My Experience in Halloween in US

By Victor Potenciano, Spain

This was my first Halloween in another country, and the first Halloween in the United States. I had so much fun. My first idea of my costume was Jeff the Killer, but I didn’t have time to do it so finally I made up my face with white and black paint.

After all the people finish with their costumes, there was a tournament to see who had the best costume, first the teachers and then the students. IMG_20181031_105927.jpgFor the teachers Mr.C and Jeneen won and they wore a costume about spaceman. For the students my last roommate won, Jens and he had a zombie costume very well done.

When we finished the tournament, all the people were free to go where we wanted, so my friends and I went to eat lunch at The Habit, one of the best place to eat hamburgers.

One thing that I love about the United States is the form that the American people do Halloween with the decoration on the houses, and then in the night all the kids with their costumes go out to do trick or treat. In Spain some people do the same at the houses, but it is not like here, but the kids do the same. I went trick or treating a lot of times.

I think experiencing Halloween is one of the best times that I have had in the United States, because I love Halloween, and I recommend to all the people to come here at this time of the year.

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Santa Barbara Real Estate

Jelle Van Dijck, Belgium

After being in Santa Barbara for a few days, there is one thing everyone tells me about living here: it’s so expensive. Is Santa Barbara becoming the new Beverly Hills? Is the middle class being excluded from this beautiful place?

13600 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Coming from Belgium, I’m surprised to see the price of a single-family home. Prices are more than double than what I’m used to. What would be influencing these prices? Is it the gorgeous coastline and mountains, or is it the amount of multi-millionaires and celebrities that escape busy LA and San Francisco? Many celebrities put Santa Barbara on the map by buying a home to live in on the weekends or during holidays. It’s their second home to get away from work. Same situation with the owners of big companies, they probably run their businesses out of LA or San Francisco and come to Santa Barbara to live a stress-free life. This is influencing the prices of the different neighborhoods in the city. Some places are becoming exclusive and hard to get in for many families.

SB real estate prices

In the future, I see myself as a real estate agent and real estate investor. Everywhere I go, I look for what’s on the market and what prices are common in the area. (The Zillow app is a real good friend of mine). If you look at the statistics, you can conclude that the median sale price is around $1 million dollars in almost the whole county of Santa Barbara. If a middle class family is looking for a place to live, they are most likely to find an apartment downtown or a single-family house in the Goleta area that they can afford. If they are looking for a house closer to downtown (West-Montecito, Mission Canyon or Hope Ranch), the listings get more exclusive and you are most likely to pay $2-3 million dollars for a single-family house all the way up to $30 million dollars.

Is it realistic for a young couple who just got out of college to find a home that suits their ideas for the future? Maybe they want kids and a dog, so they will need a garden and a good location close to school. In their situation, they need a single-family home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a decent sized garden for their dog and kids to run around in. If both of them have a job, they are likely to have at least two cars. So they also need a garage or enough parking space on the driveway or down the street.

5360 Plunkett Ln

I went to Zillow.com and entered my needs all the way from West-Goleta to East-Carpinteria. The website gave me around 130 results. Only 19 of these homes were priced under 1 million dollars (which is around 14%). Only five of these homes are close to the downtown-area. The remaining 14 homes are located in Goleta or Carpenteria. So for first-time home buyers, it’s probably more interesting to start looking for a place in Goleta or Carpinteria, or they can buy a condo around the downtown area for the same price. If you really want to live downtown or in the more exclusive areas of Santa Barbara, you’ll have to save enough money and decide to move later in your life. This explains the statistics I found about the residents of Santa Barbara on Trulia.com. Only 52% of the residents of Santa Barbara are the owners of their own houses. Also, the median age of a home-owner in Santa Barbara is 42.

The Luxury Side of Santa Barbara

So for this topic, I didn’t just want to write about these nice homes by looking at the pictures and the descriptions. I wanted to see these homes and see for myself why these homes are so expensive. Is it the view, the safety of the neighborhood or the privacy that make these homes so expensive?

There are many expensive houses in Santa Barbara county, some which are more expensive than the others. But for “The Luxury Side of Santa Barbara”, I want to focus more on three luxury areas: Hope Ranch, Montecito and Santa Ynez. Hope Ranch and Montecito are very similar. Both areas offer beautiful ocean and mountain views and there are even some homes which have access to a private beach. Santa Ynez is different. It is located around 30 minutes North-East from Santa Barbara. Most of the homes are considered ranches which have vineyards, paddocks and barns.

