Three Benefits of Making Friends Abroad

1. Networking What do we mean by networking? The more international friends you make, the more places around the globe you’ll have chances in. For example, let’s say you know, a Brazilian, a Saudi, a German, a Korean and a Russian! Now you have networks in five different countries! That means if you’re ever looking for business opportunities, or job vacancies, or simple vacation, you now know enough people to help you and direct you to where you find the best jobs or opportunities in these five countries. Now imagine you know more than just one, from many different regions and provinces or even counties, imagine the network and references you’ll have! That’s one of the best things we offer at our language school! 2. Traveling for less Let’s say you’re happy where you are, and are comfortable with your job or business. Let’s say your country offers you the best opportunities for you, and you’re not thinking of relocating. However, you would still want to travel the world and see as much as you can! Who wouldn’t want to see all the countries in the world? If you made friends in as many countries as you can, those friends can help you find the cheapest but best places to visit. They will offer you help one where to go and where not to go. They will know the local cool places that are not crowded with tourists, providing a unique culture experience! Sometimes, they will offer you a place to stay for FREE! Because they’re the awesome local friend! 3. Learning new languages We all know that practice make perfect, and the best practice is with your native speaker buddy! If you want to learn a new language, English or German, Russian, or Japanese… etc, the best way to … Read more

My Experience, written by Kazutoyo Hayashi

Kazu is one of our awesome EC ambassadors. He is from Japan, and is currently studying in our pre-intermediate class. He is also signed up in our semi-intensive program. Here’s what he said about his experience at EC San Francisco. “I’ve already spent two months EC San Francisco. I’m having a great time here. On the first day, I couldn’t understand everything which was in English; school rules and information about San Francisco. But everyone who; teachers and my friends were very helpful. Thanks to everyone, I feel my English was improved a lot. I’ve learned that communication is important in conversation. EC has a lot of students who are from different countries. We have different accents and different cultures. We also have a lot of different personality differences. We’ve been staying here and respecting each other. I learned that respecting each other is important to get along. I’ve never thought about it before I came to San Francisco. I believe it’s going to be a great experience for me. Thanks to every student I met, I am having a great time here. I often ask teachers when I couldn’t understand. Teachers always help me. EC teachers are so kind to teach us. We really like them. I really think EC school is the best school. New students don’t need to worry. Also, our school has a lot of activities. I experienced yoga, hiking and traveling to Las Vegas etc. It was really fun. And we can make friends even though we have different classes”.   If you want to learn more, Please sign up for English Courses in San Francisco  

Activities Highlight of December

Holiday season has started with December! Here are some big events we will be leading for our students! Coit Tower On Wednesday, December 11th, Teacher Gifford is going to take students to the famous Coit Tower. He will lead a walk to the Tower to climb the hill from the secret stairs. It is located in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. You will see people’s backyard. The Coit Tower was listed in the National Historic Landmark in 1984. It was built as a memorial for Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy woman of the Bay Area. Chocolate & Art On Thursday December 12th, Teacher Linah is showcasing her art at the SomArts Cultural Center on Brannen St. The event will include free chocolate fondu, food vendors and drinks are present. its is strictly 21+. It starts at 8:00 PM and continues to 2:00 in the morning. If you cannot make it on Thursday, you can go on Friday the 13th. The event is 2 days in a row. Holiday Potluck Party It’s also UGLY sweater day. Our Christmas potluck party is on December 19th. It will take place at the Tehama Luxury Residence. It will start around 5 PM. Just bring a snack, or a drink, beer or a bottle of wine! We will enjoy a relaxed evening before we head out for dinner. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! December Karaoke On December 27th, just after Christmas, we will host our monthly Karaoke contest! Let’s see who can sing the loudest, the bravest, and the best! Anna & Linah will lead the contest at the student lounge. It will cost you $2 to attend our party! We will have snacks for you. The contest will start at 3:00PM after your afternoon class. Cocktail Bay Cruise Do you want to have a nice party with drinks … Read more

