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ELC Santa Barbara ELC Staff Profile: Jasmine Afshar August 20th, 2014

Jasmine Afshar has worked at ELC in student services, housing and immigration, and as assistant director. She left ELC Santa Barbara this month to study peace and justice at the University of San Diego. Jasmine will be missed but we wish her luck on her new adventure!

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What is one of your favorite moments at ELC?

Oh, I have so many favorite moments I couldn’t even start listing them. I think one of my favorite days, however, was Halloween. Every single student (no matter what age) wore an elaborate costume. I kind of tricked them during weekly announcements and said that everyone in Santa Barbara dresses up all day for Halloween but I don’t think anyone regretted their full-on chicken, zombie, pirate, or gnome constumes. That’s just one of my favorite days.

My favorite part of every day would have to be greeting the students in the morning. They drag themselves out of bed in the morning, take the bus routes to get to ELC, and what better way to wake them up them by greeting them with an obnoxiously loud “good morning!!” and a smile? 🙂

What are your favorite things about ELC?

The people – teachers, staff, and students! Michael is one of our greatest teachers. I call him the “Father of ELC” because he’s worked here the longest and he one of the hearts of the school. He has truly been like a second father to me. All the other teachers are equally wonderful people too. We’re so lucky to have them and to be able to learn from them.

Now the students, I don’t even know where to start with them. I’ve met celebrities, chefs, journalists, and Olympic athletes. Some of my closest and dearest friends are students that I met while working at ELC. Every time a student leaves, they say that ELC is like a small family and it truly is. I’ve been blessed to be a part of it!

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you want to go and why?

That’s easy. Switzerland. I would never have to pay for a hotel! I’m bound to run into a friend that studied at ELC in any part of Switzerland. Second would have to be Saudi Arabia so I can see if our students were telling the truth when they told me they had pet cheetahs.

What was your favorite activity with ELC students?

Again, I have so many favorites. These students became my family here in Santa Barbara and I was so happy to spend time with them. Here are a few:

PAINTBALL: It was me against 12 really strong, intimidating males. Unfortunately, they showed no mercy on me but my team won every game!

THE BOILING CRAB: The Boiling Crab is a restaurant in Los Angeles that serves seafood in bags. They give you a bib so you don’t ruin your clothes but its pointless because you eat it with your hands and theirs delicious sauce everywhere…America! After school one day, about 10 of us drove 2 hours to Los Angeles, waited 2 hours for a table, ate our weight in seafood, and drove back to Santa Barbara in a food coma. It was great.

VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: We competed against other English learning schools in Santa Barbara and destroyed them! I think it was the best turn out we have ever had for an activity. It seemed like the whole school was there! Our team played amazingly well while the rest of us chanted “ELC! ELC!”

What is one piece of advice you would give ELC students?

Speak ENGLISH ONLY! (My motto that I hope will continue to ring through the halls of ELC Santa Barbara). You’ve already made a crucial step towards learning English by traveling to Santa Barbara and throwing yourself into the language and culture. Great job! Now, it is really up to you to gain the most out of your time. If you speak English, not only will you gain the most from your experience linguistically, but also culturally, by exploring what Santa Barbara and its neighboring cities have to offer. Most importantly, however, you’ll make friends from all over the world that will last a lifetime. Trust me! You won’t regret it.

How has ELC changed during the time you’ve been here?

ELC Santa Barbara was under construction when I first walked into its doors. I honestly didn’t think I was in the right building. The upstairs was a law firm and students only studied downstairs. Slowly with a lot of work, strength, support from the other ELC schools, and love it has become the place that so many students and myself have considered a second home. I couldn’t be more proud and more thankful for the memories, lessons, and friendships I will take with me on my next journey.

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