Alexandre Carnelos was a student here at BridgeEnglish Denver back in January 2012. He was one of the many Brazilian executives sent to us by the global chemical company BASF. Alexandre was a popular student amongst the Bridge community and his presence was undeniable. Standing at an impressive 6 feet 5 inches you couldn’t help but notice him. Of the many pictures that I took of him and the pictures on his Facebook page, he gives a menacing stare into the camera in every single picture. I think that is his signature pose. But under the giant frame and ominous glare in pictures, Alexandre is a gentle giant, a hard worker and a super funny guy. He was only here for a month but the teachers still talk about him and how much fun we had having him in class. His English was very good when he came and it only improved. He is a fun loving family man and loves heavy metal music. We hope he comes back to see us some day.
AB: Alexandre, tell me about yourself, where are you from, what’s your job, your family etc?
AC: My name is Alexandre Carnelos. I was born, raised and still live in São Paulo, Brazil. I’m 37 years old and work for BASF Chemical Company. I work in “continuous improvement,” which means, through several methodologies, I make my company’s processes better and more efficient. I’m married and we have three kids, a 12-year-old boy, and three-year old twin girls. Recently, my family and I moved to the countryside because I was invited to work for a project at another company site. It has been a huge pleasure to live and work in the countryside.
AB: What was your English education like in Brazil? How did you become so fluent?
AC: I started studying English with my best friend. It was a way for me to learn a new language and for him to continue practicing. For seven months, twice a week, our focus was speaking and just a little grammar. After that, I had private and group classes. But what helped me a lot was when I associated the learning process with my two passions; music, because I’m a heavy metal fan, and games, because almost 100% of them are in English.
AB: Why did you choose Bridge as your English school?
AC: I didn’t hear about Bridge until my company promoted me for an English immersion course abroad. Bridge has a partnership with my company. Then I started the process with the Bridge school in my country located in São Paulo. By phone and email, we set up all the details of my course.
AB: Why is it important for you to speak English?
AC: A couple of years ago, my professional contact with foreign people increased significantly because of my job. After I accepted the “countryside challenge,” my contact with foreigners increased more and more. Also, English opens doors! In every place that you travel around the world, you can find someone that speaks English. It has become the universal language.
AB: How did you like Bridge?
AC: Sincerely, Bridge was a nice surprise. I was a little bit nervous but some colleagues that studied English at Bridge told me only good things. Bridge has the exact blend of experience and new things for me. There are teachers from many places, with a lot of experience, speaking lots of languages and respecting the limits of the students and supporting them with their needs. Another impressive thing was the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. It was a good opportunity to know more about other cultures. I also liked the fact that Bridge offers many activities outside of class. Every week, there were so many interesting things to do from going to Happy Hours to shows and sporting events.
AB: How did you like Colorado? What were some fun things that you did?
AC: Colorado impressed me a lot. There is a very nice landscape, beautiful mountains and the friendliest people that I have ever met and, of course, the beautiful, white snow! I enjoyed every single minute. I had the opportunity to visit Boulder, which is a very nice and charming city. I also visited Red Rocks, an amazing amphitheater in the middle of the mountains that has a very rich history (I took some time in the exhibition room watching shows about my favorite bands that played there). There is also a museum there with some personal belongings of the artists, like guitars, t-shirts, etc. For ski enthusiasts (not me!) there is a town not too far away from Denver called Breckenridge with a huge ski mountain and a nice place for sightseeing. There are also lots of good places for shopping, malls, outlets, and big stores.
AB: Would you recommend Bridge to other people? Why?
For sure! Beyond the nice English course (s), the school has a great structure to receive people from everywhere. Everyone in Bridge feels at home!