EC Montreal’s Motivated Team!

I attended a Management conference in Malta last week.  I was asked to present on the success of EC Montreal.  The answer is simple, the success lies in my team.  When you have the right people in the right jobs, everything falls into place and the team can accomplish so much! Our Operations Manager, Renee and our Accommodation Coordinator, Paula, are the two shining stars of the team.  Their great work ethic, sense of teamwork, drive, motivation, energy and positivity are to be admired.  They care about their work and they care about the success of EC. I like to think that I give my team wings and I allow them to fly!  I set the tone of the team and I lead by example.  I give them the training, resources and support they need to perform their roles.  I then have the pleasure to watch them fly and soar their way to success! I am proud of my team! Elisa  

EC Montreal Celebrates the World of Gastronomy this Month!

April has been an exciting month here at EC Montreal.  We are celebrating our Gastronomy programme with a free gastronomy session every week at the school.  The month began with a Gastronomy information session that we coupled with a beach party theme in the student lounge!  We gave our students a taste of what this programme consists of.  The beauty of this programme is that students could get a customized programme based on their particular likes.  We offer chocolate making, pastry making, culinary lessons, wine tasting, beer and food tours, etc… the list goes on and on! The second week, our lovely special projects assistant, Masumi, gave sushi making lessons to our students.  The students had a blast learning how to roll their sushi.  What a delicious and colourful sight to see!  The students learned how easy it can be and anybody can do it!  They were proud of their achievements!! The next gastronomy session was a wine tasting activity.  Students got to sample local Quebec wines and cheeses.  Although our wines do not meet those of European standards, coupled with the right cheese, they are quite tasty!  Our students would agree! The last of the gastronomy session this month is a potluck party!  Toufik, who teaches our Intermediate level English course in Montreal, is helping us organize the whole event!  He is promoting the potluck to all the other levels and will be surprising us with some sort of class competition!  We look forward to tasting foods from all over the world and celebrating all these different and fabulous cuisines! There is always excitement at EC Montreal!  This month has already proven to be educational, enriching and delicious!!

Saying goodbye to one of our EC Montreal student ambassadors

Last Friday was a day that I was hoping would come later rather than sooner. Philipp, one of our EC Montreal student ambassadors finished his course with us, a 10 week English course, that he spent mostly at the upper-intermediate level. He has made many friends and he was genuinely interested in the culture and way of life of Montrealers. I just received a message from him today in which he says:” I miss EC and especially the friends I met there. Thank you again for my 10 unforgettable and awesome weeks!!” Thank you Philipp for your openness and willingness to share and to help others!

Intermediate English afternoon class project at EC Montreal

A few days ago our EC Montreal intermediate class students started an interesting class in their afternoon class: what do students expect from their homestay hosts while they are studying at EC Montreal! So to this end, they invited our accommodation team, Paula and Andrea to answer some questions for them. It was a pleasure to answer their questions. Most of the questions were valid questions from how we choose our families to what was the best and the less fortunate story /experience for our students. They were able to from an idea on how the programme works and what type of students are more suitable for this programme. We are looking forward to have them present their findings and ideas at the new homestays workshop in a weeks’ time!

EC Montreal Building Bridges with Other EC Centres

Our Centre Director, Elisa Gazzola and our Director of Studies, Ana Arroyo, have spent the past week at a Senior Management Conference in Malta.  All the managers at EC had a chance to meet to learn, the share and to bond with one another.  It was a wonderful week building a sense of teamwork between other centres.  The Canadian centres; EC Montreal, EC Toronto and EC Vancouver,  had a valuable opportunity to develop a real sense of Canada pride and to work on strategies to ensure our EC students have an enriching, rewarding and memorable experience on their Canadian adventure.  EC is committed to becoming more customer focused and this was the theme of this year’s conference.  We already feel that we go the extra mile for our students and that we care but we will take this a step even further!  We will be taking more time to gather feedback from our students and to listen to what we can do to make our schools a better place to learn English and French! In addition, EC Montreal and EC Boston, have agreed to join our centres so our students can meet each other!  We will be offering a 3 day trip from Boston to Montreal in late May.  We hope to accomplish a few things by doing this!  We hope to promote EC Montreal’s French programme as it is the only EC centre that teaches French, we hope to build a bigger sense of community among the EC students around the world and we hope to promote Montreal as a great destination to learn!  In addition, we are buidling teawork among our Canadian and USA centres!! It was definitely an amazing conference in beautiful Malta this week!  A special thanks to the team that organized the conference and to … Read more

