6 Types of Students You Meet Studying Abroad

Are you getting ready for your first study abroad and wondering who you’ll meet? Or have you already finished your course and are nostalgic about your #ecexperience? Let’s check out the types of students at every study abroad. Which one are you? Tell us in a comment below! The Talkative One They make friends with everyone almost immediately – including the teachers. When they’re not talking to their many friends from class, they can be found on their phone, video chatting with friends and family back home. Bonus: The Talkative One is the perfect partner if you’re looking to practise your speaking skills.  The Party Animal The Party Animal is usually very outgoing and knows all the best places to be and coolest things to do in the city, and host the most awesome parties in their residence. Bonus: If YOU are the Party Animal, try organising an International Food night with your friends! Invite fellow students from different countries to dinner, with each person bringing a typical dish from their country.  The Know-It-All You never have a chance to talk in class because they answer every. single. question. Don’t worry about it, though – your teacher will make sure everyone gets time to talk and participate! The Studious One You’ll always see them in the library or at their desk, and they spend more time at home studying than out partying.  Whether they’re taking an Academic English course or need to ace that Cambridge Exam, they’re on a serious mission to improve their language level and are very focused their school work. Bonus: The Studious One is the perfect friend to spend time with if you need to get serious about studying. The Lazy One This person comes to class but might ‘forget’ to do their homework more often than the rest of you. They usually spend a lot of time with students from their home country and … Read more

Learn English in the UK

EC 25 | The Move to Brighton

There’s an old proverb that states ‘it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a might ocean’. While that might be true for some, in the EC family we know that the ocean is exactly where you need to be – because that’s where the excitement lives. It was with this mindset that in 2002, we made the giant leap from Malta over to the beautiful seaside town of Brighton in England. We knew that moving from the pond into the wide ‘UK’ ocean would mean facing a whole new set of challenges – but challenges are precisely what allow us to learn and grow in life. Now our students could learn English in the UK at EC Brighton – the very place where the language was born!     [hs_action id=”2771″]

EC Turns 25!

Get your party hats ready, because this year marks EC English Language Centres’ 25th birthday! We all know that a lot can happen in 25 years. As humans, we are born, learn to walk, talk, and run. We meet new people and create friendships that last a lifetime. We face challenges, learn from them, achieve great things, and then aim even higher. EC’s story is no different from your own. Ever since opening out first school in Malta in 1991, we’ve dreamt big, brought people together from all over the world, and taught them the language they need to broaden cultural, educational, and intellectual horizons. Join us as the EC story unfolds in a post-by-post journey across 5 countries and 25 years of teaching success.     [hs_action id=”2771″]

English Study Tips

4 Exam Tips to Keep you Calm

Exams – simply looking at the word can inspire panic in even the most seasoned of students. Luckily, there are some great tips and tricks for boosting your confidence ahead of an important test or exam. Ready? Here we go.   Plan it out When an exam is just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to use your time wisely. Avoid leaving everything to the last minute by making a study schedule; do your best to revise for at least 1 hour a day, without distractions like Facebook or Instagram hanging around. If you plan on studying for a longer period of time, remember to take regular breaks to avoid feeling stressed out and fatigued.   Form a Study Group Studying doesn’t have to be boring or lonely. Get together with a few like-minded friends and work towards exam success together. This type of team work provides support, motivation, and the chance to help each other to understand more difficult topics. It’s also a fantastic way to make memories with your EC family!   Light it up   This tip is just perfect for visual learners – use different coloured pens and highlighters to help you remember essential information. Don’t go too crazy, though!   Don’t panic   This might seem obvious, but it’s definitely worth remembering. Panic clouds the mind and can cause students to forget key information – so make sure that you get enough sleep (around 8 hours a night) and always take the time to unwind before and after an exam. You deserve it! Visit our EC English Language Centres website to find out more about our English courses. [hs_action id=”2558″]

Brighton Beach

Brighton Named One of World’s Top Cities

If you have never been to Brighton, 2016 is a great time to go. You don’t need to take our word for it or the views of the students at our Brighton English school, this is the opinion of millions of users on the massive travel website TripAdvisor.com. The site recently announced what it considers the world’s leading destinations for 2016, based on positive feedback and reviews of categories including attractions, restaurants and accommodation from the TripAdvisor community. Brighton was ranked the sixth best holiday location in the world and the only city in Britain to make it into TripAdvisor’s top ten destinations. According to TripAdvisor: “Londoners have been traveling to Brighton for beach getaways ever since the railway arrived here in 1841. The pebbled beach, Brighton Pier’s amusement arcade and the Royal Pavilion are the main sights, but you’ll also find hundreds of pubs and clubs catering to an energetic crowd.” Brighton is only 130 km from London, half an hour from Gatwick Airport by train and approximately 2 hours from Heathrow Airport – you have no excuse! Top Five Things to do in Brighton   1. Visit Royal Pavilion This much loved landmark is easily Brighton’s most famous building. The Oriental-style pavilion has architecture you would expect to see in India more than on the south coast of England. 2. Explore North Laine Artists, bohemians and culture-lovers must come here. This area is full of unique boutiques, theatres, cafes and galleries. 3. Play games on the Pier Buy an ice-cream or some traditional Brighton Rock, play the penny arcades, visit the funfair and be amazed at the bravery of the local seagulls. 4. Walk the Seafront The city’s seafront offers miles of entertainment and activities. Enjoy the architecture and sea views, stop for a drink at a traditional … Read more

Collocations: do you know what they mean?

