A New Year means New Year’s Resolutions: do you have any for 2016? When you are studying English in San Diego or San Francisco, there are so many fun resolutions to make! For January’s Grammar Lesson of the Month, we are looking at the modal MUST and 5 things you simply MUST do while living in California.

California Palm Trees

The Modal MUST

The modal MUST is used to show obligation.

  • Employees must always treat customers with respect.
  • You must always bring a passport when you travel.
  • You must not smoke when inside.

MUST is also used when giving strong advice.

  • You mustn’t worry so much about the future.
  • You must see the new Star Wars movie! It’s so good!

When using MUST to give strong advice, we often speak about things we love and want our friends to see or do.

  • When you are in San Diego, you MUST go to Mission Beach. It’s so beautiful!
  • You MUST try fish tacos while you are in San Diego!

For this reason, we use the modal MUST to describe the “Must-do” things for travelers. The following list includes CISL’s “Must-do’s” for 2016. How many of these will you make sure to do while you are studying English at CISL?

“Must-do’s” for CISL Students in 2016

San Diego Beach Sunset Surf

Watch a California sunset

Is there anything better than watching the sun dip into the Pacific Ocean? To Californians, watching the sun set is an almost religious experience. Grab your friends, sit on the beach (or get a table at your favorite beach hangout), and toast to the end of a beautiful California day.

Read about restaurants with the best ocean views in SD and the best rooftop bars in SF.


Eat a burrito (or three!)

Burritos are a big part of California culture, and depending on where you live, your burrito will be different. What’s your preference: a Southern California carnitas or California burrito with avocado, or an SF-inspired Mission burrito with cilantro rice and black beans?

To learn the differences in burritos, read all about California’s Burrito Culture.


Check out the local museums

San Diego and San Francisco are packed full of incredible museums, and entrance is often discounted for young adults or students. Talk to the CISL Front Desk for information on discounts, or read about the museums in San Diego’s Balboa Park and San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. The latter is an awesome museum unlike any other!

Road Trip Ocean

Plan a road trip

It might be hard to leave a city as beautiful as San Diego or San Francisco, but the rest of California is calling! Take a trip to Los Angeles, cross the border into Nevada and hit up Las Vegas, see beautiful Yosemite, wine taste in Napa Valley, go skiing in Big Bear or Lake Tahoe, explore sunny Santa Barbara . . . your options are seemingly endless when it comes to exploring the West Coast.

Click here to learn about renting a car if you are an international student.


Get outdoors

Californians love nature, and San Diego and San Francisco offer many trails, national parks, and beautiful beaches to enjoy. Enjoy our Guide to Hiking In and Around San Francisco before hitting the trails!


What are your resolutions for 2016? We would like to wish our students a Happy New Year! We are looking forward to helping you improve your English skills while studying at CISL . . . all the while enjoying the beauty of California.

All photos from Shutterstock.