NYC | Fun Facts & Useful Info

  Next up in our series of posts about awe-inspiring New York city, we’re looking at some very useful tips to keep in mind if you’re going to study English in New York, including emergency numbers and helpful apps to download.   To start with, remember… US plugs are different from European or other plugs around the world. Be sure to buy adaptors in advance. When you buy a MetroCard with a credit card from outside US, you can leave the zip code box empty – it will still work. You know that a taxi is available when the top light is on. Remember the tipping culture in US – it’s very likely that every restaurant bill comes with a 15-20% gratuity charge included. You will also be expected to tip taxis. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol in NYC, and if you look younger you will be asked for ID. You can even get free WIFI in parks when in New York (Bryant Park, City Hall Park, South Street Seaport, and Union Square Park).   [hs_action id=”2778″] Emergency Numbers Fire: 911 Police: 911 Ambulance: 911 Information Assistance: 411 Useful Links for NYC   Trip planner NYC: http://tripplanner.mta.info/MyTrip/ui_web/customplanner/tripplanner.aspx New York Subway Routes: http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html New York Printable Subway Map: http://web.mta.info/nyct/maps/subwaymap.pdf Official train website: http://www.amtrak.com Latest events in NYC: http://newyorkevents.co/ Street maps: http://www.gostreetmaps.com/new-york.html Official guide to New York (including promotions and latest events): http://www.nycgo.com/ NYC restaurant reservations: http://www.opentable.com/new-york-city-restaurants Discount deals in NYC: https://www.groupon.com/local/new-york-city Embassies in NYC: http://www.nyc.gov/html/ia/html/affairs/consular.shtml Lost & Found yellow cab taxis: http://www.yellowcabnyctaxi.com/lostandfound Information about opening a bank account in NYC: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/bankaccount.h New York News: http://www.nytimes.com and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/new-york/ Official government website for NYC: http://www1.nyc.gov/     Useful Phone Apps For NYC BusBus NYC HopStop MTA TripPlanner Uber I Love NY NYTimes Time Out New York Open Table Yelp   Final Tips Don’t … Read more

Learning English in New York – Survival Guide

    Getting To NYC NYC is serviced by 3 major airports and 2 smaller ones that connect the city to the rest of the world:John F. Kennedy International Airport is the main airport in New York Newark Liberty International Airport, located in New Jersey LaGuardia Airport, which serves domestic flights Long Island MacArthur Airport Stewart International Airport   [hs_action id=”2778″]   Getting Around NYC Subway In New York City, you can get anywhere using the subway system, which is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and referred to as ‘MTA’ on most signs and documentation. The subway runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering non-stop access to anywhere in the city. To use the subway, start by buying a MetroCard with a minimum of $5.50 credit topped up. You have several other options for metro cards, from pay-per-ride to unlimited ride, depending on how often you want to travel.   For the latest information and prices visit http://web.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm. While the subway is safe, avoid riding alone in empty cars late at night, and always keep an eye on your belongings.   BEGINNER LEVEL TIP: Spend some time familiarising yourself with the metro map in New York and learn the names of the most important stations. It will work on your reading skills and help you become a savvy New Yorker. Bus You can get around in New York by bus, also allowing you to discover more of the city and enjoy the scenery. You can use exact change or the MetroCard to pay for the bus ride, as it falls under the MTA New York City Transit as well. If you want check out routes, fares, or plan your trip, you can do so on the official MTA website at http://tripplanner.mta.info/MyTrip/ui_web/customplanner/tripplanner.aspx.   Driving in New York … Read more

Places to eat & drink in New York

  In New York you can eat anything you want, literally, at any price. Eat at top chains around the city and you’ll probably end up spending more than going off the beaten path. Eating well on a budget is easy to do in the Big Apple – expect generous portions and tasty food. [hs_action id=”2778″] Before you find out about some of the best restaurants in New York, here are a few handy tips: Make a reservation, when possible, with http://www.opentable.com, to avoid disappointment Always prepare a budget for tipping (15-20% of the bill cost) since it usual-ly comes included as a gratuity/service charge Don’t go home without dining in an authentic American diner Here are some dishes you have to try: Chicken and waffles (perfect for breakfast and dinner) Hog dogs (preferably from street carts) Pizza (as Italian as this might sound, it’s a favourite in NYC, best served as a slice) Bagels (the locals love them) New York cheesecake (because you’re in NYC) Chinese takeaway (straight from those fancy boxes, like in the movies)   INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Call a takeaway restaurant and order over the phone (pizza, Chinese). It will allow you to use your speaking and listening skills.   1. Restaurants New York offers its inhabitants more than 20,000 dining choices, all worth a visit! For the best Italian and Chinese food, which the locals love, check out Little Italy and Chinatown. The Chelsea Market is not just great for grocery shopping, but you can also enjoy snacks and full meals at affordable prices. Try these popular New York restaurants where locals like to hang out.     ABC Kitchen Located in Downtown, ABC Kitchen serves unique dishes that will make your taste buds sing. The creative menu includes roast chicken glazed with buttery potato … Read more

New York, New York | How much do you know?

