I have never gone to an English school before. Firstly, because I studied in public schools, in Brazil, where it was not common to have good English classes and secondly, because my parents could not afford a language course when I was a child or a teenager. Thus, I have dreamed about learning English, but since I became a grown up I had always been busy, with other priorities and just following the flow of adult life.
Last year, I was still living in Brazil, working in a private university as a teacher and taking care of my old dog when, out of the blue, everything started to change. I lost my job and my little dog passed away. I went through a very hard time and I started to think about what I really wanted to do in my life. Something that could make me feel happy inside again. At that moment I had just one thought in my mind: “It is your time to make your dream come true. Go travel and study English!”
The Journey Begins
And that was what I did. Within one month I had everything ready to come to Ireland. I have friends who live in Dublin and Galway. I talked to them beforehand to understand more about these cities and how to choose the most suitable to me. In the end I chose Galway because I was looking for a small, charming, quaint and multicultural city where I could study, walk on foot, meet people and have some fun. The school was the second choice I had to make. I knew that there were just three options and all of them considered good ones. However, I searched for further information on the internet, on social media and with people who had already been learning English in Galway and it was not difficult to decide on Atlantic Language.
I can remember the first day at school. It was so exciting and scary! I could barely understand what people talked to me. I thought “Oh my god! This is going to be a long journey!” My first teacher seemed to speak a language from another planet. It took me some time to get used to that accent but after that I was feeling so comfortable and hopeful.
The Dream came Through: Learning English in Galway
Since I had already studied English by myself, watching videos on YouTube, TV series and movies, I knew that I would not start at the beginner level. But to my surprise I started in the intermediate class and I had the best teachers ever. Therese, Bill, Amy, Michelle, Simon and many others were fantastic. I learned so many things from them. Each one inspired me in a different way and made me reflect about being a teacher. We had more serious classes, at some days we played fun games and another times we acted or sang. I will never forget how all those methodologies helped us a lot as students.
As I said, I had been working as teacher in Brazil, so this exchange was a big opportunity to be in my students’ shoes. I could remember the feelings and sensations of discovering new things and going through the whole learning process. I also could provide feedback to the teachers and the school about tests and services, which I believe was helpful to them to improving some aspects.
In the end of this wonderful story I have met incredible people. I have made friends from many countries and I have learned so much more than I could have expected. Honestly, I never could have imagined that I’d be almost forty and on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, learning English in Galway at the Atlantic Language School?
I am not ready to say “Goodbye”…
Now, my six-month course has finished, but I feel that I am not ready to say: “Goodbye”. Learning English in Galway has been an incredible experience! I managed to reach the advanced level. Now, I want to go further, to practice more and achieve the English fluency. I fell in love with this country, this language, these people and this school. I do hope to be here for a little longer because, in some way, my heart is already here.
Thank you so much!