Archive for the ‘What students say’ Category

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

Changing Life’s Priorities – Studying English at LSI

Monday, February 5th, 2018

We wanted to share this humorous and heartfelt account of one student’s experience of studying English at LSI and his reasons behind taking up his studies. It was written by Spanish journalist, Nacho Goicoechea, who has been studying English at LSI Brighton. As you will see from the photos, he’s not a bad photographer either! Nacho’s story …

Studying English in Brighton - Nachos

Hello. My name is Nacho, I am 35 years old, and I was a workaholic. I know I’m not in an AA meeting, but if I was, this could well be my opening line. I work in journalism and I owned my own company in Spain, an agency creating tailored content for sports clubs. My life was my work. I would work six days a week, 12 hours a day, leaving me no time for anything else. I had no girlfriend, and barely any spare time to spend with my friends or family. Infact the last time I stopped to blink, I was 30 and using work to recover from a break up.

After five years, I realised that I had to make a change. I needed an excuse to just leave everything behind me and make a fresh start. I suppose that studying English was as good a pretext as any, so I made up my mind and I quit my job. Life, or karma if you prefer, can be hard sometimes. I do have to admit however that it knows how to reward you when you finally learn how to listen. For the first time in ages,  I  began to sleep well. I even had time to  meet an incredible girl, and finally find some peace of mind. So I packed my bags and set off on my new adventure.

I decided to come to Brighton because a friend of mine had lived here for a couple of years . She’d told me what a wonderful place it is and how right she was! Brighton was far enough away for me to forget all my bad work habits, but close enough for the people that I love to come to visit me. I felt the city receive me with open arms. It is so similar to my hometown that I immediately felt at home.

Here, I am facing my fears – it’s my first time living abroad, knowing nobody.  I’m outside my comfort zone, constantly challenging myself. Although it may sound like a cliché,  I am doing stuff that I’ve never attempted in my life before. I’ve learnt how to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Can you believe I even won the school contest?  I took part in the Christmas Panto (I wanted to die of embarrassment but I did it) and I skated on ice without falling once! I took tea and scones at 5 o’clock with my little finger proudly extended and I enjoyed a football match in the Amex Stadium -go Seagulls! I’m having the time of my life. The most important thing is that I’ve found myself. So mission accomplished.

Of course my English is improving a lot thanks to some amazing teachers. A special thanks to Justin and Steve who have been very supportive and patient. When I arrived, I wasn’t able to write an email or barely make a phone call. Now I’m happy because I have time to read, watch movies and  whole TV series. I spend my weekends walking on the beach, taking photos of the pebbles, the seagulls and my  own personal favourite Brightonian landmark, the old West Pier. The people I’ve met from all over the world, the places I’ve been to and all the things I’ve experienced will always be part of me. Brighton will always be in my heart.

Photos of Brighton taken by Nacho who was studying English at LSI Brighton

Check out more great photos on  Instagram @nachogoico or out more about studying English at LSI Brighton.

An Unforgettable Cultural Exchange!

Monday, October 9th, 2017

LSI London Central student, Vinícius Andrade de Jesus talks about his reasons for leaving Brazil to come and study at LSI . He reveals his thoughts about the whole experience and opportunities for cultural exchange.

“I first came to the UK six years ago, but it was only for a quick sightseeing trip around London. Anyway it was enough time to get me impressed by this fascinating city.  It has an incredible cultural richness, a cosmopolitan spirit and I love that it seems so vast and diverse.

So that’s why this time I decided I was going to come and stay a bit longer. Honestly it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. It was great studying at LSI, having classes with a very nice teacher while being in  central London, close to so many amazing places in the capital city of the world. The other great aspect was of course being able to speak English all the time, which surely helped me improve my speaking and listening skills and gave me confidence to talk to people anywhere.

I met people from every corner of the globe and made so many friends. I particularly connected with a guy from Saudi Arabia, but also made friends with people from Turkey, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, Spain, Palestine, France, Chile, and of course Brazil. This was easily one of the best parts of this experience. The possibility to spend time with people from various cultural backgrounds and learn so many things with them.

