Another former student looks back at his time at EC Vancouver.

Hi everybody ! My name is Gilles and I’m from the french part of Switzerland. I studied for 10 weeks at EC Vancouver from August to October. I’ll never forget my first day at EC. It was the 12th of August; I arrived one time to take the placement test and it was at that time that I met my first friends in Vancouver. We were all in the same situation, we were alone, abroad and a bit lost in this big city so different from our native country ! My two first weeks I was in an intermediate class, then I changed to a high intermediate class and finally to an upper intermediate level. Every time I changed my class I met a lot of new people who became friends. During my stay in Vancouver I did many activities and some amazing trips! In the city, I really liked Stanley Park and Granville Island. I also did the Grouse Grind with some friends, the scenary from the top of Grouse Mountain was wonderful. The Rockies tour was also very amazing. There were so many lakes, glaciers and beautiful landscapes ; I’ll recommend to everyone to do it! I also visited Whistler, Victoria and Seattle which are all great cities. One thing I’ll never forget is the Vancouver night life and the amazing parties we had with my friends and of course every Thursday night at Malones! After my stay in Vancouver, I travelled across Canada. I visited Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal and lastly, Quebec City. I absolutely loved Montreal, Toronto was also beautiful not as amazing as Vancouver. After this amazing experience it was very difficult to get back home. You realised how your friends were important and how you’ll miss them. One month after being back home, I’ve still remained … Read more

“A Former Student Looks Back at Her Time at EC Vancouver”

Hi everyone I’m Corinne from Switzerland and I’m a student here at EC Vancouver. To get my diploma as a primary teacher I need an advanced Cambridge CAE certificate. This was the reason why I came to Vancouver and spent my whole summer there. If I didn’t need to study English and pass a CAE exam I likely wouldn’t have come to Vancouver, nor gone anywhere to study. I was too afraid of getting homesick. But now I can say with confidence that it was the best decision I’ve ever made! Living in Vancouver and studying at EC was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I encourage everyone I know to do it! I met a lot of very nice people while I was abroad. A special ‘thank you’ to Pierina, who made my life in Vancouver very enjoyable! I also did a lot of awesome trips. I very much enjoyed the excursion to the Rocky Mountains; my personal highlight was seeing a bear in the wilderness. I was astonished by seeing this big and beautiful creature. BC’s landscape is truly amazing and I couldn’t believe that it is real. Another unforgettable moment was seeing three grey whales in the middle of the ocean between Tofino and Hawaii. I returned to Switzerland at the end of August. I definitely miss my Vancouver friends, they were all very typically friendly Canadians, I also miss the landscapes, the beach and especially Sushi, which is not that good in Switzerland. When I think back to my time spent in Canada, I have the feeling as if it was an awesome dream! I have to go back, soon!

Meet Marcela our new intern.

Hi everyone! This is Marcela from Santiago, the capital of Chile. I arrived in Vancouver July and I’m leaving next September, 2014. I came here to learn English as much as possible. I practice English both as a student and now as an intern here at EC Vancouver. I like learning how to communicate with others. During my classes, I’ve been learning a lot about other cultures, countries, people, and in general, Canada. Anyway, from today onwards I will be at the front desk here at EC Vancouver, if you have any questions or suggestion about anything, feel free to speak to me! -Marcela, Intern at EC Vancouver

EC Students Visit the Vancouver Police Museum

Cambridge exams are coming up next week and to help students relax teacher Jackie decided to visit the Vancouver Police Museum. We arrived and were kindly welcomed by the tour guide. She told us about different weapons that were used by the police throughout time and gave us some general information about the police department in Vancouver. After the short presentation given we were tasked to answer questions about the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). We learned many things, notably the role women have played in the police force as well as what the 14 different leaves on the purple police flag stand for. We corrected the questions we were tasked with and then checked out the morgue. This morgue hasn’t been used in more than 30 years but is quite interesting. Our task in the morgue was to solve who murdered Mr. Jones. We had to examine blood drops, footprints and handwriting. Moreover we had to check DNA and draw the criminal scene. As soon as we solved the case the guide finished the tour. After taking a few pictures in the museum we all traveled back to EC. It was a really nice and informative afternoon. This field trip is another reason why students interested in Cambridge should consider EC Vancouver. Thanks to Jackie for including us in the trip. Good luck Cambridge students! Chiara and Pierina, EC Vancouver interns.  

Why you should study Cambridge at EC Vancouver!

The Cambridge English exam is one of the most regarded and respected in the ESL industry. Comprised of three levels, FCE (first course), CAE (advanced) and CPE (proficient), the Cambridge English exam prep program, here at EC Vancouver, is designed for students looking to earn one of the more challenging, yet distinguished global ESL certifications. EC Vancouver was one of the first schools in North America to offer all three levels of Cambridge. It is common for schools to offer both FCE and CAE, yet many do not offer the CPE program. The Cambridge ESL exam prep program is known for its rigour. Our Cambridge exam prep programs are comprised of 30 lessons per week (mornings and afternoons) ensuring students are well prepared for the Cambridge exam. We also offer the examination internally and therefore students need not worry about finding an offsite location. EC Vancouver houses one of the largest Cambridge prep programs in Canada, and has staff with decades of experience specifically teaching all levels of the program. We pride ourselves on our very high success rate with over 90% of students who take a Cambridge program passing their respective ESOL test! If you’re looking to get a competitive edge in the global job market, or looking to improve your university application, consider enrolling in Cambridge. If you’d like to learn more about Cambridge programs offered here in Vancouver and at other EC locations, simply click here. We hope to see you soon!    

