Student Spotlight: Lucia Bravo | Assiniboine Community College
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Student Spotlight: Lucia Bravo

Student Spotlight: Lucia Bravo

Written On: 26 February, 2016
Category: Adult Collegiate Student Spotlight
Related programs:  English as a Second Language

We had the opportunity to sit down with Lucia Bravo, a student at our Adult Collegiate, who is currently taking English as a Second Language.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Lucia Bravo and I immigrated to Canada two and a half years ago from Chile. I’m currently taking English as a Second Language at the ACC Adult Collegiate. I moved here with my Husband who works for a Canadian company. We have two children ages eight and eleven.

Have you been to Brandon before?

I had never been to Canada before moving here.

What made you decide to come to ACC? Why did you choose English as a Second Language?

I want to improve my English skills to the point I can go back college. When I first arrived I wasn’t able to speak any English at all. I had a general understanding of what people were saying but couldn’t really communicate. Since attending the ESL program I’ve now learned enough English that I can communicate and allow me to have full conversations. As people get older it becomes a lot more difficult to learn a new language, I’m going to continue learning as much as I can.

How has your experience been so far?

It’s been a very nice experience so far. In our class we have a lot of people from very different cultures and countries, but we all we all have the same goal of improving our English. We’re all really focused and share the same end goal.

Can you explain a little about the program and what you’ve learned so far?

We work a lot on our reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. A lot of the time people learn to speak a new language really quickly, but they still need to learn how to read and write. We learn with many different techniques such as watching video, listening to our instructors, and practicing by having discussions with other classmates.

Has anything surprised you about the program? Has anything in Canada surprised you?

The instructors surprised me with how really friendly and how much they really care about our success and goals.

The Canadian weather was also a big surprise. The first Canadian winter I experienced was in 2013-14, which was the coldest winter Manitoba had seen in a while. In Chile temperatures can get down to -1C or -2C every now and then, but nothing like here in Canada.

My children had never seen snow before but they have really taken a liking to the snow and the winter here.

Is there anything in particular that you’re excited to learn about?

After I’ve taken all of the necessary courses and my English is at the level it needs to be, I’d be really excited to take more courses or a program at ACC.

I’ve looked into different options such as the Education Assistant program or even possibly validating my profession from Chile. In Chile I was a Dentist but here in Canada a lot of my validation isn’t recognized so I would have to go back to university. It’s necessary to have really strong English skills if I wanted to pursue that career again.

What are you classmates like?

Everyone in the program is from different countries. In the beginning it was very hard to communicate; everyone spoke different languages and had very different accents. Once we were all able to learn English and remove the language barrier we were able to start communicating.

Did you know what to expect coming into ACC? Did you do anything to prepare yourself before coming into the program?

Not too much. I knew I wanted to improve my English and this(ACC) was a great option. At the start it was very difficult, mainly when it came to speaking and using correct pronunciation and grammar.

Do you have any advice for other people looking to take English as a Second Language?

I recommend ESL to anyone looking to learn English and help get settled into the Canadian culture. Learning English makes it much easier for immigrants to get involved with the community.

Are you involved in any activities outside the college?

I like to exercise at the YMCA and my children really enjoy swimming there as well. I’m also involved with the church and my children are involved in a lot of activities through their school. My children are also involved in chess competitions and we travel to Winnipeg for them to compete in tournaments. My youngest participated in the Chess National tournament and finished in 3rd place.

What’s your favorite food?

Anything sweet, like Chocolate or cake.

In Chile I enjoyed empanada, which is dough filled with a mixture of ground meat and vegetables.

Here in Canada I really enjoy Tim Horton’s coffee and Timbits. The coffee is really different compared to what we drink in Chile.

Do you have any favorite TV shows, movies, or hobbies?

I don’t have too much time to watch TV shows or movies, but when I do it’s mostly just the news.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

Thank you!