Pia from Germany: “They were like a family to me.”

Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? I liked the website and I always wanted to study in San Francisco. What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? I think it will be the Bonfire Barbecue and Gregory, of course. What is your favorite memory of San Francisco? I can’t really say that. Everyday was very special. I will never forget this time. Maybe my favorite memory was meeting all these different people from different cultures. They were like a family to me. What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF? Go to “The Monastery”, which is the student housing facility, not a host family. Study General English at EC San Francisco 

Daniel from Brazil: “Enjoy all the days as if it were the last.”

Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? In my case, because of the mix of ages. I am 34 years old and I found classmates that are 21 years or older. I heard about the modern infrastructure in the classrooms. What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? It is a friendly city with lots of places to go and you can appreciate a beautiful view. What is your favorite memory of studying ESL in San Francisco? My favorite memory is my new friends and all the moments we spent together. What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF? Don’t skip the classes. Make friends and enjoy all the days as if it were the last. Study General English at EC San Francisco 

Roxanne from France: “I appreciate the class schedules, school location and environment!”

Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? I chose San Francisco because I’ve never been to the west coast of the U.S. before. What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? Teachers are good. I also appreciate the schedule of classes, the location of the school and the environment at the school. What is your favorite memory of San Francisco? All the people that I met here. What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF? Enjoy your time here! That’s it! Roxanne studied ESL at EC San Francisco.

Van Nguyen from Vietnam: “I’ll miss my classmates and my teacher who teaches a lot of things. “

Why did you choose to learn English at EC San Francisco? Because EC San Francisco has a high education system and facility for studying English. Certifications are accepted at several other schools in the U.S. Also, the counseling center helped me with everything that I didn’t understand. What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? My favorite thing about EC San Francisco was the textbook of the course, a good condition for studying such as rooms and projectors…Especially, the staff and teachers are friendly and whole-hearted. What is your favorite memory of San Francisco? I’ll miss my classmates and my teacher who teachers a lot of things. I have an experience in getting on trains, Golden Gate Bridge, and eating ice cream beside the beach. What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF?  You should study hard and visit many places in San Francisco.   Van Nguyen studied General English in San Francisco.

Adventuring to Lands End and Back Again

We had a great time exploring Lands End, which is situated between Ocean Beach and Baker Beach.  We met in front of the school and took the 38L bus towards the Sutro Baths. The Sutro Baths was built in the 1900’s by Adolph Sutro, a German born immigrant.  He also revitalized the famous Cliff House restaurant in 1883.  The Sutro Baths had some great places for us to take pictures.  We also explored a cave in that area where at the end of the cave you can see the breaking waves against the rocks.  After exploring the Sutro Baths we hiked along the coast with breathtaking views of the coast and the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a little bit of an uphill hike but nothing our students couldn’t handle.  There were many opportunities to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and the coastal views. Later, we visited Miles Rock and the labyrinth, which was created by Eduardo Aguilera in 2004.  That area had spectacular views of the bay and was another great location to take pictures.  After visiting the labyrinth we continued our hike through the path.  We were able to see other hikers, people walking their dogs, and a few cyclist.  We finished at Eagle’s Point, which also has great views of Golden Gate Bridge.  We finished the day with a nice picnic and enjoyed some cheese, crackers, and Oreo cookies for dessert.   Everyone had a great time and Lands End is an extraordinary place to take pictures of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Study English at EC San Francisco 

Students check out the walk to Coit Tower with Drew

  Starting off from school a few of the students asked which public transportation we were taking to Telegraph Hill (aka Coit tower) and I pointed at their feet: “Walking? Really? How far, teacher?”. “Only 7 blocks from school (ok, and 3 steep ones after Columbus street, hee hee)”. While we sauntered up Montgomery street,  we had to pause under  the most identifiable skyscraper in SF (foto) the Transamerica “Pyramid” building,  which actually has rollers under it for earthquake stabilization. We didn’t have time to stop in at my favorite SF bookstore, the legendary City Lights, which was home to the censored Beat generation Jack Kerouac and literary clan, including the owner, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, its owner as well as  the only remaining in Poet/Beat Generation star alive: next  time! As soon as we began climbing the many staircases, I was impressed when everyone made the +100 steps with enthusiasm . After pointing out a few big music stars homes and bohemian artists who lived in these amazing hills, we found Coit Tower almost empty, probably because it was closed! Still, the views were stunning at sunset.  We decided to take a few trails on the east side of T Telegraph Hill where smaller gardens and houses/apartments were nestled between the thick trees filled with Amazonian parrots, squawking for joy at sunset and sunrise. As a reward we happily strolled down a welcoming path towards Washington Park, where Marilyn Monroe wedded SF’s prodigal son, Joe DiMaggio, the first local mega-sports star in North Beach, the Italian part of town. Next time we will explore North Beach’s secret streets and find the perfect cappuccino! ———- by Teacher Drew who teaches Business English and ESL San Francisco

