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

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.

 

 

 

 

Tell me about you: BBELS student interview

Noelle and Cassandra

This week our “Upper-intermediate A” class has been studying reported speech. The students perfected their understanding of the grammar point while getting to know their classmates through an interview project.

In this interview Cassandra (Italy) interviewed Noelle (Switzerland). Here is her report:

Noelle is a very nice girl from Switzerland. I asked her whether she currently had a partner and with a big smile her answer was “yes”. She has been with her boyfriend for four and a half years. She added that he was living in Switzerland.

My second question was about her academic life. She replied that after 9 years in a “regular’ school, she had begun studying while working in a travel agency. She worked there for 3 years. She added that she finished her studies with an interesting course directed towards children with disabilities.

After that I wondered if she was practising any sport and how she spent her free time. She explained that she went jogging, that she could play the violin and that she spent her free time with her boyfriend and friends.

My following question was about what the most important thing in her life was. Noelle’s short and poignant answer was her family.

I concluded my interview by enquiring whether she had a dream. Her shining eyes replied for her. She said she had many dreams but the biggest one was to travel around the world.

BBELS goes to Fraser Island

BBELS students in front of the Wreck at Fraser Island

Last week Reuben, our activities and tour manager, organised a trip to Fraser Island in Queensland. For 3 days our students got to enjoy the amazing environment of the world’s biggest sand island.

Fraser Island is famous for its biodiversity. It has beautiful coloured lakes and creeks, forest, and plenty of beaches. It is a quiet place to chill and recharge with friends, ideal for our students who have spent several months studying English .

BBELS usually organises a trip to Fraser Island every 12 weeks. Our students always return to Byron Bay feeling refreshed and they have many stories about the great time they had there. We believe these trips help maintain students’ motivation while also helping them to appreciate the gorgeous Australian natural environment.

For more information about the BBELS courses and activities please visit our website.

 

Another Amazing Buddy BBQ at BBELS

Some of our students enjoying themselves at the Buddy BBQ

Last Friday night our students had a great time at the BBELS Buddy BBQ. The concept of the BBQ is quite simple and is a lot of fun – during the free BBQ dinner students sit with a “buddy” from another country and class. This means everyone is required to speak English in a natural social situation.

 

Over 120 students attended the BBQ. There was plenty of food for everyone (including vegetarian and vegan options!). Live music was played during the evening,with some of our students performing in public for the first time.

At BBELS we strongly believe in the importance of providing social situations for our students to make new friends while practising their English. That is why we regularly hold Buddy BBQs and other Friday night events.

If you would like to know more about our English courses and activities program, please visit our website.

 

Meet the BBELS Staff: Mamiko

Meet Mamiko, our friendly new staff member, from Japan

This week we would love to introduce you to Mamiko. Mamiko arrived here with lots of experience working for ESL schools in New Zealand and Sydney. You can see Mamiko working behind her desk at the BBELS reception office 5 days a week. She is always ready to have a friendly chat with our students.

What is your role here at BBELS:

I work in Student Services, Administration, Japan Marketing

Where are you from? How is your life in Byron Bay different from your life back in your hometown?:

I am originally from Japan but I lived in New Zealand for many years before coming to Australia.
Byron Bay is very different from Tokyo (Japan) where I grew up till I was 18 years old. Byron Bay has just the right amount of shops, restaurants and cafes and a lot of nature which I feel comfortable living in
whereas Tokyo is overcrowded with many buildings and people.

What advice would you like to give our students at BBELS?:

Enjoy every new experience and challenge, especially enjoy meeting new people in Byron Bay.

Where are some of your favourite places to spend your free time in Byron Bay?:

The Pass/Wategos Beach are perfect places to swim, read books, and sun bathe. I also love looking at the vinatge shops and the beach at Brunswick Heads.

A day trip to Minyon Falls

Some of our Cambridge students at the base of Minyon Falls

It hasn’t rained here for months and months so finally after a few days of wet weather it was the perfect time to take one of our Cambridge classes on a day trip to Minyon Falls.

Walking through the sub-tropical forest on the way to the base of Minyon Falls

Our students always love visiting this waterfall. It is about 45 minutes drive from Byron Bay and for many tourists without a car it is very difficult to access. Our drivers usually stop at different points of interest along the way where students get to see views across Byron Bay and the hinterland.

Climbing over some rocks at the end of the walk

It is a moderately easy walk to the base of the waterfall. The sights, sounds, and fresh air during the walk make it extremely worthwhile. At the end of the walk our teachers usually organise an Australian BBQ lunch for the students. It is always a great day out, and if you study at BBELS you could join us here at Minyon Falls.

 

For more information about our courses and activities visit our website at http://www.bbels.com.au/

 

 

 

An Excursion to Brunswick Heads

Walking along the wall at Brunswick Heads

At BBELS we encourage our students to use their language skills in real contexts. For this reason we have regular excursions to towns and villages near Byron Bay.

Today our Upper-intermediate class visited the beautiful seaside village of Brunswick Heads. It is well-known for its surfing and fishing beaches, excellent cafes, and for its river with dolphins and turtles.

At the end of the wall looking north to the Gold Coast region

 

Our students always love the excursions that we organise. They get to see parts of the Byron Bay region that only locals know about. They also get to speak English in a relaxed environment with their classmates and local people. As you can see from these photos, it is a great way to learn English while sightseeing around Byron Bay.

 

 

 

Fantastic Cambridge Exam Results at BBELS

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 info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

5 Reasons to Study at BBELS in Winter

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.

Academic life:

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.

Whale watching:

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


The weather:

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.

Hinterland tours:

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 info@bbels.com.au