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.

 

Meet the students: Laisa from Brazil

Laisa enjoying her 20th birthday with school friends

Six months ago Laisa arrived at BBELS. She is a confident person who loves to talk and laugh. This confidence helped her move from an Elementary class to an Upper-intermediate class in just 6 months. We are very proud of her achievement and so we thought this interview would help inspire others who are thinking of coming to Byron Bay to study English.

1) Could you tell us a little bit about Byron Bay and your experience studying at BBELS?

I studied at BBELS for 6 months, during the entire period of the course I felt very well looked after and welcomed by both the teachers, the administration and all the school staff. BBELS provided me with the chance to be in contact with diverse cultures. The school always encouraged the integration of everyone through activities outside the classroom, such as going out for a coffee or a walk along the beach and weekly activities of sports, surfing and yoga classes. These things impelled us to always get to know more and take advantage of everything that Byron Bay has to offer, that is, being a beautiful, small and cozy town, with interesting weekly markets. It also has a strong sense of environmental responsibility.

Practising some moves …

2) How has your English language level progressed?

When I came to Byron Bay I was in the Elementary level but after 6 months I finished  in Upper-intermediate. I achieved great progress in English through great encouragement, lots of practice, having day-long speaking classes. and a lot of attention and patience from all the teachers.

Graduation day. From Elementary to Upper-intermediate. Well done!

3) What would you say to people who are thinking of doing travelling to Byron Bay and studying at BBELS?

I would say that BBELS is a school that can provide you with incredible experiences beyond the quality of teaching. Byron Bay is a special place with lush nature, a good opportunity to learn English. You can enjoy the magic of Byron Bay. Despite it being a small town there are many tourists so this provides great employment opportunities in the hospitality area.

Thank you Laisa for being such a positive force around the school 🙂

If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

Fantastic Results. Congratulations to our CAE students!

Congratulations to our CAE candidates for doing so well in their exams. We were so pleased to see such a high pass rate.

We would especially like to offer a Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Thomas (from the Netherlands)  and Meva (Switzerland) for scoring an A in the March CAE exam. They achieved CPE level scores for Use of English and speaking and a perfect listening score of 210. Well done! We should also say a big thank you to the Cambridge teachers, Kat and Ash, whose dedication, knowledge, and good humour helps our students achieve good results.

When Thomas contacted his teacher with the happy news, he said:

” Thank you! Without you it would not have been possible”

At BBELS we love meeting students like these who are talented, hardworking and apply themselves to their exam preparation while still managing to have a great time in Byron. 🙂

If you think this sounds like something you’d like to do, take a look at our next Cambridge exam preparation dates by following this link. We look forward to meeting you soon.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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 🙂