Potluck Flyer

International Student Potluck

This week, EC Boston will be hosting another International Student Potluck! A potluck is an American tradition. When large groups of people gather, everybody brings one dish to share with everybody else. So, you have lots of options to choose from when you eat! The best part is, when we host this at EC Boston, we have over 20 different nationalities represented at the school right now! So just imagine what a wide variety of different foods you can expect to see when students from all over the world put their dishes together. This is a very rewarding experience because it gives a student a chance to share their culture with their fellow students. Each student gets to share with their friends lots of interesting information like why they chose to bring the dish they brought, how they made it, what kind of ingredients are used. This is a wonderful chance for students to practice their speaking and listening skills while they learn lots of new things about a whole variety of different cultures. And, most importantly, they get to eat delicious food! We’re going to have a prize for best home-cooked dish, so we hope this will bring out the competitive side in our students as they try to make the best dish! What’s more, our teachers and staff love to get involved, too! That’s right, our teachers are very excited to participate in this event. Last time we hosted a potluck, Dan brought his famous grilled cheese sandwiches and Cat brought her handed-down-through-generations family recipe tomato soup. Our intern, Ayaka, got involved, too: she made some delicious Yakisoba! Michael, our British representative, home-made some scones with jam and cream. Many students didn’t believe that he’d cooked these himself! This time, he says he’s going to bring Scouse, which … Read more

EC Boston Speed Dating

Speed Dating — A Fantastic Student Activity

If you’ve traveled all the way from your native country for an English Course in Boston, we expect that you’ll want to try and experience the city of Boston and American culture. Here at EC Boston, we love any opportunity to combine speaking practice with authentic American experiences. And, boy, did Valentines Day give us just that opportunity! Before the internet was popular, busy Americans needed a quick way to meet the love of their life. So, they invented speed dating! People would gather together in a big room and, under the pressure of time, they would speak one-on-one. When the time limit expired, time to switch partner! So, it’s almost like a lot of very fast job interviews in a row, but the job is finding someone to love! As you can imagine, you have to be pretty good at speaking to be good at speed dating. So, at EC Boston, we changed the rules a little for our students. Our intention here was not to make everyone fall in love, rather it was to give all of our students a chance to practice speaking fluently and strengthen their friendships. Not only that, but we wanted them to speak fluently on a complex, interesting topic. We get tired of the ‘What country are you from?’ or ‘How long are you here for?’ questions. Those questions become repetitive which means students aren’t learning anymore. So, since it was Valentines Day, we provided students with a list of questions on the topic of love. The questions ranged from simple-but-interesting questions on the topic, to the much more complex and difficult questions. This way, students at every level from beginner to proficient could fully engage in the activity. Students were encouraged to actively listen to their partner’s answer and then ask follow-up … Read more

Conversation Partner Program — A Student Favorite

EC Boston has relaunched its Conversation Partner Program for its Winter Session! Our Conversation Partner Program gives our students the opportunity to be paired up with a native English speaker to gain that authentic Boston experience. Partners meet at least once a week to chat about interests, including hobbies, music, movies, culture, language and more. Partners meet at different locations throughout the city of Boston to practice their English while also forming new friendships. The program is designed for students studying with EC Boston for at least 8 weeks; as this allows the partnership to really grow and contribute toward students’ English language learning and their experience studying in the United States. Our Student Services Coordinators interview a wide variety of volunteers from the local community. We have musicians and scientists and university students and retirees and everything in between! We background check all of our volunteers, we provide detailed training, and we get to know our volunteers. And of course, we know every single one of our students very well. This way, we can be sure to create the best possible partnerships between our students and our volunteers! Many of our past students have said this is their favorite memory of their time in the US. We have wonderful teachers and exciting, challenging classes, but our Conversation Partner Program is something truly unique. When a student participates in this program, suddenly they’re not just studying English in the United States. Rather, they’re experiencing English in the United States. They’re meeting up with a native-speaking friend for coffee and chatting about local food. They’re grabbing a drink at a local (Irish!) bar and talking about music. They’re meeting up in one of Boston’s world-famous museums or art galleries and learning history together. This is what we mean when we say … Read more

Downtown Boston

Downtown Boston — What Can Students Do Here?

