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.

Happy Student – Shogo!

18424485_1193577764104026_1473748627_nShogo is 21 and comes from Tokyo Japan. He arrived in Byron Bay in February. While studying Law in Tokyo, he decided to take a break and come to Australia! And we are so glad that he did. Shogo has been a delight to have at school – his smiling face has brought joy to all of us. We are so impressed at how much his confidence has improved since he arrived, from a shy and quiet student to a loud and confident one who has even done a spot of modelling since has been here! He studied at Lexis for 3 months and is now staying local, working in Byron so that he can stay here for another 4 months. I decided to interview Shogo to find out a bit more about his experience here!

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Why did you choose Byron Bay?

I chose to live in Australia for the weather; it is a hot country with beautiful beaches and beautiful people. Also the working holiday visa is much more convenient than visas for the USA or the UK. I chose Byron because I wanted to learn surfing and skateboarding. I have been to Sydney and Gold Coast before, but I thought that the experience there would be similar to Tokyo, busy cities with lots of other Japanese people. I wanted to live somewhere with not so many Japanese people so that I would speak English more.

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

Pronunciation and sentence construction skills. In Japan we learn only grammar and reading, so we can read difficult sentences for studying law etc, but we can’t speak English.  I think I have really improved in those areas since I have been studying here.

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Tell me about your teachers and your classes.

In Japan we only write notes in lessons, no speaking in class at all. We don’t play games or do group work. We just sit on our own and copy down what the teacher writes on the board. Japanese teachers can’t speak English, so they can’t speak to us in English. It is much better at Lexis. I started in Elementary class and graduated in the Intermediate class. I have had 4 teachers here: Georgia, Mel, Adrienne and Michelle. In their lessons we played games, we played a darts game to learn grammar where we had to scrunch paper up and throw it at the target. Talking with a partner is really good, for example every Monday we talk to our partner about what we did at the weekend, I really enjoyed that. We usually talk about our culture, for instance we eat raw fish in Japan, Brazilians play soccer every day, the Swiss eat lots of chocolate. We got to make sushi and eat chocolate and share and learn about other cultures. There are so many students from all round the world.

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What was your favourite activity?

My favourite activity was the slack lining. I had never tried this sport before, but the instructor says it’s good for your health and your mind because you walk along the rope and you need good form to walk and keep your balance.

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Tell me about your accommodation.

I lived in homestay with Yvonne for 3 months while I studied at Lexis. I really enjoyed it; she has 3 children, who are 1, 10 and 17. The youngest girl is a tomboy so every day she is running around the house and riding her bicycle. She always used to ask me to lift her up and she would jump on me, it was so cute. Living with an Australian family really helped me to improve my English, Yvonne really helped me and taught me how to speak English and now I can understand her even when she speaks fast. She taught me lots of slang and native language.

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Afterwards I moved into the onsite accommodation. It is very good because there are so many students in the accommodation who come from different countries and we cook every day together. I can try food from Brazil, Switzerland, and Spain. I want to work in a food company in Japan because I love food culture. Yesterday we made tempura and sushi for everyone and Bruno said he would cook Brazilian food for me too.

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What are your favourite things to do in Byron?

There are so many good beaches in Byron so we can go surfing every day, long boards and short boards. Byron is a small town so we can go anywhere by foot. In a bigger city we would have to be using train or bus but in Byron Bay everything is walking distance. It has good clubs and pubs and then you can walk home. There are so many hippies and tourists; life here is slow and relaxed. Quality of life here is very high I think.

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How difficult is it to get a job in Byron?

I think it is good to get a job, because every restaurant is so busy with tourists and they need lots of help. I have a job at the moment as a dish washer in a local restaurant. I did not want to work in a Japanese restaurant because maybe we would talk in Japanese. I came here to study English so I decided to only apply to local restaurants so that I would speak English all the time and continue to improve. In Lexis we have an English only policy, which is good for learning English. I wanted to continue this outside of school. I handed my resume out in Byron Bay and after 3 days I had a job offer!

