Congratulations GV Byron CAE Class!!

Over the last two days I have had the pleasure of receiving wonderful phone calls from all over the world! All of our CAE students who took the exam in December have passed with flying colours!! That’s a 100% success rate!!!!Fantastic news.

Well done guys. We are so happy to hear this wonderful news, and we are so proud of  you and the hard work you put in to make this happen! CONGRATULATIONS!!! We here at GV Byron wish you were here so we could celebrate with you!

Upper Intermediate Options Class Video

Over the last few weeks our Upper Intermediate Options class has been learning about “situational proverbs”.

Since we have a few natural actors in the class we recorded them. This has been a great exercise in learning, and has proven to be a really useful tool in error correction! Thanks for making us all laugh with your antics guys!

If you cannot see the video above, you can visit:

Ciao Federica!

Federica Roganti from Italy has just completed her studies here at GV Byron Bay and is about to head off on her travels up the East Coast of Australia. Before she leaves, though, she shares her thoughts on her time in Byron Bay with us.

Federica is off on her travels

“I chose to study at GV Byron Bay because it’s a small town with not too many other Italian students, which means I have to speak English all the time. Although I studied grammar back in Rome, when I arrived in Australia I really couldn’t speak much at all. Now I really feel that I have improved my speaking a great deal.

I’ve been lucky to have Angie as my teacher as she is great and has helped me a lot. Our lessons are never boring and I have a fun group of classmates from all over the world, including Brazil, Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Japan.

Since I arrived in Byron Bay I’ve been living in the Comet Close student house, which is about a 5 minute walk from GV. My housemates are all cool people and we have a great social life. Getting into town at night is easy and the nightlife is amazing, especially over the Christmas and New Year holidays when there are lots of people in town.

Byron Bay is such a beautiful place with great beaches, good surf and friendly local people. I have made so many friends here that it will be hard to leave.

Now that I have finished my course I am planning to explore the East Coast of Australia and will be heading up to Noosa, Fraser Island, the Whitsundays and Cairns.

After the great time I’ve had at GV Byron Bay, my advice to other students thinking of coming here is simple: “Just go for it!”

We’ll all miss you, Federica, have a safe trip and keep in touch!

Jobs Available

Experienced wait staff – chef – for Brunswick Heads restaurant. Night & weekend work. 0431 344 821

The Balcony – Experienced Chef needed – Creative, energetic, chef, fast paced kitchen. Must be available nights, days and weekends. Drop in resume or contact Tom on 0411 216 248.

Byron at Byron – Kitchen staff required – Casual Chef / Cook – Fulltime and casual kitchen hands. Email resume to or mail it to PO Box 1835 Byron Bay, NSW, 2481.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s Job Workshop with Monica, Room #1 at 2pm

Australian slang tips with Mariana

Are you always curious about some of the slang that Australians use? The Director of Studies at GV Brisbane, Mariana, has provided some helpful information this week on Australian slang.

GV Brisbane's Director of Studies, Mariana, with Edson from Brazil

Australian English is an accent that is full of lively colourful phrases. Some of the words and expressions used are taken from British slang (very informal vocabulary items).

Some words have a completely different meaning in Australia than they do in other English-speaking countries. Other words are indigenous to Australia and derived from Aboriginal terms, such as ‘boomerang’ and ‘kangaroo’. But the most characteristic aspect of the Australian accent is that common words and expressions have been shortened considerably, turning three- or four-syllable words into two-syllable ones.

It is important to notice that Australian slang exists primarily because Australians take the English language as a game to play, and they love to have fun with words.

Here are some of those everyday words and their shortened Aussie versions for you to use to sound more Australian, but more importantly, to understand natives when you talk to them! Use them whenever you can, and enjoy the language!

  • Breakfast – Brekkie
  • Afternoon – Arvo
  • Australian – Aussie (pronounced ‘Ozzie’)
  • Australia – Oz, as in Oz-tralia.
  • Barbecue (BBQ) – Barbie
  • Bring Your Own (meat and drinks) – BYO
  • Aggressive – Aggro
  • Motorcyclists – Bikies
  • Chicken – Chook
  • Delicatessen – Deli
  • Eskimo box – Esky (Large insulated box for keeping beer etc. cold)
  • Garbage collector – Garbo
  • Journalist – Journo
  • Mosquitoes – Mozzies
  • Poker machine – Pokies (Slot machine or fruit machine with playing card pips. Found in clubs or casinos)
  • Postman – Postie
  • Registration (car registration) – Rego
  • KangarooRoo
  • Member of the Salvation Army – Salvo
  • Day off work pretending to be sick Sickie
  • Coffee or cigarette break – Smoko
  • Sausage – Snag
  • The television – Telly
  • Thing Thingo
  • Truck driver – Trucky
  • University – Uni
  • Utility truck or vehicle – Ute
  • Cold beer – Coldie
  • Petrol Station – Servo
  • Present – Prezzy

Sancho’s Gazpacho

Sancho from Spain very kindly brought in some beautiful Gazpacho (Spicy Spanish Tomato soup) for us all to try.. which went down brilliantly. We were all so impressed with the soup on these hot summer days  that I begged him for the recipe….

Gazpacho Soup: For 6 people

2 Kilos of Tomatoes peeled

1/2 Cucumber – peeled

1/2 Green pepper

1 glass tumbler of Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 glass of white wine vinegar

1/4 Onion

1 clove garlic

Salt to taste.

Then blend all of these ingredients in a blender and add water to thin.!

Thanks a million for sharing this with us Sancho.. Delicious!!

Postcards from… Byron!!

