One of the greatest parts of being a student at Embassy English are the experiences. Students come to Embassy not only to improve their English language skills, but also to explore new parts of the world, to take part in diverse cultural activities, and to meet people from all over the globe. This week, Amanda Denti from Brazil tells us more about her experience at Embassy New York, as part of our series, My Embassy Life.
Hi guys! My name is Amanda, I am a 28 year old Brazilian, from São Paulo, and I’m here to tell you why this is my second time at Embassy English.
In 2010 I went with my best friend to San Diego, California, to spend a whole month emerged in US culture. I had just graduated in Communication (PR), my parents and I thought that becoming more fluent in my second language would be important to start working as a professional. At that time, I had already done internships in some big companies and realized that knowing English was a very important qualification. And of course, let’s be honest: It was also an amazing way to celebrate the end of my graduation!
We stayed at a Student Hotel that works with Embassy San Diego in a neighborhood called “Little Italy” – yes, a lot of pasta going on around there. As we wanted to go further and discover more about California state, my friend and I rented a car and at the weekends we used to go Los Angeles, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. At the end of the trip, we even went to Vegas by car. It was awesome.
When we arrived at the school, the first thing that I thought was “I’m safe here”, as this was my first international trip ‘alone’ (without my parents). Everything was great! The infrastructure, the location, the staff, the teachers…
At that time, my priority was to start to talk without fear. I mean, I already had a great comprehension of the language, thanks to my effort in watching movies and series without subtitles – God bless Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe, from “Friends” -, but I didn’t feel secure when talking. And the experience at Embassy encouraged me. When you arrive, you realize that you’re not the only one feeling like this. I became friends with a lot of Italian, Turkish and Indian people who had the same difficulty.
The teachers only allow you to talk in English in classes and that’s just perfect because sometimes, if you have someone from the same country as you in the room, it’s easy to get lost in your native language. The book used by the school is also good. My vocabulary improved a lot because the lessons really put you in everyday situations and introduce you to the main American expressions.
And then in four weeks I was so talkative that I started to go to all department stores and pharmacies to practice it with the sales people. And when I told them I was Brazilian, and they complimented my English, I was so happy. Maybe they we’re just interested in my money… But the thing is that they understood me very well long before I introduced myself, and spoke in their usual speed.
That was my first experience in the USA and it was great. The Certificate at Embassy is on my resume since then, and it helps in my search for good professional positions.
Now let’s talk about my NY experience. It has been almost 2 months since the start of the course here, and I am glad that I choose Embassy again.
The thing is that this time I have a different goal: despite my increasing development in pronunciation and comprehension, I really need to improve my writing skills. As I told you before, I am in Public Relations and in the last three years I’ve worked for a famous soccer team in Brazil. Me and Pele are just BFFs now, actually.
But when you are into Sports Marketing it’s really important to be able to read and write with fluency. I used to exchange e-mails with my work partners in English, everyday I checked some international references on American websites, newspapers or magazines, and also I felt the urge to be faster on analyzing contracts and reviewing other documents.
So my boyfriend got transferred to the US office of the company that he works for and we thought that this could also be a great opportunity for me to keep learning. And it’s not just about English: here you can find one of the best Institutes in the world to take short and more specific courses to develop your career. Let’s say, for instance, that you are into fashion, or maybe you want to be an entrepreneur, there’s FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) just across the street from Embassy New York with different course options.
It’s important to say that this is the second time that I’ve been in “The City”, as New Yorkers say when referring to the Big Apple. The first time was in 2014, but just for a couple of days. So the first time I just did the ‘tourist’ things. Not that it wasn’t awesome; it was very special. But I realized that living in a different country isn’t the same as visiting one – and I hope that you have the same amazing opportunity as me!
To give you a simple example, the first time that I came here, I didn’t get to know The High Line, which is considered one of the most modern parks in the world. Now this is one of my favorite NY spots and it’s just 10 minutes walking distance from the school.
So Embassy is in a great location, in the “heart” of Manhattan. It’s easy to come here every morning and easy to get to places in the rest of your day and make the most of your experience here. You can also find good and cheap places to eat around the block – both healthy or junky, as you prefer – and also feel the NY energy in a place that is a mix of foreigner’s people and citizens. Every day you will see the different types: the ones walking with theirs dogs in the mornings, the ones running to get to their jobs on time, to grab some coffee after lunch, to go to the train station… Most New Yorkers seems to always be in a rush, which is kind of interesting when you compare them to the tourist’s movement slowly exploring the city.
I am in The Upper Intermediate Level, the same one that I achieved when I left San Diego. I do have the best teacher in the world! She’s so attentive, truly concerned about our goals and going beyond the lessons in class to make sure that we learn all we can while being here. The classes are also very interactive, which is relevant to stimulate students these days.
The staff in the Students Services are always inviting students to do some different things and discover more about NY (because there’s no TripAdvisor capable of remembering all the interesting things that you could find here, trust me). And you can also feel that the school does take your opinion, as customers, seriously. So you’re never all by yourself here, which is an important condition when you decide to live for a while in a different country.
My new school friends also teach me a lot about different cultures and because of them I have a brand new dream list of ‘places to go before I die’. And as there are new students coming every Monday, I will probably need to plan a world trip.
Well, I think I wrote a lot. But if you’re thinking about coming here, or if you’re a parent worried about your kids, feel comfortable choosing Embassy New York. In this city you can have a truly special time. I hope that we can meet soon!
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Embassy English promises that students will reach their English speaking goals; ensuring a better career, education and LIFE as a global citizen. Students from around the world and of all English speaking levels take classes, experience culture and put their lessons to use at Embassy English Study Centres in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.
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