Saturday, February 25, 2012

San Diego's Best Events - Spring 2012

San Diego has so many event options for students at English schools in San Diego, and everyone else as well. Check our calendar frequently to see the new events that we recommend for you. These are the events that our teachers, students and friends have enjoyed in the past, and that we think international students in San Diego will love in the future.

If you want more real advice and recommendations about these events, contact Student Services Director Nick Sacco at Connect English in Mission Valley:

If you want to recommend other events (concerts, festivals, etc.) that you have heard about, please notify Connect English. You can submit event information through the Connect English website.

Spring 2012:

Carlsbad Flower Fields
Date/Time: March 1st - May 13th, 9:00am until 6:00pm every day
Location: Carlsbad, North County San Diego
Price: $10
Why should I do this? It is an opportunity to enjoy a relaxing day in a beautiful place. The flower fields are huge and colorful. Connect English students organized a trip to the flower fields last year and they loved it.

San Diego Latino Film Festival
Date/Time: March 8th through 18th, 2012
Location: Hazard Center (in Mission Valley!)
Price: $10 for individual shows, $180 to see everything
Why should I do this? Over 20,000 festival attendees, over 150 entertaining & award-winning movies, special guest celebrities, recognized filmmakers, industry professionals, artists, and musicians for all ages and tastes will gather from March 8 – 18, 2012 at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas Hazard Center (just steps from San Diego Trolley’s Hazard Center Station).

Daylight Saving Time begins
Date/Time: Sunday, March 11th at 2:00am
Location: Everywhere
Price: FREE
Why should I do this? Remember to "spring forward" and set your clock one hour ahead as you go to bed on Saturday night. If you don't, you'll arrive everywhere at the wrong time for the next day or so. This time change means more daylight hours later in the day. Who would argue with that? Don't forget!

San Diego St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival
Date/Time: Saturday, March 17th from 9:00am until 6:00pm
Location: Balboa Park
Price: FREE!
Why should I do this? This daytime festival includes a great variety of music, food, vendors and even a parade celebrating the culture of ancient Ireland. More than 120 groups will proudly participate in the parade. San Diego's true Irish heritage is put on display for this 32nd-annual event that the whole city can enjoy, Irish or not. You can spend the whole day enjoying this event and then go downtown that night for...(see next event)

ShamROCK St. Patrick's Day festival
Date/Time: Saturday, March 17th from 2:00pm until midnight
Location: Gaslamp/Downtown San Diego
Price: $35-$45
Why should I do this? The streets of the Gaslamp Quarter turn into the verdant, rolling hills of Ireland when they are covered with green AstroTurf for this event. Three stages of live music, DJs, drink sponsors, and plenty of people pretending to be Irish for one awesome day in the USA. This year's festival starts two hours earlier in the day than it has in other years because it is on a Saturday, not a weekday. How cool is that? Get a group of friends together, put on your green clothes, and arrange safe transportation to and from this great street party.

San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering
Date/Time: March 17th through 24th, 2012
Location: Throughout San Diego (see website for locations)
Price: Most events are free, some cost $5-15
Why should I do this? Excite your mind at a week-long city-wide festival that includes Rubik's Cube competitions, fitness expositions, robotics demonstrations, astronomy and telescope events, engineering shows, crime scene investigation techniques and technology, career workshops, and animal shows. Make sure to attend Expo Day at Petco Park on Saturday, March 24th. That's the biggest event of all. Last year Connect English students attended some of these events and loved them! This year you can join us and enjoy learning a lot with us in 2012.

Los Angeles Tour with San Diego Experiences
Date/Time: Saturday, March 24th, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, California
Price: $50 - $105 per person, including transportation!
Why should I do this? Our trusted friends at San Diego Experiences guide yet another relaxing-and-exciting trip to Los Angeles for international students. You can choose to take the tour of Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood, or you can go to Disneyland or Universal Studios if you prefer. With all options, San Diego Experiences organizes the transportation for you. What a relief! There is no easier way to enjoy the city of LA. Talk to Nick Sacco at Connect English to sign up for this great trip!

Benny Benassi @ FLUXX
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 29th at 9:00pm
Location: FLUXX Nightclub, downtown San Diego
Price: TBA
Why should I do this? Do you really need an explanation of why you need to do this? It's Benny Benassi. In San Diego. At FLUXX. Get ready to shake it on the dance floor with the artist who has produced some of the best club hits of the past decade, like Satisfaction and many more that you remember from Friday and Saturday nights at the club. The Wednesday show is an 18+ event, while the Thursday performance is 21+. As soon as ticket prices and sale dates are announced, we will post the information here.

