My name is Roberta Azzi and I am from Brazil. During 2011, while I was on vacation from teaching at a university, I was an IEI student for a term. I went to Nashville to visit my son who lives there and decided to apply for the course in order to give myself a chance to improve my English. While I was there, I was enrolled in an immersion course.

Roberta with her daughter and husband while they were in Nashville.

The experience was very different from anything I had done before. I was motivated and worked hard to succeed with the tasks the teachers gave us everyday…and there were many.  The experience challenged me academically in areas like studying every day, coping with the anxiety of being evaluated, reading and writing about different issues, dealing with many nuances in Grammar and so on. I also learned to deal with the difficulty of continuing to speak English, even when I realized I had made a mistake.

As a part time student, I was enrolled in 3 classes: writing, conversation and grammar. The last one was hard because our teacher, Duane, pushed us a lot, but it was worth it. I don’t have many problems with ideas or vocabulary in writing as I read a lot and I am used with writing in my own language. As for the conversation class, I think I improved my fluency and my listening skills as we had a class with people from different countries and each one has a peculiar accent.

I know that I still have a lot of steps to take to feel comfortable speaking English fluently, but I recognize that the experience I had at IEI gave me more confidence to take risks and to keep moving forward to improve my level of knowledge in English.

Studying abroad is definitely a great experience and I intend to go back to Nashville soon for another term at IEI.

Thank you, Roberta, for sharing your experience with us!  If you would like to learn more about studying English at the International English Institute, please visit our website.