Interview with a Former Academic English Student: Mohammed Murgharbel Tells Us About His Time at Bridge
English students come to BridgeEnglish Denver from all over the world, and one of the largest student populations hails from Saudi Arabia. Many of these students enter our academic education program to prepare for college. They learn skills to earn high scores on the IELTS exam, which is necessary to enter many universities in the U.S. and around the world. They also learn how to read and understand college-level texts in English and write essays in English.
After all their hard work studying, students at BridgeEnglish Denver have time to enjoy the sites of Colorado and just learn how to live in another country. The students in the academic program, however, must also take the IELTS and work on college applications. When all their test-taking, studying and applying is finished, and they are in their new colleges, they can best reflect on their time here at BridgeEnglish Denver.
One of our former academic students, Mohammed Mugharbel, is currently studying at college, and he recently took some time to share some thoughts about university life and his time at BridgeEnglish Denver.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What brought you to Bridge?
I am Mohammed Mugharbel, from Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. I am 22 years old. I came to Bridge in April 2011 to improve my English.
Where are you studying now?
I am studying at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
What is your major?
My major is Mechanical Engineering Technology.
What is your favorite thing about your college?
I love my university and city. I like my instructors and my new friends.
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not in class or studying?
I like to go to the movies to improve my vocabulary and listening, or to play my PS3.
What’s the best part about being a college student?
The best part is feeling that you are closer to starting your real life and meeting a lot of new friends from the whole world.
Are you in any clubs on campus?
Yeah, I am in the International Club, and I am trying to get onto the basketball team.
How long did you study at Bridge?
I got my 6 on the IELTS three months after I started, but I stayed at Bridge another 4 months. So, it was about 7 months.
What is something you learned at Bridge in the Academic Program that helped you at university?
Everything that Kimberly and Sara taught me about writing skills and improving vocabulary.
How did the Academic Program help prepare you for your courses?
It helped me by preparing me for a new life that just talked in English, not in my language. Also, it helped me improve my skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are thinking about studying in the Academic Program at Bridge in the future?
I would tell them that you need to focus on self-learning in addition to asking the faculty members about whatever it takes to improve yourself. Also, don’t be shy. Try to forget your language, and focus on English. Keep meeting international people who don’t use your language. You could also make a deal with a friend from your country to start speaking more in English.
So, from the perspective of a former academic student at Bridge, keep studying as much as you can. Make friends from other countries, including the U.S. This will not only help you improve your English, but give you some other perspectives on the world. Mohammed points out that watching movies in English is also a good way to improve your listening and vocabulary.
Speaking up in class, talking to your teachers, asking for ideas to improve your English skills and speaking primarily in English are other ways to get better. Although you may be afraid to make a mistake, you will find that you will improve much faster following this strategy than if you rarely speak English outside of class.
Also, understand that most English speakers want to help you with your English. They are happy that you are trying to learn it. They recognize that it is not an easy task.
One other thing you can do this week to improve your English is to go to the Conversation Club at BridgeEnglish Denver to talk with native English speakers. The idea of the conversation club is to get you talking in a relaxed, accepting atmosphere. It is a great place to start, especially if you’re somewhat shy about speaking in English.
Continue to study and work hard to become a better English speaker. You will find success on a college campus soon, just like Mohammed.