Student Ambassadors’ Exclusive Interview with ECSF Center Director, Ryan Hisamoto

Ryan Hisamoto, EC San Francisco’s new center director, joins the Student Ambassadors during their weekly meeting. Ryan shares his vision for the school and answers some questions from the student ambassadors. Here’s a chance to read the exclusive interview. Fehime’s Questions What experience do you have managing? I have managed the Kaplan San Francisco school, Kaplan LA-Westwood school, and Kaplan LA-Whittier College school. Together, there’s about five years of managing schools. Before that, I managed Housing and Activities for Kaplan Berkeley. I feel very comfortable as a manager and very much enjoy working with people and students.     What has been your biggest professional achievement? Kaplan LA-Whittier College carried #1 survey results in the country for our company. We ran the happiest center in North America out of 23 schools—I was very proud of that.     What do you want to change in EC SF ? It’s not so much that I want to “change” things. I do feel like there’s a lot of good practices and people here. But I’m open to trying new things to make the student experience better. That starts with listening and interacting more with students. I’ll always keep my door open to all of you. I will tell you that I’m very committed to seeing this center be a special place for students and we’ll always continue to push ourselves to make things better. I think you’ll notice lots of little changes—you can probably assume I was somewhat involved. I’ll say in a few weeks, I think graduation will be a lot of fun.     Have you ever been an English teacher? For how many years? I was an English Teacher in China for one year and in the U.S. (high school) for one year. Elvira’s Questions Have you ever lived … Read more

Modern Trends in Japan by Fumi

Today, I’d like to tell you one of the trends that you probably don’t know about Japan. Basically, we prefer to act with others like friends or family because we often judge people by how nice they are and if they have many friends or not. If I were alone all the time at university, people around me would guess that I have no friends because of a bad personality or that I’m a valueless person. As a result, some young people who don’t have company to eat lunch with in the university or a workplace tend to covertly have lunch in the bathroom or library. In the worst case, they quit their job or leave school. This phenomenon has happened since around 2001, and there are still many people who are afraid of being alone.   On the other hand, there is also a trend to do something alone, for example, going to a karaoke, a movie theatre, a yakiniku restaurant, a ramen restaurant, an amusement park, bowling, a bar, a concert, an aquarium, a sports stadium, a trip etc…. These places are considered difficult to go to alone in general. The most surprising case is a solo wedding. This service started for single women mainly in Kyoto by a travel company. This is like a small trip to Kyoto. You have 2 days. On the first day, you can choose your favorite wedding dress, after that you can make your own bouquet of flowers. On second day, you will have a professional makeup artist, hair stylist, and photographer for you. After wearing the dress, you will go to a wedding hall to take pictures. All the staff are women, so you can feel comfortable throughout the 2 days. The price is from 3000 dollars, and if you want, … Read more

Micael: “It’s a very good place for study and SF is very cool, too.”

Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? I have chosen EC because many people say to me: “It’s a very good place for study and SF is very cool, too.” What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? EC San Francisco has a good team and the teachers help to improve my English. What is your favorite memory of San Francisco? I have ridden a bicycle to Sausalito and I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (and many other memories.) What advice would you give to a new student learning English at EC SF? Take your time to learn and don’t forget to enjoy the many activities from EC.

Gisela from Brazil: “An amazing exchange of culture”

Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? Firstly, I chose EC because I needed to study Business English and I had just EC San Francisco to do this. And then, I chose SF because of its history and weather. What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? The people who work there. All of them are very kind. I loved my experience with my classmates, too. It was 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 a maximum open mind and allow all things that are good for you to learn English. Make friends for the rest of your life!   EC San Francisco offers many English courses, including the exam preparation for Cambridge ESOL