  • Hope Ranch

Hope Ranch is located west of downtown, the area has beautiful palm tree lined streets and a few gorgeous golf courses. Home prices in this area go all the way up to $25 million dollars. On Sunday October 7th, I went to three open houses in this area.

 

1.  3429 Sea Ledge Lane $6,950,000

The first house was a beautiful beach house with amazing views of the ocean and the Channel Islands. It was the smallest house I visited, but still the most expensive one. This is not surprising since the two most imported things in real estate are location and views.

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2.  3240 Campanil Drive $3,199,000

The next house I visited was just a few-minutes drive up the mountain. This house was the least expensive one, but still the biggest house with the most living space, indoors and outdoors. Since it was higher up the mountain and all the electricity cables on the street were underground, the views got even five times better.

 

3.  4050 Via Laguna $4,000,000

The last house I visited was all the way up north in Hope Ranch. The house was located on a dead-end street and was surrounded by a beautiful golf course. Since this house has no views, it provides you a lot of privacy and it has a pool and hot-tub. This house felt very different than the other two homes, but from the inside it was definitely the most updated.

  • Montecito

Montecito is located east of Santa Barbara. This area has the most beautiful and exclusive real estate in Santa Barbara. Montecito is a community of its own. There are some beautiful stores, hotels and beaches that are very famous and exclusive. Some hotels in Montecito are considered the best in the United States. Montecito is also known for having celebrity residents. Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and Oprah Winfrey all own a beautiful estate in Montecito. On Sunday October 14th, I went to three open houses in this area.

1.  636 Woodley Road $6,795,000

This house, close to Coast Village Road, is a modern house with floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous mountain views. The modern homes are very rare here in Santa Barbara. That’s why the house is rather expensive for it’s low square footage.

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2.  1147 Glenview Road $5,900,000

The next house was just down the street from the first one. This one faced towards the ocean so it has beautiful ocean views. The house had multiple levels with a gorgeous game room, sauna and even an outdoor kitchen. Every room has a beautiful ocean view.

 

3.  2775 Bella Vista Drive $7,000,000

The last house I saw in Montecito was definitely the best one I saw in all of Santa Barbara. It was all the way up in the mountains of Montecito, far away from the busy streets downtown. It was extremely quiet. The only thing you could hear were the birds and the fountain that was running into the pool. The views here were almost unbelievable. You could see all the way from Carpinteria to downtown SB and the pier.

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  • Santa Ynez

Santa Ynez is about a 30-minute drive from Santa Barbara, but also has some amazing luxury real estate. The real estate is very different from Hope Ranch or Montecito. Most people in Santa Ynez want a vineyard or horses, so most of the real estate has a lot of land and people are looking for ranches. Prices can also get really high. You can buy a rather small ranch for about $3-4 million, but, if you are looking for a ranch with more than 100 acres of land, you can easily pay around $13-14 million dollars. Santa Ynez is also a popular spot for celebrities. The famous “Neverland Ranch”, which used to be Micheal Jackson’s house, is now for sale for over $60 million dollars. Also, the famous singer Pink bought a ranch in Santa Ynez five years ago and is now starting her own wine brand.

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So, in conclusion, I can say that Santa Barbara is an expensive place for first-time homebuyers and maybe even homebuyers in general. There are also many hidden places that were turned into exclusive and luxury neighborhoods, and, last but not least, there is a real estate market for celebrities that want to escape LA for more privacy.

 

Why Run ?

Adele Fadier, France

Some people don’t understand the interest runners have in running. Maybe it’s because you don’t know all the upsides of running?

So I understand that it’s difficult to begin running because you don’t see the positive effects immediately and that may take a long time to see real improvement of your skills. But anyways work pays. I will show you in what ways it’s good for you.

First, running is good for your health like every sport, everybody knows that. You have to know that our immune system gets stronger when you run slowly. Moreover, running activates the blood circulation and that’s really good for our heart. That prevents many diseases and can also have a healing effect. Running also has a good effect on our bones and joints. Indeed, when we run our body reinforces our bones and joints to protect them against the impacts of each stride.