The Del Mar Car Show
Date/Time: March 30th - April 1st, 2012
Location: The Del Mar Fairgrounds
Price: $17
Why should I do this? Three days of some of the coolest classic cars you'll ever see in your life. More than 2000 cars will be at this event, which also includes vendor booths, a swap meet area, seminars and beautiful car models. When you are done with the show, go to the beaches of Del Mar and enjoy this fantastic spring weather.

Las Vegas Trip with San Diego Experiences
Date/Time: March 30th through April 1st, 2012
Location: Fabulous Las Vegas
Price: $165+ for the weekend
Why should I do this? San Diego Experiences knows how to plan a great Las Vegas trip. This trip includes two nights at the Excalabur Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, an outlet shopping trip, round-trip transportation, and the option of a limo party and a Grand Canyon Tour. To plan all of this alone would be too much work, but San Diego Experiences has planned all of these things for you! Plus, the weather in Las Vegas in the spring is beautiful. Talk to Nick Sacco at Connect English to sign up for this great trip!

Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival
Date/Time: Sunday, April 1st, 2012
Location: Handlery Hotel & Resort
Price: $40
Why should I do this? Go for the beer, stay for the food. Go for the food, stay for the beer. Either way, you need to be there. Most beer festivals are all about standing in line to get your taster and then standing in another line for another taster. Food is almost always an afterthought. That’s not how they do things at the MVCBF Fest. They believe beer AND food are natural partners and they offer a wide variety of both. For extra good times, go to the LMS Agency after party too.

CityBeat Festival of Beers
Date/Time: Saturday, April 7th from 1:00pm until 5:00pm
Location: University Heights, San Diego
Price: $35
Why should I do this? San Diego is famous for how many premium-quality, local breweries we have. Each year our local brewers win dozens of awards at national and international festivals. While visiting each individual brewery location around San Diego would be fun, you can instead have a few sips of every beer at this one excellent street party right in the middle of San Diego. Arrive early, though. The breweries bring a finite amount of each beer, so if you arrive late, you may not be able to try all of the favorite varieties.

Kelly Clarkson, The Stronger Tour
Date/Time: April 10th, 2012
Location: Valley View Casino Center, Point Loma
Price: $49.50+
Why should I do this? American Idol winner and pop superstar Kelly Clarkson pays a visit to San Diego on The Stronger Tour, 2012. Hear Kelly's chart-topping hits like A Moment Like This, My Life Would Suck Without You, and Stronger. Tickets are still available, but they'll sell out soon as Kelly's music is everywhere these days. Connect English student Eduardo will certainly be at this show, as he is Kelly's #1 fan in the whole world.

Rise Against
Date/Time: Sunday, April 15th
Location: Viejas Arena (SDSU)
Price: $35-$45
Why should I do this? Chicago, Illinois has given the world a fantastic rock band that rocks your radio every day. Their high-energy hits like Savior and Prayer of the Refugee will keep your heart racing at one of San Diego's best concert venues. Are you ready to rock?

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Location: Balboa Theatre
Price: $60+
Why should I do this? The artist that created the beautiful If I Had a Gun originally planned to play only small venues on his 2012 tour. As the popularity of his songs has grown, larger and better venues were organized instead. The Balboa Theatre is an awesome place to see a musician like Noel Gallagher play. He was half of the band Oasis in the 1990s and early 2000s, so he has a wide range of songs that you will love to hear him and his band play.

Taste of Hillcrest
Date/Time: Saturday, April 21st from noon until 4:00pm
Location: Hillcrest
Price: $30-$35
Why should I do this? Hillcrest is a neighborhood of San Diego that is full of excellent and exotic restaurants. To try them all individually would take months. This event, however, is your opportunity to pay one price for a ticket and then try food from every restaurant in one day. Take a self-guided tour to more than 40 area restaurant booths that are staffed and stocked by some of San Diego's top chefs. Bring your appetite and your open attitude toward new things.

Paul Van Dyk @ Intervention
Date/Time: Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
Location: Intervention, The Hard Rock Hotel
Price: $30 (pre-sale)
Why should I do this? The coolest place to hang out on a Sunday afternoon just got even cooler. Paul Van Dyk is in town to rock the rooftop of the Hard Rock Hotel. It's a daytime show, so bring your sunscreen and your boardshorts/bikinis and get ready to party like a rock star with the beautiful people. Check out the Intervention calendar to see which other famous DJs and acts are playing at the Hard Rock this spring, including Paul Oakenfold, Cosmic Gate and Roger Sanchez.