For the past few weeks, our EC English Language Centres blog has been covering a number topics to help you increase your vocabulary while studying English around the world. Today it’s time for a closer look at the group of words known as “Collocations”. Ready? Of course you are! [hs_action id=”2330″] Collocations What is a collocation? You might have come across this word during an English class; a collocation is the combination of two or more words which just sound ‘right’ when used by native speakers. If you ask an English-speaker why they use those words together, there’s a good chance that they won’t know the answer! Let’s look at some examples to understand what a collocation is.   Tired of What’s wrong with this sleepy sheep? Well, insomnia is a common sleep problem. People who have insomnia have trouble falling asleep at night. As a result, they get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. When you are tired of something, you are bored because something has been happening repeatedly for too long. E.g. I’m so tired of doing the same thing every day. I need a change of pace. Note: When a health problem has been recognised and named, usually by a doctor, it has been diagnosed. E.g. The doctor diagnosed her with a bad case of chicken pox. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of collocations in the English language. Here are some of the most common used with examples.     Now that you know a bit more about collocations, you can review other topics like Homonyms, Homophones and Tongue Twisters,or you can take the next step and download for FREE our complete Vocabulary eBook, where you will finds all these topics, plenty of examples, exercises and much more! [hs_action id=”2330″]

Choosing a Language School – Where to stay when learning English abroad?

Most schools offer a variety of accommodation options. Choosing a place to stay depends on your lifestyle and budget, but you should think about it carefully as it is an important part of your learning process, and an opportunity to meet new people and have unique experiences. That’s why it is very important to ask the school representative: What accommodations do you offer? [hs_action id=”1321″] Here are the four main accommodation options that may be available to you: Living with a Host Family  Staying in a room in a local home is a great way to absorb a different culture and gain more exposure to English as spoken by native speakers. You will witness your hosts’ everyday life, and you will taste their home-cooked food. You will be welcomed into a comforting home, with the choice of a single or shared room, and an ensuite or shared bathroom. Usually you will be asked questions before being assigned a host family. Make sure you let your school know if you are allergic to any pets or have certain dietary requirements, so that they can place you in the ideal home. Student Residence Living with other students is great if you crave an active social life. You may have a single room or a shared room, but you will share facilities such as the kitchen and lounge area with other students staying in the same residence. This is a great opportunity to talk about your lessons, make plans to go out, and meet students who you may not have had a chance to speak to at school. Apartment If you prefer your independence and privacy, your school should be able to help you find an apartment of your own or to share with friends. This is a great way to feel comfortable … Read more

EC students with certificates

Choosing a Language School – Can your School Guarantee Success?

The main reason you go to a language school is to improve your English and become a confident speaker, maybe even pass an exam and gain an internationally recognised qualification. Before you choose a course, you should find out how a school plans to get you where you want to be! Great teaching, monitoring and support can make a big difference. Before booking a course, you should ask the school : How can you guarantee my success? Here is what you need to know: A good school should be dedicated to your academic success. By providing support and guidance from the beginning of your language course until the day you leave, teachers should monitor your progress to ensure that you make significant improvement in your fluency. [hs_action id=”1321″] On your first day of school, you should sit for a placement test which assesses your aptitude in the four language skills; reading, writing, listening and speaking. The purpose of this test is to determine your level of fluency and place you into a class with other students of the same proficiency level. There are six levels of proficiency outlined by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference), which is the standard used by most accredited schools: Basic User A1: Beginner You can introduce yourself and you have a basic knowledge of vocabulary and simple grammar. A2: Elementary You can invite someone somewhere, talk about your past, and understand most conversations when spoken slowly and clearly. Independent User B1: Intermediate You are able to communicate easily on everyday matters, but with a limited range of expression. B2: Upper Intermediate You can use the language with confidence but with noticeable lapses in accuracy and fluency. Proficient User C1: Advanced You can read and write accurately with few errors, you can understand most academic tests and lectures. C2: Proficiency You have … Read more

World Environment Day 2015

Celebrating EC’s Greenest Destinations   Happy World Environment Day! Today, we want to celebrate EC’s greenest destinations. Take a look at our infographic to learn what makes a city green, discover our EC cities’ environmental initiatives, as well as interesting facts and ‘green goals’.   [hs_action id=”946″]

Choosing a language school – Asking about social programmes

  Going abroad to learn English is a unique experience and there’s more to taking an English course than just lessons. What you do after school plays a big part in your trip. Participation in  social activities is an important part of being a student and a good activity programme really adds value to a study-abroad course. Outside of the classroom, your diary should be full of exciting social events and excursions as you explore your destination. So make sure you ask the school: Do you offer a social programme? Whether you enjoy sightseeing, sports, the arts, shopping or just relaxing, a school should offer a varied activity programme of social activities throughout your stay. Check to see if there is something for you to do every day if you choose to. This is particularly important for new arrivals because most students take a course alone and don’t know anyone else on their first day. Social interaction on these programmes allows you to mix with other students from all over the world, practise your English and, importantly, make new friends. Social bonds are improved when people have fun together -it’s a great way to start building relationships. A fun programme will have a positive impact on your stay and make you happier. And as you may know, it’s easier to learn when we are happy! Schools should offer a good range of free activities that allow you to get the best out of your destination. There should also be the option to take part in additional paid activities organised by the school, for example, excursions to places of interest, weekend day trips or even weekends away. The good thing about these, especially if you are only abroad for a short period of time, is that the school organises everything, so … Read more