Lorenzo’s Boston Recommendations

Today I want to talk about the best 5 activities to do in Boston: During a sunny day, there is nothing better to do than to walk through the streets and parks of the city, for example you can start from Quincy Market, walk to Faneuil Hall, which is a significant site for America’s history. After that you can walk to the Boston Common, which is about 10 minutes to walk from Faneuil Hall. While walking, you will see the Old State House, another important historical site of the city. Get into the park and walk around following its trails, you can also sit on a bench and admire the nature around you. Once you feel you’re ready to move, walk to the Charles River Esplanade, which is about 15-20 minutes from the Boston Common. Walking along the Charles River is something very special, especially now, that the spring is coming, there will be a lot of flowers around, so get ready to take magnificent pictures. The following place is also pretty nice, Copley Square is one of my favorite places in Boston, because on one side there is the Boston Public Library, in which I recommend to go inside and look around, and on the other side of the square you can admire Trinity Church. The part that I like more is the contrast between the old church and the glass skyscraper on the other side of St James Ave. Close to Copley Square there is Newbury Street, which is the shopping street. Here you can find a lot of famous stores. I have to say that I’m not a really big fan of art, but the Museum of Fine Arts is absolutely a place to visit, in the museum you can find a lot of different types and … Read more

SSC Christina’s Boston Recommendations

Hi everyone, I am EC Boston’s Student Services Coordinator. I moved to Boston five years ago when I started my B.A at Northeastern University. I love exploring the city and there is always new things to see and do. Here are my top three favorite places in the city:   The Boston Public Library. As a literature lover and an English graduate, I’ve spent many hours at the BPL. I love that the building has so much to offer: there are many quiet places to study and, in the summer you can sit in the courtyard. If want a bite to eat there are two different cafes, afternoon tea, and a newly added lounge named the “Map Room Tea Room” where you can drink literature inspired cocktails. My favorite area of the BPL is still the older section with a huge hall with traditional green reading lights. This is a perfect place to study in the off-seasons, and also an ideal Instagram spot! My favorite museum in Boston is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This is a private-owned art gallery in a beautiful building which has a garden inside! If you like art, architecture, and nature, this is a must for you. If you have a student ID, tickets are only $10. A fun fact about the museum is that if your name is Isabella, you get free lifetime admission! As summer is coming soon, I love being outside during this time. My favorite activity is renting a kayak at the Charles River and kayaking around the Boston skyline. This is a fun activity to do with your friends or family.   We plan many fun activities for our students each month. Please visit our website https://www.ecenglish.com/en/school-locations/usa/learn-english-in-boston and our social media pages for more information!

University Information Session – Tomorrow!

By Jennifer Lacano Are you an EC Boston student who is interested in attending a university in the US? Are you confused about the process? This Tuesday, February 9th, EC Boston will host a university information session during the lunch hour (11:50-12:35). We will give a brief overview of the different levels and types of higher education in the US, and then show you some easy ways to find more information from a university’s website. We will also share with you some tools for researching and choosing a university. If you are planning to attend, or even thinking of attending a US university, then please come and get informed! Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Time: 11:50 am – 12:35 pm Location: Room 612/613 Open to: all EC Boston students P.S. If you miss this talk, don’t worry! We will host a university information session every month. Be sure to check the March Activity Calendar for details about the next one!

Why You Should Watch “Making a Murderer”

By Molly Cox For those of you thinking about or taking a full immersion English class, part of the experience is familiarizing yourself with the popular culture in America. This show, “Making a Murderer” is currently a hit in the U.S. and our Student Services Coordinator tells you below why you should watch it! If you spend any time at all on social media, you probably have heard about all of your friends and acquaintances obsessed with the documentaries ‘Making a Murderer’ now streaming on Netflix. This series is about a man named Steven Avery who was exonerated by developments in technology that proved through DNA evidence that he was not guilty of a brutal rape and beating, only to be accused of another crime about a year after being released from prison. The show spirals into a depressing series of Steven and his ‘accomplices’ trials and misfortunes at the hands of the legal system. What is most fascinating about this show is the evidence brought forward by the editors of the documentary arguing an apparent legal system’s conspiracy to keep an innocent man in jail for the rest of his life. This docuseries plants a seed of doubt in our legal system, one that should be promoting justice. Although I don’t fear for my freedom, I do think it’s a documentary with an interesting perspective, worth binge-watching with a friend on those cold winter days!

New Years Eve Activities

By Jennifer Lacano Are you still looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day? Check out Boston’s First Night/First Day festivities! The fun starts at noon on New Year’s Eve and continues past midnight. It picks up again at 11:00 am on New Year’s Day. (They had to give people some time to sleep!) And most of the events are FREE! Here is some information from their website, http://www.firstnightboston.org/  (you can also visit https://www.facebook.com/FirstNightBoston ) The majority of the First Night First Day’s activities will be held in Boston’s Copley Square. Partner programming will occur during similar hours at the Prudential Center, Boston Public Library, the Old South Church and Copley Place. Additional activities can be found on the Boston Common, along the Freedom Trail, and in the Seaport District. There will be artistic and musical performances covering Boston’s diverse culture and talent, ice sculptures, light displays, fireworks, a Procession, and many other entertaining activities. To see our full list of events, locations and times please visit the Schedule page. (http://www.firstnightboston.org/schedule/) We encourage folks to join the People’s Procession starting at 6:00 PM on the 31st, marching from Copley Square to the Common, with dancing along both sides of Boylston. The main stage at Copley Square will also feature a variety of bands on First Night to welcome in the New Year until 12:30 AM. Dancing is encouraged. There will be fireworks… twice! The family-friendly fireworks display will take place on the Boston Common at 7:00 PM on December 31st. You may also ring in the New Year with the traditional fireworks display over Boston Harbor at Midnight. Parking will be limited, but the T will be running extended service until 2:00 am. Best of all, the subway is free after 8:00 pm!  If you’re looking to … Read more

