Mexico: Patty Villanueva
Patty Villanueva

Mexico: Patty Villanueva

Patty Villanueva, 51, teaches English in Mexico City. She wanted to study at English in Chester, and spent ten weeks improving her skills there, finally leaving on 12 December 2008.

What made you want to improve your English in the UK? 

I wanted to improve my skills in speaking and listening and I was very interested in the culture of the country.

I came here 30 years ago as a tourist. It's not really changed, but you have more modern buildings. I like things like cabs, the Royal Mail and double-decker buses.

The US is closer to home but I like the culture in the UK and I wanted to learn more about the history and the traditions and the way people here think and live. The culture is behind the language. When you learn a language you must understand the people.

Why did you come to Chester?

Chester is one of the most fascinating cities in Britain, very historical with many things to offer to students and tourists, in history and tradition. And I was very interested in the school in Chester because it had a wide range of courses and it is an exam centre.

How have you spent your free time?

Sightseeing. I brought a guidebook and I like to walk around. Chester is lovely, really beautiful. I've also been to Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, and visited a friend in the Highlands. The school organised excellent trips to North Wales and Stratford, too.

I have enjoyed the UK television. I don't watch a lot in my country because we don't have very good programmes. I enjoyed the quiz programmes - they are funny and entertaining and I learn from them. Sometimes they say: tell me a different word and you learn different ways to say something. You get vocabulary from it.

Has anything surprised you?

It's colder than I expected, and because it is now in the winter it gets darker sooner - at four o clock! I am just shocked by that because the day is very short.

Any tips for other students coming to Chester?

There is a Millennium trail of the historical sights. That's fascinating.

Did anything disappoint you?

I am a bit sad I did not find the town crier. He only appears here during the summer.

How will your visit help your job?

I will have more experience to share with my students. This trip has enriched my life in many ways. Also I am bringing with me to Mexico lots of really good material - brochures, guidebooks, photographs. I'll use it all in my lessons.

Would you recommend studying English in the UK?

Yes, I would recommend coming here. It's a unique experience, to learn the language in a country where it's spoken. It's fantastic to have that opportunity, and I will definitely recommend it.


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