What is your most magical moment in Byron?

When I go surfing I sometimes see dolphins, especially in Broken Head and sometimes at the pass. I really enjoyed the Sunday markets and the Easter markets too. I take pictures of Byron and send to my friends back in Japan, they are very jealous because when it is summer here it is winter Japan.

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

You should come to Australia if you want to speak English more because in Japan you talk only Japanese. If you want to learn English in Japan it is very hard because we don’t talk English every day. When you study English every day for 2 hours, we talk English every day in Australia 12 or 13 hours with native speakers. I think Australia is a very good country, very good weather, kind people. If you want a vacation or a break you should go to 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.

Shopping in the Rain

The pre-intermediate class went to the market on a rainy Thursday, last week.

They had lots of fun, especially at the exotic fruit stand where Kristy blew her budget on fruit, buying New Zealand Fejoa, persimmon and South American Abiu.  Yum!

Everyone enjoyed talking to the stall holders and the nice people at the market and agreed that they’d like to go again, but next time on a sunny day 🙂sdr

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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.

Happy Student – Raphael!

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Raphael is from Bayonne in the South-West of France, he is 18 years old and he headed straight to Australia after finishing high school in France. He arrived in Byron Bay in November 2016 and stayed until March. He’s now headed to Bundaberg to do his farm work, so that he can save up for more travelling around Australia.  Raphael joined us an an intermediate speaker and on leaving he achieved an overall A in his Upper Intermediate class. Raphael is sorely missed here at Lexis. Who will DJ for our parties and BBQs now? I’m sure Cheeky Monkeys is missing its most regular customer too.

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Raphael has answered some questions for us about his time at Lexis.

 Why did you choose Byron Bay?

I remember the evening I spent with my mother in France, choosing the destination for my gap year. Originally, I decided the USA, but then I found a video about surfing in Australia – which made me fall in love with Byron Bay: the best place to surf in Australia! For me Byron is the perfect place for me: small, peaceful, joyful, good waves, no big buildings, but lots of bars to party all week!

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Raphael on his very first day of school

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

My major weakness in English when I arrived here were – everything! English was my weakness. But more seriously – it was my ability to understand the first time what someone told me. I had to make them repeat 3 or 4 times. Now I can see how far my English has come. Now I can understand films without subtitles easily!

Tell me about your teachers and your classes.

All of the teachers I had at Lexis were lovely. They were truly knowledgeable and made learning fun. In intermediate I had Iruka, I spent many funny times in her class. Then I moved into Upper Intermediate with the lovely Elyse, who was awesome and then I had Kathleen and her amazing games! My most memorable lesson was with Elyse when we had to dress with newspapers (yes yes newspapers!) when we were learning vocabulary about fashion and clothing design. That was ridiculous but so funny! 😂

 What is it like living in our onsite Accommodation?

BBSA is now like my home. I met people from all around the world and I learnt about lots of different cultures. The best moments spent were the Christmas dinner, when we cooked Hamburgers, the sushi parties with the Japaneses people, the dinner tortillas with the Spanish guys, the spaghetti party with the Swiss people.Yes you’ve understood, all the best moments are around food! 😂

What were your favourite things to do in Byron? 

The best times were all the parties with my bro Tito [See last week’s happy student blog!]  and all the others who are like my international family, the days of hangovers when we were all regretting going out the night before. But the best activity was surfing by far. All the surf sessions spent with Hiro, Nil, Pol, Tito and all the others were the time of my life.

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What is your most magical moment in Byron?

I remember a time I was surfing at the Pass during sunset, catching one of the best waves I ever caught. The sun was going down in front of me, the reflection of the sun making the water yellow and orange, I’ll remember this all my life I think. I understood how peaceful life can be; in front of me, it was like the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen: a colorful sunset on the beach. At my right there were people taking pictures and I had a strange feeling that made me understand you have to enjoy the moment with your eyes rather through your phone.  Yes I know it sounds very philosophical, but for me happiness is about little things like this.

