Learn English in San Francisco

Spotlight On: Learning English in San Francisco

“San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave”, said Rudyard Kipling once upon a time. Luckily for you, when you study English at EC San Francisco you get to learn exactly what he means. The school is reopening on March 1st and more ready than ever to get students back to learning English. Your safety is in mind at every step and we will do everything we can to ensure you have an unforgettable experience. So, let’s jump to it. Let’s see what makes San Francisco so very moreish! Study on a Movie Set! Ok, so not literally on a movie set, but did you know that San Francisco has been the location for lots of movies throughout the decades? Those streets have been walked by countless stars, used to frame scenes, and provided an atmospheric backdrop for all sorts of films, from small independent productions to Oscar winners. Visually, San Francisco is such a treat that it’s hard for creatives to resist. Firm family favourite Mrs Doubtfire was shot here, as was the classic 1968 move Bullitt. Bullitt’s most memorable scene is a car chase up and down the hills of the city, all filmed without special effects. Rolling Hills and Street Cars… To continue from the previous point, those hills of San Francisco are world-famous. Due to the city’s positioning on two fault lines – San Andreas and Hayward – the seismic activity over many years helped to shaped them as you see them today. There are so many, in fact, that it’s the second hilliest city in the world! Cable cars were invented in the city to climb these hills and they’re still in use today. You can ride from Downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf and take in the sights at ease, while taking advantage … Read more

Parlez-vous Français ? 3 Amazing Reasons to Learn French in Montreal!

Bienvenue dans la monde francophone ! From its European heartland all the way over to Africa, the South Pacific and North America, French is the only language besides English that is spoken on all five continents. It’s also the second most widely learned language globally; with approximately 190 million secondary speakers, along with roughly 80 million native speakers, the number of people who speak the language all over the world comes up to an estimated number of 270 million. Read on to find out why learning French in Montreal should be on your itinerary of things to do this year!   1. Language exchange is a value As the world’s largest bilingual city, speaking French in Montreal is not regarded as an ability to be hoarded by its citizens, but rather as something to be shared with others – including tourists and foreign students. French is the city’s official language (and English is also widely spoken). This means that when you study French in Montreal, you truly get the full immersive experience; learning continues beyond the classroom, with the city being jam-packed with public spaces where you can practise the language.     2. Speaking French in Montreal is easier than it is in Paris! We’re absolutely serious! Because bilingualism and conversing in other languages is so celebrated in Montreal, non-French speakers feel less awkward or out of place than they would normally do in France’s capital. If you do feel the brief need to switch to English in a restaurant or during a conversation, the locals would not bat an eye because they are so used to it. This relaxed attitude makes foreigners feel more comfortable and less afraid of making mistakes when attempting to speak French.     3. Montreal is one of the best cities for students … Read more

Learn English in Vancouver

NEW SCHOOL: EC Vancouver 30+

We have some exciting news from Canada! We are proud and excited to announce our newest addition to the 30+ family: EC Vancouver 30+ as of January 2020! Now, you can study in a location that mixes big city living and the great outdoors, combining the perfect work/study-life balance. Picture yourself in the heart of Vancouver, learning English with the aid of modern and cutting-edge facilities such as interactive whiteboards. All classes are delivered by passionate teachers, focused on your learning and progression. Don’t forget the student lounge, library, free Wi-Fi, self-study area and computers. The only this missing is…you! EC Vancouver 30+ school has its own co-working space, dedicated areas for 30+ students to network, to research or to do your work. When you select a school, it’s because it fulfills your English language goals and allows you to do so without interrupting your life. With a combination of lessons and activities, your days are filled with opportunities to practise your English. While lessons provide you with direct learning, excursions, free language workshops and activities give you indirect vocabulary and language practice, offering you a balanced and thorough learning schedule. Our 30+ English schools were the first in the business and thanks to the dedication and hard work of our teams, we remain the best. We launched our 30+ English school in 2013 in London and Malta and in 2016 in New York and Toronto and then expanded to Dublin in 2018. We now have six 30+ schools in five countries, so you are sure to find the perfect city for you to learn English. Our 30+ English schools are designed specifically for more mature students who have greater experience in life and the world of work. Contact us to learn more about our new Vancouver English school.

