We all experience good and bad moments in our lives, but even bad things have a bright side. Two months ago, I have decided to study abroad, and due to the price, nice location, the amount of study hours and all the above comments, SMEAG school in the Philippines was the best option to choose. I have booked an ESL course in that school. Here are some things to know before you decide to book a course there. The following points are based on my own experience, some might find them not true for their experience, some students like their teachers and some did not like their teachers at all. First of all, I will explore good things and then things I was not satisfied with.
- I enjoyed school activities. Every weekend SMEAG organizes trips to different and famous places providing with transportation, food, equipment and guidance. That is the time when you can forget all the books you were going through the whole week and just relax swimming, doing a snorkeling or scuba-diving, watching beautiful landscapes, eating delicious food and of course chatting with your new buddies from different parts of Asia. Swimming with whale sharks is a “must visit“ place.
- The “three times a day” meal is delicious. I can say it was tasty, healthy, nutritious and you have a lot of it.
- All teachers and administration staff are friendly, polite and ready to help if you have any questions.
- Laundry was easy to use and clothes after getting them back they were folded nicely and smelled great.
- The best thing you can get from studying in campuses are new friends. You meet a lot of new people from different countries (85% Asian countries). I have made a lot of new friends there, have learnt about their culture and customs. People are so different all over the world, and in order to know something new about them and their traditions we have to study English. The saddest part was when you had to say you farewells to friends, but do not forget to set an appointment with them somewhere in the world.
- On the “Lingua Trip” site it says, ESL course is for all different levels of students (from beginner to advanced). Unfortunately, the information is incorrect. SMEAG school doesn’t have advanced level and can hardly provide upper-intermediate. So, I had to change the course to TOEFL.
- Most of the TOEFL classes are boring, and not as productive as you want them to be. Of course, studying is boring sometimes, but here it is boring because of the structure of the class, where you mostly go from test to test answering given questions (1 out of 10 different classes was good because of the structure of the class).
- The explanations teachers give on your questions about the test (reading and listening) are not proper (after getting the explanation I still was not sure why that answer was correct) and you have to find out yourself why that answer is correct and yours not, which is actually good, because you learn way more digging back into the text again and again. I could do it at home though, and pay nothing for this.
- Filipinos are non-native English speakers, neither are the teachers!!! So, if you decide to choose this school, be ready for the accent they speak with, mispronunciations, and moreover lack of vocabulary.
In conclusion, I would like to add that having 3 weeks course in SMEAG was a good experience for me, even though not all my desires were met. It will be a great experience for learners with the basic level of English to dive into the English atmosphere. All the signs in the city and in the campus are in English. All people in Cebu speak English and they will always help you with your questions if you get lost or trying to find a way to the place you want to go.