Safety First!

EC Montreal is set to reopen on August 31, 2020.  We are so excited to welcome our students back!  We have missed them so much!  We cannot, however, ignore the fact that we are still living in uncertain times and the threat of the covid-19 virus is real.  EC is an organization that cares and our priority has and always will be the well-being of our students and staff.  For this reason, our reopen will be different from what our students are used to. The most important safety feature is coming back gradually and to a blended learning format.  This means that part of the students’ lessons will be face to face and the other portion will be online.  This is to limit the physical time spent at the school and commuting by public transportation.  This is also to ensure that our staff has the time to thoroughly clean the classrooms and reception area. Our students will also notice that students will only have access to their assigned classroom and restrooms.  All common areas will be closed off to discourage social gatherings.  This means that welcome talks, presentations and orientation sessions will remain online to avoid large groups of students in the classroom or student lounge.  EC Montreal will not offer any in person social events.  Instead, we will offer online social and academic events.  We will also be providing students with recommended tourist attractions that have a safety protocol and where social distancing can be practiced. When you enter the building, EC Montreal staff will be checking students’ temperatures.  If anyone tests above 37,2 degrees, they will be asked to go home.  At the entrance there will be a hand sanitizer station where students will be asked to clean their hands with a reminder to also wear a mask.  … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

Today is a raining and cloudy day in Montreal and when the weather is grey, we feel like soup.  So, this week’s recipe of the day is one of my favorite soups, Tortilla soup!  I learned how to make this soup for my husband.  I tried it for the first time in Tasco, Mexico in a beautiful little restaurant overlooking the city.  It was so delicious that I wanted to learn how to make it so we can enjoy it whenever we like. As you know, EC Montreal has a gastronomy programme.  This is our plus programme that compliments our General English or General French programme beautifully.  EC Montreal works with a lot of different gastronomy vendors; Ateliers et Saveurs, Mezzaluna, Appetite for Books, the Lincoln Apartment Bakery and Chef en vous are among the best cooking schools in the city and we are proud to work with them. Appetite for Books often hosts international cooking lessons where they feature cuisines from different countries.  Mexican cuisine is very popular and are students love learning how to make these beautiful and colourful dishes! I taught my work colleague and dear friend, Renee, how to make Tortilla Soup.  She loved it the first time she tried it and wanted to learn how to make it for her family.  Now, I am happy to share my version of Tortilla Soup with all of you.  For this recipe you will need: 1 package of corn tortilla 2 litres of chicken stock 1 whole rotisserie chicken 6 large jalapenos 1 large can of diced tomatoes 1 large white onion 1 large red onion 2 cloves of garlic cilantro 1 large avocado 1/2 cup of corn oil 3 limes Heat up corn oil.  Cut tortilla into thin strips.  Fry the tortilla strips until golden brown.  Remove … Read more

Choose Canada! Choose EC!

We are living very strange and stressful times.  We are hopeful that we will get through this and we will look back at this moment as just a moment in history.  We are also confident that our industry is here to stay.  Now more than ever, given the current global economic situation, many people are looking into improving their skills and focusing on learning something new for the next chapter of their lives.  We have heard of many business around the world that have unfortunately closed because of the pandemic.  We have also heard that there have been a lot more students applying to university and there are only so many spaces available in each programme.  There will be a lot of students on waiting lists. One of the main requirements for university admissions is proficiency in English.  This is where EC can help!  Whether you are in a position to travel to EC Montreal or you have time to take some online lessons, EC can help you achieve your linguistic goals.  We can help you prepare for your IELTS exam and give you an advantage when applying to the university of your choice. Canada has shown that they are one of the leading countries in dealing with the covid-19 virus.  They have put many guidelines in place to keep the public safe.  They have also done so much to help us through this time financially.  The Canadian government has offered funding to business, individuals, students and seniors.  This is to ensure that the economy keeps going and we all have disposable income to keep spending and investing in ourselves. The Canadian government has also made international students essential travellers.  If you are a study permit holder, you can enter the country at any time as long as you have … Read more

La Ronde is Reopening on July 25!

