I’ve been dreaming about going to England to learn English since I was 12. I began to learn it from the second year at school, and when I became older, I started classes with a tutor – my German neighbor. My grades were fine, however, the neighbor gave us a good discount, so my mom decided to take a chance. It fascinated me. I can even remember that I received different catalogs from different cities, where it’s possible to study, via email. They were so beautiful, I always enjoyed viewing pictures and reading about various programs and their cost. My family wasn’t affluent, I lived with my older sister and mom, who was a doctor and did her best for our family. I couldn’t even think about going to England. However, I wanted to go there so badly, I began dreaming that when I grow old, I will have plenty of money/high salary rate, and my dream will finally become true. Truly to say, I couldn’t believe that it might be possible back then.
Now I’m 26 and I’m a PR-manager. Last year I changed my job, my husband’s business was booming, and I started to save some money. One month later I realized that I can save enough money for a trip to England. Nevertheless, I’ve never used any of agencies’ services as they were rather expensive/intrusive, etc. I used to plan all my trips by myself including visa application processes.
I’ve been watching Marina’s YouTube channel for a while, that’s how I found out about LinguaTrip. I liked that the website was convenient – it’s possible to choose a course, accommodation and figure out the cost of a trip. However, I wasn’t sure what school and course to choose, and I requested a call back on the website. They didn’t call me back immediately, only a few days later, but it’s minor things. I had the following priorities: London, May of 2018, 2 weeks, intensive English course in mini-groups, maybe even personal classes, living in a students’ residence in the city center, and walking distance to school.
Manager Ekaterina asked me about my trip’s priorities and budget. I got a comprehensive consultation, and Ekaterina suggested I go to another city in order to get more effective language practice. Since watching movies and reading books about Harry Potter in my childhood, I’ve always dreamt to visit London, so my decision was steady) Ekaterina told me about few schools, which were suitable for me, and about pros and cons of living near those schools. Right after her call, she sent me an email with different options with her expert comments. I chose EC London school, the course of Intensive English for work, accommodation in the student residence Chapter Kings Cross.
I paid a deposit online and wrote a leave request for six months ahead. After that my personal manager Lidiya contacted me, also I got a confirmation letter from the school and letter for visa. I needed to print those documents and prepare others demanded documents in order to apply for a visa. Since my work relates to travels, and my colleges had processed their own visas by themselves several times before, I processed my visa application easily. I liked the fact that LinguaTrip does free visa application checking. I sent my application to LinguaTrip’s email, and a manager gave me some comments. However, I couldn’t change my application form, and the manager calmed me down saying that those comments are not critical, and the Embassy usually looks at documents, that I provide.
Further things were faster – I got the visa, bought tickets, uploaded the information about myself and my trip to my LinguaTrip’s personal account, and paid the most part for my trip. Everything was easy and fast. Next, my manager was Marina. She called me and wrote to me clarifying if everything was alright and if I have any questions. Marina sent me a leaflet and some useful tips about life in England.
I decided not to book a transfer. I bought the round tickets from Heathrow Express more than 30 days before my trip (if you buy tickets in advance, they are much cheaper, I paid 7 or 8 pounds for one-way ticket) to get to Paddington station for 15 (!) minutes, and then to take Uber (7-10 pounds to my apartment). When I arrived with heavy luggage, it was raining, so buying those tickets was the best decision that I never regretted.
I enjoyed studying at a school in general – it took 15 minutes to get there from my apartment on foot. Moreover, there were a subway and public transportation station across the street to get to any part of the city. About my study: on the first day we had an online test on grammar and listening skills, however, we didn’t have a speaking test, which would show our conversational ability. That’s why I was determined in the pre-advanced group, although I thought that I have an Intermediate level. I learned plenty of new words and information during my classes. I noticed that there were students with better English than mine in my group, nevertheless, I didn’t have hard times. I liked all my teachers. The only point – I had an intensive class “English for work”, but it wasn’t really useful for me as 1) there were students with low English level in class 2) lessons during the first week were directed not on learning English, but on some psychological aspects – how to conduct yourself at interviews etc. Therefore, I didn’t receive any thorough information. The final online test showed that my English level had increased a little bit. At the end of my study, I kept noticing that my thoughts were in English (now I understand recommendations about language immersion), I even had dreams of English!
I met people from different parts of the world, most students in my group were from Germany and Brazil. I made friends with a girl from Zurich – we walked around London together, went to the musical " The Phantom of the Opera", watched the translation of Prince Harry's wedding together with afternoon tea, went to Hyde Park and had fun at Aqua shard bar – it was the best view of London from there. We keep in touch with each other, and we are going to meet in other countries.
Our schedules didn’t match all the time, so I visited some places alone. I was delighted with the Warner Brothers studio, where Harry Potter was shot (it’s a must-have for the fans of the novel about the boy who survived), St. Paul's Cathedral (now it’s one of the favorite places of mine), the Royal Court (very beautiful architecture), performances in Shakespeare's theater ""Globe"" – I watched the comedy " As you like it"".
The trip was amazing, it’s a pity that I had only 2 weeks, however, I couldn’t get longer vacation at my work. By the way, my boss, who is from England, noticed that my course was beneficial for me.
I enjoyed both the trip and the process of preparation for it. I want to thank LinguaTrip’s team for willingness to help at every stage of my trip, excellent service, and convenient website. Now, when people ask me the details of my trip and how I booked the course, and everything else, I refer to LinguaTrip)