Students Write Restaurant Reviews!

This week, one of our writing classes at EC San Francisco English school wrote reviews on restaurants they have been to in the San Francisco Bay Area. Take a look at their reviews! Review of Mama’s – by Eugene: A few days ago, I went to the MAMA’S restaurant with my friend. The MAMA’S is a breakfast and lunch restaurant, so that open to 7:30 am ~ 3:00 pm at Tue ~ Sun. It is very crowded. If you are going there, you will wait for about one hour and a half. Finally, you go to a restaurant. the atmosphere is a little bit antique, so I’m interested in that. feel likes as if really I live in SF. you can see the kitchen and lots of menus. I think all the food is delicious and the price is low. Most of them the jam is awesome. If you go to the MAMA’S, you never regret. The waiting is worth it!

Meet Accommodations Coordinator Erik Kahn

Hello Everyone! My name is Erik Kahn and I am the new Accommodations Coordinator with EC San Francisco. I have been with EC for little over a month and I must admit that I love our school. The city of San Francisco has a wonderful mix of nationalities and unique personalities, and so does our school. I moved to San Francisco 3 months ago and I absolutely love this city. Every weekend I find it difficult to decide what I should do, solely because there are so many fun things to do. The city has great festivals, nightlife, culture, and food! I would like to also mention that California is one of the most beautiful states in the USA. Here you can find some of the most amazing and beautiful mountains, beaches, deserts, forests, and lakes in the world. When I first moved to California, I worked as a crew leader for The American Conservation Experience. I led volunteers on conservation projects throughout California’s many beautiful parks. One of My favorite places to go is Big Sur! Below is a picture I took from my last hike in the Ventana Wilderness. My girlfriend and I drove down Highway 101 to the Kirk Creek campground. From there we hiked 5 miles to the Vincente Flat Campground and stayed the night. In the picture below you can see that we are above the clouds! SO BEAUTIFUL! We hiked through clouds and ravines of redwood trees to make it to this beautiful spot. This gorgoeous flower comes from a Yucca plant. If anyone has questions about taking this hike or going on similar hikes, you can find me at school.

Amazing Road trip outside of San Francisco, Santa Cruz

Hi everyone, Last week my friends and I rent 2 convertible cars and went on a road trip to Stanford University and to sunny Santa Cruz! It is about an hour away from downtown. If you are an EC student and want to go out of San Francisco, this is the perfect method. You can feel the summer air and get $15 discount if you book at budget.com! Come to the front desk or to Kelly for the coupon. It expires on 10/13/2013,so hurry before its gone!! Anyways, our first stop was Stanford University. It was amazing. It is one of the best Universities in the world and was established in 1885 and has nearly 700 major buildings with 7 departments!! Most of the students live on campus and is very convenient with Starbucks and many other cheap fast food like panda express. I love their food! The structure of the school is also beautiful. Our second stop was Santa Cruz. We went to the beach near an amusement park. The weather that day was not hot enough to swim but we really enjoyed chilling on the beach. We took many photos and got nicely tan. We also saw sea animals which we thought were seals. Many birds called “seagull” which is kind of difficult to pronounce, were on or flying over the beach. If you still have time, I recommend you to go to Sillicon Valley, which takes about 15mins from Santa Cruz. Silicon Valley is where many of the world’s largest technology company headquarters are located. You can find companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc…. Leave comments if you are addicted to any of them!!!! Seiya

Put Your Books Down And Visit Mallard Lake This Weekend

Hi ECSF students and readers, As I’m sure you are all aware, there is no school this upcoming Monday thanks to the Labor Day holiday. For those of you who are planning to spend the three-day weekend in San Francisco, Mallard Lake in Golden Gate Park is one of the most beautiful and picturesque locations around. Mallard Lake is located off of Martin Luther King Jr Drive in the park. You can easily walk to the lake by riding the N-Judah MUNI train to Judah Street and 30th Avenue. From there, it’s a short walk towards Lincoln Way and into the park. Mallard Lake is a blissful break from the hustle and bustle of everyday San Francisco life. The lake is a popular site for bird watchers and people looking for a quiet walk on calm and secluded paths. You can actually forget you’re in a major metropolitan city. Be sure to bring a lunch with you that you can enjoy with your family and friends at the nearby Elk Glen picnic area. Have a great time! Tim  

