Student Ambassador Spotlight Series: Moving up in English Levels

  Giovanni Freni Sterrantino is one of EC’s Academic Year Student Ambassadors. From the time he arrived from Calabria, Italy, he struggled the most with pronunciation and conversation, but during our interview he seems confident and the conversation is fluid with little to no pauses. Although he admits “today was a good English day,” meaning some days he just wants to stay quiet and other days, such as these, he feels confident in his speaking abilities. Giovanni chose San Diego because he had been to California before and was impressed by its beauty. “It is totally different here,” he said comparing Italy and California. We are sitting in an office with an ocean view, he gestures to the window and with wide eyes says, “The location in La Jolla is beautiful.” He visited 7 years ago and was drawn to the city’s upbeat people and lively lifestyle. Although Giovanni learned the English basics in Italy, he did not feel it was helpful. “I am very happy to learn English in a totally different way because we didn’t study English this way in High School. We studied literature and it was not useful for my life.” Giovanni enjoys classes like English in the City where students can apply their knowledge outside of the classroom. He especially enjoys “Special Focus,” courses, such as Business English. Giovanni also stressed the importance of the quality of students and teachers alike. “The class mates are very important and the teacher is also important. How he/she teaches and controls the classroom makes a difference in keeping people interested.” At EC San Diego the average classroom size is 12 students and the maximum is 15 students, so it’s an intimate learning environment for both teacher and student. There is also a healthy mix of nationalities ranging from … Read more

Student Ambassador Spotlight

One of our Student Ambassadors, Sangdon Byun, otherwise known as Richard, shares with us his EC San Diego student experience: Although his full name is Sangdon Byun, he goes by the name Richard. Richard is from Korea and has been at EC for three months thus far. He arrived at the height of summer in August and was one of the students who attended our “Sunday Experience.” During the Sunday Experience, students are given a walking tour of the surrounding neighborhood of La Jolla, its shops and beaches, by an EC Staff member. After the walk, students are then taken to a popular, Mexican restaurant in the area, Jose’s, for some local, authentic Mexican cuisine. Richard started in an intermediate-English level course and has gone up to pre-intermediate in the three months he’s been studying at EC. His favorite class so far has been the Cambridge course, which he graduated from a few weeks ago. “I liked the Cambridge course the most. My classmates were from Switzerland, and I learned a lot from Swiss students because their English is very good,” he explained. He also enjoys classes with his favorite EC SD teacher, Brian. “Brian is very smart, he helps me a lot and explains things clearly,” Richard added. Since there are a variety of student activities every day and monthly at EC, I asked Richard what his favorite activity has been so far. “I  like Homework Club with Teacher Brian on Wednesdays after school. I also like Sports with Nick because I like to play soccer,” Richard said. On every first Tuesday of the month, the Acacemic Director, Nick DiZinno, rallies enough students to form a team and plays a friendly game of Soccer at the cove. This activity has proven to be one of the most popular activities and usually has the highest turn out. Another popular activity with our students is a volunteer opportunity at Casa Loma, which is a … Read more

Awesome Ambassadors

It’s the day before you leave your home country to explore the beaches of California, and learn English in San Diego at a new school. It’s a long journey, a leap of faith and you have no idea what to expect on your first day at EC San Diego. The nerves are to be expected and they are a strange combination of excitement, fear and anticipation all wrapped into one. These are emotions many EC students know firsthand, including our amazingly, awesome Student Ambassadors! Student Ambassadors are students, who have been at EC San Diego for at least two months, or more, and are knowledgeable of San Diego culture and are very outgoing and friendly. They are the students you want to make friends with to show you around and answer many of the questions that you may be afraid to ask. However, don’t ever hesitate to ask an EC staff member, such as one of the Stent Services Coordinators, your Teachers, Center, or Academic Director. They are always happy to help in whichever way they can. The Student Ambassador, on the other hand, can provide a certain kind of insight, since they were once sitting in your exact same seat on their first day of class. They are well acclimated students and can help get you involved in the EC Experience and the San Diego lifestyle. Unfortunately, we said goodbye to a few student Ambassadors a few weeks ago, so we had to recruit more big personalities that we knew could take on the task at hand! Each student represents their home country and helps the EC team on our first day of school by joining new students on a walking tour of San Diego and provide translation when needed! As of right now, our Student Ambassadors are from the following countries: Korea, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan. … Read more

EC San Diego Welcomes New Intern

Meet our new intern, Kana Hamada, from Japan! Kana is joining us from EC San Francisco where she spent a year as a student learning English at EC San Francisco. The differences between San Diego and San Francisco are apparent, especially the city layout and weather. San Francisco is known for its cold, windy climate while San Diego is known for its year-round sunny weather. Kana enjoyed her time in San Francisco, but this is an entirely new experience for her, mainly because she’s returning to EC as an intern and not as a student. As an intern, Kana’s responsibilities include collecting student documents on intake day, following up with students for missing information, creating sign-up sheets and flyers for student activities, translating and other general admin duties. In her short time here, Kana has already experienced the San Diego Zoo with EC Students and Sea World with her friends. She also recently indulged herself in the American tradition of Black Friday shopping post Thanksgiving , which she very much enjoyed! We are very happy to have her as part of the EC San Diego family! Thank you for everything you do, Kana! We appreciate you! A few words from Kana herself, “Before coming to San Diego, I was a little bit worried. I felt like a complete foreigner and a bit intimated. I was worried about my English skills because I was staying in Japan for three months and during my stay in Japan I was a little bit scared because I didn’t speak English, or write English that much. I’ve been feeling more comfortable here because people are very friendly, nice and easy going. I am more confident speaking English with others, especially when talking to people at bars and cafes.Kana also loves animals, “I am pretty happy because San Diego is … Read more

