S. Nikita, one of our Russian students who have done the language immersion summer program of EGA in Ireland, through the Irish family accommodation system, which also includes English classes and activities, tells us about his experience.
In which programme did you participate?
I participated in the County Kerry Junior Programme in Killarney (Ireland).
Why did you want to participate in this experience?
I wanted to start truly talking and not just learning the grammar. Therefore, I was looking for an international school where I could practice my English a lot.
What did you like the most about this experience?
Of course, the best thing about the trip is the people. My host family was brilliant, the director of the school (Paco) was very talkative and friendly, and the students were also nice people.
How was your Irish family?
Living with my host family was a great experience. Every day we visited different relatives of my Irish family and thanks to that I met many native Irish people.
My Irish family cooked delicious food. I remember we had a BBQ day where we ate grilled meat and fried potatoes outside and, later, we had dinner at a restaurant.
I was never under the impression that having me in their house was a way to make money, they just liked the idea to have students from another country in their house.
How was your Irish brother?
My Irish brother was always waiting for us (me and one more student who lived with me, his name was Rodrigo) and spent time with us. We played football, basketball, went for a walk with his Irish friends and we were always together. He is a very friendly and easygoing man.
Would you change something about the trip?
Actually, the only thing that I would like to change would be Ireland’s weather 🙂 . Unfortunately, I suppose EGA could not solve this problem. Everything else was wonderful.
What do you think of the school where they taught the classes?
I liked the school and the teachers. During break time, we had the opportunity to play table football, table tennis and pool. During classes we did not use pens and copybooks, but just discussed interesting topics. I like this form of studying.
How about the classmates?
We became friends with many Spanish students and with Rodrigo (the one who lived with me) we still keep in touch. I traveled to Spain and visited his house and he came to Russia to visit me too. Now I am studding Spanish and Rodrigo helps me a lot.
And how about your relationship with the monitors?
Sometimes I felt I wasn’t talking to leaders because they treated you as a friend whom they had known for years, although they were older than you.
And did you like Irish cuisine?
To tell the truth, I did not find a difference between Russian and Irish cuisines. I just can say that milk products are really good there.
Would you repeat the trip? Why?
Certainly, I would like to go to Ireland with EGA once more. But unfortunately, after turning 18 it is not easy due to some circumstances.
Have you improved your English?
I hope that my level of English has improved, but for me it’s very difficult to know this. The only thing that I can say is that it was easier for me to start talking to foreigners after my Irish experience.
What do you think of the excursions?
I want to say a big thank you to EGA for the activities that they prepared for us. Every day we had exciting activities that were not similar to the previous ones. Starting from cinema and bowling ending with surfing, climbing and a trip to Dublin, everything was planned and organized detail. Thanks to those activities there was not a day that I could characterize as boring.
Do you have any anecdote or funny story?
I do not remember any moment when I felt awkward or anything like this, but I guess that some girls might have had this feeling in sport activities such as climbing, bicycle etc.
Would you recommend the trip to other students?
Three years have passed since my trip to Ireland with EGA, but I still remember this experience as if it was yesterday and certainly, I would recommend to everyone who is interested in this way of spending their holidays.
What have you learned from the experience?
Thanks to this trip I got to learn how to communicate with people who have different English accents.
How would you rate the trip?
It was a gorgeous experience and I, of course, give 5 out of 5 or 100/100 to this trip.