Studying and Surfing in LA

Ever thought about what it would be like to live in sunny and laid-back Los Angeles, California? You could split your time between land and ocean, with the stunning Pacific coastline within easy reach. Whether you are looking to hit the waves or just dip your toes in the sand, Los Angeles has an abundance of beaches to choose from. So what about learning English in California, the sunshine state? What sort of activities and adventures will you find yourself taking part in?

We caught up with Charlotte Papin, a French student at our English language school in Kaplan Los Angeles Westwood, to see what sort of actives she got up to while studying in California. During her time there, Charlotte indulged a love for the ocean and a new passion for surfing.

Kaplan Surfing competition
The students took to the waves to see how was the best surfer


What’s a bit of competition between friends?

A popular activity amongst students in Los Angeles, surfing is a quintessential Californian activity. So it’s no wonder that our Westwood school launched its first ever surfing competition last month. Many of the students learned to surf for the first time during the summer, and all were invited to join the competition.

International students from all over the world competed, and Charlotte was there to participate and capture the memories for her fellow classmates.

“I decided to take part in the surf competition because I had a few lessons with Richard, the teacher, and thought that it would be a good idea and that I would have fun with other surfers from Kaplan.”

Kaplan surfing English
Winner of the female division, Mami Yamamoto, celebrates her victory


Learning the Californian lifestyle

More than just learning new surfing skills, activities such as this allow students the chance to practice their English in a whole new context. This also gives our students the chance to get to know their classmates outside of the classroom, which ultimately opens up the possibility for new friendships abroad.

 “When you participate in these kind of activities you meet new students, you speak with them, and you learn more about a lot of things. In my point of view, when you meet new people you’re more talkative and then you practice your English more and improve faster.”


The language of surfing

Aside from the fun of the competition, the students were also able to learn some interesting new surfing terms in English that they could take back with them to their home countries.

“I learned the ‘shaka’ sign (hand gesture of the surfers). But I also learned about what ‘pop up’ (a technique for standing up on the surfboard) meant.”

surfing los angeles
Charlotte, sporting her blue and black wetsuit, illustrates how to use the shaka sign


Interested in learning more about studying in a sunny city like Los Angeles? Or maybe you just have some tips you’d like to share about surfing technique and surfer lingo. Either way, share them in the comments and let us know!

Share this with your friends
Related Posts