Looking for English classes – where to start?

January 11, 2019

by Camila Nascimento, MS&PC member

I had just arrived in Cambridge and my English was my main concern.  I was terrified and remained quiet most of the time. I felt very bad and I cried many times. All that I wanted was to go back home.

Communication is a big issue to me. I’m a speech therapist and I couldn’t accept being incapable of expressing my thoughts or understanding what people say. My emotions were struggling so hard against me.

Few days later, I decided to research English classes, and I found so many options. It was so hard to choose which one would be the best for me. I was very confused.

In that moment, I had the idea to create a spreadsheet to organize all information I had. I took the list of schools from the MS&PC website and looked for more information about each school or organization that offered English classes.

I chose the following information about each class that I found:

1) Price: Do I have to pay for the classes? If yes, how much does it cost per class?

2) Place: How far is the school from my house? How much does transportation cost?

3) Frequency: How many class hours per week?

Putting the data together made me see which were my best options and which was the best fit for me.

In the end, I combined a paid and a free course for 9 weeks. I’ve been learning new things and remembering things I had learned before but I had forgotten. I understood that my difficulty and worry had nothing to do with being incapable of communicating - I was just insecure and I didn’t trust myself.

Having classes has given me something else: I’ve met many good people and now I feel less dependent on my husband because I can count on others besides him.

By the way, while I was doing my research, it was very helpful to meet other people that were experiencing the same feelings as me. Undeniably, attending all the MS&PC events was great and supported me to deal with the initial fears. And it still does!