Gisela’s Testimonial: “It was an amazing exchange of culture”

Gisela is a Brazilian student who studied at EC San Francisco for six weeks this summer in the English for Work program. As an accountant in Rio de Janeiro she was looking for English courses that would target her specific needs of learning to use English within a business context. Everybody here at EC San Francisco and at the student residence is going to miss Gisela’s friendliness, her eagerness to always practice her English (both inside the classroom and out), and how fun she is to be around. We asked her to answer a few questions about her experience, and here is what she had to say: Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? Firstly, because I needed to study specific English (Business English) and I had just EC San Francisco to do this. And then, I chose SF because [of] its history, weather… What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? People who work here. All of them are very kind… I loved my experience with my classmates too. It was an amazing exchange of culture. What is your favorite memory of San Francisco? The people who live here… I’ll remember all of them for the rest of my life. What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF? Enjoy your life here with maximum open mind and allow all things that are good for you to learn English. Make friends for the rest of your life! We are so glad that you enjoyed your time here at EC San Francisco, Gisela! Best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Havva’s Testimonial: “Everyone is so friendly and helpful…”

  Havva is a Turkish student who studied at EC San Francisco this summer. When Havva first arrived at school she was very shy about speaking in English, but after taking full immersion English courses in the Semi-Intensive program, and studying diligently for three months, she impressed everyone with the dramatic improvement in her speaking abilities and overall fluency. Well done, Havva! When asked about what her favorite thing about EC San Francisco is, she singled out the quality of the teaching and the student community, writing that “all of the teachers and students are so friendly and helpful.” Havva said that her favorite memory of San Francisco is an afternoon spent at “Baker Beach with all of the students.” This weekend school activity, led by the student ambassadors, took place on a sunny Saturday on a beach with the famous Golden Gate Bridge just in the distance. “It was very good,” she writes, “we all played ball games which was enjoy[able].” Would Havva recommend EC San Francisco to other students who want to learn English? “Absolutely!” And what advice would she give to a student? “Always speak English.” Havva is heading to New York City for a short trip before returning home to Turkey. Save travels, Havva, and keep using all your new English skills on your trip–we will miss you!

Joe’s Perspective: Meet Joe, an EC Homestay Host

Note from Jesse, EC SF Homestay Coordinator: One of the things I most enjoy working as the Homestay Coordinator is developing relationships with the amazing families who host students for English schools like EC San Francisco. When I first started, Joe was quick to introduce himself and befriend me, and one of the things we bonded over was our mutual love of writing. I often receive emails from Joe full of wonderful descriptions and photos of his experiences and activities he coordinates for the students that stay with him and his wife, and so I asked him if he would be interested in occasionally writing about being a homestay host for the EC SF blog, and he has graciously agreed to do so. Below is the first and what I hope are many updates from “Joe’s Perspective.”  … “Koya, one of our Japanese students, recently had his visiting family from Japan.  Koya made arrangements with us so that his family could visit him and personally meet the family he had been staying with for three months.  My wife Mila and I painstakingly prepared “seafood pasta,”  Koya’s favorite meal, complimented by coffee and Mango cake for dessert. What I most enjoy about working with the EC homestay program is making a difference in the life of foreign students. Not only a warm welcome, but providing them the family atmosphere, and a safe environment as though they never left home.  It fosters and creates enriching learning experiences for both of us through the cultural exchange and develops deep, lasting friendship.  Somehow this kind of connection gives the student a real sense of stability while living here and carried on when they return back home.” … Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Joe, and we look forward to hearing more about your experiences! … Learn more about EC … Read more

Meet the EC SF Staff: Marin, our Academic Year (AY) Coordinator

Meet Marin, the new English Language Academic Year (AY) Coordinator here at EC SF, an English language center in San Francisco! For those who don’t know, the English Language Academic Year program is for students who study at EC for 24 weeks (approximately six months) or longer, which gives students the opportunity to really focus on learning English in a comprehensive manner. Academic Year is highly encouraged for students with an academic focus, whether planning to take the TOEFL or Cambridge tests, wanting to get ready to attend an American university, or need to be fluent in English for their job or career. Academic Year students receive extra support in their learning, including the opportunity to attend lectures, meet with a tutor, and receive a certificate at the end of their program. As well as taking on some teaching duties, Marin’s job is to make sure all of this runs smoothly! … Here are a few questions we asked Marin to help us get to know her and learn a little bit about what she likes about her job. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve been working in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) since 2004, first in Russia, then the USA. The Bay Area is my home, and I’m happy to be back! My favorite things to teach in an English course are conditionals, idioms, and pronunciation. How long have you been working at EC SF? Just over two months. I started in the middle of July 2014. What is the best thing about your position? I like being able to talk to the students one-on-one and see how much better their English gets during their stay here. What is your favorite or most memorable experience abroad? In 2007, I spent the summer travelling across Siberia. It was a great trip in general, but I … Read more

An update from Laura, the best intern an English school could have!

