Tips for truly improving your English while studying at CISL

Learning English at CISL doesn’t end when class does each day: there are countless ways that students can continue improving their English while studying at CISL San Diego or San Francisco! The following tips will help you continue improving your English skills while living and studying in California. Get involved, and make the most of your time in sunny California!

Tips for truly improving your English

1. Participate in after school activities!

CISL offers many after school activities for students and often provides discounted rates to local attractions. Check out the San Diego and San Francisco activities calendars (they are posted monthly on the CISL website) for information regarding after school events. Each one is an opportunity to experience another part of San Diego or San Francisco, and it is also an opportunity to meet other CISL students!

Photograph by Roman Gomez
CISL students at the San Diego Zoo!

2. Volunteer

Walk dogs for animal shelters, participate in local after-school programs for kids, help feed the needy, clean up the beaches and parks, spend time with the elderly . . . there are many ways to involve yourself in your new community! Ask your teachers or the CISL staff for suggestions on how to volunteer for local organizations.

The Barking Lot, an animal shelter in San Diego, is a great place to walk dogs and make some furry (and human) friends.

3. Play a sport

San Diego and San Francisco both have many intramural sports organizations that offer organized sports. Students can play anything from frisbee to basketball to dodge ball through these companies, and the membership prices are reasonable. Visit GoVavi for information regarding intramural sports in San Diego, and click here for a list of many intramural organizations in SF. (Check out our post on Staying Fit While Studying for more information about local gyms and sports activities.)

4. Become a “regular” at a local restaurant or cafe

Everyone loves a friendly face, especially waiters and waitresses. Spend some time talking to your local coffee shop barista or restaurant staff member, and you might make a friend. If nothing else, waiters and waitresses have the best tips for local happenings!

Many CISL students are regulars at the restaurants in Little Italy!

5. Go on an adventure

Skydiving, kayaking, taking a road trip . . . there are so many ways that CISL students can explore their new surroundings and meet people in the process. Take a tip from Saeed, who went skydiving after his TOEFL exam and had a blast. Even receiving instructions for skydiving is a way of improving your English skills . . . and it is a great story to tell your friends back home!



Remember, the one thing students say again and again is how friendly Americans are. It’s true! Americans love to meet people, and they are fascinated by people from other countries. The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, and Americans are always interested in learning about the traditions of other cultures. Enjoy your stay here, and enjoy the friends you make.