Halloween Fun!

EC Montreal celebrated Halloween today!  Students were trick ‘r treating in the office and we had a wonderful party and costume competition at the lunch break! So many students dressed up!  We were delighted to see how enthusiastic they all were to celebrate Halloween!  Their costumes were so creative! We gave out prizes to the scariest, funniest and cutest! Our Student Ambassadors dressed up as cops and gave out tickets and arrested students who were not respecting EC’s language policy. Every year, the EC Montreal team dresses up in a theme.  This year, we were cowgirls!  We had a lot of fun choosing our outfits and taking group photos! Tonight, the Halloween fun continues at the Rouge nightclub!  Prizes will be given out for best costumes as well!  The grand prize is $500 cash!  Good luck to all our EC Montreal participants!

Scary Movie

EC Montreal’s free activity this week was a day at the movies!  As it is Halloween week, it was very fitting to show a terrifying film to our students! We set up the student lounged into a movie theatre setting, with rows and rows of seats.  We popped some popcorn, dimmed the lights, lit some candles and hit play! The movie we chose was part of the Anne Rice Vampire series, Queen of the Damned.  A tale of a very lonely vampire doomed to live an unmortal eternity.  He meets a group of musicians  and becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires. Participating in these weekly free activities gives our students an opportunity to interact with each other and to practice their listening comprehension skills. The film had something for everyone – thrills, laughs, shocks and sexy music! We had a full house!  Every seat was taken!  The students had a wonderful time and it definitely put everyone in a Halloween mood! The movie definitely inspired some of our students’ costume choices today!  We had vampires and draculas at our Halloween party and costume competition! Happy Halloween from the EC Montreal team!

IELTS Exam in Montreal

The IELTS exam has become a very important exam in Canada as well as in the other countries of the Commonwealth.  Here in Canada, many immigrants and international students must take this test in order to settle down permanently or to register for an anglophone university. Last Saturday one of our EC Montreal employees, Katrin, was one of these candidates!  Read below what she has to say about her personal experience taking the IELTS exam.  You will find many useful tips! “I have been trying to prepare myself for the IELTS test during the past few months. I started with buying IELTS exam preparation books with main focus on the areas that I needed to improve, Vocabulary and Collocations. There exists a large range of test preparation books for the IELTS exam. I personally recommend those edited  by the Cambridge University Press, or Oxford University Press. The preparation books exist for different levels, which allows you to buy a study book adequate for your level or for the level that you want to reach. It is also very useful to get familiar with the testing method. Therefore, I started browsing on the IELTS webpage (http://www.ielts.org/). Besides finding information on the testing procedure, you will find test samples and tests that you can take online. Knowing the structure of the test itself might help in a certain way to avoid mistakes, as you won’t be surprised of what expects you during the test. The IELTS test will measure your English competences on a scale from 1 to 9, from non-user to expert user. Basically, one can distinguish between the General Test module, often needed for immigration purposes, and the Academic Test module, for which most Anglophone universities ask if your mother tongue is not English. Immigration selection in Canada is based on a … Read more

Licia Goncalves: “It was super cool…”.

Licia Goncalves is a mature student from Brazil.  She only attended EC Montreal for a 3-week period, but it was enough time for her to make friends, visit the city and improve her French! Here is what she would like to share with all of you: Bonjour!  My name is Licia Goncalves and I am from Brazil. Coming to study French in Montreal was a really good experience for my life! My goal was to improve my French and also develop some skills which could be useful more my career. Although I only stayed for three weeks, I could satisfy my expectations. Studying at EC Montreal allowed me to better understand the “accent québécois”, meeting a lot of people from other countries and better understand other cultural ideas. It was super cool to have made an international experience, to get to know a different city and a different lifestyle.  Canada is an amazing country and offers so many interesting things to do, so many beautiful places to visit. Félicitations EC pour votre travail, je remercie l’équipe et les profs. Je suis très contente d’être venu ici! Merci!

Soulful Movember!