At lunch time today I caught up with Jane who finished studying with us here a little while ago. I asked Jane about what she was doing now that she isn’t studying with us here anymore…

Hi Jane, for those of us who don’t know you could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from…

Hi I’m Jane. I’m from South Korea and before I came here I was studying Biology. I think that when I go home I will get a job as a scientist researcher.  I need to do my Phd first!! Which I’m a little worried about, so I’m really trying to make the best of my time here

What did you do back at home and what made you decide to come to Australia?

I came to Australia at the end of October, I had heard great things about Byron and I really wanted to live in a peaceful friendly place.. which Byron is.

How long did you study at GV for Byron and what did you think about it?

I studied here for 8 weeks which was great fun.. as you can see I didn’t want to leave, which is why I come back here every lunch time, to keep practicing my English and see all my friends.

What are you doing now that you have finished studying with us?

I’m on holiday!! Lucky me!  My life is nice at the moment, I wake up, come and visit the school, go to the beach, walk around the city and sometimes in the evenings..I go to the pub!

I was really lucky as I made friends from people around the world. Whilst I was at the school, and so I have lots of people to visit!

If I can I will stay until May. I would like to stay until May because here, I have a perfect life.  It is a wonderful place to improve my English, as there are so many people from other countries. It is really peaceful here and I love Byron so I really want to stay… and maybe I can see a whale!

Thanks Jane.

Our number one Mexican!

This afternoon I caught up with Lillian, who is the first student we have had from Mexico, about her life and experience here at GV Byron Bay.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from…

My name is Lillian and I’m from Mexico city, Mexico.               

What did you do back at home and what made you decide to come to Australia?

At home I was an Event planner and set up weddings and exhibitions. I came to Australia primarily to learn English, as I really need to speak excellent English in my work. I also wanted to see if I could do a certificate or diploma in my field or perhaps in marketing, here in Australia and I thought the best way to find out about this was to be here.

I especially wanted to come to Byron Bay, as it’s a really famous place; my agents told me that Byron is a wonderful place to study. I thought it was a really good idea to come to a relaxing, quiet place to wind down after working so hard in Mexico.. and it’s been perfect!

How long have you been at GV Byron and what are you studying?

I am in the Intermediate general English class, and have been here for 6 weeks.

What do you plan to do when you have completed your studies with us?

First, I’m going to Sydney to look for a job in my field. I really hope I will be successful. But if I can’t find the job I want I will travel around Australia and then go home!

What has been the single best moment that you have experienced since you joined GV Byron?

My favorite experience here has been about the way we learn and get taught. By this I mean, the way that the teachers teach here is very good. I really like the structure of the course. I really like working in groups and all of us trying together to understand and use the language fluently. The activities have also been fun. The school itself is great for example; the student lounge is fun, and it’s a good place to chill out. The classrooms are all new and that makes for a good environment to study in. I also have had fun meeting people from all round the world!! Ha.. it looks like there are lots of things I like !

What is your favourite place in Byron?

The beach of course!!! Clarks beach is beautiful, the ocean and waves are amazing. The colour of the water is incredible. I’m still trying to see dolphins, but I think I need to wake up earlier!!!

Is there anything you’d like to add??

I have to say that life here has been really nice. I love the sounds of nature here, and it’s really helped me reflect on my life and make decisions about my future and the direction that I want to take my life. I was here for New Years Eve which was really special, we were we were on the beach, it was really quiet and the sky was beautiful, and I really had a magic moment  thinking about my life. The shops and the shop assistants have been fun too! It’s all really different from Mexico….

What’s on in Byron this week..

Wondering what to do in Byron this week? Check out….

Byron Markets: Come down this Sunday and sample the best pizza in the world from the Turkish pizza stand, listen to local music, but weird and wonderful trinkets from the local area and refresh yourself with a fresh organic sugar cane drink!

The Beautiful Girls are playing at the Great Northern tonight and tomorrow night. These guys are fantastic Sydney musicians who have had a number of very succesful albums behind them.

The Buddha Bar Brewery: Come down and sample the delights of a locally brewed beer and relax in the outdoor courtyard during these summer afternoons. The Buddha Bar runs a courtesy pick up bus which goes from Suffolk park to Sunrise. If you would like to be picked up phone 0429 603 102.

Positions Vacant

Barista / Front Counter – Busy backpacker, exp essential. Phone 0417 657 059.

Cleaners – motivated, experienced, hard working. Monday to Friday, Casual hours. Phone 66884777 or email

Kitchenhand / Apprentice – Experienced kitchenhand or apprentice chef for Byron eatery. Opportunity to learn new skills in friendly team with flexible hours.

Riverside Cafe Brunswick Heads / experienced short order cook and kitchenhand / Dishy – required both fulltime and casual, some weekend work, great team environment. Drop resume to cafe. 6685 1799

Floor Staff & Baristas – Immediate start. Email your resume to:

Only Top Cleaners need apply for holiday rentals & homes. 0413 190 266

GV “WorkShop” seminar

Having a hard time finding work in Byron? Let us help you!

The busy Holiday season is upon us… Local restaurants, cafes, hotels and resorts are all busy for the next couple of months, and they need help. Come along next week on Tuesday and Friday afternoon during GIL to the GV WorkShop to give yourself the best chance at finding the job you want.

Football fun

After studying hard all day we all went down to the beach to have a quick kick around.. and discovered some hidden talents amongst the students!

We started with girls against guys and Sarah, who is a professional soccer player in Switzerland, amazed us all with her talents. Alessandro, Ivan and Francesco joined us a little later and were very keen to show us how “real soccer” is played Italian style yet Rafael managed to steal the day by scoring an amazing goal by a header!