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Best Ways to Get Around in San Diego.

Best Ways to Get Around in San Diego.

Many people have questions and doubts about transportation when it comes to doing an exchange or traveling in another country. So let’s explain a bit about the ways of getting around in San Diego.

The most convenient way to get around in the city is by car, mainly because of the distance between places. When you have a car in San Diego, the traveling time that gets shorter.

However, it is super viable and safe to be in San Diego and use public transportation.

In the city there are Trolleys, which are small trains that circulate through important and strategic points, and bus lines, which cover a large part of the city and keep their schedules  with enough rigidity, so you can plan and have a comfortable trip .

Life tip! A great app for anyone using public transport is Google Maps, because it shows exactly how long you will take from one point to another, what time the bus will go, how much you will have to walk etc.

If it fits into your budget, renting a car can also be a great idea. In San Diego there are local rental companies with great prices.
Important tip: the Waze app works normally in the city.
 
If you still have questions about transportation, you can contact us!

 

* Cheap Car Rental: Dirt Cheap Car Rental https://dirtcheapcarrental.com/

Tickets purchased! How to get the best seat on the plane.

Tickets purchased! How to get the best seat on the plane.

First of all, as soon as you buy the tickets, download the airline app on your mobile phone. Through the app you will be able to solve several things, besides knowing information about schedules, possible delays and updates.
Search for information about when the check-in will be released on your flight, and when you find out, plan to enter the website as soon as it is available and reserve your seat of preference. If you leave it until the last minute, your seat on the flight could be very bad, getting with a seat in the middle or near the bathroom. In addition, in some airports there is a specific line for those who are already checked in, so you would save some time too.

When it comes to choosing the seat, it’s cool to think about your preferences on the plane. If you prefer to stay more “free”, our suggestion is to choose a seat in the aisle, but if you prefer to have a place where it will be easier to sleep, our suggestion is to choose a seat at the window.

Life tip! The site www.seatguru.com helps you to find the best place according to your preferences. Worth checking out before you book your seat! 

 
Another important tip is to always choose places in the front. But why?
Think about all those people who will be on the plane. They will also go through immigration as you will. So if you’re at the back of the plane, you’re going to end up really far back in the line!

As we have mentioned a lot here, the secret of a low-stress trip is having good planning. And it wouldn’t be different at this stage of the flight! Don’t forget that if you have any questions, we can help you.

Good trip!!

Best tips to save money to make your trip happen

Best tips to save money to make your trip happen

This is a very important subject for those who want to have a stress-free trip without any financial squeeze, and still get to buy some little things, of course!

The tips that we are going to give here are the minimum that you will have to do to be able to use your money smartly,  and to enjoy your trip without financial problems, spending consciously.

The first tip for anyone going to study or exchange is: know how many weeks you plan to stay. For example, if you enroll a six-month course, you can keep costs down much more than when enrolling for 1 month at a time when you are already here.

This is part of a good planning! So the sooner you decide on your plans, the greater your bargaining power will be when you make your reservations, whether at school, on accomodation, or on airfare, among other expenses. These are the things that Connect English can help you plan as you’re configuring your program.

Speaking of accomodation, this is a good tip when researching: stay tuned for the high seasons! It may be that you only book 1 month of accommodation and in the following month you no longer have any vacancies due to the high season. Therefore, our suggestion is always to book the accommodation during the whole period that will be hosted.

However, if you’re going to stay a long period, from 6 months up, for example, it’s cool that you don’t set aside all this time. What happens is that when you arrive in a new place you meet new people, and discover new neighborhoods.It may be that in this period you will find a better place to live, that is more suited to your plans.

Airfare is also an item that deserves attention when thinking about saving. Search ALWAYS! Travel agencies are worth contacting, as they sometimes have promotions that are not on the sites, it is worth going to websites that compare prices and visit the portals of the airlines. Ah, not to mention the blogs and applications where you can register to receive the promotions!! Some tips:

 

  • Skyscanner: from the world’s best flight seekers, it has a huge range of airlines, detects lightning-flash promotions and assembles a column chart to show the price variation of the tickets in the consulted period.
  • Kayak: searches for tickets in different destinations and brings exclusive discounts on mobile searches.
  • Voopter: a very interesting flight search engine. With it you can book four return dates to find the cheapest combination. It also allows you to create alerts to receive promotions on snippets of interest.
  • Hooper: the flexibility feature is especially useful. Place in your hometown and desired destination and Hopper will map the entire year to you with color-coded prices. If you know you need a vacation but are flexible in your destination or dates, you can also set alerts for the application to inform you when there are destination offers.
  • Google Flights: great tool for those who like to research the price of a trip before buying the tickets. Free, lightweight and without any hassle, it allows you to check airfare prices and always track the cheapest. In the “Tips” section, the site tells you if the price has really gone down.