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Like an American

Thursday 28th November is Thanksgiving 2019 in the US, and what a great time to be there! This holiday is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, as decided by President Roosevelt in 1941. However, it’s a tradition dating back to the 17th century, when native Wampanoag Indians and newly settled pilgrims shared a meal to celebrate the first food of the harvest. Thanksgiving now surely looks a little different to back then, but one thing is for sure, and that’s that it is one epic feast. So, if you’re learning English in the US, read on and we can show you how! Brace yourself for a lot of food! If there’s one thing that’s for sure, you can expect food, food and more food. Thanksgiving dinner usually incorporates all or any of the following: roast turkey, sausage meat stuffing, sweet potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and lots and lots of gravy. Let’s not forget dessert, which may be apple pie, pumpkin pie or pecan pie. That’s what you call a harvest, right? Organise a Friendsgiving Thanksgiving is a time when everyone and anyone heads back home to be with family. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible, whether because of distance or work or other circumstances. When this happens, people will get their friends together instead and organise what is lovingly known as a ‘Friendsgiving’. This one is so popular, that some people will host a Friendsgiving and still travel home for Thanksgiving! Double the feast means double the fun. Potluck dinners are the best A very popular option for everyone from friends to travellers to visiting students. A potluck Thanksgiving dinner is when each person brings a dish to the party. A potluck is much less work for the host and is a … Read more

EC English Halloween activities

EC Destinations That Scream Hallowe’en!

Hallowe’en is becoming more and more of a popular celebration every year. It’s a time when you see kids running through the streets knocking on doors for sweets and candies. You will notice people hanging decorations of ghosts and witches in the windows of their homes and businesses. The weather is colder, and overall, things start to feel just a little bit… spooky. Originally called Samhain (pron: ‘Sow-in’), Hallowe’en dates back over 2,000 years to a time when people celebrated the changing of the seasons, from light to dark. The Celtic people believed that on this night, the gates between the land of the living and the dead would temporarily open. To protect themselves, they would dress in costumes to scare away spirits and ghosts. Let’s look at some creative ideas to get involved while learning English abroad. Frightful Festivities in Dublin Where better to get closer to the action that at the birthplace of the tradition? Ireland. Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula wrote the famous book in his Dublin home and October 2019 will be honouring this in an extra special way. How, you may ask? This year, on the 23rd of October, people will attempt to break the world record of Draculas in one place! Get your cape and fangs and head to authors former home at 6:30pm to be involved. Aside from this there are many other events to choose from. The Puca Festival in Athboy is where you can celebrate Hallowe’en as the pagans did. Take a Walking Ghost Tour of the city and explore graveyards and haunted alleys and at night, it’s got to be the Disco Bloodbath: a Hallowe’en party in a church!   EC Dublin is Classically Creepy Always willing to embrace their heritage, EC Dublin are preparing a great line-up of Hallowe’en activities. There will be a student party night … Read more

The Wharf DC

Washington, DC: More than just politics

When you think of Washington, DC, the first words that pop into your mind could be: president, White House, and politics. But you might be surprised to know that there is a lot more to the capital of the USA than just politics! Check out some more authentic activities you can get up to while studying at our Washington, DC English school. Watch a baseball game   DC residents are big fans of their local team, the Washington Nationals, better known as the Nats. Check out a home game at the Nationals Park or on the screen at a local sports bar. Sports bars are super popular with locals, you’ll be sure to meet some cool people here! Check out a local brewery   Of course, beer goes hand-in-hand with sports! Often you’ll find some sports bars that also double as local breweries, or at the least you can try a cool craft beer. Some of these often hold events with live music and dancing, perfect for a night out! Explore the Wharf   One of DC’s newest projects to bring more life to the city, the Wharf has loads of shops and restaurants all set against the beautiful waterfront of DC. But it extends beyond eating and shopping, you’ll also find 10 acres of parks, great nightlife, gyms for fitness buffs, and of course marinas and watertaxis. There are even hotels and apartments in this great location close to all of the historical sites you’ll want to see! Find the Fridge   What is the Fridge? you may be thinking. The Fridge is a quirky interactive art gallery, performance space, music venue and classroom featuring mainly street art. The walk to the Fridge is filled with gorgeous murals that line the walls, bringing the art out into the real world. … Read more

Valletta views from Sliema

5 reasons to come to Malta if you are from Latin America

1. Malta has a stable economy. Malta has a stable economy, one that barely seemed affected by the general European crisis since 2009. Therefore, if you are looking to work abroad, there are good chances that you will find a job here as its economy is very dynamic (just bear in mind that the main industries in Malta are Real Estate, Tourism, Financial Services, and I-gaming, and if you are a holder of a Latin American passport there are a few requirements you would need to check before making the decision to come).   2. Settling down might be easier than in other countries Malta has this feeling of being a small town with everybody knowing everybody, veggie-truck-stands waiting on the next corner of any street, grandmas waving hello to you each morning and overall friendly people ready to help you when in need. Being a Mexican myself, the cultural shock of moving to Malta was not a huge one. Catholicism is the main religion and there are patron village feasts happening all year round (as it would in any small town back in your country, isn’t it?), and the weather during its long summer makes me think back of certain days when I was living in the tropical Riviera Maya in Mexico.   3. It is a great option to study English as a second language Although you might think it is far away, consider that you are coming to a very cosmopolitan country with people from all around the world and easy access to other European countries in case you are the traveller type. School fees are cheaper than in other destinations, consequently studying for longer periods becomes more affordable. I have no doubt that if you do some research you will find the perfect English school in … Read more

