Interview with Elisa Gazzola, Center Director of EC Montreal: “You not only improve your language skills but also grow as a person”
ELISA GAZZOLA, CENTER DIRECTOR OF EC MONTREAL
Why should a student choose your school?
I like to say that EC stands for Extra Care. We take extra care in every single thing we do at the school. Our teachers care so much about our students’ progress. They teach with so much energy and passion. They have truly been our heroes during this difficult year. They were able to transition to online learning with very little notice and were able to create dynamic and engaging lessons despite being socially distant. We make sure that every student gets a personlized experience inside and outside of the classroom. We celebrate our students’ progress and through the scheduled tutorials are able to go over the students’ strengths and give them support with their challenges. We celebrate every student’s birthday and random acts of kindness are common at EC Montreal!
In your opinion, which are the main benefits for a student to study abroad?
At EC Montreal we strongly believe that language and culture go hand in hand. By experiencing the culture, the destination and interacting with locals will you not only improve your language skills but also grow as a person. At EC Montreal we create many opportunities for our students to feel like they are part of the Montreal community through our volunteer opportunities, social events and homestay experiences.
How do you see the future of language tourism?
I strongly believe that full-immersion programmes are here to stay. Even during the pandemic, we were receiving so many inquiries from students abroad asking when they could finally travel to Montreal to participate in our English or French programmes. I do, however, believe that students can now begin their language adventure even before they leave their country through our virtual English and French programmes. Students taking virtual French lessons are placed in classes with students who are already here in Montreal, so not only are students getting a taste of the language but they are also getting a taste of the destination by meeting students who are enjoying the city and are more than happy to share their experiences and tips. Students can also keep their language skills fresh after they complete their full-immersion programme by continuing to take virtual lessons from home.
What types of courses do you think will be most in demand in the future?
I strongly believe that programmes for younger clients will be more in demand in the future. Programmes like EC Montreal’s Young Achiever’s programme, where students not only have an opportunity to improve their language skills but are also introduced to different fields of study. There are so many shortages of available spots in universities around the world and students need to gain that competitive advantage to be considered admission. I also believe that blended learning platforms are here to stay. We have found through our virtual platforms, that there are so many attractive options available that suit everyone’s schedules, needs, comfort and budget.
Name of school
Country / City
Canadá / Montreal
The most significant things the school can offer
EC Montreal has so many wonderful qualities from our very skilled and passionate team to our incredible location right in the city center on Montreal’s most popular street, but the thing we are most proud of is the strong sense of community we create at the center. All our students are made to feel like they are part of our EC Montreal family from the moment they arrive. We create wonderful opportunities for them to interact with one another, practice their language skills and make friends. We organize so many activities and events that truly make our students feel like they are part of the Montreal community because we understand that language and culture go hand in hand.
Types of courses taught at the school
EC Montreal offers General English, Bilingual and French programmes as well as IELTS, DELF/DALF preparation courses and business English and French focused lessons. In addition, EC Montreal is introducing a new programme called Young Achievers. It is specifically designed for students ages 15 to 18. In addition to English and French lessons, students are introduced to different fields of study through the project-based lessons. Students will be introduced to the world of health care, fashion, business, politics, IT and so much more! The programme is ideal for students who are interested in preparing for their post-secondary studies. EC Montreal also has a plus programme called English or French plus Gastronomy. Students are offered sessions like culinary lessons, pastry making, food tours, wine tasking, and so much more!
Attractions in the school’s surroundings and in the city in general
Montreal is a food lover’s paradise, so many of our events that take place at the center offer our students a taste of Montreal. We introduce students to typical Montreal foods as well as produce that is in season in the province of Quebec. Montreal has so many wonderful tourist attractions to enjoy such as museums, vibrant neighborhoods and nature parks. Montreal hosts over 120 festivals every year and we include many of them in our weekly calendar of events. Some of our favorite attractions include Mount-Royal, Old Montreal, Le Quartier des Spectacles, Little Italy, the Olympic village and the Underground city.