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ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
Student Spotlight – Michael Wigger September 3rd, 2019

Michael Wigger is 21 years old and from Switzerland. He has been studying at ELC Santa Barbara for 18 weeks. While he started in our General English Courses, he added some Private Lessons to help him learn English more quickly. Thanks to the intensiveness of his courses, Michael was able to take a leap and enroll in the rigorous Cambridge Exam course! While he has studied very hard for the exam, he has made sure to leave time for some volleyball at the beach.

Is this your first time in the US?

No, it is my second time. I have been to the United States five years ago on a family holiday to the East Coast. We visited New York, Bar Harbor, and Boston!

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

There are a few things that I was surprised to learn about the US and Santa Barbara. They are:

  • The prohibition of smoking in public spaces
  • The motivation at work is not very high
  • The history of discrimination against black people in certain states until recently
  • Spanish influence in building styles and festivals

I think I had a small amount of culture shock, but I’ll probably have more reverse culture shock when I get back home

What do you miss about your country?

  • Fresh water from the tap
  • ”Real” cheese and chocolate
  • More comfortable bed
  • Crusty bread from a bakery

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy beach volleyball, relaxing at the beach, and playing tennis at Oak Park. I visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas. I even went skydiving, enjoyed time with friends in State Street bars, and in the funk zone.

What are your hobbies?

Tennis, playing trumpet, and spending time with friends.

Do you have any tips for people who want to learn English?

Watch movies in English with English subtitles. Read English book, too.

What is your favorite place in Santa Barbara?

The beach with the beach volleyball courts and tower of the courthouse for the view.

What are your favorite moments in class at ELC?

Q & A in Mike’s class because it gave me the possibility to ask anything. Simulation of speaking (in order to know what to face at the final exam). As well, I enjoyed thinking and talking about our own business ideas in communication class.

What are your plans after ELC?

I am going to visit a friend near Atlanta for a week, start to study at a university in Switzerland, and continue to work part-time.