EC English School in Oxford is putting on the play 'A Christmas Carol'

Candice announces our Christmas treat for EC Oxford students

People laugh at me. Why? Because December is one of my favourite months. I love Christmas and it is around this time of year that people in the UK slowly start turning their attention towards this important holiday. I am sorry to start talking about it so early and I admit that seeing Christmas advertised in the shops in September does fill me with a degree of horror but this topic does have its place here on the blog. The reason I am talking to you about Christmas when we are only in the middle of autumn is because I am very pleased to announce that for the second year running, staff at EC Oxford English School have decided to once again stage the popular, delightful and heart warming tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ penned by our very own Charles Dickens! Buoyed up by the success of last year’s performance, the old and new members of staff would like to treat the students who will be here in December to this wonderful spectacle! Doesn’t this make you want to extend your course and stay longer? If you aren’t studying here, what about enrolling here for the chance to see your teachers and other staff members bring this story to life? Last year Tobias stole the show as Ebenezer Scrooge with a touching performance of a man who recognises that kindness is the only way and Rob did a stellar job as Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s poor suffering employee. You will have the opportunity to see other people you recognise in the other roles. Admit it, you are curious. We will be announcing this in more detail as we get closer to December and hope you will come and support us as we give you the performance of a lifetime! Best wishes Candice

EC Oxford

Welcome, Jessica, to our EC Oxford team!

Get to know our newest team member, Jessica, as she joins EC Oxford English School at the start of this academic year with questions our students came up with.   Q: What did you do before you came to EC Oxford? After School I went travelling around Europe for a bit. At the beginning of 2018 I enrolled on a Degree Course with Open University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Since then I’ve been studying and working part-time in my local Cinema. Q: What is your role here in EC Oxford? I am a Student Services Intern. Q: What have you enjoyed about working at EC Oxford so far? Everyone has made me feel really welcome, from the students to the staff. This has meant that it’s been very easy to settle into the environment. I’ve also really enjoyed learning about the job so far; it’s really varied so you never get bored. I look forward to seeing what else the job entails. Q: What do you like about Oxford as a city? The history. You can feel that Oxford holds a lot of History, from the buildings to the alleyways, the libraries and the University Colleges, there is almost always an interesting story behind how things came to be. There is also a sense of intimacy about the City: it’s not too big or too small, which means you’re never too bored or too overwhelmed. Q: What’s your hometown? Can you describe it to us? I was born and grew up in Zimbabwe. When I was about 13 I moved to South Africa where I went to High School for 5 years. After I finished my final exams, my family and I moved to England. I now live in Witney, a town about 10 Miles outside of Oxford and … Read more

EC Oxford students on a UK Study Tours trip to Warwick Castle

‘Britain’s ultimate castle’ – Tim’s trip with UK Study Tours

Last Saturday, eight students, among them four from EC Oxford English School, went to the UK Study Tours trip to Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon. Warwick Castle is said to be “Britain’s ultimate castle”. Its oldest parts are from about 900 and it has been changed, partly destroyed and rebuilt until about the 17th century. When we first came to the castle, we had already an amazing view as you can see in the first picture above. First, we went to the so-called Kingmaker-Exhibition. In this part of the castle, there were scenes from the time of Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Salisbury, known as “The Kingmaker” from the 15th century. England faced a civil war in this time: “The War of the Roses”: Briefly summarized, there were two men who wanted to be the King of England, so they fought against each other. All the represented scenes in this exhibition showed the preparation for war: from the battle horse (above) to the servants helping their masters to put on their armour (below). The history of the castle was presented to the visitors in the “Time Tower”, where in a video different former owners of the castle explained us their situations with animations and models. It was a great mixture between historical details and interesting animations and stories, something for children and for adults. After having learned about its history, we mounted the Guy’s Tower, the highest tower of this castle. Over 500 steps led us to an amazing view down to the castle and to the countryside next to the castle. (below). After having seen all of the caste, we went to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birth- and death-place of William Shakespeare, where we got an interesting guided tour. First on this tour, we visited Shakespeare’s Birthplace (below). Then we saw his school, … Read more

