EC Montreal Alumni Story: Neil Shah

Neil studied French at EC Montreal from February to October and is currently working at Target in Montreal. Here is what he wants to share with everyone: I have been in school for 6 months and it was a pleasure being a student at EC. I studied French and the teachers are very helpful in improving my language skills, vocabulary, etc. Improving my French was my objective and the teachers helped me a lot. Even the non-teaching staff offers great support to encourage students in learning even in extra activities like festivals, trips to Toronto, Quebec city. Even though I didn’t go on all trips, I heard great things about them from others.  I have already recommended my friends about the school and I am hoping that they will join to study French or English. My new friends came from 3-4 countries like Brazil, Swiss and some Spanish speaking countries. For sure, I missed some company from India, but nevertheless, it was a pleasure meeting new friends. Even  though some are gone back to their countries, we are still in touch via ‘facebook‘ and ‘whatsapp.’  I’ll remember all the fun, various activities every Wednesday, teachers, friends and last but not least the “BEST STAFF MEMBERS.” I’ll miss the school and special thanks to Renee, Paula, Elisa, Ana, Katrin, Sarah and Toufik for helping and being supportive all the time. Thanks & regards, Neil

Christmas Village at the Olympic Park!

On December 1, starting at 2 p.m., the Christmas Village at the Olympic park will be unveiled.  It is located right behind the Pie-IX metro station. You can enjoy free skating on the refrigerated outdoor skating rink and participate in other types of activities such as sleigh rides and concerts. Guests will also help decorate the massive 65 foot Olympic Park tree!  The largest natural Christmas tree in Montreal!  You can decorate the tree with none other than Santa Claus for a small $2 donation.  All the proceeds will be donated to La Frimousse, a toy lending organization.  Guests can also donate new toys that will be distributed to the needy this holiday season. The event will end with a spectacular lighting of the Christmas tree! Please join EC Montreal on December 1st at the Olympic Park for this very festive and charitable event!

The First Snow!

EC Montreal students were in for a real treat this morning!  They woke up to a snowy Montreal!  The city looked like it was covered in a white blanket with diamond jewels!  It was a magical sight! This morning’s event was a much anticipated one!  Our students have been saying for weeks how they can’t wait to see snow and experience a real snow fall! With every step they took to get to school today, they heard the lovely sound of the snow crunching underfoot!  They took the time to stop and cup their very first snowball! The cameras and cell phones were out and everyone made sure to snap as many photos as possible to capture this very special moment.  Many posted pictures on facebook to show their loved ones back home the beauty of a snowy, magical Montreal! Happy snow day to all!

Joyful December!

EC Montreal’s December calendar of events is ready!  The theme is Joyful December!  What a festive month we have to look forward to with our students!  The first week of December will include a tree-trimming party and our annual charity bake sale!  This year marks the 10th anniversary of this annual bake sale! We will have Christmas music playing in the background and we will have wonderful holiday snacks available for our students while they help us decorate their student lounge!  Let’s hope the candycanes make it to the tree this year! The following week we will have our annual gingerbread house making contest.  We will see which group of students creates the most impressive house!  On Friday the 13th we will have our annual staff and student Christmas party!  Our student ambassadors are busy helping us sell tickets to the party!  We look forward to celebrating the holiday season with all our teachers, students and staff!  The party will be held at Atti restaurant and will include a DJ, dancing, karaoke, a buffet dinner, drinks, a sweet table and door prizes! The next week we will show a holiday movie in the student lounge!  There are so many wonderful Christmas movies it will be hard to pick one!  There is nothing more cozy than dimming the lights, popping some popcorn and playing a cheerful holiday movie! The evenings will also be festive with outings to a chocolate restaurant; Juliette & Chocolat, a trip to the skating rink and tickets to the nutcracker ballet. We will also be running a 1-day trip to Ottawa on December 14. We look forward to a very joyful December at EC Montreal!  We hope it will snow so it can be an even more magical experience for our students!!

The Spirit of Giving!

The spirit of giving is alive and well at EC Montreal!  EC Montreal has an annual food and toy drive for CTV, a local television network.  The non-perishable food items and toys are distributed to the needy of the Montreal community during the holiday season. There are 2 large boxes set up in the EC Montreal reception area.  We are ready to start receiving donations!!  Again this year we will hold a classroom competition to see which class donates the most items.  We will be keeping score in the office.  The classroom who donates the most items will be rewarded with a very sweet prize! EC Montreal cares about its local community and we want our students to be part of our charitable efforts.  The holiday season is our favorite time of year because of all the good we do with our Shriner’s Hospital charity bake sale and the food drive. EC cares!  We hope you can join us in our efforts!