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Then, running gives us a strong mental attitude. Running can be difficult and unpleasant even for people who have run for a long time. When you are in this bad stage, you must have a strong motivation to push on. Running is like a long project on ourselves to exceed our limits and be proud of ourselves. So jogging also has an effect in our daily lives, that improves our self confidence and mental capacities. So it’s good to overcome daily problems.

You can also run to overcome stress. Yes it’s true. Imagine that you have a complicated and stressed day period, in the evening you put on your running shoes and just think about nothing. When you are running, you forget all the pressure you have on your shoulders and you go back home with a smile on your face. Some Swedish studies even say that running can eliminate some toxic substances cause by stress and anxiety.

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Finally, a big upside of running is the effect on our longevity. In fact, the Harvard school made a study that says that a heart which beats less quickly at rest is an important criterion for lengthening life. Moreover, in average, chronic diseases appear later in runners’ lives than in non runners’.

So as a conclusion, running can change your daily life physically and mentally. You have to try and push on even if it’s difficult because nothing is won without effort. For me, running is also a way to escape from my routine, get some air, and discover amazing landscapes, especially here, in Santa Barbara. So get rid of your false excuses and go running.

I can also give you some spots where you can go for a run. For me the better place is Santa Barbara Waterfront. When I run around 6 or 7 p.m the sunset on the ocean and the mountain is amazing. Then, you can find below a link for a website where you can find every run’s spots of the city.

http://greatruns.com/location/santa-barbara-california/

 

The Differences Between My Hometown in Germany And Santa Barbara

Paula Krumme, Germany

I live in a little city in West Germany. The name of the city is Stadtlohn, not far away from the Netherlands. My city has only 20,000 inhabitants, so Santa Barbara is much bigger because Santa Barbara has around 92,000 inhabitants. I will have only been here for 6 weeks in SB, nevertheless, it is a big change for me. Not only the number of people who live there is a big difference, but also the style of the houses. The houses of Santa Barbara have a very special style. They have white walls and red tiled roofs. The houses in my hometown are all different. I cannot say how a typical house in Germany looks, but what I can say is that the houses are often much bigger than in Santa Barbara.

Stadtlohn :

Výsledek obrázku pro stadtlohn

Santa Barbara :

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Added to that to go shopping is a very different thing, too. When I want to go shopping for some clothes in Santa Barbara, I only ride with my bike to State Street and there are a lot of different clothing stores. When I want to go shopping in my hometown, I have to drive around one hour with the car because in Stadtlohn there is only one great clothing store.

Moreover, in Santa Barbara there is literally always something happening in the city. It does not matter what time is it. There are always many people walking around. Also you can do many different activities. For example you can go to the beach, surfing, stand-up paddeling, hiking, bowling or you can go to a disco in the evening. In my hometown, there is never really much going on, because we do not have many activities we can do. The sea is really far away (around 2 hours by car) and, in addition, we haven’t got a lake to swim in. So when it is really hot we must drive to another city or we must go to the public outdoor pool, but this is not very much fun. In addition, we do not have a disco, a cinema or something like this. For activities like these we have to drive to the next city.

But a big advantage of my little city is that everything is reachable by bike. All my friends live only a maximum of 15 minutes away from me. So it is really easy to meet them and I am independent because my parents do not have to drive me and I do not have to wait for a bus. Also I do not have to pay for something. Compared to Santa Barbara, this is a big difference. For most students who live in a hostfamily must ride the bus every morning and sometimes the way is longer than 1 hour. I had a lot of luck in that I have the possibility to ride a bike to school every day here in Santa Barbara. Also my way is not too long. I only need around 15 minutes. But on the first days it was really stressful and complicated to ride the bike because the driving rules are really different to the driving rules in Germany, too. Here in Santa Barbara there are many streets, where all cars drive in the same direction. So you don’t have oncoming traffic. Every second street goes to the left and the other streets go to the right. This is possible because all the streets are parallel. In Germany you always have two-way traffic. So you can drive on every street in every direction, also with the bike.

The last difference i want to talk about is that in Stadtlohn everybody knows each other. In Santa Barbara you are one in a thousand. On the one hand, in Stadtlohn, there is a strong family environment and it is fun when you go in the city and you can be sure you will see people you know, but on the other hand, they also talk about everybody. So when there is new gossip, everybody knows it directly, for example when somebody posts an ugly picture on Instagram. Compared to Santa Barbara, there are so many different kinds of people and it doesn’t matter what you say, do or wear.

