Want to See The World?

By Tiare Niland Want to see the World? Why not start at EC Boston? New friends are waiting for you at our state-of-the-art English school featuring Whether this is you first, second or even 10th time abroad, staff and teachers at EC have the training and commitment to ensure your experience is fun, safe, educational and eye-opening. Did you know that our school is located in Faneuil Hall, a site famous for its rich history and diverse culture? You’ll never miss an opportunity to put you English to use with locals and visitors alike in this town. Ready to learn more? Learn English Abroad with EC and start your adventure!

EC Boston at the 2015 NAFSA Conference!

    Written by EC Boston’s Designated School Official, Hannah Locke. In May I had the privilege of attending and volunteering at the National NAFSA conference right here in Boston. NAFSA is the Association of International Educators and it unites educators worldwide in providing resources and training material. Collectively, we work with international students entering America for study and study abroad students who leave to US to learn overseas. During my time at the conference, I attended many sessions on how to engage students with the best experience ever, how to improve services, and technology’s impact on learning. At EC Boston, we are dedicated to help students succeed in a global community. With our array of programs, such as the Student Ambassador Program and the Conversation Partners Program, we provide students with opportunities to excel in leadership and involvement in the school, along with liaising students with locals to practice English and build genuine friendships. In the future, we hope to create a more thorough pre-arrival orientation to help students physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare for their time away from home and immersed in a new culture. It is our goal to encourage students with not only their language studies, but also to help shape them in active global citizens. Students’ first week at EC Boston can be challenging due to new schedules, new people, a new place, new language, and new ideas. We want students to be cared for and encouraged during this vital transition. This is why we provide an extensive list of first day activities, including a new walking tour by a Student Ambassador and a new early dinner/happy hour hosted by a staff member! With technology advancing so fast, we want to ensure students are utilizing it in the best way possible for their studies, using … Read more

Learn English in the USA: EC Makes Traveling America Easy!

EC Language Centers are located in many well-known and famous destinations in the United States. Our centers are typically located right in the center of the city, making the experience even more grand than learning English. You are close to so many other destinations in the U.S. that are you ought to visit. Our schools in California, EC San Francisco, EC San Diego, and EC Los Angeles are all located right next to the ocean. You’re able to enjoy the amazing sunshine along with a cool breeze.  No matter which school you choose to go to, you can visit each of those cities during your stay in California.  They’re less than half a day apart and there’s so much to explore. On top of that, Yosemite, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon are just a little bit further out. The experience in California becomes so much more than studying English. Book a trip to California as soon as you can! A car is a must have in California, so make sure to bring your international driver’s license. If you like being in an urban city, then EC Boston, EC New York, and EC Washington DC will suit your needs.  Each city really establishes itself in a different way.  EC Boston is very historic and it’s small communities make you feel instantly at home.  EC New York is full of hustle and bustle, giving you a never ending list of things to do. EC Washington DC provides you with the opportunity to learn about the United States through the years with many free things to do and see.  The unique thing about all of these cities are the very easy to use metro systems.  You won’t need a car here and can easily access hot spots by subway. The east coast … Read more

As we go on…

EC Boston hosts a graduation each week in which students are presented with certificates. These certificates acknowledge where a student began, where they ended, and all the hard work in between. As students leave EC Boston, they take with them more than just a certificate though-they also take with them a week, or a month, or even a year’s worth of experiences, friendships, new ideas and growth (and sometimes a couple extra suitcases of souvenirs too!). The colorful spirals in the picture above are the ‘suitcases’ I’ll be taking with me: they are rolled up post-it notes I’ve recorded in the last year. They are messages about everything: elective changes, classes, lunch dates, or crazy computer problems. They are names from Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and dozens of other countries. They are the students who have passed through our school, the teachers who taught them, the staff who made that possible and everything and everyone else in between. They represent a year’s hard work in the colorful, crazy world of EC. Learn more about English courses at EC, where you can meet friends from around the world!

EC Boston group attends Shen Yun performance

A group of EC Boston students and staff went to see Shen Yun Chinese dance performance company this week. Shen Yun is a very important cultural dance company, describing itself as “the essence of 5000 years of Chinese Culture”. Their dance tradition is rooted in Falun Gong spiritual practice, which is now not accepted in China. For this reason the company of Chinese dancers was formed and now continues to tour in the US, Europe, Asia and other places, but has never performed in Mainland China. Students said the performance was “great!” If you know of any cultural artistic performances and would like to lead an activity, please let the front desk know! Each month EC Boston’s activity program branches out to include new experiences for students.

