Before my first week in the Philippines to study in a language school, I already had preliminary thoughts on the location of the school. Because I am a student who can’t study in a self-disciplined environment and I didn’t require examinations, I chose to study in Monol located in Baguio. Monol also strictly implements EOP (English-Only-Policy), at the same time; Monol provides many sports elective courses for free.
It took more than six hours to go to Monol from Manila Airport by bus. After touring the campus, I took the school’s bus to the city to buy necessities and exchange money together with my batch mates. I had traveled to Cebu before and have seen how big an SM City Mall is. I didn’t think that there was an SM mall in Baguio. Perhaps shopping in this mall will be perfect for my holiday. After I bought my necessities in the supermarket, I dined with several other students at the food court. There are many different kinds of food to choose from here. If you miss the taste of your hometown, there are also handmade drinks to help you relieve the nostalgia.
The next day happened to be local elections. I had an unexpected one-day holiday so I had a small trip with my roommates. This time, we went to a community called Stobosa Artwork. The houses here are like the ones in Ganchuandong Cultural Village in Busan, South Korea. The houses are painted in various colors. Because Baguio is rich in strawberries, strawberry is the most common theme of the paintings. Unfortunately, it is not the season of strawberries. Otherwise, I would like to try Baguio’s strawberries.
There is also a large Chinese temple near the Painted Village. Because I have roommates from Japan, we took a stroll.
On our return journey to the school, we took one of the common local transportations, called Jeepney. Each vehicle was decorated differently and is considered one of the features of the Philippines. The destination is written in front of each Jeepney. It is somewhat similar to the concept of a ride-by-ride taxi. Inside are two rows of seats. There is also a railing in front of the seat. This was a very special experience.
The next day after the holiday, new students had the written and speaking exam. We were divided into different classes depending on our scores. Hence, students do not need to worry about having difficulties following the pacing of the group classes.
In the afternoon, every student manager had an orientation with students and explained about the offered elective classes for students. I applied for grammar class and IELTS speaking. With this, I can improve my communication skills. When I stayed in Taiwan, we didn’t have much time to use English since it is not our first language. In Monol, everyone comes from different countries and even the same nationalities still need to speak English because of the English-Only-Policy. This naturally establishes an English environment; hence, if you are the one who lacks self-discipline and wants to study English, Monol is the best choice.