Happy Student – Sakiko!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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.

June’s Table Tennis Tournament!

This week we had our monthly Table Tennis Tournament!

The competition started with 8 players in the first round:

Nil VS Cesc: Nil

Juan VS Felipe: Juan

Roman VS Joao: Roman

Felipe PC VS Mauricio: Mauricio

Onto the second round, the winners then making it through to the final were:

Nil VS Juan: Nil

Roman VS Mauricio: Roman

It was a tough final, with Nil putting up a good fight, but once again it was Roman who walked away as champion!!

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Skateboarding! 6th June

Yesterday we had Flavio from Byron Bay Skateboard School  come in to teach us some skateboarding skills!

Naomi, our Homestay Officer, got involved and discovered she was a natural!!

She got so confident she challenged Cesc, an experienced skater, to a race…. and WON!! Go Nay!

Cesc, wanting to prove he was still a better skater then Naomi, then went one better by using two boards at the same time! Very impressive!

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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.

May in Photos!

Another great month of activities and fun at Lexis Byron Bay!

Skateboarding with Flavio!

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Poker Tournament!

Well done to our winner Laura!

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Beer Tasting!

 

Brazilian Cooking!

Where we made tasty Brigadeiros!

Boomerang Painting!

Beach Volleyball!

Table Tennis Tournament!

Congratulations to our May champion Roman!

Pizza and Games!

Lighthouse Scavenger Hunt!

Slacklining with Olmo!

Body Boarding!

Swiss Cooking!

Weekly Coffee Lounges!

Classroom Fun!

We had 13 New Starters!

And said Farewell to 24 Graduates!

 

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.

Swiss Cooking! 31st May

Last Wednesday our activity was Swiss Cooking!

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Our lovely teacher Michelle was on hand to help but Tito, one of our Swiss students, was happy to take control!

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They made a delicious Fondue, with bread, carrots and apples for dipping!

 

Here’s a simple Fondue recipe if you’d like to try at home:

Ingredients

700g shredded cheese

1 garlic clove

A third of a bottle of white wine

3 teaspoons of cornflour

Ground pepper and nutmeg

 

Method

Rub a heavy saucepan or fondue pot with the split garlic clove.

Put the cheese and wine into the pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

When the cheese is completely melted, add the cornflour, stirring vigorously.

Continue to cook and season with pepper and nutmeg.

Now enjoy by dipping in small pieces of bread, fruit or vegetables speared on a fondue fork.

Keep stirring with your bread as you dip.

 

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.

June Activity Calendar!

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We have another month of fun activities lined up for you in June!

All activities, except for surfing, are free and at 2pm every day!

We continue to offer Yoga classes every Monday for you to stretch out and relax! This alternates between Stef and Fee each week and will be in Room 8.

The only exception being Monday the 12th when the school is closed for the Queen’s Birthday!

Each week on a Tuesday or Wednesday we have Coffee Lounge. This  is a great activity for getting to know other students and practicing your English; all whilst playing fun games and enjoying Australia’s popular chocolate treat, Tim Tams!

We have a handful on sporting activities; starting with Rugby on the 1st, Volleyball on the 23rd and Cricket on the 29th! All three will be at the beach providing the sun is out, otherwise in the garden!

Our biggest sporting activity will be the Soccer Challenge against SAE college on the 9th!  We are the current champions so help us hold onto this title by signing up and competing for Lexis! This will be at Byron Bay Sports Fields at 3pm. Sign up at reception, kit will be provided!

Our monthly Table Tennis Tournament will be on the 14th. May’s champion, Roman, is leaving us next week so the winning title could be yours!

There will be a special 1 hour Surf Lesson for just $20 with Let’s Go Surfing on the 21st. Please come see me in reception if you’d like to book this!

We also have Body Boards hired from Lets Go Surfing on the 15th; this activity was a great success in May and I anticipate will be just as much fun the second time round!

On the 6th we have Flavio coming in to teach you some Skateboarding skills; both for beginners and those wanting to learn some new tricks!

We have a Poker Tournament on the 28th, with beer to be won!

On the 8th we’ll be having a Mario Karts Competition on the Wii, and on the 30th a Pizza and Games day with various games on and off the Wii and FREE pizza!

We have two BBQs this month (free sausages!!); one on the 2nd to celebrate the End of Cambridge and one of the 16th to celebrate the End of Course! Both will be at 12.15pm in front of the school.

For our cooking activity we will be Cooking with Chocolate!! This will be on the 22nd in the kitchen.

We will now be having a weekly Job Club; this will be every Wednesday in Room 8 (with GIL). Myself or a teacher will be able to help you write resumes/cover letters, look for jobs, apply for TFN’s and give you advice on gaining your RSA or Barista license!

GIL (Guided Individual Learning) runs every day from 2-3pm in Room 8. Come along to get help with anything from homework to vocabulary to writing your resume.

We will also continue to enjoy our Student Nights at Cheeky Monkeys every Tuesday night – meet at BWT @ 8pm first to get your drinks, food and fun!

Lastly, don’t forget that you can book your 3-hour surf lessons with us anytime at Reception for just $50!

     Have an amazing month! 🙂

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.

 

Body Boarding! 26 May

Last Friday the students went Bodyboarding!

Let’s Go Surfing, who we also book our surf lessons through, provided us with the boards and wetsuit hire 🙂

The waves were perfect as they weren’t too big, but were too small for surfing, so definitely a good day for our bodyboarding activity!

The sun was shining and the water still relatively warm!

The students had a great time in the waves and all agreed we should do this activity again soon….so it’s been arranged for the 15th of June!

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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.