Quo vadis Britain. ("Where are you going?")
My name is Silvia Krivosik. I am a director of St. George’s School of English in Worthing. I came to England in 1995, after the Velvet Revolution and the consequential split of Czechoslovakia. My intention was not to stay, but to seek opportunities I did not have in my country. I was refused a place at University because my father was not in a communist party. I chose a different way, sought different avenues. When I came to England I was the only speaker of my language in the area I lived in, but certainly not the only foreigner. I learnt fast and a year later I was accepted and very welcomed at University of Brighton.
The tension of the past few weeks and the #Brexit seems very familiar to me. After the revolution there was fear, insecurity but also excitement in the air. Many, like myself, sought and used the opportunities offered elsewhere. Many of my peers live in different countries, from America, Saudi Arabia to European Countries. Many of them did not intend to stay, just like me. I met my husband, set a life in the UK, just like many of my peers.
The beginnings were hard but I was taught to ‘earn’ my way. I worked hard, had 3 jobs for many years so I could fund my studies. I was given a chance despite being a foreigner. I experienced the fairness and generosity of the British system. I knew I could strive as a person here and wanted to share it with others. I set up an English language school in Worthing in order to share my vision of helping people to use the English language to better their lives. Our teachers are all native, however majority of our office staff are all foreigners themselves; three of them came to us as students and settled here. They are all amazing people, full of passion, need to help others, and a sense of split love between their country of origin and England.
In 16 years of St. George’s School we helped thousands of students who passed through our doors. Last year alone we had 4700 students who all shared respect and love for England and its language. We not only teach English but also ‘show off’ the beauty and the quirks of English culture we so love.
We all feel torn about what is happening right now. We felt safe in England and made our lives, helped many to enjoy their experience of learning and living here (no matter how temporary). We must believe that the system will remain fair to us and our friends and clients who feel that same about England as we do. We more than earn and pay our way - just last year St. George’s contributed nearly a million pounds to the local economy, helping local host families as well as local trade.
It painfully reminded us that England is not a ‘home’ to us, it also made something very clear. This country needs people like us. People with vision and no fear of doing whatever it takes to make their lives and the lives of others around them better. Everyone looks after number one as they say, and thus St. George’s will continue harder than ever to look after its foreign family and friends; people we love, respect and want the best for. Our family just happens to spread throughout the world.
Our hearts are open and minds focused. We believe in fairness. Bring on the change we say; change brings opportunities we shall use to continue what we love doing: inspiring and educating people.
Passion for English, Life, Success