I am from the French part of Switzerland in the town of Valaes. After high school graduation, I did apprentice work in a Law Office as a Lawyer Assistant. After this, I decided to study English because it was important for my future job. I decided to learn English in the USA.
I like to play sports, run, and bike. In Switzerland, I enjoy target practice for competition. I am also a volunteer firefighter in my spare time in my village.
When I arrived, the first culture shock was with my host family. Their food (Asian) was very different and new for me. After some time, I adjusted to the change in food, and I enjoy it very much now. It is one of the best host families, and the environment is very good for students to feel comfortable. My first impression of Downtown Santa Barbara was very good. I was able to easily speak and meet with kind people. Santa Barbara is a good sized city where I can get to know the people that work in the shops. I enjoy greeting them every day.
I just checked photos of Santa Barbara and looked to see what the city offered. Weather was important to me, so I wanted to make sure there was a lot of sun and that it was very warm! The city was not too large and everything I saw looked so beautiful.
I am 19. I cannot drink in the US. In Switzerland, there are a lot of wineries, but I cannot drink wine here. I am not missing any food at the moment, but if my friends or family send me a photo, I might change my feelings about that. I do like raclette, which is a type of cheese. I like using Skype or messaging programs to keep in touch with my family and friends. Contact is possible at all times of the day so I am not homesick.
I like ELC because it is not too big. My roommates have said that their other schools in Santa Barbara are too big. The teachers at ELC are great, and they always smile. If you have any questions, the teachers are very nice to help you and are very professional about it. There is a good mix of students at ELC, and I can make friends with students from around the world.
My advice would be to speak with everyone. For me, I speak French, and meeting French speakers leads to less English speaking. It is important to speak English with everyone around you. Sometimes it may be difficult for new students to speak only English, but it is good to work hard and improve. Santa Barbara is very close to many places to visit such as Yosemite and San Francisco and offers ways to have trips to Las Vegas. It is good to go to these places with your new friends!