SanDiegoConnection

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February

February

 

Hello February,

We have a feeling you will be a good month. ♥

As always, the Connect English team put together amazing activities for this month. Choose which one you like and sign up at the front desk!

 

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January

January

The Connect English team put together amazing activities for this month. Let’s learn and have fun!

 

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Hello November!

Hello November!

The Connect English team put together amazing activities for this month.
There is no excuse to not participate. Choose which one you like and sign up at the front desk!

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Halloween in San Diego: 13 Recommendations for International Students

Halloween in San Diego: 13 Recommendations for International Students

By TOEFL Nick

San Diego is the best Halloween city in the United States. The perfect October weather allows everyone to celebrate both indoors and outdoors, while our friends in Northern California and on the East Coast are already starting to freeze in the autumn and winter weather conditions there.

I’ve been teaching English and TOEFL to international students for years in San Diego, living in San Diego even longer, and celebrating Halloween even longer than that. Over this time I’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to make sure that everyone is aware of super-fun and safe Halloween events for international students. As always, I want to make sure that San Diego International Students have the knowledge to enjoy this fantastic cultural event in the USA. Here are my thirteen Halloween recommendations for you and your friends this year:

 

1. Wear a costume. Really.

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Dressing up in a funny costume may seem embarrassing at first, but I have surveyed hundreds of students in my time as a teacher. Students who wear costumes have a lot of fun and they tell all of their friends back home about all of the Halloween good times they experienced. Students who don’t wear costumes frequently regret it after Halloween is over. Believe me. Costumes don’t have to cost a lot of money and don’t have to be complicated. There are a lot of options that are not embarrassing at all, but are still a lot of fun. For example, a baseball player could be a great costume that’s not embarrassing, not complicated, not expensive, and totally comfortable. Here’s a good little list of costume shops and Halloween stores in San Diego.

2. Decide early which events you’d like to visit.

Don’t wait until Halloween weekend to make your plan. There are many, many events happening around town. One of my biggest regrets of Halloweens past is having to argue with my friends on Halloween night about which event will be better. It’s much smarter to decide a few days before the weekend. Here is a 2015 San Diego Halloween events list for international students and for locals:

Through October – The Haunted Trail, The Haunted Hotel & The Scream Zone

Friday, October 7th & Saturday, October 8th – Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

Friday, October 21st – HauntFest on Main (El Cajon)

Saturday, October 22nd – Rock 105.3 Boo Ball (House of Blues)

Friday, October 28th – San Diego Zombie Crawl

Saturday, October 29th – Daytime Halloween Party (Liberty Station)

Saturday, October 29th – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Kensington)

Saturday, October 29th – The Nightmare on Normal Street (Hillcrest)

Sunday, October 30th – Trick or Trot 5k and 3k run (Balboa park)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Monday, October 31st – Halloween with Rocket from the Crypt (Lafayette Hotel – University Heights)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Monday, October 31st – Asylum Parq (Gaslamp)

Saturday, October 29th through Wednesday, November 2nd – Dia de los Muertos (Old Town)

*These events will be updated regularly, so visit this page again for more information, dates and locations.

3. House parties are good, but officially sanctioned events are safer and are still a lot of fun.

Organized events around town have security staff and are properly planned so that they can accommodate large numbers of people. If you go to a house party, be prepared for long bathroom lines and the possibility of the police arriving and telling everyone to leave. Most organized events are pretty centrally located, too. This means that they’re easy to reach by public transit, taxis/Ubers/Lyfts are easier to find afterward.

4. Organize your transportation plans early.

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Make sure you have a designated driver or a bus/trolley/taxi plan. Do not drink and drive (ever!). There are so many people walking around town, and so many police. Don’t take your chances. It’s too easy to hurt yourself, your friends, or even strangers if you decide to drink and drive. There are plenty of safe ways to get around on Halloween if you plan just a little bit. Talk with your friends and decide who will be the sober driver, or plan with them to use San Diego MTS services to reach your destination. Also, research the schedules of buses and trolleys because the schedule changes after midnight on most days for many routes. Many parties in Downtown San Diego offer special admission deals that include discounted hotel rooms nearby so that you don’t have to worry about returning to your house after their Halloween party.

5. Keep a few ride service telephone numbers in your phone.

On the nights when people go out to celebrate Halloween, transportation systems get pretty busy.  Getting a ride to or from your party can take a long time, especially later into the evenings.  If you have two or three taxi and rideshare apps in your phone, you will have a much easier time getting around and getting home safely after the parties and events.

Here are some links to get the apps for your smart phone:

Ride Yellow app
Uber app
Ride Lyft App

Download all of these apps onto your phone now, and input your payment information.  This way your transportation will not be a nightmare when you’re out having Halloween fun!

6. Don’t wear costumes with masks.

Do you like to eat? Do you like to drink? Do you like to talk? Do you like to see? Do you like to breathe? Imagine how difficult all of these things are when you have a mask covering your face. It’s especially sad when the mask really completes the costume, but the person has to keep the mask pulled up over the top of their head most of the time so that they can breathe. You may find some excellent-looking masks at the Halloween store, but believe me: you’ll regret choosing them.

