She wrote:
‘’ My origins are Spanish but I have grown up in Brussels speaking French and Spanish simultaneously. When I was 21, even though I had a good job, I decided to leave Brussels, to go to London to IH (which I chose between other schools) to improve my English.

I was feeling a lot of pressure to get to London, English became the main focus in my life at that moment so I applied for a 6 month General English course at International House London including accommodation. At that time the school was located in Piccadilly Street. My accommodation was near Doria Road and I was living with a host family.

I arrived to London beginning of January 1980! And… I had a very, very great time at IH London: The teachers were incredibly good. I was impressed how I could understand their grammar explanations all in English! One of my best teachers use to do some mimicking during the evenings and he was incredible! I also used to follow all the activities of the school, I met so many people, I became friends with some of my teachers too and was invited to many parties.
Nevertheless, I was a very serious student and I could finish my course in 4 months.

Besides the morning courses (9 to 12), I used to take some afternoon conversation classes with Training Teachers and in April I met an Italian student, very well dressed (obviously!). I got a chair close to his, in order to improve my conversation skills with him and… it all started. I left my host family to move into his flat, I found a job in a company that was importing Italian furniture (at that time I could speak a bit of Italian) to be sold to Harrods.

Eventually, I remained in London for 2 years. I went back home to Brussels for a while but soon after, I moved to Italy to live with him. After 6 years we got married and then Davide was born…

I have to add one thing: London since the first days, developed a big attraction to me, I really fell in love with the city. When my departure day arrived, I have cried so much. I still remember the sadness of that moment.

Well, this was my experience at IH London, I hope my son will be happy there as I have been. “

With kind regards,

Davide Chiarenza Photo

And now we’re adding a new chapter to Belèn’s story as her son Davide recently joined IH London to improve his English language skills as well. It’s extraordinary how his trip to London has in fact been in the making since… well before he was born! All of us here at IH London would like to wish Davide the best of luck on his future endeavors in this wonderful city and would like to thank Belèn for sharing her truly heartwarming story with us.

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