Adventures in Niagara Falls and EC San Francisco-by Student Ambassador Tamasha Pussurmanova

  Hi my name is Tamasha. I would like to tell you about my trip to the USA. I came to the USA last November. I visited Chicago for Business with my brother and dad. We lived in downtown on the 35th floor, it was amazing I could see all of the city. Also we went to the Sears Tower with a glass balcony and I can say that Chicago has a lot of interesting museums, such as a hi-tech museum that I really liked. We spent 4 days in Chicago and last week we decided to travel to New York, but at that time there was a tornado and it was not safe to go. So, we chose to go to Niagara Falls. We rented a car and went there. We had a lot of fun during our trip. Our GPS told us to get to the Falls through Canada. The Customs workers told us that we couldn’t go with our visa through Canada to visit Niagara Falls. So we rode the other way, we were upset but we decided that we could spend more time together and see other sites and we did. We visited Detroit, we saw a lot of movies about how that city was dangerous, but spent just 3 hours: We had lunch and we didn’t see anything bad or dangerous, lucky for us! Finally, we got to Niagara Falls, there were huge, beautiful Falls and the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen. I had a really good trip even though it was November and it was a little bit cold. We got home to Kazakhstan and I decided to visit the US again, but stay longer. So after six months I came to US not for business, but for my studying. I came to … Read more

EC San Francisco Teacher Tim reviews hot Mexican restaurant Padrecito in Cole Valley! YUUUUUMMMMMY!

Hi ECSF students and blog readers, My name is Tim Ruiz and I’m a senior teacher at ECSF. Since I moved to San Francisco a decade ago, I have been astounded by the many great restaurants this city has to offer. The diversity of foods can sometimes be overwhelming. Cole Valley’s Padrecito is a shining example of the culinary greatness that makes SF second to none. Padrecito is a fantastic Mexican restaurant located at the corner of Carl and Cole streets in Cole Valley, a great neighborhood bordering Haight Ashbury. The atmosphere of this place is as lively and diverse as the food and drinks featured on the menu. This place has a stellar offering of items to choose from but without a doubt their hallmark items are tequila and tacos! Padrecito features a vibrant and friendly staff that are quite eager to offer great suggestions and add an air of friendliness that make this place one of the busiest locations in the area. Reservations on OpenTable are almost always booked a week in advance, especially on the weekends, but the staff keep half of the tables in the restaurant available to walk-in customers so don’t be afraid to stop in. You won’t have to wait long. Padrecito features a full bar that specializes in tequila based cocktails but also offers a great variety of beers and wines. The Piñata cocktail is fierce and not for the timid but is quite smooth, made with reposado tequila, pineapple juice, rosemary, lime, and jalapeño. This cocktail has a real bite but it’s well worth it. Although this place excels at pretty much everything, the premier items are tacos. Padrecito has a wide range of tacos with a number of different meats, including grilled char, goat, pork belly, duck, and skirt steak. By … Read more

Posts from the Writing Class – Current students offer advice!