7. Don’t choose a costume that has big fake props.

Most people spend their Halloween walking, dancing, giving high-fives and sometimes holding beverages. All of these things are a lot harder to do when you have to carry around a fake knife, a rubber chicken, a fruit basket, or some big, heavy parts of your costume. Anything that makes it difficult to walk or stand is also a bad idea. Here is one good example of a costume that is probably not very smart. Can you see why? And can you imagine walking around with all this stuff all night? Forget it.

8. Wear costumes with wigs, makeup, funny hats, pockets, etc. instead.

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All of these things make your Halloween much more fun and manageable than if you wear a bad costume with a mask or fake weapons and toys that you have to carry around all weekend (#s 6 and 7 above). A purse or a backpack is always a great idea for you or one of your friends to have as well. This way you can keep your wallet, your ID, your credit or debit cards, your camera (see #9 below) and your cell phone secure. Can you imagine trying to carry all of those things around while wearing this tiny costume? Be prepared for event security guards to search your purse or backpack, though. Remember, Halloween is fun because you can talk and walk and laugh with good people. If your costume makes these things difficult, you will not have as much fun. Wear a costume that is light and flexible, not heavy and cumbersome.

9. Bring a camera, of course!

You are definitely going to want to take pictures of the events you’ll attend, the costumes you’ll see, the people you’ll meet, and the hilarious things you and your friends will do. Want to see some pictures of regular people having tons of fun on Halloween? Here is a website full of Halloween photo albums from all around San Diego. Imagine how jealous your friends back home will be when they see how fantastic your experience in San Diego has been, and the culture that you have experienced as you learn English. You will want to remember Halloween in San Diego forever.

10. Carve pumpkins

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If you have the chance to carve pumpkins, do it! You’ll have a lot of fun. Pumpkins can be bought at your local Vons, Ralphs or Albertsons any time in the month of October. Connect English will have a pumpkin carving event/contest later this month, so keep your eyes open. You will never forget it!

Last year’s pumpkin-carving day at Connect English [YouTube] was a fresh and educational experience for all of our students.

11. Try pumpkin-flavored everything.

Pumpkin pie is amazing. Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are delicious. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer, pumpkin ice cream, and just plain pumpkin seeds are seasonal foods that you’ll remember for a long time. But you won’t remember them if you’re afraid to try them, and many of them are not available once October ends. You can’t afford to wait!

12. Be adventurous. Don’t be afraid of the fun!

Participate in the student activities that your school offers. They’ll help you understand and become more comfortable with how to celebrate Halloween in the USA. It is understandable that international students are a little bit uncertain about this unique season in the USA. But don’t let your uncertainty ruin your opportunity to have one of the best experiences of your life. Ask a teacher, a roommate or any American friend about Halloween and we will be happy to tell you more. I promise!

13. Join Connect English Activities!

 

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If you are in a school that is not offering many fun activities for Halloween, join Connect English! The whole month of October (“CONNECTober”) is full of activities with costumes, pumpkins, food, friends and fun. Check out our CONNECTober calendar here to see the dates, times and locations of activities this year. Check out our Facebook photo albums from parties past. And contact Connect English if you want to be part of the San Diego language school that students enjoy the most at Halloween, and throughout the year!

-Nick

Connectober

Connectober

 

The best month of the year is coming!!
October is the month of Halloween and it is our favorite holiday.

Connect English is the most exciting school this month!! We teach our students how to celebrate Halloween and how to love it.

 

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Dear August,

Dear August,

 

We really love Summer.
Please, be PERFECT.

xoxo,

Students.

_________________________________________________

 

Ok, guys! Here we go…

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Let’s learn a ton and have lots of fun!

 

Amazing Connect English Summer

Amazing Connect English Summer

 

The Lafayette Hotel’s 70th Anniversary

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Date/Time: Friday, July 1st, 2016
Location: The Lafayette Hotel
Price: Completely FREE!
Why should I do this? Locals know that the Lafayette Hotel has some of the best pool parties of the summer. The Lafayette is also the host of lots of other special events that San Diegans love. This year the iconic hotel is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and you shouldn’t miss it!
Website: http://www.lafayettehotelsd.com/

 

4th of July (independence Day)

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Date/Time: Monday, July 4th, 2016
Location: San Diego, California
Price: Completely FREE!
Why should I do this? The best summer holiday in the USA, 4th of July celebrates America’s independence and freedom. There are fireworks shows, barbecues, parties and much more. The beaches are an excellent place to hang out, but San Diego’s parks are a lot of fun too.
Website: http://www.sandiego.org

 

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game + Fan Fest

Date/Time:  Friday, July 8th through Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Location:  Petco Park  & Gaslamp
Price:  Various
Why should I do this?  This mid-summer baseball event pits the best player of the National League against the best players of the American League, and this year it is happening in our beautiful city.  In addition to the game on Tuesday the 12th, there is a whole weekend of fan-based events and activities to attend in San Diego.
Website:  http://m.mlb.com/all-star-game/fanfest/

 

International Student Soccer (football) Match with Connect English

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Date/Time: Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 3:00pm
Location: Balboa Park, San Diego
Price: FREE!
Why should I do this? Put on your kit and let’s get on the pitch! Connect English students from all three of our San Diego campuses will come together to see which campus and perhaps which country is the best. A simple afternoon of playing the world’s most popular sport will be a great chance for students to get some exercise, make new friends, and show everyone who is the best.

