10 things you might not know about New York

new york

The most interesting facts about the Big Apple

New York City, also known as The Melting Pot because of its great variety of ethnicities and languages, has so many famous highlights that visiting the city for the first time is very much like watching a movie become real life. For those returning a second, third or fourth time the city will continue to amaze you with its little wonders, present on every street corner you turn.

Everyone identifies New York, with its yellow cabs, famed skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. But we wish to explain a few less well-known things that will probably surprise you about the city that never sleeps.

1. The city was a 17th-century Dutch settlement called New Amsterdam until the English conquered it and renamed it.

2. Half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home.

3. Over 200 languages are spoken in New York City.

4. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the US in 1886. It became the symbol of immigration during the 19th century often being the first thing millions of immigrants saw when they arrived by boat.

5. New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia.

6. Times Square is named after The New York Times daily newspaper which moved its headquarters to that place in 1904.

7. The first pizzeria in the country was opened in New York in 1895.

8. The strange nitrogen gas tanks you may see on the corners of some streets are used to keep underground telephone copper wires dry so phone and internet services can run without problems.

9. The island of Manhattan derives its name from the language of a Native American tribe that lived in the area. Its meaning is “island of many hills”.

10. You can be fined $50 for placing your bag on an empty seat on the subway because using more than one seat is not allowed (even if the train is not full).

If you would like to experience any of the above then why not take an English courses in New York with Cactus Language. We also offer English courses across the US that are available from one week to a year-long and will give you a great insight into American culture and all that it has to offer.

Contact Us

For more information on any of our worldwide language courses please call us on 01273 830 960 or email us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 10 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

The Oxford And Cambridge Boat Race: Experience British Culture At Its Best

The Boat Race

What is The Boat Race?

The Boat Race is the side-by-side annual contest between two rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities. It takes place on the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake in West London and this year it will be held on 2nd April.
The first men’s Boat Race took place in 1829, borne out of a challenge between old school friends. Women had to wait until 1927 to have their own Boat Race. However, it only became permanent in the mid 1960’s and they faced the hostility of those who thought women should not be allowed to row or race.

How are the teams and the Championship Course?

Each university team is formed of eight rowers and a cox who sits in the stern of the boat (which is the only person who faces in the direction they are moving). The Oxford crew wears dark blue and the Cambridge team wears light blue.
The Boat Race course, also known as the Championship Course, is 4 miles and 374 yards long. The record time set by Cambridge in 1998 (16 minutes 19 seconds) is still unbeaten.

Where to watch The Boat Race?

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is one of the biggest free sporting events in the world. In the UK, the Races are shown live on BBC1 but there is nothing better than seeing them in London from one of the many vantage points along the riverbank such as Putney, Hammersmith, Barnes or Chiswick. Big screens, stalls and bars are located in several places of the city to follow the race as well.
Attending such an exciting and traditional occasion will give you a great insight into the old-fashioned famous rivalry between the two prestigious universities and a special chance to experience British culture.

Find out more about our different English courses in London, Oxford and our other UK locations.

Contact Us

For more information on any of our worldwide language courses please call us on 01273 830 960 or email us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 10 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

Easter Escapes to Spain, Portugal or Italy

Easter brings some of the most flamboyant celebrations to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and is a great time to visit these countries. Good weather, ancient traditions, delicious Easter-inspired dishes and fascinating processions mark an unforgettable week for those, religious or not, that have the luck to experience one of these destinations in Europe for Eastertide: Seville, Porto or Salerno.

Easter in Spain: Seville

Holy Week (Semana Santa) is a long-awaited time of the year in Spain to mark the beginning of Spring. Traditionally, people take to the streets and watch spectacular reenactments (pasos) of Holy week, with live music and the participation of the town. Seville celebrates one of the most outstanding Holy Weeks in Europe, including La Madrugá, (Maundy Thursday), an evening filled with thrilling processions and the best Spanish tapas. Immerse yourself in authentic Spanish culture this Easter and learn some of the language by taking advantage of our 5% discount – valid until 7th April. Please contact us to apply your discount.
Spanish courses in Seville

easter escapes

Easter in Portugal: Porto

The northern Portugal city located across the Douro river estuary wasn’t elected The Best European Destination in 2017 for nothing. Its historical centre was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 and its famous wine cellars and caves are a must-see attraction for those interested in the praised port wine. During Easter, Portuenses and visitors tour the Cathedral and the several churches of the city, especially on Good Friday, when devoted followers recreate the journey Jesus endured before his crucifixion. Many of them also go to the nearby town of Braga (just 45 minutes from Porto) which hosts the most famous Easter processions in Portugal since the 4th century. Book one of our Portuguese courses in Porto before 7th April and get a 5% off. Please contact us to apply your discount.
Portuguese courses in Porto

easter escapes

 

