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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

Excursion to Broken Head

Summer may have finished but there is still a lot of sunshine to be enjoyed here in the Byron Bay region. This week our pre-intermediate class spent a beautiful morning at the Broken Head nature reserve where they learned new vocabulary to describe the plants and animals found at the beach.

Looking north to Byron Bay

The class walked through the littoral forest (beach side forest) and then walked into the sunshine where they had a great view to the neighbouring beaches. It’s always such a great experience to take the students outside the classroom and show them the different areas around the region. It is both refreshing and encourages a new type of learning.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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