Gabrielle Martins’s Message

Gabrielle Martins, one of our ex-EC students, wrote a moving message about her experience in Bristol. The EC Bristol Team would like to share it with you. Please read below. 'One year ago I was leaving everything and on my way to the best time of my life. Being away from everyone you know for the first time can be really scary when you realize how long 2 months can be. Missing you family and friends, going through some little problems, having to deal with a whole new culture, a new family, a new "everything"… But then, you meet the new family, the new school, the new friends and they make you feel like you were born British, like you belong to England. And then everything changes. You get to live “the perfect life” ,with a lot of autonomy, independence and that awesome feeling of “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want”. You just gotta wake up a little early (ok,reaaaaaaally early) and go to class. But it’s not like learning Math or Chemistry, it’s much better than that. It’s getting in touch with so many countries, so many different countries. Russia, France, South Korea, Colombia, Argentina, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Holland, England, Italy, Thailand, Belgium, India, Australia, Turkey, China, Spain, Palestine and even Brazil…Building friendships that overcome the distance and find yourself sharing your life with someone you met a week ago who you know better than your old friends. Getting lunch at the Saint Nicholas Market, going to pubs, shopping, parties in the common room, staying up till late on skype, getting lost everywhere, being “homealone but all together”, trying to have a (fake) british accent, stopping by at the harbourside for some coffee, going to the cinema, meeting up in London…Being hosted by two wonderful … Read more

Bye Ingmar!

Ingmar Albig, who was our Centre Director at EC Bristol, accepted to be the New Centre Director of EC Vancouver. Friday was Ingmar's last day at EC Bristol and unfortunately we had to say goodbye. His departure was sad and the week went strangely away. We congratulate him with all our hearts, we are really happy for him and we wish him all the best. We hope he will enjoy the new city, meeting new people and the new challenges in his new school. Ingmar should be proud of his career paths. We know already that EC Vancouver are eager to welcome Ingmar and his cakes! Before to taking up the position of Centre Director at EC Vancouver, Ingmar wrote these few lines: “I was 19, unbelievably that’s 20 years ago, when I started working in the EFL industry. I thought it was a great idea to earn some money during my summer break from university and at the same time to improve my English. So, I ended up working for FEE Sprachreisen, a German company which used to organise EFL junior camps in various UK destinations, for about 9 years during the holidays. My base was Brighton and I spent most of my office time at House of English which was later bought by EC as their first school outside Malta. In those years I worked as an Airport Representative, Hotel Stay Coordinator, Activity Leader, Head Activity Leader, Residence Supervisor, Liaison Person (to date I am not sure what it means to be honest), and general dogsbody! It was a fantastic experience which made me decide that my work future would have to be in this industry, so I happily accepted EC’s job offer to become EC Brighton’s Customer Relations Manager in January 2005. I went on to be the Operations Manager at EC Brighton in 2007. My … Read more

A great message from one of our students!

Yesterday we received an amazing testimonial from one of our Spanish students here. His name is Sergio Rodriguez Bello and is following intensive classes at our language school in Bristol. Sergio wrote: ‘I am proud of my English because it is improving and also inside the school you get social skills thanks to the friendly atmosphere between students and teachers. I really like reception because it is really cosy to meet new people or to just speak with your friends. My host family is really nice, they care about me and they treat me as one more of their family. I would recommend EC to everyone 🙂 Now, I have friends from all over the world, and it doesn’t matter the age or cultural differences, we are just students who want to improve their English and to have a great time in Bristol. All the staff of EC are simply awesome.’ Thanks Sergio!

Valentine’s Day!

This year’s Valentine’s day at EC Bristol was very exciting! The EC Bristol team baked some amazing cakes to raise money for the BREAST CANCER CARE Charity. Everyone (EC students and staff) rushed to get their hands on them as soon as they came out. They bought. They ate. They loved it! In total, the EC Bristol team managed to raise the amazing amount of £120.50! We have just received an email to acknowledge our contribution in the Breast Cancer Care charity. They wrote : ‘Thank you so much for paying in £120.5 to Breast Cancer Care today. Your contribution will help us provide our free services to people affected by breast cancer whenever they need our help in the days, months and years ahead. Please pass on our thanks to everyone who helped make your fundraising a success, we are very grateful for their kindness in supporting your fundraising activities.’ Have a look below at our pictures of the event! You can also check them out on our EC Bristol Facebook Page.

What’s on at EC Bristol this week?

Our language school in Bristol provides a wide range of activities and for next month we are adding more sport option in our calendar.Today it’s time for drinking tea and eating scones at the EC Bristol EC Social activity. Try a traditional English afternoon treat. What’s more it’s a great opportunity for students to interact and improve their speaking and listening skills. On Thursday EC Bristol is organising a Cinema Night. The movie that has been chosen is WARM BODIES, and on Friday we are organising a Book Club where students can discuss books they have read, share opinions and talk about new English vocabulary. EC Bristol is also organising a Football session, and the girls are the more welcomed.This weekend, in conjunction with our partner organisation AFT, EC Bristol is running an Oxford trip. Oxford is known worldwide as a university town and home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and the English-speaking world. Oxford is also known as the “city of dreaming spires“, a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford’s university buildings. We’d like to teach you a new English expression for this week: The Full Monty means the whole lot – the maximum available. There are several suggestions for its origin but the earliest can be traced back to the turn of the century. In 1904 the tailors Montague Burton (later shortened to Burtons) established their first hire shop in Chesterfield. They made it possible for men not only to hire a suit for special occasions, but also to hire a complete outfit of shirt, tie, shoes and socks and those people who chose the full set were known to be wearing the ‘Full Monty’. The saying re-emerged in the mid-1980s in UK popular … Read more

Bristol, the balloon city!