One of our favourite activities to enjoy and tourist attractions we most recommend to our EC Montreal students is La Ronde amusement park.  It usually opens to the public sometime in May but because of the pandemic, they have been closed during this time.  Keeping the public safe has been everyone’s priority these past months.  We are excited to announce that La Ronde will be reopening on July 25!  There will be safety guidelines that everyone must abide by, including social distancing and wearing a mask.  In addition, there will be a limited number of guests permitted. La Ronde is a Six Flags amusement park and is located on the man-made island of Ste-Helene.  It is accessible by public transportation and from the park, you can get a spectacular view of the city of Montreal!  While you are on the island, you can explore the other amazing tourist attractions found there.  There is the Montreal Casino, the Biosphere, which is a water museum dedicated to the teachings of the environment and climate change.  There is also the Jean Drapeau park and beach.  In addition, you can find the F1 circuit for the Grand Prix race.  People use the circuit as a cycling, running or rollerblading path. La Ronde has hundreds of rides available for all different kinds of people, from the extreme sport enthusiasts to the more chill individuals.  They have a wooden roller coaster called the Monster that is one of the largest roller coasters in North America! In addition to the rides, there are many games, restaurants and lounge type grounds to enjoy. If you do plan to visit the amusement park, please remember that face masks are mandatory on public transportation and in the park.  If you don’t have a mask, they will not let you inside.  … Read more

We Can’t Wait to Welcome You Back!

EC Montreal has announced a reopening date of August 31. We are so excited to welcome our students back to school! We have missed teaching them face to face. We have already explained that EC will be implementing safety protocols to keep both our students and staff safe. We will be ensuring that physical distancing is possible in and outside of the classroom. We will also be cleaning the school throughout the day and will have hand sanitizers and wipes available in all the classrooms. In addition, all staff will be wearing both masks and protective shields and students will be required to wear masks. This is actually a city mandate as wearing a mask in all indoor spaces is now a requirement. We will be discouraging social gatherings and will instead be offering our students suggested activities and places to explore in the city of Montreal! All new arrivals into the country are required, by law, to quarantine for a 14-day period. They will be required to use a designated hotel that is able to accommodate quarantine guests. Languages Canada has compiled a list of suggested hotels and all the options are affordable, include meal plans and transfer services. Students will also be required to have medical insurance to be granted entry into the country. After this quarantine period has ended, students can choose to stay at any of our EC Montreal accommodation options. We offer three different types of homestay; Roomstay, Half-Board and Full-Board options. In addition, we work with Trylon apartments and La Marq student residence. The residence has shared their safety protocols with us and we can recommend this accommodation to all our students with confidence. The apartments have been deep cleaned and painted as well. Common areas will only be available to limited users, respecting … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday is an image of the African Dance lessons we held at EC Montreal. Every July, Montreal hosts an annual festival called “Nuits d’Afrique”. The festival consists of musical and dance performances showcasing Africa’s diverse traditions and rich culture. At EC Montreal, we like to give our students a taste of these wonderful festivals taking place in the city. We invited one of the festival performers to give a free dance lesson to our students. We danced traditional movements of West Africa. It was a lot of fun and an excellent work out! Making students feel good about their decision in choosing Montreal is one of our priorities at EC Montreal. We want them to take advantage of all the wonderful festivals and events happening around the city by giving them a sneak preview at the school through our complimentary activities and then including the events as outings on our monthly activities calendar. These student activities help our students to connect with one another, making friends, practicing their language skills, discovering Montreal and having a marvellous time! EC Montreal has held many different types of dance classes throughout the years. We have hosted salsa lessons, dance fit classes and many other types of workouts and self-defense classes. These kinds of activities are really a perfect way to improve your English and have fun with your classmates. We look forward to organizing these activities for our students when the time is right. As social gatherings are still being discouraged as we deal with the ever present covid-19 virus, EC Montreal will be making activity suggestions for the time being. We will post the suggestions on Microsoft Teams where students access their English or French online lessons. When we return to school on August 31, we will be including … Read more

Suggested Activities in Montreal!

Summer is here.  It is hot.  It is sunny.  It is our favourite season and unfortunately, our shortest one.  We are lucky in Montreal, we get a taste of all four seasons.  We have a beautiful spring watching all our flowers and trees come to life and anticipating summer.  Spring usually lasts from mid-March to early June.  Summer is short but fierce!  Because we are an island, it gets very hot and humid.  We experience tropical weather here.  By the end of August, we feel the first signs of autumn approaching.  We find the random dead leaf on the ground, the sun starts to set earlier and you begin to need a sweater or jacket in the early morning and at night.  Winter, well, we have a love/hate relationship with this season.  it starts off magically with the anticipation of Christmas and the first snowfall.  We enjoy the outdoor sports like sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, skating and skiing and the much anticipated cup of hot chocolate that soothes and warms us after spending time outside.  We look forward to hearty, comforting dinners by candlelight and curling up under a blanket to watch a good movie or read a book.  We tolerate the brutally cold commutes to school or work because we have so many wonderful activities we can do in Montreal. No matter the season or the temperature, there are so many things to do in Montreal.  The list of tourist attractions are endless.  As restrictions are gradually lifted, we can see that many more activity options are becoming available.  People are beginning to relax a little and are not living in constant fear any longer.  You see more people outside enjoying the weather in a neighborhood park, cycling along the canal, taking a stroll in Old Montreal or simply getting … Read more

Learning French at EC Montreal!

