providing us with these photos. We hope you continue to enjoy your time here and in all the other places you will visit 🙂

BBELS Job Club helping our South Korean students

Mamiko talking with some of our Korean students

The BBELS job club is a great way to help students find work in and around the Byron Bay area. With the assistance of the Job Club our students typically find work in the hospitality industry (restaurants, cafes, hotels) as well as work on  farms. Since we started the Job Club we have helped many students on Working Holiday visas and Student visas find work.

Today we met with some of our Korean students to discuss the benefits of joining the BBELS job club. Mamiko talked with a couple of Korean students who already had jobs in Byron Bay and reminded the others that we are happy to help them find work too.

We encourage all of our students who have an Intermediate level (or higher) of English and who have the correct visa to join the club. We help with resume writing, contact businesses around town, take students to their interview, and later check that the students are satisfied with their job (hours, pay).

Our staff have excellent work contacts throughout the Byron Bay area. Managers of these local companies will telephone us when they need new workers. We also actively phone managers whenever new students join the club.

Not only is working in Australia a great way to save money (of course), it is also a useful way to study English and learn more about the culture of the country. If you would like to know more about our Job Club service please contact us at info@bbels.com.au

 

 

Interview with our top CAE student Peter.

Peter and his CAE teacher Kat

The latest Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) results have been released and once again we are very happy with the high standard of our students. Congratulations to our students for doing so well, some of whom got the highest level possible in the listening, reading, writing components of the exam. We are so happy for you and we hope that your CAE certificates will grant you entry into the jobs or university courses of your dreams.

One student who did exceptionally well in the exam is Peter (Germany). Peter was a model student (and a really nice guy). He didn’t miss a single lesson throughout the 12-week intensive preparation; he consistently listened to his teacher’s advice; he worked hard in class even after big nights out on the town. The result? Peter got an incredibly high “grade A” (CEFR C2 level). This included 100% in the listening component. Well done!

Peter with his classmate Julien (Switzerland)

While Peter was at BBELS he made the decision to change his life and find strong connections with the people around him. Over the period of the CAE course he became an exceptionally social person. After class each day he could be found chatting with other students around the school or playing beach volleyball at Main beach.

A classroom activity

We asked Peter a little bit about his experience at BBELS…

Why did you decide to study in the CAE preparation course?

My objective is to study a Masters in Business back home in Germany. For this it is compulsory to show you have a certain level of English. A high level CAE test result is also good for employment, especially in the sales area.

Peter’s CAE class

What did you like about the course and your teacher’s methodology?

Kat is an amazing teacher. Her explanations and directives in the classroom are very clear. She combines this great methodology with with a very warm heart. She cares for the welfare of her students, often spending extra time with them when they need someone to talk to. Kat also helped us feel comfortable in our new town, she recommended places to visit, gave us the names of good cafes and so on. At first Kat was very serious but once we knew the school rules she showed that she is quite a funny person.

Now that you have achieved such a great CAE exam result, what is your next plan?

I will travel around Australia for 3 months. I made some great friends at BBELS and we will travel together along the east coast. It’ll be a continuation of study in a way because my friends are from different countries so we will have to speak English during our travels.

If you would like to know more about the courses at Byron Bay English Language School please follow this link or email us at info@bbels.com.au

Brazilian Friends at BBELS in Byron Bay

Eduardo

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.

Guilherme

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