Today’s student interview is with Ramon, who runs his own business and is learning English to help him communicate with customers and suppliers.
So Ramon, where are you from?
I am from Catalonia, which is a region in Northern Spain, but most Catalan people believe that Catalonia is a nation which should be separate from Spain. We have our own parliament, our own language and our own TV channels.
Tell me something about your home town.
I come from the mountains, about 1 hour’s drive from Barcelona. Barcelona is a lovely city, with nice weather and friendly people. The population of Barcelona is 2.5 million and the city feels very metropolitan. It also has one of the best football teams in the world! I would recommend everyone to come to Catalonia, it has lovely beaches, beautiful views from the mountains and you can visit Gaudi’s buildings and the lesser-known Montserrat Mountains.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to ride motorbikes, although my wife doesn’t like it too much! I am always working away and then when I come home I just want to ride my motorbikes! I like old-fashioned bikes from the 1970s and I have been to the Isle of Mann for the TT races.
Is the UK very different from Catalonia?
Yes – people drive on the left! The English language is also very different to how I learnt it in Spain. The weather is different of course and Cambridge is much greener than Barcelona.
What do you like about Cambridge?
Everybody cycles! It’s very flat here which is good for cycling. I have a bike too so now I feel like a local.
Have you been anywhere else in the UK?
Yes, I have also studied English in Bristol, which is a lovely city.
How long have you been studying at Select English?
This is my third week.
What course are you studying?
20 hours per week, at B2 level.
How are your studies going? Have you improved?
It is difficult for me to know if I have improved yet. I feel comfortable speaking in English but the grammar is still very hard.
Why are you studying English?
I want to feel confident when I am travelling on business and be able to understand everything in conversation. I have customers in the UK and Ireland, and I also travel to the Middle East and China where people speak English in business meetings.
What is your business?
I am a Sales Manager. I set up a company with my brother 13 years ago – we sell furniture to schools and hairdressing salons.
Do you like Select English?
It’s difficult to compare as I have not studied English in any other schools. The teachers are professional and the prices are affordable – but you should buy some classroom furniture from my company! 😉
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