New Starters – 20 August

This week, we welcome 2 new starters: Claudia from Switzerland and Antonio from Spain.

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Claudia is from the Italian part of Switzerland so her mother tongue is Italian but she also speaks fluent French as she studied for 5 years in Lausanne. She is a psychologist and has spent the last year working in a hospital clinic and a prison. She will start a new job in a private clinic on her return to Switzerland. She is in Australia for 12 weeks and at Lexis English for four of those. When she has finished at school she plans to travel up the East Coast and is currently looking for a travel buddy! She loves sport and her favourites are tennis and jogging.

Antonio is from Southern Spain and he is mad about surfing. He joins us on our English and Surfing programme and he is very excited to be surfing in Byron Bay. His dream is to teach surfing in Spain and, for this, he will need English as his students will come from many different countries. Antonio has lots of other interests too. He likes reading, writing, skating, comic books and poetry.  Antonio has worked in Thailand as a Spanish teacher and will be visiting family in Hong Kong after he has finished his time in Australia.

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

Happy Student – Miyu

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Miyu, from Japan, joined us at Lexis Byron back in October last year. She started in our Pre-Intermediate class but after completing our Cambridge First Course with much-loved teacher Paul she finished at an Upper Intermediate level. It has been a joy having her here at Lexis. She has been a kind, respectful, hardworking student who has made lots of friends during her time in Byron. Her teachers all say she was a pleasure to teach and I have loved getting to know her during the activities and her visits to reception!

Before she left Byron she kindly answered some questions for us…

Why did you choose Byron Bay for your studies?

I came to Byron because it is very different to my experience of living in a big city in Japan (Miyu lives in Kobe). I was really excited to try something new and experience a different way of life. I wanted to be able to live my life my way without any expectations.

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Why were you wanting to improve your English?

I had always wanted to study English, but the Japanese education system doesn’t put much emphasis on teaching it. I decided to come here and study so I could have an adventure at the same time as improving my English! I know having a higher level of English will help me find work and will also help me with travelling.

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What’s the best thing about Byron?

The people! The people are all so nice. I have been working as a massage therapist here and everyone is very friendly. Any time I’ve ever needed help there has always been someone happy to help me. I also love the nature in Byron and the amazing beauty of the ocean!

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What’s your advice for anyone coming to study English abroad?

Don’t hang out with students from your nationality. Always try to speak English. I don’t have any Japanese friends here because I wanted to speak as much English as possible. I made mostly Spanish, Brazilian and Australian friends. I’m even travelling to Spain when I leave Australia so I can meet up with the Spanish friends I made at Lexis!

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With her Lexis friends!

Tell us about your experience at Lexis…

Lexis was amazing! I really appreciate coming here and all the help I got from everyone. The teachers are always helping and finding creative ways for you to improve your English. I loved all of my teachers. They were all fun and really caring. The admin staff are all super friendly and always there for you. My English has improved so much. I started in Pre-intermediate and finished at an Upper-intermediate level.

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With her Cambridge First Class

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Her last day at Lexis!

What are your recommendations for anyone coming to study at Lexis?

Get involved in the free activities! I loved all the activities at Lexis; it was great to having them every day and encouraging students from different classes/levels to all communicate together. I really enjoyed the activities with students from other schools, like the soccer competition, as they were really useful for meeting new people.

Also, stick to the English ONLY Policy! I really loved this rule because it helped me make a lot of international friends. It was really hard at the beginning but after a while it became natural and I feel I really benefited from it. I made many friends in my time at Lexis and am really grateful for that ❤

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At our Lexis Sweet Exchange Charity Bake Sale!

 

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Cheese and Wine Tasting activity!

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

Meet the Staff – This week we find out more about our lovely teacher, Claudia

Claudia is one of our most-loved teachers. She has been at Lexis Byron Bay since 2011 and taught many different classes in this time including General English (Elementary to Advanced), Cambridge First Certificate and IELTS.  She also helps run our activities and stands in for the Campus/Academic Manager in her absence.  Find out more about her below:

HOW MANY LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK?

I speak English, German and Hungarian fluently and I can get by in French. I also studied Latin for seven years and Italian for one year.

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE…?

…happy in life (and I think I’m pretty close to it 🙂

WHEN YOU ARE IN BYRON BAY, DON’T MISS OUT…

….on talking to the locals. Absorb the Byron vibe and the positivity of the community.

It is inspiring to see how many conscious people life in Byron. It really makes the world seem a better place. After all, change starts within each of us.

BYRON BAY’S BEST KEPT SECRET IS…

…not so secret anymore. But secret or not, an early morning walk to the lighthouse to watch the sunrise is the most amazing thing to do.

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I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW…

…that in Byron all teachers actually love teaching and genuinely like their students. 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO?

Being with my family. Running. Reading. Travelling.

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HAVE YOU EVER LIVED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY?

Yes! In Germany (Berlin) and the USA (in Los Angeles)

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

Because we are so lucky to have the most amazing beaches and countryside here in Byron I love exploring cities when I’m on holiday.

WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER?

I do love teaching. After studying marketing and working for an international record label in Berlin I knew that talking to people from all kinds of different countries is what I love to do. It is wonderful to see students improve their English and to realise how much they appreciate our help and input. It is genuinely rewarding.

Being able to teach and inspire people from all over the world and living in Byron is pretty close to perfect for me.

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WHAT IS YOUR ENGLISH LEARNING TIP?

Speak, speak, speak. Be confident and believe in yourself (and your teacher 😉

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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.

New Starters – 25 June

This week we welcome two new students to Lexis Byron Bay: Ugo from France and Teresa from Spain.

Ugo comes from the Marseille region of France, where he is currently at school. He is 16 years old and at Lexis on our Teen Activity Programme (TAP). This means that he has surf lesson 4 times per week as well as daily English classes. Ugo decided he wanted to come to Australia because he thought it was the best place to learn both surfing and English. He’s a beginner at surfing and Pre-Intermediate in English. He will be here just two weeks before flying back to France.

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Teresa is from the Basque region of Spain and is a student. She studies environmental health at university and is enjoying her course. She will need English to help with her future career but that’s not the only reason she came to Byron Bay: she came to surf! She has already surfed in Costa Rica and Indonesia amongst others so she’s keen to find out how Byron Bay compares.

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We wish both Ugo and Teresa a wonderful holiday and look forward to helping them achieve their English goals.

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.

Happy Student – Izabela Franco De Sad; Making Dreams Come True!

Izabela started studying at Lexis English in December last year and she brought with her a very special energy. She was such a pleasure to have in the school that, before she left, I asked her if we could do an interview to find out more about her and her time at Lexis Byron Bay. It turned out that her trip was the culmination of a dream that she’d nurtured for many years. Read what she told me below:

  1. Why did you decide to come to Byron Bay to study English?

I started dreaming about coming to Australia when I was 15. My vision of Australia was a place full of beaches, sunshine, friendly people and a relaxed way of life. I also knew that having a good level of English would be important for my life – for getting a good job and for travelling and meeting people.

So, from the age of 17, I worked to save up to make this dream come true. I worked in restaurants, hotels and offices, sometimes four jobs at a time until, eventually, I earned enough money to pay for my entire trip myself.

I went to an agency to book my trip and they advised that I went to Sydney or the Gold Coast as it was easy to find work there. I nearly booked my trip but first decided to look at Google Earth. When I saw all the skyscrapers and the cars I was disappointed. This wasn’t the vision I’d had of Australia all these years.

So I sent messages to five different contacts I had that had been to Australia and asked them to advise where I should go. One friend told me about Byron Bay and said that 100% it was the place for me, as soon as I Googled it I knew she was right.

  1. How has your English improved and who/what helped with that?

Before I came to Australia, I wanted to make sure that I had a reasonable level of English so that I could really jump straight into the lifestyle here and also have more chance of finding a job straight away. My mum was so proud of me saving up for my trip all by myself and so, as a reward, she paid for me to have English conversations classes.

This was really useful but I was still thinking in Portuguese and then translating into English when I first arrived. However, once in Byron Bay, the necessity of talking English all the time makes you improve crazy fast. Plus the teachers at Lexis Byron Bay are great. They gave us phrases and conversation practices that were so relevant and which we could use in our real lives, immediately. Plus they corrected me, which people in the street don’t do, so I soon improved my accuracy too and got better and better.

I did General English and Cambridge FCE and found them both really useful. The method of teaching is really good and Paul, my Cambridge teacher, was so funny.

  1. What was it like living/working in Byron Bay?

I’m probably not the best person to ask because I can’t be objective. I’m simply in LOVE with Byron Bay. I’ve found myself here!

I really believe that Byron chooses people. I feel like I can allow myself to be me here and be and do everything I that wanted to be. I find people here are different. Everyone wants to live in a simple way and enjoy life in tune with nature, love and the things that are really important. For example, getting up early to share a sunrise.

Work-wise, I’ve had the same job since early January. I work at Trattoria Basiloco, an Italian and pizza restaurant in town. It’s a great job. Everyone is really nice and helpful. I didn’t find it difficult to get a job at all but I do think you need to be proactive. Choose the places you want to work and then make yourself known there. It helped for me that I was studying Cambridge too. It gives employers confidence that you have a pretty good level of English and will be able to communicate easily with the customers.

As for friends, I’ve met some wonderful people. Lexis Byron Bay is a really friendly environment so it’s easy to meet people straight away. Then, over time, some people I met grew to be really good friends. Now there is a group that I have such great connection with; with no problems or dramas. And I met them all through Lexis Byron Bay.

  1. What was/were the best thing/things about your trip?

It’s not a single experience or even something I did; it’s that I’ve discovered myself. Through this experience (even the difficult times such as when I was fined $319 for not wearing a bike helmet) I’ve learned what makes me happy, who I am and who I can be. And I’ve gained the confidence that I can do whatever I want.

