Mexico: Donaji Chávez
Donaji Chavez

Mexico: Donaji Chávez

Donaji Chávez, 24, lives in Mexico and has been working as a bilingual personal assistant while writing her thesis for a translation degree. She spent six weeks studying at the Anglo-Continental School of English in Bournemouth in spring 2008 after winning a Let Your English Grow scholarship.

Why did you want to study English in the UK?

Since I was a little girl my parents did a great effort to send me to bilingual schools. There, I had amazing English books and teachers that told me about the mysteries of Stonehenge, the castles and their kings and queens, Oxford, tea parties and so on... So I grew up dreaming that someday I would go there.

What happened when you heard you had won the competition?

When I found out about the contest I thought it was the opportunity that me and my family were dreaming for a long time. When I saw my name among the winners it was one of the happiest days of my life. I screamed, I ran, I jumped and I cried.

What made you choose where to study?

I didn't know about Bournemouth and its sandy beaches. I started to surf the web looking for pictures and everything related to it, since Anglo-Continental sent me the email saying that I had won. Now, I can tell you that is a beautiful, peaceful and safe town for students to learn English.

Did you make any sacrifices to come?

I quit my job to take my prize and I don't regret it. I think that sometimes there are once in a lifetime opportunities and I decided to take the risk. Nowadays in Mexico, studying in other countries (specially overseas) is a privilege that only few people can afford; somehow I was in the right place, at the right moment and I wouldn't let it go that easy. It was worthy.

Did you enjoy your time in the UK?

I truly enjoyed my time in the UK, it was everything I imagined plus more! I have no words to describe the amazing landscapes like the Seven Sisters cliffs or what about Stonehenge, or Bath? And Brighton was fantabulous (I learned that word there!). I won a scholarship of one month but I stayed for six weeks. It was hard to leave England and come to Mexico, so I delayed my flight back home.

Did anything about your time in the UK surprise you?

One thing that surprised me was that English people are really nice, kind and fun. Maybe I had the wrong impression, mostly from movies. My host family was more than kind and nice, as well as all English I met.

Has learning English changed your life?

Definitely, learning English has changed my life for good. It has opened widely my panorama. I know different ways of living, thinking, all in a different culture.

Going to England to take an English course has given me better opportunities - I think it gives a good impression when somebody sees your resume, at least in Mexico. 

Coming back, I could find a better job to pay the last term of college which I quit before for economic reasons. And now I'm working on my thesis to get my degree... if everything goes fine I will get my degree as a translator. I'm not exaggerating, my life wouldn't be the same without the opportunity to study in the UK.

Would you recommend learning English in the UK to your friends?

Yes, and not only to my friends, but will end up with international good friends, a better accent and not wanting to leave England.


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