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Explore Stanford University

  California has lots of famous and good universities and colleges. One of them is Stanford University. You can get there by Caltrain from San Francisco downtown and it takes less than two hours. The campus is huge and very beautiful. I recommend you to go up to the Hoover Tower and to look around the campus at the top of the tower. In addition, don’t miss the famous bookstore for your souvenir. You can find a lot of Stanford University logo items. If you go there when school is in session, you might want to join some classes and attend some events. Search on the university website and attend a class!     I went to the memorial church on campus to watch the Christmas concert last month. The church has a big pipe organ. The pipe organ concert happens once a month. The church also has beautiful murals inside. I’m sure that you will like them. Are you interested in studying in San Francisco? Check out our Business English Courses in San Francisco!  

Winter Adventures in Lake Tahoe While Learning English at EC San Francisco

Lake Tahoe  By Student Ambassador Bastien B. The last time I wrote a blog was about my trip with fifteen friends in the Yosemite Park. Today, I am back with a new story in a new place: Lake Tahoe. The largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevadas of the United States, it is located along the border between California and Nevada. Ski resorts, frozen beaches, wonderful bays, clear water, I can tell you many reasons to go there. Again, it was a cosmopolitan weekend: fifteen people, five different nationalities, three cars and one crazy American house. We were in Tahoe City, on the Northwest of the lake. From San Francisco, it took nearly three hours and twenty minutes to drive there. I’m going to explain to you how we had planned our weekend. On Friday after school, we left directly from the city. At this time of the year (17th of January) the darkness came early, so we arrived at our final destination during the night. We took a rest and mainly enjoyed the Jacuzzi on the roof. Warm water at two in the morning, an almost full moon and somewhere in the forest, it was almost idyllic. On Sunday, our plan was to ski and see this thing white and which could eat, the snow. Effectively, we were with some people who had never seen it. Try to imagine the stars in their eyes when they saw it for the first time. From the beginners to the almost professional skiers, everyone fell down at least one time. And of course, I was here with my GoPro (camera) to record all of that. The weather was perfect, wonderful blue skies and it wasn’t cold. So we could have skied or snowboarded, for the most courageous of us, without gloves or … Read more

EC English Students Invaded Yosemite National Park!

Hi ECSF students and readers, I’m a new writer. My name is Bastien, from France and I’m 21 years old. I’m a new Student Ambassador and consequently you will see me during many weeks in the editorial line of this blog. Today, I want to share with you my trip to Yosemite National Park with fourteen other EC students. At EC San San Francisco you meet awesome people and so, when you decide to organize a weekend with these people, you know that you will enjoy your time a lot! We rented a huge house about an hour away from the Park. We had a lounge room with a billiard, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom; an enormous table for eating the brunches of our chief cooks… All the things you need to spend a good time with your friends and just enjoy the weekend! When we arrived to Yosemite, we smelt the pure air of the mountains and forests. Imagine the colors of the fall, a blue and sunny sky, a big hot jacket and the deer who passed close to you. The landscapes are wonderful and all amateur photographers could find their pleasures and take beautiful photos. Just look at mine! Since we visited Yosemite in the Fall, the sunset came quickly and early, so be careful about your arrival time. If you meet a bear during the night, you might not be happy! Of course, I am only kidding .J On the way back, we decided to pass a few hours at the “New Melones Lake”. With nobody around us, we were alone in this world. We took a rest and enjoyed these moments together. On the highway, we were lucky to see an awesome red sunset. We stopped the cars to take pictures. It was the highlight … Read more

Weird American Activities in the Eyes of Our Intern, Kanami!

