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EF Stories: Gwendolyn from Switzerland in EF Seattle

Swiss student Gwendolyn spent 3 months on a language trip in Seattle with EF and shares her experiences with us here.
EF Stories: Gwendolyn from Switzerland in EF Seattle

The language school is located near Seattle, in Olympia, the capital of Washington State. Olympia is a little smaller than Seattle, but still has a lot of charm. "Oly" is about an hour's drive from Seattle, by bus it is 2.30 hours and the ticket costs 5 dollars.

EF Language School - My Daily Life

The EF language school is located on the campus of Evergreen State College and that is just great. You can choose between living with a host family or living on campus, I chose the latter. If you live in the "dorms", you only have a 10 minute walk to the classroom. On the other hand, with a host family you get to know locals and feel a bit more at home. I will definitely choose a host family for my next language trip. Since the college is pretty much in the forest, you see deer, squirrels and raccoons almost every morning.

On the first day everything is shown and explained to you. I found it really well organized because all new students were in one lecture hall and we could get to know each other a little. If you live on campus, you get a "Meal Card" which gives you access to the cafeteria. We shared it with the American students, which was of course great for learning English.

But not only there our paths crossed, also the swimming pool, the fitness rooms, the climbing wall and the gym were good places to get to know Americans. You can just really enjoy American college life there. The school hours were also very well organized. There were not only boring grammar, but also spin-off classes, where I chose Film Studies, for example. The teachers are motivated, helpful and just cool. Although I had classes almost every day, I was happy every time because it didn't feel like school.

Free time

My trip was a lot of fun. On the weekends, my friends and I were always out and about. We rented a car and went on unforgettable adventures. We visited Portland, Seattle, Astoria, Vancouver as well as Mount Rainier National Park and went to a baseball game and a football match at the Seattle Seahawks' stadium. Among the adventures was an encounter with a bear and almost not being able to return to the U.S. after our weekend in Canada because a friend didn't have his visa with him.

Conclusion after the language stay

I would never have thought that I would make so many friends in such a short time. It feels like we have known each other for years, because you just experienced so much together and spent every day together. We were like a little family with a daily routine: breakfast together, then everyone went to their class and we met again for lunch, then school again and then dinner together again. In the evening we usually went for some sports or walked through the forest to a bay to enjoy the sunset. Later we did some homework and then we watched a movie. As I mentioned before, it felt like we had known each other for several years. That's why it was so hard to say goodbye, there were a lot of tears.

I've been back in Switzerland for 2 months now and I Skype three to four times a week with my friends from the language study trip. Not only did I improve my English on this trip, but I also learned a lot about other cultures. You also learn a lot about yourself, which is also very exciting.

I can't put into words what I experienced over there, I can only recommend it. However, everyone will experience the language stay differently and will have their own adventure. I simply recommend to go on such a trip without negative prejudices and expectations and not to be afraid of the unknown, but to look forward to it. "The world is big in some ways but also small in others and the only limit is you" - I have learned this through EF!

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