It is the first time in 16 years that I will not be spending the Spring Festival with my family. I originally planned to go to the Philippines with two other people. However, due to Visa issues, I embarked on my first trip to another country by myself. After some setbacks, I came to study and experience life in Monol for most of my vacation.
The picture above shows only the top three floors of the school. The academy building has 13 levels altogether. The upper floors are the male and female dormitories, whereas the lower floors contain the offices, cafeteria, classrooms, lounge, and laundry area.
Additionally, the school also has a basketball court, gym, sauna, and other fitness facilities. Outside of the building are some small stores and eateries.
Life in Monol Dormitories
Regarding Monol’s dorm, they have a variety of rooms from a single room to room for six. They also have a unique 3+1 room program wherein three students are roommates with one teacher. The 3+1 program allows students to spend most of their time learning and using English even in their rooms. They can also ask their teacher to help them practice.
Hangers, clothes, baskets, a bathroom and shower, pillows, blankets, and curtains are available in every room. The school prepares these amenities in advance upon the student’s arrival.
I chose the cheapest room, the six-person room. However, since it is not yet peak season, I may not have all five roommates. Each dormitory has its WIFI as well.
Monol Level tests and tour
After arriving in Monol (it was Sunday), the teachers introduced to us the school’s various facilities and daily study arrangements in detail. Afterward, we headed to one of the largest malls in the city to have our money exchanged, get our photos taken, and buy our necessities.
Because there are students who cannot remember all details about the academy (like me), the school gives out student handbooks for everyone. It includes more detailed information about the school, courses, facilities, etc.
On the first day of school, the new enrollees will take a mock test to see which level they are at when it comes to English. The reason for this is so the teachers may know what level of training the student needs.
Monol’s IELTS Course
As for me, I am taking the IELTS course. My life in Monol consists of seven hours of class each day. I have four group classes and three one-on-one lessons. The group class in the academy has three to four students under a single teacher. Even in a group setting, the teacher tries their best to address each student’s needs.
Listening, speaking, reading, and writing classes have two parts: explanations/lessons and practice exercises. Teachers also give out assignments. The other parts of the course include reading or solving additional exercises.
Except for a few particular areas, the school requires all students to speak in English. This is the academy’s English Only Policy that is an essential part of life in Monol. Violators of this rule will have penalties. This rule is beneficial for students as it will help them improve their English speaking skills.
Every Friday, IELTS students have a mock exam. Writing, listening, and reading is in the morning. Meanwhile, the speaking test and a summary of all the tests are in the afternoon.
When it comes to the weekends, it is up to the students whether they want to stay and relax in school or go out and explore the city. As for me, I chose to visit local tourist attractions like the colorful houses of La Trinidad, the temple, and the local market.