Stories

Interviews with volunteers

Nisha Prajapati – creche assistant

1.Why did you decide to volunteer?

I’m doing childcare course and this will help me in the future as a previous experience.

2. What do you like the most about it?

Playing with children and spending time with them. You can learn a lot

3. Would you recommend it?

Yes. For friends, and mostly for young people because you need to be patient.

4. Have you learned anything during volunteering?

How children are, how do they behave, how they like to play.

5. What’s the most rewarding aspect of this job?

I love children and I love to play with them.

6. What are your plans?

I’d like to work in a nursery and I’m planning to stay in Scotland. I’m not sure, but I’m planning to stay in Stirling for years too.

7. Why did you come to Scotland?

Because I wanted to live with my husband.

8. What’s do you like best about Scotland/Stirling?

It’s a nice place and it’s beautiful. People are very friendly and helpful.

 

Sabika – admin volunteer

1.Why did you decide to volunteer?

Because I wanted to do more. I am doing admin for the school.

2. What do you like the most about it?

It keeps me busy and focused.

3. Would you recommend it?

Yes.

4. Have you learned anything during volunteering?

Yes, making friends, learning new things.

5. What’s the most rewarding aspect of this job?

It gets me out of the house and about.

6. What are your plans?

Not much, I am hoping to get a job based in admin.

7. Why did you come to Scotland?

Because I wanted to get a better education and a job.

8. What do you like best about Scotland/Stirling?

The best thing is that you get to learn more about the history of Stirling Castle or Wallace Monument. But what I like most about it is shopping.

Students

EZZAT (Syria)

My name is Ezzat and I am from Syria. I have been learning English in the Stirling School of English for 3 years, since 2016. I was an intermediate student when I came to this school but now my English is much better.

I have made many friends here, we help each other to learn English. Also, the Summer English School is very important for me- I spent 5 days a week learning English and that helped me greatly.

I feel very very happy studying here. I love all my teachers and classmates. They gave me a good experience of learning English. They are one of the main reasons I want to keep studying here. I would like to take all courses here until I am an advanced English learner.

Moreover, in my life I use English quite a lot outside of the class. For example, I feel more confident and comfortable talking to people when I go shopping. It’s easy for me to buy anything without the help or explanation from others. I have many friends outside of the class as well because I can speak good English. We like visiting each other and have a good time together.

I hope I can go to a university major in architecture engineer. I am confident about my English now so I want to learn more technical knowledge. I could use my previous working experience with the help of English to get a higher degree, even find a job that suits me in the future.

ELA (Poland)

I joined the Stirling School of English in late 2018 and I can say I made a very good progress.

Mr. Robert is a very competent and calm teacher. He is always prepared and tries to make the classes interesting.

Lessons about Life in The UK were very helpful for passing the exam. They were detailed and Alan tailored them to my needs. He also made a great effort to explain all the necessary aspects of the test material.

I am more confident about speaking English and in the last few months I started volunteering in the school’s crèche. It helped me a lot to develop my language skills and meet people from abroad.

I think that I have passed the Citizenship test as a result of the Life in the UK course and volunteering.

I am planning to apply to college now to do childcare and will still attend English classes to get better and learn more about writing essays.

CHONGRYOL (South Korea)

I am from South Korea to study in the PhD course at the University of Stirling.

I have been studying English for a long time in South Korea and I took the IELTS exam in order to get the entry requirement score of university. Nevertheless, the English language is still difficult for me.

When I came I wrote my thesis and read many articles every day but I lacked opportunities to speak with my friends in English because most PhD students concentrated on their own research in the office.

So, I was searching for local English schools on the internet. In the meantime, one of my Korean friends recommended the Stirling School of English 30 months ago. Since that time, I’ve attended this school and I feel I’ve made a huge improvement in my English skills. I started in the upper-intermediate class and now I’m in the advanced and academic writing class. Although I feel I need to learn more, many friends told me ‘’your English has improved’’.

In this school, I also have a lot of opportunities to experience diverse cultures from many international students. This would not have been possible if I hadn’t attended this school.

Above all, I was so pleased to join the ceilidh dance at social events. I had never experienced ceilidh dancing before. This was my first dance.

Furthermore, while I am staying in Stirling, I’ve travelled around Scotland and I could get a lot of information from the school’s volunteer teachers. I feel the English school and this city are giving me  a lot of positive energy.

