When I was writing this testimonial, I was looking for a word to describe my experience at Tamwood and in Vancouver. After many trials, I could only find one: Amazing!
First, I must confess, I was not expecting my trip to Vancouver to become a great adventure. I organized my travel in less than three weeks and I really did not have time to organize everything. I was expecting to focus on my business English classes; I did not make plans for my afternoons after school or for the weekend. I also did not stop to get information about touristic points in British Columbia to visit or things to do in Vancouver.
Nonetheless, I was very lucky! Tamwood provided me with everything I needed to have such a great time in Canada. In the first days, I learned about the activities after school. From riding bicycles in Stanley Park to hanging out at beaches, like English Bay, and at Granville Island (they have many good beers!). The activities are part of Tamwood’s culture; they are the best way to meet new people and to put our English into practice. You visit a many interest places in Vancouver and make many friends; I have never imagined making friends from Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Spain and Switzerland during my vacations.
At the school, I learned about the tour to the Rocky Mountains. It was not in my plans, but I travelled with Discover Canada to Jasper and Banff. I spent four days visiting glacier, lakes, mountains, and rivers. I deeply recommend everybody to go in this journey, the views are breathtaking, Canada’s countryside is very beautiful, you have a great opportunity to see near untouched nature with your ow eyes, we also spotted four bears!
Therefore, I would like to thank Tamwood for transforming my vacations in something much more fun that I had being expecting. Moreover, I sincerely wish everybody to have such a great time that I had!
Words & Photos by: Felipe Farah
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I can tell you that I had so many expectations about coming to Canada. My initial plan was only to study and focus on reading my textbook to improve my English, and, maybe, visit some cool places.
But actually, in my first week, I got really homesick. I regretted coming to Vancouver because I was far away from everyone that I loved and everything I knew. My wish was to go back to my country and forget this idea of studying in Canada.
Nevertheless, step by step, I started to meet some kind people. They were so nice and full of positive energy that I started to appreciate being in their presence. We started to hang out and explore the city together. With so many beautiful places, I fell in love with Vancouver.
After a few weeks in Vancouver, I had the opportunity to become a student leader, a kind of student that helps organize activities for students after school. Suddenly I had to use my communication skills to build relationships with more and more students. I had to work hard to make them comfortable with Tamwood and with me. During this process, I watched and learned about different cultural customs. I saw that the best sign of respect with someone was to accept and understand that each person is different and we must enjoy the best that each one can offer. And that was the main point for me to start to make connections that would last forever.
Now I have friends from all around the world who teach me new things everyday. I will carry with me the friendship and knowledge they have given me.
I can’t forget to mention my great experience with my host family. At dinner, we always talked about everything – telling funny stories, laughing and pulling each other’s legs. Moments that made me feel that we were building a family. They were the people that helped me most to improve my pronunciation, correcting me daily, no matter how many times it was necessary. I had special attention even with my homework. They read the newspaper with me and tested my listening by watching TV together.
I have to thank teachers and workers of Tamwood, too. They are always willing and available to chat with you, give personal tips to improve your English. Most teachers have already lived in other countries and they can share all the knowledge and experience that they had.
Now I’m next to leave Vancouver and I’m sure I have met so many brave people that I’m going to be in touch for a long time.
The truth is when you fall in love with a place; you start to make a real connection with the city, people and with yourself. And discover how many challenges you are able to face and how humans are incredibly resilient. After this experience, the phrase of Johann Goethe (one of my favorites) makes total sense: “In the fullness of happiness, everyday is a lifetime”.
Words by: Rafaela
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