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Life on a Cambridge Exam Preparation Course

Have you wondered what life's like at Bell while studying for the Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) exam?

Astrid from Denmark and Sophia from Germany both came to Bell to study for the C1 Advanced (CAE) exam; however, by the end of the course their impressively high English level meant they sat not only that exam, but also their Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) exam.

We met to talk about their time at Bell, their plans for the future, as well as some important words of advice for future students.

Sophia and Astrid

What did you enjoy about your time at Bell?

Sophia: The classes were always great fun, we learnt a lot. I think it was nice to meet so many people of different cultures; that was really interesting. Also, the activities we did, the trips to London, Birmingham and Canterbury were great.

Astrid: Also, the dedication from our teachers, they were so dedicated and just really great. There was never a dull moment and if there was, it was at least fun. Our teachers were just awesome, always there for us, and really managed to see us individually, what level we’re at, what we needed.

So, they tailored their teaching to you needs?

A&S: Yes, absolutely.

I hear you're both taking the proficiency exam?

S: Yes, we did the advanced on Wednesday and will be doing the proficiency.

Fantastic - good luck!

What do you think about Bell’s Language in Action programme?

S: That was really great, I met so many more people through the Language in Action programme. Hannah, Emily and Isobel were just great, so nice, it was always amazing with them. Using what you learnt in these activities was great, and obviously trips to London, that was great.

What advice do you have for anyone thinking of studying for Cambridge C1 Advanced?

S: Just be open to learn new things and meet new people.

A: Be ready to put in a lot of work, because it is a lot of work, and just be open to meet and talk to as many people as possible. Definitely do the activities.

S: It’s such a great programme; it’s nice for the people who come to meet even more people from different countries. Also, don’t just speak your own language.

A: You are here to improve your English, so use it.

S: So, get out of your comfort zone, and speak English.

You spoke English the entire time you were here?

A: Yes, all the time, we don’t speak our own language except to our families.

What are your plans for the future?

S: I’ve started University already, so I’m doing both at the moment, it’s a lot. I’m studying to become a teacher. I didn’t know about the teacher training [to teach English as a foreign language] programme and I think it’s a brilliant opportunity to go abroad.

A: I have a lot of ideas, I’m working with Sarah Pettit [Bell’s University Counselling Manager], as I think I’m going to apply for University in Scotland, Edinburgh to be precise. Everyone says it’s lovely.

What are you hoping to study?

A: [Either] Social anthropology, psychology, sociology, English, or business. I do know I want to take up another language. I think I’m ready to expand and learn another language. I’m thinking Spanish or German.

S: I think it’s funny as I’ve taken Spanish lessons for one and a half years now and I’m now thinking about learning Danish.

A: It was awesome, as when we wanted to express ourselves, but didn’t know the word in English, we’d say it in our own languages; our languages are so similar, so we’d be able to understand each other and get the word.

Now I’ve got three languages I think I’m going to go for a fourth.

Good luck to you both, I’m sure you’ll ace those exams.

CAE graduation

This Cambridge C1 Advanced course prepares students to take the Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) exam, which demonstrates language ability to schools and employers worldwide. The Cambridge C1 Advanced exam demonstrates that you have the language ability to carry out complex research and communicate effectively at a professional level. You will study advanced level grammar and vocabulary and develop your English to Advanced (C1) level.