Sometimes things in life just come together in an interesting way . LSI Vancouver school director Chris Beck explains what happened this spring on the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) preparation course in Vancouver …
First, we got a booking from Tomoe Takano, who was a Japanese student at the school 8 years ago – but who has been in contact with LSI and a lot of our ex-students over the years. She had even visited many of the friends that she’d made in Vancouver visiting Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and Switzerland. I remember a lot of students in the 20 years I’ve worked at LSI, but sometimes what I remember is a little strange! My outstanding memory of Tomoe, for example, is that she was the cutest ‘Cat’ I ever saw at our Halloween party.
Next, Ignacio Portus from Chile contacted us about joining the spring CAE course. Instantly I thought what an interesting coincidence it was to have two returning students in the same class. Ignacio had studied at LSI Vancouver three years before and was well remembered here because of how he grew from an insecure young man concerned only about himself into a popular leader amongst the students. During his recent visit Ignacio explained to me that he had become a more confident person because he felt “loved” here. “LSI gave me, at the right time, what I most needed: love and confidence to believe in myself.” Ignacio even brought his best friend, Vicente, also from Chile, to study CAE with him.
Our next two students to join the class together were Jaeyeon Min (Jay) and William Morgenstern. They had both been students back in 2010. Jay recalled that on her first visit she had been at a pivotal point in her life. From Korea, she was unhappy with the usual expectations to get a ‘fancy job’.“Honestly, it was a trip to escape reality.” She was frustrated and unhappy because she felt uninformed about the world, immature and lost. At LSI Vancouver.”I learned how to respect other cultures and the important values such as fair-mind, passion and curiosity.” One day at school she was invited to another student’s birthday party. Attending the same party was William who had only just arrived in Vancouver on his first ever trip alone from his native Germany. He was excited, but worried. “My worries soon disappeared. At LSI I met a lot of people from many different countries and made so many friends. It was such a different feeling than I ever had before in my life.The classes were very interesting and I improved my English quickly. I even celebrated my birthday in Vancouver and at the party I met Jay, my future wife, for the first time.” After their studies Jay travelled to Germany to be with William. This lovely couple are now married and had decided to come back to LSI Vancouver again with their plan to go on to university here.
Jay says ”LSI Vancouver is not just a language school which teaches you English. It provides a great combination of learning English and cultures which you can never learn in your own country. The greatest assets of LSI Vancouver are the teachers and staff. You can feel that you are not just a number to them. They care about you from their heart and are willing to help you to be successful and happy in your life. I do not feel any distance from them and can talk about anything with them from small talk to even a serious discussion about any topics – just like best friends. And believe me it does not matter how good your English is. The amazing fact is that the friendly and warm atmosphere which teachers and staff create affects students at the school as well. This small but lovely school has the power to make people’s minds open.”
A truly a heart-warming sentiment expressed by Jay and what a wonderful experience to meet all these students again and to hear their reasons for coming back. I think you’ll all agree – a rather unusual class!