EC Oxford English Centre's Student Ambassador Eduardo

Eduardo’s Oxford – ‘the best environment for my studies’

I have been in EC English School, Oxford for 5 months and before I came to UK I had made the decision to go to a small city hoping to find the best environment for my studies and overseas experience. I was right! Here it is easier to go to school and look around the city on foot or by bicycle, enjoying the classical architecture. Oxfordshire is surrounded by enchanting parks and peaceful rivers that make your daily routine very pleasant. Since I arrived here I have enjoyed events like Oxford Open Doors, St. Giles Fair and especially May Day when a massive number of people came out on the streets to celebrate the arrival of spring and to see the sunrise together. I also had the pleasure of experiencing different seasons. The summer this year was entrancing and almost all the days were sunny and hot so I have spent a good amount of time in parks, outsides and mainly Port Meadow, my favourite place in Oxford – where I enjoyed uncountable picnics, barbecues, sunsets and afternoons swimming in the Thames River. So as I said “I was right!”. Oxford is a beautiful city and now it has a unique place on my heart and in my memories.

ecoxford

Oxford Open Doors

Once a year Oxford opens its doors and invites the public to explore the colleges, libraries and other exclusive sights for free. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a look around and discover beauty of some of Oxford’s finest places. Every Sunday we invite the new students starting their EC Oxford Language Courses on the Monday, to join us for a walking tour of the city, so it was a great chance for our new arrivals to see what Oxford had to offer – and it certainly didn’t disappoint! We explored Balliol and Trinity Colleges, famous for their rivalry due to their close proximity and equally famous for their beauty. The day was bright and sunny so wandering around the gardens was a real treat, we also had the opportunity to explore the chapel at Balliol which has an impressive stained-glass window. Next, we went into the Sheldonian theatre and climbed the many stairs to go up to the viewing point on the roof which boasts 360-degree views of Oxford. Seeing the rooftops of all the colleges, churches and other buildings was a spectacular sight and I would recommend everyone to go up and experience Oxford from the skies, especially if it’s a clear day as you can see for miles around. There were some Harry Potter fans in the group, so it was a real treat for them to enter the Bodleian Library and the Divinity School where a number of scenes were filmed. The interior of this room is breath-taking; elaborate patterns adorn the ceiling and walls, and the sun shining through the windows creates a beautiful pattern on the floor, it really is a room where you can spend some time in and soak up the atmosphere. It was a fantastic trip around the city, our only complaint is that we wish … Read more

intern oxford student

Laetitia says goodbye to EC Oxford

In few days I will begin my last year in engineering school. I will see my friends, go back home and be in another routine. But no matter how busy I will be with my courses, my friends and the life on the campus I won’t be able to forget EC Oxford English Centre. I have been in Oxford for 3 months and it was a great adventure. I came here for an international internship for my studies and it became more than a simple internship. I discovered lots of cultures thanks to the students and my colleagues. I visited a lot here: Oxford, London and other cities like Brighton thanks to UK Study Tour. I also discovered new activities like rounders or punting; it was an amazing 3 months here! The most amazing thing I did here was all the tours especially Brighton and Bournemouth Air Festival. Each tour was unique and I discovered a different culture than in Oxford. If there is one thing to remember in Oxford it is punting, the scenery was fantastic and it was like a paradise with my colleagues. The worst thing I discovered here was the weather! Even though we had a wonderful July I missed the French weather so much. The English weather is so unpredictable; it is like a game each day. It was funny to see how it can change so fast. Thanks to all these things my time here is unforgettable. It was so nice to work every day in the school; the students were nice and surprising sometimes. The teachers were more like friends than colleagues and the Student Services team was just a big family. With all the activities we did for the students each week was unique and each time it was an opportunity for … Read more