Learning English at EC San Diego to enrol at an American university

Juan Jose Ramirez Arevalo is from Venezuela, he’s 19 years old has been studying at EC San Diego since September 22nd.  He is a Student Ambassador at EC San Diego. Juan began his studies as Physical Therapy major before coming to San Diego. He came to EC San Diego to improve his English skills and to qualify for enrollment at an American university. Juan is considering San Diego State University, or The University of Miami. He is a competitive swimmer and has been swimming since the age of 10. He currently trains at the Loma Santa Fe Pool, where he is a part of a Rancho San Dieguito Swim team. In addition to swimming, Juan enjoys soccer, tennis and baseball and in his spare time he enjoys cooking and reading.  While in San Diego, he has visited various tourist sites such as; the Hotel Del Coronado, Old Town and has traveled to Los Angeles, where he toured Hollywood. Since being in San Diego, Juan has come to enjoy experiencing the myriad of diverse cuisines San Diego has to offer. His favorites are tacos, sushi, and Indian food.     Juan stated that he likes the staff and teachers and how well they work with the students. He went on to say he is pleased that some teachers are able to speak other languages, which helps when a student is struggling with his or her school work. Juan believes that his English has improved, but he needs to  improve his grammar. He shared that he is very happy with his host mom, Stacey Martinez and  she is an excellent cook. Juan will leave EC San Diego on May 28th, and he will miss the teachers and the staff at EC San Diego. He has enjoyed learning many things about American culture and … Read more

Student Testimonial – Joe from Korea

  “When I first visited EC San Diego, I was relatively nervous compared to other journeys. Although I decided to speak English without any shy emotion, it wasn’t easy to speak in front of the people who I met first. A few months later, I passed the level test to the upper intermediate class. Every time that I moved up to a higher class, I felt my English skills were improving faster and faster. I met many different teachers. Some of them were funny and energetic and others were so knowledgeable. While I stayed in San Diego, my grammar has improved so much. Every time I use English, all the remarkable memories from EC San Diego touch my heart. If anyone ask me to go abroad, I’ll tell them ‘go to San Diego’.” -Wonjin (Joe), Student Ambassador “Wonjin (Joe) not only excelled in his studies, but also in his role as a student ambassador at EC.  Staff, teachers, and students could always count on Joe to help out when assistance was needed.  His passion for helping new students every Monday showed as he greeted new students and answered their questions about the school and also living in San Diego.  Joe’s real love is for cooking and he was always very generous with sharing his delicious dishes and treats at EC.  Joe’s leadership will be missed here at EC, but we are proud of his success and are confident that he will thrive in his future endeavors.  Also, we hope to see him back in San Diego someday soon.” -Autumn Garrett, Assistant Academic Director English Language Courses in the USA

Student Testimonial: Elva from Taiwan!

Hi, My name is Elva. I come from Taiwan. EC is a very high quality language school. EC not only provides qualified teachers, but also has a perfect tutoring system to help students improve their English. In my personal experience, it only took me four months to go from the Intermediate to Advanced level. It’s all thanks to EC! Moreover, EC San Diego provides library and computer rooms for students so that they can study or read. And my favorite part of the school is the activities where I can hang out with my classmates. By the way, the school is on the La Jolla coast which is a wonderful view!

EC San Diego Student Testimonial-Pia

Read below to find out about Chilean student Pia and her experience learning English at EC San Diego for the past six months! I chose San Diego because my father told me that it was a beautiful place and thought it would be the best place for me because it is a good fit for my personality.  He made a great choice because I love San Diego!  I improved my English a lot because my first level was High Elementary and now I am in Intermediate. I feel that I have improved a lot because when I first arrived I couldn’t speak and I didn’t understand anything and now I can talk normally and now people understand me.  I love EC because I feel comfortable. It has a family atmosphere.  It is a place where I can make new friends and if I have a problem I know somebody will support me.   All of my teachers are my favorite and I am so glad that I had these people teaching me because I learned English and more! I made a lot of friends from Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Korea and America.  I could not have asked for a  better experience studying English in the USA. I will remember everything, because I fell in love with San Diego, it is an amazing place, the people are so nice and every day that I spent here was fantastic. Every time that I was here I felt happy!

EC San Diego Student Testimonial-Bianca and Luis

Bianca and Luis from Venezuela talk about their experience studying English in the USA! We chose San Diego because of the weather, it’s very similar to Venezuela and because there are a lot of beaches nearby.  We have both improved our vocabulary and our speaking skills and have lost the fear that we had when we had to speak English! We both have more self-confidence now than before.  Our favorite EC activity was the volunteer beach cleanup because we spent a lot of time with the staff and the other students. The thing we like the most about EC is the way the teachers help you to improve your skills.  The staff is so kind and helpful and they care about us.  The teachers are also very good.  Our favorite teacher is Jenny because she is very dynamic and she always keeps everyone motivated to learn.  We also liked Hind because she taught us a lot of good vocabulary and she was very good in grammar. Our best friends here are from Saudi Arabia because we are very interested to know their culture.  It is so different from ours and they can also learn from us.  We would definitely recommend EC to learn a second language!