Gabriel Avila, Panama
Tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Gabriel Avila. I am 20 years old and I am from the province of Veraguas in Panama. Before I came here, I was studying biology. After returning to Panama, I will finish my Bachelor of Science. In my free time, I like to go skateboarding, play the guitar and ride motorcycles.
Why did you come to Malta and are you glad to be here?
I have always wanted to learn English, so I was looking to apply for a scholarship programme. After sending my applications, I was chosen for a scholarship which provided me with the opportunity to study English in Malta. At first, I did not know much about the country. However, the more I got to know about it, the more I liked it. It is a very good place for improving your English and I enjoy learning about Malta’s history, visiting its skateparks, going to the beach and having fun at parties.
Have you made new friends in Malta?
Yes! I am an outgoing person and Atlas has allowed me to meet many nice and interesting people. I have also made a bunch of friends at the skatepark and parties.
Are you going to travel while you are here?
Since I am in Europe now, it is easier for me to travel around. So yes, I would like to visit a few countries, especially Italy, Germany and Turkey.
How is Malta different from your home country?
The main differences are the culture and the infrastructure. Most of Malta’s streets have neutral colours and only a few plants. In contrast, Panama has very vibrant and colourful streets with a lot of vegetation.
What has been your best experience in Malta so far?
My best experience has been studying at Atlas and meeting people from all over the world. At first, I thought it would be difficult to find friends but everyone here is very cool, laid back and friendly.
How would you describe your first week in Atlas?
In my first week, everything was new to me. It was a challenge, since I had never travelled abroad before, but the people at school made me feel welcome and comfortable.
What do you think about Atlas and have you got any advice for new students?
The teachers at Atlas are the best. Their methods of teaching are very inclusive and they always make an effort to understand and help everyone. I like my classmates and the staff is very helpful. They always try to motivate us to take part in the social programme, which is great fun and has a lot to offer. For new students, I would advise them to enjoy their time as much as possible. Visit new places, make friends and don’t be afraid of making mistakes as you can learn from them. Study as much as possible, do your best in class and don’t be scared to ask questions! Most importantly, enjoy the process!