By Miriam Clemente – Barcelona, Spain
Catherine is a young girl, aged 18, who has come from Belgium to live the EF Experience for six months.
She came here a month and a half ago and will stay until June. Catherine is bilingual (French and German) and she thinks that languages are one of the most important things for her professional life. That is why she is learning English and Spanish as well.
She is curious, passionate, kind and loves to travel. She has shared all the details of her experiences in the interview below.
1. Where do you come from, Catherine?
I come from Belgium, from Liege, a city located in the French part of Belgium.
2. How long have you been here so far?
I have been here for one month and a half.
3. Are you going to stay for long time?
Yes, I will stay here until June. My plan is to improve my English and to visit as many cities in California as possible.
4. Why did you decide to go on this adventure?
Next year, I’m going to start the university, and before that, I wanted to spend some time abroad to improve my English skills. It was the perfect occasion to leave Belgium and go to a different country.
5. What were you studying in your home country?
I will continue with the International Business degree next September.
6. Why did you choose Santa Barbara?
Actually, I don’t really know. I wanted to go to an English speaking country, but not Great Britain because it’s too close by my country. So, I decided to go to the United States. Then, I wanted warm weather and I chose Santa Barbara because it’s not a big city.
7. Do you think English will be useful in your future job?
Absolutely. If I want to work in the international business environment, I need be fluent in many languages.
8. Are you learning other languages besides English?
Yes, I am. I’m learning Spanish at the university.
9. Do you like travel? Which countries have you visited so far?
Yes, totally. I love travelling. I have been to Greece, Croatia, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Kenya and Benin, where I was doing a volunteer project for 3 weeks.
10. What has been the most amazing moment you have experienced here so far?
I don’t have one only amazing moment. To me, the moments I appreciate the most are those times that I share with my friends.
11. Do you think everyone should go abroad in order to have this experience?
Yes, definitely. But maybe I’d advise to choose other living situations, like to be an Au-pair, that way you can have more relationships with local people and you can discover all the traditions.
12. What other things have you learned here apart from English?
I have learned how to live far from my family and doing things by my own.
13. What are the things you miss the most about Belgium?
The things I miss the most are my family and the food, of course.
14. Which are the things you want to do before going back home?
I want to travel around. I’d like to visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and Universal Studios, in LA. and, if I have a chance, I’d like to see dolphins!