Discover San Francisco on the ‘Hood Walk with Gifford!

Every week EC San Francisco students get the opportunity to take their English practice out of the classroom and into the streets of beautiful San Francisco by going on the ‘Hood Walk, a student activity led by teacher Gifford. Gifford and the students walk around a different neighborhood each week to visit notable landmarks, sites of historical interest, as well as places that students might want to return to and enjoy on their own time! Last week Gifford and the students explored the Mission District. The Mission is San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood, but in recent years has become one of the trendiest spots in the city. Within the last few years new restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries have opened up, making it a popular place to hang out. Traditionally home to San Francisco’s large Latino community, The Mission is known for its many delicious Latin food restaurants (enjoy Mexican, Nicaraguan, Salvadorenian, Guatemalan, Chilean, and many other national cuisines–even gluten-free Latin-inspired food!), music venues, theaters and performance spaces, as well as iconic historical landmarks such Mission Dolores and Dolores Park. The Mission is well known for its art scene, and there are many murals to be found throughout the neighborhood. A walking tour is the perfect way to view the neighborhood’s vibrant street art, and students on last week’s walk got to see the famous murals on the Women’s Building on 18th Street: The ‘Hood Walk with Gifford takes place every week on Wednesdays–make sure to sign up at the Front Desk, and start discovering San Francisco! [Thank you to Student Ambassador Genie for all of the great photos.] … Find out more about EC San Francisco and how to take English courses in the USA!

Giselle’s Testimonial: “The teachers are awesome!”

Giselle is a Brazilian student who took the Semi Intensive program at EC San Francisco for four weeks. When asked why she decided to study at EC San Francisco she said that when she decided to study at an English language center in San Francisco, she found the information for the school on a website while she was researching programs. She ultimately decided to attend here because it was a good school at the price she was looking for. Giselle’s favorite thing about EC San Francisco was the teaching staff, declaring that “the teachers are awesome!” When asked what advice she would give to a new student taking an English course at EC SF, she emphasized the importance of making sure to take classes that were right for them and that would help them improve their English skills the quickest. And what what is her favorite memory of San Francisco that she will remember from her time studying here? “The Golden Gate Bridge!” she said. “It was like a dream when I got to see it for myself.” Thank you so much for your kind words, Giselle, and we wish you continued success in your study of English! … Find out more about EC SF, an English language center in San Francisco!

Study English in the USA and Achieve Academic Success Like Arthur!

Why study English in the USA? There are many benefits to studying English in an American city like San Francisco, but one major reason is that studying in an English-language area allows you to use English in “real world” settings, which in turn can help increase the likelihood of academic success! This is demonstrated by an email EC San Francisco teacher Drew received from Arthur, one of his former students. Arthur is a French student who took General English for three weeks this last summer. We thank Arthur for agreeing to let us share his experiences with all of you. In his email Arthur talks about how his English improved because he chose to take English courses over the summer, the quality of the teachers at EC San Francisco, as well as the good memories that he made and why he misses San Francisco: This is Arthur one of your French former students. I was at EC SF last summer. I just wanted to take some news, to see how you are doing. I heard the Giants has won against Washington DC during one of the longest game ever !  You told me before I was leaving that you were going to Europe in August, I hope it was great. I miss California, especially the people there and the atmosphere of San Francisco. Today during an oral exam in English a teacher notice that my accent was better than last year. No doubt it is thanks to you. Your lessons was great! Anyway I’m looking forward to hearing  from you ! Arthur Congratulations on your exams, Arthur, and we’re so glad to hear that you have such good memories of your time here in San Francisco! Keep up the good work, and keep practicing your English.  … Study English in San Francisco and achieve academic success just like Arthur!

Gisela’s Testimonial: “It was an amazing exchange of culture”

Gisela is a Brazilian student who studied at EC San Francisco for six weeks this summer in the English for Work program. As an accountant in Rio de Janeiro she was looking for English courses that would target her specific needs of learning to use English within a business context. Everybody here at EC San Francisco and at the student residence is going to miss Gisela’s friendliness, her eagerness to always practice her English (both inside the classroom and out), and how fun she is to be around. We asked her to answer a few questions about her experience, and here is what she had to say: Why did you choose to study at EC San Francisco? Firstly, because I needed to study specific English (Business English) and I had just EC San Francisco to do this. And then, I chose SF because [of] its history, weather… What was your favorite thing about EC San Francisco? People who work here. All of them are very kind… I loved my experience with my classmates too. It was an 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 maximum open mind and allow all things that are good for you to learn English. Make friends for the rest of your life! We are so glad that you enjoyed your time here at EC San Francisco, Gisela! Best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Havva’s Testimonial: “Everyone is so friendly and helpful…”

  Havva is a Turkish student who studied at EC San Francisco this summer. When Havva first arrived at school she was very shy about speaking in English, but after taking full immersion English courses in the Semi-Intensive program, and studying diligently for three months, she impressed everyone with the dramatic improvement in her speaking abilities and overall fluency. Well done, Havva! When asked about what her favorite thing about EC San Francisco is, she singled out the quality of the teaching and the student community, writing that “all of the teachers and students are so friendly and helpful.” Havva said that her favorite memory of San Francisco is an afternoon spent at “Baker Beach with all of the students.” This weekend school activity, led by the student ambassadors, took place on a sunny Saturday on a beach with the famous Golden Gate Bridge just in the distance. “It was very good,” she writes, “we all played ball games which was enjoy[able].” Would Havva recommend EC San Francisco to other students who want to learn English? “Absolutely!” And what advice would she give to a student? “Always speak English.” Havva is heading to New York City for a short trip before returning home to Turkey. Save travels, Havva, and keep using all your new English skills on your trip–we will miss you!

