Lea from Switzerland talking about her experience at her homestay family (February 2017):
"Likes: What I like about my accommodation is the easy way of living here. Since the first weekend I feel comfortable and welcome. I’m free to do what I want like watching TV in the living room or swim in the lovely pool. If I’m not having supper at home, I can spontaneously text my host mom and enjoy the evening in the city or with friends. The relationship to my host family is very relaxed and easy. I like having supper with them and discuss a variety of topics. I can always ask Liz for help or tips about where to eat or where to spend my free time. She often has a good advice for me. I’m really glad to live in this family during my stay in Cape Town.
Dislikes: There are not many things I don’t like about my homestay. I need to think for a while to find something. Maybe the late supper is a little complicated if I want to go out with my friends in the evening, but I just had to get used to it and know I can plan a better time with my friends to meet. Something else that maybe could be nice is to sometimes do more activities with my family. Just like a little trip once a month, but I understand that they have their own things to do and I can also do a lot of activities with my friends from school.
Food: The food I get as breakfast and supper is always delicious. For breakfast I can help myself with cereals, bread and fresh fruit. For supper we often eat chicken with side dishes. We’re mostly a little later than planned, but that’s not a big problem. After dinner we could always have desert: Ice-cream, fruit, cake or anything you desire.
Family: I live in my homestay with my host mom Liz and a 19 years old sister called Sam. I often chat with Liz and she always has an open ear for me. Sam is busy studying for her exams, but sometimes she has supper with us what I always like. At the moment a Brazilian girl is staying in the same host family what I enjoy a lot. We spend time together and it’s nice to have someone to walk to school with. I also have a cat at home. Casper is a very old but lovely pet.
Communication: The communication between Liz and me is very good. We talk a lot and I inform her about my plans. If something changes in these plans I can easily send her an SMS. In case she doesn’t know where I am she asks to be sure everything is ok."
Ingrid from Germany talking about her son's experience at GHS (March 2016): "Er war schon häufiger im Ausland, in England, Frankreich, Spanien, hat somit sicher schon etwas Reiseerfahrung. Aber kein Aufenthalt sonst war für ihn auch nur annähernd so ereignisreich und interessant wie der in Südafrika, er ist absolut begeistert von all seinen Erlebnissen, von Land und Leuten, von der Schule. Er traf auf ausgesprochen nette Lehrer und Lehrerinnen bei Good Hope Studies in Newlands, Sean und Heather, die es verstehen, die englische Sprache gut zu vermitteln, wobei es ihnen auch sehr wichtig ist, dass der Spaß am Lernen nicht zu kurz kommt; Patrick hat sicher große Fortschritte in Englisch gemacht, auch wenn er noch nicht weiß, ob er das Cambridge Examen bestanden hat. Aber er hat sicher ein gutes bis sehr gutes Zertifikat von der Schule ausgestellt bekommen, was ihm auch schon viel wert ist. Es gab total interessante, stets wechselnde, echt preisgünstige Freizeitprogramme, teils regelrechte Highlights mit super Guides, mit einem wirklich engagierten, coolen Freizeitmanager, Marius, der diese vermittelte, auch eine Managerin, Chantal, die sich um einen Arztbesuch kümmerte, als Patrick einige Tage sehr krank war, und ihn sogar vom sehr freundlichen Fahrer der Schule, Rodney, kostenlos zum Krankenhaus hinbringen ließ; der Fahrer lieh Patrick sogar zunächst das Geld für den Arztbesuch; Die Unterkunft in der Studentenresidenz, alles paletti, war für unseren Sohn absolut die richtige, da er gleich Kontakte zu den anderen Sprachschülern hatte, und er somit auch wirklich mit diesen viel unternehmen konnte in einer Stadt, die zu den schönsten der Welt zählt und auch wirklich viel zu bieten hat, aber natürlich auch nicht ganz ungefährlich ist. Aber von den Lehrern der Schule gut instruiert, Gefahren aus dem Weg zu gehen, konnte, wenn man sich an die Anweisungen hielt, auch nichts passieren. Patrick hat auch die Mentalität der Südafrikaner als äußerst positiv empfunden. Summa summarum ein ganz, ganz toller Aufenthalt, den Patrick nicht mehr missen möchte und mit Sicherheit in seinem Leben niemals vergessen wird. Er hat viel mitgenommen für sich und sein Selbstbewusstsein. Er möchte später gerne nochmal nach Kapstadt und Südafrika."
Michaela from Germany (January 2016): "My name is Michaela. I’m from Germany and I’m 40 years old. In the middle of 2015 I was looking for a new job. I had worked since I was a teenager so I had an idea to take a timeout and spend a few months in a foreign country – doing something completely different. I wanted to freshen up and improve my school English and work as a volunteer. South Africa and Good Hope Studies seemed to be perfect for my plan. They offer lots of different English courses and volunteer projects as well. I decided not to think too long, just book it. And so I did.
