MONOL – Cara recalls her first days as a student
I took a flight for two hours from Hong Kong. Monol is my new academy for one month. The teacher who was in-charge of pick-up recognized me right away during pick up time at the airport and they were wearing Monol clothes.
August is part of the rainy season in the Philippines; therefore, there was heavy rain in Manila that time. I also met my first friend who is a Vietnamese girl. She just graduated this year and her major is Law.
We took the bus for six hours and we arrived in Monol at 6am. Monol’s location is on the mountain, it is foggy and the air is crisp. It is like being in a different place in the world and I think that it is suitable for studying.
My room is for three people, and one of my roommates is a cute Korean university student. After I arranged my baggage, I slept. Then later, my other roommate arrived in Monol because her flight was delayed. She is a quiet and mature girl from Taipei.
All new students should assemble at 1pm. Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese are one-third of the student population. I was really curious who also came from Hong Kong. After the Chinese manager did our orientation, we divided into different groups and went around Monol and then, had a city tour. Our group had two Japanese, one Chinese (who worked in Japan), one Taiwanese (who studied in Japan), me and then our teacher. Our group was really international!
With our teachers, we took a Jeepney, which is a local transport. We visited and shopped in the city center. The Jeepney is extremely cute and it also contains traditional culture. The Philippines often has a heavy traffic jam, especially during a rainy day. After thirty minutes, we arrived at SM mall which is the biggest shopping mall in the city of Baguio.
Remember, before you go inside any stores or restaurants, the security guard will check your bags. Don’t be afraid of this situation. SM mall is similar with the shopping malls of other countries. We can buy anything that we need. First, we exchanged our money to peso in the SM bank, and then, we went to a photo studio to get a picture for our SSP and VISA.
After that was free time to shop. Finally, we had dinner with our teacher. By the way, this meal is for free. On the way, I tried to talk with a Japanese friend in English. Although we couldn’t understand each other completely, we tried to guess…that’s really interesting.
Most of Monol students are kind. You can easily make friends. It is a time when I was a young student. It is also a good opportunity to have international interaction. We always talk about a variety of topics, such as culture, politics, dreams, and so on. Most important thing is we have to talk in English because Monol has a rule which is the EOP – English Only Please.
Monol’s equipment is really good. There are many kinds of rooms. For example, there is a double room, three people room, four people room and six people room. Everyone has his/her own desk, bookcase, closet, and one room has a refrigerator.
Moreover, all of our roommates are from different countries. It is better than we talk in English. I think we can improve our listening and speaking skills quickly.