How Virag overcame her fear of English

Virag is one of many students who didn’t speak English fluently when she came to LEAF Academy. She refused to be discouraged, however, and made a firm decision to stick with it through all the ups and downs.

I wanted to study in English, I knew that it would be more than important for my future studies. When I realized what steps were ahead of me to fulfill my desire for future studies, my decision about studying in English became a natural one.  

Virag came from Hungary to Slovakia to attend an English summer camp in 2015. Like most of us, she used to have English classes back in school and she understood more than she could speak. Coming to the camp felt like she had been thrown into deep water and needed to learn how to swim…

My mom was very encouraging, she wanted me to learn English, travel abroad and become self-sufficient. I couldn’t have gone for it if she hadn’t been so supportive. She knew that if I wanted to achieve bigger goals, I should learn how to overcome bigger challenges.

When she found out that LEAF Academy would open soon, she didn’t hesitate to apply. She started working hard on her English skills and was even more committed to fulfilling her dream, therefore she decided to meet an English tutor three times per week in order to catch up the expected level of English.

I didn´t mind that LEAF Academy is in Bratislava, I liked their approach to teaching and the opportunities to discover my strengths, talents and learn new things. In my previous school, I always felt like I couldn’t fit in, I wanted to learn more and have deeper understanding about how things work. And I didn’t feel free to be myself there.

During the first half of the school year, she had to widen her vocabulary and get used to an English environment which, in practice, meant English in the class, on the stairs, in the kitchen…simply everywhere. She also had to count on spending more time doing her homework or going to sleep earlier than others because she just felt exhausted speaking in English. Thanks to her resilience and extra English classes that are offered at the school, she was able to catch up in her classes very quickly.

Her hard work has paid off, not that she feels completely comfortable with expressing herself in English, but she has already experienced having a public speech at 2 events.

When I think of  Brain Bar Budapest, I have to catch my breath again. Speaking in front of an international audience of hundreds of people without preparation… You can imagine. When I saw people clapping while I was answering some of the questions, I was shocked. I have never experienced such a moment like that before.

Now, I have no problem with expressing all my thoughts in English. I´m experiencing a great freedom through it. When I look back, it seems it was a brief moment, but it was really thousands of small steps…

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