Archive for November, 2014

Berkeley/San Francisco: A City of Neighborhoods

Monday, November 10th, 2014

While many tourists might flock to some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s more famous attractions like Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, or the Golden Gate Bridge; LSI students know that the real gems of this region are its many multicultural neighborhoods, and the great food to find in each of them!

MissionNeighborhood THE MISSION DISTRICT
This historically Latino neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco has been home to many waves of immigrants from Latin America. Its vibrant murals and famous burritos have made it a favorite haunt of LSI students, and the city’s young high-tech workforce.
San Francisco is home to North America’s oldest Chinatown, where Chinese immigrants first settled in the 1850’s. This enclave retains many parts of Chinese culture, and is widely known for bringing Chinese cuisine to the United States. The Dim Sum is simply to die for!
Located just North of LSI in Berkeley, the Gourmet Ghetto is widely hailed as being the birthplace of California Cuisine as well as the now world famous Farm-to-Table movement. With incredible restaurants like Chez Panisse, the Gourmet Ghetto has been setting trends in healthy green cooking since the 1970’s.
The Castro neighborhood is the longtime home to San Francisco’s vibrant LGBTQ culture. This vibrant neighborhood, centered around the historic Castro Theater, is at the epicenter of LGBTQ politics and culture in the United States. It’s also got some of the best night life and cafés around! The famous Twin Peaks café is a favorite.
This neighborhood, located on Oakland’s north end, is frequently rated one of the best places to live in the Bay Area. At the heart of Rockridge, you’ll find College Ave, teeming with restaurants and cafés, this favorite of local artists and writers can be the perfect place to study, or for a night of fine dining with friends!

For information about Berkeley and studying at LSI , contact us at LSI Berkeley.

Berkeley – the Student’s Choice

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Rather than listing the same fact you probably already know about what makes the Berkeley area so great, we decided to poll our students about what they think the best places to go are. For all you who’re thinking about making a trip out here soon, pay attention! Our students have some good picks!

TOSS is located right in Downtown Berkeley, and is a favorite lunch destination for LSI students. The menu is just a perfect California fusion, offering some new takes on your favorite noodle dishes from all over Asia!
It’s no wonder Eureka made the pick for favorite bar in town, students can practically see it from their classrooms! Located just across the street, Eureka is part of a growing microbrew movement offering a huge variety of delicious, locally made, beers.
We love Berkeley, but even our students know that to see California, you’ve just GOT to get out of the city. With so much to choose it was a close race, but the student pick for Top Destination was the stunning Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Union Square in San Francisco was an easy pick for best shopping around. Whether you’re a lover of high fashion, or prefer a more modest look, Union square will offer your favorite stores; from the ultra-chic to the everyday.
Getting out to one of the many professional sports games offered in the area remains the top weekend activity. We’re lucky to have two baseball teams, three football teams, and two basketball teams right next door. Even the local San Francisco Giants just won the world series! LSI students can’t get enough.

For information about Berkeley and studying at LSI , contact us at  LSI Berkeley.

LSI Berkeley Celebrates Halloween in Style

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Here in Berkeley few holidays are as important as Halloween. For both students and staff, this yearly celebration of all things bizarre, spooky, and weird is the perfect opportunity to showcase our creativity.  Costumes this year ranged from the ordinary to the downright bizarre.  Some favourites included a hunchbacked grim reaper, a pair of flappers from the 20’s, baby swimmers, and a near perfect Mario.  Even school Director, Greg Wickline, got involved with a great strait-jacket costume!

Some rather unusual school uniforms!

Some rather unusual school uniforms!

Our Halloween party included some of the gems of Halloween tradition, complete with a playlist with all of the classic Halloween tunes.  With the school decked out in spiders, cobwebs, skulls, and all things haunted, we filled the central atrium with Halloween cheer.  The festivities were opened with a pumpkin carving competition.  From there we rolled right into a manic mummy wrap competition.  To close, we threw a costume contest with a scream-o-meter judge.  The winner was Daisuke Horikoshi from Japan with his Mario costume.  We’re pretty sure most of Berkeley could hear the screaming for his performance!  Now, with bellies full of candy, we wish all of you a Happy Halloween from Berkeley!

Wrap the mummies (left) and carving the pumpkins (right)

Wrap the mummies (left) and carving the pumpkins (right)

Halloween Craziness at LSI Boston

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

This year’s Halloween party at LSI Boston was better than ever. Almost all students & staff dressed in costumes to celebrate, and pizza and plenty of Halloween-themed treats were served.

During the course of the party, we had several contests with prizes. Some of the contests included a donut-eating contest—where you have to try to eat a donut hanging from a string without using your hands—a mummy-making contest—where students team up to wrap another student in toilet paper to create a “mummy”—a pumpkin painting contest, and a costume contest.

Halloween madness: Clockwise from top ( Students and staff, wrap the mummy, donut eating contest, painted pumpkins, our students

Halloween madness: Clockwise from top ( Students and staff, wrap the mummy, donut eating contest, painted pumpkins, our students

The Halloween party is one of the most fun events for students and staff of the whole year, and we look forward to doing it again in 2015!

Wedding bells for Shun from our LSI Japan Support Office

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

We are pleased to announce that one of our LSI Japan support office staff was recently wed in Tokyo! Shun married his school sweetheart Yasuko, and here is a piece written by Shun about their special day:

“Our wedding had a real homely atmosphere just like what LSI schools have.

Yasuko and I have been friends from the age of 6 and went the same elementary, Junior High and High schools. So most of our friends know each other really well. Weddings in Japan are traditionally held in Shrines wearing Kimono for the bride and Hakama for the groom, but church weddings are becoming more common for our age group. However, we had a special reason for deciding to have a church wedding. The schools we went to were Christian schools, and our bible teacher was able to give us the speech as pastor at the chapel. We had a very special feeling at the ceremony with our families, old friends and teachers, and colleagues at the beautiful chapel. Then we promised to love each other forever!

In Japan, some people still have weddings in Shrines, but more people have their wedding in chapels or hotels, but the common purpose of whichever ceremony is to promise your love to each other! Thank you and blessings to everyone! ”


Congratulations Shun and Yasuko – we wish you a long and happy life together!

Shun and Yasuko in the chapel

Shun and Yasuko in the chapel

Shun and Yasuko after the ceremony

Shun and Yasuko after the ceremony

Shun and Yasuko with our LSI Japan Support Office Staff - Fumihiro, Hiroko and Junko (L-R)

Shun and Yasuko with our LSI Japan Support Office Staff – Fumihiro, Hiroko and Junko (L-R)