Canada’s #1 Comfort Food!

EC Montreal held another great Soulful November activity today – we had the students make grilled cheese sandwiches!  The month of November is all about feeding the soul and there is nothing more soothing than indulging in Canada’s number 1 comfort food! The grill was set up with all the necessary ingredients and students took turns flipping the bread with the gooey melted cheese.  The students enjoyed the warm sandwiches on a very cold November day in Montreal! EC Montreal will end the month with a wonderfully relaxing yoga class.  The perfect end to our soulful November month!

Rafael Schnewlin: “I felt warm since the first day I arrived…”

Rafael Schnewlin has been studying French at EC Montreal since September 16, 2013.  Friday will be his last day with us.  Rafael has been such a joy to have around!  He will be sorely missed.  He couldn’t leave us without sharing his comments with all of you! Hi, I am Rafael from Switzerland. Some people asked me the question why Swiss people would come overseas to learn French if they could do the same thing in their own country or in France. For me personally, I was looking for some exciting language adventure which is what I found here in Montreal! Montreal is very different from European cities, very multicultural and people are open-minded and very welcoming. I felt warm since the first day I arrived! I am happy with my progress in French and I could reach my study goal thanks to my teachers who created the lessons in a very dynamic way and didn’t only stick to the book but also used other material. I enjoyed the interactive activities in class which gave me a chance to apply the recently learned grammar aspects. EC Montreal brings people together and most importantly people who don’t know each other and who are from different cultures: The social and academic activities in school helped me to merge since Day One in a very friendly student life. After moving from my Homestay family – which I really liked by the way – to the 515 Residence, where I could enjoy all aspects of international students life: cooking together, spending time in the common area, playing pool, having parties made me have an awesome time here! Rafael Schnewlin

Meet our Homestay Host Anastasia Clement!

Anastasia and her daughter Hectoria have been hosting students for EC Montreal since 2011. Their apartment is located in a nice residential area. There is a park right behind their house and the bike lanes to St-Laurent River and Canal Lachine are close by. Here is what she would like to share with all of you: “Dear student, welcome to my house! I am easy-going, patient, kind, compassionate and generous. I love to laugh and smile. I love it when people are happy and to put a smile on their faces. It is easy for me to adopt different situations and to be comfortable with new people with different cultures and experiences. I can’t wait to have you over!” Anastasia

Need to Take the IELTS Test? Come to Study in our Higher Score Exam Preparation Course!

The IELTS Test 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. This is why more and more students chose to study in the Higher Score IELTS Exam preparation course at EC Montreal. Being well-prepared for the test, helps you of course to score higher in the exam. In this week’s focus group, 10 students discussed the efficiency of this course offered at EC Montreal. The aim of this focus group is to find out how the Higher Score Exam preparation IELTS course has helped students to improve their English skills, to prepare themselves for the IELTS exams as well as to get feedback on the quality of the course (teaching method, teachers, etc.) offered at EC Montreal. While having some cake and refreshments, interesting opinions could be shared. The survey brought up an outstanding result:   –          9 out of 10 students think that the Higher Score IELTS Exam Preparation course makes them familiar with the IELTS testing method. –          9 out of 10 students strongly agree that their teachers are qualified and successfully helped them to reach their goal. –          9 out of 10 students agree that the Higher Score IELTS Exam Preparation course offered at EC Montreal helps them to improve their English language skills. Nelba, a student from Mexico, pointed out: “The teaching method of the EC IELTS Exam Preparation course is divided in four steps. Each day of the week focusses on a different skill: On Monday’s we would usually practice reading, on Tuesdays Writing, and Wednesdays Listening and on Thursdays Speaking. Each Friday we simulate an exam situation for which we can prepare … Read more

Meet Katie Noonan!

EC Montreal is pleased to introduce you to Katie Noonon, our new English teacher! Here is what she would like to share with all of you: After graduating from University, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Through my time teaching in Toronto, I discovered that I had a passion for teaching English.  I love teaching English because I am able to communicate with students from all over the world, and am able to learn new things about different cultures. I am always thinking of new and creative activities for my lessons, and I strive to make the classroom a fun and enriching environment. I have recently moved to Montreal, and I am looking forward to exploring this beautiful city. Living in Montreal has given me the opportunity to meet new people, and have new experiences. I look forward to exploring the vintage shops in Mont Royal, walking around in old Montreal and going to the many festivals Montreal has to offer.