Astrid Bellmund-Soller: “I like the city and the mentality of the people living here”.

Astrid was a student at EC Montreal 4 years ago!  She is a mature student with a very young and energetic spirit!  Even though Astrid is 62 years young, she fits in so well with our group of students.   We would often find Astrid interacting with her classmates in the student lounge or in the food court at lunch time.  Her smile would always light up the room! Friday was Astrid’s last day at EC Montreal.  Before she left she wanted to share her experience with everyone. I chose this destination because I enjoyed my first stay 4 years ago and this time I wanted to study French.  I like the city and the mentality of the people living here.  The morning classes were the best!  The group, the motivating teachers and being at the right level contributed to this!  My accommodation was also wonderful! I would recommend EC Montreal to a friend! We will miss Astrid!  We hope she will return yet again to continue her studies and her Montreal adventure!  

Stunning Laurentians Tour – A Perfect Day!

Last Sunday, EC Montreal organized a wonderful fall excursion – a full day in the Laurentian mountains!  The trip was sold out – not one empty seat available on the bus!  We had an 8:00 a.m. departure.  We surprised the students with donuts from Tim Hortons and head out to our first stop – an apple orchard in St-Joseph du Lac.  When we arrived at the apple orchard we hopped onto the tractor and received a tour of the vast orchard fields.  The tractor then let us off and we were given 5 pound bags to fill!  We had such a great time going from tree to tree trying to find the nicest apples to pluck!  Once we filled our bags, we made our way back to the bus. The next stop was less than 1000 feet away from the orchard.  We visited a vineyard and winery!  We toured the vineyard and everyone was so surprised to learn that Quebec is such a big producer of wine!  The very enthusiastic guide, Linda, explained to us that as the vineyard is situated in a valley, the humidity level is just right to give the vines the moisture and heat needed to grow.  She went over the different varieties of grapes they grow and the types of wine they produce.  We then made our way inside the winery for our tastings.  We sampled a total of 8 wines; whites, reds, rosées, ice wines, ports and dessert wines.  The students were surprised to discover that Quebec wine is not so bad!  Many purchased bottles of wine to take back  home as souvenirs! We got back on the bus and made our way to Saint-Sauveur village.  This town is a ski resort.  The town is surrounded by ski hills and country shops!  This village is … Read more

September is Wellness Month at EC!

The month of September was labelled wellness month for the entire EC group.  Each EC centre did something at their centres for their staff and students to promote good health, fitness and nutrition. At EC Montreal we believe that being fit is the first step to being well.  We organized a zumba exercise class for our staff and students.  We had a professional instructor come in full of energy and enthusiasm to lead the lesson.  We had a full house!  Over 20 employees and students participated. We all had a wonderful time following along and moving to great music! As September is apple season in Quebec, we had baskets of apples available to everyone all month long!  An apple a day is meant to keep the doctor away… It is wonderful working for an organization like EC that cares about the well-being of its people!

Pronunciation Clinics

Do you want to focus on your pronunciation in English or French? Come to participate in our pronunciation clinics! On Friday, September 27, EC students have the chance to work with one of our teachers on their pronunciation in French. This special lesson on Friday afternoon  is one of many free academic extras offered at EC Montreal. If you plan to study FSL Abroad at EC Montreal, you will be able to practice French and English by participating in these free afternoon academic activities. Whether it is a Lecture, a movie afternoon or a French/ English for work preparation clinic – all these activities will allow you to improve your language in addition to your courses!

Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens is the second largest garden in the world!  No matter what time of year it is, the botanical gardens are open to visitors.  Tourists and Montealers love to spend a day walking around the gorgeous and meticulously kept grounds. Autumn is  a special time of year for the botanical gardens.  This time of year you will find the lantern festival!  Among the plants, flowers and bushes, you will find the most spectacular Chinese lanterns.  The lanterns float on the man-made ponds or hang from the majestic trees throughout the gardens. The lantern festival begins mid-September and goes on until November 3.  A visit to the gardens would not be complete without taking a stroll through the pumpkin patch and checking out the decorated pumpkins entered into the yearly competition. Look for the lantern festival on the October EC Montreal activity calendar.  Participating in this EC Montreal evening activity is a must!  It will surely be a magical evening in Montreal!

Hockey Street Festival!

On October 1, EC Montreal will be taking its students to the Quartier des Spectacles to participate in the NHL face-off, a wonderful hockey street festival!  It will be a day filled with lots of performances and surprises! It’s a street festival organized by the NHL to pump up the volume and excitement around the opening game of the hockey season for the Canadiens that night, which features the Habs battling the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre. The musical group Kings of Leon will be the star attraction at the Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off! Festivities will kick off at 3 p.m. with hockey-related things, like slapshot contests and an all-female indie Toronto band The Beaches play at 4:30  The Grammy Award-winning rockers Kings of Leon will perform at 6:30. The Nashville band, will be on at around 7:10, just before the first puck drop at the Bell Centre. When the puck drops you’ll be able to watch the game on giant video screens set up in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, which will run the French-language RDS broadcast of the game.  In a unique spirit of cooperation between two rival networks (and two cultures), the feed will then switch over to CBC, the English speaking network, at the first intermission to show Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry. During the second intermission, engagé Montreal hip-hop trio Loco Locass will perform. “NHL Face-Off is a celebration of our season,” said NHL chief marketing officer Brian Jennings. “We’ll have a fan festival that really celebrates the sport of hockey. It’s fun, it’s youthful, it’s social. We want people to get together and have a positive shared experience around the sport of hockey.”

