Pernilla Stålberg is 19 and comes from near Gothenburg in Sweden. She is studying English for four months at English UK member Loxdale English Centre in Portslade, just outside Brighton.
I have just finished sixth form in Sweden - we leave when we're 19 - so I did summer work, travelled and came here in August. I don't know what to do next. I don't want to go to university directly - we have two or three gap years in Sweden. I'll probably work first, perhaps travel a bit more and then go to university.
I think it's a very good alternative if you don't want to backpack, which is not for everyone. Six months is fun; it's not as hard as university and you learn all the time without thinking about it. The best thing about it is that it's so useful to live in a host family, a different culture, for a long time.
British people don't understand that in Sweden we have to be really good at English because all the Master's courses are in English and if you want to work or do something internationally you have to be good or excellent, so I think it's important.
We only speak Swedish with each other, Norway or Denmark and that's it really. We learn English from the age of eight; every music and movie is in English and don't dub anything. I am learning French but I am not that good at it because I never hear it, and it's very hard to learn if you don't hear it all the time.
My friend studied here three years ago and loved it so much she stayed for two years. She told me about it and it felt like something I could enjoy as well. She recommended Brighton and Loxdale.
I think most of the students here were recommended to come by a friend.
Yes. I go into Brighton all the time. I've got a three month bus card and use it every day. I think I am a bit different from others; I love going to Lewes, Eastbourne, Arundel and have been really using the bus card to go to places. I just like to be alone sometimes.
I have travelled so I'm not surprised about things any more but I notice the way you live is different. I like that everyone is polite and kind. The food is okay but in Sweden we don't use microwave food unless we really have to. I make my own dinner; the supermarkets have everything you need.
Maybe get a well-paid supermarket job for a bit. Then, I would do international studies or history, and go to university in Sweden. Everyone goes there unless they get a scholarship, because everything is paid for by the government.
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