Although I have been staying for two years and half and will stay for two more years, I feel this town is the second hometown in the world to me. This is owing to kind volunteer teachers and all my friends in Stirling.

I would like to say  “Thank you and I love the Stirling School of English”.

Lara (Spain)whatsapp image 2018-12-26 at 11.05.53

I spent four months at the Stirling School of English while I was preparing for my IELTS exam in Scotland in 2018 and all I have to say is that it was an incredible experience.

From the very beginning, the teachers and the staff welcome you as a new member of this multicultural family. When you are in a foreign country on your own, no matter how old you are, it makes you feel like home.

After passing your placement test, you are placed in your corresponding level and start the classes. One of the first things I noticed once there is how the teachers encourage you to talk to other people always in English, of course! Or they talk to you themselves in order to improve your spoken English and get over your shyness.

It’s amazing how many different nationalities you can meet in two hours so, by the end of the semester, you will have probably found lots of friends and more new places to visit on your next holidays.

My aim was to pass the IELTS exam. I had many volunteers helping me while I was attending every class I could. Thanks to the school I could get some specialised classes focusing on the exam, where the teachers went with me through various parts of the exam and the criteria to assess my level and to help me improve.

Now, I can tell that the best thing that has happened to me was that I have reached the band I needed thanks to all the help and support from the school.

lenka

Lenka (Czech Republic)

My name is Lenka and I came to Scotland as an Erasmus student from the Czech Republic in 2018. While abroad, one of my main goals was to improve my English as much as possible. I was lucky to come across a Stirling School of English leaflet on university campus shortly after I arrived. I registered and started to attend the CPE exam preparation classes. Although I was the only student interested in this type of class, they were all ready to find a suitable solution for me. I was very fortunate to have two excellent teachers who alternated with teaching me, which I take as a great advantage. Each of them had a different style of teaching, a different accent and provided me with a different kind of learning experience. I had been a bit hesitant about taking the CPE exam but after a few classes with Bob and Hetty I decided to set it as my personal goal. I will certainly keep on studying English after I return home!

Alfredo (Peru): Thanks to the dedication, patience and experience of the tutors I learned a lot and won confidence to speak. I received not only that, but the best introduction to Scottish culture, way of life and history as well. You can imagine that I am very grateful for all this.

Monika (Hungary): I’ve made friends for life here. I’m really thankful for my teachers and the school and I’m glad to be part of this community. I can only encourage others to join too. It’s so much fun!

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Unang (Indonesia): I definitely found the best English school I ever have. I really enjoy the classes. Moreover, the teachers are very interesting and I have so many friends from different nationalities. Here, at Stirling School of English, I am not only learning the language but also understanding the Scottish culture through events such as The Burn’s Supper (trying haggis) & Ceilidh.

Sadaf (Iran):

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I’m enjoying my English classes because I have lovely teachers and friends. I love them. My English is getting better because I have good teachers and they are always helping me to learn English. I would like to say thank you to all my teachers. I’m very happy here in Stirling.


Volunteers

Sarah (June 2013 – March 2015, September 2015 – February 2016):

 I started as a Volunteer Teacher at the Stirling School of English in 2013 while studying for my MSc TESOL and Applied Linguistics. This opportunity allowed me to put the theory, which I had learned on the MSc, into practice as well as give something back to the community. The main focus of my classes was Academic Speaking; however I also gained experience in teaching Elementary, Pre-intermediate and Advanced learners. I even had a chance to teach Medical English on a one-to-one basis. Thanks to this fantastic experience, I was able to gain employment at a private language school in Edinburgh. Although it is ‘cheerio’ for now, I would be delighted to return to the Stirling School of English in the future.

Pamela (September 2014 – April 2015): 

I first heard about the Stirling School of English online and was intrigued by the possibility of volunteering there.  At first I’d applied for a position with the creche, but after telling Lore the opportunities I’d had in the past teaching English in various capacities, she proposed that I become a tutor.  I was terrified!  But, after meeting the other tutors at the first meeting, getting to know the curriculum, and finally meeting the students, I was thrilled that she had offered me the position and regretted not knowing about the school earlier.

Each Tuesday and Wednesday morning I would come to the Rock Centre and go through various English exercises with the students.  Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are all well covered in the curriculum provided.  Each day I had an opportunity to get to know the students better and develop friendships with them and the staff.

The only reason that I am leaving is because my husband and I are moving to the States to be closer to family.  It has truly been a growing, learning and wonderful experience.

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