Add to this the wonderful trips we went on together around Britain. Places such as Cambridge, Bath, Brighton, Liverpool,…) and please believe me when I say that it’s hard to out into words just how exciting and  unforgettable experience this is.

Now I really wish I could go back in time and live it all again. But since that’s not possible, I’ll probably just book another course at LSI next year. Perhaps I’ll see if I can persuade my girlfriend to come with me. I’m sure she’ll love it, as will anyone who decides to take the plunge. It truly is a BRILLIANT life experience!

LSI London Central student Vinicius Andrade enjoying the cultural exchange at the Tower of London

Swedish Swallows Return to LSI Zurich

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

The return of swallows to northern skies is usually taken as one of the first signs of summer. At LSI Zurich our swallows return in June every year and they come from Sweden!

For over 15 years LSI Zurich have been hosting Swedish students from STAFFANGYMNASIET, a grammar school in Söderhamn, about 180km north of Uppsala. LSI Zurich director, Ian Cryer met up with the group over lunchtime sandwiches to find out what they thought about the classes and their overall experience with us.

Swedish Swallows at LSI Zurich - Swedish group over lunch

First, how did they find the teaching at LSI? It seems the students were both surprised and challenged by their classes. Apparently teaching in their Swedish school focuses on language recognition, not production. So whilst many of the group could read and understand complex texts, they still had difficulty speaking full sentences. The LSI approach of presenting language items, practising them, then moving on to free production was new and enjoyable. It meant our having to adapt by relocating some of them into lower level classes and their having to adapt by stepping up to the plate.

Only two of the students chose to stay with host families this year. The rest found furnished flats in the Sihlcity area of town about 20 minutes tram ride away from school. While missing out on the built-in language practice that living with a host family provides, they appreciated the independence. This was, after all, their first adventure abroad without adult supervision. Not that they weren’t checked up on! During the second week, their school principal and two other members of staff came by to visit. They sat in lessons with their students, recorded feedback and before leaving we discussed how the programme can be fine-tuned next year to make it even more successful.

All in all, a positive experience for everyone involved. We look forward to welcoming more Swedish swallows in June 2018.

LSI Zurich welcomes our Swedish swallows



Top Taiwanese Company Executive Talks about his 10 Year Love Affair with New York and LSI

Monday, November 30th, 2015

It was over 10 years ago, when a Taiwanese student, Johnson Chang, first fell under the spell of New York. It was May 2004 and he had just begun his language studies at LSI New York.

Dec2015JohnsonChang“It has been a really joyful, and also fruitful process for me to think back to the early days. There were always so many things to do in or out of class. As I remember it, during the last afternoon session the teachers would ask what we’d done the previous evening. There always seemed so much to share from discussing the New York skyline, the beauty of Central Park, the cultural melting pot of Washington Square, the fascinating interweaving subways … These opportunities to share gave us the chance to express and practice what we’d been taught in class.”

“This is now my fifth time in 10 years going back to New York. You’ll never find any city so diversified with people from many cultures – it is truly cosmopolitan. Now, in December 2015, all the many months of learning at LSI still play an important part for me professionally communicating with clients in English as well reaching out to my local customers in New Yorker.”

“I would recommend LSI New York to any student who wants to improve their English rapidly:  firstly  for  the attentive teachers in the school and secondly  for being close to some of  the  best attractions in the world and lastly for the tolerant day to day culture  and attitude of New Yorkers.”