Volunteering in EC Cape Town

This is your chance to volunteer with animals or children on your study-abroad trip to South Africa. EC Cape Town English school is proud to announce the launch of exciting new volunteer programmes. Work with animals Do you want to work with animals? Wildlife volunteers can choose to work on an elephant reserve, a marine experience or an animal sanctuary. Experience can be both hands-on and research-based, depending on the programme. Participation in these programmes requires a minimum age of 16 or 18 years old. An English level of intermediate to upper-intermediate. Participants will be required to converse with others and understand direction from the leaders. The African Primate Encounter involves maintaining the general upkeep of the sanctuary and feeding primates. Coastal Birds Encounter is an opportunity to work with a non-profit. The African Big Cats Encounter is on a sanctuary where animals are rehabilitated both physically and emotionally. Work with children New volunteering programmes to work with children are available at EC Cape Town. Responsibilities vary from entertaining children, helping prepare their meals, admin duties and aiding literacy among a myriad of other tasks. Participants must have an English level of intermediate to upper-intermediate. Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old and provide a Police Clearance Certificate. EC Cape Town students can choose between placement at a day-care facility, a creche or a literacy centre in a Cape Town township. Plettenberg Bay Kids volunteer programme is in a home for children who have no home of their own, providing them with clothing, daily meals, homework supervision and counselling. At Kranshoek Kids, volunteers work to help the poorest children from the community receive one meal daily. All programmes require acceptance via the application form, and some require a motivational letter and/or police clearance certificate. Contact us today for … Read more

Why Gold Coast is Your Ideal English Learning Destination

Are you thinking of studying English in Australia? In the land “down under”, as people like to call it. We’re putting the spotlight on EC Gold Coast in the blog this week, to show you what makes this such an attractive destination. From the school to the outdoors to the overall atmosphere, there’s so much to love here. Some people refer to the city as the glittering Gold Coast, so read on and you’ll discover why. Fabulous Beaches and BBQs Located just 5 minutes’ walk from the beach, you can enjoy that refreshing sea air morning, afternoon and evening. Walk to school via the beach. Go for a swim or a surf after class. Hang out, play volleyball… the list really is endless! One of the top activities at the school is a beach bbq which the students enjoy a lot. It’s one of the most Australian activities to take part in and it provides a great opportunity for students to socialise with each other. The ultimate icebreaker! It’s a Surfer’s Paradise White sand and turquoise water with sea temperatures between 21.5C and 30C all year round. It’s easy to see why Gold Coast is known as Surfer’s Paradise. For the beginner, it’s the perfect environment to get used to the water. Those warm temperatures would encourage anyone to keep trying, no matter how many times you fall. For experienced surfers it’s the ideal location to continue an activity you love while learning English. Again, with the unbeatable location of the school, you can very easily fit both into your day. Laid-Back Aussie Beach Vibes Naturally, with this sort of lifestyle, the overall atmosphere of the city is very laid-back. You’ll find pop-up markets by the beach and in the suburbs. This is where you’ll find everything from fresh produce … Read more

EC Malta’s 3 Cities by Night Tour

The activities and leisure programme are a much-loved part of all EC schools’ timetables. Specially tailored to suit each destination, each one is unique and great in its own way. These activities tend to change weekly or fortnightly, or depending on what’s popular at the time of year. In EC Malta, one of the students’ favourite activities is the 3 Cities by Night tour. The 3 cities are Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) and they can be seen from the top of Valletta as you look out over Grand Harbour. A Little Bit of History Most tourists flock to Valletta or Mdina and as a result, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are not as popular a destination but a visit is very worthwhile! These 3 sister cities offer a slice of authentic Maltese life as well as an in-depth look at the maritime history of Malta. Vittoriosa was once the capital city, made so by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. Fort St. Angelo successfully protected the island from invading Ottomans during a months long siege, but unfortunately World War II attacks took their toll far more critically. However, as a testament to the resilience of the people, they have been rebuilt even more striking and more beautiful than before. Why Is the Tour at Night? Well, there are a couple reasons. To begin with, in summer months it’s cooler to go at night as the tour involves quite a bit of walking and as is the way with Malta, that means walking up and down a lot of hills and steps. So, the cooler the better! More significant, however, is the beauty of these cities at night. Lights twinkle on all major buildings. More string of lights snake down streets, and lights from boats and … Read more