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

My advice for people who are thinking about enrolling at Lexis Byron Bay is: Go for it!!! I am 100% sure you’ll not regret it, you will make so much progress with your English, furthermore, there are good activities everyday and lovely people to spend time with.

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Raphael graduating – how far he has come!

What does the future hold for you now? 

My plans after my farm work are to keep traveling around Australia, then Bali and maybe New Zealand, before coming back to France and going to university😭. Australia gave me the taste of travel, so I’d like to go in each country in Europe to keep discovering new cultures and people. I also want to go to Kenya and South America too! I want a life of adventure and travel, my nightmare is to be trapped in a routine with my job, Byron Bay has given me a taste of paradise and now I want to keep exploring.

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Raphael of to explore the world!

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.

Happy Student – Yran!

Yran is from Brazil and arrived in Australia for his first trip abroad just one month ago. After spending his first week in the country in the lovely city of Brisbane, he then made his way south to start at Lexis Byron Bay. When choosing where in the world to go to learn English, he decided on Australia for the great weather, the more affordable living costs and for being able to study and work at the same time. Yran has now been in Byron Bay for just over three weeks and is absolutely loving it! He said there are so many great things about this town and area, such as the friendly people, the beaches and, his favourite thing above all, the Byron lifestyle.

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For his first month here, Yran is living in a homestay with a local family. He said the family are great and he would have booked to stay longer with them if he had known how wonderful they are. Unfortunately for him, the family have another student booked in with them so he couldn’t extend his homestay, but he knows the next student will be very happy with them! Instead, he is moving into a rental share-house with other locals and tourists living in Byron Bay for the Summer.

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Yran with his fellow students on their first day at Lexis Byron Bay

Within a week of arriving in Byron Bay, Yran was very proactive about getting his resume ready and scouring the town for some work. He lined up three interviews within the first week and landed himself a job at The Roadhouse, a popular bar cafe in Byron Bay. He has worked there for just over a week now and is really enjoying his job as a Dishwasher (or ‘dishie’ as Australians call it!). The people he works with are all locals, are patient with teaching the new skills and explaining English words, and they all have a great time together. Yran is learning a lot, not only about how the kitchen works, but also about Australian English and some of the slang we use. For example, one of his co-workers refers to  good things as ‘sweet’ and ‘sick’ (“the waves were sick!”, “that’s a sweet surfboard!”) all the time! Yran thinks it is a really  good idea to work as well as study, as it has helped him to integrate with locals and learn more English.

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Yran and Swiss student Thomas, enjoying coffee, Tim Tams and conversation at the Coffee Lounge activity

Despite improving his English by speaking with locals, he believes that most of the improvement has come through his classes at Lexis Byron Bay. He is learning a lot from both the teachers and practicing with other students at school. At school there is a wide variety of students from all over the world, so Yran has found that most of his friends speak different languages and they need to speak in English to communicate. This has helped him gain confidence and learn quickly in his first few weeks here.

Yran has five more months of studying at Lexis Byron Bay  and is looking forward to spending the Summer here. After graduating, he plans to head to Melbourne for a new experience, living in a big city with different weather and a different culture to both Brazil and Byron Bay. He hope to do more study there, possibly doing a short course in Permaculture, but he hasn’t decided yet.

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Yran and fellow students enjoying the free BBQ at Lexis Byron Bay

For other students coming to study at Lexis Byron Bay, Yran’s advice is to try hard with whatever it is you are doing here! Whether it is learning English, finding a job or somewhere to live, making friends and having new experiences, work on it everyday! He also recommends to be open to try everything while you are here and don’t be shy, as you will learn and experience more that way.

 

 

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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.

Happy Students! Vanessa & Richard

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Richard and Vanessa

Richard and Vanessa are from Brazil and travelled to Australia together to study at Lexis Byron Bay. They have been here for nine weeks now and are enrolled to study with us for a total of 24 weeks. They then hope to extend their stay by continuing their studies at Lexis with a Business course later in the year.

