From English to Art Student: Eşref’s Story
Armed with an extensive knowledge of art and film and a desire to learn English for his career, Eşref moved from his home in Istanbul to the charming historic town of Philadelphia. Take a look at how the time he spent abroad not only improved his skillset, but also instilled a love for Philadelphia and inspired him to pursue higher education in the USA.
Embracing the international nature of his career
Eşref was born in the Black Sea region of Rize and spent a big part of his life in Istanbul, where he studied furniture design at vocational school and Fine Arts in his undergraduate education. After university, he worked for seven years as a decorator and art director in the film industry in Turkey.
“When I was working in the Movie industry, I had to work with producers from abroad. Back then, the only words I could say in English were ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ I felt that this was a huge deficiency. Soon after I started a Master’s program in Turkey and realized that my lack of English was a truth I could no longer run away from. Learning English abroad was the best move for me.”
A love affair with Philadelphia
As the original capital of the United States, Philadelphia played a starring role in the American Revolution and is an exciting destination for anyone inspired by the American story. After a recommendation from his cousin who studied with Kaplan Philadelphia in 2016, Eşref decided to move to the US to improve his English for his career.
“I was in Philly for fifteen days before my course started and my cousin showed me the environment. I really liked that the school was central and close to all the must-sees of the city.”
During his course, Eşref took part in the many social activities offered by Kaplan each week and was able to discover why Philadelphia was such an ideal setting for international students.
“I have visited all the main attractions of Philadelphia. It is one of the oldest cities in the US. Here, you gain a better understanding of the historical structure of America. This is a great city for people who are interested in America's past and history.”
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Quick English progression
For Eşref, being able to interact constantly in English not only improved his skills, but also built his confidence and helped to him pinpoint exactly where his weaknesses and strengths were. The classroom environment was instrumental to his language development, allowing him the room to put what he learned into practice.
“For every individual student, the teacher determined a road map according to their language problems and weaknesses, and they helped them catch up with the level of the class. I learnt tenses, how to ask questions and how to build sentences. I also developed my listening skills and was able to understand what was said during class. It was much easier to have conversations with my classmates and understand them.”
After only two months with Kaplan, Eşref advanced to the Lower Intermediate proficiency level and had much stronger comprehension skills. In short, he had learned to say so much more than just “yes” and “no.”
“Right now I live in Philadelphia and am getting ready to apply a Master program. My objective is studying in a good program related to my profession and then to continue to a doctorate program.”
Have you ever studied with Kaplan in Philadelphia? Or maybe you spent some time at one of our other schools. Share your stories with us on our Facebook channel or in the comment section below!