Brisbane – Student Spotlight: Stefanie and Christina (Cambridge CPE) – 18 June 2024

Today, we caught up with two of our recent Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) graduates, Stefanie and Christina to look back on their experiences, both in and out of class, during their time at our Lexis Brisbane campus.

What made you choose Lexis Brisbane?

C: My sister went to Brisbane the year before and she thought it was an amazing city to stay for a while. She told me that there are usually plenty of students and that you’ll fit in quickly. I loved the thought of that.

S: I came to Brisbane as I wanted to live in a city centre somewhere in Australia. Since Lexis Brisbane is located in the CBD and there is student housing nearby, this was the ideal choice for me.

Why did you decide to do the Cambridge CPE course?

C: I did a gap year like many Swiss students and wanted to use my time as sensibly as possible. Therefore, I decided to improve my English skills, as a high level of English was also required for my further studies. Looking back, I don’t exactly know why I chose the CPE over the CAE. Probably because I already had some kind of CAE certificate and I felt like pushing myself to an even higher level.

S: I decided to do the CPE exam as it is a great way of showing future employers that I have a high level of English. In particular, I want to be able to teach Biology in English back home, where this certificate is a requirement in most cases. Additionally, I just wanted to take some time off from my studies and spend some time abroad.

Stefanie And Christina

Stefanie, Christina and Teacher Jayne at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

What do you feel you gained from the course?

C: Confidence! I’m able to talk about so many different topics such as politics and economic events, technology, our consumer society and so on. Topics we never discussed in high school. I feel perfectly capable of leading conversations about topics I simply did not have the vocabulary to talk about before.

S: The course helped me refresh my knowledge of English in various ways. This was important to me as I didn’t attend English lessons for 4 years prior to this. I definitely gained more confidence in writing and learned many additional things such as a plethora of phrasal verbs and idioms. As I will start my Masters afterwards, I will definitely make use of what I learned. As I have to do two semester projects where everything is in English including lots of writing, this course was a great preparation. Afterwards, I will use my qualifications to work as a teacher in high schools with a bilingual curriculum and teach in English.

What were the highlights of your trip?

C: During my three months in Brisbane, I still had free time on the weekends to discover the country. I went to Byron Bay, Sydney, The Gold Coast, Moreton Island and even Fiji. I’m planning to travel along the coast for the next three weeks. Those were definitely the major highlights when it comes to the weekends. However, let’s not forget the time at school! I loved to go to school because I knew that I was going to learn something new every single day. The progress once can make in such a short time is truly incredible.

S:  I absolutely got to know many great people while I was in Brisbane. Luckily, I had the opportunity to go on a few short trips with some of them. Seeing Byron Bay, Sydney, Noosa and Surfer’s Paradise were definitely highlights and I’m glad that I could do that while here. My favourites in Brisbane were North Stradbroke Island, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and spending time at Southbank for sure.

What advice would you give students considering studying Cambridge?

C:  I believe if you choose CPE you have to be aware of putting extra effort into your English outside of class. You are not likely to get to grips with the idioms and vocabulary if you don’t study outside the class. That is for sure something you will have to take into account.

S: I would advise anyone who is interested in doing such a course to look at some exam-type questions beforehand, so they know what to expect. It needs some confidence to sign up for an exam but as long as you show up to lessons and practise a bit outside of school you’ll be absolutely fine. I had enough time to explore Brisbane and travel during the course, so you can still enjoy yourself and have tons of fun doing a Cambridge course.

Not Studying Yet? Would like to?

We have a lot of fun here at Lexis Brisbane and we would love to have you join us.

Check out our list of available courses and get a taste of what studying in Brisbane is like! Also, check out what’s on in Brisbane according to Urban List for some fun ideas and weekly entertainment!

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