After 10 years working in the same big company Elena decided to take a seven month break; leaving her family, her friends and her flat in Spain she came to us here at Lexis Byron Bay to improve her life and her English. She says: ‘English is the language of the world and I thought that it was the best thing to improve my professional and personal life because some time ago I discovered that to travel is something that really made me happy’.
We are so glad Elena made this choice, it was an absolute joy having her at Lexis, a true beauty inside and out. She made many great friendships with both students and staff in her 6 months here with us and is sorely missed. For this reason we contacted her after she’d left us to go on her travels to ask a few questions about her time at Lexis, and being the amazing person that she is she was happy to oblige, answering the below for us from her terrace in Siargao, Philippines……………
Why did you choose Byron Bay?
I was born in a little village called Elche, in Alicante, in the south east of Spain but for the last 7 years I was living in Barcelona; I love this city and at the moment I don’t think I will change my home but when I started to think of this experience I wanted something totally different… and when I listened to the first words to describe Byron, I didn’t need to think more… it was my place to study English near the beach!! And it was a good idea because not only is the village quiet and you can live a relaxed lifestyle, our school is a similar place. The students and the staff are the same way!! No stress!!!
What were your weaknesses in English before you came to Australia?
Before I came to Australia for me it was impossible to think that I will be able to have a conversation in English for more than 10 minutes!!! Maybe I don’t look it but I’m so shy and before I came here I preferred to listen and not speak… because of this my first days in the school I was so serious!! In the first moment I didn’t like too much the games to speak to each other in class but after I understood that it was the best way to not be shy and everyday I was less shy and started to improve my English!! I remember my amazing teacher Georgie and her class of conversation in the garden!! It was my favorite after the first month!!! And now I have really good friends from other countries who I can only speak English with and our conversations are so interesting like if we speak in our mother language!
Tell me about your teachers and your classes…
In my 6 months in Lexis school I have had different teachers in different levels. My first teacher in the Pre-Intermediate level was the funny Naomi only for some days and the beauty Michelle after, and I finished my course with the amazing Josie in the Upper Intermediate level, but during these 6 months all my teachers were wonderful and I can’t forget our lovely Claire and her activities with Tim Tams or the manager Lisa that always helped me with all my doubts!!
What was your favorite activity?
If I must find a activity I can’t forget the last one… Playing twister with Josie and Naomi in the garden, it was one of my last days and a funny memory!!
Tell us about your accommodation…
My two first months I was in a homestay in Suffolk park, where I was living with another student also, my cute Pascal from Switzerland! For a girl like me, who was living in the center of her city before, it was a little far from town but my homestay was an amazing house and Jane, my Australian mum, is now one important piece of my Australian family and I know that I will see her again in my country.
And the last 4 months I was living in BBSA (Lexis’ on-site student accommodation); for me it was a good experience and the perfect way to meet a lot of people from different countries; you are speaking with people with different accents and you can discover different cultures!! There I found another Spanish-Catalan family and also a lot important friends that I will have in my life for a long time!!! Now we are preparing a big party all together in Europe!!!
What are your favorite things to do in Byron?
People who know me know that I’m happy cooking, going out with my friends, drinking beer in some nice place or on the beach… But in Byron I discovered that the thing that really makes me happy is walking on the beach and Byron Bay is perfect to do it because it has a lot of such beautiful beaches! And now I have my favorite place in the world and that is Broken Head beach, my homestay was close to this beach and more or less every day I was walking around this beach, I have good memories of those days. It can be stupid or difficult to understand but for me it is a magical place!
What is your most magical moment in Byron Bay?
I can’t speak only about one moment because I have a lot in my memory and always related to someone! Although I think that Byron Bay is paradise, I think also that paradise is not a place, it is a feeling and for me the magical thing that takes with me from there is the people that I’ve met. Now I have 3 new sisters and we remember our important moments together!! We shared the school, the home and the room also!! Hahahaha
What did you miss about the Lexis Byron School when you left – what made you come back? *(Elena left us for a short while to study at Lexis Sunshine Coast)
After the first month, more or less, Martina and me started to speak that maybe it was a good idea to change the village because six or seven month was too much time in the same place for this big country. I don’t want to say anything bad because in Sunshine Lexis school all the staff and the students were so lovely with us but I missed Byron and the school, I couldn’t imagine that I would miss the games where we speak all the time in the activities, also our fans in the hot summer!! I didn’t like be in a school like a real school with air conditioning! I missed the students without shoes and the breaks in the garden under the sun!! I think only I needed two or three days to write to Lisa and tell her that I wanted to come back. It was the best decision!!!
What is your advice for people who are thinking about enrolling at Lexis Byron Bay?
Do it! You can find all that you need there; if after 6 months I have enough English to travel on my own in different countries any person can improve all that they want!! And there you will find good friends for a long time! All these answers are only my feelings and my personal experience but I’m so happy to have lived my other real life there!! Do it!!