 

Comic-Con

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Date/Time: Wednesday, July 20th to Sunday, July 24th
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Seaport Village
Price: $TOO MUCH for a four-day pass
Why should I do this? This world-famous convention brings together an interesting mix of movie stars, TV show stars, video game characters and themes, directors, bloggers, fans, party animals and other “geeks” like those on The Big Bang Theory. Attendees dress in costumes of their favorite characters too. It is an opportunity for students to get extra insight on the most exciting movies and TV shows of the past, present and future. Make sure to get on the lists to go to all of the theme parties at the downtown clubs that weekend too.

 

Festival of the Bells

Date/Time: July 16th & 17th, 2016
Location: Mission San Diego de Alcalá
Price: FREE!
Why should I do this? The Festival of the Bells is an opportunity to look deep into the history of the city of San Diego. The Mission San Diego de Alcalá is the oldest historic building in San Diego, built in 1769. It is actually older than the USA! All five Mission bells are rung during the weekend festivities, including an original bell dating back to 1802. The Festival of the Bells is a great family event with activities and entertainment for the whole family and is a great opportunity for everyone to visit and learn more of this historic landmark. The festival will have mariachi music, activities for kids, and lots of food. This interesting site is very close to Connect English, San Diego, so transportation is going to be easy.
Website: http://www.missionsandiego.org/

 

Over The Line (OTL)

Date/Time: July 9th – 10th, 2016 and July 16th – 17th, 2016
Location: Fiesta Island, Mission Bay
Price: Completely FREE!
Why should I do this? The San Diego OTL event is the world championship of Over the Line events. Three-person teams come from all around the world to compete in this two-week event featuring players, crazy fans, sunshine, beer gardens and the beach.
Website: http://www.ombac.org

 

Connect English Student Bowling Day

Date/Time: Friday, July 15th, 2016
Location: Aztec Lanes @SDSU
Price: $8
Why should I do this? Have you tried bowling before? Well, even if you haven’t or you already know that you’re terrible at bowling, you’ll have a great time with your Connect English classmates. We have done this activity every summer and the students always love it. You can see pictures of past Connect English bowling events on the Connect English Facebook page.
Website: https://arc.sdsu.edu/azteclanes/

 

Del Mar Horse Races

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Date/Time: Friday, July 15th – Monday, September 5th, 2016
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds
Price: $5-$40
Why should I do this? The rich and famous are here, and so are the regular fun-loving citizens of San Diego. Wear your fanciest summer outfit (including a big hat), bet on the horses to win money, or just enjoy the sun and music of beautiful Del Mar, in North County San Diego. On Fridays of racing season, some excellent bands play shows at the Del Mar Race Track too. The list of these bands will be announced in the spring. Come back to our blog to see the list once it is available.
Website: http://www.dmtc.com

 

Pride

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Date/Time: July 15th – 17th, 2016
Location: Hillcrest & Balboa Park, San Diego
Price: Main festival – $20, other events – various prices
Why should I do this? The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is the 5th largest in the United States attracting 150,000 cheering spectators and significant media participation. Celebrate alternative lifestyles at this high-energy, high-volume festival in one of San Diego’s best city parks.
Website: http://www.sdpride.org

 

Free Yoga on the USS Midway

Date/Time: Saturday, July 16th, 2016 from 7:00am to 10:00am
Location:  USS Midway Museum (Seaport Village)
Price:  FREE!
Why should I do this?  There are 1000 spaces available for all who love yoga.  Why not practice some yoga on the deck of San Diego’s most famous museum?  Namaste!
Website: http://www.eventbrite.com

 

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants with Connect English

Date/Time: Sunday, July 17th, 2016
Location: Petco Park, San Diego
Price: $20
Why should I do this? Nothing says summer in the USA like going to a baseball game.  Even better, seeing a game between the rival Padres and Giants.  Experience this American tradition with tons of Connect English students in San Diego for the summertime.  Come with your old friends, and make new friends too!
Website: www.padres.com

 

San Diego Zoo with Connect English

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Date/Time: Friday, July 22nd at 10:00am
Location: San Diego Zoo “Will Call” window
Price: $20
Why should I do this? The San Diego Zoo is famous all around the world, and for good reason.  This is your chance to see pandas, elephants, reptiles and many more amazing animals up close and personal.  Connect English students get a great discount price.  Instead of the normal price of $50, Connect English students and friends pay only $20 per ticket.
Website:  http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/

 

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival
Date/Time:  Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at 2:30pm
Location:  Waterfront Park
Price:  $39 – $49
Why should I do this?  Get the chance to try 40+ breweries and unlimited samples of over 100 craft beers.  Dress up as a super hero to have even more fun, and you can win prizes!  This event will also include music, entertainment, merchandise and food vendors.

 

 

Connect English San Diego