What is Women’s Month?

South Africa’s public holidays can sometimes seem very confusing. Last month we celebrated Mandela month in honour of Madiba’s birthday, 18 July; this month we are celebrating Women’s day, 9 August, and thus the month of August has been dedicated to women. But what is Women’s Month?     9 August was declared a public holiday after our first democratic election in 1994. The newly elected government decided to change some of the Public Holidays that were symbols of our painful past. Certain days which had had a negative association or memory were renamed and many new days were added. One of these was August 9. In South Africa’s history, this day celebrates the day in 1956 when thousands of women, black and white, joined hands to speak out against the unjust laws of this country. They eventually won!     Women’s month has become a way to really and truly remember that day when approximately 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against The Urban Areas Act of 1950. This law required “black” South Africans to carry a passport (pass) to move around in the country. They had to carry it at all times.     The law was part of the Apartheid government’s aim to ensure that the people of South Africa were separated. The law came at the same time as the Group Areas Act, which divided South Africa into ‘black and white areas.’ Black people lived in township areas all over South Africa and could only be in a ‘white’ suburb with this ‘passport’; usually as a domestic worker (servant) or gardener. There is a famous story of how Nelson Mandela moved around using this disguise of a “gardener”.     During the month of August we continue to remember the … Read more

A perfect sunset taken by EC language student Muntaser

Meet the world at EC Cape Town!

The first moment you arrive at EC language school Cape Town, you know that you’re going to have a great time. The school has modern classrooms, a lot of computers available for the students and, of course, free wi-fi. In fact, “free” is a word you’re going to see frequently at EC because of the… free classes. Yeah, this school is going to provide you more knowledge for free! Can you believe it? The free classes are the best time to improve your pronunciation and speaking skills, talking to people who are at different English levels. It means that you’re going to remember certain things you could have forgotten; or you’re about to know more tools, helping you in the use of English. Another great part is that EC becomes the home (for weeks or months) for people from all over the world. And it’s really all over the world: Germany, Iran, Lybia, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Angola, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and so forth. And, of course, us Brazilian would also be there. We’re everywhere! This mix of the whole world helps not just to make your English better, but to provide different views about the same issue. Talking and discussing about public art during classes, for example, makes you understand how that theme is treated in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. And those kind of debates give you more arguments for analysing the society, no matter the culture in which it is inserted. Outside the school, you can see that Cape Town is a beautiful city. Not just because of Table Mountain, but also the infrastructure the city has (although the citizens drive their cars on the “wrong side”; just kidding). But Cape Town also makes you think about society in general when you see a city divided: there … Read more

This is Cinzia breaking her fast at the EC Cape Town Iftar dinner

My first Ramadan

It was a very nice experience to observe my first Ramadan here in Cape Town.     How was it? In the beginning it was a very hard time.  After 06.20am (in Cape Town) you couldn’t eat, drink or smoke.  I was thinking how is this possible for the whole day until 05.50pm? So that meant I had to change my mind and not think about food and other stuff.     I can remember after a while, more or less at about 14.00, I was looking at food on the internet but I had to learn that was the wrong way.  I had to stop this. After work I came home and I felt I had to eat but there was no way to eat and drink there as I was staying with a Muslim host family.  I had to follow the rules. In the end we were all in the same boat. The only difference was they were used to doing this.     At 05.50pm it was finally the end of the first day! I was eating like there was no tomorrow.  We ate nice food and had a nice supper.  It was delicious!     So I was thinking, I began my first day and I will try to make these 29 days! Nobody believed me but I showed them I am strong and if you want something you can achieve your goal. All I can say is I have more respect for food and I can feel how difficult it is for a poor person who can’t open the fridge whenever they want.   Cinzia is a administrative intern at EC English school Cape Town. She started as an F.C.E student and was eager to get some work experience. You can read all about her internship … Read more

Sanaz and some of the friends she made at EC language school

Hello EC Cape Town!

I really miss everything in South Africa, especially EC, the English school in Cape Town. As I remember, my life was terrible before I come to Africa . For about 4 years I tried to study English in my country but it was impossible to speak; but now I am just going to say thank you EC for helping me to speak English. On the other side I have found a lot of friends from every country who made me so happy and I have learned also from them a lot of positive things. I would say that the time went really fast and sometimes I really feel regret because I did not study hard to learn more. I wish one day I can come back to EC my lovely second house. In the end I want to say love ya EC and thanx to everybody at EC who changed my life.       Thank u so much. Please say hello to every body who works at EC.   Sanaz ended her course at EC in May 2015. She will be missed for her many fantastic hairstyles, hair colours and of course her friendly attitude to everyone. She was well-liked by all of us and we were all very sad the day she had to leave. Of course, she could not leave without giving us some of her sweetness. I still have your ‘heart of gold’ that you gave me and I hope you can come back in the future. We hope you will stay as sweet as you are.  

EC Cape Town's welcome in the 12 official languages of South Africa

EC Cape Town changing with the times

In the past few months EC Cape Town has seen many changes. We have moved location, we have a new Centre Director, Director of Studies and a new timetable; but our essence remains the same – to provide quality education in a friendly, positive and success-driven environment. Can you remember the previous building? Today we are ideally situated in a newly renovated heritage building which is 10 minutes away from the City Centre, the train and bus stations as well as the famous V&A shopping Mall. Let me take you on a trip down memory lane; This is what the school looked like before:   This is what we look like now!   This was one of our classrooms:   And this is what our new classrooms look like :   In 2014 the New York Times named Cape Town the best place to visit in the world; and once you have seen its natural beauty, you will understand why. Where in the world do you have a mountain overlooking the city centre, which is also a few minutes away from the ocean? Cape Town has everything and more for any visitor. There is the cosmopolitan, yet laidback feel of the city, the creative film, art and design industry, and as if that wasn’t enough, Cape Town offers a mystical beauty that seduces you within the first hour of landing. This is the backdrop for EC language school Cape Town and our new location in the heart of the Mother City.     Over the years we have combined our excellence in English teaching with a varied social programme that includes full moon mountain hikes, beach volleyball, sunset picnics, volunteering and bar hopping to keep our students engaged, motivated and inspired.     This balance of study and socialising has built our EC … Read more