Simple Present is So Simple

In our English language course, and after we teach students hellos and goodbyes, we introduce then to the Simple Present Tense. It is the simplest yet most important tense to learn in English. Because if you understand it well, everything else that follow will be easy!   What is the Simple Present Tense? In language when we teach grammar, we use the tenses; present, past and future. “Tense” means time. Present means now. And Simple indicates the use of this grammar rule. It is used mostly in simple sentences that have one verb, one subject and one object.   When do we use the Simple Present tense? It has many uses. But the most common use is when we talk about everyday routine, habits and facts. For example: I go to school everyday. She walks to school everyday. They drink coffee in the morning. The sun rises at 6:30AM   How do we make sentences in the Simple Present tense? For affirmative (positive) sentences: Subject Verb Object I, you, we, they aake up at 5:30 in the morning He, she, it wakes up at 5:30 in the morning. note that we add an -S to the verb in singular third person.   For negative sentences: We use the auxiliary “don’t / doesn’t” Subject Verb Object I, you, we, they don’t aake up at 5:30 in the morning He, she, it doesn’t wake up at 5:30 in the morning.   For Yes / No questions: We use the auxiliary “do / does” Subject Verb O / C? Do I, you, we, they go To the gym? Does she, he, it sleep early? note the -S on the verb for singular third person doesn’t exist. also note the question mark at the end of the question.     If you want to … Read more

Recap of the Month of November

1. Movie Nights It’s getting cold here in San Francisco! Earlier this month, we signed up to go to the AMC Metreon on Mission St. It’s a couple of blocks away from our school. We booked a whole row of seats and together we watched the intense movies: Joker and the new Disney Maleficent. After that we walked around the Union Square and had dinner. 2. Kayaking Our Saudi Arabia Student Ambassador Hamdan lead students on a Saturday to go Kayaking in the San Francisco Bay waters. Over 8 students signed up and enjoyed the nice weather before it gets cold. Kayaking is one our most famous activities after the summer season BBQs. 3. New Student Ambassadors   Back in October, we lost most of our ambassadors. They graduated and moved on with their lives. We wish them happiness and success. Although they will always be ambassadors to our school, we needed to signed new ones on site! We put the word out, and received many requests. We now have an awesome team including; Hamdan and Ibrahim from Saudi Arabia, Lili from Hungary, Kazu from Japan and Peter from Germany! We wish them good luck and we’re excited to have fun with them! 4. Guess Who? Sandra, our intern, sent emails to all our staff members and teachers asking them to send her pictures of them when they were little babies. She put them all on one poster and numbered them with no names. Students, for a whole week, had to fill in forms guessing who’s who! We had fun with confusion and some students playing detectives. Eventually, Lukas from Germany was the winner of guessing them all right! We also had 3 students who guessed all of them but two! It was a fun game! Thank you Sandra!   … Read more

4 Top Places to Visit in Oakland!

Across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, there’s a whole world that could be discovered. Usually, people who visit us here in San Francisco are reluctant to visit Oakland. Only because the bridge that connects the East Bay to San Francisco isn’t Golden! Well, it might not be as flashy as the Golden Gate Bridge, but it’s as reliable and as pretty! And Oakland is a huge area that has a lot of cool and hip spots. Here are five great places you need to visit while you’re here. 1. Jack London Square It’s the center of so many businesses and restaurants overlooking the Oakland-Port. The Area was named after the novelist, essayist, and journalist Jack London. He was a famous American writer born and raised in San Francisco, CA. There’s a huge bowling alley / arcade bar and restaurant. There’s also a hotel overlooking the Bay that is Navy themed. There’s a Waffle & Chicken cafe that is delicious and famous. 2. Lake Merritt It’s a lagoon situated in the center of Oakland. The lake is surrounded by the many districts. It is the place of many restaurants and bars. The lake is a national historic landmark since 1963. It was the country’s first official wildlife refuge in 1860. 3. Fox Oakland Theatre The theater is also listed a national historic landmark. It was opened in 1928. It was first a movie theater, then turned into a music venue. It is unique in its interior design as much as its architecture. The venue hosted so many famous artists including B.B King, Metallica, Bob Dylan,  Van Morrison, Lorde, Animal Collective, Green Day and so many more. If you’re ever interested in attending a concert, check this one out! 4. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum It was build in 1966 as a home for … Read more


We hope that you had a great Halloween! Our Halloween was the BEST! We decorated our school with spider webs and zombie hands reaching out to get you! We had a giant spider hanging around the EC sign. The orange carpet fit in the middle of school. Our skull greeted students on the front desk. A giant cat bowl had all kinds of candy and sweets for trick or treats. At out student lounge, we had a skeleton playing our guitars at night. It gets lonely you know! However, the best part of Halloween was dressing up and costume bragging! Students dressed up and wore make up in scary, sexy and original costumes. Our teachers ganged up to dress like Bruce, the Grinch of Halloween, who came dressed as himself! It was hilarious! Our center director Ryan wore a head of a black goat. Amanda came out of a black and white movie. She made an awesome contrast with all the color costumes we had. And our lovely sweet Anna came a bunny! We had a Halloween costume contest and 3 students won our prizes. Then, we also had a toilet paper wrap mummy contest costumes and wrapped him / her with paper towel until they couldn’t see their way down the orange carpet. EC is asking our students to send us all the photos they took that day! Our promise is to add more awesome and interesting costumes! Also, you can check out Instagram page for more EC costumes! They’re hilarious, sexy and some are really funny!   We ended our Halloween night with a scary movie. Our students voted to watch Ghost Busters. Therefor, we gathered in the Students’ lounge shared some popcorn and Halloween candy, drank some soda and Apple Cider. And we called it a day … Read more

