I talked to Katya Adushkina and found out how she studied English in the USA this summer.
Katya, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Katya Adushkina. I am a video blogger, dancer and aspiring singer. My YouTube channel now has about 5 million subscribers.
Where did you go with EF?
I went to the USA, to New Jersey.
How did you envision the trip and how did it go in the end?
It was very exciting. I did not understand where I was going, to whom I was going and had no idea what I would do there. From friends who went on such trips, I heard that it was difficult only at the very beginning. You get used to new people, to a new country, to a new atmosphere. We can assume that I was ready for this. At the end of the trip, I already felt very comfortable.
Was it scary at the beginning? What was your greatest fear?
I was afraid that I would not be able to say anything and would not be able to understand what others would say to me. I was afraid that I would withdraw into myself and would not feel comfortable.
How did the level of language proficiency change during the trip?
A month in the USA with EF helped me overcome the language barrier through which I could not could not overstep while in Russia. It became much easier for me to speak English, I stopped being afraid that I would make a mistake.
Did you quickly adapt to the new environment? What was unusual?
Everything was unusual: the school, the guys around, the country. I think it took me about a week to feel more or less at ease.
How long do you think it takes to get used to the new environment?
I think one week is enough. My host family thinks so too. They have been accepting students for several years and at the very beginning they said that the first week was the most difficult. Students get used to the family, the family to the students. Then everything goes much easier.
Tell us about life with a host family. Why did you want to live with a family and not in a residence?
My main goal of the trip is to fully immerse myself in the American environment and in the practice of the English language. My mother and I thought that it would be possible to immerse as much as possible only when living with a family, when you constantly speak a foreign language, when you leave your comfort zone every day to ask this or that question in English, when you simply cannot help speaking.
It seems to me that this is how you develop your language level. Constant communication in Russian, even if in another country, will not give such an effect.
Read also: “ Memo to the student. How to live with a host family abroad ”
How do you remember New York?
Too tall buildings and too narrow streets. Everything is so close to each other that it can be difficult to see the sky. New York is a city for me to work. I don’t know how people can just live there.
The program in the United States specifically allotted time for communication with the family – host family time. How did you spend time with your host family?
My host family immediately asked my neighbor and me what attractions we would like to visit, what to try, etc. The family planned the time according to our wishes.
We also had dinner with the family every evening, talked on different topics and additionally practiced the language.
Traveling is discoveries: new places, people, language. What have you discovered in yourself in a month in the USA?
I think this trip has revealed me. Americans, and especially people who live in New York, do not care at all about how they look, how they live and how much they earn. I was a little inspired by their lifestyle. I think it’s great not to worry about what others think of you.
Talking to a lot of strangers – EF students from other countries – also helped to open up.
Did you like the training? Was it difficult to learn English in English?
I really liked it. It was, of course, difficult in the early days. But I got used to it pretty quickly and by the end of the trip I was thinking only in English. In Russia, it was unusual to hear constantly Russian speech.
The teachers explained very clearly. Even if you do not know the meaning of this or that word, it was easy to understand the meaning.
What advice would you give to the guys who are going to the language camp?
Remember your goals. Try to devote as much time as possible to language practice. Do not be closed in yourself, catch any moments for communication in another language.
Everything around you is free practice. Communication will help you quickly get rid of the language barrier, start thinking in English and finally speak it the way you have long dreamed of.