Elanguest is now proudly partnered with EC English Language Centres, Malta.

Language course for Introverts

Here's an article by one of our Dutch students about her time at Elanguest in Malta.

Before I came to Malta I had been an introvert for all my life. I didn't use to speak much, especially with people I didn't know; and I always needed some time to open up to people. Speaking in groups - even small ones - was impossible: I always turned bright red, began to mumble and got weak knees. And, what was even worse, was that I had difficulties to fit in any group. So I decided, right around my fifteenth birthday, that a language course in a foreign country wouldn't be a good idea for me. I was afraid of becoming lonely and isolated far from my own home. But on January 1st 2012, everything changed.

2011 had been a very difficult year for me and had had a serious impact on my ego and the happiness with life, so I decided that a few things had to change. My impulsiveness and… Well, I decided to start with impulsiveness - one thing at a time, Esther. Until then I tended to plan every little aspect in my life and wanted everything to happen according to that plan. Of course, that didn't happen often, and I got confused and frustrated.

I decided to think about things I’d wanted to do years before and the answer sprang to mind very quickly: I wanted to go abroad for as long as my finances would be able to handle. And because I struggled with one subject at university - translating Dutch to English - I decided to do a language course in English. So, I booked one Malta.

Naturally, I spent a few months thinking about how lonely I would be, that I wouldn’t be able to make any contacts, that I’d lock myself up in my apartment, that people wouldn’t like me, and so on. It wasn’t until two weeks before departure that I decided that I was able to handle all that. Malta was supposed to be an island with a lot of historical sites I could visit; and I love the English language, so the lessons would probably be fun. In a nutshell, I had a lot of contradictory thoughts in my head.

And then the plane landed in Malta… And well, it’s a cliché to say that I immediately fell in love with the country, but I liked the view for sure. So much so that all my worries disappeared and I decided there and then that I would just go with the flow.

And I did. At the airport, I immediately met three girls from the same country, one of them turning out to be my future flatmate. The next day after the test, three more girls joined the group: one from Belgium, another from Germany and, another from the Netherlands. I had never been that comfortable in a group. Then came the first lessons and whereas normally I would sit quietly at the back of the class, and not give any answers, for some reason, I just gave every answer I knew, without turning red; without being ashamed. And, amazingly, nothing scary happened!

The four weeks in Malta went by quickly; faster than I wanted them to. I talked to teachers, I talked a lot with my friends (and I had never was a real talker), I wasn’t ashamed about the fact that I can be a geek, I went out (for the second time in my life) an enjoyed it, I drank a lot of cocktails, I even went shopping three times (I didn’t like shopping before). But at the same time, I didn’t lose myself; I am still the person I was before I came here, but with more self-confidence and, most importantly, I discovered that being me isn’t a bad thing.

Ultimately, Malta did two things for me: it made me open up and at the same time I came to accept myself with all my flaws. And accepting yourself comes a long way.