Learning English in Vancouver: Your Survival Guide

There’s the best place to learn English abroad? With so many amazing destinations available at EC, it’s hard to choose just one – but we’ll try! Today, we’re going to take a look at the basic facts about one of our favourite cities: incredible Vancouver in Canada. Getting To Vancouver Vancouver is considered to have one the best international airports in the world. You will find that every major airline flies to Vancouver, and it’s particularly convenient for flights to and from the west coast of the USA (including Air Canada, British Airways, Air France, United Airlines, among many others). There are three terminals at the airport: the International Terminal, the Domestic Terminal, and the South Terminal. The South Terminal provides access to the seaplane facilities, helicopter operations and a display of small plane airlines that serve destinations in and around Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, as well as mainland British Columbia. [hs_action id=”3586″] Getting Around Vancouver Vancouver has an excellent public transportation system. Their transit system, called TransLink, is a network of buses and other services such as SeaBus and SkyTrain. Translink provides transit services covering over 1800 square kilometers of the Greater Mainland of Vancouver. Honestly, getting around the city is convenient and easily accessible. You can buy a day, month, or student pass which provides use on all buses, SkyTrains and Seabus. If you are a student, you can also apply for the GoCard, which reduces ticket prices. Another way to enjoy the city is to cycle. The streets are very safe, and it’s probably the fastest way. Visit the TransLink page for the cycling maps of the city. Walking is another great option. Vancouver is very safe and is easily accessible on foot. There’s no better way to discover new places and get to know the … Read more

10 Things to do while learning English in Vancouver

  If you’re learning English in Vancouver then there are endless opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city while practising your newly-acquired language skills. To help you get started on your learning adventure, we’ve come up with 10 of our favourite things to do when you’re studying at EC Vancouver! [hs_action id=”3586″] 1. Capilano Suspension Bridge This is by far one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver and one of the most exciting ones. It’s a simple suspension bridge crossing Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver. The bridge is 140 meters long and 70 meters above the river. So if you’re afraid of heights, you might have to think twice before adventuring yourself on going. It’s plenty of fun and quite a wonderful experience if you appreciate nature. There are guided tours through the Story Centre and eco-tours in the rainforest, which are both very interesting.     2. Stanley Park This is Vancouver’s largest and most beloved park. There’s over 400 hectares of natural West Coast rainforest, kilometers of trails, beautiful beaches, places to eat, cultural and historical landmarks such as the First Nations art, totem poles, and many more. You will probably need more than one day to explore this breathtaking place. Fun Fact Stanley Park is bigger than Central Park in New York City – 10% bigger.   3. The Bloedel Floral Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park Welcome to one of Vancouver’s highest points, with more than 200 free-flying exotic birds, and 500 exotic plants and flowers. Located in the enchanting Queen Elizabeth Park, this place is a must see if you are a nature lover. More information at: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/location-hours-and-fees-2.aspx.   4. Van Dusen Botanical Garden Another must see nature hotspot, this garden’s mission is to inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants … Read more

5 Reasons Why Vancouver is One of the Top Cities in the World

In 2016, Vancouver ranked again as the #1 city in North America to live in, and is #5 in the entire world. The quality of life survey is put together by Mercer each year, and ranks cities around the world based on factors from 10 different categories including political and social environment, medical and health, and recreation. Let’s check out why Vancouver ranks so highly. Don’t forget to download our guide to Vancouver if you want to learn more about this amazing city! 1. Recreation Vancouver’s mild climate combined with its incredible geography puts it in the perfect position for many recreational activities. You can go skiing just an hour away or hiking in the mountains and look over the city from above. The city also has many beaches and is famous for Stanley Park with its accompanying seawall, a 30-km path along the water that’s perfect for cycling or a stroll. Yoga and other forms of exercise are popular as the residents are very conscious of their health.   2. Culture If the USA is a melting pot, Canada is a mosaic. People from all over the world come to live in Vancouver and keep their cultural roots, creating an amazing multi-cultural city. Not only can you find many different languages being spoken in the streets, but they also bring their food and artwork with them. Vancouver itself is also rich in history with an appreciation for native art and culture.   3. Environmental Responsibility Already the greenest city in Canada, Vancouver has a goal to become the world’s greenest city by 2020. Their population is already very health-focused and conscious of their environmental footprint leading the government to make changes to make the city as sustainable as possible, already featuring an excellent public transit system and encouraging residents to use … Read more

Whistler Vancouver

The Real Experience in Vancouver: Vancouver like a local (part 2)

