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.

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

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.

 

Student interview: Mar and Leandra

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Mar from Spain  and Leandra from Switzerland

As part of an upper-intermediate class activity Mar interviewed her classmate about her time in Byron Bay. Here is the interview:

Yesterday I spoke to Lea, a 21 year old Swiss girl who is studying a sixteen week general English course at Byron Bay English Language School. I spoke to her about her life in Byron Bay and her experience as a BBELS student.

I asked Lea how she would describe Byron and she said that it is an awesome place where you can find nice beaches and an amazing and healthy lifestyle. Lea added that the people there are really friendly, open-minded, spontaneous and very relaxed.

I wanted to know what the classes were like and she told me that they were dynamic and interesting. The teachers are also very professional but what she likes most is that she is able to work on each language skill daily (speaking, writing, listening, reading and grammar).

I then asked her what she was going to do when she finished her English course and she told me she has planned a seven week trip to visit the most stunning places in the country such as: Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Cairns, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island and Uluru.

Finally I asked her if she thought that Byron Bay was a good place to study English. She didn’t have any hesitation in answering “Of course!” She explained to me that the natural environment, the relaxed lifestyle and the multicultural atmosphere made Byron an unbeatable destination. She added that everyone should come here at least once in a lifetime.

 

New Afternoon Class: Vocabulary through Drawing

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Our Vocabulary through Drawing students studying at Byron Bay’s Main Beach

At BBELS we like to explore new approaches to learning vocabulary. For this reason we have opened a new afternoon class called Vocabulary through Drawing. Here students get the chance to study English in a creative context where they learn new vocabulary to describe landscape, people, form, shades and textures.

Each lesson requires the students to learn new drawing techniques that develop their artistic skills. After each drawing session the students give a presentation of their work, in English of course, to the rest of the class.

The Vocabulary through Drawing class is a great way to develop your level of English. The class is taught by one of our favourite teachers, Andrew, who has a background in visual art. It is open to all full-time students from the Intermediate to Advanced classes. We hope to see you there!

20 reasons to study English at BBELS in Byron Bay

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The BBELS school building

Thinking of studying English in Australia?

Here are 20 things that show why BBELS in Byron Bay is a great study destination for you!

  1. Location – BBELS is in the CBD – heart of Byron Bay

It will only take you a few seconds to be on Jonson Street, Byron Bay’s main street with plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops. And only a few minutes to be at some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. We have it all just around the corner!

  1. Class hours

We offer 22.5 hours of face-to-face tuition with highly-qualified teachers. All of them are native speakers, and have been working at BBELS for many years.

  1. BBELS Job Club

Brian, our Job Club Manager, can help you find a job in Byron Bay. During his Job Club workshop he will also show you how to create a CV in English, apply for your TFN, and set up an Australian bank account.

  1. Owned by a long-term local family- BBELS is a beautiful and charming boutique school

If you are looking for a school with a laid-back atmosphere which is also very professional, then BBELS is the ideal place for you!

  1. BBELS has 2 dedicated people to activities and travel desk

Max, our activities coordinator, organizes activities for our students each and every day. Whether you’d like to combine your English course with surfing, yoga, or some music lessons, you will surely have a ball in Byron Bay!

Reuben, our travel advisor, can help you with the booking of some Aussie tours including accommodation and flights. This way, you will have the chance to explore the rest of this amazing country just before you head back home.

  1. BBELS offers a supervised school party evening every 2 weeks at the school

The school parties on the BBELS balcony are legendary! The students easily make friends at these functions, and enjoy the evening with some live music.

  1. BBELS offers Buddy BBQs every 3 months

Each student joins the FREE barbeque with another BBELS student from a different country.

Our English only policy is a must during this fun event, and you will enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

  1. BBELS has its own licensed café- Café Oska

We have a school party on the balcony every second Friday, and a Buddy Barbeque every 3 months.

What happens when we don’t have the school parties? Then the fun goes on at Cafe Oska!

Besides special live-music events during the weekends, Cafe Oska offers some delicious breakfast and lunch specials with a great student discount. And yes, there is also a happy hour from 3pm until 5pm.

