by Ye Jin Yu
My stay in Pines is coming to an end. I have no regrets because I took the plunge and laid down everything fearlessly to achieve my only goal, which is improving my English skills. This is the reason why I came to the Philippines to learn English.
I chose the best place in the Philippines, where great teachers work and security is at its best, Baguio City. When I came here, I felt like it is a great place for studying like the entire city is a university. Wherever you go, you can see big and small colleges. The weather is very suitable for studying; it’s not too hot, not too cold. In other words, it is comfortable. It’s no wonder that it is called the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Baguio is surrounded by mountains and the activities are limited compared to places near the beach. Because of the location, I can concentrate more on studying. Every weekend though, I travel to lots of places in the Philippines because I believe we need to enjoy our life once in a while. There is a saying that goes, “students have to study and play at the same time”. However, too much is as bad as too little. Furthermore, traveling is also an opportunity for me to use what I learned in school and try to do my best to talk with foreigners. I did everything to have a balanced lifestyle while studying; I know when to focus and when to play.
I have chosen Pines because of its long history of more than ten years. Another reason is because of the excellent teachers. When I came here, I was told that Pines had built a new campus, and after a month and a half, I moved there. The new environment, equipment, facilities and beautiful dormitory and scenery made me feel lucky and really happy to be a student of Pines.
The new campus has a good location. It is surrounded by trees that give out fresh air. In addition, there are a lot of good restaurants nearby, several famous tourist attractions like Mansion House (The President’s Summer Residence). There is also a hotel next to the school called Albergo where several restaurants and groceries can be found. As a whole, the new campus is a convenient place. Also, what I liked the most are the trees seen from the school windows. When students feel tired of studying, they just look out of the window and it can instantly make them feel relaxed. As a result, the atmosphere of studying is excellent.
The intensive EFL course and English Only Policy from morning to night made me accustomed to English speaking . At first, I couldn’t fully understand and fluently express myself with the use of the language. A month later, I noticed that I can clearly express myself to my teachers and classmates in English , and I talk all night with my roommate and friends. Through this, I made friends that came from different countries.
Through my experiences here at Pines, I learned that when we are in a foreign place to study English, we have to learn to be attentive and listen to others, accept corrections, and learn together in order to communicate well. In relation to this, what really gave me satisfaction is that the teachers did not only teach me rules on pronunciation and grammar, but also they checked my errors and give details. Not only that, they also teach me the easy and correct method of speaking, organizing my thoughts and other useful English tips. I appreciate my teachers for giving us more English practices that help improve our skills that are useful in life.
I enjoyed studying here very much, time really flies, and the harvest is full. But the language ability needs a long time to accumulate. Three months is not long, but is enough to help me lay the foundation, have confidence, and let me leisurely improve my English skills in the future.