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ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
Student Spotlight – Mathilde Schenk April 23rd, 2019

Mathilde is from Strasbourg, France, and studied at ELC Santa Barbara for 10 weeks in our Business English Program. She was a very hard-working student who had many wonderful ideas for cultural immersion in Santa Barbara.

Where were you born and raised? Give us a mental picture of the place(s).

France! I live in a small town in the countryside of Alsace.

What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?

Going out with friends, horse riding, reading the news, listening and learning about politics, and going to school.

What is your special talent?

I don’t think I have a special talent but I like to cook French food.

What is your profession? What do you like about it?

I don’t have a job yet but I hope to work in politics or business.

Tell us about your family, do you have kids? Siblings? Do they live close to you?

I have two brothers. My parents are still together. One of my brothers live in Mulhouse and the other one lives now in Strasbourg, but he used to live in Roma. He is married to an Italian.

Why did you choose to study English in Santa Barbara? Did you consider other options?

Yes. I had some wishes to express but I was chosen for Santa Barbara. I wanted to discover California!

What are all the ways that Santa Barbara is different than your city/town?

Common transport is better. Food is SO much better in France. We don’t have the sea (and that’s sad).

What were you most surprised to learn about the US or Santa Barbara? Did you experience any culture shock?

The US and Santa Barbara look like what I expected. I wasn’t ready for the food culture shock. But the people are so nice, and so open-minded.

What do you miss most about your country?

My parents, my friends, my dog, and my horse. Also, beer and food (because I am not 21).

What are your top three favorite places in Santa Barbara?

Stearn’s Wharf, Paseo Nuevo, and the Hills.

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Where have you found the best food from your country in Santa Barbara?

The “macaron” in Paseo Nuevo.

Favorite moment in class at ELC:

Planks with Kyle! Class with Kyle in general

Favorite activity at ELC:

Whale watching and the pizza parties. Also all the activities with California Explorer.

What are some tips you have for people who want to learn English?

Watch VOST movies and shows. Go to any English speaking country.

What are your plans after ELC?

Going back to school again, finishing my degree, and trying to get a great job!