One of Vancouverites’ best qualities is that they savor the best their city has to offer, even things you would consider to be more touristic. There are some things that you simply must try if you want to feel like a true local during your stay. [hs_action id=”3586″] 1. Commodore Bowling and Billiards This place is an absolute icon in Vancouver. Connected to another city institution, the Commodore Ballroom, this place opened in 1930 and has operated ever since. It has a delightful, typically-Canadian atmosphere and is very proud to be at the forefront of the new age of Vancouver. Just be sure to get there early during the weekends, especially on a rainy day, because it gets crowded pretty quickly. Open from 11 am until the last guests leave (Saturday to Thursday), and 10 am until closing on Fridays. ADVANCED LEVEL TIP: Join their Amateur Bowling League! You’ll meet residents, speak English, and even make new friends.   2. Thierry Patisserie This popular Vancouver spot evokes classic Parisian cafes and has to die for sweets. From their mouth-watering macarons to their sinfully good liquid chocolate, it’s no wonder it was voted the best dessert place in the city. The place is quite small but that just adds to the charm. Opens from 7 am to midnight during weekdays and from 8 am until midnight on weekends.   3. Grouse Mountain Vancouver residents adore this place, and you won’t have the full local experience before you hit Grouse Mountain. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city, sea, and surrounding mountain with a summit altitude of 4,100 feet. You can ski, do the skyride gondola, visit the wildlife refuge, brave mountain zip-lines – the options are endless.   4. Skiing in Whistler Vancouverites love going to Whistler – it’s probably their … Read more

Seawall Vancouver

The Real Experience in Vancouver: Vancouver like a local (part 1)

One of Vancouverites’ best qualities is that they savor the best their city has to offer, even things you would consider to be more touristic. There are some things that you simply must try if you want to feel like a true local during your stay. [hs_action id=”3586″] 1. Poutine and Japa Dog Poutine and Japa Dog are among the culinary best inventions in Canada. The first one, poutine, is a delicious mix of French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy. The second is even more typical of Vancouver since it was originally created here by Noriki Tamura and his wife. The chain specializes in tasty hot dogs combined with Japanese-style food like yakisoba, teriyaki, and tonkatsu. Try their famous Terimayo with their most popular shaked fries flavor, butter and shoyu. You won’t regret the indulgence!     2. Loving Hut Express Who says vegan food can’t be delicious? Yes, there are loads of great vegan places in the city, but this place is perfect if you want to feel like a local while enjoying delicious vegan burgers. Their most famous burger is the Crispy Chick’n Burger (you’ll swear that it’s real chicken). Try it with their yummy yam fries! INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Order your vegan burger and make small talk while waiting, maybe even ask about the ingredients. They are very friendly!   3. Take a Stroll Along the Seawall Every weekend you’ll see residents casually walking to the Seawall. It’s a 22 km paved pathway that starts at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Coal Harbour, snakes around Stanley Park, and continues along English Bay, False Creek and all the way to Kitsilano beach. You can also choose to bike, run, or roller blade; just be sure to enjoy the beautiful views.     4. … Read more

Autumn Vancouver

What to see and Experience in Vancouver!

  One of the best things to do in Vancouver is to follow the seasons as they change. The city is an explosion of tulips in spring, a mix of orange, yellow and red in autumn, unlimited adventure in summer, and full of lights and festivities in winter. It’s very hard to decide which season is best, and even harder to choose what to do, but here are some of the top things to do during each season. [hs_action id=”3586″] 1. Winter Winter Solstice Lantern Festival  Not many tourists know about this tradition, and it’s one of the world’s oldest. Every December 21st this event celebrates the return of the light after the shortest day of the year. This lovely community event happens simultaneously across five Vancouver neighborhoods, including Yaletown, Chinatown, and Grandville Island. With lanterns filling the room in a labyrinth-like formation, you can walk through and around them while soothing live music plays. It’s not just a beautiful experience, but an inspirational one as well. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Improve your English by doing one of Secret Lantern Society events. Either learn how to make your new lantern or join drumming workshops. It’s entertaining and you can acquire a new skill. VanDusen Garden’s Festival of Lights  This award winning botanical garden transforms into a frozen winter wonderland with over one million colourful lights. The biggest attraction is the magical “Dancing Lights” on Livingston Lake, which goes into action every 30 minutes. You can also enjoy a gnome performance, a shadow puppet show, holiday treats, and much more. You will probably want to come again every year!   Chinese New Year Parade and Festival  Vancouver is home to a large Asian population and this is one of its biggest events. It takes place in Chinatown and it’s a huge celebration … Read more