EC Oxford Language Centre is happy to welcome Eleni to the team

Getting to know our new teacher, Eleni

It’s been such a pleasure to welcome Eleni to our teaching team here at EC Oxford English Centre. Here you can find out more about her, including finding out which other languages Eleni speaks and the most exciting place she’s ever lived (it was minus 35 degrees!) Q : What did you do before you came to EC Oxford? Before I came to EC Oxford I was a Senior Teacher in a summer school in Guildford. I also taught in Spain for 1 year and Greece for 3 years. Q: What do enjoy about working at EC Oxford? I enjoy meeting students from all around the world and helping them achieve their goals in a comfortable environment. EC Oxford offers small sized classes so I have the chance to address each individual students’ needs using the latest technology to make lessons fun and interactive. There is always something great going on for the students: clinics, competitions, events and more, also, there is always a great buzz in the school, it’s never quiet! Q: What do you like about Oxford as a city? I love the history of the city and visiting all the beautiful colleges. It is a very welcoming city with lots of great bars and restaurants to enjoy. Q: What’s your hometown? Can you describe it to us? I come from Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki. It’s a beautiful city with a lovely seafront full of cafes and restaurants. There is history round every corner, from Roman palaces to Ottoman castles, the city is a wonderful place to spend your time. From the highest point in Thessaloniki you can see across the Gulf of Thermaikos and all the way to Mount Olympus! Q: Your job is all about helping people like us who are learning English, but have you … Read more

Alum Bay Needles summer visit Isle of Wight

Laetitia shares her UK Study Tour experience

Thanks to EC Oxford English Centre I enjoyed four different tours during this summer. Bath and Stonehenge This tour began with Bath. After one hour of a walking tour I enjoyed 3 hours of free time during which I visited the Roman Bath, Bath Abbey and Sydney Gardens. Bath is small enough to do everything by foot and with good weather it was a great opportunity to enjoy the sun. The most interesting thing to do there is the Roman Bath – it was very impressive. And if you are as lucky as I was you can see an amazing street artist show during the day. Stonehenge was a unique experience; there was only enough time to do the tour and have a coffee, but it is still nice and amazing to learn about the story of this historic place. But be careful – this place is very windy!   Brighton Brighton is a small city but with lots of things to do – the most famous thing being visiting the famous Pier. I enjoyed the view but also the games and attractions. My favourite place was the Royal Pavilion; amazing, big and beautiful it was a real chance to learn about history. After all these cultural things I just walked in the gardens and little streets in Brighton with all their little boutique shops. If you enjoy learning about new culture and local products you will enjoy it as I did.   Isle of Wight and New Forest Isle of Wight is completely different than mainland England. I appreciated discovering the small villages there. After Godshill we did the Needles which has an amazing view. I was so little in front of those colourful huge cliffs. Alum Bay was the best part of this trip. Before coming back we … Read more

Anja’s farewell

I have now worked at EC Oxford English Centre for a bit more than two months. I enjoyed my time here very much, met great people and have lots of precious memories! What I liked most about the job I was doing is that there was not a single “boring” day. No day was quite like the day before. As I worked in different areas of the school, I did not only deal with accommodation and student services, but also supported the academic team and organized activities as well as tours for the students. This made every day special and exciting. Another great part was that I could lead many student activities, seeing some amazing places in Oxford. Regular visits in the parks, city tours, museum visits and castle tours made my time here exciting. My favorite trip and the one that will stick to my memory for a long time, was the Oxford College Tour. Not only the gardens of Worcester College, but also the lovely buildings of St. John’s and the amazing cathedral of Keble College were beautiful and fascinated the students. But what shaped my experience most and made my time here unforgettable, were my lovely colleagues and the students! From the beginning everyone was very welcoming and made me feel like a part of the team. The staff at EC supported me in learning all the new things, getting used to the new environment and the teachers were always happy to spot the mistakes in my English and gave me advice on how to improve. But most I want to thank Kylie and Laurice who were always happy to help and encourage me! After leaving EC, I will not return to Switzerland, but stay in Oxford and do a course in Philosophy and Economics. With its … Read more