Richard has always dreamt of living in a different country and experiencing a different culture. When the two of them realised the importance of learning English to further their careers, they decided to study English in Australia. In Brazil, having a higher level of English often means better opportunities for jobs.

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First day at school – Richard and Vanessa starting with five other new students

Both Vanessa and Richard are enjoying their time in Byron Bay. For Vanessa, one of her favourite parts of living here are the beautiful beaches. She said that even if you go to the same beach every day, each day is completely different – whether it be the water, the sky, or the sunset, it is a different place every day. She finds the beaches here very peaceful. She also loves the night sky in Byron Bay, with so many stars that can be seen so clearly, it is a beautiful night view. Richard is a big fan of the famous Byron Bay Lighthouse. He enjoys the walk through the National Park area, which always delivers close encounters with the local wildlife including wallabies, rabbits, whales, dolphins, parrots, bush turkeys, lizards and turtles.  Richard has been impressed by the respect that Australians show for wildlife in this country, which he feels is a huge cultural difference between here and Brazil.

Having been studying for nine weeks already, both Richard and Vanessa feel that their English has greatly improved already. They both agreed that studying at Lexis has really helped them improve their grammar skills, and that meeting other students and people in Byron Bay has helped them improve their speaking skills as they use English in all their social situations. Vanessa has found all the people in Byron Bay to be very friendly and believes we live in a little piece of paradise. Richard would recommend others to study here as it is a unique experience and life is short! Both said that the staff at Lexis, both in the office and all the teachers, are all gentle, kind, helpful and friendly too. They have both learnt a lot from their teachers and find that each teacher helps them to understand English in new ways.

When they first arrived, Richard and Vanessa lived with a Homestay family for the first two months. They thoroughly enjoyed this experience, as they felt very at home with their host family who were very friendly and great cooks! Initially they found it a bit difficult to adapt to the cultural differences and different house rules compared to Brazil, but before long they had settled in and quickly felt as though they were part of the family. They have just moved into a rental property – right next door to their host family. They have been lucky enough to share their property with an Australia local too – a friendly koala who is living in a tree in their garden!

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Vanessa and Richard enjoyed Coffee, TimTams and conversation at Coffee Club

After completing their current English course, Vanessa and Richard hope to continue studying here for an extra six months before travelling around Australia. They would like to visit Tasmania, Cairns, the Outback, Sydney, Melbourne and many other places across the country before returning to Brazil and to work.

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We are very happy to have you both in the Lexis Family at Byron Bay and hope you continue to enjoy your time here at school, in Byron Bay and wherever your travels eventually take you! 🙂

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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.

Happy Student – Paola!

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Paola is from Brazil and is in her ninth week of studying General English at Lexis Byron Bay. After completing 14 weeks in this course, she plans to study both the Business and Cambridge courses at Lexis before returning to Brazil around mid next year.

Paola had always been interested in visiting Australia for the beautiful weather, people, beaches and places, as well as the proximity to New Zealand, a country she would also like to visit. Back in Brazil, Paola completed a Masters in Forestry and is planning to continue her research with a Doctorate in Forestry when she returns. In order to undertake the Doctorate, Paola needed to study English and she took the opportunity to combine this with a trip to Australia!

Paola feels that her English has definitely improved during her time here, through a combination of learning at school and practicing with friends and locals outside of school. She has been enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Byron Bay, including the beaches and the people, as well as the healthy lifestyle and organic foods available in the area. She says that Byron Bay is an amazing place to study, live and experience!

Poala would recommend studying at Lexis Byron Bay, and says that it is a good school with great teachers. She likes the diversity of nationalities among the students, allowing them to not only learn English, but also to learn about other customs, foods and behaviours from across the world. She enjoys the activities available for the students each afternoon, with her favourites including Coffee Lounge, Surfing, Table Tennis and Skateboarding. Paola also believes having the onsite accommodation attached is a big plus too, as there are often Australian people living there which enables students to speak with and learn from the locals.

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We hope you continue to enjoy your time in Byron Bay and Australia, and are very happy to have you as part of the Lexis Family in 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.