Joe’s Perspective: Meet Joe, an EC Homestay Host

Note from Jesse, EC SF Homestay Coordinator: One of the things I most enjoy working as the Homestay Coordinator is developing relationships with the amazing families who host students for English schools like EC San Francisco. When I first started, Joe was quick to introduce himself and befriend me, and one of the things we bonded over was our mutual love of writing. I often receive emails from Joe full of wonderful descriptions and photos of his experiences and activities he coordinates for the students that stay with him and his wife, and so I asked him if he would be interested in occasionally writing about being a homestay host for the EC SF blog, and he has graciously agreed to do so. Below is the first and what I hope are many updates from “Joe’s Perspective.”  … “Koya, one of our Japanese students, recently had his visiting family from Japan.  Koya made arrangements with us so that his family could visit him and personally meet the family he had been staying with for three months.  My wife Mila and I painstakingly prepared “seafood pasta,”  Koya’s favorite meal, complimented by coffee and Mango cake for dessert. What I most enjoy about working with the EC homestay program is making a difference in the life of foreign students. Not only a warm welcome, but providing them the family atmosphere, and a safe environment as though they never left home.  It fosters and creates enriching learning experiences for both of us through the cultural exchange and develops deep, lasting friendship.  Somehow this kind of connection gives the student a real sense of stability while living here and carried on when they return back home.” … Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Joe, and we look forward to hearing more about your experiences! … Learn more about EC … Read more

An update from Laura, the best intern an English school could have!

For four months, every person that walked in the front doors at EC San Francisco was greeted by Laura, our amazing summer intern. Laura was here for an internship for her university located in Grenoble, France. She did an amazing job running the front desk, making sure everything ran smoothly at all times and always managing to do so with a smile. She also had the ability to finding the humor in even the most stressful situations.  All English schools should be so lucky as to have an intern like Laura: EC SF hasn’t been the same since she left us at the end of August, and we miss her very, very much! … Now that Laura has been back home in France for several weeks, we asked for an update on how she is doing, and to share what she most enjoyed about her EC experience, and if she experienced any culture shock upon returning back to France. Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is Laura. I am a French student, and I am doing a Masters [degree] in Supply Chain Management. I live in Grenoble with a lovely-useless-fat-lazy cat. I have grown up with three amazing brothers. I am really curious in my everyday life, and I am passionate about discovering new culture and people. What was your position at EC San Francisco? And how long were you here for? I was an Intern. I was Student Services Counselor at the Front Desk, and I was there for 4 wonderful months. What is your favorite memory of EC San Francisco? I have so many good memories at EC SF that it is very hard for me to chose one. I would say maybe Monday mornings. I remember that everyone came with a big smile and a huge motivation, no matter how many new … Read more

Learning at EC SF is more than just English courses!

Several weeks ago Kaiser started as Residence Advisor at the Monastery, EC San Francisco’s student residence. As well as helping with student requests and taking care of building issues (and working at the front desk of the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays), a major part of Kaiser’s position is to ensure that students who stay at the Monastery have a memorable experience during their time in San Francisco. Because as everybody knows, it takes much more than just English courses to master the language–it requires speaking English all day, every day! Here is what he had to say about recent activities that have taken place at the Monastery: “Since starting as the R.A. at the Monastery I’ve been trying to think of ways for students to meet each other and promote a sense of community among the students. One of the activities I have started is a bi-monthly barbecue which takes advantage of the building’s amazing rooftop deck, with views of the Mission neighborhood, Twin Peaks, and the downtown area. So far I have been able to host three dinners, and they have been well attended, with up to 25 EC students attending each one. It is a great way for everyone to get to know each other and continue to practice their English with each other in a setting outside of the classroom.  One of the advantages of doing activities that gets everybody to meet each other is that it allows for spontaneous interactions between students. This last week we decided to have a game night, and it was so much fun seeing everyone just hanging out and trying to find the words to negotiate with each other in English over a game of Monopoly!” At recent Monastery Barbecues:      Monopoly Game Night:

David’s Testimonial: “It was an amazing experience…”

David is a German student who spent three weeks studying in the General English program at EC San Francisco. Here is what David had to say about his time here: “It was an amazing experience here at the EC school in San Francisco. I chose this city only to improve my English, but I met a lot of interesting people and visited many different places. Here are many people from all over the world. Some of them became real friends for this short time I stayed here. I will come back next year for a longer time. A big thank you to all members of the EC San Francisco.” We look forward to seeing you next year, David, when you decide to come study English in the USA once again!