For four months, every person that walked in the front doors at EC San Francisco was greeted by Laura, our amazing summer intern. Laura was here for an internship for her university located in Grenoble, France. She did an amazing job running the front desk, making sure everything ran smoothly at all times and always managing to do so with a smile. She also had the ability to finding the humor in even the most stressful situations.  All English schools should be so lucky as to have an intern like Laura: EC SF hasn’t been the same since she left us at the end of August, and we miss her very, very much! … Now that Laura has been back home in France for several weeks, we asked for an update on how she is doing, and to share what she most enjoyed about her EC experience, and if she experienced any culture shock upon returning back to France. Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is Laura. I am a French student, and I am doing a Masters [degree] in Supply Chain Management. I live in Grenoble with a lovely-useless-fat-lazy cat. I have grown up with three amazing brothers. I am really curious in my everyday life, and I am passionate about discovering new culture and people. What was your position at EC San Francisco? And how long were you here for? I was an Intern. I was Student Services Counselor at the Front Desk, and I was there for 4 wonderful months. What is your favorite memory of EC San Francisco? I have so many good memories at EC SF that it is very hard for me to chose one. I would say maybe Monday mornings. I remember that everyone came with a big smile and a huge motivation, no matter how many new … Read more

Learning at EC SF is more than just English courses!

Several weeks ago Kaiser started as Residence Advisor at the Monastery, EC San Francisco’s student residence. As well as helping with student requests and taking care of building issues (and working at the front desk of the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays), a major part of Kaiser’s position is to ensure that students who stay at the Monastery have a memorable experience during their time in San Francisco. Because as everybody knows, it takes much more than just English courses to master the language–it requires speaking English all day, every day! Here is what he had to say about recent activities that have taken place at the Monastery: “Since starting as the R.A. at the Monastery I’ve been trying to think of ways for students to meet each other and promote a sense of community among the students. One of the activities I have started is a bi-monthly barbecue which takes advantage of the building’s amazing rooftop deck, with views of the Mission neighborhood, Twin Peaks, and the downtown area. So far I have been able to host three dinners, and they have been well attended, with up to 25 EC students attending each one. It is a great way for everyone to get to know each other and continue to practice their English with each other in a setting outside of the classroom.  One of the advantages of doing activities that gets everybody to meet each other is that it allows for spontaneous interactions between students. This last week we decided to have a game night, and it was so much fun seeing everyone just hanging out and trying to find the words to negotiate with each other in English over a game of Monopoly!” At recent Monastery Barbecues:      Monopoly Game Night:

David’s Testimonial: “It was an amazing experience…”

David is a German student who spent three weeks studying in the General English program at EC San Francisco. Here is what David had to say about his time here: “It was an amazing experience here at the EC school in San Francisco. I chose this city only to improve my English, but I met a lot of interesting people and visited many different places. Here are many people from all over the world. Some of them became real friends for this short time I stayed here. I will come back next year for a longer time. A big thank you to all members of the EC San Francisco.” We look forward to seeing you next year, David, when you decide to come study English in the USA once again!

Meet the EC SF Staff: Elisa, our new Academic Director

Meet Elisa, our new Academic Director here at EC San Francisco, and the newest member of the EC SF team! She has previously worked at EC Miami, and brings both extensive experience in ESL education to her position and the benefit taking English courses in America can have for students. Elisa, please tell us a little bit about yourself. I have taught English for about 10 years, in Chile, New York City and Miami and became a certified CELTA teacher in 2005 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I have been an Academic Director for four years now and just moved to San Francisco from Miami, Florida! I love that ESL brings people from all over the world together under the same common goal and I love being a part of that process. As a native of Los Angeles and having moved around plenty since then, I am thrilled by the English teaching/learning opportunities that San Francisco has to offer. I enjoy the international flare that big cities offer and especially enjoy the experience of introducing the highlights of these cities with newcomers. My goal is for students to feel welcomed and guided and hope that as they participate in the fun and craziness that San Francisco offers, they pick up a little English too! How long have you been working at EC? I was the Academic Director at EC Miami for 2.5 years. What is the best thing about your position at EC?  I get to work all kinds of people (teachers and students alike!) who have pretty cool and interesting backgrounds. What is your favorite/most memorable experience abroad?  Trekking in Patagonia in South America– you’re at the bottom of the world, very far removed from everything and the landscape there is unreal. What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?  I don’t know … Read more