About Teacher Linah

  1. Introduce yourself in a few words. I am Linah Sofi, a Saudi Arabian living in the United States. In 2011, I was granted a full scholarship from the government of Saudi Arabia to pursue my Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language. I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2015. I have 4 years of teaching experience including kids. 2. What do you like most about being a teacher at EC? Aside from meeting awesome people from all around the world, and listening to their awesome stories about cultural differences? I like the Teachers Room the best! It feels like a community of help support and jokes! It’s very relaxed. 3. What’s your favorite skill to teach? This might surprise some people, but GRAMMAR! When I was a student I hated it, but as a teacher, and after I learned it extensively in USF, it all made sense! I do compare it to logic and math, 1+1=2. 4. What’s the hardest part about being a teacher? Trying to mask the frustration I feel with myself, when I fail to make a  point clear. Students may feel that I am frustrated with them, but I always try to explain to them that it’s not about them. It’s about me. Feeling that I am not good at my job makes me so upset. 5. What’s your favorite “success story”? Most students are excellent success stories. Many also stand out. But I remember a man from Paraguay named Luis Florentin. He came to class with very limited English, and was very shy. He sought the help of others to translate but after a couple of months, he became the one so comfortable with language that was now acting like a translator to others and helping them. Stories like … Read more

Our weekend trip to Los Angeles by Sandra Taschke

  We booked our weekend trip to Los Angeles trough Expidition America – a company which does tours & excursions for international students, groups and travelers in the U.S. On Friday morning we went to a meeting point where a bus had picked us up to get to L.A. Our first stop after the long ride was the Santa Monica Pier – it was really beautiful! We could watch the sunset while enjoying dinner at one of the food stands. There were also many wheel and roller coasters you could ride. After spending there two hours, the bus had taken us to our motel for check-in. Afterwards we went to the Walk of Fame – which was only 5 minutes away from our motel by foot. It was night time as we got there, so it looked really cool. After seeing the stars of the Walk of Fame, me and my friends went to a bar at this street. The next morning the bus had picked us up and drove us to the Griffith Observatory – where you can get a great view all over L.A. You can even see the Hollywood sign, even though it’s looks small from there. Inside the building of the observatory there are many space and science related displays for people who are interested in these kinds of things. After this, we went to Farmers Market. There were many food stalls and restaurants, where we could have lunch at. Me and my friends went to a restaurant there and had a very huge, shared mac and cheese bowl. Right after lunching we went to Venice Beach. We were walking at the Boardwalk where you could buy souvenirs and food and enjoy the view. And our last stop for that day was  Rodeo drive – the … Read more

About me & my first day at EC – by Mayu

  My first day at EC: My first day at EC,I was nervous because I was worried about my school life. When I entered a classroom,I found many students around the world. I was excited to talk with them. I tried to talk Mexican girl and Columbian boy. They were friendly and kind so I got along with them quickly. That happens made me having a confidence so I asked them to have lunch together. Then we had good lunch at that time. If I hadn’t talked them, we wouldn’t become friends. They have already graduated and back to their country but we still keep in touch. I learned small brave makes a big relationship. I know it’s difficult to talk to strangers particularly people who speak different languages. But this is the most important to be friends. Something interesting about me: I’m from west of Japan. In Japan there are many kinds of dialects. My hometown’s dialect sounds angry (I don’t think so!). So when I talk to friends who speak standard Japanese they told me why I was little harsh. I try to speak mildly because I don’t want my friends feel not good. But I like my dialect. Japanese has formal and polite words to older people or workers or customers. Even though we use formal words just one year older people. I like that language culture. But it is a little bit difficult to become close friends with older people. To be honest I don’t have Japanese older friends. But I’m close with them like friends. My understanding is they are close older people. The reason why they are not friends for me is I guess because of formal words. So when I use formal words to them I felt to have a distance. What I want to … Read more