Sunday, December 28, 2014

Connect English, Pacific Beach opens in January of 2015!

Past, present and future students of Connect English know that our programs and services are great. Why? Because Connect English was created by teachers, for students. The entire Connect English education system --from the teachers to the staff to the directors-- are education minded, with plenty of experience in the classroom. You should be excited to find out, then, that there is now a new Connect English in Pacific Beach, San Diego!

Here's what's nice about Connect English, Pacific Beach:

It is brand new.

Who ordered the fresh English programs? The best place for the best students to get the best English lessons at the best price is the new Connect English, Pacific Beach. The whole school was built brand-new for our new students in the beach communities of San Diego. New floors, new furniture, new classrooms, new equipment, new everything.

Connect English always has great teachers.

Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Connect English has great teachers. Read the reviews, ask friends, or come in and see. No teacher can work at Connect English unless he/she knows and teaches grammar well, and knows how to set up great lessons for our students. Many teachers at other, more-expensive schools don't know how to teach the structures of English that international students need, or how to keep students progressing. Because Connect English was created by teachers, we always want to make sure that our teachers are able to give our students classes that matter. Our new programs at our Pacific Beach English school will of course have the quality teachers that Connect English students expect.

It's in an excellent neighborhood.

A quick Google search of Pacific Beach, San Diego will show you how nice this neighborhood is. It is the #1 community of San Diego for students (local and international) because it has everything: sun, sand, sports, food, friends, nightlife and more. The best beaches are right here, the coolest people live here, great restaurants are on practically every corner of this community, and there is even a golf course within walking distance of the new campus of Connect English, Pacific Beach!

The staff is friendly and capable, of course.

Almost everyone who works with Connect English has been an ESL teacher before, so we all understand what our students need. We know that students want answers to the confusing questions of transferring to a new school, to program options, to schedules, to transportation, to student activities. Team Connect is ready to answer all students' questions about how to have an excellent educational experience. What do you want to know? E-mail Connect English to get started!

Transferring is easy.

Some students are afraid to transfer out of their old language schools, especially when they're unsure of how to start the process. It can seem scary to transfer your I-20 because it is such an important document, but don't worry. Many, many, many students have realized how smart and easy it is to transfer to Connect English. It makes sense financially and it makes sense for your quality of education in San Diego. E-mail Connect English to get started!

Connect English was created by teachers, for students.

No other language school in San Diego was created by a team of teachers, to fit students' needs and preferences. The other language schools in San Diego were created by corporate headquarters in other cities, just to make a lot of money from students through agents, with little focus on a great education. The founders of Connect English spent years in classrooms with students. This means that we have designed a student experience that fits students' needs for great instructors, effective schedule options, and realistic pricing (NOT $1000+ per month like most language schools in San Diego). Ask our past and present students. They love it!

It is so close to the popular Bay Pointe apartments.

What's the coolest place for students to live in PB? The Bay Pointe Apartments. This mega-popular apartment complex is located right in the middle of Pacific Beach, close to the bay, the beach, the best restaurants, and Connect English, Pacific Beach. Students can take a ten-minute bike ride to the campus, or a five minute drive. It is definitely the most convenient option available for international students in Pacific Beach.

There is free parking at Connect English, Pacific Beach.

Anyone who studies in Downtown San Diego or in the La Jolla area deals with the difficult parking situations there. Connect English, Pacific Beach has street parking available for free every day for our students.

Transportation access is great, and it's getting even better!

International students in San Diego can use so many forms of transportation to reach Connect English, Pacific Beach. Of course, it is easy to reach by bicycle, by skateboard, or even on foot. But there is ample parking for students with cars, it is very close to the Interstate 5 freeway, there are MTS bus lines stopping nearby, and very soon the blue line of the MTS trolley system will stop in Pacific Beach, directly next to the Connect English campus.

Contact information

3565 Del Rey St., Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92109

Phone: (619) 283-2811
Fax: (619) 283-2866
Website: Connect English, Pacific Beach


Monday, September 29, 2014

Halloween in San Diego: 12 Recommendations for International Students (PART 1)



San Diego is the best Halloween city in the United States. The perfect October weather allows everyone to celebrate both indoors and outdoors, while our friends in Northern California and on the East Coast are already starting to freeze in the autumn and winter weather conditions there.

I've been teaching English and TOEFL to international students for years in San Diego, living in San Diego even longer, and celebrating Halloween even longer than that. Over this time I've learned some valuable lessons about how to make sure that everyone is aware of super-fun and safe Halloween events for international students. As always, I want to make sure that San Diego International Students have the knowledge to enjoy this fantastic cultural event in the USA. Here are my twelve Halloween recommendations for you and your friends this year:

1. Wear a costume. Really.

Dressing up in a funny costume may seem embarrassing at first, but I have surveyed hundreds of students in my time as a teacher. Students who wear costumes have a lot of fun and they tell all of their friends back home about all of the Halloween good times they experienced. Students who don't wear costumes frequently regret it after Halloween is over. Believe me. Costumes don't have to cost a lot of money and don't have to be complicated. There are a lot of options that are not embarrassing at all, but are still a lot of fun. For example, a baseball player could be a great costume that's not embarrassing, not complicated, not expensive, and totally comfortable. Here's a good little list of costume shops and Halloween stores in San Diego.