Hot Spots in NYC as Chosen by Our Own LSI Students

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

NYC is a place where you can find anything—from opera uptown, to experimental performance art in the East Village, to a hockey game at Madison Square Garden, to a carnival on the beach on Coney Island—and everything in between! The difficult thing about NYC is not finding something to do, but finding time to do it all. It’s always good to come to this diverse, vibrant city with an idea of what you would like to see and do. We asked our student body for some tips on fun and memorable places to go, and things to do. Here ‘s their list …

Top restaurants: Students recommended a few great restaurants in NYC. First was a restaurant right in our building, EET. It’s located on the 3rd floor, and it’s a great place to get a quick, healthy, delicious lunch before afternoon classes, or a latte or kombucha at break time.  Students also are crazy about Shake Shack, a chain burger joint that has locations all throughout the city. They are best known for their milkshakes, as you may have guessed by the name. Another special mention was Momo’s Sushi Shack in Bushwick, Brooklyn. If you are a foodie who likes creative, modern takes on Japanese food, Momo’s Sushi Shack is the place for you.
Top night spots: Students were all about rooftop bars and clubs! Drinking, socializing and dancing in the open air, with a unforgettable view of the New York City skyline at night, was recommended by many students. There were a couple of specific places they suggested: The Top of The Rock was the main one, which is located on the rooftop of Rockefeller Center. Other honorable mentions were PhD rooftop, 230 Rooftop, and the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel
Top places to shop:  The Blue Lagoon. LSI NY is located in the heart of Soho, a neighborhood which offers endless shopping opportunities, with boutiques from top designers like Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander Wang, Chanel, and Ralph Lauren right around the corner. Century 21, a downtown boutique in the Financial District, received top marks from students who like designer clothes and accessories at markdown prices. For students who like to travel farther for even lower prices, Woodbury Commons, an outlet mall in New Jersey, is the best place to go—you can take a bus from 42nd street and 8th avenue for $5. And for students who prefer treasure-hunting for vintage or secondhand clothing, Beacon’s Closet is the place to go, with multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn..
Top weekend activity: Brunch!  New Yorkers love to enjoy a leisurely mid-day meal on the weekends, laughing with friends at a sit-down diner or restaurant and accompanying the delicious food with bottomless cups of coffee and a mimosa or bloody mary. Our students have a similar fondness for brunch; it was their top recommendation for a must-do on an NYC weekend. A couple great restaurants to try: Clinton Street Baking Company (famous for their pancakes, on the Lower East Side); Diner NYC (a hipster staple in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn); and Edward’s (great for groups, just a few minutes from LSI NYC in TriBeCa).
Out of doors:  Though NYC is known for its skyscrapers and its culture, you can still enjoy a taste of nature while you are here! Our students know that if you would like to hug a tree or smell a flower or two, but stay in the city, you should visit the High Line Park, Central Park, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, or the Bronx Botanical Gardens. If you would like to collect a seashell or dip your toes in the ocean, take the N,Q, or F train to Coney Island, or the Far Rockaway A train to Rockaway Beach. And if you need a longer getaway, make sure to take a trip up to Niagara Falls and bask in the majesty of this world-renowned, powerful waterfall. No matter when you come to NYC, you can find lots to do and to see. Make sure to check out to stay abreast of all of the goings-on in this city that truly never sleeps.


How To Teach an Old Dog New Tricks – Language Learning Tips for the Older student

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Mature student Donato, who is currently studying English at LSI Brighton,  put together some amusing language learning tips for the LSI Brighton student publication ‘LSI Living’…

Are you in your thirties/forties/fifties/sixties? Does your English go slightly beyond “Nice to”meet you” and “How are you?” Do your children use English like a secret language, so that you are never aware of what they are getting up to? Trust me, it is never too late! Here is some good advice to improve your English based on my own experience:

  1. Attend an LSI Brighton course. Yes, your classmates will be teenagers looking at you as if you are a strange insect who’s fallen in their soup . One of them could, even tell you: “You know, my mother is much younger than you!” (true story]. The right reaction to that? Stop crying and go on studying!
  2. Watch English movies in the original language. It is going to be a weird experience, I know, but when you get Maggie Smith’s lines in “Downton Abbey”, oh, guys, you will be so excited!
  3. Try to read English books. Don’t start with the greatest masterpiece in UK literature: you will never get through it. Start with comic strips, instead, and then go on to something else . If you have a hobby,
    choose a publication dedicated to it: reading will be easier and pleasant.
  4. Study A LOT and do your homework. You have lost a good part of your neurons, ( sorry about that), and learning is not as easy as when you were in your 20S. BUT, you are older and more mature (I mean, you should be … ) so that when your classmates are leaving for a party on the beach, tell them “Enjoy the party!”, take your worksheets and review the lesson. (It sounds a little bit sad, right? Yeah, I agree with you).
  5. Driving your car to work, wear your earphones and start a conversation with your invisible teacher. Be careful, he/she is very strict !
  6. There are so many chat and discussion forums. Sign up and let’s start to write to someone in the UK. OK, your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend probably wouldn’t be happy at all to know about that. But in a couple there are some secrets that have to be kept!