Food of the Day Friday: Green Bean Casserole

Happy Friday! And welcome to the last edition of Food of the Day Friday. If you are planning to study in the USA to learn English in Boston during the fall to see the beautiful foliage, you must know that Thanksgiving is a nationwide holiday that takes place at the end of November. We want to make sure you’re prepared to know what will be waiting for you on the table if you are spending it with a host family or American friend, or what you should make or how you can make it if you are trying to host yourself. This week’s food is green bean casserole. The key ingredient to green bean casserole is not what you’d expect, because it’s left out of the name. French’s Fried Onions give this mushy dish the crunch it needs. Although there are many fancy variations of this recipe, many households use the Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole recipe as it is easy, quick and cheap! Find it below. Ingredients 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup or (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 dash black pepper 4 cups cooked cut green beans 1 1/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions Directions Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. 2 Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions. 3 Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Although we have mainly talked side dishes every Friday, don’t forget – there’s no good dinner without good desserts. … Read more

Food of the Day Friday: Cranberry Sauce

        Happy Friday! This month, we’re doing “Food of the Day Friday” in honor of Thanksgiving. This week’s traditional Thanksgiving food is…cranberry sauce! Cranberry sauce is a staple in almost every American household on Thanksgiving. Although it looks hardly appetizing, it compliments many of the main dishes perfectly, from turkey to mashed potatoes. It’s likely that cranberry sauce was present at the first Thanksgiving with the pilgrims and the Native Americans, as the Native Americans used cranberries often for food and medicine and it is thought that the pilgrims were taught these uses by the Native Americans. Although many households use canned cranberry jelly on Thanksgiving, some make theirs from scratch. Below you’ll find the Martha Stewart recipe for basic cranberry sauce. Enjoy! Ingredients 1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 cup water Directions In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, lemon zest, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Do you want to study in the USA to learn English? EC has locations all over the US in Boston, New York City, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more.

This Week in the North End

By Molly Cox Looking for something to do this weekend as August comes to a close? What better than visit Boston’s famous North End (a 10 minute walk from EC, accessible from North Station, Haymarket or Aquarium T Station)?? The event is called North End Week, and lasts from Friday, August 28th until Sunday, September 6th. Friday features the start of St. Anthony’s Feast – a centuries old tradition that originates from Montefalcione, Avellino east of Naples. The feast includes a parade, many food vendors and craft vendors, and plenty of activities such as walking tours. It’s a great way to experience the Italian-American neighborhood that is the North End! The week is filled with many low-cost events, so stop by for the afternoon or for the whole day!   Learn more about taking an English course in Boston.

Travel Tuesday: The Five College Area

By Yen Chiang Boston has many nicknames: Beantown, the Hub of the Universe, The Cradle of Liberty, Puritan City, and the Athens of America, so given for the number of colleges and universities in Boston. It is estimated that in the fall, when school starts again and students flock back to the city, Boston’s population doubles! Nestled in central Massachusetts, however, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, is another area with prestigious schools and a lively college atmosphere: the Five College Area. The Five College area is home to what is known as the Five Colleges; these colleges are Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst), and they are ranked as among the top schools in the United States. Four of the five schools are located in either the towns of Amherst of Northampton. Because of this, Amherst and Northampton have vibrant, artsy, liberal New England culture and atmosphere. Many independent businesses and restaurants are located in Amherst and Northampton, and you can find excellent music, art, restaurants, and nightlife there. Mount Holyoke is the only Five College institution not located in Amherst or Northampton; it is located in a tiny town called South Hadley, and although the town itself is very boring, I still recommend a visit to Mount Holyoke! Mount Holyoke is the first all-women’s college in the United States and one of the Seven Sisters, the female equivalent of the Ivy League schools back when only men could attend those schools. Mount Holyoke is consistently ranked in the top Most Beautiful College Campuses lists, and we all know that if the internet says so, then it must be true. Mount Holyoke also happens to be my (and Molly’s!) alma mater, so we also know that only smart, … Read more

All About the Boston Common and Public Garden!

By Ivy Vong For those who have been in Boston for some time, you might have visited the popular Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. But have you ever wondered why they often appear on Boston’s top 10 tourist attractions? As someone who grew up in Boston, going to tourist attractions needs a lot of motivation on my part, but I’m always up for a stroll along the Boston Common and Public Garden. It is honestly quite enjoyable! Let me tell you about the history behind it. The Common: Did you know that The Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States dating back to the 1600s and covers 50 acres? It was owned by William Blaxton, the city’s first settler. It used to be a place for the grazing of cattle by families. However, overgrazing became a problem as more and more cows were bought. It was not until 1830 that grazing was banned and the Boston Common became a public recreational park. The area served as a military base for British troops when they occupied Boston in 1775. It was also a place for public hangings of criminals. My favorite thing to do is to pack a lunch with my friends, and walk over together to the Frog Pond, which is right at the center of the park. It is a great place to relax, people-watch, and skate during the winter! Public Garden: The Public Garden, which is directly connected to the Boston Common, is amazingly beautiful with a Victorian design and over 80 different species of plants and flowers. As you walk through the garden, you might also see statues of popular historical figures, like George Washington. You might have taken a ride on the famous Swan Boats, which were established and owned by … Read more