[RELATED PHOTO ALBUM: Halloween Store Scavenger Hunt for Connect English Students]

2. Decide early which events you'd like to visit.

Don't wait until Halloween weekend to make your plan. There are many, many events happening around town. One of my biggest regrets of Halloweens past is having to argue with my friends on Halloween night about which event will be better. It's much smarter to decide a few days before the weekend. Here is a 2014 San Diego Halloween events list for international students and for locals:

Through October - The Haunted Trail, The Haunted Hotel & The Scream Zone

Saturday, Oct. 25th - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Kensington)

Friday, Oct. 25th - Rock 105.3 Boo Ball (Balboa Park)

Saturday, Oct. 26th - The Nightmare on Normal Street (Hillcrest)

Wednesday, Oct. 29th - San Diego Experiences' "Zombies on the Dance Floor" at Fluxx (Downtown) THIS IS AN 18+ EVENT! :-)

[RELATED PHOTO ALBUM: Halloween Party 2013 at Connect English]

Thursday, Oct. 30th - 91X Boos Cruise (San Diego Bay)

Thursday, Oct. 29th, 30th & 31st - Halloween PubCrawl San Diego (Gaslamp)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT - Friday, October 31st - Monster Bash (Downtown)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT - Friday, October 31st - Hard Rock Hotel Halloween 2014 (Downtown)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT - Friday, October 31st - Titanic Masquerade (boat cruise on San Diego Bay)

Saturday, Nov. 1st and Sunday, Nov. 2nd - Dia de los Muertos (Old Town)

*These events will be updated regularly, so visit this page again for more information, dates and locations.

3. House parties are good, but officially sanctioned events are safer and are still a lot of fun.

Organized events around town have security staff and are properly planned so that they can accommodate large numbers of people. If you go to a house party, be prepared for long bathroom lines and the possibility of the police arriving and telling everyone to leave. Most organized events are pretty centrally located, too. This means that they're easy to reach by public transit, and taxis are easier to find afterward.

4. Organize your transportation plans early.

Make sure you have a designated driver or a bus/trolley/taxi plan. Do not drink and drive (ever!). There are so many people walking around town, and so many police. Don't take your chances. It's too easy to hurt yourself, your friends, or even strangers if you decide to drink and drive. There are plenty of safe ways to get around on Halloween if you plan just a little bit. Talk with your friends and decide who will be the sober driver, or plan with them to use San Diego MTS services to reach your destination. Also, research the schedules of buses and trolleys because the schedule changes after midnight on most days for many routes. Many parties in Downtown San Diego offer special admission deals that include discounted hotel rooms nearby so that you don't have to worry about returning to your house after their Halloween party.

5. Keep a few taxi service telephone numbers in your phone.

Taxi companies are very busy over Halloween weekend. Frequently it will take more than an hour to arrange for a pick-up. If you have three or four numbers saved in your phone, you'll be able to get home easily.

Here are some taxi company phone numbers that you can program into your phone now:

Orange Cab - (619) 223-5555
USA Cab - (619) 231-1144
Yellow Cab - (619) 444-4444
San Diego Cab - (619) 226-8294
Or download the Uber app on your smart phone. It's great!

6. Don't wear costumes with masks.

Do you like to eat? Do you like to drink? Do you like to talk? Do you like to see? Do you like to breathe? Imagine how difficult all of these things are when you have a mask covering your face. It's especially sad when the mask really completes the costume, but the person has to keep the mask pulled up over the top of their head most of the time so that they can breathe. You may find some excellent-looking masks at the Halloween store, but believe me: you'll regret choosing them.


Halloween in San Diego: 12 Recommendations for International Students (PART 2)


Part 2 of our Halloween recommendations blog is here! Connect English wants the international students in San Diego to understand how great this cultural celebration can be, IF they plan at least a little. Take a look at recommendations 7 - 12 today and start thinking about what you and your friends will do for Halloween in San Diego in 2013. Make sure that you get a good costume, know when great events are happening, plan some good times with your friends, and follow the rest of this advice so you can be a Halloween expert right away.


7. Don't choose a costume that has big fake props.

Most people spend their Halloween walking, dancing, giving high-fives and sometimes holding beverages. All of these things are a lot harder to do when you have to carry around a fake knife, a rubber chicken, a fruit basket, or some big, heavy parts of your costume. Anything that makes it difficult to walk or stand is also a bad idea. Here is one good example of a costume that is probably not very smart. Can you see why? And can you imagine walking around with all this stuff all night? Forget it.

