What made your ELC program special?
At the ELC I felt like a real student at the University of Victoria, and I loved it very much. I even got a student card! The kindness of the volunteers and the staff made me feel really special.
If you could travel back in time, what part of your ELC experience would you re-visit? Why?
I would re-visit the conversation class we had with elderly natives. I remember this day, and it was so special, we had time to get to know them and vice versa. We talked for hours, and after that class I was on the bus going downtown and I came across one of the elders that we had talked to, he treated me like a friend. I think this kind of experience lasts forever.
What is the most memorable thing that happened to you as an ELC student?
I made a speech on behalf of my class at the end of the program. Teacher Glen asked who wanted to do it and I took this opportunity with a great pleasure. It was during a special lunch, in a fancy building downtown. It was really hard for me but Glen helped me. I presented him my speech many times and I remember rehearsing the sentences at home. When the day came it was so special for me that I started crying in the middle of the presentation, and everybody cried too. I'll never forget that moment.
Do you have any favourite memories of Canadian culture?
People saying thank you to the bus driver. Here in Brazil it hardly happens.
How did learning with other students from other cultures change how you see the world?
I could understand how life is in other countries, watching people around the world right next to me, and I could see that learning English is a challenge for all of them, just as it is for me. The differences among us is what makes us so special.
Did studying English with us open any new opportunities for you? What are you doing now?
Of course, by that time I was working with Foreign Trade and I got a promotion in the company that I used to work for. I also got a second job as an English teacher, and I found out that to be a teacher is the purpose of my life. Nowadays I have my own school and I help people to pursue their dreams through an English course.
Is there anything else you would like to say about the ELC, UVic, or Victoria?
When we talk about exchange programs, choosing the country and the city are things that matter. Victoria is a small and safe city, you really have a chance to talk to Canadians. The beauty of the city is something that I don't have words to describe. UVic is full of nature, the staff is amazing and very supportive. Canada, Victoria and UVic have a special place in my heart.