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ELC Santa Barbara Student Spotlight: Adrian Ponce Tisoc November 4th, 2015

Adrian is a 30 year-old hardworking and successful student from Lima, Peru. We are excited to have him as our first student from Peru!

What do you like most about growing up in Peru? What do you miss about your country?

Peru is a beautiful country. It is known for its numerous and diverse archaeological sites. I love the rich culture in Peru. I especially miss all of my family and friends there.

Tell us a little about yourself …

I am a chef and a business man. I have been cooking for about fourteen years now. Back in Peru I had the privilege of cooking in different hotels and even on the Orient Express. I love to teach others how to cook as well.

What inspired you to become a chef?

At first, I was studying business administration at the university and I was living alone which forced me to start cooking for myself. I also had a part-time job at a restaurant at the time. I really grew to enjoy cooking so I changed my major and went to culinary school.

Why did you come to America?

I am in a relationship. My girlfriend is American and she lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She came to visit Peru a while back and that is how we met. I later decided to go to Madison for my girlfriend and also for my business. As for my business, I make clothes from the fiber of alpaca (which is an animal like a llama). I opened a store in Madison that sells infinity scarves, hoodies and other clothing items made from the alpaca fiber. I want to expand my business in the U.S. because this is where the money is. I now want to go back to school to finish studying business administration. My university back in Peru has an alliance with a university in San Diego which is why I came to California. But before I can apply to go there I need to improve my English so that I can take the TOEFL examination. Therefore, I am on a sabbatical journey in Santa Barbara to improve my English which will help me succeed in my business and also with my plans for finishing the business administration major.

When did you move to Santa Barbara and why did you choose ELC?

I have been living in Santa Barbara for about six months now. I chose to move here because some of my friends are here and I also wanted to improve my English. One day as I was walking around downtown Santa Barbara I came across ELC and I knew right away that it would be a good fit for me. The size of a language school is really important to me. I love ELC because it is small enough to get to know the teachers and other students well.

What do you think of Santa Barbara so far?

It’s a small town. I like the fact that I can walk around downtown, or go to the beach, or go to the mountains whenever I want to. I can feel the peace here. I like the weather in Santa Barbara. It’s similar to the weather in my hometown. I have also started doing the stand up paddle boarding which I never tried back in my home country. You can feel the real surfing culture here. I also like the fact that I can find people in the street talking in Spanish and at the same time I get to encounter people from many different cultures. I have a lot of Saudi and Swiss friends that I met through ELC.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to travel a lot which is another reason why I need to learn English. I have been to India, Pakistan, Brazil, France, Bolivia, Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Costa Rica and this is my second time in the USA. When I travel I try to be a part of the culture. For example, I make sure that I try their different cultural foods. The next place that I want to visit is Hawaii.

What about your country would surprise Americans the most?

Americans would be surprised by all the crazy driving in Peru. In America, I can drive and drink coffee at the same time but in Peru I have to have both hands on the steering wheel and be vigilant at all times!

What’s your advice to future students?

ELC has been an amazing experience for me so far. The teachers are really fun. I like their teaching methods. They sometimes incorporate some fun games to help us learn English faster. My advice to future students is that you need to have perseverance. You can be smart, you can be a genius, but if you don’t persevere you can do nothing.

student spotlight -SB