Archive for March, 2018

What’s Great About London

Friday, March 16th, 2018

A neo-gothic bell tower, a gigantic Ferris wheel by the river, large neon advertising on the curved corner of two avenues, two-level red buses running everywhere, endless rows of terraced houses – just a few of the iconic images of London. It is a city of contrast. Hectic and  peaceful, old and modern, industrial and green all at the same time. It’s European but with a look and feel that is very different from any other continental capital city. Newcomers find the city alien but exciting. They visit a few museums, take a stroll in St James’ Park, watch as the guards change in front of Buckingham Palace, raid the shops in Oxford Street, venture into the clubs on the very first weekend, just as they were advised by their friends who have been to London before. But is London only about entertainment?

I moved to London more than ten years ago with unspeakable expectations. I still remember the feeling I had looking at the unusual skyline and the seemingly haphazard streets from the ‘Waterloo to Surbiton’ train, on my way to a friend who was kind enough to put me up for a night. It was joyful anxiety. I knew it there and then that this city could be my home, but if I was to lose direction, it would chew me up and spit me out. It became my home. Oddly enough, I spent my time in central London – zone 1 – , seeing the iconic places only in the first year.

I gradually fell in love with an entirely different aspect of London. It’s arguably Europe’s most populous city, and yet it is here that I learnt the true meaning of the word “tolerance”. I can go for months on end without getting angry or frustrated or sad. Work and life in suburban London has shaped me into the person I am.

Visitors, I encourage you to see all the famous sights and try every thrill London has to offer. Take a few moments too to observe people in the street, on the tube, in the cafés. It is worth the study.

Andras’s London in Photos

Photos of London by Andras

Read some more quirky facts about the city or our top travel tips. If this sounds like a place you’d like to visit, LSI can offer courses at LSI Hampstead and LSI Central.

Discover There’s More to Life than Studying at LSI San Diego

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Every Monday morning sees a new cohort of students in our LSI schools around the globe. Some may be feeling nervous, others excited, but all expecting that their time at LSI will improve their language skills. What many of them haven’t realised yet is just how much the experience will help them grow as a person. How it changes your outlook on life and make an impact that will last forever. Brazilian Marcela Santos studied at LSI San Diego. She talks about her time at the school and her favourite places in San Diego

“If I could put all my experiences into one sentence it would be this one. What a journey I’ve been on and one that will last forever! And to sum it up in a single word, I’d choose ‘wealth’. The wealth of knowledge, the richness of new culture and language and the ultimate discovery that I can go far beyond what I imagined! I would say that LSI San Diego changed my life and my view of the world. It has taught me that dreams should not just remain in our head but we should act on them! ”

” What would I say about San Diego itself. Firstly I’d recommend you visit Sunset Cliffs, my favourite place. If you love romantic sunsets you can’t beat it. But there are so many other special places in San Diego and the people are so friendly. I’ll never forget the surprise party my classmates through for me whilst I was there. I felt like the most accomplished person ever!”

LSI San Diego student Marcela Santos

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Near You

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Maybe you’ve never heard of St. Patrick’s Day before? Now’s your opportunity to experience this fun filled festival for yourself if you are studying at an LSI school in the US or UK.

From Boston to San Francisco, New York to London, streets and squares will be decked out with everything Irish from the familiar orange, white and green flag, to lucky shamrocks and crazy leprechauns hats. Expect to see parades with colourful floats accompanied by bands playing the haunting sounds of traditional Irish music and groups of mesmerising fleet footed, Irish step dancers. To fit in with the crowd, wear something green or, to go the whole hog, dress from head to foot in green. Iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the London Eye light up in green for the occasion. And don’t forget to try the traditional Irish beer, Guinness. Be warned though, even the beer will be turned a shade of Gaelic green for this special fun filled day.

Whilst St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Irish culture, its roots began with Irish immigrants and soldiers who settled in the USA. The day was first marked in cities such as Boston (1737) and New York (1762) by homesick Irish settlers and soldiers who were keen to celebrate their common heritage. By the 19th century the tradition had spread to other American cities with large Irish populations. These days, all Americans, no matter their cultural background, embrace these annual celebrations.  It’s the perfect excuse for going a little crazy and having fun.

So what would St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, make of it all? Probably not much. Ironically this 5th century saint was actually British rather than Irish. He was also far more focused on bringing Christianity to the wild, unruly Irish pagans than partying. A far cry from the celebrations held in his name!

Find out more about celebrations near you. Check out the timeout guides for: London, New York, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.

St. Patrick's Day Parade with costumed dancers

Diminutives in Australian English

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Australian English and the use of the dminutive

All languages use diminutives, shortened versions of the original word. We may use them to show affection or perhaps because we want to sound less formal, more friendly. Some diminutives may even be seen as slang. One of the quirks of Australian English is the wide use of them. There are over 5000 known expressions, far higher than in British or American English.

Take a look at the following invite from an ‘Aussie’ friend. Would you say yes?

‘What are you up to s’arvo? Straya are playing footy against the poms on the tellie. I’m having a barbie. We’ve  got snags and loads of stubbies and don’t forget your cossie.’

Does it seem like an alien language?  Packed full of typical Aussies diminutives, it may at first be hard to understand. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular ones and help you unravel your baffling invite.

Our Top Diminutives In Australian English

How many of the following do you already know, or can guess at?

Jobs:  chalkie (teacher), postie (postman), chippie (carpenter), sparkie (electrician), ambo (paramedic), pollie (politician)

Food and drink: chockie (chocolate), snag (sausages), mushies (mushrooms), veggies (vegetables), stubbies ( small bottled beer), barbie (barbeque)

Others: Poms (the British), Aussies (the Australians), Straya (Australia), footy (rugby), s’arvo (this afternoon), cossie (swimming costume),  you beaut (great), tellie (television), roo (kangaroo), rellie (a relative), sunnies (sunglasses), lippie (lipstick), smoko (cigarette break), mozzie (mosquito)

More Examples

Just why are Aussie’s so fond of their diminutives?

It seems many Aussie diminutives have slipped into English dictionary. Who isn’t familiar with the terms ‘selfie’ and ‘uni’?

Are modern day Aussie’s just being lazy? No, argues Dr Nenagh Kemp of the Australian Geographic  Society.  She points out that Australians have been shortening common place words from the early 1800s and in some cases the diminutive version is actually longer than the original.  It seems that their use in more a cultural expression. In general, Aussies are often seen as laid back, friendly, open and welcoming. It makes sense then that the language they use would reflect that.  We hand over the last word to Dr. Kemp

“I think we all have an intuitive feeling that these words also make an interaction more informal, more friendly and relaxed.”