Hitachi Students Present…

EC Montreal has been hosting 3 newly hired employees at the Hitachi group in Japan since July 2, 2013.  Yuki, Akira and Naoki are 3 of the most hardworking students we have ever met! They have been taking our Intensive 30 Lessons per week programme as well as customized lessons every Friday afternoon.  Sometimes when we are locking up the school in the early evening, they are still hard at work in one of our empty classrooms. During their stay in Montreal, they had to prepare for a presentation they will be participating in when they begin their employment with Hitachi.  Their presentation included research conducted through surveys, internet searches and visiting a Montreal car dealership. Today was their last day at EC Montreal.  They wanted to share their presentation with us.  They were a little nervous, however, they did a fabulous job presenting their findings. Their private instructor, Stephanie, has been coaching them and assisting them with all their preparations.  You can tell that she was very proud of their achievements! We gave them a well deserved applause and presented them with a small souvenir so they can remember their time in Montreal! We will miss Yuki, Akira and Naoki!  We wish them a lot of success in their new roles with Hitachi!

Caméline Chantre: “I will come back as soon as possible…”

Cameline Chantre represents an EC Montreal achievement!  Let me explain.  Caméline started her journey at EC Montreal on July 15.  She is a young lady from France who booked a 10-week stay.  During her first week, we received her arrival survey results where she indicated that she was not happy so far because she was feeling lonely.  This comment was like a shot to my heart.  At EC Montreal, the customer experience is extremely important to us.  We go out of our way to ensure our students have a positive and pleasant time and feel good about their decision to choose Montreal as a destination to learn. I personally met with Cameline to see what we could do for her.  She explained that as she was living with family members off the island of Montreal in an area called Nun’s Island, she was feeling lonely.  She also did not feel comfortable going out on EC evening activities as she did not want to travel home alone. I told her that we actually had homestay hosts living on Nun’s Island and we would be happy to introduce her to the students living there.  I also spoke with our activity leader and told him all about Cameline’s hesitations and to take special care of her.  I asked him to introduce her to many students. I was delighted to see Cameline participating in all of EC Montreal’s activities from that moment on!  It was amazing to see her smiling in all the group pictures taken by our activities staff. Today is Cameline’s last day at EC Montreal.  She took the time to write a wonderful testimonial.  Here is what she had to say: I came here to improve my English and it’s what I’ve done thanks to you!  I was able to speak with … Read more

Gennaro Rimola: “I wanted to learn French & English…”

What a sad day to say goodbye to such a sweet young man!  Gennaro is an Italian living in Germany.  He has been studying at EC Montreal for 3 month!  His enthusiasm and great attitude will be sorely missed!  Gennaro was present at every activity we offered with a huge smile on his face.  It was always such a pleasure to chat with him and help him practice his language skills.  He told us he would be busy in Germany for the next 2 years but he definitely plans to come back to study with us soon! Here is what Gennaro would like to share with all of you: I chose EC Montreal because I wanted to learn French & English.  In Montreal everybody speaks both languages.  I learned English and French and met a lot of new people.  I think that I am now fluent in English.  I really enjoyed the school activities and the excursions.  My favorite one was the trip to Toronto!  I liked the system used by my teachers.  My homestay family was very nice.  I was so lucky to have been placed there.  I would recommend EC Montreal to a friend.  My new friends come from many different countries like France, Germany, Colombia, Brazil, Hungary, Austria and Switzerland.  I will always remember my friends, my teachers and the staff of the school and of course the beautiful city of Montreal!!

Jeans, Jeans, Jeans!

There is a brand new show on the Slice Network called Only in Montreal.  Every week they showcase something special that you can find in Montreal.  Even a proud Montrealer like me is surprised to learn something new and cool about our city! The other night they featured a very cool store in Montreal called Jeans, Jeans, Jeans.  The owner of this establishment is referred to as Dr. Denim.  He hires a team of employees who know exactly what the client needs just by looking at them!  Their star employee is a guy named Leroy.  His mission is to see everyone who walks out the store with the most flattering pair of jeans! They have all the premium denims in brand names along with tops and jackets. If you need them, there are also discounted $10 to $25 racks. As a special service, they will hem or alter them on the spot for free. Among the many brands they carry are: – Buffalo – Deisel – Jack and Jones – Guess jeans – Levis – Lucky Seven – Mavi – Mexx – Parasuco – Silver – True Religion Look for an outing at Jeans, Jeans, Jeans on the EC Montreal October calendar of events! Jeans, Jeans, Jeans is located at 5575 Casgrain St., corner: St-Viateur.