Ex EC Cape Town student.

Exploring the city: EC Cape Town Skates!

  “I’ve learnt to depend on myself more than ever before”. By Basel Alzarari   I read about EC English school on the internet. My parents and I decided to go to Cape Town to study there. I found the best way to learn a language is by going to the people who speak the language that you want to learn. In order to study there, I had organised everything; I booked accommodation and got my visa. I was excited to start a new journey, explore a new place but I was really excited to see if Cape Town skates.   When I arrived in Cape Town: A lot of things changed in my life. The pace of living is very fast in South Africa. I usually went to sleep early in order to start the day early, which is not what I was used to. I didn’t enjoy going out at night either. When it comes to eating, the typical food in Cape Town was a bit different for me. I found that people would put sugar in their rice, everything was sweeter. So I preferred to cook my own meals because I could cook whenever I want and whatever I like. In my home town, I really loved to do a bunch of different activities. Especially anything related to skating whether it was ice-skating or rollerblading. What I had noticed in Cape Town is that not many people are interested in rollerblading but skateboarding is a lot more popular. I have never in my life thought that I would try skateboarding, having said that I took the first step and bought a skateboard. It had caught my interest and it seemed to be an amazing way to go around and explore the city, while meeting new people and … Read more

The Night Haven Shelter

Mandela Day – EC Students give back

“Do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognize that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision.” Nelson Mandela   To celebrate Mandela Day (18th July) this year, EC Cape Town students and teachers took up the call again. We decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter, one of many in the city. Cape Town’s winters can be harsh and this affects the homeless even more. So, we thought it would be a good idea to support one of the shelters who provide much-needed support and comfort to the poorest of the poor. It all started with a donation drive and the EC Cape Town community did not disappoint – students and teachers donated food and other needed goods, which we delivered on the day. About 70 students braved the rain to drop off these items and spend some time with the staff and residents of the shelter. Why do we celebrate Mandela Day? By Daniele Martins Everybody knows Nelson Mandela. In November 2009, the United Nations officially declared 18th July as International Nelson Mandela Day. On July 18th you can do something good for 67 minutes. 1 minute for each year that he worked to change the world.  On this day, we went with EC Cape Town students and teachers to The Haven Night Shelter and I’m sure that everyone has learned something for life. It’s not about doing, it’s about being…being human. You can learn English and you can learn to be better every day.  It’s your choice.  What does Mandela Day mean to us? By Yayha Karsoum Mandela Day is one of the most important days throughout the year. Not just for South Africa but for people all over the world.  As we know, Nelson Mandela devoted 67 years of … Read more

Ec English students enjoying their dinner at

EC Cape Town Students Observe Iftar

During the month of Ramadan, EC English school Cape Town enjoyed a dinner of delicious meals and great company from both students and teachers alike. We participated in “Iftar” which for our Muslim students is the first meal after a day of fasting at the Capetonian Hotel. We invited one of our students Ahmed Daghistani to speak to us about what the dinner means and how we should correctly break our fast. This is what he had to say: What is Ramadan? Good evening everyone, first of all, I would like to say that it’s an honour to be here. I’d like to thank Glenn and Anthea for giving me this opportunity to talk about Ramadan. I’ll be explaining to you guys why we fast in this month and the benefits of fasting, and how to break your fast correctly. But first, I need to explain what Ramadan is. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar when we fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting during the holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam, Which includes prayer and charity. To fast, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual activity from dawn till dusk. The period of fasting changes every year mainly because of the lunar calendar. It’s brought forward 7 days every year, eventually causing Ramadan to occur during any season. Why is fasting important? We fast because fasting gives us a better understanding of God’s gifts. It also gives us greater compassion towards the deprived and the people who struggle to find some food to eat or anything drink.  If we put ourselves in their shoes, we’ll feel how hard their lives are and start doing something about it. Even though some might think that fasting is unhealthy, scientific studies have shown … Read more

English students from EC on the project

EC Cape Town Volunteer project – my best experience

We asked Abdullah Mashaab to write about his visit to EC Cape Town Rainbow Dreamers Volunteer project.   What is EC Cape Town Rainbow Dreamers? I would like to share one of my best experiences while studying at EC Cape Town English language school. At EC Cape Town there is a volunteer programme called Rainbow Dreamers. This project takes students from EC English school Cape Town to a poor community and provides two hours of after school care for children in this community. The project gives students a different view of Cape Town. It was Rainbow Dreamers’ 5th anniversary on the day that I went, and we did a lot of nice things. We played many different games with the children, from football and basketball to skateboarding, sack races and colouring activities for the younger children.       What EC Cape Town Rainbow Dreamers gave me? My best part was exchanging hugs with the children – I felt the unconditional love and friendliness from the them, and this created a sense of responsibility for them. I also enjoyed singing and eating cupcakes together. It was a very nice day. I wish everybody will do it because it is something different and you feel like you’re a father. I also feel I understand more about Cape Town now.   Contact us for more information on volunteering at EC Cape Town

Grateful for the opportunity at EC Cape Town!

