Happy Student – Sakiko!

19204981_1698784563758617_370032013_o - Copy

 

Sakiko is 24 years old and she is from Kochi, a small town in rural Japan. She studied law at Kobe University and came straight to Australia after she graduated. She arrived in Byron Bay in June 2016 and has been at Lexis for an incredible here for 52 weeks! I interviewed Sakiko on her last day of school to find out about the remarkable year she has had.

Why did you choose Byron Bay?

While I was at University I was living in a big city, it was very crowded and busy for me. I wanted to live somewhere quiet and peaceful. My agent recommended Byron Bay to me and it is exactly what I wanted. Also I love yoga; I practised it in Japan for many years. Yoga is a big part of life in Byron, I practice yoga 3 or 4 times every week here.

Byron is a great place to come if you don’t know anybody. If you go to a big place it is hard to meet people but Byron is community so it is a good opportunity to speak with local people – it has a very friendly atmosphere here, everyone is happy to talk to you.

 

19212689_1698784517091955_1198213587_o - Copy

What were your weaknesses in English before you came to Australia?

I found listening and speaking the most difficult – I think most Japanese have this problem. We don’t have speaking practise in class at school in Japan so I was not used to speaking. On my first day I couldn’t understand everything, even though everyone was speaking slowly, I just guessed what they were saying.  I did not feel ready to speak English yet, I’m afraid to make mistakes when I spoke. After 1 month and 2 months when I made a lot of friends from different places they really influenced me. Especially my Brazilian friends because I saw that they were not scared to make mistakes. I asked them once: ‘you don’t care about making mistakes?’ but they said ‘no I don’t care, I just speak.’ That was a really good lesson to learn.

 

19349260_1698784587091948_857297674_o

Tell me about your teachers and your classes.

I started in Intermediate class. I studied a lot of English to enter University, and my grammar was good. I have had so many great teachers. Paul is my favourite teacher because he is so interesting and he always makes us laugh. He taught me pronunciation, how English and Japanese are so different because of emphasis and intonation. It was very hard, I almost gave up, but he never gave up to teach me!

19357590_1698784537091953_1328299424_n

One lesson we went to Byron Bay farmers market (we have this once a week in Byron, in the mornings, we can buy local products: fresh vegetables, fruits etc. It’s a great community atmosphere.) Here we interviewed the people working in the market. I was nervous but they are so kind to us, even though we were still learning. It was great because I often go to the farmers market but I don’t often have the chance to communicate with the producers about the local produce.

 

19357879_1698784590425281_955404212_n - Copy

 

What was your favourite activity?

Yoga was my favourite activity. Every Monday at school there is free yoga and I went every week for a year. I think I improved my yoga a lot. I also tried a lot of new activities, like surfing, skate boarding, slack-lining, cooking (we made koala cupcakes). They were very sweet for me but I enjoyed decorating them.

 

19357633_1698784693758604_1584408184_n

Tell me about your accommodation.

My first 6 weeks I was in homestay accommodation, staying with Gill and John. They were so kind. I was nervous about living with them, but on my first day they took me around Byron Bay, to lots of places. We went up to the lighthouse and to different beaches. We had lots of BBQs at the house and we baked cookies.

Afterwards I find a share house on Gumtree. It takes my five minutes to get to school on foot. At the moment with 2 Australian people, this has helped me to learn English. My host is very kind and speaks slowly and explains what words mean to me and this really helped my English improve.

 

19205050_1698784760425264_1479703529_o - Copy

What are your favourite things to do in Byron?

After I took a surf lesson, I decided to buy a surf board. During the Summer I surfed almost every day. It’s a good life, study and then go to surf. I think I got a bit better and I enjoyed it. I would meet up with my friends at the beach to surf.

 

19238505_1698784677091939_1939398391_o

I also enjoy going up to lighthouse to see the sunrise. It is the most Easterly point of Australia and the view is amazing. The view always changes as the seasons change. One morning I met my friends at 4:30 am and we walked up in the dark and the stars were beautiful.

