Meet Jan from Germany

So, what made you want to come to England to study English?
I am a pastor and I am on sabbatical. We have a bible group in English with refugees and also there are English speaking people in our church. And so it is important to improve my English.

Was England as you expected?
England was as I expected – I am been here before. Also my sisters have lived in England. One thing that surprised me is that there are many churches in Bournemouth, where I have been staying. Within 30 minutes of where I live there are about 10 churches where I can find strong believing Christians. I was also surprised the the weather changes all the time. Also, the monarchy is very important for people here – she celebrated her 90th birthday recently and everyone celebrated.

How was your experience of living with an English family?
It was very interesting to talk with the family and to understand more and more in English and the family is very friendly. They are also very understanding about other cultures.

What’s the most memorable moment of your time here in England?
The trip to Oxford was very interesting because there was a lot of museums. But the most memorable was the language school because every day I learned with kind people.

One of my hardest times was near the beginning of my stay when I found it harder to speak English, which meant it was more difficult to make friends. Also I still had culture shock at the beginning, which affected my communication and social skills. I have become more confident though, particularly through the friends I made here who encouraged me a lot when I was finding it harder.

Is there anything you’d like to warn other students that are thinking of coming to England about?
Language! Some words which are ok in German, are very offensive when translated into English. I think it is important that you open to understanding other cultures as there are many nationalities in the school.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Celc is very good for improving your English. Also, I like that it is Christian because there are many groups, like Bible study, that you can go to. Also, this school has a lot of activities compared to other schools. There is another student in the house where I am staying, who goes to another language school, and they don’t go on as many trips or to as many social events as we do.