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7 November 2016
We often receive fantastic feedback about our courses, teachers, schools and accommodation, but it's not very often that our students' feedback is printed in a newspaper! But recently, Italian newspaper Gazzetta di Parma printed the experiences of 5 students who visited Regent Cambridge during the summer. We have translated the article below:
"It's not only English that you learn here."
This summer, like every summer for many years, ten students from the 4th year of Marconi Secondary School won themselves a grant, funded by a former student of the school, to allow them to spend 3 weeks studying in England at a local school and staying with a host family. The grant was awarded to the students with the highest grade averages and the best marks in English. Half of the group went to Cambridge, the other half to Oxford.
"You come back more motivated and full of enthusiasm".
Greta di Dio
This grant gave me the opportunity to have a unique experience - to study in Cambridge for three weeks, immersed in a university city full of history and culture. The English course was of the highest quality, and even though we attended for less than a month the results were excellent, for which I am really grateful. The lessons actively engaged the students, drawing us into lively debates from which we learned to speak more fluently to explain ourselves, and to use the correct vocabulary and pronunciation. The most important thing they taught me was to have faith in myself, and not to be afraid of making mistakes, because it's only through making mistakes that we become aware of how we need to improve.
Another fundamental aspect of this holiday was most certainly getting to know other students from all over the world (or almost). Understanding something of their cultures helped me to look at my own and appreciate the good and the bad and, above all, I saw the importance of speaking a language that is common to us all and which can bring us together, even though we come from opposite ends of the earth.
A huge smile, a sigh of relief after holding my breath in amazement, huge satisfaction - this was my reaction in June on finding out I'd been awarded the grant for Cambridge. I'm so happy to have had this opportunity. It has allowed me to understand myself better and has opened my mind. I stayed in a family that were kind, hospitable, warm and helpful, and it left me with memories I will always have and an example to follow in the future. Going to school was a pleasure - the teachers were young and fun and always ready to encourage and stimulate us - so that we made mistakes and learned from them. The topics we studied were really interesting. The classes were small and we were always invited to collaborate, so we improved our knowledge of English and our fluency, learning to speak almost effortlessly, but effectively. The school was also the place where we made friends with different kinds of people from all over the world and of all ages. I met cultures that were very different from mine and in the afternoon I rekindled interests that I had left buried back home in Parma out of laziness. I went home with a better understanding of the world I live in, more curious and fired up to face the school year to come, and generally with a more responsible attitude towards my future. This experience was about much more than just learning English, and I hope I can hold onto the shot of adrenaline it has given me and transmit some of my enthusiasm to those who didn't have this opportunity. Finding motivation is the key to excelling at anything.
The experience I had in my 3 weeks in Cambridge was one of the most gratifying of my life. Although the academic curriculum was important, it is in personal terms that I think I have really grown. In such a brief period I met dozens of people from different countries, with different languages and cultures, all of them unique in their own ways. I discovered things I had never even thought about and re-evaluated many of my own opinions, really looking at them in a different light. I formed a close bond with the family from Turkey who hosted me, as well as with all the students I made friends with: Italian, Spanish, Polish, Saudi Arabian, Qatari, Turkish, Brazilian, Japanese, Taiwanese and many other nationalities. I understood better the good (and bad) things about many cultures, going beyond the usual stereotypes. I am really grateful to have been given the opportunity to have this experience and I would wish it for every student.
A school of life for the future, where you teach not just a language, but also life skills such as public speaking, body language, setting goals and achieving them...a definitively fantastic experience.
The 3 weeks spent in Cambridge were really magical. Apart from allowing me to improve my English, it provided me with a real lesson in life. It made me grow in a very personal sense: I learned to "survive" on my own for a longer period of time (for someone like me, who had never been so far from home before) and I developed more faith in my own abilities. I came into contact with many different people and cultures. I talked about subjects I would never have imagined discussing, and found myself before horizons that were totally new to me and which enriched my view of the world more and more. I would like to give infinite thanks to the Marconi Secondary School and its sponsor for having made this experience possible. I would wish everyone to have this kind of opportunity at least once in their life. It left a deep impression on me.