San Diego EarthFair
Date/Time: Sunday, April 22nd from 10:00am until 5:00pm
Location: Balboa Park
Price: Completely FREE!
Why should I do this? EarthFair in Balboa Park is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Each year, the EarthFair draws around 60,000 visitors. This year the event features exhibitors, special activities for kids, live music on three stages, the eARTh gallery, a food pavilion, a showcase of cleaner cars and a lot more.

Date/Time: April 13th - 15th & April 20th - 22nd, 2012
Location: Indio, California
Price: $170+
Why should I do this? This is the largest and most excellent music festival in Southern California. It has gotten so large, in fact, that it is now a two-weekend festival. This year's performers include The Black Keys, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre, Miike Snow, The Shins and maaaaaany more.

Discover Pacific Beach Bocce Ball Tournament
Date/Time: Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Location: Mission Bay Park, San Diego
Price: $40 for individual players, $150 for teams
Why should I do this? It will be a beautiful spring day in San Diego. Go to Mission Bay Park and watch one of the most relaxing sports in the world. Like the OTL tournament on our Summer 2012 events calendar, this event features funny teams and team names, excited fans, food, drinks and prizes. If you don't play in the tournament, you can just go there to watch. That costs nothing.

SoCal Reggae Festival
Date/Time: Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 6:30pm
Location: Valley View Casino Center
Price: $29
Why should I do this? Tribal Seeds, Through the Roots and Fortunate Youth get together for three reggae performances that you'll never forget. Tickets are already on sale, so don't wait too long to organize with your friends to see this awesome reggae show right in the middle of San Diego.

Creek to Bay Cleanup
Date/Time: Saturday, April 28th, 9:00am to noon
Location: Over 60 sites throughout San Diego
Price: Free (volunteer opportunity)
Why should I do this? If you love San Diego as much as Connect English does, you want to contribute to making the city a more beautiful place for everyone to enjoy. Choose a site in a neighborhood near you, put on your old clothes, and clean up a park, creek, beach or other natural area of our city. Think of all the good karma you'll earn.

Date/Time: April 27th - 29th, 2012
Location: Indio, California
Price: $149+
Why should I do this? If you love country music, this is THE BEST festival in California. Some of the biggest names will be there, like Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, Miranda Lambert and Alabama. You'll see cowboys and cowgirls dressed in their best outfits, dancing and having fun country-style.

Little Italy ArtWalk
Date/Time: April 28th & 29th, 2012
Location: Little Italy, San Diego
Price: Completely FREE!
Why should I do this? The Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy is now in its 28th year. This energetic yet relaxing event features more than 300 artists showing and selling their work, more than 30 music and dance performances and interactive art for families at KidsWalk. ArtWalk brings the art community in San Diego together for this annual festival that offers visitors an unmatched opportunity to meet artists and purchase their work.

Go Kayaking with Connect English
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 2nd at noon
Location: Mission Bay, San Diego
Price: $25 (for kayak and equipment rental)
Why should I do this? One of the basic principles of success at Connect English is the idea of challenging yourself to do things that seem scary or like a lot of work. Will you ever reach success in life by running from things that scare you? Connect English students will pair up and take a kayak from Santa Clara point in Mission Bay to Vacation Island, where we will play soccer and relax in the sand and sunshine. Check out our photo album on the Connect English Facebook page to see how much fun our students had the last time we kayaked together.

Cinco de Mayo
Date/Time: May 5th, 2012
Location: Old Town, San Diego
Price: Various
Why should I do this? Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico's independence day, but it IS an excellent spring street party. Cultural performances and Mexican-style cocktails make this a unique day for Americans to celebrate the culture of our southern neighbors.

Channel 933 Summer Kickoff 2012
May 11th, 2012
Location: Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Price: $40+
Why should I do this? Maroon 5, Flo-Rida and Wiz Khalifa headline this mega concert put on by local radio station 93.3 FM. Do you have the moves like Jagger? Then this is the event for you. Additional performers include Gym Class Heroes, The Wanted, Dev, DJ Havana Brown and Chris Rene of X-Factor fame. Even more guests will be announced soon, so make sure to check back often to see the news as this concert event gets better and better. Tickets are available through Live Nation.


The OB Beach Ball
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19th, 2012
Location: Ocean Beach, San Diego
Price: FREE! (but $3 for the beer garden)
Why should I do this? The OB Beach Ball festival is happening Saturday, May 19th, 2012 on the sands of Ocean Beach from 10am to 9pm. Experience the SoCal lifestyle with live music, great food, a craft brew beer garden ($3 entry), games, and more. Travel to and from the festival on shuttles from PB to OB, car share, taxis, or your bike in order to avoid parking issues and to help the environment as well.

The ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge)

Date/Time: May 19th-20th, 2012
Location: The Del Mar Fairgrounds
Price: $50-$265 (for individuals/teams)
Why should I do this? Imagine a creative collision between a military-style training course and wild and crazy game show-inspired obstacles spread throughout a 5K course! The common theme is ridiculous and challenging fun! Compete as an individual or get a group of your friends together. You can't NOT have fun.
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Paintball with Connect English Students
Date/Time: Saturday, May 26th at 11:00am
Location: Meet at Connect English, go to Miramar Paintball
Price: $50 per student
Why should I do this? Feel the adrenaline rush of the extreme sport that allows you to shoot your friends, classmates and even teachers. Activities Coordinator Melissa Lee knows how to shoot, so you'd better watch out. Wear long-sleeve shirts, closed-toed shoes, and long pants to protect yourself. All paintball-specific equipment is included in this price. Contact Connect English to join us! Check out the photo album from last year's Connect English paintball day. The French girls were vicious!

North Park Festival of Arts
Date/Time: Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Location: North Park, San Diego
Price: Free/$25 for special sections
Why should I do this? North Park has in recent years become one of the most lively and energetic communities of San Diego. New restaurants, bars, concert venues and events have been built all throughout the neighborhood. This festival is a showcase of the art that makes North Park unique. Enjoy food, music, paintings and many other mediums of inspiration.

The Beach Boys with Foster The People
Date/Time: May 25th, 2012
Location: Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Price: $32.50+
Why should I do this? One of the greatest American bands of all time visits San Diego with one of the most popular bands on the radio today. The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a new generation of music fans, while the word on the streets is that Foster The People put on a great show as well. You just can't lose! The pricing for this event is pretty good too, don't you think?


Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon
Date/Time: June 3rd, 2012
Location: All around the city of San Diego
Price: Free to watch, $135+ to run
Why should I do this? Running through the city of San Diego, you'll have a chance to enjoy some of the best music that local bands can offer as they play their music on stages along the race route. Your registration fees benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society


To learn more, contact Connect English today:
Phone: (619) 283-2811


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Connect English Students and Real Grad Schools in San Diego

There are great opportunities for advanced education in San Diego. International students frequently come to Connect English to improve their TOEFL score in San Diego and then enter a school like San Diego State University for an advanced degree. If you want to study in San Diego and your ultimate goal is to get an advanced degree from a real university in the USA, Connect English is ready to help you make the best preparations and decisions for yourself.

In 2012, as in other years, Connect English students are already in advanced programs at San Diego State University, California International Business University, and Alliant International University. Those students worked with Connect English to take courses that helped them improve their language skills and raise TOEFL scores so that they could join and succeed in advanced business programs, education programs, and linguistics programs that will help them reach new levels of career options upon graduation.

When Connect English students want to enter real universities in San Diego, they have plenty of resources to help them make the right choice. We want to make sure that our students avoid "universities" that don't care about quality in education, or "universities" that issue unaccredited degrees. That would be a terrible waste of time and money for the student.

The first resource available is a Connect English staff of helpful advisers that attended Southern California's reputable universities. Students can sit down with us and discuss graduate school options with Connect English counselors who attended San Diego State University, UC San Diego, or UCLA. Our students receive first-hand knowledge of how to be successful in American university programs from people who have done the research, gone through the admissions process, and received the degrees from the schools that our students want to attend.

Second, Connect English has plenty of texts available to help students select from all of the good universities in California and across the USA. Students can begin by searching within their subject of specialization, such as advanced business programs, public affairs, linguistics or law. We can help them find rankings and listings of great school options, along with prices, TOEFL score requirements and application deadlines.

Next, we guide students through researching specific graduate program details. Once a student has decided on a focused set of school options to choose from, he or she can count on Connect English staff to answer their next questions as they look at each graduate school's admission requirements and program choices.

Finally, we help students transfer their I-20s from Connect English to their new graduate school programs. When a student is officially admitted to a quality university program, we help the student move his or her SEVIS record so that a new I-20 can be issued by the new school as soon as the student starts the graduate-level program there. We can contact the international admissions department to make sure that the student has met all of the SEVIS requirements to begin studying in these advanced programs.

If your education plan includes an advanced degree from a great university in San Diego, Connect English is here to help you make the transition. We can help you make the important choice between the great programs and the fake universities that are only trying to trick international students (they exist!). There is an excellent master's degree or Ph.D program waiting for you, and finding it doesn't need to be difficult, deceiving, confusing or stressful.

Connect English offers high-quality English and TOEFL classes at an affordable price, but there is so much more. An education at Connect English is more than just classes. It is a life experience that you will never forget. To see photos and more information, go to the Connect English Facebook page.
Phone: (619) 283-2811