 

19339683_1698784527091954_1246705766_o

I also love yoga here. It is very different to Japan, it seems more difficult and there is more variety of lessons. I can chose which I want to do depending on the condition of my body.

What is your most magical moment in Byron?

While I was doing the light house walk in the morning I saw whales and dolphins. One time I saw many dolphins very close to us on the walk. I was able to take this amazing picture:

19264052_1698784663758607_1294549755_o

What is your advice for people who are thinking about enrolling at Lexis Byron Bay?

You should come here, all the teachers are very kind and there are good quality lessons that are interesting and never boring. It is a very small school here so it is easy for everyone to get to know each other. March was my favourite month, because it is not too hot but the Sun is still out and it is not so crowded here. Winter is also good here, the sky is clear and bright but it is not too hot, you can see beautiful sunrises!

19213088_1698784643758609_589587948_o

What are you going to do now?

I have 3 weeks holidays now before I move to Lexis Perth. Tomorrow I am going to travel in New Zealand for 1 week. After New Zealand my sister will come here to visit in Byron Bay. Then I am going to do the Gold Coast marathon with my sister. I have heard it is a good route, around the beach but very flat. It is going to be a very challenging event in my life but I like to try new challenges. I am a little but worried about that but also excited. I will study in Perth for 3 weeks and then go home back to Japan. When I go home I think I will look for a job. I would like to live one more year in Australia or New Zealand, I want more opportunity to use English and communicate with English speakers. In Japan I would love to do an international job that involves using English and possibly working with sports, for example I would love to have a job related to the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

 Good luck with your marathon and your travels Sakiko, you will be missed here at Lexis Byron Bay!

19238661_1698784580425282_1964925297_o

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Reports from the Farmers’ Market

Last week Paul’s FCE class went on an excursion to the Farmers’ Market. The purpose was to do some research so that they could write an exam format report about their visit.

The full reports are in the photos below, but here are some of the highlights from a class of very talented writers.

At the market you can find many different stalls selling a wide range of things, such  as fresh organic vegetables, fruits, organic coffee and different kinds of juices. Besides this, you can buy a breakfast and eat it there enjoying a good live music.    Julio

I think the local market plays a good role in local business. Nowadays, it’s difficult to get fresh and organic local products due to the fact that there are many supermarket chains. We tend to buy everything there owing to the low-priced. I believe we can make our life better if we contribute to local business.     Sakiko

The only problem we can find is the prices of products, but this is the sign of quality that marks the difference between the organic products at the farmers’ market and what you get at supermarkets.         Maria

The market takes place at the Rails Park every Thursday in the morning between 8am and 11am. I definitely recommend this market for everybody who wants to go shopping for fresh food and have fun while doing it.      Gabriel

Thank you to Nil and Cesc, from Paul’s class, who are responsible for the beautiful photos.

DSC_0950

DSC_0945

DSC_0960

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing or Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

End of Cambridge BBQ! November 25

After three months of studying very hard, the Cambridge course has come to an end! It feels like only yesterday we were welcoming the Cambridge students on their first day. Many friends have been made and lots of English learnt over the past three months and we will be sad to say goodbye to this group.

In addition to the Cambridge students leaving, we have 16 students finishing up their General English courses today too. This gave us all the more reason to come together for an Aussie BBQ celebration and what a lovely day it was. 🙂

img_1155

img_1100

img_1130

img_1149

img_1152

img_1133

~

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Brewery Visit! November 4

Last Friday afternoon Josie’s Cambridge FCE class had an excursion to the local Stone & Wood Brewery in Byron Bay as a reward for all their hard work in class.

1

It was also a great opportunity to practice their English skills, particularly their listening skills as they were told about the different types of beers they were sampling on the tasting paddles. The class enjoyed the local brews and having a lesson at a brewery!

~

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Meet the Cambridge FCE class!