Weird American Activities –GO SHARKS!-   Hi ECSF students and blog readers. My name is Kanami. I have been working at EC San Francisco since the beginning of October. This is my first time to write a blog and I am really excited about it. Today, I want to talk about an American hockey game I saw a couple weeks ago as my first article. I went to watch the game of San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes at the SAP Center in San Jose on November 2nd.  When I first got there, I was totally amazed by the scale of everything around the stadium. It was so huge and there were so many advertisements around. Both teams have a mascot and they are so entertaining. People just really loved their team. The majority of people there were Sharks fans of as it was their home game. People were screaming for Sharks and waving their arms up and down as if they were sharks biting people. A guy sitting next to us spilled all his beer on my friend’s new jacket because he got into the game too much.  I was too shy to scream like the Americans but I ended up being so enthusiastic about the game. Honestly, I did not know that ice hockey is really famous here and I didn’t know the rules before I went to see it but I found that I really enjoyed myself and liked it even if the Sharks lost the game in sudden death. I found out that if you are a really good player on the team, it is like you are you are a Hollywood celebrity. Watching sports always make us one big group even if we are complete strangers which is really good for especially international students like us. … Read more

Off the Beaten Track: Yosemite in the Autumn

It sounds odd to talk about Yosemite as “off the beaten track,” since this world-class park is a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.  But most people thinking of Yosemite think of thundering waterfalls along with towering cliffs, and in the fall, although the cliffs still loom, the water is largely silent.  The long dry summer takes its toll on the rivers and streams, and in a dry year (such as this one), smaller creeks like Bridalveil may be dry, or nearly so.  And so, many people choose not to visit at this time of year. And that is part of the charm.  The Valley is winding down, cooling off, and preparing for winter.  You may see more bears and coyote in the valley, looking for food among the red and gold fallen leaves, or the golden grasses and ferns.  The shadowy edges of the Valley may be chilly all day, as cold seems to radiate from the cliffs, while the central areas will still be warm.  In the morning, you may see ice on the edge of the river. This is the best time to have the Valley as much to yourself as is ever possible.  It’s a great time to hike the “Mist Trail” beside the largest (although not tallest) waterfall in Yosemite, Vernal Falls.  In the Spring, it may be too wet, and the trail is sometimes closed because of the risk to hikers, but at this time of year, you can climb near the waterfall, and not feel like you are in a massive cold shower. Late October through mid-November is a great time to visit this park, one of California’s great natural wonders.  You can reach the park easily by car (or Amtrak) from EC San Francisco in around … Read more

Off the Beaten Track: a Spa in the Wine Country

October and November are prime times to visit the Napa Valley, both for wine tasting, and for the spectacular fall color.  At this time of year, the poplars shine with bright yellows, the oaks are a dusky gold, and the grape leaves are every shade from orange to scarlet to a red so deep it seems almost black. However, as popular as the Napa Valley is, few tourists go as far up the valley as the gem of the region, the charming resort town of Calistoga.  As does nearby St. Helena, Calistoga sports a compact downtown, with a variety of enchanting shops, bakeries, and restaurants.  But, unknown to many, Calistoga also is a hot springs resort, with around half a dozen spas offering a variety of services from simple hot pools to full spa treatments with mud baths and herbal rubs.  Some of the facilities are day only, while others have full motel services, with the soaking and swimming pools as part of the package.  As the nights (and soon, the days) become cooler, breaking up a day of auto touring and winery visiting with a soak in rejuvenating hot mineral water becomes an ever more attractive idea.  (Even in winter, with the leaves long gone, sitting in hot water while looking at the nearby snowcapped hills has a charm all its own.) Calistoga is pretty hard to reach on public transportation, but it is an easy ride by car from San Francisco.  Many students at EC San Francisco visit the Napa Valley, either by rental car or tour, but if you choose to go, don’t forget Calistoga.  You won’t be sorry.  

NightLife at the Academy

Hi ECSF students and readers, It’s no secret that there’s a million and one fun activities to do in San Francisco. From running on Ocean Beach to bar hopping in the Mission District, there is something for everyone. The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is a great place to learn about history and the natural world. Many might argue, though, that the best activity to do there is “NightLife at the Academy,” a weekly mix and mingle event that many San Franciscans and ECSF students have enjoyed. Every Thursday evening some of the most social butterflies in SF come together for food, drinks, dancing, and even a little learning. NightLife offers a great mix of gourmet cooking and DJs paired with numerous bars that offer a variety social atmospheres. For an extra admission fee Nightlife also offers VIP tours of some of the Academy’s best exhibits. If you spend enough time in the City you’ll come to understand that the weekend really starts on Thursday. Get your friends together and go to Nightlife. You won’t soon forget it. Check out these pictures taken by some of our students who recently attended the event. Teacher Tim  

