Why I Chose Santa Barbara

By Jinhao Shang- China

To begin with, I would like to answer a more important question: why  I chose the USA.

People from all over the world come to the USA to fulfill their dreams. Each person represents his own culture, and each country has its culture, and each culture contains its different spirit to tell people the truth and the wisdom. So the United States of America is a special country mixed with cultures from  around the world and with its own “freedom and liberty” spirit where I am able to not only learn better to embrace different kinds of people, but to experience a whole new lifestyle and to broaden my horizon as well.

As for Santa Barbara,I was impressed by its scenery:the Pacific Ocean and golden beaches with a stunning mountain backdrop makes Santa Barbara a coastal jewel in California .It is a very perfect place for a vacation.

Katy Perry



Katy Perry was born October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. She had three records. She signed with Capitol in 2007. Later she released her first single, “Ur So Gay.” But she really became famous with her single, “I Kissed a Girl”. Her albumTeenage Dreams was released in August 2010.She grew up in a very conservative family, both of her parents are pastors, and they refused to let her listen to any rock or popular music. Her inspiration came from the famous singer Freddie Mercury, she also declared “I’m very inspired by Freddie Mercury and how flamboyant and theatrical he was,” she told fashion magazine WWD.

She made a featured song with famous singer with Snoop dog in her song California Gurls.



She’s the most followed person on Twitter with 81.6 Million followers.

Northem California: Big Sur

By Maria Reyes Gherardelli , Chile

Big Sur is a lightly populated region of the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. This awesome place is located four hours by car from Santa Barbara and that means you can go just for the day.

When I went there, we started our trip at 9 AM and on the way we visited Solvang and San Simeon. If you are planning to go to Big Sur, you have to research the weather forecast otherwise you may just see fog.

It is amazing how great you feel there, I felt super relaxed and I was impressed with the beautiful view.

Although we had a little bit of rain, that wasn’t a problem because we were able to see a rainbow in the sky.

*The construction of Highway One in the 1930s transformed Big Sur, making it accessible to all the people.

Italian Food is the Best One

by Francesca Mosca – Torino, Italia

As everyone knows, Italian food is one of the best things in the entire world. When you visit the Beautiful Country, you could eat all day for at least 15 days without repeating the same meal. We don’t just eat pizza and pasta!

Depending on the different regions, we have so many varieties of food and specialties. Near the sea, it is very common to enjoy fish dishes: grilled, fried or accompanied by pasta or vegetables; you can be sure the fish is always fresh and gorgeous. In the North, you will find more rustic dishes, maybe with mushrooms or special kinds of meat, like boar or venison. They are very common in the Alps, the big mountain chain in the middle of the Europe.

The meals can vary a lot according to the season. In the summer, you can enjoy delicious handmade ice creams (remember the ice cream store Grom, the famous chain that actually owns shops in all the parts of the world, born in Torino, a wonderful – since it is mine 😉 – city in the North-West of Italy), or simple dishes of Caprese salad (mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, with some fresh basil leaves), or appetizing sandwiches with the sweet Italian ham called “prosciutto crudo” and fresh cheese like “stracchinoIMG_8168”.

On the other hand, in the winter you have the possibility of tasting exquisite hot Gianduja chocolates, with the typical flavor of the Italian hazelnuts (the same as Nutella!), cornmeal mushes, polenta, with melted cheese and a lot of butter or with sausages and tomatoes sauce.

One of my favorite Italian food is surely “gnocchi alla bava”, which the literal translation is like cooked with saliva; since I love eating them with the “fontina” cheese, a special kind of cheese that when it is melted is very stringy. I know, in your imagination it might not sound so inviting, but trust me: those that my grandfather prepares are the best gnocchi you could ever taste!

Gnocchi are very easy to cook: you need only potatoes (usually 1kg for 4 people) and flour, the amount you require, and a pinch of salt. After boiling the potatoes, you have to peel them and press with a fork; in Italy we have a special utensil to do this, but I think it is very hard to find it abroad. Knead the salted potatoes with some flour, keeping in mind that the less you add, the more savory is the result. Then form the dough into some cylinders, like salami with a diameter of 1.5 cm, cut them in small pieces, maybe of 2 cm length. Now, the funnest part arrives: you have to roll each “gnocco” on a fork to make the characteristic signs on the top, one by one. When I was a child, I always used to help my grandparents in this operation and it was a source of great fun for me and my cousins.

Gnocchi is a very cheap and simple dish, so you can try to make them and then visit any place in Italy to be sure that your result was good!


