Study tour students from Fukugawa, Japan, enjoying the winter sunshine
The study tour season at BBELS has officially begun. Each winter we open our classrooms to High School students from around the world. The students have a great time studying in English classes each morning and joining organised activities in Byron Bay and local towns.
This week a group of 29 students arrived from Fukugawa (Japan). They will study here for 2 weeks alongside other groups from Japan and South Korea. The groups have already enjoyed a trip to the lighthouse where they saw whales and dolphins. Over the next fortnight they will play beach games, join Zumba dance lessons, learn acrobatic techniques at the circus … and go shopping!
If you see the students around town, please say hello 🙂
We are very happy to tell you that our June Cambridge exam students got really great results. 100% of our Cambridge Advanced in English (CAE) students passed their exam, and 90% of our First Certificate in English (FCE) students passed their exam.
These are fantastic results and we hope that the students are pleased with their success. They worked very hard during their 12-week preparation course here at Byron Bay English Language School. Their teachers also worked hard, doing many hours of overtime to help the students succeed.
Here at BBELS our Cambridge students always receive excellent preparation in the CPE, CAE, ad FCE exams. Our teachers are extremely experienced and attend to each of the students’ academic needs to help them pass the exam.
Our next Cambridge preparation courses start on 4th September. If you would like more information about the course please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.
Some of our recent graduates
Every Friday our classes finish at 12:15 so that we can say goodbye to our students who are graduating. The staff and students listen to the graduates as they give speeches expressing thanks to the teachers for their hard work, emotional goodbyes to their new friends, and motivational words encouraging their classmates to enjoy everything the school and Byron Bay has to offer.
Ryuji with with his certificate of completion on graduation day
Many of our students express how nervous they are feeling to be giving a speech in public but all of them feel as though they have achieved a goal in their English language learning to have stood before a group of people and deliver a monologue in their 2nd language. The teachers are always especially proud of them.
Another happy student receiving her certificate of completion
Another great thing about the graduation ceremony is the chance to listen to Max (our activities officer) talk about the weekend activities he has organised. He always has so much for students to do at the weekend including bus trips to national parks, shopping centres, or cultural events.
See you at graduation this Friday 🙂
The BBELS building
Because Byron Bay is a beach town most of our students come to study here during summer. What they don’t realise is that some of the best experiences at BBELS and in Byron Bay are found during winter. This post will explain why winter is such a perfect time to study and live in Byron Bay from May-September.
During winter we generally have a smaller number of students at the school. Many of our students who studied here during past winters said that they loved the intimacy of the school during the quiet time of year – they were able to make friends more easily and they enjoyed smaller class sizes. Past students also said that they had less competition finding student accommodation and accessing other facilities compared with the busier summer months.
The winter period is a fantastic time of year for anyone who is interested in watching the whales migrate along Byron Bay’s coastline. Over several weeks you can see whales from the lighthouse and the local beaches. It is a great experience for locals and international visitors. The school can help you organise boat tours so that you can see the whales from a short distance.
A humpback whale photographed underwater from a local tour boat
Byron Bay is a comfortable place to stay in winter – we enjoy warm days (with none of summer’s humidity) and cool nights. It is still possible to wear shorts and a t-shirt during the day but pack a pair of pants and a sweater for night-time. The coldest month in Byron Bay is July where the average maximum is 19.4 ºC – not bad for the middle of winter 🙂
The beaches and surfing:
A view from the park at Main Beach
In winter there are less tourists in the town so the local beaches are very open and quiet. The beaches are a perfect place to relax in the afternoon when class has finished.
What many of our students don’t know is that some of the best waves can be surfed between April-September. The water is still warm enough for surfers to wear a spring-suit (though a light full-suit might be needed some mornings). With so few surfers in the water this is a perfect time to learn how to surf, or for the more advanced surfers it is a great time to catch some long waves.
A view towards Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park
Byron Bay has some amazing local forests with short and long walks which our students enjoy. Winter is a great time to explore these forests because it isn’t so humid and walking is therefore a lot more comfortable. BBELS often organises school excursions to these forests during the week and also during the weekends.
If you are interested in enrolling at BBELS please visit our website or contact us directly at email@example.com
The view towards Minyon Falls
Once a month our teachers take their classes out on an excursion to local forests and towns. Many students don’t get to see these beautiful areas if they don’t have their own cars so it is a great way to broaden the appreciation of where we live.
A 100 metre drop
Minyon Falls is a 45-minute drive from Byron Bay. There is a circular walk that takes you from the top to the bottom. If you are lucky you will see a lot of different wildlife.
A lace-monitor at the BBQ area
One of the common animals at Minyon Falls is the lace-monitor lizard. It is attracted to the smell of meat cooking on the BBQs at the top of the falls.
Some of the students with their teacher at the viewing point
A local restaurant
On the drive home the students stopped at a nearby village where they ate sushi and drank some delicious local coffee.
BBELS is always sure to combine education with activities that link the students with the Byron Bay region. The students love it. We hope to see you here soon 🙂
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Our starters this week
It has been a fantastic start to the new year here at Byron Bay English Language School. Since the 3rd of January we have had 101 new students enter our classrooms. They are now studying in our Cambridge and IELTS preparation courses, and in our General English programs.
As you can see from this graph we have an extremely diverse range of students studying here from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. We always enjoy seeing the way in which people from different cultures learn from each other and make life-long friendships.
Some of our new students on their first day
We hope that all of our new students and continuing students have a great time here at the school and in Byron Bay. Happy New Year everyone 🙂