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English in San Francisco - EC

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Why study English in San Francisco?

  • Ages 16+
  • Sessions starting from 2 weeks
  • Experience the diversity of San Francisco
  • Centrally located, spacious facilities just off Market St
  • General and business English, English in the city
  • TOEFL exam preparation
  • Homestay or residence accommodation
  • VIP service


San Francisco

The beautiful San Francisco, located on the tip of a peninsula in Northern California, is one of the best places to improve your English in a gorgeous natural setting. Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, San Fransisco is continually ranked as the US's most beautiful city, this vibrant, eccentric metropolis is famous for its steep hills, incredible views over the bay, iconic architecture, Cables Cars, Alcatraz Island, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Nob Hill and many others.

Today the Bay Area is also known as Silicon Valley, and is the epicentre of tech-start ups with the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple. Recognizable as the setting of many movies and serials, one can feel at home there in a very short period of time. However, the city hasn't lost its liberal and extremely laid-back vibe. It is now up to you to climb the famous hills, jog across Golden Gate Park, walk around the magnificent Victorian houses, and ride the streets on the last existing cable tramways.

EC English Language Centres

Our partner school, EC, is located in the heart of San Francisco on Montgomery Street. Merely a short walk from Union Square with restaurants, cafes, shops and entertainment options nearby, EC is perfectly located. It also has great public transport links for you to explore the neighbouring areas.

EC is accredited by ACCET and English USA.

School facilities include:

  • 15 bright, spacious classrooms
  • SmartBoards in each classroom
  • IT suite with 23 Internet connected computers
  • Free WiFi access throughout the centre
  • Cafe on ground floor level
  • Excellent library facilities
  • Self-study room
  • Wheelchair accessible

VIP service - The Orange Carpet Experience

EC welcomes you with their orange carpet

  • Before your arrival: access to the online platform of EC to prepare for your stay
  • A warm welcome upon your arrival at the airport of station
  • A warm welcome in the residence or in your host family
  • A welcome activity on Sunday to meet the other students
  • On the first day of course: a VIP reception at the school
  • A presentation of all members of the EC team

Now you're ready to learn!

Activities and events during your stay

As an EC student, you will enjoy a calendar of various social and leisurely activities in the afternoons/evenings every week. These activities are optional and some may require a fee. All activities are subject to change and vary depending on the time of year. Activity planning can be viewed on the online EC platform.

Some of the many activities available include:

  • Welcome Event
  • Tour of San Francisco's iconic neighbourhoods
  • Museum outings
  • Yoga classes
  • Movie and restaurant nights
  • Excursions


English language courses: the basics

  • Lesson length: 45 minutes
  • Class size: Average 12 students (maximum 15)
  • Schedule: morning and/or afternoon lessons
  • Placement test: first day of lessons
  • Certificate of completion at the end of your stay
  • Open access to the online EC platform up to 12 weeks after your stay
  • Regular progress tests (oral test every week, written test every 6 weeks)
  • CELTA-qualified native English teachers

Courses on offer

  • General English: 20 lessons per week

    4 lessons a day will give you a practical understanding of the English language and take you all the way to fluency. See your confidence improve as EC trains you in all four communication skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

    Language level: all levels

  • Intensive English: 30 lessons per week

    The ideal course to get your English where you want it to be, fast. Includes the above General English classes, and also allows you to personalise your course by taking an additional 10 lessons per week across a wide selection of electives (see the choices below).:

    • Write Now
    • Media Studies
    • The Language of Music
    • Film Studies
    • Global Citizenship
    • Comparative Culture & Communication
    • Basic English Writing
    • Academic Techniques in Practice (writing assignments, taking notes and preparing presentations)
    • Get Talking
    • And many more!

    Language level: all levels

  • English for Work: 30 lessons per week

    EC's English for Work course will allow you to improve your English fluency and empower you with the language, knowledge and skills to confidently deal with a variety of business issues. Every week you will take 30 lessons: 20 lessons of General English and 10 lessons of Business English.

    Business Skills:

    • Expressing personal opinions
    • Making suggestions
    • Presenting case studies
    • Problem solving

    Business Focus - 10 tailored lessons :

    • Negotiating contracts
    • Management and HR
    • Branding and promotional strategies
    • Project management
    • Business ethics and CSR

    Specific business techniques such as business English on the phone and interview skills are also covered.

    Language level: Lower Intermediate to Advanced

  • Exam Preparation Courses

    • TOEFL Exam Preparation: 30 lessons per week
      Session length: 4 or 8 weeks

      If you wish to attend university in an English-speaking country, preparing for the IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC exam is the first step to success. EC teachers will meet with you individually to assess your language proficiency and goals. Sample papers will help you learn how to effectively answer questions and learn the techniques you need to sit the exam with confidence.

