Renata Beduschi de Souza wants to be a teacher. But although she has got a teaching degree, the 25-year-old from Brazil had not spent much time working with pupils.
Now her London language centre has helped Renata get practical classroom experience in an elementary school. And it has changed the kind of teaching she wants to do.
"This was perfect for me, as I could get experience of teaching and also improve my English at the same time. It was fantastic, very nice," says Renata.
"I wanted to do as much as possible here and also get experience for my future. When I go back to Brazil I am sure that experience will be very good on my CV [resume]."
When Renata started her course at Kaplan Aspect in Covent Garden in August 2008 she told them she wanted to improve her English quickly. She asked if they could find her an internship.
Kaplan arranged an interview at the International Community School in London, where Renata worked with children aged 3 to 8 for several hours every day.
Renata's teaching degree is in English and Portuguese language and literature, and most of her experience during the course was with teenagers. Working at the school has changed her mind about who she wants to teach.
"Now I am sure I want to teach children - they are very nice," she says.
Renata worked as a classroom assistant, helping the teacher in every way. She worked with the pupils in maths, science and language lessons, and took them to Regent's Park to play at lunchtimes.
"I liked the language classes best. I could learn with them as well," says Renata. "I was reading to them, different books depending on how old they were."
During her teacher training course at Porta Alegre in Brazil, Renata had to do some practical work to get her diploma. But this was with teenagers and she also had a supervisor telling her what to do. "Nothing was under my control. Here, I was in the classroom where I could use my skills with the kids. It was my first real experience as a professional," she says.
Renata, who spent several weeks in classes at Kaplan Aspect before and after her internship, is happy that she has worked so hard to improve her English during her time here. "When I arrived here I had to enjoy this time and take the opportunity to do as much as possible for me to study and do other things. I have learned so much."
Susan Young - firstname.lastname@example.org