This week in one of our writing classes, students wrote some advice columns for those students who are considering or planning a trip to learn English in San Francisco! Check out what they have to say! Post 1 – By Ranya, Inhee, and Moon If you want to study English, first you check what you want to learn. Secondly, check your English skill yourself. And then, make clearly if it is good for you or not. You make your decision on a program. Thirdly, search which school is the best for that program. After you choice the school, you should consider about nationality ratio, teacher’s skills, location, cost, etc… I also want to recommend to you to read the review of graduated student from the school that you choose!     Post 2 – Nobu, Tariq, and Sang San Francisco is a nice place to study English. It is better to stay 3 more months. The best season is from August to October. You have to make completely reservation. For example, hotel or homestay. San Francisco’s summer is cold, so you have better to prepare a jacket. And you will walk long distance so you should bring a sport shoes and comfortable wears. Also San Francisco’s sunshine is very strong, so you have to prepare sunglasses and sunblock. There are many nice places in SF. The most recommend place is Fisherman’s Wharf. It has a beautiful view and sea lions. If you go there, you will feel happy and want to go again. Also, Alcatraz is good place, you should go once. You can buy a cellphone at At&t or T-mobile. After that, you should download Yelp! If will help to find nice restaurants.   Post 3 – Justin, Misa and Amy San Francisco is a beautiful city in America. … Read more

Cultural Differences and Diversity by Samanta Al-Yammouni, Student Volunteer

In class, teachers often let students talk about cultural differences. However it’s much more entertaining when we experiment it in real life. As we all are from different countries, it happens that we don’t have the same habits, way of thinking, standards, etc. When I hung out with other EC students it was quite funny to witness these differences. For example, Asian people have dinner really early while Spanish people have it very late. So when my Spanish friends suggested a meeting time of 8:30, my Asian friends were confused: they thought it was for a drink but actually it was for dinner. They couldn’t understand why we had to meet so late! Moreover, depending on culture, some people will be late and some others will be on time and wait on others to show up. So we were always making guesses about who’s going to be late at our meeting points. It’s funny to notice that it’s always the same people and that they always have a “good” excuse. Texting is also different. Therefore it’s sometimes difficult to understand what people mean, especially when they use abbreviations and icons. My Asian friends usually write: “kkkkk” which means “hahaha” and which I first understood as “okkkkk”. It can lead to some misunderstandings so it’s always good to ask when you don’t get it!

whole new experience working in San Francisco

Hi, my name is Seiya. Since Aug 5th, I have been working here, at EC San Francisco as an intern. Since many people have asked me and might be wondering why I am doing an internship here, I will write it on this blog! I live in Japan and I’m currently a student at a University in Tokyo. When I was 5 years old, I moved to a place nearby Orange County which is located about 1 hour away from LA. I lived there for 5 years with my family and made many good childhood memories. I went back to Japan at the age of 10. I took private English lessons and went to University to study English literature. Obviously I love ENGLISH. Thanks to my parents, now I see a totally different world! I became more eager to use and improve English in different kinds of situations. And so I decided to work in the United States during my summer break. Here, I can meet many people with diverse nationalities and culture. All the staff and teachers are very kind and friendly. I have learned a LOT from them and the people I’ve met so far. Time really flies fast here. I will be interning until end of September and will be posting blogs about ECSF and experience during my great opportunity working at EC San Francisco! On my 1st weekend in San Francisco, I went on a cycling tour to The Golden Gate Bridge! I definitely recommend crossing the bridge by bicycle. The bridge is huge and it took longer than expected to get to the other side. The bridge has the length of 8,981ft(2,789m)! Takes 40mins to cross by foot. And can you imagine how much effort the people make to keep the unique red color of … Read more

The Mural at EC’s New Student Residence – Learn English in San Francisco and live in a very unique building

Our new student residence, the Monastery, has a HUGE, colorful mural in the main lobby and dining area.  It’s really beautiful AND it tells  story.  The pictures show the story of how Chinese characters, also called pictographs, came to be.  You can see how a drawing of a mountain eventually because the Chinese character for mountain. A local artist decided on this these for the mural because this building was actually a Buddhist Monastery in the 70’s and 80’s.  AND,  EC shares the building with another school.  The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM).   This is a graduate school where American students come to learn about acupuncture and other Chinese medical approaches.  It is great for EC students to share this unique building with American graduate students, and is another great opportunity to learn English in San Francisco by speaking with and getting to know American students.