Berkeley – the Student’s Choice

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Rather than listing the same fact you probably already know about what makes the Berkeley area so great, we decided to poll our students about what they think the best places to go are. For all you who’re thinking about making a trip out here soon, pay attention! Our students have some good picks!

TOSS is located right in Downtown Berkeley, and is a favorite lunch destination for LSI students. The menu is just a perfect California fusion, offering some new takes on your favorite noodle dishes from all over Asia!
It’s no wonder Eureka made the pick for favorite bar in town, students can practically see it from their classrooms! Located just across the street, Eureka is part of a growing microbrew movement offering a huge variety of delicious, locally made, beers.
We love Berkeley, but even our students know that to see California, you’ve just GOT to get out of the city. With so much to choose it was a close race, but the student pick for Top Destination was the stunning Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Union Square in San Francisco was an easy pick for best shopping around. Whether you’re a lover of high fashion, or prefer a more modest look, Union square will offer your favorite stores; from the ultra-chic to the everyday.
Getting out to one of the many professional sports games offered in the area remains the top weekend activity. We’re lucky to have two baseball teams, three football teams, and two basketball teams right next door. Even the local San Francisco Giants just won the world series! LSI students can’t get enough.

For information about Berkeley and studying at LSI , contact us at  LSI Berkeley.

What do the Olympics mean to you – LSI Boston students give their thoughts

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

For the past couple of weeks, the world’s attention has been focused on Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics took place. The events officially began on February 7 and ended on February 23, 2014. It was the first time Russia had hosted the winter games in its 22 year history. Recently LSI Boston sat down with four students to talk about the 2014 Winter Olympics. The following is a conversation between four students: Bruno (Brazil), Ramazan, (Turkey), Katerina “Kat” (Czech Republic) and Abdulaziz “Aziz” (Saudi Arabia).


What do the Olympics represent to you?

Katerina: “It represents people who have worked really hard to get there. The athletes are the best in the world.”
Aziz: “The Olympics represent another area besides politics and economics. It shows the ability of people who want to achieve their goals in the sports field.”
Ramazan: “It is an organization where people can show themselves.”
Bruno: “It’s not just for the athletes, it is for the countries.”

Are the Olympics important in your country?

Katerina: “I believe the Olympics are important in my country. The people like to watch and support the Czech athletes. If the athletes succeed and they win some medals, it brings the nation together and people are proud to be Czech.”
Aziz: “For some it is and for others it is not.”
Ramazan: “For Turkey it is not so important when I compare it to the World Cup. We are not so interested. The country’s population is young but we still aren’t interested in it.”
Bruno: “For my country the summer Olympics are very important. The winter Olympics are not so important. We only have 14 athletes in Sochi. But in general the Olympics are important. Normally the whole country watches it on TV. The next summer Olympics are in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro!”

If you could participate in one event which would it be?

Katerina: “If I could participate, it would be in the opening ceremony. I’d like to organize the events, the programs. I could be useful.”
Aziz: “I would say soccer, but for the the winter games, any competition would be awesome.”
Ramazan: “For the winter I would want to participate in the snowboarding event because I like adrenaline!”
Bruno: “I would be a snowboarder…an extreme sport. Or I would do speed skating. It is beautiful.”

Do you prefer to watch the winter or the summer games?

