What were the deciding factors that made you study abroad?
I was finished with my three years nurse education back home in Stockholm, and I felt I wanted to enhance my English skills and where is a better place do that than in the United States? So, I started to look for several language schools in the U.S. I found the language company EF who seemed to have several appealing programs where you could combine studies with a cool life style. The school located in San Diego was the perfect choice. It offered a brand new campus near the sea and was known for their talented teachers. Of course, the sunny weather in San Diego and the relaxed but yet cosmopolitan California atmosphere were two contributing factors as well.
What’s the best with studying in San Diego?
I love the weather here and the fact that you have so many alternatives of fun activities to do. Three of my classmates and I have rented a car for whole semester and we love to go to a nice beach after the school day. We have been to Ocean Beach and Coronado Beach to mention a few. One of my favorite spots is Sunset Cliffs where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets on the cliffs together with some nice food and drinks. The fact that the campus offers a pool, a volleyball area, and a gym keeps me always active.
What’s the biggest difference you find between studying in Sweden and the US?
Studying in the US has really challenged me in many new ways compared to my previous studies in Sweden. One of them is the fact that I have to speak English every day. Since most of my classmates are from other countries than Sweden we have to practice our English skills all the time. At first this was a bit uncomfortable but now I feel very confident with speaking English.
What are the cultural differences living here compared to Sweden?
One of the biggest differences I have experienced so far is the people. I feel that all the people you meet here are so friendly and helpful. You can start a conversation with a person you meet on the street and there is nothing strange about that. This is something I don’t find so common in Sweden, and it seems to be a cultural difference.
The campus at EF is very international; I live with two other girls, one from Mexico and one from Belgium. This is very exciting as I get the opportunity to learn and explore several cultures which is something I would not be able to do everyday back home.
How do you think this experience will benefit for your future career?
This experience has truly strengthened both my personal and academic skills. On the personal level I have learnt to adapt to new situations and different cultures as well as taking a lot of own responsibility. I feel that I am more humble now. My English skills has improved a lot, and I believe they could benefit me in my future career if I would like to work abroad for example.
A typical day at the EF campus?
9am First class for the day
12am Lunch at the EF Campus
1pm Afternoon classes
4pm School ends for the day and my friends and I take the car to the beach
6pm We go to Sunset Cliffs to watch the sunset
8pm Taco dinner in Downtown
What do you do in the weekends?
There is so many fun things do here! In the weekends I like to explore new places. For example, my friends and I took the car to Los Angeles for a couple of days to enjoy LA’s cool atmosphere. Last weekend we went to Las Vegas with our classmates which was a trip arranged by the school. We went to Grand Canyon for one day and a pool party and city exploring for the other days. Furthermore, I have attended one festival called Beyond Wonderland, which was really cool! So as you understand there is always something on the agenda, which I love!
Would you recommend your friends to do this kind of studies abroad?
Definitely! I am very satisfied with the courses I have taken and I feel all my teachers have been very engaged in the students. I have met so many new friends both at campus and outside of school, and together we have created memories for life! This is a perfect opportunity for all who want to cultivate their English skills while enjoying all exciting things California has to offer!
Written by: Filippa Granting, SACC San Diego