In conclusion, I can say that Santa Barbara and Stadtlohn are completely different. In my point of view Santa Barbara is in every case the better city for a vacation because of all the activities you can do and the good weather, but for living, I prefer Stadtlohn because in Stadtlohn the living standards are higher. When you want a big house in Santa Barbara you need a lot of money. Also you need a lot of money in Stadtlohn, but most of the people can afford this. I think the reason for that is that in Stadtlohn you have better chances to get good jobs.

 

 

It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

Paseo Nuevo

by Romane Millet, Ines Lorand, Antoine Marotte and Bettina Clauss

  • Where is it ?

Paseo Nuevo is located in the downtown of Santa Barbara. The complete address is 651 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

  • What is it ?

This establishment is a shopping with a lot of brands like Sephora, Victoria Secret, Aveda and 50 more shops. There are also restaurants like Marketplace Café, Eureka, Gourmet Burgers, …

  • Who are the visitors ?

Paseo Nuevo is a familial place where you can go as well with your friends than your family. We observed that the average age was young.

  • How is the architecture there ?

It’s a modern place with white walls and red roofs inspired by Spanish Colonial. We feel when we walked there that there is a relaxing ambiance. It’s very chill.

About me – Tim

by Tim Schwehn from Germany

Hey! 🙂

My name is Tim and I am from Germany. I just arrived in Santa Barbara and I love the city by now. The beautiful streets and houses with the Spanish style look great. That’s one reason I chose this location for my EF study time.

What do I normally do in Germany?

I finished my exams in January and want to start my university studies in business education in October. So I have enough time to explore the world. For my study time I want to improve my English speaking and writing skills so I chose an English speaking country, but also one where the sun is shining quite often.

I like to do sports very much. I play soccer at a local German soccer club and go the gym at least two times a week. Playing sports is a very good balance for learning or working and you can turn your head off for a time.

soccer_1

Furthermore, I love music. On the one hand, I like to listen to different kinds of music as well as making music on my own. I can play the piano and the guitar and I really enjoy creating music with some friends of mine.

My favorite food is pizza, but I can’t wait to eat some good Mexican food or beef burgers in Santa Barbara. I already went to one Mexican restaurant and the food tasted great. Maybe you can give me some suggestions about where to go. I will try as much as I can.

burger

I will stay in Santa Barbara for at least two months. I think it will be a beautiful time that I will never forget. So if you have some questions, feel free to ask. J

Interview with Katharine Coenen from Germany

By: Marina Santos, Brazil

 

kathi

 

How old are you?   A: 24 years old.
What’s yor favorite food? A: Pizza.
What do you like to do in your hometown?  A: Hangout with friends, ride bikes and go to the gym.
What’s your favorite place here in SB? A: Steans Wharf, a pier with many restaurants.

Why did you choose SB to study? A: Because I love small cities and California is a  good location and the weather is nice.

 

Santa Barbara, Young Students Night Lifestyle

Gabriela Fernandez-Chile

 

Have you been to Santa Barbara, California? If you have been there, you will know a little bit about the parties there. I have been here for almost 3 months and I have been out with my friends a lot of weekends. There are parties for young students of the universities in Santa Barbara… but, Are the parties fun? In my opinion, they are. Can you find a party every weekend? Yes, you can. But the real question is, Are the parties of Santa Barbara safe?

Image result for parties isla vista night

Most of the parties are in Isla Vista, that is a few minutes from Santa Barbara and is the place where the UCSB campus is located. There are parties every weekend, but one of the things that caught my attention was how early the parties end. The parties are between 9:30 and 12pm. There are a lot of cops, going around the streets and my first question was ‘Why?’ The parties in my country are between 11 pm until 5 or 6 am, and I was wondering why it is so different here.

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I asked and I found out that a few years ago, on May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, a 22 year old killed six persons and injured fourteen others, before killing himself inside his car. I think that is one of the reasons that the parties end so early and that is full of cops. Also two weeks, ago a 24-year-old woman was taken to the hospital late Friday, after being stabbed in Isla Vista (she was a student of UCSB).

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I think that the most of the parties in Santa Barbara are really safe, because the police have taken precautions and security measures. If you are a young student that wants to have a fun night, IV is for you, but you always have to be careful and consider every risk all the time.

Image result for santa barbara shooting