Helena Distelfeld


I had an unforgettable and magical experience at the ELC.  I was impressed with UVic’s facilities and the quality of education.  My Homestay family treated me like their own.

It was strange at first, meeting many young students from Korea and Japan, but I enjoyed getting to know them. Sometimes it was not easy to communicate in English but it helped me to practice English more and not speak in Portuguese.

I have a lot of funny memories from my classes! Mistakes often became good jokes and it brought us many laughs. One time I said “eat soap” when I meant to say “eat soup”. Nobody wants to eat “soap”. Now I am planning to send my daughter to UVic to learn English!

What's it like living in Victoria?

I met many warm and kind people. One day a two-year-old boy getting on a bus looked at the bus driver with a beautiful smile and said,  "Thank you!” It was lovely!

I feel the city is very inclusive.

I am grateful that I was able to be part of it during my “sabbatical month”.

I am sad it’s ended but I will never forget the generosity I received from UVic and the people from Victoria!

Best advice for new students

Learning English is like doing a jigsaw puzzle!  There are many pieces to put together. During my study at UVic, I discovered some pieces but it is not yet complete. I will continue putting more pieces together in Brazil. I suggest watching some movies, TV series, and TED videos in English with subtitles in English too, for training in listening.

Favourite places

  • To meet friends on campus: Student Union Building (SUB)
  • To study: My room
  • To relax: Walk to the Victoria beaches especially near UVic, dance in the university pub, see downtown at night, explore the second-hand Value Village.

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Helena Distelfeld