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ELC Santa Barbara
ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
Student Spotlight: Dario Gervasoni October 6th, 2015

Dario Gervasoni chose to study at ELC Santa Barbara because of the great reviews he heard about the school and city from his friends. And boy, are we glad he did! Every day, Dario greets his peers and teachers with a big smile on his face. Traveling from Walenstadt, Switzerland, this is his first time in the U.S. and we are excited to hear what he has to say about his experience in Santa Barbara so far.

Do you ever get homesick?

No, not really. There are ups and downs, like with every situation. But I really enjoy being here, to be “newborn” in a new country.

What about your country would surprise Americans the most?

The nature. We have mountains, lakes, rivers and you can drink the water straight from them. You can also drink the water straight from the bathroom sink! There are no filters because it’s so clean.

What is your favorite thing about Santa Barbara?

Before coming to the U.S., my friends back home told me that American people were “fake” friendly and not interested in foreigners. Having been in Santa Barbara for one month already, I’ve found that people here are genuinely nice and always willing to help. This mentality of people is my favorite thing about Santa Barbara. Of course, I don’t mind the warm weather and beaches either.

Did you bring something with you to Santa Barbara to remind you of home?

No, I didn’t bring anything for myself, but I did bring something from Switzerland for my host mom. My dad is a beekeeper, only as a hobby, so we made some honey as a gift. When I was flying to California, I wrote on the customs paper that I had food with me. The customs official searched my whole bag! But they let me keep the honey, so that was good.

What is the funniest experience you’ve had so far?

We went to a sushi restaurant with friends, including one student from Saudi Arabia who had never had sushi before. When our food came out to the table, the Saudi guy took a big bite of something green on his plate and immediately began freaking out. He had eaten wasabi! We explained what it was but I was crying with laughter.

What is your favorite thing you’ve done in Santa Barbara?

One of my first experiences was going to the Arlington Theater with my host mom to see a movie.  It was so cool and I was so impressed with the way movies are shown here. I also have been hiking and gone to Butterfly Beach with Signe [an ELC teacher] and those were really fun.

Since being in the U.S., have you ever thought or dreamt in English?

I think in English all the time! I’m happy because that shows progress. I’ve only dreamt in English once. But it was cool.

Do you have any advice for future students?

Learn how to convert measurements. Knowing how to understand Fahrenheit to Celsius and miles to kilometers will be very helpful here in the U.S. Also, study at ELC! It is like a family here.

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