IH London student and intern Tommaso tells us about his mixed emotions now the time has come to leave the school, London and his friends.
I have been at IH London for four months and it has been amazing. What makes it amazing? Well, you live in London for one thing, an amazing city that offers you many experiences.
These range from work or career opportunities, great parties and gigs and all the fantastic squares and parks for playing sport, picnics with friends or just sitting and reading alone. There are also all the galleries and museums where you can spend an entire day seeing some amazing art, discovering things about science and history - all in some of the most incredible spaces in the city and most are free.
More than this though, it’s the people you meet who make the whole experience so amazing. People from different parts of the world that help you learn so much about the cultures of different places. Try going to a restaurant that specialises in food from a particular part of the world with a person from that part of the world!
In a Colombian Restaurant with Colombian friends
And then your course ends
But, there is a downside to studying at IH London – it comes to an end.
Everyone studying at the school has lived or will live through the time that their course is coming to an end: the Good-Bye Time. It is an inevitable conclusion.
The date that you have to leave the school and return to your real life: Back to your old routine, your old city or town, and your old friends. Of course, seeing your friends and family again and all the people that you have missed during your time in London is a fantastic thing, but, at the same time you feel like you’re losing something too.
It is strange to understand this if you don’t live it, as it’s difficult to image that people you met only a few months ago could become as close as your family and friends back home. Ok, not everyone you meet will become so close, but there will be some people you meet who will quickly come to be like your oldest friends.
The Hayward gallery on London's Southbank
The whole of the world in one city
Here at IH London, the things that sometimes divide people, race, religion, politics or nationality are not relevant. Here we are all the same, we are all a long way from home and we’re all learning together, not only in the classroom but from each other.
Maybe it is this shared experience that creates such strong bonds of friendship among people from different countries, different hemispheres even.
In this way IH London is like a micro-version of London itself, a city where people come from every corner of the world and make it their own.
There are plenty of native English speakers here, so don’t worry you’ll have to practice your English outside of the school, but they live side-by-side with people from every place you can imagine.
And you know that when the time comes to go home it is this unique place you will miss as well as the friends you have made. Don’t worry though, you may be here on a temporary basis but some of things that happen while you are here are permanent. It is quite likely that you will not see many of the friends you have made here again, but you can be sure that the friendship will not “disappear”.
So when the “Goodbye Time” is coming you should think that it is not the end,it’s only the beginning. As a friend taught me, the word “but” opens new points of view and signals new opportunities. Your time at IH London is coming to an end BUT after that you have international friendships and the possibility to travel, learn and grow as a person even more.
Another night out in London
To my friends here at IH London I say it doesn’t matter if you we meet next year or in five or ten years, we should be proud of what we’ve achieved and happy to have met and had such a great experience
See you all soon, ciao for now!
Learn English at IH London
At International House London we've been teaching English, and training teachers to teach English for over 60 years.
We can help you reach your learning goals, you'll use English from the first day in a relaxed setting to improve your understanding, fluency and confidence.
Find out more and book a course