The 10 Things That You Need To Do In SB Before You Die

By Bastien Julien (France), Aline Helsen (Belgium), Fernanda Pardo Puente (Chile)

Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera, is a great place to spend your holiday with the family. It might not sound as famous as L.A or San Francisco, but this characteristic makes Santa Barbara so special.

It’s a small and quiet city and is perfect for every age. There are a lot of activities to do during the whole year. We’re going to make you a list about how you can spend your days in Santa Barbara. Of course it depends on your age, what you’re able or what you’re unable to do.

For everyone and for free

1) Santa Barbara County Courthouse


This Spanish-Moorish architectural masterpiece was completed in 1929 and features giant hand painted murals, gorgeous tile work, and rare art. The 80-foot clock tower is free and open to the public and offers a panoramic view of the city, beachfront and mountains. Beautiful gardens surround the property.


2) Inspiration Point

Known as one of the most famous hikes in Santa Barbara, Inspiration Point Trail is an activity to share with your whole family. What makes this trail so special is that you will only discover the specular view at the top of the mountain. We not only recommend you do it if you want to enjoy the sunset, but also if you want to start your weekend with a great adventure that will help you to discover Santa Barbara from another perspective. Most people agree that the trail is aptly named. You will not waste your time – just do it.



3) Enjoy a Moment At The Beach

You will probably find your favorite beach here in California. Why? In fact, all the beaches in Santa Barbara are different.

If you want to spend a few moments at the beach after eating at a restaurant, you can go to West Beach, enjoy a moment on the pier, or on the harbor.

If you like to play volleyball, you should go to East Beach where you will find more than ten courts to play with your friends or with American people who really like this place.

Finally, if you want to spend a day at the beach away from the downtown area, you might go to Butterfly Beach (Montecito) or Isla Vista Beach (Goleta). Those two places are relaxing and beautiful.



4) Skater’s Point

Santa Barbara’s popular skateboard park called Skaters Point is located at the beach, just east of Stearns Wharf. Its location makes the place very popular in Santa Barbara. This is a really good attraction, both if you would like to improve your skateboarding skills, or just watching some talented kids.



For everyone but not for free

5) Sunset Cruise with Santa Barbara Sailing Center

This is an opportunity to see beautiful sea life and enjoy Santa Barbara’s breathtaking sunset. I would recommend doing this during the summer or taking a warm sweater with you in the winter, because when the sun goes down it can get cold.






6) Santa Barbara Zoo

If you like animals, this is an awesome excursion for the family. It’s really easy to find. You can go by car, bike, or a shuttle.


7) Whale Watching With Santa Barbara Sailing Center



This is an amazing opportunity to see blue whales, gray whales, humpback whales, orcas, and dolphins up close! It’s one of the most spectacular things to do here in Santa Barbara. Prices can vary between $50 and $99, depending on the season and your age.





8) Restaurants and Nightlife

Santa Barbara is also known for its Mexican cuisine. Therefore, you can find a lot of Mexican restaurants here like Sandbar, Carlitos, and Baja Sharkeez. Sandbar is located close to Santa Barbara’s nightlife so you will find a lot of young people there having a drink. Baja Sharkeez is a place where you can find Mexican food and watch sports at the same time, every corner of the restaurant has a television in order to not miss a single match, of course there are also other good restaurants like Aldo’s, and Arnoldi’s.



9) Nightclub

Tonic Nightclub, EOS Lounge, Wildcat Lounge, Velvet Jones, Blind Tiger, … Santa Barbara counts many places to party with your friends. Going to one of those places can be a nice occasion for you to meet American people and discover how they have a good time.



10) Wine Tasting

With over 15 years of local wine industry experience, Wine Canyon Tours gives you an informative exploration of the gorgeous Santa Barbara backcountry. You’ll get the opportunity to taste California’s best wines while enjoying breathtaking views.


Six Flags Magic Mountain

By Maria Villarejo from Paraguay

If you are a lover of roller-coasters Six Flags is the place for you! There are more than twenty big roller-coasters that you can enjoy.

The place is open to public from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM most days, but you can check in their open days in their official site. The price of the ticket can vary, depending on your age and how much advance time you buy it, too. There are also tickets for month or for all year.

They have the world’s longest hybrid coaster, almost 4 minutes of Ride Time in 5000 feet of track with two lift hills. This roller-coaster is called Twisted Colossus.


The tallest roller-coaster they have is called the LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom. The height of this attraction is 400 ft and the speed is 85 mph. To enter to this attraction you have to be 48 inches tall.

lex lu

For children, this place also has small roller-coasters and places with games where all the family can play. Another positive thing is that they have a lot of restaurants inside the park, so if you are hungry you can go to one of them at any moment. They have a lot of stores where you can buy souvenirs or presents, too.