Easter in Italy: Salerno

The sunny coastal city of Salerno with its stunning views, medieval streets and welcoming atmosphere, is a perfect starting point for those that wish to explore the Amalfi Coast. Throughout the Easter holidays, Salerno fills with the sights of amazing processions as well as food fairs and different folk traditions related to Holy Week. Our school in Salerno has created a special cultural programme that allows you to learn Italian and make the most of your Easter experience including; cultural workshops, a visit to a Mozzarella factory, cooking lessons with Easter recipes, and excursions to Arechi Castle, Amalfi, Ravello and Pompeii. Book one of our Italian courses in Saleno before 7th April and get a 5% off. Please contact us to apply your discount.
Italian courses in Salerno

 

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 10 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

Top 5 Summer Camps for Children & Teens in Europe

Summer Camps for Children in Europe

[UPDATED DECEMBER 2018]

Top 5 Summer Camps for Children Across Europe

One of the best ways for your child or teen to spend their summer holidays is by being active, both physically and mentally. Our summer camps for children in Spanish, German, French, Italian and English across Europe achieve just that, in a safe and secure environment.

Cactus offers outstanding junior summer camps in Europe for your child or teen. If you have any questions about our junior language camps please call us on +44 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our team of multilingual experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also Download our free Summer & Winter Language Camp Guide for Parents?

 

1. Watersports & German in Berlin

As one of Europe’s main languages, German is often seen as a gateway to a world-class higher education and can open many doors for young students. Be it engineering, trade, literature or philosophy, German is a language that dominates a number of fields worldwide.

Our Berlin summer camp combines learning German with fun watersports and outdoor activities in a classic summer camp in Germany’s metropolitan capital. Children & teens can choose from canoeing, sailing and surfing – all from the school’s private beach and harbour in a beautiful lake outside of Berlin. Our schools in Germany provide language tuition with native speaking teachers in the mornings, engaging activities and informative excursions across the region in the afternoon, and at weekends. The accommodation is full-board, residential and on-site with full safeguarding processes and procedures in place.

Explore German Summer Camp in Berlin

 

2. Sports & French on the Mediterranean

French is Europe’s second language and learned by millions of students in school each year. The mother tongue of the ‘Grande Nation’ is spoken all around the globe and appreciated as a beneficial language for most industries and businesses.

Our French summer camp in Montpellier is designed for children and teens aged 11 to 17 years and has been providing quality French tuition to juniors for more than 15 years. This language camp combines 20 French lessons per week with an extensive range of exciting and fun sporting activities, plus full-board accommodation on-site at the campus and airport transfers.

Explore French Summer Camp in Montpellier

 

3. Football, Tennis or Golf and Spanish in Marbella

Knowing Spanish will give your child a head-start in life. The number of Spanish speakers in the world has long exceeded that of English speakers and fluency in this language opens ups numerous key markets across the world.

Children and teens will benefit from Marbella’s relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Marbella is a safe, friendly seaside town, with year-round sunshine. Our Spanish summer camp in Marbella welcomes children and teens aged 5 to 17 years. This residential summer camp combines 20 Spanish lessons per week with a broad range of sporting activities, and excursions to nearby locations such as Málaga and Seville. Full-board accommodation is provided.

Explore Spanish Summer Camp in Marbella

 

4. Horseback riding & English in Nottingham

When thinking about a language that opens doors for a child’s future English is and has been the gold standard. The United Kingdom has a long-standing history in providing opportunities to learn this truly international language to teens and children in a safe and engaging environment.

The English Summer Camp in Nottingham is based at Trent College, 15 minutes outside of Nottingham city centre. The residential summer camp has excellent amenities, including extensive sports facilities, fully refurbished historical buildings, and large playing areas. In addition, the English summer camp combines full-board accommodation with horse riding and various excursions to nearby locations such as London and Warwick Castle, and are an excellent way for the students to discover England and other British cities and landmarks. By foot and on horseback!

Explore English Summer Camp in Nottingham

 

5. Day Trips plus Italian in Veneto

With its rich history and its close ties to Latin, Italian can be seen as one of the most original and surely one of the most romantic romance languages. Studying Italian in Italy, the cradle of western civilisation, will prove an incredible experience whilst at the same time bringing students closer to the roots of Italian culture.

Enjoy the experience of living on the stunning Friulian Coast. Students will live and study in beautiful Lignano and enjoy a full-cultural experience exploring the coastline and surrounding area. Living on-site, learning Italian in small groups, as well as taking part in activities and excursions, combine to form an unforgettable Italian experience.

Explore Italian Summer Camp in Veneto

 

How to Book Summer Camps for Children in Europe?

Please check our How to Book page for more information on the simple secure and easy online booking process. You can also visit the location links to find more information on the summer camps for children and teens in Europe.

For information on any of our Summer Camps for Children across Europe, please check Our free Summer & Winter Language Camp Guide for Parents, call us on +44 (0) 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any question you may have.

 

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 10 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French