LSI Portsmouth

May 2019
3 weeks ago I arrived in Portsmouth late night at 22.00pm. Ronnie the wonderful, friendly and helpful housekeeper expected me after I’d sent her a message from Gatwick airport about my arrival time. I thought that there was a direct train to the Southsea, but because of railway track revision I had to take a train to Littlehampton, then a bus to Chichester and then again a train to Portsmouth-Southsea. I arrived there after a 2hr 34 min ride at 21:49 and then took a taxi to the student house, which was convenient at the end of a long day. Ronnie showed me the shared rooms (kitchen and washroom), explained the rules of the house and after we went upstairs to the 4th floor, where there was my own room. A tiny little chamber with a double sized bed, a wardrobe, a study place and a bathroom with toilet and shower. No space left for a yoga mat to put on the floor, but enough freedom to live there for a while. I like the beautiful view out of the window to a (most of the time) blue sky and the big seagulls sitting on top of the roofs of the other houses. 
The student house is a stone’s throw away from school. After a 2 min walk I got there and received a friendly welcome from Ross (director of studies) who let me do an entry test about my English level. I did it quite well and so I had two options. Firstly I could go to a CAE exam class or secondly join a 30+ group which would be double the price I had payed for a general English course (!). That’s why I decided to participate in the exam class. The group was very nice: three students from Switzerland and one student from Russia. Lewis the morning teacher was awesome. He really likes his job, he was funny, experienced and competent and Owen in the afternoon was also engaged and entertaining. But the speed was too fast for me. Everyday we got about 10 sheets of paper: grammar, exercises and homework...And I’m an old lady, you know, my brain isn’t working like it used to work. The young students ate the new words, grammar and phrases like chocolate and I could hardly swallow it... Furthermore I won’t do the exam in June. So after 10 days I decided to change the class. Because of the higher costs I only took the morning 30+ course. At first glance it was quite a relief sitting with people my age, chatting about life and dealing with the same problems. I enjoyed the more cosy and pleasant atmosphere. But the speed is low. Conditional every day, so I get a little bit bored at the end of the week. Ed our teacher is going to another school and four of my classmates were leaving yesterday, so I’m curious about next week. New teacher, new students, a new chance. I hope it will be relaxing and challenging at the same time. One perk of the 30+ class is that we have a much nicer break room and free coffee and tea and two times a week a pub stay with a teacher. But to be honest I haven’t joined it yet. Probably next week? 
Beside school I enjoy my life here very much. Everything is a 5 to 10 min walk around my place. The first day I went to the sea and strolled along the seaside and visited Old Portsmouth. The area of Old Portsmouth is also known as Spice Island which is where all the spices used to enter the city. The area features many historical buildings. I continued my way along the coast until I reached Gunwharf Quays. Gunwharf Quays is the South coast’s leading designer shopping outlet and home to over 90 famous brands. My daughter would like it! There is also Portsmouth’s most prominent landmark the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, which was built as part of the centrepiece of the Renaissance of Portsmouth harbour Project and is visible from more than 23 miles away. 

June 2019
I’ve been here for 7 weeks and I only have 3 left. Time flies when you’re having fun. You may wonder? What about my English language skills? I won’t need to watch a dubbed film anymore, I speak more fluently with occasionally searching for words, the two letters to you are showing a quite nice level of writing and I’m able to read and understand books such as “The Angel’s Game” and “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. And what about Brexit? Of course, Brexit is a daily issue, and once a waiter in a pub told us “don’t say the B-word” otherwise they are going to speak about it till the cows come home! I came with one PM and I’m leaving with another! 
On the whole, I’m full of lovely and beautiful impressions and experiences. What I like most is the English weather and landscape at the sea, the very friendly, openminded and funny people, the cultural offer (cinema, theatre, museum) and the huge variety of food for next to nothing. LSI is a very good school with helpful staff, experienced teachers and nice students. I’m inspired and I feel as free as a bird, footloose and fancy-free... 
This time in three weeks I’ll be getting on the train and I‘ll have made more than 680’000 steps, over 40 yoga lessons, around 20 cinema or theater visits and 160 English classes and so much more. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to going home. Home is where my heart is and I miss my friends and family.  Exmouth road2 Portsmouth