Anyone who does an images search on Bristol is bound to see pictures of hot air balloons. Bristol not only has the largest Balloon Fiesta event of its kind in Europe and as grown to be one of the largest outdoor events in the UK but also has a long and distinguished international reputation as being one of the world leaders in Aeronautical Engineering.Supersonic Fact: Concorde 216 was delivered to British Airways on 13 June 1980. It flew 18,257 hours, made 5,639 supersonic flights and completed 6,045 landings. In May 1993, Concorde 216 was the first to be fitted with a refurbished interior and repainted in the final livery sported by all the British Airways fleet. Hot Air Balloons Every year, Bristol is home to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. This year the 35th balloon fiesta will run from the 08th to the 11th August 2013. It is a magnificent spectacle that people come from far and wide to see. The event was first held in 1979 and is now one of the largest in Europe. It is common to have crowds of over 100,000 on each of the four days of the festival, which takes place in the grounds of the large country estate of Ashton Court. Perhaps the biggest attraction is the night glow. After dark, scores of balloons fire and glow to a background of music and fireworks. These are held on the opening Thursday night at approximately 21:30. This really is the highlight of the fiesta and every year EC Bristol staff and students head up to Ashton Court to watch the spectacle together. The balloon makers, Cameron Balloons  make many of the special shaped balloons that appear in the fiesta. In the past these have included Rupert the Bear, The Scottish Piper, Bertie Bassett, and … Read more

Bristol, a Green City!

How green do you think Bristol is? Bristol has a long standing link with the green movement. Not only is the city proud of its status as a Green Capital but is also the UK’s first cycling city, with dedicated on-road cycle lanes, new traffic-free routes, 3,400 new cycle parking spaces and the bike back recycling scheme. Bristol is also a Fairtrade city and the people of Bristol trade fairly with nearly five million workers in 58 developing countries. The city is also home to: ·         The Soil Association ·         The Environment Agency ·         The BBC Natural History Unit ·         Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity behind the development of the National Cycle Network. The city’s ‘low carbon’ sector is booming. Bristol has a renewable wind-turbines at Avonmouth, which is also the site of Wessex Water’s pioneering sewage treatment works. It has over 450 parks and green spaces, proportionately more than any other city in the UK. Many of Bristol’s restaurants, cafes, accommodation options and tourist attractions have won awards for commitment to sustainability. With all this going on it is not hard to see why Bristol is a real contender for the title of Greenest City in Europe. Big Green Fringe Festival 2013 Environmental groups across the UK are being challenged to run an event at the ’BIG Green Fringe’, which will run for nine whole days during Bristol’s BIG Green Week Festival from 15th to 23rdJune 2013. BIG Green Week 2013 will start across Bristol’s harbourside on Sat 15th and Sun 16th June with the Festival of Nature, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as Europe’s biggest free natural history festival. On Sunday the Biggest Bike Ride is being held, where families can cycle on traffic free roads under the Clifton Suspension Bridge in one of the UK’s biggest free non-competitive cycling events. The following weekend will feature the BIG … Read more

Student Focus Groups

Good morning, In January the EC Bristol team started to hold its first Student Focus Groups. What is the purpose? Our language school in Bristol is committed to the welfare of our students and the quality of courses, accommodation, activities and facilities offered by the school. Your feedback is really important to us as it helps us to make sure your experience is as awesome as possible. During these monthly meetings, students and staff sit down and work together to make EC Bristol a great place to study and live. This is a chance for students to make suggestions and ask the staff questions. Our last two student focus groups were on the 17th and 31st of January. Overall the students love the school and they are happy with their stay. They also really appreciate everything the team does. As a result of the meeting and the suggestions of the students involved, the EC Bristol team is looking into new exciting activities for our social programme and working to ensure all our students have the best and rewarding experience possible. We hope that we are meeting all your expectations. The Student Focus Group at our language centre in Bristol is for everyone so get involved and help us to make the school a greater place for all of us! Thanks from the EC Bristol team!

February: month of love

Hi everyone, How are you feeling? How was your weekend? Did you do anything special and exciting? We are pleased to tell you that the 4th floor of our language school in Bristol is finished/completed/done! Classes are already being used. Please check out the pictures below: What’s on at EC Bristol? Today we organised an Academic Lecture, the topic of this one was Public Speaking & Communication Skills. We organised a Football session as well. On Thursday it’s Valentine’s day! It is observed on February 14 each year and is celebrated in many countries around the world. Although it remains a working day in most of them.St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her. Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day. The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Who is Geoffrey Chaucer? Known as the Father of English literature, he is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the … Read more

Bristol & the Harbour

Hi everyone, How's it going? This month the school is offering brand new activities such as a Quiz, Badminton and Dinner & Conversation. Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Since 1992, badminton has been an Olympic sport with five events: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, in which each pair consists of a man and a woman. At high levels of play, especially in singles, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements. Dinner & Conversation is an activity very similar to Tea & Conversation (every Monday morning at 09:30). However, you won't drink tea and eat biscuits but you will go and share a great meal in a chosen restaurant and have a conversation in English. Our EC Activity Leader will make you exercise your spoken English in a fun atmosphere. Library The library at EC Bristol has now moved to our brand new 4th floor. So, if you would like to borrow books or DVDs, please come up to the Library between 12:35 and 13:00 and choose what you want. Bristol & Harbour What do you know about Bristol and the Harbour? Not much? well read the following to find out: Bristol grew up on the banks of the Rivers Avon and Frome. Since the 13th century, the rivers have been modified for use as docks including the diversion of the River Frome in the 1240s into an artificial deep channel known as "Saint Augustine's Reach", which flowed into the River Avon. Saint Augustine's Reach became the heart of Bristol's docks with its quays and wharfs. … Read more