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Learning English in San Francisco | My EC Story by Gabi Orlandin

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Gabriela Orlandin came to study at EC San Francisco this past spring with her boyfriend and a goal to improve their language skills. She was impressed that the classes not only covered the English language, but also discussed other people’s cultures and ideas and learning independence through language. An accomplished blogger in her own right (read her blog post about her time with us), Gabi’s experience at EC has opened her world to new many opportunities. At the end of her four weeks with EC, Gabi left with a heavy heart but a feeling of empowerment from her knowledge and having met people she will remember forever.

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Hello! My name is Gabriela, I am from Brazil and my boyfriend and I spent one month in San Francisco during April and May. During this time, we enjoyed every part of the city that we could and studied English at EC. Our goal was to improve our language skills, and nothing could be better for us than studying in San Francisco (a city that we had fallen in love with in 2014, when we spent three days there).


It was not easy to choose an English school, because it was our first time studying abroad, and everything was new for us. This is why the agency was essential: they introduced us to EC English and we liked many things about the school: the curriculum, the beautiful buildings, and the great location (that we were able to see the school on Google Maps!). So, on April 14th we went to San Francisco, and on the 18th we started the classes.

The first day was reserved for orientations. They talked about the classes, our English level, rules and tips to learn better, and much more! We felt like we were at home with all the staff. We had lunch with a student ambassador that day, in order to know other people from school. Then after lunch, we learned a bit more about the city (places to go or to avoid!) and the public transport, which is great, but a bit complicated at first sight. After this first day, students felt prepared to start the classes.

The second day was our real first day in class. My boyfriend and I have different English levels, which was great, because this way we stayed in different classes and didn’t speak Portuguese. I need to say: the first day was a bit terrifying for me! I was afraid because I (obviously!) didn’t know my classmates and I feared that I wouldn’t be able to follow the lessons.


I thought I was in the wrong class on the first day because I was not used to the pace of the lessons, but I quickly surprised myself, realizing that my English was even better than I’d thought! After those first days, I started enjoying the classes more and more each day! The staff, the teachers, the colleagues, and the atmosphere… everything was so good that I wish I didn’t have to leave.


If I had to give a tip to a new student, I would say: ignore your fears! Leave them at home! Don’t think that you won’t succeed and that you won’t meet friends, because YOU WILL! In one month I didn’t create great friendships, but I met some great people that I will keep forever in my mind. So, just go! No fear!


Each class was unique, and we ended up learning much more than what was on the curriculum. We learned about people, about culture, about respecting other’s ideas, about doing something for you. It was a rich experience for me – even in just four weeks – because it opened my world to think about new opportunities. It’s a knowledge that no one can take out of me, and only I can conquer. And believe me: if you go, you will miss the time when it’s over. I do! ”


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