Now I’ve finished my English studies, I’m going to stay one more year doing a massage course. This takes me up to September next year. I’m not sure what I’ll do then, but, at the moment, every day I say to someone how lucky we are to be here. When I’m watching the sunrise or swimming or playing guitar on the beach I feel such gratitude: to myself for giving me this opportunity; to the people I’ve met in Byron; and to Lexis Byron Bay for being such a huge part of this experience.

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.

Post a photo – win a skydive!

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Serious Fun Runner up

Can you take a better photo than our previous competition winners (featured above and below)?

Starting Monday March 5th, the competition will run for four weeks, meaning that both current and new Cambridge classes can participate. Here’s what you have to do:

1 – Take an incredible photo that could be used to illustrate the following quote:

“Coming to Australia isn’t just about improving your English; it’s about using it, making friends and exploring this amazing country.”

2 – Join the Lexis English Byron Bay Facebook group and www.facebook.com/groups/lexisbyronbay/ and upload your photo.Include the tag #lexisbyronbay BEFORE 8pm on Thursday 30th March.

The winner will be announced on Friday 31st March.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. 2. Entries close at 8pm on Thursday 30th March 2018. 3. Competition open to current students only. Students that are current at the start of the competition but no longer studying on 30th March are still eligible to enter. 4. Winning entries will be announced on the Lexis English blogs and Facebook pages. 5. Prize details to be confirmed. 6. By entering the competition you give permission to release the picture to Lexis English Australia to use for promotional and marketing purposes post-competition on Internet, social media and other materials deemed to promote Lexis English Australia.

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.

Happy Student – Renata!

Renata, aged 25, is from Brazil. For most of her life she lived in São Paulo, where she completed her degree in Marketing and also worked in an advertising agency for a couple of years. Despite loving her job, she was very tired of her life always being centered around work, so she decided to accomplish an old dream of living in Australia, not only to improve her English but also to change her lifestyle. She has now been living in Byron for 6 months and says she still catches herself impressed by the beauty that surrounds her and couldn’t be more thankful.

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It has been an absolute joy having Renata study here at Lexis Byron with us; she is always smiling, positive and friendly. She is also a hard working student, who has studied for 12 weeks in our General English classes as well as a further 12 weeks completing our Cambridge First course! She took a little break to explore some more of Australia and is now back doing our Business course for the next 30 weeks!

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Renata, classmates and teacher Claudia at her General English graduation!

I have personally loved getting to know Renata, as have her fellow students and teachers, and am always happy to see her at the out of class activities! In her time here at Lexis she has participated in many of these, including skateboarding, cooking classes, tie dye, pizza & games, and plenty of coffee clubs!

 

Being the lovely person that she is, Renata kindly agreed to take the time to answer some questions about her time studying at Lexis and living in Byron Bay!

–       Why did you choose Byron Bay?

When I decided to live abroad, I knew that I wanted to come to Australia but I would like to live in a city which could provide me a life that wasn’t possible to have in São Paulo, such as stay closer to nature, enjoy a morning life, no traffic around and, overall have a quieter and relaxing life. Here I can get around the whole town by bike, and since we are close to nature I also get motivated to be healthier and practice sports. However, the most important thing is that you don’t live under the impression that life is passing you by. Even working and studying, I still have time to enjoy my life and take care of me.

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

First of all, I didn’t have much practice as I only had classes twice a week, for 1 hour and 40 minutes each. I also didn’t learn any idioms and nearly nothing of phrasal verbs, which is essential for being able to speak as a native.

 

–       Tell me about your teachers and your classes…

My teacher Paul was by far the best one I’ve ever had. I did the Cambridge Course which was also the best choice that I’ve made in my program. It has helped me a lot to fix my mistakes, especially my lack on grammar. The classes were very dynamic, we worked very hard to improve all the skills: speaking, writing, use of English and reading. In spite of that, we always had time to have some fun too.

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Renata at her Cambridge graduation with teacher Paul!

 

–       What was your favourite activity?

Cooking activities were my favorite ones because it was an opportunity to taste something that you’ve never had before. At the end, we always had good food.

 

–       Tell me about your accommodation (homestay arranged by Lexis)…

I was really lucky to stay in such a good homestay. My family was made up of a couple, two kids, a dog and a cat. They were really kind and supportive, which made me feel like I was at home. The dinner was always something different, always delicious though. They had a cute daily habit to share during the dinner the best part of their day which for me was nice because we always had something to talk about, besides the beautiful practice of learning to be thankful every single day.

 

–       What are your favorite things to do in Byron?

Going to the beach (you never get sick of it), having a coffee at some cute Café (there are heaps of them), cycling around Byron, and last but not least, doing yoga. This one is definitely my favorite one. (Renata regularly attended our free yoga classes at the school on Mondays!)

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–       What is your most magical moment in Byron?

I’m not sure if I had a magical moment but lots of magical experiences. Just waking up every day and going to school and work by bike it’s already a magical moment to me. It doesn’t need to be something unique to be special. My routine is magical.

 

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

Go for it!

 

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.