Please describe what you learned from participating in the English courses. Were the General English courses useful to you? Why? Why not?
The first day was orientation and placement test encompasses grammar, vocabulary, and speaking test. Based on this test, I obtained a result of Intermediate (5 of 8) and I took General English class at 10.40 am. From this class, I got four units from our module that inspired me to be more confident in English speaking.
Before my internship began my expectations were high, because I would study in English speaking country and also has high quality English school. I wanted to follow internship in New Zealand to improve my speaking and writing academic skill. The later purpose is always being my interest because I am planning to continue working in academia. That is why I choose to follow IELTS class for optional class in the afternoon. Surely, it is more than what I expected because I acquired new knowledge particularly in writing academic. The teacher has energy levels and engrossing story telling ways. For instance, she used a cleaning mop to explain what the differences between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous Tense. Moreover, through many exercising to describe many graphs, I suppose my writing skill has improved a lot compared before I joined this program.
Were the TOEIC courses useful to you? Why? Why not?
During internship, TOEIC class was held at 4 pm exactly after my afternoon class, which almost of us have been tired. However, the teacher was creative to make the class more enthusiastic. Different level of English ability from the students was also challenging for the teacher to teach effectively.
Overall, I enjoyed the method of teaching in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. Nonetheless, for the reason has been mentioned above, in my view the content of TOEIC course was quite basic comparing with the morning and afternoon course. Then, I took extra effort by doing mock test in the Learning Center.
Do you think your experience in New Zealand has changed your perspective in any way? (eg. future plans, cultural awareness, how to study languages)
My internship in New Zealand has struck a perfect balance between studying English and enjoying the culture. Social program organized by school in weekend gave exhilarating experiences that make this program educational and fun. New Zealanders (Kiwis) know the beautiful of nature is one of their wealth, so they provide tourist information in many places filled with overwhelming leaflet for each destination. It makes tourist feel free to going anywhere with clear directions.
Knowing culture and life of Kiwis makes me understand that the time for family is very important for them. Many shops were closed at around 5 pm, and I figured out this reason after discussion with my host-family. In addition, the Kiwis are friendly for new people so I can make casual chat even at bus stop.
Importantly, from New Zealand internship I got to know NAIST Japanese student as well that I continue keeping in touch. This program has changed our relationship from casual acquaintances become close friends. We get along very well and again, it is important for our future to build strong network.
What do you think about the length of the program?
I agree with the duration of the program. In my opinion, this internship is a “warming up”, that I should continue studying English in Japan. Obviously, I am still not satisfied with my current English level and I will do more practice to improve it. One of my teacher shared many useful links in Edmodo, e-learning facility from the school, so I still can access its via online from here.
Did you learn anything from the home-stay experience?
I stayed with Mr John and Mrs Maureen in a spacious home in Remuera with a large garden. They provided breakfast and dinner for all students who staying in their house. It was really happy to spend time in the morning by watching television. They explained about attracting places that appeared in advertisement during that program. Notably, they treated me like one of the family member. For instance, the first day we went out by their car strolling Auckland city, school location, bus ride and many more. They gave correct informations to make sure I could go home safely.
Please give your overall impressions about this internship and your experiences in this program. Feel free to also include negative comments. These will help us improve future programs.
To be able to involve in internship in New Zealand is one of the best experiences I have had in my life. Academically, the program gave me the opportunity to improve my English, particularly in speaking and writing skills. Professionally, I made many friends from different countries and it has high benefit to build wide networking. My spoken English has improved a lot by communicating with classmates, teacher, and host family. I feel free and more confident when speaking in English. Through joining IELTS class, I accumulated a more formal vocabulary, collocation and grammar and this has helped me to develop academic English writing. I have never studied this skill formally before and I found it is very interesting. In my opinion, it will be useful if our school organize this course to help the student in writing doctoral thesis or paper publication.
Language International has good environment to encourage students to speak actively in class, cafeteria, or through social program. Without a doubt, facility for Muslim prayer room is well provided because many Saudi Arabian students also studying in this school. The school also has Learning Center that provides many resources ranging from books, dictionary, newspaper/magazine, and VCD. However, I was able to access this facility from Tuesday to Friday morning only, since it opens at 9 am and closes before 6 pm. It will be very useful if they open that facility for longer period of time.