It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that Downtown Boston is just the financial district. Sure, it’s true that a whole host of big, global companies have their offices here. And sure, it’s true that many of the city’s skyscrapers are dedicated to big banking and accountancy firms. However, there is so much for students and tourists to do in Downtown Boston! Firstly, why not enjoy some American History? If you’re interested in American History, Boston is the only place for you. There’s a redbrick path which runs through the streets of Boston. It’s called the Freedom Trail, and if you follow this trail through the downtown, you’ll get the opportunity to see so many of the amazing historical sites. Secondly, while you’re checking out that history, go shopping! Downtown Crossing has hundreds of shops to appease all of your shopping needs, but if you’re such a shopaholic that Downtown Crossing isn’t enough, check out even more shops in Quincy Market! And you know what else is right next to Quincy Market, right? Yup – EC Boston! We’re right in the heart of Boston’s Downtown. Faneuil Hall was voted by Forbes as the 4th most popular tourist destination in all of America! Here’s another idea — eat all of the seafood! There are so many seafood restaurants in Boston, including America’s oldest restaurant. Yeah, you read that correctly — America’s oldest restaurant! We have two particularly famous seafood dishes here. 1: The Lobster Roll. While you can get this in many places, you’ve got to try it here — Massachusetts style. 2: Clam Chowder. A really thick, creamy delicious soup with clams and crackers. And really, I’m just scratching the surface (Idiom — it means these are just a few details, but there are so many more!) here, go … Read more

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

3 of the best in Boston with Kazuki

Hello, it’s Kazuki here! Did you know that Massachusetts is the first place in America where the Europeans settled? And, it’s the first place in America where EC settled! Although Boston may be smaller than other major cities like Los Angels and New York, Boston has a whole host of places and activities which are only in Boston. Today, I’m starting a series of posts called ‘3 of the best in Boston’. Freedom Trail If you’re ever walking through the streets of Boston and you see a line of red bricks on the ground, it means you’ve found the Freedom Trail! Almost all of the famous buildings in Boston were established in 17, 18 or 19 centuries so these have long history. Like history? Love Boston. You can visit many historical buildings by walking on the line of the Freedom Trail. It’s a path through Boston which allows you to visit many of the famous buildings. Many people turn this into a fun day trip with family or friends!   Museum of Fine Arts This museum is one of the largest museums in the United States. There are not only American arts but also major art pieces from all over the world. For example, there is European art, Asian art, Ancient African art and Oceanian arts. More than just the art, the building itself is a sight to behold. Moreover, in this museum, there are restaurants and a gift shop so you can enjoy this all day, and buy a souvenir to remember your trip! University Tours for Harvard and MIT These are two of the most prestigious universities in the world. And, they both have long and fascinating histories. Actually, Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States. You can participate in the university tour where a … Read more

Niagara Falls by Kazuki

Kazuki’s Trip to Niagara Falls with our Students

This summer, Kazuki, our intern, went on an ISX trip to Niagara falls! ISX is a company which runs fantastic trips for our students. Recently, student have enjoyed trips to places like New York City, Washington D.C., Providence, and Salem, as well as fun attractions like Six Flags and Boston Red Sox games. Our students always have a fantastic time on these trips. One great thing is that they get a great opportunity to experience American culture. But even better, they get to practice their English as they do it!  Here’s what Kazuki had to say about the trip: Kazuki’s Story Today, I’ll tell you about the trip to Niagara Falls. First, Niagara Falls is at the national border of America and Canada, so the distance from Boston to Niagara Falls is very far. It took about 10 hours by bus. However, all of the students enjoyed talking, playing games, and sleeping as we travelled. When you arrive at Niagara Falls, it is about 10 o’clock so you can enjoy the night Falls for about 30 minutes. I had never seen a waterfall at night before, but I’m so glad I did! Then, you can see the town in Canada. It’s very beautiful! Next, on the 2nd day, you go to Niagara state park and you can enjoy many activities like going on a cruise and shopping. I really enjoyed going on the boat, but be careful, you’ll get wet! On the 3rd day, you go to another national park like Watkins Glen State Park. We had a great time walking around this park, and by the end of the day, I was very tired! This is the itinerary of this trip. Through this trip, you can feel the greatness of nature. If you have an opportunity to go there, … Read more