      Language Level : Upper Intermediate

EC Teaching Methods

EC follows a 'Communicative Method' syllabus, which works to develop all four English language skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening. Special attention is paid to speaking, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

To give an engaging and relevant framework to learning these skills, each lesson will focus on a specific topic, which will vary from current affairs to everyday issues. Your professional and friendly teachers will select topics that create interest, discussion and debate in the class, allowing you to develop your confidence both in speaking and listening throughout your stay, in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.

The teaching materials EC uses are specially designed by the school and realia such as newspapers, videos and other materials is also used.

As well as taking an active part in classroom discussions - the best way to improve your fluency - you will work on your language skills in small groups, pairs or individually on tasks and projects. EC's teachers work to create a welcoming environment with mutual support among students - so you'll feel at home while your English improves!


Homestay (Ages 16+)

Single room, shared bathroom and half board.

Shared rooms are available for students travelling together.

Travel time to EC: San Francisco's residential areas are in the suburbs of the city. Travel time to EC takes 45-65 minutes by public transport. San Francisco boasts an excellent public transport system.

Practical information:

  • Linens/towels provided

  • Laundry: Not all households in San Francisco own a washing machine. Some of our host families may do their laundry at a nearby laundromat. Usually, host families with a washing machine at home will let you use it for your laundry.

Residence accommodation (ages 18+)

Originally a Buddhist Monastery, The Monastery - EC San Francisco’s newly renovated residence (opened July 2013) - offers students a unique opportunity to live with both international and American students. The residence is located in a trendy neighbourhood, perfect for exploring San Francisco.


  • Single or shared room
  • Private bathroom
  • Refrigerator and safe in each room
  • No meals included
  • Travel time to EC: 15 minutes by public transport
  • Located in the heart of San Francisco
  • Deposit to be paid on arrival (see Dates & Prices tab), to be refunded at the end of your stay provided no damages are incurred

Facilities and services

  • Linens/towels provided on arrival
  • Free WiFi access
  • Fully-equipped shared kitchen
  • Common room
  • Resident advisor
  • Access to rooftop patio
  • Coin laundry facility on-site
  • Weekly cleaning service; please note that outside of this service, students are responsible for cleaning their rooms
  • Wheelchair accessible

Prices & Dates 2019

Dates 2019

Course start dates

Most courses start every Monday year-round (exceptions are outlined below.) On Bank Holiday Mondays, lessons start on Tuesdays.

Bank holidays and holidays (No lessons will take place on these dates and they will not be rescheduled or refunded): 01/01, 21/01, 18/02, 29/03, 27/05, 04/07, 02/09, 14/10, 11/11, 28/11, 29/11, 25/12.

English for Work start dates: every Monday for a duration of up to 23 weeks

Exam Prep Course Dates:

TOEFL: starts every week, for 4 or 8 weeks. Exam dates are posted on the ETS website.

Prices 2019

This programme contains classes Accommodation included Meal included 24h support

Prices include:

  • Your chosen course
  • Homestay or residence accommodation
  • Single or shared room, private bathroom
  • Course materials
  • Limitless WiFi access
  • Activities and language workshops
  • Welcome activity
  • Access to the EC e-learning platform up to 12 weeks after the course
  • All taxes and enrolment fees

Prices do not include:

  • Travel to San Francisco
  • Airport transfers
  • Optional extras
  • Midday meals (if homestay), all meals (if residence)
  • Transportation in and around San Francisco
  • Optional activities
  • Deposit on arrival, where applicable (300 USD, residence accommodation)
  • Exam fees, where applicable (TOEFL)
  • Visa fees
  • Optional insurance

Please note: a medical and assistance insurance is mandatory to enter the USA.

Practical Information


Arrivals: Saturday

Departures: Saturday

If residence accommodation: Check-in: 12:00-6:00 p.m. (Saturday); Check-out: 8:00-10:00 a.m. (Saturday)

  • Arrival airport:

  • San Francisco International, SFO

Airport transfers available on request (fees apply, see price list)

Please note: Do not make travel arrangements until we have confirmed your enrolment in your chosen course.

Visa Information

You might need a visa for this course. For more information please visit our Visa Information page.

EU citizens do not require a visa for stays in the United States under 90 days. However, EU nationals do require an ESTA Travel Authorization.

Do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email if you require any additional information.


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Our Programmes: United States of America

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