Great teachers, an amazing host family, a safe and friendly city – student Lamya tells us about her time in Brighton

Bank official Lamya al Moummar has had such a good time studying English in the UK that she plans to meet her host family for a weekend in Dubai this summer.

Lamya, from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, came to study English so that she can apply for promotion in her job. When we met her, she was graduating in a special ceremony in the café of English UK member centre British Study Centres Brighton, where she studied for eight months and made great progress.

She is one of thousands of people who love the quality, welcome and value the UK offers to English Language students.

Hello Lamya, how did you end up studying English in Brighton?

I came to improve my English for work. I am an area manager for 24 ladies' branches of the NCB bank in Saudi Arabia. I am looking for another post, as regional manager of 109 branches. I am looking for improvement, and that's why it's hard work.

I had to pass an assessment exam to come here. The Human Resources department in my bank found five schools and I had to choose one. This was the best in Brighton and they recommended it to me.

I chose Brighton because my uncle learned English 33 years ago. I love the sea view, and I researched about it a lot.

Did you feel welcome in Brighton?

I feel very welcome. It has every facility, it is easy to travel, there are restaurants and people are very kind and friendly. People in Brighton are friendly and try to help each other. I have a feeling it's a safe country and Brighton is safe. There are not a lot of arguments.

I wanted to live with British people and I lived with a host family for three months, until I bought my own flat when my mum came to stay with me. But we met them once a week and kept in touch, and we had dinner yesterday together.

Tell us more about your host family

They were amazing and incredible. I feel like it's my home there. I never eat pork or drink alcohol and every dinner they made was special for me. They prepared my breakfast and did the washing and every Friday we had a movie and popcorn. I always feel it was my home, and I had privacy. Sandra and Bob made it for me and introduced Brighton culture to me.

I know English people will help me and take care of me, and I think Sandra and Bob are special. I don't feel for them it is about the money. We will meet next summer in Dubai for a long weekend.

Was it difficult to study away from home for such a long time?

2016 was a challenge for me. When you are on holiday it is for a maximum 3 or 4 weeks and you can deal with that. Here it is friends and teachers, for eight months. It was a challenge to have breakfast, come to school, do classes and spend the afternoon with my friends using buses. The free time was positive, not about feeling sad and missing my family. I looked around me and found my host family and my friends as well. All my teachers, they came to my graduation. All of my teachers looked after me.

You arrived here before the Brexit vote. Did you see any changes?

I heard about it from my friends and my cousin who are living here. Most of the people were upset and negative. The principal of the school came in to the classes and he tried to explain it to us, that it is the government and there is no risk for the students and there is a good relationship with Europe and other countries.

The only changes I saw were when I bought my flat, which was cheaper because of the exchange rate, and a flat my family bought in London. The bank paid for my classes so I didn't see any difference there.

Would you recommend studying in the UK to your friends and family?

Of course.



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