I spent 6 months in Miami and I have only good things to say about my experience.
Miami is a beautiful city divided into districts, which may be residential, cultural or trendy, with lots of restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
I can’t describe the city because I think it’s better you explore it yourself, but what I can tell you is this: if you get a chance to go there, go for it and you won’t regret it. But careful, the cost of living is rather high, especially if you want to go out at night.
I recommend watching Miami Heat (basketball), Dolphins (football), Marlins (baseball) and Panthers (ice hockey) games. I also strongly recommend a walk in the Wynwood area and a meal at Espanyola Way. Also, there are always lots of live music and events at the American Airlines Arena. Alternatively, I encourage you to go out of town to visit Key West, Orlando’s amusement parks, and to do, if you can, a cruise to the Bahamas.
I am extremely happy that ESL advised me to study at EC Miami.
The school is located right in the heart of South Beach, on one of the greatest shopping streets in town and 10 minutes from the beach. Easily accessible from wherever you are staying, the school is very young as it was inaugurated only 2 years ago and it is equipped with state-of-the-art electronic boards, which make classes even more interesting and easy to understand.
The whole EC team is very nice and welcomes you warmly. I worked in close contact with people at the reception because I was appointed “student ambassador” (a fabulous experience which I recommend to people who like interacting with others and organising activities and who are staying for more than 3 months in Miami) and it was an enriching experience for me because the group was very dynamic, friendly and always smiling.
The 3 directors were totally open to suggestions to make the life of students easier and I got on very well with them.
The teachers are all very different and teach English in their own way, allowing us to explore different aspect of the language. They are all very nice, even though I thought some of them were a bit “old school”.
In 6 months, I greatly improved my listening and writing skills. I can speak English fluently now, especially because I participated a lot in class and wasn’t afraid to talk to English speakers in the street. Each class has 2 teachers, the first one comes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the second one on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means classroom work is very varied. Themed classes in the intensive option are great and the choice is wide.
The school is multicultural, which allows you to meet plenty of people from other countries and to get to know other cultures. However, the country which is the most represented is Switzerland, with a large group of Swiss German students.
I stayed in 3 different accommodation options, by choice, and I felt comfortable in all of them.
The majority of host families are very nice, mine was very friendly and helpful, but some of them live quite far away from the school and buses are a major weakness in Miami.
Accommodation in South Beach may be more expensive but it is also more comfortable and well located (10-15 minutes’ walk to the school).
In downtown Miami, the hotel where EC rents apartments with a capacity of up to 5 students is great, and includes access to a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and gym. The building is located just steps from the bus stop where you can catch bus A, which will take you to the school in a maximum of 20 minutes.
I hope this information will make you want to study in Miami because it is a city for young people and you’ll come back with beautiful memories.
Finally, follow this piece of advice, which is essential in Miami: don’t be shy!