New York, New York! The Big Apple is one of the most inspiring and iconic English-speaking cities in the world – that’s why we’re proud to offer our students top-quality English courses at EC New York and EC New York 30+. [hs_action id=”2778″] How much do you know about The City that Never Sleeps? Check out our stunning infographic below and find out!     Would you like to know more about New York? Download our New York Travel Guide for FREE ! Our eBook includes the top 10 things to do in New York, tips on how to improve your English, the best places to visit, how to enjoy typical American spots and how to discover the city like a local. Don´t miss it, download it NOW! [hs_action id=”2778″]

Experience New York like a local

Continuing our series of posts about New York, EC English Languages Centres have a few suggestions to make your experience even more unique! As you already know, New York consists of five distinct boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Each borough is a few blocks in size, and has its own unique cultural identity with a diverse mix of nationalities coming together to form each community. Let’s take a look at how you can become accustomed to the fast-paced metropolitan lifestyle. [hs_action id=”2778″]   Green Spaces & NYC In a city filled with skyscrapers and busy roads, locals can find a piece of tranquillity in the city’s lush green parks. Whether you are having a picnic, walking, jogging or just hanging out in the parks, you’re definitely living like a local. Apart from legendary Central Park, there are many other beautiful green spaces to explore in NYC, including Pelham Bay Park and Flushing Meadow Park!   Shopping & NYC One activity well-loved by tourists and New Yorkers alike is shopping; from chain stores to boutiques and luxury brands, everybody deserves an occasional small self-indulgence! Anything you could possible wish to buy is available in NYC and its fabulous shopping centres. Here are some good places to try out: Fifth Avenue, SoHo, Tribeca and Street Vendors.     Baseball True New Yorkers go to baseball games – and by baseball they mean the New York Yankees or the New York Mets. If you love baseball or simply want to experience a vibrant sports event when in NYC, be sure to get yourself into the stadium for one of the games. Here are two to try: Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.     INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Before you go to a game, research as much as possible about the Yankees. When was their last win? Who are their … Read more

What to see in NYC: Times Square & Central Park

  Let´s keep moving and explore the next few spots on our list of things to see in New York City! Today we will talk about two of the most famous places in New York: Times Square and Central Park! Check out our top tips about how to get to these places and what you can expect to enjoy there. Times Square You haven’t really gotten to know New York City unless you’ve seen fabulous Times Square, a place where the lights couldn’t shine brighter and the atmosphere couldn’t feel more magical. From the giant billboards to and the iconic Broadway and Madame Tussauds, Times Square embodies luxury and showbiz. If you are studying English in New York, you don´t need to worry about this first stop. As a EC NY student, you will be located at the heart of Manhattan´s Times Square, just a few minutes away from 5th Avenue, Broadway, the Empire State Building to name just a few attractions. There’s always something going on in Times Square, so be sure to check the official website for events when in NYC.   Opening Hours & Ticket Prices The commercial intersection is free to anyone to just walk by and enjoy it, at any time of the day or night.       How to Get to Times Square You will find the square in Midtown Manhattan, at the intersection between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.     Central Park Right in the heart of Manhattan is Central Park, the 843 acres that is famous around the world and regularly featured in movies and TV! There’s a long list of things you can do in Central Park, from relaxing afternoon picnics, to visiting a Zoo or even going on a romantic carriage tour. Did you know that the park is visited around 38 million times a … Read more

Learning English in New York on a Budget

  Living in any big city can quickly become expensive if you don’t keep an eye on your hard-earned cash – especially when you’re on a student budget. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with some handy money-saving tips to help you get the most out of every dollar and cent while you’re learning English in New York. [hs_action id=”2778″] Attractions It might sound too good to be true, but many fantastic attractions in the Big Apple are actually FREE to explore and experience. Iconic Central Park, breath-taking Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Bronx Museum of Art, Grand Central Station, and the beautiful New York Public Library are all open to the public. For a full list of free-to-see attractions, check out this detailed list.     Transport If your destination is too far away to get to by walk, avoid taking a cab and try to use the public transport system instead. On average, a single cab ride can cost $18, while the bus or subway costs just a fraction of the price and will probably allow you to rush hour traffic too!   Top tip: Get a subway pass Groupons You can get great discounts on food, fashion, spa-days, and major attractions (to name just a few benefits) by signing up for free at Groupon.com. If you find a good deal, be sure to snap it up immediately – these offers are only available for purchase for 24 hours.     Broadway Anyone can enjoy a stunning performance on Broadway by buying discounted tickets from the well-known TKTS booth. Any visit to New York is incomplete without at least Broadway show!     Curious about what else there is to see and do in this iconic city? Thinking about studying at EC New York or EC New York 30+? … Read more