8. Wear costumes with wigs, makeup, funny hats, pockets, etc. instead.

All of these things make your Halloween much more fun and manageable than if you wear a bad costume with a mask or fake weapons and toys that you have to carry around all weekend (#s 6 and 7 above). A purse or a backpack is always a great idea for you or one of your friends to have as well. This way you can keep your wallet, your ID, your credit or debit cards, your camera (see #9 below) and your cell phone secure. Can you imagine trying to carry all of those things around while wearing this tiny costume? Be prepared for event security guards to search your purse or backpack, though. Remember, Halloween is fun because you can talk and walk and laugh with good people. If your costume makes these things difficult, you will not have as much fun. Wear a costume that is light and flexible, not heavy and cumbersome.

9. Bring a camera, of course!

You are definitely going to want to take pictures of the events you'll attend, the costumes you'll see, the people you'll meet, and the hilarious things you and your friends will do. Want to see some pictures of regular people having tons of fun on Halloween? Here is a website full of Halloween photo albums from all around San Diego. Imagine how jealous your friends back home will be when they see how fantastic your experience in San Diego has been, and the culture that you have experienced as you learn English. You will want to remember Halloween in San Diego forever.

10. Carve pumpkins!

If you have the chance to carve pumpkins, do it! You'll have a lot of fun. Pumpkins can be bought at your local Vons, Ralphs or Albertsons any time in the month of October. Connect English will have a pumpkin carving event/contest later this month, so keep your eyes open. You will never forget it!

Last year's pumpkin-carving day at Connect English [YouTube] was a fresh and educational experience for all of our students.

[RELATED PHOTO ALBUM: Carving Pumpkins at Connect English]

11. Try pumpkin-flavored everything.

Pumpkin pie is amazing. Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are delicious. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer, pumpkin ice cream, and just plain pumpkin seeds are seasonal foods that you'll remember for a long time. But you won't remember them if you're afraid to try them, and many of them are not available once October ends. You can't afford to wait!

12. Be adventurous. Don't be afraid of the fun!

Participate in the student activities that your school offers. They'll help you understand and become more comfortable with how to celebrate Halloween in the USA. It is understandable that international students are a little bit uncertain about this unique season in the USA. But don't let your uncertainty ruin your opportunity to have one of the best experiences of your life. Ask a teacher, a roommate or any American friend about Halloween and we will be happy to tell you more. I promise!



Do you have more advice for San Diego international students this Halloween? Please write a comment below. With your recommendations, we can make sure that even more people have as much fun on Halloween as I have had in my life. Wow, I'm getting excited!

Pass this information along to your friends.

It's the goal of Connect English for all international students to have a fun, memorable and safe Halloween in San Diego.

Are you looking for a school that gives you the complete experience in San Diego? Connect English Language Institute is more than just a basic language school. Our events and activities help students explore and enjoy San Diego, and our special services assure that your education investment will help you improve your English. When you want a school that does more but costs less, contact Connect English.
Phone: (619) 283-2811


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Great Things about Connect English, La Jolla: FOOD TRUCKS! Mmmmm...


Have you 1. tried _____ (on/out) food trucks yet? They're really 2. catching _____ (up/on) in California and around the USA these days! In many commercial neighborhoods, each day a variety of trucks 3. stop _____ (around/by) for a couple of hours to offer lunch. Students can 4. pick ____ (on/out) a sandwich, french fries, salads, or any other items from the menus that are offered by the trucks. They're a great and healthy alternative to 5. picking _____ (over/up) fast food burgers.

Students of Connect English, La Jolla have a lot of food truck options during the week. One example is the food truck called God Save the Cuisine. They'll cook famous British fish and chips, a lamb sandwich on naan bread, or a grass-fed beef burger. On Thursdays when this truck visits our neighborhood, our students frequently 6. hang _____ (up/out) on the lawn where the food truck has stopped. The students like to 7. chill _____ (out/down) and sometimes 8. pig _____ (up/out) on their delicious food during the lunch break between Connect English core classes and skills classes.

On Tuesdays, another truck that arrives often is Simply Fresh. If you 9. look _____ (around/up) their menu on their website, you'll see that they 10. serve _____ (up/out) a great variety of sandwiches and side dishes. 11. Check _____ (up/out) their website to see more of what our students eat when they are here.

If you want to study at the best English school in San Diego, 12. sign _____ (in/up) for programs today. Along with the other students in our programs, you'll 13. look forward _____ (for/to) the food options that will come to the neighborhood each week.

Are you looking for a school that gives you the complete experience in San Diego? Connect English Language Institute is more than just a basic language school. Our events and activities help students explore and enjoy San Diego, and our special services assure that your education investment will help you improve your English. When you want a school that does more but costs less, contact Connect English.
Phone: (619) 283-2811



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