Our guest writer, Ido Simyoni is an Instagrammer, TV producer, casting director and soon a KIC student in New York City.
Read about his journey through London, and don’t forget to check out his Instagram photos.
Share your #KaplanExperience on Instagram! We can’t wait to see your photos.
I remember every summer as a child, I read teen magazines and searched for ads about fun summer schools in England, where you could meet people from around the world and improve your English.
Unfortunately, my parents did not have enough money to send me there, so I had to keep on dreaming. Now that I’m almost thirty years old, I have decided it is time to just do it. I’ve always loved the English language and I made up my mind that I want to relocate to an English-speaking city.
I decided to improve my English and study in Kaplan International Colleges. When I first checked Kaplan’s website, I could already feel its magic as I watched ALL the video clips of ALL schools in the world (yeah, I’m crazy!!!)- from New Zealand, Australia to England, Ireland and then finally, the U.S.
I realized that this is the place where I can improve my English, meet people from all over the world and travel to the country of my choice. I decided to start my Kaplan experience in London, just before I continue for three weeks of study with Kaplan in NYC.
When I left for London, I did not know what to expect. Excitement was in the air. I wondered who I would meet; how it would be and if I would enjoy it. It felt a little strange, as if I was going to the first grade. On the flight, I was sitting next to a Scottish lady and a British guy, so we had 4.5 hours of wine and good conversation. As soon as I landed in London, they were gone and I had to figure out how to get to the city.
The next morning I joined a group of 6 students from KIC Covent Garden to see the Tower of London. Three from Brazil, one from Italy, a guy from Mexico and another from South Korea. We walked together and I, of course, took pictures. One of my favorite things is taking photos with my iPhone, editing the images and uploading them on Instagram.
We continued our tour to the famous London Bridge and then into a crazy food market – Borough. After lunch, I caught a class at the Kaplan’s school in Covent Garden. I introduced myself and everyone was very curious about my life. At first, I felt a uncomfortable disturbing the class, but then I realized it was a part of the lesson. Speak, share and get to know each other, in English, of course. What I liked most about this class is that there was no criticism and even if someone made a mistake the teacher corrected in such a way that it felt normal.
After the class ended, I went for some drinks with my new friends from Kaplan. They introduced me to Pimm’s, a British gin-based beverage, which is almost as traditional as a cup of tea. Again, I noticed the variety of people, some people from Taiwan, Korea, Spain, Brazil, Peru and more. I find it’s one of the most beautiful things about Kaplan – you don’t feel abnormal or foreign because everyone around you are just like you, from different parts of the world.
The next day, my new friends from Kaplan decided to take me to a Russian restaurant. Can you believe it? I’m in London and going to eat Russian food.
I tried to impress the waiter speaking the few words I know in Russian, but he was British and had no idea what I said, but he did call the Russian chef. Needless to say, I did not understand a word she said.
After, we went straight to the theater. The theater is one thing I expected the most of from my quick visit in London, and what I was most afraid of.
Imagine yourself sitting for nearly two and a half hours watching a show, in a foreign language. But the fear I had quickly disappeared. The language was easy to understand and the music was excellent. It was Wicked!
Last morning in London I was privileged to go to a new area I did not know – East London. I mostly enjoyed the street singers. Wow! We went to the most beautiful, young hip area – Brick Lane. I could stay there for hours, stare at people and shoot, shoot, shoot.
The trip was a great chance for me to get to know the people from Kaplan, understand where they came from and about their experiences in London. You arrive to a foreign country, get a taste of the culture and people, get to meet many people from around the world and without even noticing, it dramatically improves your English. What could be better?
I have experienced, seen, tasted, and of course, taken lots of photos. I hope I manage to convey my experience through words and pictures, but there is nothing like the real thing. Next destination: KIC New York!