EC Montreal has announced a return to school date.  We are so excited to welcome our students back on August 31, 2020.  We have been working from home since mid-March and have missed our students and work colleagues so much.  Although we are returning to our onsite classes soon, the concerns over the covid-19 virus have not gone away.  We still need to be extremely careful and do everything we can to keep our students and our staff safe.  This means that things will be very different, at first, when we return to our school.  The first difference is that we are going back to a blended learning concept.  This means that part of the week will be spent in class at the school and the other part will remain online.  This is to ensure we are limited the physical time spent at school.  This is important as it reduces the risk of spreading the virus significantly.  Another important change is we will not be offering any social gatherings.  Again, this is to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  It is a known fact that the virus spreads more quickly in large gatherings.  EC Montreal will still be offering students a suggested list of activities they can do in the city that are safe and affordable. EC Montreal offers English, French and Bilingual options and all these three programmes will consist of a blended learning concept.  We have been working hard to promote our French programme and a lot of students who are interested in learning French have asked us the question how do we learn French at EC Montreal?  Is the concept the same as our English programme.  Well, the answer is that it is the same as learning any other language.  The key is to full … Read more

A Special Alumni Testimonial!

I recently received a message on Facebook from a former EC Montreal student, Tassya Cunha Menezes. She wanted to know how we were doing among this pandemic and was thinking of us during this challenging time. She wanted to take the time to let me know what an impact her experience at EC Montreal had had on her professional life. Tassya is now a teacher and she is extremely proud and passionate about her career. Tassya was one of EC Montreal’s student ambassadors back in 2014. She was registered in our Academic Year General French programme for 24 weeks! She progressed from our Beginner to our Pre-Advanced class during her stay. That is very impressive! Here is what Tassya wanted to share with all of you about her EC experience: I can say with no fear that my days at EC Montreal changed my life. I not only learned a third language with the best teachers I could ever ask for but also met great people from all over the world. What makes EC Montreal the greatest place to be is its amazing team, who is a family and treats us likewise. I didn’t feel lonely there, not even for a second, not even on my first day. Another great differential is the School Ambassadors, who are wisely chosen and certainly do their job, which is to make every and single student feel welcome both at school and the activities. And I’m not saying that only because I was one of them, but because they are so important to make a positive environment that it was an honour to be part of that. Six years have passed since I was a student at EC Montreal, but those days are vivid in my mind and are some of the best memories of … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

Every week, EC Montreal is introducing you to new recipes.  Food is something we celebrate in Montreal and our EC Montreal students get a weekly taste of Montreal through our complimentary activities.  We introduce our students to local flavors from nearby farms or to some popular Montreal dishes like poutine, smoked meat and our famous bagels! It is strawberry season in the province of Quebec!  You can go to a local farm and pick your own berries or you can head over to market and buy yourself a basket of Quebec berries.  Quebec strawberries are typically smaller, darker and sweeter! You can eat your strawberries right out of their basket and they are delicious enough to enjoy as a dessert.  If you want to give baking a shot, I have a very easy recipe you can try. For my version of Strawberry Cake, you will need the following ingredients. 1 and 1/2 cups of flour 1 teaspoon of baking powder 6 tablespoons of salted butter 1 cup of brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/2 cup of heavy cream 1 container of fresh strawberries, halved powdered sugar or whipped cream to garnish Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Softened you butter and place in a mixing bowl with your sugar, egg and vanilla extract.  If you don’t have an electric mixer, it’s ok, use a fork and work out your arm muscles.  Beat together until creamy and smooth.  Add your cream and mix further.  In another bowl, mix together your dry ingredients; flour and baking powder.  Combine your wet and dry ingredients and mix well until you can no longer see any flour.  Grease a baking dish and pour your mixture into it.  Arrange your strawberries on top of your cake batter.  Bake for 10 minutes at … Read more