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.
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.
Have you ever lived abroad? Where?
I have lived in England (3 months) and China (1 year).
What were you doing while living aboard?
I was a student in England and working as an English Teacher in China.
How was your experience?
I have loved my experiences abroad. I learned so much about myself and what I’m passionate about. I learned so much about other people and developed a lot of patience and perspective through these experiences.
What would you advise somebody who is living or will live abroad?
Be outgoing, be open-minded, be curious, and keep busy. Most importantly, don’t stop traveling—there’s so much to gain through experiential education.
When you came to EC San Francisco, did you expect it to be like what you were thinking about ?
It has exceeded expectations in many ways. I love this city, and I’m passionate about international education. This center is beautiful, staff is great, and students seem very happy—it’s hard to ask for more.
What you will do to EC San Francisco?
I hope I can contribute to supporting this staff and growing our center. I have an extensive student services background, so we’ll take a look at ways we can inject energy into the things we do from orientation to graduation and activities and beyond.
What the most actively you want to do outside the school ?
I’d like to see the school involved in BBQs, outdoor trips, sports events, and SF-based festivals that happen throughout the year. I want all students to truly experience the vibrance of San Francisco and leave loving this great city.
Do you prefer cats or dogs？Why/why not？
I love dogs, always been around them. My mother has three, my sister one. They really do feel like they’re your friend and excited to see you. Cats seem less attached to their owners and too skittish for me.
How many countries have you ever visited？
Which country do you remember the most？Why?
China. I lived there for a full year and it really changed my life in ways I hadn’t imagined.
Study ESL in San Francisco.