Bloedel Conservatory

Where to Practice English in Vancouver

Where better to try out your English skills than while experiencing authentic Vancouver culture? This city is famous for being sustainable and health-conscious, giving you many opportunities to make new friends. Join us for English classes at EC Vancouver to live and learn in this stunning city! [hs_action id=”3586″] 1.  Join a Yoga/Pilates Class It may sound odd to some, but Vancouverites (people from Vancouver) just love embracing health and wellness. This is easy to see, especially in the parks where you’ll find loads of people running no matter how cold the weather gets. Pilates and Yoga might be one of the locals’ favorite activities to do. There are very affordable group class packages around Vancouver that you can sign up for, and in summer you can actually try one of the free outdoor yoga classes in the city. From appreciating the beautiful views on Grouse Mountain to enjoying the beaches in downtown of Jack Poole Plaza, there are tons of places to choose to have your classes, and it’s a great way to make local friends and practice your English. BEGINNER LEVEL TIP: If you don’t mind the extra expense, book a private class before joining a group class. It’s a great way to talk about everyday things with a Canadian, and teachers tend to be very patient with their students. Plus, they will be more than curious to know about your own culture.   2.  Visit The Public Library Vancouver is home to the third largest public library system in Canada and has nearly 9.5 million books! The library boasts beautiful architecture inspired by the Romanesque style, and the staff are always very helpful and kind. Visitors can get a 30-day library card and it’s definitely worth having; you’ll simply get lost in the sea of books available, and there’s … Read more

Thinking of Learning English in Vancouver?

  Would you like to go skiing and to the beach all in one day while enjoying a beautiful, friendly city? People from all over the globe come to study English in Vancouver, work, explore, or simply visit, a fact that continually enriches its cultural mix – it’s very common to hear many different languages being spoken as you walk through the streets! The fact that the city is a cultural hub is good news to language students because it makes things easier when it comes to adapting to life in Vancouver. Canadians are known for their friendliness and are always warm and welcoming to new people coming to the country. The English spoken in Vancouver is also known to be one of the clearest, standard accents in the world; that means it’s quite easy to understand and acquire as a student. [hs_action id=”3586″] There’s also an endless list of activities to enjoy here. Hike, bike, zip-line, kayak, or simply take a stroll around one of the many scenic parks. Whether you’re one for going on grand adventures, or prefer to take things easy, there’s always something in Vancouver to suit you. What better way to make friends than to learn, explore, and discover new and exciting people and places?     Canada has a vast range of programs for international students. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, there was an increase of 83% in the international student population in Canada, of which 91% responded to be satisfied with their experience in the country. The main reasons international students seek Canada are: The quality of the Canadian educational system Canada’s reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society Canada’s reputation as a safe country Vancouver is also known for having excellent public transportation, which is slightly overlooked because of … Read more

Movies Filmed in Vancouver

You might think you have never seen much of the city of Vancouver, but you might be familiar with more of this stunning city than you thought. Vancouver is the third most popular city in the world for film locations, just after Hollywood and New York City. Here are some of the most famous movies and TV shows shot at iconic around this beautiful metropolis. If you like what you see, remember to check out our English courses in Vancouver to experience all that this incredible city has to offer. [hs_action id=”3586″] The Twilight Saga Love it or hate it, everyone knows about the famous Twilight Saga! The films are set in Washington State in the USA, but, many scenes were filmed in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Bella’s trip to downtown Seattle was actually shot in downtown Vancouver – her drive there and back is set against the beautiful coastal road from Whistler to the city centre. Flashbacks to both Rosalie’s and Edward’s pasts also show iconic Vancouver landmarks including the Orpheum Theatre and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The X-Files This iconic series, and its 2016 revival, was almost entirely filmed in Vancouver and the areas around it. One important scene in particular was shot at Grouse Mountain, famous for its challenging hikes and beautiful views. In the episode “Ascension”, Fox Mulder attempts to rescue Dana Scully from being abducted by aliens on the top of Skyland Mountain. He nearly falls off of the aerial tram in the process, but manages to get to the top. Skyland Mountain is actually Grouse Mountain, and the tramway Mulder rides is called the Skyride, which offers beautiful views of Vancouver 365 days a year. Supernatural This series is almost exclusively filmed in Vancouver, often re-using recognisable Vancouver monuments in their TV show. One … Read more

Learn About Vancouver|From Mountains to Beaches

Mountains and beaches and sunshine, oh my! With an ideal climate, stunning landscape, and geography for all activities, we are proud to offer English courses in Vancouver, in one of the best cities for quality of life in North America. Vancouver has an extremely diverse population, 52% of residents have a first language that is not English, and it is known for its eco-friendly and health-focused culture. Want to learn more about this beautiful city? Check out our fun infographic below!   Download our new Vancouver Travel Guide for free to learn the top 10 things to do in Vancouver, tips to practise your English in the city, how to enjoy the city like the locals, and much more. Don’t miss it, download it for FREE now! [hs_action id=”3586″]