One of our students, Olga, has shared her experience with us. She is Russian but lives in Germany and has spent 8 weeks in Edinburgh, living with a host family and attending an Intensive course at the Caledonian Language School.

 

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Q.: What was your first impression of the city?

“I loved Edinburgh since my very first day. Seeing the city in the evening changed my impression of the city for life. You can see the illuminated castle floating in the dark sky – amazing!”

 

 

Q.: Was there anything you found difficult about staying with a homestay family at first?Olga 4

“At first, yes, I didn’t understand the accent of the family because I lived with a Scottish family. It took two/three weeks to understand them – at first, it was difficult for me. But I lived in a beautiful house, with lovely hosts, with a garden, with very nice and clean living room and kitchen… and I could use all these facilities! Of course these families are lovely and I think and hope my host family will come to visit me in Dusseldorf. At least they promised me, also to improve my English in the future.”

Q.: What advice would you give to students going to stay with a family?

“I had the opportunity to go home every second weekend and I could bring with me some food from my original country. This helped me to stay here, because you’re used to eat or drink some special things. It’s very difficult to stop having those. I’d advise students to bring some food or drinks from their original country because having your usual food might be helpful.”

IMG_0074Q.:What about the school? How would you describe the school to someone thinking about studying here?

“I would descrive the school like a big family, because in this school it feels like a family. You can go to each person who works here and explain the problem and they always protect you and help you. It’s very important for students, because – for example, if you stay here for a week, like a tourist, it’s not so important, but if you stay here for three months, there might be some problems or you might need some help and it’s very important….Thank you!”

Q.: What 3 words would you use to describe the school?

“Big family, small groups, very very helpful teachers”

Q.: Why did you choose Edinburgh?

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“It was very interesting for me to see places from Outlander, I chose this city because of this series, to see the buildings from this film. Because if you’re far away from a place, there must be a reason why you chose to go to a specific place, which you probably don’t know very well.”

 

Q.: Did you encounter any challenges?

“The challenge for me is the different way of driving.  Even now, after 8 weeks… when I cross the street, I don’t look to my right! On the other hand, for me it was less stressful because you can cross the street where you want, without specifically looking for traffic lights or zebra crossing. That’s very different from my country (Germany) – You can get a fine (25 Euros) if you don’t cross the street where you are supposed to!”

Olga 5Q.: Why do you think it is useful to study abroad?

“For me it was good because I didn’t have any other work to do. You can just think about study and you can put all your effort in studying. In the supermarket, on the bus… you can use every situation to improve and practise your English. Especially at the beginning, I used to sit next to elderly people on the bus and start to talk to them about the weather, the city, etc. and everyone was very happy to chat with me and give me tips. I’ve got now many friends in my neighbourhood and I know many people! At first, you think that people here are very cold, but if you start to speak, everyone is friendly and happy to chat!”

Thank you, Olga, and we wish you all the best in your future!