Supporting relief efforts in the Philippines

As many as 10,000 people are believed to be dead in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the country almost two weeks ago. Haiyan was the strongest typhoon (which is the same as a Hurricane) ever recorded. With sustained winds of over 300 kilometres per hour, thousands of homes and villages were washed away. Early estimates of the economic cost of the storm are well over $15 billion dollars (USD). Many people are desperately in need of food, clothes, clean water and basic living supplies. In the central Philippines, the hardest hit region, millions have been displaced and many are being forced to live in crowded communal shelters and temporary settings. They need everyone’s help to get back on their feet and EC Vancouver, as a small United Nation itself, is asking for every staff member and student to donate whatever you can for our relief fund for the Philippines. All the donations will be given to the Canadian Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan Fund. The Canadian government will match all donations until the 8th of December, so anything you contribute will be doubled.

Why EC Students Should Visit Seattle, the Emerald City

City Background Seattle is a seaport city in the state of Washington, U.S. Due to its size and history the city offers a lot of restaurant, stores and attractions. Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States. How to get to there: It is really east to get to Seattle from Vancouver. On a bus Seattle is only 4-5 hours from downtown Vancouver. But remember, you need to cross the U.S. border; so make sure that you have your passport and a valid visa if necessary. What to do there: The best known attraction in Seattle is probably the Space Needle. You can enjoy the beautiful view at a height of 184 meters. Another attraction is the first Starbucks ever, located in Pike Place Market. It opened in 1971 and is still running today. Close to the Starbucks is the famous Gum Wall, which became a real landmark for Seattle. The tradition to stick gums on the wall began 1993. The workers scraped away the bubble gums but after several tries they gave up. In 1999 the Gum Wall started to be a tourist attraction. Seattle is also famous for its music scene, notably for Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana. If you are interested in music you can visit the Experience Music Project Museum. It’s located next to the Space Needle. Seattle is a quick getaway that offers EC Vancouver students a lot of opportunities to learn, engage, and explore a different city.

Destination Tofino

Why go to Tofino? Tofino is a small fishing and surfing village on the west coast of Vancouver island. It is a very popular tourist spot as it is one of the most beautiful towns in BC with a stunning view of the ocean. How to get to Tofino? First, you need to go to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, from there you need to go to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Once in Nanaimo you will need to rent a car or take the bus to Tofino. Getting there will take some time, but it’s a great journey. Which activities can you do there? In my opinion the most fun thing you can do is go surfing. It’s a lots of fun and quite challenging. Surfing is a really nice experience especially because you are wearing a wet suit, helping you stay warm in the cold warters. The waves are great and the landscape is very appealing. Another nice thing you can do is go whale watching. It’s really impressive to see these big animals in the ocean. If you do a whale watching tour you will likely see sea lions, otters and seals as well. I really recommend any students here at EC Vancouver to visit Tofino, especially if they have a free weekend.

How EC Vancouver Students Can Save Money and Enjoy Great Food!

Sushi is a well-known Japanese food popular here in Vancouver. There are many different types of sushi, but they have one thing in common the external rice. The other indigents are most commonly raw fish but there are a lot of vegetarian variants as well such as the avocado roll, vegetable roll and kappa roll. In Canada, and especially Vancouver, Sushi is quite cheap and considered to be very good. For example, a whole meal for one person shouldn’t cost more than $10-$15. If you order a Sushi combo your meal will start with a traditional Japanese soup known as miso soup. According to our Academic Assistant Mina (nationality: Japanese) the sushi is both better in quality and more affordable than the sushi in Japan. Popular downtown streets such as Granville street, Davie street and Seymour street all have excellent options for Sushi restaurants. Sushi is an excellent option for students here at EC Vancouver looking to save a few dollars while experiencing great cuisine.

Movember

What is Movember? It is a charity for men’s health, to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. Why is it called Movember? It’s a word formed out of Moustache and the month November. ‘Mo’ is also a slang word for moustache. What are the participants going to do during this month? Men start the month clean-shaven and let their mustache grow a moustache for the 30-days of November. They ask friends and family to donate money to the charity. But not just men (Mo Bros) can participate. Also women (Mo Sistas) can follow this movement. They do everything that the men do, without the mustache. At the end of the month, the participants (Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) celebrate their journey with their own event or at one of many official gala parties held around the world. Where is it celebrated? The movement began 2003 in Melbourne, Australia. Movember is now a global movement with more than 3 Million participates across 21 countries. For more information visit the official Movember website: http://ca.movber.com/em Chiara and Pierina, EC Vancouver interns.