From gray and rainy to high skies and sunshine!
I am the happy winner of the contest organised by ESL: after answering a few questions about barbecues online, I was selected in a random draw and won a two-week language study trip to Australia for two! I took a friend with me and we took off from Paris (5 degrees Celsius, grey skies) on February 7th to land in Noosa (30 degrees Celsius, bright sunshine).
Noosa is a hip seaside resort located on the Sunshine Coast of the Australian East coast. The surroundings are stunning: nature reserves, beautiful landscapes, heavenly beaches, crystal-clear water. My favourite spot? Little Cove Beach, a little piece of heaven between Main Beach and Noosa National Park.
On the day after we arrived, we started our two-week course at the Lexis School. The school is located in the town centre, just a few hundred meters from Main Beach. Students are placed in small groups of the same level and supervised by a teacher. Our teacher was very competent: she was interesting and dynamic, great at listening and teaching…
During classes, grammar exercises quickly alternate with speaking exercises and group debates. Classes are small and everyone can speak and participate freely. The atmosphere is relaxed but focused. Studying at Lexis also means having the opportunity to meet students from all over the world (Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, China…)!
Classes finish in the early afternoon and the Lexis school team – which is brilliant – regularly organises activities: football tournaments, barbecues, themed evenings, yoga classes, workshops… In Noosa, you can enjoy many watersports, including paddling, kite surfing, rowing, surfing (it is a very popular surf spot in Australia). If you want to go shopping, Hastings Street is home to trendy fashion, beach, home furnishing and souvenir shops… as well as many restaurants and cafés. And if you wish to leave Noosa for a few days, the Lexis School has a partnership with a travel agency called “Backpackers World Travellers”. It is easy and convenient to organise trips and excursions. We spent a day in Fraser island, a wild island of remarkable beauty with huge, fine sandy beaches, the rainforest, lakes… We swam in Lake McKenzie, the water was clear and turquoise and the temperatures were very mild: I will never forget this experience!
We stayed with a host family in the Noosa Rivers neighbourhood. It was a big house with a garden giving onto the river. A dream location! Staying with a host family allowed us to meet locals, speak English and really discover Australian culture. The only problem with the Noosa Rivers neighbourhood is that it is quite far away from the Lexis School and the beach.
Without a car or a bike, it is a bit complicated to get around the city. You depend on buses.
Thanks to ESL, my friend and I had the exceptional opportunity to visit Australia, which is a beautiful country. From Noosa, you can easily travel across the Australian East Coast: the city is located one hour and a half away from Brisbane by car and from Sydney by plane (you can take off from Sunshine Coast airport). The Great Barrier Reef is not very far away either. It was a short but intense experience for us. We quickly adapted to the Australian lifestyle. You get up early, enjoy the sun, swim every day, eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Noosa locals are relaxed, smiling and welcoming. You can walk in your flip-flops or bare-footed, surrounded by exotic birds and funny, friendly animals (koalas and kangaroos). When you are having fun in Noosa, it is difficult to leave… Thank you ESL for this dream holiday!
Camille and Alicia.