Ángela Carolina Botero Zuluaga, our newest My Embassy Life student blogger, has been working as a journalist in her home country of Colombia, she knew that in order to achieve her goals of taking her career to the next level, she needed to improve her English language skills. Because Angela’s dreams also included international travel, particularly to Australia, when she discovered Embassy Melbourne, she knew had found the perfect programme. As part of her intensive English language immersion, Angela will be writing weekly articles for Study Group’s Brightly Blog, as well as acting as a guest contributor to the Embassy English Blog. Stay tuned to follow Angela’s Embassy Life in fascinating Melbourne, Australia!
Nine months ago I arrived in Melbourne with a unique purpose: be fluent in English, write in English and think in English.
At the beginning, I felt like a child discovering the world for the first time. Because of all of the people from different countries and the diverse accents, I understood that the only way I had to communicate my ideas was in English. It was certainly tough!
Definitively the best method to learn English is live in the language. In my first days walking across Melbourne were a mix between fun and embarrassed; sometimes I didn’t know how to order a meal in the restaurants or even I felt afraid to ask about directions to go some places.
Nevertheless, my lessons every day at Embassy Melbourne were a kind of salvation due to the personalised teaching and the patience of my teachers.
I remember that I used to ask for all and in the end of the day, I tried to practice with my classmates the vocabulary or grammar we learned.
It is unforgettable when I took up talking in English without thinking first in Spanish. It is as if the language has always been in my memory but I had not used. It is an incredible sensation!
Easily I began to talk with everybody and fluently. Of course, I am still learning vocabulary and trying to comprehend other English stuff.
I learned from more than five teachers who every day have a range of activities such as games, speaking in front of the class or even visiting special spots around Melbourne.
Leaving Melbourne, we learned how to use some tenses and even to realise our common mistakes.
It was the funniest part of my experience learning English. Then I decided to be part of the most challenging courses named Cambridge CAE (Certificate of Advanced English).
Well, this course involves high level in writing using academic expressions, reading comprehension, listening ‘crazy’ accents, speaking avoiding grammar mistakes, and the correct use of English; I confess it was the hardest part to me.
In order to understand the exam, every two weeks we had a mock exam. They were more than four hours sitting answering questions and trying to come up with good ideas to compose great pieces of writing. I remember we finished with a mild headache.
After weeks of preparation and grateful for the support that our teachers gave us, we celebrated that the course was finished.
However, the most important moment was one week ago, when I sat in the exam of Cambridge CAE. I have to admit this was really challenging. This exam is very famous between English non-speakers because it is one of the most difficult certifications to get.
Now, while I am waiting for six weeks for the results, I am enjoying Melbourne and ready to my next step: study for a diploma to work in Australia.
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