Learn English in New York

What to See in NYC: The Statue of Liberty

New York City is home to some of the most impressive landmarks in the world, with awe-inspiring architecture and breath-taking views everywhere you look. Whether you want to shop like a celebrity, part in style, learn about American history, or simply be surrounded by people greeting the day with a coffee in hand, NYC is the place to be – especially if you’re a student at EC New York or EC New York 30+. The Statue of Liberty Built on Liberty Island in New York Harbour, Lady Liberty is a large, neoclassical sculpture designed by French sculptor Frederic A. Bartholdi. The statue was a gift from France, representing freedom and the warm welcome the US offered immigrants. It features a robed female figure, the Roman goddess Libertas, who holds a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other. The date of the American Declaration of Independence can be found on the tablet: 4th of July 1776. Tickets To reach the statue, visitors use a ferry service because private boats are not allowed to dock on the island. You will need to pay for one ferry ticket to get to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Statue Cruises is the official ferry service on the island, providing both transportation and tickets. When you reach the monument, you need entry tickets to access the statue’s pedestal and crown. For more information about ticket prices, visit http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/fees.htm How to Get to The Statue of Liberty The iconic monument is located in Upper New York Bay, Liberty Island, south of Ellis Island. To get to the island, you can catch the ferry from these two departure points: Battery Park, located at 1 Battery Place, New York, southern end of Manhattan Liberty State Park, located in 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, New Jersey For … Read more

Learn English in New York

10 Ways to Practise English in New York

The busy streets of New York offer many fantastic opportunities to practise; let’s take a look at 10 ways to challenge your knowledge of the language and learn to use it in a variety of real-life situations. 1. Spend Time at the New York Public Library The key to mastering a language is practice, so where could you go to practise your reading, listening, and speaking skills? The New York Public Library in Manhattan, of course! Here, you have access to an enormous collection of books, journals, magazines, and DVDs, and you’ll probably meet new people and perhaps even make a few new friends too! Find more information about the New York Public Library on their official website: http://www.nypl.org/ 2. Meet Up with New Yorkers Join a ‘meetup group’ to get to know like-minded people and brush up your English skills. There are plenty of groups devoted to bringing together individuals with the same goal as you – to enhance their language skills in great company. In these language groups, you can meet local New Yorkers willing to help you with your grammar and pronunciation. You can find more information at http://www.practice-english.meetup.com/cities/ny/new_york 3. Go on a Walking Tour With all the amazing sights to see and things to do in New York, you can practise your English skills by simply stepping outside. If you’re looking to explore the city, check out Free Tours by Foot. They offer guided walking tours of New York, and the best thing about it is that you only pay what-you-wish for it! If you’ve enjoyed the walking tour, leave your tour guide a nice tip to let them know you appreciated their work. You’ll not only boost your English listening skills, but you’ll also learn more about the historic city. Find out more http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-tours/ 4. … Read more

Learn English in New York

Why Learn English in New York?

The Big Apple is a place that breathes life into your ambitions, whatever they may be; in the words of Frank Sinatra, “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”. This iconic city is brimming with endless opportunities to improve your English in fun, challenging new ways. Be at the Centre of the World’s Best New York is an epicentre of businesses, entertainment, and culture. Every day, fast-talking business men and women close big deals on Wall Street. As night falls, famous actors take to the stage to create the magic of Broadway, and you can find anything from live rock shows to first-class opera if music is what you’re looking for. Stunning museums and art galleries are dotted all around the city, filled with anything from Japanese sculpture to postmodern masterpieces and renaissance beauties. ADVANCED LEVEL TIP: Pick up a New York Times magazine (or find it online) and choose one section that you like (business, politics, arts, etc.). Read about what’s happening in New York in that field, and share what you’ve discovered with a friend. Endless Opportunities to Immerse in History New York is one of the oldest cities in the world, and you can find pieces of history around every corner. From stories about the Statue of Liberty and why the French people gifted it to the city, to lush Central Park and the stunning Art Deco skyscraper known as the Chrysler Building – New York has a wealth of stories to tell. Top Education Opportunities New York has a long history of welcoming immigrants to the country and acclimatizing people to American culture. This has helped the city to develop into one of the best English education centres; with endless opportunities to join study groups, students can take advantage of free English language … Read more