Arne decided to take 4 weeks holiday from his job in Germany to improve his English on The 25+ Course with us. Here he tells us about his experience and what it's like to come back to school when you have not studied for a long time:
To be honest, I couldn’t really imagine being a student again. Now I am full-time student for four weeks. Three double lessons, sometimes one-to-one classes and a lot of homework – that’s hard work, indeed.
Let’s give you an idea of my daily routine.
My days start with a breakfast together with my homestay family. Even this time is a lesson. We discuss the latest news presented on BBC or SkyTV. It’s like a warm-up.
After breakfast I cycle to my school in the centre of Chester. Before the lesson starts, I have small talk with other students and strong tea in the common room. The Britons call it builders-tea. In the first week, I had only two classmates from Spain and Switzerland. In the second week three further classmates from Russia, Libya and again Switzerland arrived. Last week the Russian classmate left and an Italian joined. We are in sum currently 26 adult students (25+) in the job-orientated course in different classes. Younger students (around 100) are on a separate course.
The school and even the teachers are really great. I made the best choice! Definitely!
The school is situated in a row of old buildings side by side, so called terraced houses, in Georgian style. Red bricks, white painted lattice windows and coloured doors are typical features of this house style. We have one building only for our course. It’s a very British atmosphere, actually.
Apropos the British atmosphere: they seem to have a magic potion here. The people here are conspicuously polite and gentle. Nearly everyone who comes across gives a smile or a short greeting when I walk to school or go for a stroll around. Sometimes it feels like meeting old fellows.
The English-in-Chester team is excellent. I was feeling very well during the first day in the school and I’m feeling superb now. Our teachers are very professional and encouraging. They convey the spirit of English language.
One of my first activities was to rent a bike, therefore I’m flexible and mobile now.
I usually use one or two hours after the lessons to explore the different sights around Chester by bike – there are a lot of then! Chester is really beautiful and worth seeing! Reddish sandstone and bricks as well as timber-framed gables dominate in streets. Most of the houses in the centre are older than 200 years, some 500 years. The oldest parts were built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.
Later then at home I do my homework before dinner. We have dinner at around 8 pm. The dinner has been very delicious so far – international as well as traditional cuisine as e.g. “Sunday roast”. The dinner time is my night-lesson. We are speaking about everything and anything. And then I’m really tired….
I’m using the weekends to discover faraway places. On the first weekend, I visited Llangollen - a beautiful little town in north-east Wales around 50 miles far from Chester.
I used the last weekend again for excursions, this time to Shrewsbury and around North-Wales. Shrewsbury is a charming town and Wales is stunning. We saw beautiful cities, old castles, impressive valleys and mountains with wild waterfalls.
I wish I could stay here for longer.