An interview with Sébastien Blanc from Switzerland, who studies at UCLA Extension's American Language Center.
Why did you decide to study in the America?
I wanted to discover more this country, to experience its everyday life and to see the habits of American people. I am interested in my future to work internationally and I would have more opportunities to find my way if I start my career in the U.S.A.
How did you choose your intensive English program?
Los Angeles was the place I was interested to discover because it is the capital of the movies and people are friendly and welcoming. It has its own particular lifestyle, and the weather in California is very pleasant to live there all year long. I started to look for a good school in Los Angeles and it appeared obvious that, due to its reputation, UCLA was one of the best. In addition to the classic "reading/writing and grammar class," there are also interactive and interesting classes that we can choose such as: "Business English"; "American culture through the movies"; "Slang and Street Talk" and many others. The excellent reputation of UCLA and its location in Westwood—one of the most central and safe neighborhoods of Los Angeles—have been significant elements that made me chose UCLA Extension to learn English in the United States.
How has your English improved?
I have been studying here for about three months and I really feel that my English has improved. Some Americans that I couldn't understand some months ago are now good friends.
What was your biggest surprise?
In class the atmosphere is very friendly. For example: we call our teachers by their first name, which is something new for me. I had a lot of fun in class.
... your biggest disappointment?
Because I am not 21 years old yet, I can't do certain things that I could do in my country, like going to certain clubs, or renting a car at a lower cost.
How have you handled: ...Language differences?
I spoke, every time and with everybody.
I try to make a budget of how much can I spend per month. Plus, here life is cheaper than Switzerland.
What are your activities?
I took advantage of the free access to the gym center of UCLA. Some of my friends meet every week to play soccer in the huge field of UCLA campus. There are also some activities where you can meet people from all over the world.
How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I would like to work internationally in the entertainment business, something related to music or to movies. Studying here will have helped me to learn things that are different than in my country and that I could use in my future career. Nowadays English is very important everywhere in the world and essential to work internationally.
What is your advice to other students?
Don't be afraid of meeting new persons and to be in a new environment. People here are nice and friendly, they are helpful and everybody will make sure that your experience here will be unbelievable.
The most important thing is to dare to speak English with everyone, even if somebody speaks better than you! even if your English is not perfect. Come here and enjoy every moment in this place, which is like no other!