Category: 2015/16 Klára O. (Czech Republic)

Just a week and a half of school left! Everybody is counting days until Christmas with excitement and anticipation. The good mood is only occasionally spoiled by mock exams (important practise exams including everything we have done so far in that subject) and course work (in my case 700 worlds long essay from drama that actually requires a lot of thinking and creativity). However, no matter how much work we get, the Christmas mood prevails. My host family has already decorated a Christmas tree and the town centre of Christchurch is flickering with Christmas lights and other decorations, constantly reminding us that it is that time of the year.

Our priorities have also changed. Instead of studying, relaxing or just having fun, everybody is looking for the perfect presents. This weekend we went to Bournemouth, ready to spend the whole day picking presents for our friends and families waiting for us in our countries. After exploring number of antique shops, some bookstores and other random places, I was only satisfied with one item. However, in the end of the day, we found something amazing – a Czech bakery. My Slovakian friends were equally excited as our cuisines have many similarities. Apart from classical bread, they also served delicious soups and other Czech products. Even the vender was Czech!

I will be spending this holiday in Czech Republic. We don’t have any special plans yet, but we might go snowboarding! I also plan on meeting all of my friends and of course spending time with my family. With my Drama club, we’ve already arranged a time when we will all meet, exchange present and stories and some time together. I can’t wait for that. I’m dying to know what has happened in my absence. Other thing I’m looking forward to is being able to do whatever I want in the house. Although I’ve spend a lot of time in my host families house, It still sometimes feels quite strange and I often have to think about if it is appropriate to do this or that, trying not to cause any trouble or discomfort. After all, there is no place like home! During those two weeks, I will have to meet everyone from my family. Luckily, our family is not too big and I enjoy spending time with everyone. However, it will still take a lot of time, maybe I will have to start making a list of all people I want to see.

Looking back, I can say that my time here was definitely worth it so far. It is difficult to evaluate my own English skills, but I think that I must have improved. At the beginning, writing any longer text took me ages and I had to think a lot about the structure. That has certainly changed. Now I can form complicated sentences much more easily and my ability to express my thoughts is also much better. I can see that every time I have to write an essay. My vocabulary has also expanded. It has become natural to use many scientific terms from my subjects without giving it much thought. Speaking everyday also helped me to stop thinking about how to express myself and worrying about being wrong. I still make mistakes and I always will, but my time here helped me understand that there is nothing wrong with that.

Of course, my time here in Britain is not over. I still have a half of a year ahead. After two weeks, the school will start again, but the thought of that does not scare me. I know that I can do it now and after all, school can be quite interesting and entertaining too.