Meet Florent, the Residence and Student Services Coordinator here at EC San Francisco!
Florent joined the EC SF team in April, and is in charge of coordinating student stays at the Monastery Student Residence and several other student residence facilities around San Francisco. Florent brings to his position a passion for creating learning and cultural experiences for students, as he believes that attending EC SF should be more than just taking English courses in the USA, but a potentially transformative life experience as well. As someone who has studied and worked in different places all over the world, he is particularly invested in EC’s commitment to helping students succeed in a global community. One way he has done this is by leading the group for EC SF Working Professionals, a place for adult students to connect and support their learning of English for professional use.
Here are a few questions we asked Florent to get to know a little bit more about him and his position at EC SF.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Aix en Provence in the South of France. I moved then to Toulouse, in the South West, to pursue a Master degree in Management. From the first year on, I got involved in a newly created student organization dedicated to welcoming international students to our school, similar to the Ambassador Program we have here at EC. This was an amazing experience, both personally and professionally. During the program, I got the chance to be an international student myself during a semester abroad in Victoria, BC, Canada. I also interned in Oxford in the UK, Valparaiso in Chile and now in San Francisco. Students can certainly ask me about culture shock, because I experienced it many times too! I learned a lot about myself through all of these experiences, although it was not always easy. I strongly encourage EC SF students to step out of their comfort zone so that they can make the most out of their stay here.
How long have you been working at EC?
I started at EC SF in April 2014, as Residence and Student Services Coordinator. So far it has been a great working experience and I have learned a lot, particularly during the busy, high-pressure summer!
What is the best thing about your position at EC?
Working in Education, I love to see a student’s growth from the First Day Orientation until Graduation. Not only regarding English language skills, but also a personal growth of being exposed to a new culture and language, making friends with people coming from different regions of the world, and taking all of those transformative experiences home.
Students, I’d love for your to come at the Front Desk at the end of your stay to take a photo with you and ask you about your experience!
What is your favorite/most memorable experience abroad?
My favorite experience abroad was spending time in Valparaiso el Dieciocho during the national celebration of Chile happening on September 18th. I interned in Chile for 8 months in 2013, working at a regional University in their International Programs Department. At first, it was difficult. I had almost no Spanish language skills, and I had some culture shock as everything was brand new and different. But little by little, I overcame this initial disorientation and came to love Chile and the city of Valparaiso. I was able to stay after the end of my internship and enjoy the Fiestas Patrias that starts on the 18th but goes on for a few weeks! Empenadas, chicha, and cueca dancing all over Chile: it was the best!
I wish to our students that them too, will make memorable experiences while studying here in California. Make new friends! Try new things! Go explore!
What is your favorite thing about San Francisco?
Because San Francisco welcomes communities from all over, we have here delicious authentic cuisines to pick from: Vietnamese banh-mi, Filipino Kare-Kare, Mexican burrito, Japanese ramen and sushi, Chinese dim-sum, Thai green papaya salad and iced tea, Salvadorian pupusas, Sezchuan Mapo Tofu, Korean banchan, Nicaraguan Tamales, Indian Tandoori chicken and chai, Ethiopian wat and injera, the list can go on and on… And also many vegetarian/vegan options in most places too. For someone that enjoys food like myself, San Francisco is a haven of delicious flavors and spices!
I also appreciate that the City has so many events and venues for young professionals to meet: meetups, workshops, seminars, happy hours, networking events, co-working spaces, … If you’re up for it then you have many opportunities to meet locals and internationals folks working or visiting the city.
As I tell students here, your experience of San Francisco will only be as good as what you put in it! The city has certainly a lot to offer, if you dare to take advantage of it!