An American woman living in mid Powys learnt Welsh then took her British citizenship oath in the language.

Rebecca Andrews, 40, originally from Iowa in the United States, has settled in Llangammarch Wells with her English husband, Jeremy, and started to learn Welsh at beginners’ classes.

Earlier this year, Rebecca took her Oath of Allegiance in Welsh when she took part in a British citizenship ceremony in Llandrindod Wells.

Since learning the language last year, Rebecca says she’s had more of an insight into Welsh culture and her local community.

After first moving to Wales in 2009, Rebecca has also discovered she has Welsh lineage: “I feel more at home here than I have ever felt in my life – it must have been meant to be. When Americans ask me whereabouts I’m from, I say I’m from Wales.”

Rebecca passed the Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys course with flying colours and can’t wait to start the next level in September.

“The tutors offer an incredible amount of support and use methods to suit everyone. Whether you’re more hands-on or more visual, they can cater to all, that’s what makes them great.”

She also praises Welsh speakers who are helping her: “Everyone I speak to are so reassuring and don’t mind if I occasionally make mistakes. These exchanges really help boost my confidence and encourage me to persevere.”

Rebecca says she’s also enjoying the company and camaraderie of her fellow Welsh learners: “Our group is like a family, both in and out of class. The tutors make sure everything is accessible for us and couldn’t do more to help. I’m honoured to be a part of such a fantastic group of Welsh learners.”

With Welsh courses due to start across the area in September, Rebecca’s advice to anyone thinking about learning the language is to give it a go, not be too hard on yourself, and look at the bigger picture.

“It’s a work in progress, but with time it will come. Learn little bits each day and the end result is incredibly rewarding,” she explained.