EC Montreal is currently planning its November calendar of events.  The theme this month is Soulful Movember!  The month of November is a very quiet month.  A lot of us refer to it as a dead month.  This sentiment exists in different parts of the world.  In Mexico, for example, November 2 is called the day of the dead. We want our events, next month, to be more thoughtful and low-key.  The month of November will be dedicated to feelings of warmth, healing, relaxation and comfort.  We will introduce our students to activities that will feed the soul. The first free social activity is a hot chocolate party.  We will serve our students hot chocolate that they can embellish with a variety of fun toppings!  We will have topping stations set up with whipped cream, cocao powder, cinnamon sticks, mini marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles and caramel sauce.  There is nothing more soothing on a cold day than a warm cup of delicious hot chocolate! The following week will be a real feel-good event.  We will hold a Movember fundraising activity.  Our amazing student ambassadors will organize the event.  It will surely include international food stations and other games to help raise funds for Prostate cancer. Movember encourages men to join the movement by growing a moustache for the 30-days of November.  These men start the month clean-shaven, then grow and groom their Mo (slang for moustache), asking friends and colleagues to donate to their efforts. With their new moustaches, these men act as walking and talking billboards, bringing awareness to men’s health issues and prompting conversations wherever they go.  There is nothing that makes you feel better than giving!  EC Montreal English school cares and we want the world to know it! The third week of November, we will be serving Canada’s … Read more

A Wonderful EC Montreal Homestay Experience!

Every time we hear of a great experience from our EC Montreal students or homestay hosts, we want to share it! One of the most recent ones is a comment from our homestay host, Alethia Murray.   She hosted a Japanese student, Yuki, for the entire summer, and after he left, she called to say that it was the best homestay experience she has ever had.  She said Yuki was polite, well-mannered and serious about his English classes at EC Montreal. Actually, Alethia’s exact words were “he’s the son I never had!”  What a wonderful thing to say about someone that came as a total stranger to your home only 2 months ago!!! We are sure Yuki will always remember his homestay experience in Montreal as well as his English learning adventure at EC!

Oktoberfest Celebrations!

Yesterday, EC Montreal celebrated Oktoberfest with our students!  We love to include as many cultural activities and festivities as possible to our free social events calendar!  We want our students to feel at home and we feel it is important to introduce our students to international customs and traditions! We served sausages, potato salad, pretzles and beer!  We played German music and created a very festive atmosphere for our students. About 8% of our student population is German.  That represents 13 students.  They were very happy to participate in our celebration and talked to our students about Oktoberfest festivities back home. A fun time was had by all at EC Montreal!  Prost!

Open House at the Varcity 515!

Last night, EC Montreal held an open house event at our student residence, the Varcity 515.  We held a Happy Hour activity for our students and offered them tours of the residence facilities. We feel the student residence is an excellent option for our clients.  There, they will be centrally located, only 10 minutes away from EC Montreal, in a modern and comfortable apartment! The concept at the Varcity 515 is quite unique!  Students have their own private bedroom among a shared apartment.  They share the living areas; kitchen, dining room, living room and residence common areas. 95% of the residence at the Varcity 515 are university students.  Our international students are always looking for opportunities to interact with English speakers. We had a great time showing off the facilities and using the many amenities available to the residents.  We set up refreshments that the students enjoyed while playing pool, ping-pong and the other table games! We held a raffle and had great prizes!  A weekend get-away at the Varcity 515 was the top prize!  Congratulations to Aline for winning!  We hope she will enjoy her downtown weekend adventure!

Do You Ever Wonder What it’s Like to be a Visual Artist in Canada?

Last Friday EC Montreal students had the chance to participate in a lecture about the Canadian Art Scene. Nathalie Quagliotto, a Toronto based conceptual artist, held this lecture and informed the students about different aspect of being an artist in Canada. After some brain-storming and information in-put, our students could directly ask questions to an expert in this field. Questions like “How artists make money in Canada”, or “Which Canadian Universities offer good art degree programs” were discussed. If you plan to study ESL abroad at EC Montreal, participating in a big variety of free activities will be an efficient component to improve your language skills as well as your knowledge about context-related topics and real-life experiences. You can find out more about Nathalie Quagliotto on her website http://nathaliequagliotto.com/.

The Ghosts of Old Montreal

There is a very unusual tour of Old Montreal called the Ghosts of Old Montreal.  Actors, dressed up as historical characters, act as ghosts telling their story as they guide participants along the streets and sites in the old city. The tour is run by a company called Guidatour.  It is a very interesting way to tour the city and it is highly entertaining!  The ghosts tour is only one of many types of tours offered by this company. As Halloween is quickly approaching, it will be quite fitting for our new EC Montreal students to learn about our beautiful city by following these fantastical ghosts along the haunted streets of Old Montreal!