 

Another cool tip is for people who are traveling with more people. Whenever you negotiate a price, say that you are in two, or three, or four people. This way, you have a better chance of getting a discount. =)

And this last one is the best tip of all time tip of life!! ALWAYS ask if there is any way you can get a discount. It can be in the form of payment, on the date of reservation, if you refer a friend, anyway! Search and trade so you can save money for a great trip!

I am about to travel, how to pass through immigration?

I am about to travel, how to pass through immigration?

When you go to another country, you need to go through immigration from that location. It’s nothing terrible, OK? But it’s important to understand the process, and to be prepared for what you’ll have to do as you arrive in the USA.

Important: when you get off the plane, go straight to the immigration line! Sometimes the lines are huge, because everyone on your flight will pass through them too.

We always recommend that you already have your passport and visa in hand and already fill out the form that is delivered on the plane before disembarking. So don’t forget to carry a pen in your handbag.

It is also important to print the information of your trip, such as the address where you will be staying, your return ticket, the acceptance letter from your School and I-20 if you are a F1 student. Oh, and avoid talking on the cell phone in the immigration area! Mainly in the United States, they don’t like this practice so much.

 

When your turn comes, wait for the responsible person to indicate which booth you need to go to and don’t make any kind of jokes, because they are super strict there!
If you are traveling with your family, they will probably let you go to the same booth in a group. At that point, the person will take their fingerprints, look at their passport and visa and ask some questions like:

How long will your trip last?
Where are you staying?
What do you intend to do while in the US?
If you know someone in the US?
What do you do in your home country?
How much money are you bringing with you?
If you’ve been to the US before
 

Got it? So don’t forget:

  • Get a seat near the front of the plane

  • Bring a pen 
  • Use the bathroom before landing

  • Walk fast toward the immigration area 
  • Hold all the documents 
  • Do not use the cell phone
  • Do not make any jokes 

Answers all their questions 

Financial evidence for students with an F1 visa

Financial evidence for students with an F1 visa

I decided to get the student visa. What is the ideal amount for financial evidence?
Well, that will depend on each school and the amount of your tuition. The minimum amount that you will need to prove and will be required by the school depends on how much the school charges for the course.

In case of Connect, for example, we require a minimum of $ 7,080.00 for every 24 study weeks. This applies to those who have the F1 visa. For anyone who is F2 (that is, dependent on the F1 – child or spouse) the amount gets smaller, around $ 3,000.00 per dependent.


However, there are schools and universities that are more expensive and require a much higher amount than this.

What matters in this financial statement is the net amount that you or your financial sponsor has in the  account. You can use current account balance, savings and / or investments.

 

In order for this bank document to be accepted it must be a maximum of two months old and present the following information: bank logo / bank name, total balance / amount, name of holder, date and account data.

Life tip! Presenting the minimum amount for the school is enough for the preparation of the student’s documentation (I-20 and letter of acceptance). However, the greater the proven amount of funds, the greater the chances of you getting the visa. Attention on this tip !! This is one of the most important points of the visa interview, as this will be on your I-20, and it will probably be one of the first things the interviewer will look at. So this is the time for you to present the highest possible amount.

To renew the I-20, no extra fee is required, the process takes about 2 business days and the student applies for renewal directly at the school office. The only thing required is to present a new bank voucher with the minimum amount of $ 3.000,00 for student F1 and $ 1.500,00 for the F2 person.

Still have questions about this topic? Contact us to help you with this.

Supplemental Classes

Supplemental Classes

Free, fun, extra classes online!

Connect English students love the new online supplemental courses that we have created. These hour-long optional lessons are fun and fresh, with a new mix of students and topics every time. They are live classes with the best Connect English teachers.

MONDAY: TOEFL speaking exercises
TUESDAY: general conversation
WEDNESDAY: pronunciation
THURSDAY: slang
FRIDAY: cooking, yoga, or conversation

When you join the English MAX, TOEFL MAX, or Business English MAX program, the teacher invites you to sign-up for these classes every week. Enroll at Connect English to participate in these excellent learning opportunities!

 

 

To register for Connect English programs, follow this link and complete the application form. A Connect English team member will help you confirm your schedule, program, and course start date.

February Calendar!

February Calendar!

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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The students can register using the QR code to access our online system. Try it ou!

 

Top Twelve Successes of 2019

Top Twelve Successes of 2019

 

2019 has been a year of great effort and impressive results for and from Connect English students. Our team has used hard work, creativity, and dedication to accomplish these milestones in 2019. Which ones do you like the most?

 

1. Launched our new Business English MAX (BEM) program 

 

For years, students in San Diego have been asking Connect English to open an evening schedule, because the limited evening study options at other schools were boring and unconstructive. Connect English answered the call in April, and opened our Business English MAX (BEM) classes so that motivated students could have a quality program option on their preferred schedule. We took the students on five field trips to San Diego-area businesses to give them hands-on, real-life learning opportunities.

