Happy Student – Lucas; Lexis’ most photographed student!!

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The lovely Lucas from Brazil first started with us in March this year, and after a quick break in September decided he missed us too much and wanted to extend his studies and stay in Byron Bay!

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Lucas on his first day 🙂 Him and Dana (centre) are the only two still here!

Lucas comes to many of our free activities so I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him over the past 7 months. He has a great sense of humour and is always smiling, friendly and courteous. Lucas always makes an effort to speak to new students from different countries, and this has helped him to improve his English and make friends from all over the world!

All the teachers agree that it is an absolute pleasure having Lucas here with us at Lexis Byron and it’s been wonderful watching his English grow and grow!

Being that he comes to many of the activities I now believe Lucas to be Lexis Byron’s most photographed student! For this reason, and also because of his cheery demeanor, I asked Lucas to be this month’s Happy Student! He happily obliged, so now you get to read all about his Lexis experience, along with just some of the pictures of him at our activities…

 

Why did you choose to come to Australia and to Lexis Byron Bay in particular?

I chose Australia because my brother already studied here at Lexis Byron and told me about his experience, and because here is paradise! I think I made the best choice. I also came to Australia because the climate and warm weather is similar to Brazil.

 

What are your English goals and how is Lexis helping you achieve them?

I would like to be able to speak English fluently. Here at Lexis I can improve my English a lot and I now believe fluency is possible for me.

  • Lucas started with us in Elementary and is now at an Upper Intermediate level. Go Lucas!!

 

Tell me a little bit about your teachers and classes…

All the teachers are really good. They always help us and make activities interesting. The activities are really fun and good for improving our English.

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You’ve joined in a lot of our free activities. What has been your favourite one so far?

Yes, when possible I try to join in a lot of free activities. I like to do them just to have fun, talk to people and always learn more; it could be a new word or sentence, or about another persons culture.

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Outside of school, what is your favourite thing about Byron?

I like the energy that is here. The people are really friendly and the places are beautiful. I really enjoy going to the beach.

 

You work in one of Byron’s most popular bars. What is your advice to other students looking for work in Byron?

Never give up! Before I started working in the Rails I was everyday trying and finally I got a job! So my advice is never give up and keep trying!!

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You’ve stayed with two host families during your time at Lexis. Can you please tell me a bit about these experiences?

Both experiences were really nice and I had a good time at both. First I was at Veronica’s, who has a beautiful house with swimming pool and my room was very spacious with a bath. She is a lawyer so she taught me about the Australian laws and helped me find a job. I lived there with two other students, Axel from French part of Switzerland and Yves from the German speaking part of Switzerland, so that was really fun. Next I lived with Kathy, who is very kind. I learnt a lot about Australia from her and I could tell her lots about South America too. Again I lived with two other students, Gabriela and Antonio from Spain, which was great. Both host mothers helped me to improve my English and would correct me when I said things wrong.

 

Finally, what would you say to anyone thinking of coming to Lexis Byron Bay?

DO IT!! It’s a great place to improve your English. There are many many people who can help you, especially Claire (Activities and Student Services), and also Lisa (Campus Manager) who has helped me from day one until now. The quality of the teachers is really good and they’re all really nice. Each teacher has a different way of teaching and different accents, which helps you to improve your listening.

 

 

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.

Cheese & wine tasting – 19 October

Last week, both morning and evening students gathered together for an extra special evening activity of wine and cheese tasting! The sun was out, the wine was flowing, the cheese was disappearing fast and it was Friday – perfect!

We had a range of different cheeses to choose from – Brie, Goats cheese, Edam, Camembert, Gouda, Cheddar, Tasmanian Feta, Spring onion and chive cream cheese, apricot cream cheese… all accompanied by a range of different crackers. For wine, we had a range of reds – Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a crisp Pinot Grigio and a soft Rose.

We all had a lot of fun and it was great for all the classes to mingle together, chat about all things cheesy and get ready for the weekend ahead!

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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 – 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.

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.