Being on a gap year made me think about using my time in an appropriate way. I wanted to go abroad for some weeks or months in order to see some new places, meet friends and improve my communication skills. The fact that English surely is the most important language in the world led me to go to England. I was advised by Linguista to choose Bristol or Portsmouth. I decided to go to Bristol because of its central location which would enable me to visit some larger cities as well as Wales.
Bristol is a student-friendly city, there are a lot of pubs, nightclubs, shops and museums. Bristol is situated on the river Avon, close to the sea and it is hilly, one keeps fit. Bristol is famous for the Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain and for its music scene, furthermore there are plenty of schools.
I went to the English Language Centre, a family-run school, offering examination preparation for courses, I enrolled on the CAE course. In my view, the nationality mix at the school is rather good, if I think about the CAE class, it was truly Swiss dominated because the CAE is popular in Switzerland. In my experience, the school is top. John Duncan, the principal, is often seen in the corridor small talking and checking whether everybody at the school is fine. The teachers are most of the time positive and motivated. The infrastructure is good, the school is composed of two houses, you feel at home. ELC has an extensive social programme such as a Welcome Drink event, Traditional Afternoon Cream Tea, Salsa Party, Bowling. During summer outdoor sports like running, football, volleyball or tennis are a lot of fun. Furthermore, every Saturday is an excursion to places worth seeing like Cheddar, Glastonbury, Bath, Oxford or London. In conclusion, I would recommend ELC Bristol.
Apart from school, having a pleasant and suitable accommodation contributes a part to your well-being. I chose a homestay family instead of a student house room. It was a good choice, I got some impressions about English in private life. In particular I was lucky to stay at Angela’s place. It truly was a nice host family, always friendly, open-minded; the dinner was regularly cooked at 7p.m. and Milan took time for me, we often had proper conversations in the evening, it was roughly one hour, eating included.
I came to Bristol with a positive attitude and alone. I went back with a lot of impressions and having met a lot of friends, maybe some friends for life. It was most probably the best time of my life, I strongly recommend doing a language course.