 

2. Afternoon Class Options Were Added! 

 

In the summer of 2019 we also added more afternoon schedule options. There is an early-afternoon option starting at 12:10pm, and new a new late-afternoon schedule that begins at 2:00pm. We offer English MAX and TOEFL MAX in the afternoons. And these schedules come with nice discounts!

 

3. UCSD HSI Partnered with Connect English

 

In the spring of 2019, UC San Diego’s Health Sciences International reached out to Connect English for TOEFL help. Their pharmacy students were finishing all of their courses and doing very well in their program, but were still having trouble getting the extremely high TOEFL scores required to get a pharmacy license in the USA. Connect English created customized training programs for these students, and is helping them cross the finish line. We are extremely proud to partner with the best university in San Diego to help international students reach their academic and career goals.

 

 

4. Community Colleges Admitted Dozens of Connect English Students

 

Community colleges are where students can cheaply and conveniently complete their first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree in the USA. Lots of students arrive at Connect English with the goal to go to college in the USA, but they don’t yet understand how good community colleges are. This year we helped dozens of our students get into Grossmont, Mesa, MiraCosta, Southwestern, and other community colleges. They are now on their way to getting their degrees from US universities! Check out videos of some of our campus tours.

 

 

5. Some Amazing New Teachers Have Joined Team Connect

 

Connect English always wants the best teachers. The best teachers want to be at Connect English. This is because excellent teaching is the #1 priority at Connect English. This year our team grew as we added some amazing new people to our teaching roster. Shannon, Carson, Kristina, David, Krista, Dana, Derek, and Brandon, all of you teachers have shown Connect English students that they can expect high-quality lessons every day at our school.

 

6. Connect In A Minute Library

 

In 2019, we expanded our library of free online classes to include our new #ConnectInAMinute video lessons. Each lesson is just one minute long, and it helps students learn about common mistakes in English and ways to avoid them. Fantastic teachers Elsa, Charles, Joey, Victoria, Nick, Renee, Megan, and Brian all created mini-lessons this year. Check them out!

 

 

7. Reached our Goal of 100,000 Fans and Followers

 

Our goal this year was to reach 100,000 social media followers, so that our free lessons could get all around the world more easily. Well, in September we reached that goal, and now we are well on our way to 200,000 in 2020. In addition to being our way to give free English lessons to the whole world, the Connect English Facebook and Instagram accounts give interested students an authentic window into the student community and the learning environment at our schools.

 

8. Created our Online Activities Sign-Up System

 

Speaking of our student community, in 2019 we created an online activities system that makes it easier than ever for our students and friends to sign up for field trips and events around San Diego. Connect English organizes student field trips and activities every week, and we want maximum participation. Want to take a look at our online activities sign-up system? It’s at https://tinyurl.com/y6cyxqbt, or you can just scan this QR code with your phone to go directly to it.

 

9. The Connect English SIP Reader!

 

Our advanced students have always enjoyed the Slang, Idioms & Phrasal Verbs (SIP) class, because they love learning real-world terms that native speakers use in conversations. In the spring of 2019, we published our first edition of the SIP reader, full of activities to get students familiar and comfortable with phrasal verbs like “flag down” and “monkey with” that you’ll hear a few times per week. The Connect English SIP reader helps advanced students keep advancing thanks to our program.

 

 

10. Helped Thousands of Students at International Education Events 

 

The Brazil office of Connect English has worked diligently in 2019 to support aspiring Connect English students. Fabiana and Carol attend education fairs and host events for students who have big plans for international education. Lots of high school and college students in Brazil have dreams to study abroad in their near future. When Fabiana and Carol meet with these students at international education events, they can make their dreams into real plans.

 

 

11. Got 2,500,000 Views on our Free Online Lessons

 

With the growth of our online library of English lessons, we also saw a huge increase in viewers of our lessons. 2019 was by far the most popular year ever for Connect English online training. Our pronunciation classes, vocabulary lessons, grammar explanations, and problem-fix classes got more than 2.5 million views this year. Thank you for counting on Connect English for convenient and effective lessons on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!

 

12. Hosted Japanese Soccer Superstars of the Future

 

In March of 2019, Connect English had the honor of hosting a Japanese young-women’s soccer team. They spent their mornings improving their English skills in our classes, and then spent afternoons playing soccer against San Diego-area high school soccer teams. They were enthusiastic students in the classrooms, and amazing soccer players on the field. We were proud of their hard work and the results they got in California. In 2020, we will host them again, and are excited to give them another memorable and meaningful experience in San Diego!

 

And now 2020 is arriving. You can be a Connect English success story in the coming year. Contact Connect English to make a plan for your English-learning experience in beautiful Southern California!

 

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