We asked Solaiman to tell us about his experience thus far in Cape Town First of all, I wanted to study in the USA but I was refused a visa by the Embassy. I was so sad when they refused my visa and when my friends became aware of my situation, they suggested I study in Cape Town. So I took up the challenge and applied to study English in Cape Town. Then the story began. Actually I believed that Cape Town is an old city with high levels of  poverty. When I was looking out from the plane I saw this wonderful view from a high altitude and at that moment I felt like I’m in paradise. On the first day in the new city, I had a few friends from home I met when I arrived in Cape Town and they invited me to have lunch at Ocean Basket, Waterfront. On the first day at EC School I met friends from different countries who were full of energy and activity. After the class was dismissed, my classmates decided to walk around the vicinity of the school with our teacher and afterwards to the Waterfront. Some of the activities that I did was a visit to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, which I found to be the most beautiful place I visited so far. I also visited  Muizenberg Beach, which I found suitable for surfing. I also participated in Paint Balling which was a great adventure and even got some shots too. I have spent a great time in Cape Town and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been here. Some of my friends who have already left Cape Town were a part of my life here and I hope to see them soon. Solaiman has been … Read more

Una will be missed by us all. She was a teacher in a million!

The classiest teacher…. at EC Cape Town

This year we have had to say goodbye to a few staff members who were not only an important part of EC Cape Town but also friends and mentors. One of the most loved admired teachers must be Una.   Una started her career in education at Roggebaai Teacher’s College and when it closed she joined Boston College. In 2006, EC took over the building and Una joined the team at EC Cape Town. When I spoke to Una on her last day about all her experiences and changes she has seen over the years, she could only speak of all the good times and the joy she has in her heart for EC. She told me about the friendliness of the staff and the supportive atmosphere which made her teaching days so worthwhile.   Anybody who knows Una, will tell you she lived for her students and although she was strict at times, they all understood she wanted them to succeed and for this they loved her. Una told me how much her students had taught her, not just about their country and culture but also how to be a better teacher. One of her highlights, she says, was going out on excursions with her students and showing them the city or getting something to eat.Another was getting them to talk – this was a challenge as Una was the Beginner level teacher for many years and became our expert. She mentions that getting them to ask questions and seeing them grow in confidence made her the happiest teacher. Her message to students is this: Follow your dreams and never give up. Challenge yourself so that you can build character. Be humble and accept when there is nothing you can do about the situation, but do what you can” To … Read more

Now you can see why this hike is sio popular with EC Cape Town students

Why YOU should do Lion’s Head Hike

We asked our lovely intern, Betty Coquillard, to be brave, scale Lion’s Head and tell us why we should do this hike. Lion’s Head is one of the must-do activities at EC, the English Language Centre in South Africa.  Well, first of all, what is Lion’s Head ? Even if you’ve probably heard of it, Lion’s Head if one of the most famous peaks on Table Mountain surrounding Cape Town.Every week at EC Cape Town you’ll have the opportunity to do a free activity. I tried the Lion’s Head hike two days ago and it was quite a special adventure. You first have to take a cab (around R50) which drops you right where the hike begins. Starting with a 20 minutes walk on red soil, you’ll already see breathtaking landscapes :   But be prepared : bring comfortable shoes and water (think about a hat if it’s sunny)…the hike has begun! You’ll have to walk about 1h30min to reach the top at a normal speed. (You can also set yourself a challenge, it can be done way faster!). As you’ll be going higher and higher, you may get scared by looking down. Don’t, this hike is super safe, even if sometimes you have to take ladders or grab metal grips to help you climb, you’ll always be in small groups and everyone helps each other. You’ll be guided by Marc, one of EC Cape Town’s teachers and he’ll tell you a lot about Cape Town history but also about geography. You may also see some paragliders in action… if you’re lucky 🙂 If you reach the top, and you will, you’ll be able to admire the entire city from above. Enjoy and relax for a while. Scared you’ll slow down the group, or think you might not be good enough … Read more

Frankfurt in Cape Town?

