Jessica Bonfá

Brazil

Which program did you take with the ELC?

Summer Language and Culture

What made your ELC program special?

UVic has a major meaning for me, not only for English purposes, but as a remarkable place where friendships and lifetime experiences were built. Attending the classes, getting to know amazing international students and having the opportunity to learn from lovely and kind teachers.

If you could travel back in time, what part of your ELC experience would you re-visit? Why?

I would re-visit the Culture Presentation with so many diverse expressions of each country in our program. We had a blast and it was beautiful to see so many international students gathered sharing their culture.

What is the most memorable thing that happened to you as an ELC student?

As a Brazilian, I am used to hugging and warm greetings; however this is not a tradition for many people around the world. I had a friend from Japan in my class, and I noticed she was very shy, so I suggested her to always greet with a friendly hug. She was so excited; she told me she had the chance to hug a few times during her life. Hugging my Japanese friend throughout to program definitely cheered her up!

Before starting your ELC program, what part of learning English was most difficult for you? How did your ELC studies help with that?

I used to have trouble with applying past perfect in sentences, however I believe I improved during my classes. I also remember having some trouble in pronouncing some words, and the teachers were very patient and cleaver to help me find the right sound.

Do you have any favourite memories of Canadian culture?

It’s remarkable how Canadians are very polite, this is definitely something that I can’t forget and this taught to be kinder and more respectful. My favorite memory is the fact that every single person says “thank you” for the bus driver when they are leaving.

How did learning with other students from other cultures change how you see the world?

Getting to know students from all over the world made me realize how my culture shaped my manners, thoughts and behavior therefore I understood that every person has his/her own right to be free and to be who they want be.

Did studying English with us open any new opportunities for you? What are you doing now?

Yes, I worked on two language schools in Brazil, I made friendships that are lasting until today, and I am about to work on a project with the Secretary of Tourism in Socorro in the state of São Paulo, where I currently live. My family is about to launch a B&B here and I can’t wait to host international tourists.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the ELC, UVic, or Victoria?

I have been in love for Victoria since then, it’s such a wonderful place not only to study, learn and be around with international students but also a place with such an amazing infrastructure and security that both campus and city provide.

Best advice for new students

Be curious, get to know people, take a bus and walk around, enroll, be social, be open and visit places as much as you can

 

Jessica Bonfá