I went there three weeks ago with EF and it was a great experience. The best thing is that it is not too far from Santa Barbara. It is in Ventura, 1 hour and a half away from Santa Barbara.


by Jennifer Spielmann, Switzerland

Before I came here to Santa Barbara I thought that I would al11ways have friendships with only Swiss people. At the beginning of the time here, I was literally doing everything with Swiss people, but after a month, I started to hang out with people from other countries, which was a very great way to get to know other cultures. I get to know new students in my classes every day, which also helps me to practice my English. The people are all kind and so friendly. I have had the best experience and the most wonderful adventure.

12It is going to be hard to say goodbye because we all have to leave one day, but what we can take with us is that we all will have friends all over the world now. So now I h13ave to go on a world trip. Through this adventure with EF we build new friendships, some of them will last long time and other will end, but at least we had the chance to get to know these amazing people.

Travelguide Las Vegas

by Laura Elinger – Germany

The city of sin is located in Nevada’s desert and it is known for its 24-hour casinos, shopping, and endless entertainment options. The main street is the Strip, just over 4 miles long and filled with luxurious themed hotels.Las vegas strip 2 It’s the only place you can have dinner in Rome, spend the night partying in New York, wake up in Paris in order to brunch under the Eiffel Tower.
Las Vegas has become one of the best shopping destinations from all over world. Malls provide both designer labels but also conventional and affordable brands.
Furthermore, there are several restaurants and dining possibilities. From fabulous ice-cream you eat while standing to six-course meals cooked by celebrity chefs, Vegas offers something for every taste.
The saying goes that Las Vegas comes alive at nighttime; no other city can compete with the concerts, shows and events in the so-called Entertainment Capital of the World.
Nowhere else are so many talented artists performing currently in residence, including Celine Dion. blue man groupThe famous Blue Man Group is having their spectacular show. You can choose from one of the seven different Cirque du Soleil shows. What would Vegas be without magic? Magicians like David Copperfield are bewitching their audience every single time.
Las Vegas has many deals for families or minors. It is a city worth visiting to have a stag party. And don’t forget “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”

Travel Now

By Julia Konttila,  Finland

Every time I step on an airplane, a ship or sit on the car I get this feeling of enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter whether I travel far or near, to the other side of the world, or just to a small city near me, experiencing something new always feels amazing. When I travel I can choose to live the life I have always wanted to live, without worries.

Many times when people travel they tend to focus too much on taking enough pictures or buying the perfect souvenirs. These things are great mementos from our journeys but the most important things that we take with us are not objects. Traveling teaches us more about the world and about ourselves than we could ever imagine. Traveling opens up our eyes and makes us think differently. It gives us life lessons which we can’t learn in school. Being in a new place gives us an opportunity to go outside our comfort zone, experience things for the first time and to meet new people. When we look back we often notice that the best moments were the ones which we didn’t plan. Finally, we have a chance to be spontaneous and not to follow our daily routines.

traveling-alone-tips-700x400 (1)

We all have probably had moments when life just feels too overwhelming and we feel like we need a break from everything and everyone. In other words, it is time to travel. When people hear the word traveling, they often think about something life-changing, something expensive, something that takes place in a different country or continent, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You can travel to a national park in your own city  or to a lake which is 20 minutes away from your house. You can explore and experience something new everyday, just by using your imagination. Go to a city which you have never visited before, take a different route to school, or go on a spontaneous bike ride or visit a museum in your own city.  Don’t wait for the next holiday or the next weekend, do it now. Someone once said to me “Never stop traveling.” I say “You don’t ever have to stop traveling.”

Binche Carnival Belgian Tradition

By Fantine Henry – Belgium

The Binche Carnival is an event in Belgium which started approximately in the 14th century. It is a tradition in a town called Binche. It is a real big deal in Belgium, the festive preparation begin up to seven weeks before the special date, “Fat Tuesday.”

binche kid

The main character of this event is the “Gilles,” they are people, specifically males, between three to sixty years old. Their performance is based on a musical act, dancing and marching. Dressed in a vibrant costume, wax masks and wooden footwear, “des sabots” in FreGilles de binchench. It is a real honour for the local people to participate in the show. The main characteristic of their costumes is their big hats adorned with ostrich plumes, which can cost more than 300$ to rent.


The last day of carnival, the Gilles assembled together in the center of Binche. They are dancing in the streets with rhythmic drums and ward off evil spirits with sticks. While they are walking in the streets with baskets of oranges, they thrown them to the public. You cannot return it back because it would be an insult; oranges are considered good-luck gift from the Gilles.