Why you should invest in yourself and why you should learn English. A word from those who didn’t know it.

A story told by one of our successful Italian students

By Alessandro Mariani - Student

Hello everybody,

Before I introduce myself, I just want to congratulate you if you are thinking of studying here. Well, you couldn’t make a better choice.

I’m Alessandro, an environmental engineer, 23 years old from Milan. I spent 6 months of my life here (from September 2019 to March 2020) to study English. Well, I did it! I started as B1 level (I could easily say I had a very basic level because I hadn’t opened a book for 4 years) and now, August 2020, I’m attending the C1 Class (yes I’m back, sadly just for a week). Unfortunately, as happens to plenty of Italian students, English language for me was a complete nightmare. I always had no idea when to use one tense or another, I couldn’t fix in my mind some vocabulary and when I needed to speak with some tourists I freaked out. I was resigned but inside me I knew that I could do it. The first week I was literally shocked. I had a big headache (I’ve never felt like this, not even when I was at uni) and everything was weird. But you know, I was here for this; fatigue did not frighten me. Day by day I learnt new words; to try not to forget them, I put them in a little notebook with a few examples to fix them in my mind. My speaking has become better because I didn’t care about how I spoke, the important part for me was just trying in some way (if you are fluent you could not be accurate 100% of the time, at the beginning the important thing is trying to become fluent). After a while, obviously, I fixed the accuracy but I would advise you that in the beginning you should try to ask and to speak without thinking a lot. Trying to think in English helped me a lot. For example, when I was walking from home to school and a bus was coming I thought: “a bus is coming” and after I tried to add some pieces like “ how many people are in that bus” , “there are 15 people in that bus, wow, it’s not crowded” and things like this, from my point of view, make the difference.


So many people try to learn a new language by themselves but we have to see how they know this language. I think there is a big difference between knowing a language and being understood. For the latter, for instance, it’s enough to gesture and rub your stomach and people will give you food. This is not knowing a language. To know a language you have to choose the right tense, manage a nice amount of vocab and stuff like that. If people have chosen IH Newcastle for 40 years, I think there is a reason. Entrusted to professionals!


I took B2 Cambridge FIRST exam in March and I’m trying to move onto the Cambridge C1 CAE exam.

If you have the possibility, challenge yourself by taking an exam course and gaining a certificate to prove your competences. When you will need them, your certificate will speak for you.


There is a bunch of motivations. I don’t want to make a grocery list, I just want to tell you that one day, after class, I hung out with some mates to grab a beer. Only there I realised that we were laughing together despite the fact we were from 5 different countries (and 3 continents). It was amazing!!!


If you live it in the right way, Newcastle is something that remains in your heart. I think it’s not a city, it’s a kind of feeling. In addition, I need to brush up on my English because in my new job, I will have to deal with some European countries so I want to be ready. Last but not least, I was missing this corner of world that is international House, people from all over the world, different cultures, different stories: being here it’s like making a long trip without moving so much.