Arriving in Cape Town, you feel more like you are in Frankfurt or any other big city in Germany than being in Africa.       But what brings you down to earth and gives you the feeling that you are in South Africa and not in Germany? Firstly, going to the supermarkets you will see shopping bags with animals like elephants, giraffes or buffalos printed on them.     And of course, the weather! The temperature can reach up to 40 degrees in summer, although the breeze does make the hot weather more enjoyable and bearable!       Regarding security: a lot of streets have CCTV cameras in order to establish security. You shouldn’t go walking alone at night, travel by train in fringe areas or walk in very quiet areas, where there is no visible security. I kept my valuables and important documents in my room safe. A strange feeling for me was that our house was monitored by a security guard.     When you are in traffic, the lights for the pedestrians are different to the ones in Germany: three seconds green, flashing red for approximately ten seconds- that’s the reason half of the pedestrians in Cape Town – especially the unaware tourists – run across the streets all the time. A kind of fitness program of the government! 🙂 In addition to the traffic you will see minibus taxis everywhere! The taxi drivers have a very special driving behaviour and love to stop whenever they want to.       Fun fact: between the towns of Springbok and Upington car manufacturers from Europe and Asia test the speed of their cars. Signs on the vehicles make it clear that they are allowed to drive as fast as they want to.     Walking around … Read more

Denise dealt with her fear of heights during one of the EC Cape Town hikes

5 reasons to do an internship at EC Cape Town

This is an article written by Denise Eisenbeiser, our recent intern at EC Cape Town Language School. She only stayed with us for one month but her contribution to the Academic department was invaluable. Thank yo for being such a great intern Denise 🙂   What will I do? As an intern you will be involved in either educational activities, event organizing or various marketing related procedures. Moreover, you will assist the school with PR activities and customer service. You will also assist in creating activities for students, marketing these activities, booking them and accompanying students on the outings. In the Academic department you might supervise and assist with placement and level tests, checking schedules and writing articles – including photos- for the EC blog.     What skills do I need?  Background in Marketing, Event Management or Education Good computer knowledge Confidence  The ability to work in teams and independently Good level of English (at least Intermediate) A presentable and well organised individual who can communicate effectively     All interns are more than welcome at EC Cape Town. Arriving at the language school you can feel the open minded attitude of the friendly staff. From the first day, I was easily integrated into the big EC family and could ask any question that came to mind. I always felt supported- no matter which problem I had.     Why YOU should consider doing an internship at EC Cape Town: EC Cape Town is the best way to improve your English skills because you are in contact with a lot of teachers and international students. The city is a cosmopolitan city filled with students and tourists from all over the world and thus English is the common language. Besides this, English is the language for business and government departments so you have … Read more

No trip to Cape Town is complete without taking a hike on this majestic mountain. EC language hikes are a muc=st!

Take a walk on the wild side – a hike up Platteklip Gorge

On a fine Wednesday afternoon this week teacher Matthew from EC language school in Cape Town and ten students (from Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, France and Angola) hiked up the steep, but beautiful Platteklip Gorge to the summit of Table Mountain.   After a bit of a taxi delay we set off on the trail through warm air at the base of the valley. Conditions were perfect, the sun washing the rock and fynbos with light. After just a short while we treated ourselves to a gulp of cool mountain stream water and took a break to soak up the scenery. We’d started our ascent at about 3pm so we were in no rush.     The view of Lion’s Head disappeared as we rounded a sharp corner to begin hiking up the neck of climb. True to its namesake, the climb up Platteklip (‘flat stone’ in Afrikaans) gorge is paved with hundreds of giant granite blocks, the route ever narrowing as a majestic V silhouette unfolds in front of you.     After some hefty puffing and panting, at our next break we spotted a couple of Dassies catching some rays on a big rock. Some of the girls thought they were cute, the guys reckoned they were more like fluffy rats, and everyone was surprised when I told them that Dassies are amazingly, the closest living relative to the Elephant.     The view had stretched out to a stunning sweep of the city, Table bay and the Stellenbosch mountains. The final push took us in between some impressive cliffs and sheer walls of rock and before we knew it, we had reached the top!       We had drinks and snacks at the café, laughed and enjoyed the amazing panorama wrapping around us. We snapped a few … Read more