By Marta Ricci (Italy)
I came here because my fiancé was studying at NYU and I was fed up with our long-distance relationship. So, I decided to move to New York City for a while. But I was a little scared because my English was really bad. The truth is, my grammar was ok, although my conversation skills were awful. I am an incredibly shy and not very talkative person but, in order to improve my English, I had to change!
The first time I visited New York was in the summer of 2009. I was here for one month during which I had English classes with a private teacher. She was good and kind with me, but not as effective as all my teachers in the ICNY!
I love this school not only for its teachers, who are always terribly nice and friendly, but because they are able to create a lovely and informal environment where you are free to express yourself. My favorite room of the International Center is the lounge where you can talk with people who are sitting there for the same reason you are: to make new friends with whom you can practice your English!
In this room I met Kae, an outgoing Japanese woman, who had an American dream: to start a handmade jewelry business from nothing! And because of her I had the most wonderful experience in NYC. She is an extravagant artist who had this fancy idea to create jewelry from NYC MetroCards… She had all the talent and the ability to do it. She created a web page, she found a good photographer and two stylists… all that was missing in order to introduce her jewelry to the world was a model!
I remember that day like it was yesterday, when she asked me to be her jewelry model. My first thought was: “Whaaat??” I was wondering if that could be true or if she was making fun of me… but then she explained her ideas and I found them so brilliant that I couldn’t say no.
That was my turning point! We did the photo shooting in several subway stations of New York City. While we were wandering through the stations I realized that even if my English was not so perfect I should be more self-confident because I was experiencing something that I could never have imagined before: being a model in New York!