Student profile: Lourdes from Spain

by on 06/08/2018

Student profiles is a blog feature designed to celebrate our international student body and their achievements. We are very proud of all our students, and love to share their success stories with anyone who will listen!

Lourdes joined our English for Life course this summer, enjoying a fantastic 3 weeks in sunny Oxford. Over 7 members of her family – siblings, cousins, even her grandfather – have previously studied at St Clare’s, Oxford.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us! Could you tell us more about your family and the time they spent at St Clare’s?

I have 5 siblings. Maria came to study English at the International College in 2012, Cristina and Teresa came together in 2013, and my brother Jaime came next in 2014. I also have a little sister who has not had the chance yet but might join you in the future. My grandfather even went to St Clare’s and some of my cousins too.

Do you enjoy studying English for Life? What do you think of your teachers?

My teachers are Neil, Carla, and Ricky. I love them all, and they all have different styles. Ricky is great, because you learn so much useful English – mostly colloquial, modern English learnt through spoken games. In a recent lesson we played Crazy Phrasal Verbs Horse Racing. With Carla we have focused on grammar, and with Neil we do more reading and speaking.

What makes St Clare’s so special to you and your family?

The people. My siblings made a lot of friends here, and they have kept in touch with many of them. The course and teachers are great too; I’m learning a lot. I did some English courses in Spain, but I think there’s a big difference between how I learnt English there and my classes here. At St Clare’s you’re always speaking English and learning idioms and phrasal verbs that you can use in everyday life. In Spain, I learnt tons of phrasal verbs by heart, but I can’t remember them anymore. But this is way more practical and immersive – not just “fill in the gaps!”

I am staying at Logan house, and I love it. It’s a really social environment with great common rooms. Even the porters are easy to get along with.

What is your favourite thing about life in Oxford?

Compared to Madrid, I think Oxford is a small city but very comfortable. There are lots of shops, and people are really friendly. For example, I went to the pharmacy and the chemist was so friendly and helpful. To me it feels small and friendly; I feel like I’m at home. When I arrived, I thought “Okay, it’s like Mary Poppins!” It’s so different to Madrid. You can take the bus anywhere, or walk, or cycle – everything is a short distance away, which is so convenient.

Finally, what is your favourite thing about St Clare’s, Oxford?

Meeting international people. Before I arrived, I was super nervous: I have Spanish friends at home, and I would be meeting people I don’t know from all over the world. But it was really easy to get to know people. Even the teachers are approachable. For example, when I was at school the teachers weren’t very open to questions. I feel that I can ask anything here without being judged – the teachers are really enthusiastic, friendly and treat us with respect.

I totally recommend studying English for Life at St Clare’s, Oxford!

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