Sunday Experience at Cheers

Our Sunday Experience for New Students

Here in Boston, we know it can be difficult for new students when they arrive. Sometimes, Boston and the USA are just so different form a student’s native country. And sometimes, the student has never traveled before! That’s why we put a big emphasis on the first weekend! We send a greeter for the students who arrive at the residences to make sure they arrive safe and that they’re comfortable. Also, our host families are the friendliest (and all-around highest rated!) in the US. We know how important it is to make a good first impression with our new students. Every Sunday, one or two of our wonderful staff members meet up with the new students in the center of Boston. They even pick up the students who live in the residences en route! Firstly, they show students where the school is. Then, it’s time for lunch! Our staff members take students to the world-famous ‘Cheers’ restaurant. Students get their first experience with classic American cuisine such as hot dogs and wings. Last week, our intern here in Boston, Kazuki, joined the fun — his favorite food is the Lobster Roll! Without fail, everyone eats plenty, gets full, and gets excited to explore the nearby area. After lunch, our staff member Peter is always sure to take students on a short tour of the area and make sure they feel safe, comfortable, and ready to learn English in Boston! He helps students get SIM cards for their phones, Charlie cards for the train, and anything else they need. It’s a really nice experience for everyone involved. Then, on Monday, we have a carefully-arranged, exciting, and intense orientation at the school for our new students. So, they spend the weekend getting comfortable and accustomed, they spend Monday learning how the school … Read more

Suggested Weekend Activity: The SoWa Open Market!

If you’re looking for something to do on a Sunday this summer or fall, consider visiting the SoWa Open Market! It’s a collection of vendors in the South End neighborhood of Boston. They gather along Harrison Avenue from 10:00am-4:00pm every Sunday from May to October. The market is free to go to. You can find the Arts section, where you can purchase art and handmade goods, at 460 Harrison Avenue. The Farmer’s Market, where you can purchase fresh produce, baked goods, and more is at 500 Harrison Avenue. And don’t forget the Food Truck Bazaar and Beer Garden, where you can purchase food and beverages from local restaurants! The best way to get to the market is to take the Red Line. Take the train to Broadway and walk approximately 10 minutes to Harrison Avenue. From EC Boston, the closest Red Line Stations are Park Street and Downtown Crossing. The food available at the SoWa market is often more affordable than the  restaurant options in the area. So, visiting the markets can be a budget-friendly trip! If you would like to go to a restaurant in the South End, it is a popular location for Sunday brunch. Many Bostonians like to go out to eat and walk through the market afterwards. It is also a nice place to purchase unique souvenirs, gifts, and postcards for your family members and friends at home, or as decorations for your room or apartment where you are staying in Boston! This is a wonderful place to visit while you Study English in Boston!    

EC Boston Swan Boats with Rachid

Students Visit The Swan Boats in Boston Common

Our wonderful teacher, Rachid Hsein, took a group of students to visit The Swan Boats in Boston Common last week. One of the most incredible things about The Swan Boats in Boston is that they’ve been in operation since 1877. That means that for almost 150 years, people have been coming to Boston and riding these beautiful boats. In the United States of America, 150 years is a very long time. Only 101 years before 1877, the Declaration of Independence was signed. This is when USA officially became a country! Rachid told us that the weather for the trip to the swan boats was perfect. It was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s around 27 degrees Celsius!) with a nice summer breeze. And he said that, when they were on the water, the sun came out from behind the clouds. This sounds like the perfect time to be relaxing in a swan boat. Our Student Services Team has created a jam-packed activity calendar this summer, and we’re running a different activity every single day. Here at EC Boston, we have a culture of studying very hard all day, and then having fun in the afternoons. This means our students learn English in both an academic and social context, which means they learn a lot and have fun doing it!  

EC Boston Students Enjoy Their First Ice Cream Social

This week, our students gathered for a new activity, ice cream social! We had many different flavors of ice cream and toppings. The activity gave students a great opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves after another challenging day of Learning English in Boston but made sure that they kept working on their English skills. And, most importantly, they ate free ice cream! Our activity calendar is heating up as we enter the summer months, and there is certainly a buzz around school. Our students work as hard as they can until 2:15, but when the afternoon comes, they’re still eager to learn more English! We’re preparing all different types of activities to keep all of our students happy, entertained, and learning.