I’ve never done something like this before and so I was very nervous. What if my English was not good enough? And, what if I couldn’t follow the lessons because I’m too old? I didn’t know anyone there – they even drive on the other side of the street. These questions and more were whirling in my head when I was standing at Munich Airport on 12th September 2015. I had every vaccination, holding my new passport and was going for three month to somewhere unknown.
All my fears were unfounded. From the first step I was heartedly welcome! The school did everything to make me feel like home. My host parents gave me a lovely welcome (and at once a cup of tea). We took a short journey around Cape Town and I got a first impression of where I’m living the next few weeks. Wow – what a great City!
At the school my teachers Sean, Candice and Maz were all the time very helpful and the atmosphere during the lessons was relaxed. I had a lot of fun there! By the way, all teachers at the school are very well educated! At no point in time was my age a problem. They helped me with questions and gave me extra work to do when I needed it. The teachers always created a perfect balance between grammar, reading, speaking and listening. During these 7 weeks (I had 30 lessons a week) I learned a lot of useful phrases, new vocabulary, African culture and history. I also learned a lot about other countries because of the students from all over the world...And thank you to my host parents! I was not only a student who came and went. From the beginning I was a member of their family. Every day they asked me about my day, explained things I didn’t know and corrected my English if it was too wrong. Most of all I loved the daily dinner. With a glass of good wine we sat together and spoke about God and the world. This way I learned a lot of daily used words, I never felt homesick and found new friends!
If someone is thinking of learning English in an English speaking country I could only say: Do it in South Africa, do it in Cape Town and (please!) do it at Good Hope Studies! You get the best of all and you will never regret it! For myself, I’ll never forget this unbelievable country, the warmhearted, extremely friendly people and the good food!
This trip changed my life and back home I’m missing not only the sun…"
Roxana from Buenos Aires (August 2015): "My name is Roxana. I work at a private High School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We travelled to Cape Town together with a group of 15 students ages 14/15, on a immersion course.
We chose Good Hope Studies after an extensive research among Colleges in Cape Town. My first contact was Jorge. I contacted him in the month of December 2014. Both Jorge and GHS team, including Brenda and Marius have been very flexible with our programme. This, along with their cooperative attitude, efficiency, reliability and honesty, is what made us decide on GHS as the College where we would send our students.
We would like to point out that the culture based lessons at the school were fantastic. Both teachers, Desireè and Sharon, have fulfilled our expectations and the students were very happy. The students permanently spoke to us and their parents about how much they had learned about the culture of South Africa. This was excellent, along with the tours that complemented what the kids had learnt in class, led by Marius, who permanently checked that everything was OK. We all felt very well taken care of. The kids loved each and every suggestion that Marius put forward.
The guides, Rashied and Brentt, were excellent too. Rashied was enormously generous with all he did for us: he responded very well to all our requests, was very punctual always, and he made very useful suggestions. He was very helpful too. Brentt was great during our Safari. He played with the kids and took great care of them.
To round off, all the students and myself, would like to thank each and every member of the GHS team for making this trip unforgettable and so rich in learning and joy."
Jessica from Vitória (June 2015): "82 days ago, I was living one of the most awesome days of my life: I was performing my dream. I was on my way to go to South Africa, to spend 83 days there. I was going to the unknown. I didn’t know anyone there… I wasn’t sure about how good my English was. I was completely going to somewhere out of my comfort zone.
It’s said Cape Town is the paradise. Coldplay made a video clip of a song called “Paradise” here in South Africa. After these 83 days, I can say: South Africa couldn’t be Paradise… It really is the Paradise in the Earth. I wonder if there is someone who could say that South Africa is not the paradise after being on the top of Table Mountain. Or after watching the beautiful ocean in Camps Bay Beach. Or after drinking wine in the Wine lands. Of after where the two oceans meet each other: Cape Point. Or after living with this warm people with a wonderful culture. Would someone be able to say that South Africa is not the Paradise after all of this? I don’t think so.
These 83 days made me grow. Not physically. But mentally! I had time to think about my life. I had the opportunity to talk to people about life. These 83 made me decide some things in my future. And if I really want to be a teacher, now, I have an awesome example of how to be an awesome teacher. If I could, I would make every new teacher have a class with my teacher. To make them learn how to be a great teacher. Because my teacher Portia is an example to me. South Africa taught me that being a teacher is not just about teaching. It’s about being a friend. It’s about being happy for being teaching. I just have to thank Portia, because, I’m sure that I can talk for me and Jackson, she taught us how to be a really great teacher. And I’m proud because I was chosen to be her student. And she has helped me to improve my English. Thank you so much!
And thank you, South Africa. You became the passion of my life… I wouldn’t change you for any country. You’ve changed my life! I’ll never be able to thank you, because, here, I met awesome friend, I formed an amazing new family… And I discovered that the paradise exists here in the Earth.
From a thankful Brazilian girl who you’ve changed her life, to South Africa, with all my love!"