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Grettel Tovar, Study Year Programme student from Colombia at ELC Brighton

Grettel's Brighton Experience

"Then I had so many grey days that I got to like them."

Grettel Tovar, one of our Colombian students, who was studying here at ELC for six months, had these very touching and inspiring words to say about her experience here in Brighton and at ELC:

"It is incredible how one place that is not yours can become your home! This is my last day in Brighton and I am looking forward to going back to Colombia, but I feel nostalgia, because I have had such a wonderful time here. I have met incredible people, I understand that it does not matter about your age or where you are from, and you can become friends with everyone and hang out with people whose first language is not the same as mine. You can get to know someone who does not come from the same region as you; this is how I see the world, this is how I grow. I enjoyed cool summer days and also warmer days in autumn. Then I had so many grey days that I got to like them.

I went to the school in the mornings on foot, cycling, or by bus, I woke up every day two hours earlier, because I needed to prepare my breakfast and lunch, due to this being cheaper and healthier than a sandwich in Tesco. I have learnt that in Brighton every day is Friday; clubs are open from Monday to Monday; students’ parties are cheaper than British parties and also you can go out for free. I have learnt that you can travel with little money. I have learnt that Latinos are everywhere and with them you feel like you are in your family.
furthermore I learnt that Turkish are such hospitable people, Arabs and Colombians are like a family, Swiss are likely to learn other languages extremely easy , Asians are shy but they can get the best scores, I also met Italians, French, Polish, English, Spanish, Russians, Brazilians and I got to know their cultures.

Currently I love Colombia more than before, I love all we have there. I am always willing to show pictures about touristy cities, mountains, canyons, beaches or every beautiful place my country. I want to talk about our culture, sports, literature, people, and our awesome towns which take us to the past. Now my deepest wish is that everybody comes to Colombia, especially the people I have met here.
I have had the best experience in Brighton and tonight I am going back to Colombia with this town and the people who I have met here in a part of my heart."

In return, we feel incredibly special and lucky to have had Grettel here with us and we wish her all the best for her future, wherever she may go, and we really hope she comes back to visit us in the future, one day.  

Es increíble la manera en que un lugar extraño se convierte en tu hogar, es mi último día en Brighton y me muero por regresar a Colombia, pero siento nostalgia, y no es para menos, aquí viví momentos inolvidables.

Conocí personas increíbles, entendí que las diferencias de edad en la misma situación solo te permite aprender más, disfruté días de verano fríos y días cálidos en otoño, odié los días grises tantas veces que aprendí a quererlos, gasté suelas de zapatos (literal),... mis medios de transporte fueron mis pies para caminar y mis piernas para montar bicicleta todos los días hasta el colegio, aprendía a despertarme 2 horas antes para preparar desayuno, almuerzo, alistarme y estar puntual en la parada del bus, ah sí, aprendí a hacer almuerzo, porque es muchísimo más barato y saludable que un combo de sandwich frío con papas y bebida del supermecado por ($10.000), Ja! aprendí que aquí se rumbea todos los días de la semana, que las fiestas de estudiantes son más baratas y que también se puede rumbear gratis, que viajar no es caro, que así como se gasta hay oportunidad de ganar, aprendí que los latinos somos una plaga en el exterior y somos regionalistas, que nos apoyamos, que te sientes en familia, aprendí que los Turcos son demasiado hospitalarios, que los árabes y los colombianos se entienden muy bien, que los suizos son inteligentes, que los asiáticos son tímidos pero en los exámenes son los mejores, hice amigos italianos, franceces, polacos, ingleses, indios, conocí un poco de la cultura de cada uno y amé más la mía.

Aprendí a valorar a Colombia, aprendí a amar lo que tenemos, aprendí que a Colombia la ponemos mal en el extranjero nosotros mismos, que podemos ayudar con cada post, con cada foto de nuestro hermoso país, con nuestra cultura e inteligencia, mostrando que no todos somos indígenas pero que ellos existen, mostrando que todo el mundo es binvenido, que tenemos deporte, teatro, literatura, playas, montañas, ciudades cosmópolita y tecnológicas, pueblos maravillosos que resaltan el pasado, que somo más que droga y que nos encantan las visitas.

Viví la mejor experiencia en Brighton y hoy me voy con él y la gente que conocí aquí en un pedacito de mi corazón.


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