We recently caught up with one of our students who completed Level 2 English with Reality Gives last year. We are super proud of Swati as she has been selected to go to Paris as part of the YAKA Foundation (YES Academy) Cultural Exchange Program.
Swati shared her story with us before flying off to Paris:
“When did you join RGi?”
Swati: “I joined in February 2018”
“What did you study with RGi?”
Swati: “I studied English Level 2 with Nazia”
“How has studying with Reality Gives helped you?”
Swati: “It has helped a lot, I did most of my studies in Marathi medium so although I spoke a little English, I didn’t have much confidence. Studying English With Reality Gives improved my ability to speak in English and therefore my confidence also improved. Nazia was always very supportive as a teacher, she would only allow us to speak in English which pushed us to learn more quickly.
“What has your experience with Reality Gives been like?”
Swati: “My experience with Reality Gives has been really good, I always tell my friends and family that they should also study English with this NGO. I have previously completed English courses elsewhere and found it very difficult to learn English, it didn’t help but as soon as I came here, I learnt English quickly. Reality Gives is the strongest platform for students like us from Dharavi.”
“Tell us about your opportunity to go to Paris?”
Swati: “I spent 40 days in Galtare as part of a cultural exchange program with French Students from the YAKA Foundation (YES Academy). During my time here we spent a lot of time comparing different cultures from all aspects which was really interesting.
Following this I completed an application form to describe my experience on this program and my future ambitions.”
“Why do you think you were chosen?”
Swati: “I was very committed during the 40 days I spent in Galtare and very involved in the program. I was also on time every day and shared my opinions openly with the other students as I felt this important.
I am really excited about going but I am actually very short on time to get ready.”
“What are you hoping to get out of the visit to Paris?”
Swati: “I am hoping to learn a lot about the culture in France and see the difference in technology as I find this really interesting. I also am looking forward to seeing all the difference with things such as bathrooms, food, fashion, hair styles, trains, cleanliness, pollution, their mindset and thinking, approach towards relationships and Governmental policies and reforms which make life easier there.”
“What advice would you give to other RGi students?”
Swati: “Be punctual, be involved and put in effort. It is not only the teacher’s responsibility for the learning of the student, it is an equal partnership between both student and teacher.
To learn English, you must speak in English only, even if at first you make mistakes this is the best way to learn. Think beyond your boundaries; I have been wanting to go abroad since I was 10 years old and now it is happening. My father’s dreams for me have always been big; he is my motivator and role model in life and doesn’t feel I should have any limits to what I do.
I’m 32 and in my community many girls marry at a young age, as young as 14 and do not have a career but my father encouraged me to have bigger dreams.”
“What are your future ambitions / goals?”
Swati: “I am currently learning yoga, I completed Level 1 in December 2018 and am hoping to complete my exam to become a yoga teacher i. e. Level 2 in December 2019. I am very health aware, so I do yoga for physical fitness and meditation for mental fitness.
I am also currently preparing for my Law Studies entrance exam. I need to complete an application for my entrance exam as I want to study to become a lawyer. My aim is to serve my community in the future with legal matters and law is the tool that will facilitate this.”