Jonathan Grumke was awarded CSLI Student of Month, January 2016 for his outstanding progress and involvement in CSLI activities and student life. Here is his testimonial:
I’m Jonathan and I would liketo tell you about my experiences at CSLI and in Vancouver.
First let me introduce myself: I’m 18 years old and from Germany. Last summer, I finished high school in Germany and came to Vancouver in November to study at CSLI. I had always wanted to go to North America and many people told me how beautiful Vancouver was so it was an easy decision to come here. Even though I was very excited to come toVancouver, I was equally nervous. I didn’t know if I would have a nice homestay family, if I would make new friends at school and if I would have big communication problems. My first fear vanished as soon as I arrived. My homestay family was immediately very welcoming and soon I felt like I was part of their family.
After a few days of adjusting to the new environment and recovering from the jet lag my first day of school was about to begin. I had a very good first impression of the school and the staff, everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed my classes right off the bat. But soon the joy dissolved, it was still my first week and I already had to give a presentation about “my favourite leader” in Damian’s academic class. I didn’t really know anyone in the class and was a little shy. Because of that I was very nervous about giving a presentation in front of the whole class and was afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough. I guess that was the reason why the presentation I ended up giving wasn’t very good. Luckily, in the following days I realized that it’s not just about how good your presentation ends up being; it’s about trying the best you can. Something I learned soon is that making a mistake is nothing to worry about. If you don’t make any mistakes, what’s the point of going to school? After this challenging experience I started enjoying every single day of school.
Over the next weeks I made a lot of new friends and looked forward to every Friday activity. I took part in Kara’s EEC program and Alla’s Pathway class. Both of the courses helped me improve my English skills and made me more confident when speaking in front of big groups.
Time flew by and I became a part of the CSLI family. Often, I had to say “good bye” to other students who had become close friends of mine. It was hard but now I have a good reason to visit many different countries to see all of my new friends again!
After three months at CSLI, it was my time to leave. I graduated in the end of January at the International Chef Graduation party. The graduation parties at the end of each month were the highlights to of my time there. Almost everyone would come together to celebrate on these special grads. At the chef graduation party there was a small group from every country represented at CSLI and each group prepared a typical national dish from their country. When we finished cooking, we all ate the food from 16 different countries at once, a very unique experience you can only have at CSLI!
It is at the monthly graduation parties where the teachers announce their “Students of the Class”and the “Student of the Month”. For some reason, that month I was the lucky one who was named “Student of the Month”. I was very surprised and very happy at the same time, because as the student of the month I could come back to CSLI for a whole month for free.
After graduating in January, my parents came to Vancouver to visit me for two weeks and after that I left Vancouver for 3 months to go on a big trip across the United States. That was agreat experience, I made it to 31 States and saw a lot of things I had just seen on TV before.
Eventually, in May I came back to Vancouver. I was very happy to be back, it almost felt like coming home! Now I’m staying at the same homestay again as before. I am so close with everyone at my homestay now and I think that they are the ones I am going to miss the most when I go back to Germany.
Even more exciting than coming back to my homestay, was my second start at CSLI two weeks ago. I’ll only be at CSLI for just two more weeks, but it’s been awesome to see all the teachers and staff again. I even know some of the students, who I met at my first time here.This time, it was much easier to make new friends and after just two weeks I know almost everyone in the school. I think I have to give credit to CSLI for that, CSLI made me very open-minded and more outgoing and I feel much more confident approaching strangers.
To sum it up: CSLI is not just a place to learn English, CSLI is a place where you meet people from all over theworld and learn about other cultures as much as you learn about yourself.
I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I did!
Jonathan from Germany