Our EC Montreal homestays make us proud

It takes a lot of qualities to be a good homestay host for our EC Montreal students. When we are recruiting from hosts we are looking for all those qualities that make a welcoming and attentive host: interest in other cultures, caring, passionate about the programme, etc. Most of or homestay hosts would go the extra mile to make sure they offer the students they are hosting a memorable experience, a true hands on experience in the Canadian culture. An example of such a dedication to the programme is what Joanne does for her students: besides the fact that she takes them all around the city of Montreal- from touristic attractions to restaurants and well hidden Montreal treasures, she also likes to put together on a CD/DVD all the pictures she takes with her students. She brought us one in the office and we were very impressed by this gesture! And the pictures are absolutely beautiful, and they make the perfect gift to offer to a student that is returning home after a language course at EC Montreal: it is small and light but it carries months’ worth of cherished memories! Thank you very much Joanna for doing this and a big thank you to all our homestay hosts for taking such good care of our students!

Student testimonial by Marcela Jacomini in High Intermediate level in English programme

  Marcela first came to EC Montreal in February. She started in Intermediate level in our English programme and has recently moved up to High Intermediate level. Congratulations, Marcela! She studies hard, participates in almost every activity that we offer and has many friends from all over the world. She always has this incredible smile on her face that brightens up the whole room! 🙂  

Business elective

  Some of you might not know that our school offers a business elective course in the afternoon, as part of the 24 or the 30 lessons/week programme. Students at the intermediate English level or higher can participate in this course and take advantage of the special focus: business vocabulary, business presentations and much more. It is a course that gives s lot of insight in the business terminology used in English, a great plus for anyone planning to study in an English university or to work internationally.  So any student that is taking an intermediate level English course is welcome to join! And the teacher for the course is Mary, she has a lot of experience teaching the international business English course!

At the Sugar shack/ Cabane à sucre with EC Montreal

text and pictures by Amabilly Bonacina EC Mntreal student ambasador   “cause I was in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town” Like in the song of Nancy Sinatra, EC Montréal was in a place that was like a small sugar town. Chalet des Érbles, was visited by the students last Thursday, and it was a real Canadian experience. We ate a lot of different foods made with maple syrup and also learned how the process of extracting the maple syrup works.  In my opinion the experience was adorable. Even with a small group we had fun and full stomach.

Montreal’s New Planetarium Opens April 6!

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will open its doors to the public on April 6!  The new high tech, modern and creative facilities have been build right beside Montreal’s biodome.  The cluster of tourist attractions in the east end of Montreal has just grown bigger.  In one day, EC Montreal students can visit the Olympic park, the Botanical Gardens, the Biodome and now the Planetarium!! Space travel may still be out of reach for most of us, but exploring the cosmos in all its visual glory just became possible in Montreal and we are so excited!  We cannot wait to add this to our list of activities available to students in both our adult and junior programmes.  This will definitely add something special and magical to their Montreal experience! The Planetarium’s main attractions are its two high-tech domed theatres, where the many facets of our universe come into clearer focus. The Milky Way Theatre is classic Planetarium fare with the latest high-tech, optomechanical twists, able to reproduce the night sky as it is above Montreal or anywhere else in the world at any time – thankfully, an astronomer is there to narrate us through the complexity. The building itself is pleasing to the senses too, with curving corridors, high-ceilinged darkened theatres and bright open spaces. From outside, its mirrored surfaces seem to blend in with the sky, whatever the weather. Designed to the highest sustainable-building LEED certification, the Planetarium is based on the concept of low-energy use, making great use of natural light, grey water in the bathrooms, and building with a focus on reused, recycled and locally sourced materials.  How cool is that?! Keep an eye out for this new tourist attraction on the next EC Montreal activities calendar!  This is one outing you will not want to miss!!