Three months have passed! I chose NILS language school for learning English which is located in Cebu. Recalling the decision to go to Cebu, I was full of doubts and uneasiness. But I really appreciate Mrs. Amber of Ugophilippines who answered my questions in detail and recommended appropriate schools to me according to my requirement.
Since I want to study in a school which is located in a well location, convenient shopping mall and with less number of Taiwanese Student, because I don’t want to speak Mandarin. I love Japan so I hope it is Japanese-founded school. After Ugophilippines agent introduced, I chose the NILS which is full of free school spirit, no curfew, no Taiwanese and in IT Park.
When I arrived at the Cebu Airport, the super cute Taiwanese NILS intern picked me up to the office of Ugophilippines where is closed to the school, it’s about 5 to 10 minutes to go to school by walking. When I arrived at the office, Mrs. Tian already prepared the prepaid sim card etc. and taught me how to set. She also treated me two bananas, it was really sweet!! Ugophilippines made me feel that I am not in a foreign country. There accommodation is very heart warming, especially I was nervous in my first day in Cebu, their service let me down, so I began to rest assured the enjoyment of life in Cebu for three months.
I was very happy during 3 months in NILS. I had one-on-one classes every day, it made me progress a lot. I chose the courses of speaking, listening, grammar at the first 6 weeks, and then I transferred the course to TOEIC class at afterward 6 weeks. There are many diversified text books can choose in TOEIC class, I probably finished 11 times simulation exams, I remember I asked teacher “Where did you get this examination questions? Why it is easier than the questions that I had taken in Taiwan? Why the listening is slowly?” Teacher said” All of these questions are edited from past TOEIC exams.” In fact I didn’t believe. Until I took the real TOEIC exam after I went back to Taiwan, I realized that the teacher didn’t lie to me, but I hence unknowingly. Since the difficultly of the simulation exams and the speaking speed of listening were similar to the real exam, so I guess it was because of studying in NILS for 3 months.
Of course NILS is not only full of advantages but also having few disadvantages. For example: The cubicles are open space, my seat was next to the teachers’ restroom, and my listening class was at 12:00 pm to 01:00pm so they were all chatting. Actually I felt noisy, I couldn’t hear clearly from the headphone. But I think it was good thing for me, after all, I can’t ask other people be quiet while I am focusing in talking with someone outside. So I think this listening training environment is very similar to the real communication situation. So I didn’t ask permit ion for changing seat.
In school, I was the only one Taiwanese student, besides Taiwanese intern student, so making friends was also a problem but I was lucky because of my two Japanese roommates. They introduced their Japanese friends to me and invited me to hang out together, so even though I couldn’t speak Japanese, making friends in NILS is not a problem!!
We went to many attractions, for example, Skywalk Extreme in Crown Regency Hotel, Tarsier and Chocolate Hills in Bohol, TOPS in the highest point in Cebu, and KTV with affordable price, etc. So my brain really filled with many memories.
In NILS, all teachers treat students with kind and most of them are outgoing and talkative, it’s clearly showing the characteristics of the philipinos. Some will sing songs of F4 with me in the classroom because most of them will think of Meteor Garden when talk about Taiwan! Through singing, I tried to translate the Chinese lyric to English to teacher and then teacher will correct my translation so I learned a lot from that.
Perhaps some students feel that the teacher is not good while chat in class, but it is because the teachers are very passionate. For me, chat is the fastest way to improve English speaking, it is more fast and life-Style than the regular speaking class, so I wouldn’t stop teachers chatting with me and I had never changed any teacher. But the school also have complete system about changing teacher, as long as you fill out the application form, it is very convenient!
In fact, I have friends asked me why not just study in Taiwan, instead of spending money to go so far away. The reason why is because in Taiwan it doesn’t have full English environment. I think the biggest difference is: I can’t think things in English and also English skill can’t be applied immediately what I have learned. Since most of Taiwanese English teachers teach grammar in Mandarin but all the NILS’s teachers teach grammar in English. And because buy things, eat, cut hair, chat with Japanese friends, etc., I could only speak in English, so I could apply in daily life quickly that teachers had taught. I don’t need to think in Chinese and then translate to English, but rather think in English directly. This is the most different about learning English between Cebu and Taiwan.
It was very enriched and happy during this three months, I have made philipino and Japanese friends. Besides learning English, I also understand the difference of personality and culture between these two countries. Thank for Ugophilippines’s Mrs. Tian and Ambers’ assistance, I am Thankful for the NILS staff and Taiwanese Intern Student Fianne, they didn’t make me encounter any difficult situation and also thank for my teachers and Japanese friends, they saw me off and prepared some gifts for me, I’m truly touched!
Thank you very much!