Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 452 - A time when you stayed far away from your home

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a time when you stayed far away from your home.

You should say:

  • when and where it was
  • how long you stayed there
  • why you stayed there and what you did there

and explain how you felt about staying far away from home.


Model Answer 1:
Until I had reached the college-going age, my parents would never leave me alone unless it was absolutely necessary, and that too only for a couple of days at max. But, they had to break this unwritten rule (of not leaving me alone for long) for a few times when I was a young high school student. Let me tell me what exactly happened.

Back in my high school years about 12 years ago, I was rather passionate about playing chess. In fact, I became so good at playing this game that I even became a champion in a district level tournament. Naturally, I became more ambitious and so was my school game teacher, as we both wanted to take my chess playing skills to a different level, and the only way we could do it was to take part in a national youth championship tournament which is held every year in the capital city of my country.

Luckily, I even got a ticket to take part in the next national chess tournament after playing a few trial matches against some really formidable opponents of my country. Now, all I needed was to get permission from my parents to leave my home and spend about two weeks at a hotel in our capital city until the tournament was over. But, as expected, when my parents heard about my plan, they vehemently protested the idea. But, eventually, they calmed down when my game teacher had managed to convince them that he would take good care of me.

Anyway, as long as I stayed away from my parents, I was both excited and nervous also at the same time: excited because I was able to compete against so many great chess players of my country while staying at a great place, and nervous because I never stayed away from my family for such a long time before. But, all in all, it was a great experience because it had allowed me to cope with new situations.


Sample Answer 2:
Till I turned to 16, I can’t recall any even when I stayed far away from home alone. Though I visited some of my relatives who stayed far away from our living place, on all those occasions, either of my parents or both of them were with me. For this cue card topic, I will talk about an event when I stayed far away from my home, where I went, how long I stayed there and my feelings about staying far away from home.

I went to Denmark when I was 19 years old as part of a tour that our college arranged. That was a 7-day tour to explore a different country. I went to Denmark and stayed in a hotel that our college booked for us.

As I remember I stayed there for about 7 days and that was indeed my first stay in a place quite far away from my home. The day we reached there, I was quite fascinated to be in a different country. We reached there in the evening and checked in a hotel. I got a small single room where I stayed for 4 days. After we move to Odense in South Denmark, we stayed in a different hotel but this time, I had to share the room with one of my classmates and luckily the room was large enough for two of us to share.

We did numerous things during our stay including visiting museums, camping, completing an assignment, visiting two other colleges in Denmark and meeting with the students there and visiting different historically significant places in Denmark. Some of the experiences, including dining, visiting local markets and meeting local people were some distinctive experiences for me.

I would say I was very excited about the whole tour and everything we did and participated in were very enthralling. This was the first time I stayed so long in a distant place without any family members. I called my parents almost every day and I missed them quite often. They were worried about me and called me now and then to learn what I was doing and whether everything was okay or not. I missed my own room, my little sister and parents but that did not make me homesick due to the stirring experience and time I was having.

I did not feel how much I missed my house, parents and little sister until I returned home, as, seeing all of them and getting back to my own house gave me a unique feeling I never felt before. It was like getting back to a place and people I love most.


Sample Answer 3:
When I was in my college days, I had to get separated from my family for a couple of years until my under graduation was completed. It happened as the university was located in a different state – Texas.

In fact, I was born and brought up in Missouri while I had to take higher education in another state. Dad wanted me to keep me out of the home so that I could learn about the world and be a practical person. So, I enrolled myself at Texas Christian University in 2011. I took Political Science and Sociology as my course because of my former academic background. Moreover, the university I picked was one of the best one in the state, Texas, with some reputed faculties.    

I had to stay for around four years in the state due to the academic activities. I had to cross the initial stages to reach in the next phases of the degree. I enjoyed the academic texts and other assignments related to my courses. Passing a long time out of home was a bit troublesome and made me nostalgic. It was the longest time for me to live without my family. But I went back to Missouri on different occasions and celebrated notable events. I missed each and every member of my family, especially my pet dog. So, when the undergraduate was over, I felt a sense of relief. But passing moments in Texas was interesting in some aspects.     

Gone are the days when I used to make sudden trips with my university buddies. To complete my undergraduate, I had to study in Texas, a different state from where I was born. In fact, I was sent to be a warrior to deal with the modern and competitive world. My dad wanted me to be a perfect man to deal with every adversity of life. Now I admire his decision – how right he was. In Texas, I did lots of things. Most of the times, I used to move with my best friends in different outings and enjoyed them to the fullest extent. Group study before the exams was the most attractive thing for me and my friends. We used to wake up late at night and studied the untouched topics of the class. The exam results were satisfactory. The days passed in all such activities.    

I am quite happy with my stay in Texas. Though I felt a bit homesick in the beginning, gradually I overcame the feeling. It was one of the greatest experience in my life that has made me stronger, confident, have gained leadership skills, achieved some awards and overall now I am able to battle with the competitive world. Everyone in the present age is racing, they are racing against time. So, to keep pace and compete with others, people are in need of some special set of skills and expertise. I have developed almost all of the real-life skills and now exercising them. Consequently, I am leading a decent and happy life with my family. Staying far from home has taught me the best lessons of my life.


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a time when you stayed far away from your home.

1. Staying away from home is hard indeed for a homesick girl like me. But I had to stay away from my home for about one month. I was sent to London to stay with my cousin last year. But the one month appeared the lengthiest one to me. My aunt went to meet her in-laws’ family in the USA for some emergency purposes and my cousin had to attend his exams. So, I was asked to stay with her for a month and I obliged to their request. But it was upsetting for me to stay out of the home. And this was the very first time that I spend nights out of my house.

2. Last September, I went to a camping in a remote place in Vietnam. It was a place filled with jungles and we had to spend for about a week there as part of the annual camping from the scout groups of my college. I did lots of things there like cooking my own food, sleeping on the floor using leaves, making campfire nights and more. It was an interesting event for me to spend the days out of my home. And the entire event was adventurous as well.

3. Sleeping by the side of mom is my favourite but recently I had to stay out of my home for some unwanted reasons. I was guilty of committing some crimes at home. I forged the sign of my dad while submitting the exam copies and when the matter was exposed, I left the home for 10 days. I took shelter to friend’s home here in Auckland and he did not inform it to anyone. I just ate, slept and played computer games. I also deactivated my Facebook profile. Later, I came back home and it was a sad event for me. My parents were almost mad and they forgave me about the misdeed too.

4. Last year, I had the job of a trainer and had to stay away from home for the purpose. I went to Malaysia to train up some people on software development skills. I stayed for about two weeks there. During this time, I had to remain busy with the preparation of training materials and use them in the training sessions. It was an interesting experience for me. In fact, this was the very first out of the country trip for me and I felt excited. And I also gained huge experience from this trip too.

5. Attending a study tour is enjoyable and when you are to stay away from home for a couple of weeks, the enjoyment doubles. I went to a study tour from my college last month at the National Park in Utah and spent two weeks at a stretch. It was a different sort of study tour and the university authority had to take special permission to arrange it. We had lots of fun, and real-life activities. And I will say, this was the greatest adventure of my life. I enjoyed every minute of the tour that led me away from my home.


If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well:

  • Describe a city or country you have visited.
  • Describe a time when you stayed in a hotel.
  • Describe a tour or journey that you remember.
  • Talk about an event when you missed your house and relatives.
  • Describe a city or country you have been to.
  • Describe an educational tour you have had.
  • Describe a memorable event from your school or college.
  • Describe a city or country would like to visit.
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