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.

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.

 

The BBELS Job Club

Max, our friendly Job Club manager

The BBELS Job Club helps our students find work in and around the Byron Bay area. Since 2014 we have been establishing connections with local businesses that are happy to employ our motivated and hard-working students. We have helped hundreds of students on Working Holiday visas and Student Visas find work.

What kind of jobs can we help you find?

Byron Bay’s main industry is tourism so there are a lot of jobs in the hospitality services. Students who join our Job Club often find work in the local Byron Bay hotels, restaurants and cafes. We also help students find work on farms around Byron Bay or in other locations.

Who can join the Job Club?

If you are an Intermediate level (or higher) student with a Working Holiday visa or Student Visa you can join the Job Club.

What will Job Club do for you?

The Job Club manager will help you write your resume so that it is in the Australian format. The manager contacts businesses around town and takes students to their job interviews. After we find you a job the manager checks you are satisfied with your job (hours, pay).

Working in Australia is a great way to buy a car and travel. It is also a fun 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

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced class goes to Nightcap National Park

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It is the beginning of Autumn here in Australia. The days are beautiful and warm, it’s perfect for spending time outside. So, this week our Advanced class traveled to Nightcap National Park to spend a day practising English in these beautiful natural surroundings.

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Nightcap National Park is only 45 minutes from Byron Bay so it is an easy bus ride from school. During the bus trip the students listened to music and spoke in their new favourite language … English!

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We always encourage our classes to spend some time outside with their teacher. It facilitates spontaneous learning and becomes a bonding experience for the students. We are so lucky here at BBELS to have our own bus to drive students to these beautiful locations.

If you would like to be part of these experiences contact us at info@bbels.com.au

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.

 

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

 

 

2017: BBELS Highlights

Students from Italy, South Korea, Japan, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain

2017 has passed so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were meeting our first intake of students for the year.

A year of many nationalities studying together

Over the past 12 months we have had over 800 students come to study with us from an amazingly diverse range of countries, including: Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil.

Quality Assurance Inspections

Australia has very strict educational organisations that check if ESL schools are providing the best possible quality in terms of lessons, teachers, student services, accommodation. This year BBELS was inspected by 3 organisations (IALC, NEAS, ASQA)  and we passed each inspection with extremely positive feedback. The great comments from these inspections demonstrate our commitment to providing fantastic educational services to our students.

Study Tours

Some students from one of our Japanese Study Tour classes

Winter is the study tour season at BBELS. During this time high school groups come to study with us for 1-4 weeks. This year we had 4 Japanese groups and 1 South Korean group. These young students always enjoy their time here – they study English in the morning and then they join organised activities around Byron Bay in the afternoon. Their teachers were really happy with the level of the students’ English and their participation during outdoor activities.

Cambridge and IELTS Exam Results

 

As usual the BBELS exam teachers did a brilliant job in helping our Cambridge and IELTS Exam students achieve high results. Our exam teachers are extremely attentive to each individual student’s needs. They often work extra hours counselling students, identifying the student’s weak points, and helping students develop strategies to improve in different parts of the exams.

Many of our students still message their teachers to express their thanks and update us on how their exam results helped them. A recent message came from Jule (Germany) an IELTS student who studied in Sarah’s class. Jule wrote:

Hey dear BBELS family!

I studied IELTS at BBELS for 2 months and received my results today! I’m overwhelmed and am very proud to say that I got 8.5! Thank you so much for this perfect preparation at your language school.

Jule from Germany

Educational Excursions and the BBELS Travel Agency

Bush-walking through a  local forest

This year the BBELS teachers have provided many opportunities for our students to use English in practical settings outside the classroom. We have had excursions to local towns, national parks, art galleries and museums. Our activities team also organise regular sport events, art and music classes, cooking lessons during the weekday afternoons and during the weekend.

Our travel agency has also helped 100s of students book discounted flights and accommodation for their Australian holidays. Reuben, our travel manager, always gets extremely positive feedback from our students about the friendly and helpful services he provides.

Come and study with us!

BBELS is a great place to study English, prepare for exams, discover new cultures, make new friends. We provide top quality lessons with very experienced teachers who will improve your English and introduce you to new ideas about the world. All of this can be found here in Byron Bay, a beautiful beach town on the east coast of Australia.

If you are interested in knowing more about our school and courses please follow this BBELS link.  We hope to see you in 2018.