Katerina: “Personally, I prefer to watch the winter Olympics because part of the winter Olympics is ice hockey. Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the Czech Republic and it is my favorite too.”
Aziz: “The summer games because it is closer to my environment.”
Ramazan: “I prefer the summer Olympics because my country is better in the summer than in the winter.”
Bruno: “For me, of course I prefer the summer. I know the rules and I know the sports. I like to watch the winter sports because it is curious and different for me. But I prefer the summer Olympics.”

What is the best part of the Olympics?

Katerina: “The best part is the opening ceremony. And also the sports where the Czech athletes participate. To be honest I always watch ice hockey. If we beat Slovakia like we did yesterday, then I am very excited!”
Aziz: “In my opinion, the best part is the competition and allowing people to focus on the different sports.”
Ramazan: “I thought about the opening of the games. All nations from all over the world can stand side by side without fighting. This is my favorite part.”
Bruno: “The final moments of a game are the best. Everyone is looking, waiting, and expecting. It is an important moment for the fans, the athletes, and the country. The fans are crazy, and people are cheering.”

How can you relate the athlete’s dedication in training to the dedication required to learn English (or any language)?

Katerina: “In both you have to have the will to succeed and you have to work very hard.”
Aziz: “You have to plan and imagine. There is no magic You have to practice and practice until you reach your goal.”
Ramazan: “You have to practice. The athletes have to practice to be successful, and the same for English.”
Bruno: “For me you have to like the language or the sport. You have to practice every day. If you can speak another language or you are good at a sport it can open doors in your life.”

The Olympics games play an important role in the international community. It is not only a time for athletes to compete against each other for the coveted medals, but it is also a unique two weeks when athletes from all over the world meet and develop cross-cultural relationships. As our students note, the Olympics can serve as a great reminder to students learning English, or accomplishing any life goal, that to be successful one has to, plan, practice, work hard, and love what you do!

Working and Studying at LSI – a perspective from London Hampstead student Hanifé Turan

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

French student Hanifé Turan’s first encounter with LSI was back in April 2011 when she worked as an office assistant at LSI London Hampstead. As part of her University studies in International Management in Orleans, Hanife needed to carry out a work placement and as her specialism was in marketing and tourism, the post at LSI seemed perfect. Those first three months at LSI were hard work but rewarding.

“I was given different things to do but mainly it involved welcoming the new students, arranging and accompanying them on social activities and assisting Andras, the school registrar. I loved it but the best bit of the job was being responsible for the social programme. I loved researching the activities and creating the info sheets for the students’ activity board as I felt this was one area where I could work independently and show my initiative.”

After her first stint at LSI, Hanifé returned to France to carry on her studies including further work experience in the historic harbour city of La Rochelle. “Getting work, especially in the tourist industry in France, is highly competitive so I’m sure my work experience at LSI was a key factor in helping me to get my job in La Rochelle.”

After finishing her University studies in July 2013, Hanifé decided to return to LSI but this time as a student. Her plan had been to study for one month, but a chance meeting on the streets of Hampstead with LSI Managing Director David Immanuel changed all that. David remembered Hanifé from her previous trip and asked if she would be interested in working at LSI Oxford with juniors attending the summer school. Hanifé jumped at the opportunity and once again found herself in charge of the social activity programme. “I took them ice-skating, punting on the river, to musicals in London, to Warwick Castle and Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. It was great. I loved Oxford too. It’s a small city so it feels friendly and homely, and most of all safe.”

Currently Hanifé is back at LSI London Hampstead for a third time and this time she is totally committed to studying . “I’m enjoying being a student and I really feel like I am learning a lot. The grammar classes are especially useful and I am meeting students from around the world who I know I will keep in touch with. In fact I am still in contact with LSI students from my first trip in 2011. It’s a really great place to work and study. Everyone is so friendly and helpful!”

Her plans for the future? “ I am currently on a gap year as I still have one last University exam to do in June. After that though, I’d love to find a job in marketing or tourism in the UK or maybe Canada. I’d even love to work at LSI again if possible.”

Watch this space …

Hanife with Charlotte Burgat