Monday, April 19, 2010

Carolina's Pod Blog: A Venezuelan stuying English in the UK

Carolina is a girl from Venezuela, living in the UK, in Newcastle, in the north-east of England. She has been writing in her blog about her life there. Visit her blog HERE and read about how it is for her to live in the UK. We have to be very proud of her, because her blog is posted at the British Council Learn English Site. In her first post back in Sepember 2009, she wrote:

Hello, I'm Carolina del Barco and I'm from Barquisimeto, Venezuela. My city is about 4 hours drive from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, but it is only one and half hours from the beach!! The most beautiful thing about my city is sunset because almost everyday you can see different colours on the sky like red, pink, yellow, green..!

On the cultural aspect Barquisimeto is call the “Musical Capital” of Venezuela. Music is very important in our education, it is even taught in schools as a compulsory subject. About 30 years ago a program to establish a youth orchestra in every state around the country founded by Jose Antonio Abreu (who by the way is going to get a Grammy soon due to this). Many important musicians were born there. Actually, Gustavo Dudamel, who was born in Barquisimeto was the Director of the “Simon Bolivar” Youth Orchestra. He is one of the youngest directors in the world with only 28 years old. His success is difficult to measure with words, you have to go and see it... I guess some of you have probably seen it because he was in London a couple of months ago!!

I speak English because my mother is English and grew up in England before going to Venezuela after she finished university. She was teaching English when she met my father, who is Venezuelan.

I am now living in the UK, in Newcastle, in the north-east of England, and studying at the university there. Newcastle is a very welcoming city. People from here (also called Geordies) have a quite strong accent which even native English speakers find it difficult to understand!! But I most say that they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met!! Plus the city is not too big, not too small but has all the facilities you need, even great nights out and is full of students which makes it a comfortable place to live in.

I am studying Environmental Science and I really enjoy my course, which is about how we, people, effect the natural world we live in, and what we can do to make things better. I think this is very important in today's world, because of all the problems with global warming and things like that. Most of the processes carried out to obtain food, technological equipments, electricity and other different things take raw materials from the Earth and/or produce waste, but not many disciplines take into account the consequences on the environment of doing this. It is a great subject because it gives me the opportunity to discover all the wonderful things that our planet offer us and at the same time I feel I can do something to keep it so that future generations can enjoy in in the same way as us. 

I'm living in an apartment on the university campus with four other girls: Emily, Charlotte, Jenny and Beth, who are all really nice. We all have our own rooms but we share a kitchen. That's OK, though, because it's really big and we share some things and have other things of our own and plus it give us the opportunity to get to know each other whilst having our own privacy. The girls are all lovely and funny people although I still have to work on trying to follow Charlotte when she’s telling a story, her Irish accent is just too fast!! Back home people tell me that I speak quite fast, and when I’m talking to my friends no one can understand us... but doing it in English is a different story!

The day I arrived in England I travelled up from London to Newcastle on the train, and I was sitting next to a boy called Jamie. It was a strange thing – a coincidence – because he was also a student at the university. He was really nice and made me feel 'at home', bought me lunch on the train and we agreed that I would get him lunch some time in Newcastle.

When I'd been in Newcastle for a short time I wanted to join the Conservation Society, because I thought it might help me with my course and also because I think it's good to do things that help the environment. Anyway, I went to the Societies Bazaar, which is a meeting where you can join the different student clubs at the university, and – another coincidence – Jamie was the Conservation Society president! So I took him to lunch, as we'd agree, and since then we've been out together a few times and have become really good friends. So far, life at Newcastle has been better than expected. At the beginning I was a bit scared about missing home, about coming to another country with different language, culture and even different weather than where I come from but it is definitely a unique experience to be here.

So, now you know a bit more about me. I'll be writing this blog regularly, so I hope you'll come back and read it again and find out more about what it's like living and studying in the UK. Also, if you have any questions you'd like to ask me, or comments about anything I've written, please send them to me and I'll try and answer them.
Here you can read more about her:

Well, hope you go and visit Carolina'a blog and leave her a comment... we are very proud of her...

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