  1. BBELS has multi-lingual staff to assist low level students (we speak Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean at the school)

 We understand that our students might struggle with the language barrier during their first weeks in Australia. That’s why we are here! The team at BBELS is fluent in many languages, and we can assist you with anything you might need to know in your mother tongue.

  1. BBELS building is solar powered

Because here in Byron Bay, we like to protect our environment!

  1. BBELS is an IALC school

We have all the accreditations that Australian language schools require, but one accreditation is a bit special. IALC consists of a network of language schools world-wide that „have individual character and a real connection with their local community. All IALC language schools are quality assured and boutique, providing guaranteed professionalism, personal attention and an exceptional learning experience.“

For further information about IALC, please check their website here.

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One of our Cambridge classes on graduation day

  1. BBELS is an authorized Cambridge exam centre in Byron Bay

This means you can sit your Cambridge exam at BBELS, there is no need to travel to any other testing centre up the Coast.

  1. Excellent Cambridge exam preparation courses

Cambridge teacher Ash has been working at BBELS for 11 years, read an interview with him here.

Cambridge coordinator Kat has been working at BBELS for 8 years, read an interview with her here.

If you are still wondering why you should study Cambridge at BBELS, then read this interesting article here.

  1. Excellent IELTS exam preparation courses

IELTS teacher Liese is also an IELTS examiner, and has been working at BBELS for 9 years. Read her interview here.

Are you not quite sure what the differences between our IELTS and Cambridge exam preparation courses are? We explain this here.

  1. Own student housing close to school

We also have our own shared-accommodation for our students. All student houses are close to the school, so you can simply walk or ride by bike to BBELS!

  1. Lovely homestay family accommodation

Many BBELS students also choose to live with an Australian homestay family in Byron Bay. This is the perfect way to practice your English with some locals after classes while getting to know the Aussie culture.

Satomi volunteering

Satomi, one our Japanese studenst, volutnerring in the Northern Territory

  1. Own volunteering programs

As a volunteer you won’t only make a positive impact, but you’ll also have the chance to meet the locals, improve your English language skills and boost your CV!

Read an interesting article about the benefits of volunteering here.

  1. Academic Pathways with Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW

After successfully completing their English studies at BBELS, many students decide to continue studying at an Australian university or TAFE. BBELS offers an Academic Pathway with the Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW, which means you won’t need to sit an IELTS* exam. As long as you enrol for a General English upper-intemediate/ advanced or IELTS exam preparation course and you pass the English test with our Director of Studies, we can give you a reference letter confirming the direct entry to SCU or TAFE NSW.

*Direct entry is not accepted for the Bachelor of Nursing and Interpreting Services. Direct entry might also depend on the assessment level of the student visa application.

  1. Teen programs during Aussie winter months

 We understand that teenagers would also like to experience the fun at BBELS, and have therefore created a customized teen program which includes a General English course in combination with some typical Aussie activities like surfing, playing the didgeridoo, bush walking, and a lot more.

  1. Great nationality mix

Students from all around the world come to share the same experience at BBELS:

Study English and have fun with some typical Australian activities in beautiful Byron Bay!

 According to the BBELS motto: Learn to Live!

A Class at Springbrook National Park

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge waterfall on the New South Wales-Queensland border.

A drive to the ancient forest at Springbrook National Park was a beautiful way for the Upper-intermediate class to start their week. With music pumping their teacher, Andrew, drove the school van from the blue beaches of Byron Bay to the green and misty mountains of Springbrook.

In the forest our students walked through a primeval forest with some trees said to be  3,000 years old. It is easy to imagine dinosaurs walking through this wilderness!

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At BBELS we always try to take students outside of the classroom and into these local areas so that they can understand a little bit more about the Australian culture, wildlife and lifestyle. We think that this helps our students adapt to life in Australia and it also builds friendships between students in the class. Every trip also includes lessons introducing students to vocabulary and grammar that can be used while out in the field.

Thanks to our student Morgane for these photos.