Biking in Boston

It can often be difficult to get around in Boston, especially as an international student. But as the warmer weather approaches, there is a wonderful alternative to the subways, walking and the complicated process of getting an international driver’s license and car- you can buy or rent a bicycle. Biking culture in Boston is widespread and well supported. Though the city is still working on bicycle infrastructure, including bike lanes and smooth roads, there is a large network of bike safe roads, including some specific bike ways and a bicycle rental program that is gaining popularity. The Hubway Bicycle Rental program is designed to replace a train trip, offering unlimited 30 minute trips for a monthly or annual membership fee. Some bicycle rentals even come with a helmet! Bicycling can be a useful alternative to getting an international driver’s license and for students who live in homestay, purchasing a bicycle can cut down on commute time by giving them a shorter connection to the local train. Also, biking is good for you and the environment. Make sure you wear a helmet, and learn about bike safety before riding! Click here for more information about English courses at EC Boston and studying ESL abroad.

Journey into a Black Hole!

The EC Boston TOEFL class jumped into black holes by reading about astronomy, watching and discussing a short documentary, and writing about an experience inside one of the most mind boggling theories in the universe. Have fun reading their accounts, and visit the Planetarium to learn more about space! #1: Yesterday, I went to my bed after I saw a documentary about the black hole. I had an awful nightmare, I saw myself in space traveling out of our solar system. I was so happy and excited until I felt a strong power pull me down. I glanced around me then I could not believe my eyes. It was like an enormous horizon storm with many circular paths, which orbited around a dark center: this center looked like a huge magnet for the mass. At the same time, I noticed an astronaut was moving in decreasing speeds around the center of the black hole. His body was stretching to form many smudges around the center, then these smudges were collecting once again to form one body. In addition to that, when the astronaut was approaching from the end of the black hole, his image was warped; his shape looked to me as if it was reflected in mirror. Furthermore, his image became darker and darker. In this moment, I discovered the mechanism that makes the objects look in different shapes inside the black hole. It warps the shape and time for all the molecular particles that approach from it. Even if these molecules are parts of a big star, there is no chance to escape or survive, and their fate will be the disappearance behind the black hole and forever. #2: For many years people have been fascinated with the idea of traveling around the universe. However, scientists have found that could be not … Read more

The Art of College Visits

Knowing what you want out of a college and finding the right fit is a difficult task for anyone, let alone in a second language! If you are coming to the US to learn English and find a university, taking college tours can be a fun way to travel. Most schools have tours already set up by their admissions office, so you can go for the weekend and see the college, meet students and learn about their programs. As a non-native speaker of English, it may be a bit challenging to take in all the information you see and hear on a tour. Here are some tips for your visit: Spend the night- this is usually recommended, but especially for someone learning the language it can be beneficial to have more time at a university to ask questions Meet with the international student advisor- they can help point out resources specifically for non-native English users, particularly in the library and in regards to international student life on campus Read the college’s website and other documents beforehand- this way you know the answers to the basic questions and can focus on questions you can only learn the answers to in person Go with a friend- two people listening to a tour will pick up more information, and you’ll have a better time on the trip! Colleges often come to EC Boston to give presentations about their courses, check with your academic adviser to find out when the next school may be coming. Also, remember to check out the partner universities offered within EC Boston’s University Placement Service, which Academic year students get for free!

Up at 2 am: Student study culture and ESL schools

Have you ever pulled an ‘all nighter’ (a night where you stay up till the morning doing homework, and then go right back to class)? Many students in American universities are known to use this technique to accomplish large amounts of (varying quality) work in a short time frame. This practice has been shown to be less effective than managing to work on homework for a few hours each day, but as perpetual procrastinators, American students wind up relying on ‘all nighters’ all too often. Luckily, English classes at EC Boston require only 1-2 hours of homework per day, along with maybe one project. Studying should be a piece of cake! However, many students do struggle to manage their time well and get their homework done on time. Here is a website with studying tips for anyone struggling to get back on track with homework…check out the audio report by NPR on studying tips at the bottom of the page for some listening practice too!

Making friends around the world: Minji Cho

I really want to recommend taking English classes in Boston to my friends and to other Korean students. My host mom was really nice, she would definitely try to help students if they had some problems.  She also tried to teach some useful English skills to students, and sometimes hangout with us, or encourage her students hangout together.  I went to Maine with her and some students from my homestay, and a special movie theater, Revere beach… Etc.  I also had some problems with a hospital payment before I left Boston and my host mother told me she would take care of it so I didn’t have to  worry anymore, which was really kind. I really loved EC, because I was able to meet a lot of friends from different countries, so I can now meet them in their countries… like now! (I’m currently in Brazil with Luisa). I also visited Camila in Bogota, Colombia, and I stayed in her house for a month.   I spent the best Christmas ever in Bogota, traveling together to Cali with her family and spending New Years Day there, hanging out with her friends and family and also visiting Andrea in Medellin..  I met a lot of EC friends there too. Now I’m in Brazil meeting other friends.  I’m having such a great time here in South America with friends from EC Boston!  And this summer, my Swiss friend Kerin will visit South Korea! I can’t wait for it! Minji Cho