English, England and the English – A fantastic fortnight’s stay in Harbury

I went to Englandwith the strong feeling, that my English was very poor. I left with much more confidence in myself – having learned a lot, having spoken to lots of people, having listened to even more people. And I left with this strange feeling of homesickness for a foreign place you may have, when you felt totally comfortably somewhere on your holidays.

Harbury is a small village in Warwickshire – perfectly situated in the heart ofEngland. So I had the chance to visit places likeBirmingham,Coventry, Oxford Stratford uponAvonand the lovely countryside called The Cotswolds.

Harbury is a village with some social life as well. There are five pubs, a parish church, which gave me a warm welcome and a village hall, where was a beer- festival which was a real highlight at the last day of my stay. I had the chance to listen and to talk to lots of people there. And they were mostly very friendly and talkative and sooner or later I forgot that I was a stranger with a strange way of speaking English. I learned a lot.

I lived in my teacher’s and his wife’s house. I had a nice room there and all I needed and wanted. I learned a lot about English cuisine – you have to get used to it but I definitely liked it. I became part of the every-day life of my hosts and so I learned a lot about the English life and the language you need for it.

Andrew and Jenny, the host couple, are very nice and they both took care to improve my English. They corrected my mistakes in a friendly, never mocking way – and some of them I made really often, I can tell you. The lessons Andrew gave were interesting and encouraging. He taught exactly what I needed to be taught.

As I attended an English Plus course, Andrew and sometimes Jenny, showed me around the countryside, the towns, the villages, the theatre, even the opera. It was great!  We were often lucky with the weather and so I experiencedEnglandas a mostly romantic country.

To visit a foreign country may give you a strange feeling, because you do not know how things work.Living Learning Englishhandles it all for you in a very professional way. And my teacher was my local guide from the second I left the plane on my arrival. So I felt safe and secure all the time; and when I wanted to go to the pub on my own, there was no problem either.

So I learned English, sawEnglandand spoke to the English. And I had two great weeks – packed with impressions so it feels like a month’s time. And this strange feeling of homesickness for a foreign place does not cease…

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