The idea of going somewhere to study english has been on my mind since I can remember.
Right after I finished high school, back in 2008, I thought it was the perfect moment, some of my friends were actually doing it so I started getting enthusiast with the idea of going abroad as well. Unfortunately - or luckily, I couldn’t get through it in that moment because I started university really suddenly.
All those years my mom always suggested I could go in my vacation time to do summer courses and stuff, but that wasn’t really my vision of it, I wanted to go somewhere for an extended period of time to fully enjoy the experience. So last year when I saw my graduation from uni around the corner and I had to start making plans for the near future I thought this was definitely my perfect opportunity.
The first thing I did was to determinate what I wanted to do and where: An english course to fully dominate the language, in the US or England. So I started looking for international schools / companies that offered me what I wanted and found Kaplan and Education First.
Where to go? Boston, Chicago, New York and London were my top options… Checking the schools in those cities wasn’t an easy task, I kept clicking and clicking and clicking for days and then I finally decided I didn’t want to go with Kaplan.
Chicago was the first out of my list followed by Boston (even when my mom was very pushy about it) and then I had London and New York. I’d like to say it was a hard battle but it really wasn’t…
Accommodation was something worrying for me because a) I don’t want to stay in a family house and b) I don’t know how to live all by myself. So that was really the thing that convinced me to go to New York… there is a college campus with dorms and everything! Just like in the movies! Okay, for those US people who are reading this and probably laughing out loud in this moment: we don’t have that in here, our university life culture is way too different than yours, so the only thing I know about that “american college life” has been broad to me through Hollywood. My mom is still trying to convince me to go to London, though.
The Education First International School of New York is in a small town called Tarrytown, located about 20 minutes away from Manhattan. They recieve students from about 100 different countries around the world over the age of 16 and offer many different short and long english courses.
So once I was determinated about what I wanted, I went to my EF local office and did my formal inscription for 24 weeks (6 months) of a general english course in EF New York starting next August!
Shortly after I received my welcome email and my access to the EF social network My EF.
The site is pretty cool, it has games, maps of Tarrytown and NYC with the hotspots, calendar, check lists for the students, important information, etc. The social part is great also, you can befriend everybody who’s at the school already or is planing to go, you can see who’s traveling with you (starting the courses the same day), you can send messages or use the chat, publish pictures, etc.
Apart from that, we set up a group in WhatsApp with people from Latin America and Spain, to get to know each other before we get there and talk about the process and stuff… I must confess I kinda both like and dislike the idea. I like it because obviously is cool to talk with them if I have doubts and I won’t be completely lost when I arrive to the school. But I don’t like because I definitely don’t want to hang out with people who speaks Spanish because for obvious reasons, that won’t help me to practice my English. I want friends from Germany, Korea, Russia and places like that so I’m obligated to speak English. And I swear I really don’t want to be rude or mean or anything, but to spend 6 months with my venezuelan folks it’s definitely not a part of the plan if I really want to improve, and I really do.
Besides, I’m really dying to get to know other cultures which I think, apart from the language, is a very important thing in all this lifetime experience.
Anyway, right now I’m just basically waiting for my I-20 to arrive so I can start with all the formalities to apply for a student visa in the US. Should also start booking the flights and everything…
And in case you’re wondering, I’m planning to blog about all the process till the minute I get my feet on the JFK airport - and beyond, this was just the beginning.
I must admit I was keeping it quiet because I’m really superstitious, but then again, you’re my friends and I wanted to share this happiness with you guys.
Hopefully everything is going to be just perfect and I’ll be a New Yorker in 4 months; just in case, I’m gonna be a little bit selfish and ask you to include me in your prayers or positive thinking, so I can achieve this dream with no problems.
To my northeast bloggers: we’re definitely getting together this year, so save the date girls ;).
Next post will be about the steps you have to follow to apply for a student visa in the United States.