Tales from the Library

   Hi ECSF students and readers, I’m sure many of you are taking advantage of all the great social activities that can be done in our San Francisco. For those of you who are looking for an authentically San Francisco experience, the Folsom Street Fair is this weekend. If street fairs are not your scene, you may want to continue your academic endeavors. If that is the case, there is no better place to go in SF than the main branch of the public library at Civic Center. The main branch of the San Francisco public library is conveniently located at the Civic Center in the heart of the City, so it is easily accessible by public transportation from pretty much anywhere. This is the best public library I have ever visited and it offers residents and visitors alike many great resources and services. For anyone looking for a quiet place to study with free Internet access and a vast array of books, magazines, and much more, this is the place for you. Every class outing I’ve taken to this library has been an informative and enjoyable experience. ECSF students can find much more than just books and archives, though, as the library often hosts Q&A events by authors and historical exhibits relating to California’s past. My favorite feature, though, are the archives on the top floor of the building. These archives offer everyone the chance to interact with history at its finest in an unfiltered setting. The many great treasures available for viewing make for great source materials for students working on research projects or those who just want a greater connection to San Francisco’s amazing past. Until next time, Teacher Tim  

Student Ambassador Yohko Kayahara Explores Free Yoga in San Francisco!

  The other day, I went to an AY lecture about Yoga by Laura and learned that there are a lot of yoga studios in SF. When you hear the word “yoga”, what comes to your mind? I think although most people think yoga is difficult, yoga is simple and easy. Of course, some poses are so difficult, but most teachers know the most important thing in yoga is to enjoy yourself. So how about doing yoga without thinking too much?  If you want to try to do yoga, there are many opportunities for you in SF. For example, I know two places we can do yoga for free. First, we can take part in a yoga class every Tuesday from 6:15 p.m. at Grace Cathedral.There are a lot of people, but the light is dim, so if you don’t do yoga well, nobody looks at you. But you need to bring a yoga mat. YOGA ON THE LABYRINTH  http://labyrinthyoga.com/     Another option that we can take part in is a yoga class every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The place is called “prAna” and is a yoga clothing shop near Japantown and you don’t need a yoga mat. prAna San Francisco http://www.prana.com/life/retail-stores/san-francisco-store/     In addition to the two yoga class, we have a chance to do yoga under the sky. Although I haven’t been there, I want to go there in the near future. Free Rooftop Yoga Sundays at Lombardi Sports http://sf.funcheap.com/free-rooftop-yoga-sundays-lombardi-sports-27/ It is said that yoga is good for our health and mind. If you are scared to go by yourself, please invite me!  

Student Ambassador Chulkyun Jeon Reflects on College Football at UC Berkeley! GOOO BEARS!

  I went to the UC Berkeley football game with my classmate to watch an NCAA football game with the California Golden Bears versus the Portland State Vikings last Saturday. I have never seen a football game, not even through broadcasting. It is not a famous sport in my country, Korea. However, I wanted to know why many people in America are so enthusiastic about football. To tell the truth, I would like to watch a 49ers game in the stadium. Unfortunately, the ticket price was more expensive than I expected. Therefore, I tried to find a cheaper ticket or watch an amateur game. While I was web surfing, I found a match for the CAL Bears versus the Portland Vikings at UC Berkeley. Besides, the ticket prices were not so expensive. It was such a great opportunity to watch a football game in the stadium. I went with 13 ECers. Most of the ECers didn’t know how to play football. However, they also wanted to watch a football game. The day of match, the weather had never been better. Before the game, there was a performance by the big band and cheerleaders. They made the atmosphere of the stadium fill with excitement. The game took almost 4 hours. However, nobody felt bored during the game. Personally, the result of the game was not important. To feel the atmosphere of the football game was more important than the score. In the end, the CAL bears won the game. I could feel a true spirit of camaraderie during the game. Besides, to watch a football game gave a whole new meaning to me. I’d like to watch a game again. Of course, I highly recommend watching a football game in the stadium whatever it will be a professional game or amateur … Read more