by NAILOR MARQUES JR.
Today, people are living longer, working longer hours and extending their careers way beyond their 60s or even starting new careers after their 50s. This is one of the big changes of our time. I’d like to list here a few reasons why it’s worth studying English in an English-speaking country and more precisely at VGC Language School in Vancouver, Canada.
Malcolm Gladwell says in his book The Tipping Point that most of us, during our life, might face two or three of such points that are some kind of corrections in our careers along our lives. One of such tipping points should be when we’re around 30-35 years old and another around 50-55. The sooner we realize that, the more we’ll be able to take advantage of our capabilities. Having learned Spanish and French before, I see myself right at my second tipping point while I’m studying English at VGC in Vancouver at the age of 51.
There’s no need to come here knowing a lot about the language. When I arrived here, I knew very little of English. Only one month later, I feel that I’ve improved a lot. The students are split according to their levels. Also, there’s always someone from the staff who speaks your own native language, which can be quite a relief if you need extra help some time.
When I did my online registration on VGC’s website, I was concerned about how my classmates would be – after all I’m a 51-year-old man. Nevertheless, I was welcomed as a normal student and I could make fantastic friends since they’re all here with the same goal in common. In my classroom, I’ve met students with between 16 and 50 years of age. I assure that such mix was essential for the joy that we’ve had during the learning process.
VGC welcomes students from all over the world. I’ve met people from Saudi Arabia, France, Panama, Mexico, Russia, Colombia, China, Japan, Korea and more. That’s awesome because we are encouraged to speak English all the time. In such an environment, we all make mistakes, learn and have fun. Besides, VGC is an average-size school, enabling everyone to get in close contact with each other. You feel like a special part of them rather than just a number.
Vancouver is gorgeous, safe, clean and has a wide variety of restaurants and public transportation at affordable prices. You can go anywhere in the city by bus or SkyTrain – as they call the local subway. You can also find free leisure options in public parks as well as bike lanes all over the place. At last but not least, VGC is located right in the centre of the city, surrounded by shopping and dining options and just two blocks from Waterfront, the city’s main subway station.
Anyone at any age should live the experience I’ve had here. I stayed in a homestay, was treated very well, made new friends, discovered another reality that I can compare with my own, and I added much value to my career. I had been to many other places before, but I must say that I got impressed by what I saw and experienced here.