This week we had 11 students start in Josie’s FCE class. Read on to find out more about the students studying this Cambridge course at Lexis Byron Bay…

josie-fce

Beni is 23 years old and works as an IT Scientist. He likes to ride bicycles, go hiking and play guitar. After studying English in Byron Bay, Beni wants to go to Tasmania and then to New Zealand. In New Zealand, he plans to travel by bicycle and sleep each night in his tent.

Jarvis is 18 years old and lives in Germany. He has just completed High School and is in Byron Bay to improve his English skills so he can study Law when he returns to Germany. He has played guitar for ten years and football for twelve years. He also goes skiing in the ski town of Lenzerheide in Switzerland.

Nicole is staying in Australia for five months before spending one month travelling in New Zealand with a friend. She works as a clerk in a bank and in the future plans to study at university. She hopes to travel the east coast of Australia, from Cairns to Sydney, and possibly Tasmania as well.

Stefan is from Switzerland and is 26 years old. He works in an IT company as a Systems Administrator. In this job he creates networks for small offices. He likes to go jogging, cycling and lifting weights at the gym.

Natsumi is 21 years old, is from Japan and has been in Australia for five months. Back in Japan, she has two older brothers and one older sister. Natsumi was in Australia last year and was excited by this country and the natural environment, which is why she chose to come back here. When she returns to Japan, she will continue her studies in Sports Science.

Laetitia is from Switzerland and speaks French at home. She is 19 years old and lives with her parents and her older sister. She studied at Business School for four years. She likes skiing, spending time with friends and travelling the world.

Vanessa is 26 years old and is from the German part of Switzerland, where she lives with her family. She works as a Front Office Manager. She likes snowboarding, travelling, reading books and going out. She would like to live in Sweden one day.

Ivan is from Switzerland and lives in a small village in the countryside, in the German part of Switzerland. He studied Multimedia and likes playing volleyball and soccer. While he is in Byron Bay he would like to learn to surf and to go skydiving.

Ayuko is from Japan. She likes playing soccer, having BBQs and going to the beach. She works as a waitress and barista. In the future she hopes to open her own Sushi Restaurant. During her time in Byron Bay, she would like to try surfing.

Philipp is staying in Australia for six months, until March next year. In this time, he plans to travel to the Outback and the West Coast, and possibly over to New Zealand too. After leaving Australia, he hopes to study to be a carpenter or a teacher. He likes playing the trombone.

Ronja is from Switzerland and last visited Australia when she was just two years old. She used to work as a florist. After her studies at Lexis Byron Bay, she plans to travel to Alice Springs and to drive from Cairns to Sydney in a campervan.

 

 

~

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Bye bye Josie

Today everyone is sad to say goodbye to the upper intermediate teacher Josie as she is leaving Australia…don’t worry though, it’s not forever, she is lucky enough to be taking a holiday for two and a half months! Her first stop is Hawaii, then Canada and after that a tour of Europe! She’ll be back refreshed in time for the rush of summer when our CAE and FCE Cambridge classes start up again on the 5th of September. If you want to catch her before she jets off then head to the Railway bar this evening at 6pm where some of the students are going to have a few beers and celebrate the start of the long weekend! And if you don’t know already, there’s a Brazilian party at the Buddha Bar later on this evening so don’t forget your dancing shoes!

rails

End of Cambridge BBQ! June 3

It is a rainy afternoon in Byron Bay but that didn’t stop the Lexis students enjoying the afternoon!

IMG_3787

Today is the end of the Cambridge course, so to celebrate we had a great Aussie BBQ in the Student Lounge.

IMG_3789

Teacher Paul was the expert BBQ Chef again, and all the students enjoyed feasting on the spread of food while chatting and laughing with their friends.

With some students leaving Byron Bay to travel around Australia or to return home, it was a good opportunity for everyone to reminisce about the great friends and memories made during their time at Lexis Byron Bay.

IMG_3791

13349098_10209636660337040_1365863291_n (2)

~

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.