“Why do you want to learn English? What’s your purpose here?” If you come to GS, many teachers and classmates will ask you this question. My answer always goes like this, “Because I want to improve my English ability.”
English is a tool to access the world. When I finished my two-year-long working holiday in Australia, I deeply realized that it’s a truth. One of my backpacker friends whom I met in Australia, Martina, recommended me to choose her friend, Max, as my agency, and he helped me to attend a school which accommodates all my needs—Global Standard English Learning Center. (Usually, students call it “GS” instead.)
英文是一個工具，能幫助人們與世界接軌。當我結束澳洲兩年的打工度假後我深深地了解到，這是一個事實。我在澳洲認識的其中一位背包朋友，介紹他的朋友Max（夢想菲行）做為我的代辦。他們協助我找到符合我學習需求的菲律賓語言學校Global Standard English Language School，通常學生們簡稱這所學校為GS。
Comparing with other language schools, I think the fee of the courses in GS is more economic to me.(It includes not only courses and materials, but also the room accommodation and three meals per day.) Most people can afford it. Besides, GS is located in Clark city which is famous for the safety in Philippines. These are main reasons why I chose it to stay.
I studied in GS for two months. Every day I have four one-by-one classes, two to three group classes, and one to two optional group classes. English is a common language in Philippines. My teachers are locals, Americans, or Australian, and my classmates are from different countries. Therefore, the only language between us is English. One-by-one teachers are in charge of teaching me the writing, reading, grammar, words, listening test, reading test, and skills for the test. Group class teachers train students to practice communication, expression, and pronunciation; also, they offer students some new information and interesting topics. This environment offers me a chance to practice speaking and listening English from day to night, and my capacity of vocabularies is increasing.
During the week days, I studied hard. Students need to do self-study after classes from Monday to Thursday. However, I also had a lot of fun time during my holidays. From Friday night to Sunday, usually students would go out for amusement, buy some groceries or travel. In my cases, I went to SM mall, walking street or Friendship (Korea town) by a Jeepney or GS school free shuttle bus to play bowling games, to watch a movie, to sing songs in a KTV and to eat local dishes with my classmates. On one of the weekends, I visited a national park named MINANUNGAO to experience the special bamboo ship, to see the cave and to go swimming. Also, I went to one of the Philippines’ Culture Villages to see the exotic sceneries, and visited Fontana Waterpark and Deca Waterboard with friends to enjoy the sunshine and water activities during recent holidays. Sometimes, I didn’t go too far, maybe just walked to Clark Park, Clark Museum (people can watch a historical 4D movie there), local Catholic Church, some supermarkets and restaurants (One of them has live music on Friday night) nearby, or massage shops to do some exercise or to relax.
平常日我很認真念書。學生們除了日常上課，週一到週四的課後還有晚自習時間。然而，我在週末假期期間，也有很多娛樂。通常週五課後到週日，學生們會外出玩耍、買些日常用品或旅行。就我個人的例子而言，我搭乘在地的大眾交通吉普尼或是學校的免費接駁專車，去過SM Mall百貨公司、Walking street散步街、Friendship韓國城，跟同學們去玩保齡球、看電影、唱KTV、吃當地美食。其中一個週末，我去了MINANUNGAO國家公園，體驗特色竹船、觀賞洞穴奇景和游泳。我也去了一個菲律賓的民俗文化村，觀賞異國風情的景緻，前陣子的假期也有和朋友到Fontana Waterpark水上公園與Deca Waterboard，享受陽光、玩刺激的衝浪水板。有時候，我沒去太遠的地方，也許只是學校就近，例如克拉克公園與博物館（可以看介紹該城市歷史的4D電影）散散步，附近的天主教堂走一走，附近的超市逛逛，附近的餐廳餐敘（其中一間週五晚有駐唱歌手在夜空下表演），又或者去按摩店放鬆、享受一下。
Some other memories here impressed me strikingly, too. For examples: my Korea classmates celebrated Jane (One of my Taiwanese classmates who came here with me. The first time we met is in the airport.) and my birthday in Korean way; my mother encountered a car accident and got bones broken in Taiwan but I couldn’t accompany with her as I was in Philippines; suddenly I was sick and couldn’t eat anything during my lunch and dinner someday; my smartphone was broken when I just arrived GS over 9 days (Thank my agency for offering me a sub phone and a dictionary to me 2 weeks later, and also thanks for my classmates and friends’ help); culture diversity and relationship of Asia made me difficult about involving in this school sometimes; some learning issues about new and old TOEIC; one of my clothes which is a gift from my friend bought in Canada got stolen in the laundry (Thanks for GS Taiwanese manager Lisa’s help)… and etc.
I think that I learned many things in GS. I improved either my English ability or my problem-solving experience. Life is an association of bitterness and happiness. When they blend together and the flavor emerged from it is life. I’m glad that I have the chance to learn. It makes me become a better person.