Students choose to study at Embassy English because they want to improve their English language skills with the most qualified teachers. Our diverse teaching staff is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals with fun and engaging interactive classes that help students learn English quickly and easily. We promise to give our students guaranteed outcomes, invaluable skills and amazing experiences that last a lifetime. Recently we caught up with Angela Pastore-Nikitenko, our Academic Manager at Embassy San Francisco, to learn more about her passion for teaching and why the USA is great for international students.
My name is Angela Pastore-Nikitenko, and I have been working at Embassy San Francisco since 2011, first as teacher, and later as Academic Manager. When asked to write about this city from an insider’s perspective, I thought, sure, why not. After all, unlike the majority of people living in San Francisco, I was born and raised here, a true native San Franciscan.
I have experienced the City’s so-called ‘charms’ throughout my life, and have observed and personally felt its quakes and aftershocks, both literally and figuratively. Nonetheless, this task proved to be a bit more complex than I anticipated, perhaps because of my lifelong association with the City by the Bay.
San Francisco is surprisingly small, occupying an area of 7 X 7 square miles, yet incredibly rich in possibilities of things to do. No matter what your tastes and preferences are, you’ll easily find the perfect place to do whatever pleases you most. The City (as we refer to SF) has much to offer, and there really is something for everyone, from loud urban hangouts to quiet natural sanctuaries.
Some of my favorite things to do is walk through the forest trails in the Presidio area, or along the coast to Land’s End. I also am known to pass by the historic and always crowded Buena Vista Cafe on a cold and foggy night for a Venetian coffee or two.
As for restaurants, San Francisco has always been known to have the highest number of restaurants per capita in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that it’s become a food-lover’s paradise. The span and choice of ethnic and Californian cuisine is unparalleled, reflected in the city’s culturally diverse population and experimental palates. Whatever cuisine you’re curious about can be found within the confines of this small big city.
The best thing to do outside in the City is walk…up and down the hills and stairs, preferably away from the touristy areas. For example, there is a little known long flight of stairs (more than 300 steps) with a great view of the Palace of Fine Arts (Lyon Street steps) worth visiting that requires some degree of stamina. It’s worth experiencing. Don’t fear the hills!
For indoor activities, there are plenty of venues for all tastes (from upscale and sophisticated to complete dives) where one can get together with friends for a drink. The View at the top of the Marriot is a favorite, as is the more current Novela for its ambiance. But, for a more local, historical and cultural experience, you can’t go wrong at the Beat-era Vesuvio.
Other indoor activities include museums, bowling, ice-skating, and shopping, of course. The recently re-opened Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) near the school, and the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park are worth visiting, as is the Legion of Honor, a bit farther away.
Apart from these local gems, the City’s proximity to other really nice places make it ideal for a 1-3 hour drive:
Go North: Hike the trails in Muir Woods, home of the giant redwood trees (across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then some).
Go East: Yosemite!
Go North East: Lake Tahoe! (about 4 ½ to 5 hours)
I advise students to go out and experience San Francisco with an open mind. I tell them to live and breathe San Francisco (the fog is so refreshing), and to take advantage of their time here to practice their English.
Eclectic, vibrant, memorable
Ask a native-born San Franciscan whether they’ve been to Alcatraz. The answer will be “no.” The reason is simple…it’s right there…we can go anytime.
Embassy San Francisco is located in the very heart of the city, so we are in close proximity to everything!
The staff is genuine and caring, and our teachers are young and dynamic, most with Masters degrees in TESOL. Teaching is truly their vocation.
From their first day, students can expect to be welcomed and taken care of by staff and teachers. The students’ well-being and experience in SF is our priority. Students can also expect staff and teachers will be very interested in tracking their academic progress, as well. Finally, students can expect to have a transformational life experience.
The weather is comfortably predictable for locals, but oh-so elusive and vexing to tourists and short-term residents. When in San Francisco, do as the locals: dress in layers. San Francisco may be small, but it’s riddled with microclimates – cool and windy in one area, warm and sunny in another. If you time your visit to San Francisco in the fall season, you’ll be blessed with warmer, sunnier days. But…it will start to cool down in the evenings, radically so depending on your location. Remember to layer.
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Embassy English promises that students will reach their English speaking goals; ensuring a better career, education and LIFE as a global citizen. Students from around the world and of all English speaking levels take classes, experience culture and put their lessons to use at Embassy English Study Centres in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.
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