International Students Raise Funds for a Local Charity

Every session our student government leads a candygram fundraiser. Our student government is made up of a group of volunteers; typically there is one representative from each class. Not only is it nice to send a candygram to classmates, staff and teachers, but all of the money that is raised is donated to a local charity. The local charity is selected by the student representative of the class that raises the most money.

This summer our students raised a total of $370.00 Canadian dollars. The largest contribution came from class ESLA150 GL of our English for Academic Purposes Program. At our graduation ceremony the student representative from class GL, Tomo, gave a speech about the organization the money was donated to, Mothers Helping Mothers:

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Our Candygram fundraiser was successful yet again raising $370.00.  The class that sold the most was class GL and they have chosen to donate the money raised to an organization called Mothers Helping Mothers. 

This not-for-profit organization has been providing basic necessities such as clothing and baby items free of charge to families in need. All items are donated or purchased through grant funding or private contributions such as ours. Additionally, they offer emotional support and referrals to other agencies in the surrounding area.

For over twenty years, Mothers Helping Mothers has been run by volunteers and has helped over 6,000 families yearly, which represents almost 10,000 children, and the need continues to grow. They exist because of the generosity within the community, which now includes you.  Thank you to everyone for your donations and always remember that anything you do or give really does make a difference.

Graduation Speech – EAP Summer 2014

Speech by Haoran Liang, Valedictorian for the 2014 Summer Session of the EAP Program:

Good afternoon, Ms. McAlpine, teachers, staff, students, homestay families and guests!

It is a great honor to have this precious opportunity to speak in front of you. On this special occasion, first I would like to take a moment on behalf of myself and my fellow students to express my deep gratitude to all of our teachers who have contributed to improving our knowledge of English. Also, we need to say thank you to QSoE staff, who have made a great effort ensuring that all activities are well designed and that Canada becomes a home away from home for all of us. We want to thank the socio-cultural monitors as well. I have to say that I really enjoyed those awesome activities and trips during these 12 weeks.

Graduation Ceremony, August 7, 2014

Two days ago, my classmate Nako told us that she doesn’t want to go back to Japan because she enjoyed studying English at QSoE, and she thinks that 12 weeks is not enough. I agree with her, and it is amazing that I have studied in this program for almost one year, but I continue to feel that I am still learning new things every day. I appreciate the intensive study environment. Moreover, I have very competitive classmates who help me to maintain my passion and motivation to learn English.

English is not the only thing I have improved while I studying here. I expanded my friendship network; I met you, smart, creative, and enthusiastic students. I became very active and through joining the school activities I got the chance to discover Canadian culture and the Kingston community. I learned to work as a team, and it helps me to understand other cultures. I enjoyed discussing and cooperating with my classmates. I also started to think critically when when doing research.

We are an international community. We are here because we have the same dream – to learn English, but also to learn how to live independently. Even though, today, we will be going in different directions, but remember, today is a new start with new opportunities. You are going back to your countries with the knowledge you have learned here. No matter what your dream is for the future, Queen’s spirit can always carry you to get there. No matter what path you choose to make your dream come true, you will be the best that you can be. And remember, don’t stop, you must keep moving.

Congratulations, EAP Summer 2014!

Haoran will be continuing his studies in Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s School of Business.

Living in Residence

Written by Luis Villa Abascal

I would like to give an advice to every student looking to have a great time, learn, and practice English in the best possible way, which is to “live in residence”. The two sessions that I spent at Queen’s School of English wouldn’t be as amazing as they were if I hadn´t lived in the university residence. For me this is what it is all about: the experience of living with Canadian students, the experience of practicing English skills, and learning from the Canadian students all the time while. The whole point of coming to Canada to learn English is to interact with English speakers, and there is nothing better than to do it with people of your age. I´ve made lots of Canadian friend who made this year what it was. For me the most important thing about coming here is to make Canadian friends, which was possible by living in the university residence.

To learn more about living in residence please visit our website.

West Campus Guide

Written by Yuka  Miyata, Hanshiro Imai and Haoran Liang

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Queen’s School of English (QSoE) has moved their administrative offices from main campus to west campus, from a house at 96 Albert Street that they have called home for a couple of decades to a suite of offices in Duncan McArthur Hall.

Students may not be familiar with the environment of west campus, so we are very glad to introduce west campus to you! 

West Campus Guide

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My story of studying in Canada as an international student (continued)

This is the continuation of Xiangtao Meng’s story of studying at Queen’s University as an international student. Read Part 1 and 2 to find out about his experience of learning English language for university preparation and his first year at Queen’s.

Part 3: The acceleration

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. By Samuel Ullman

I believe that Queen’s is more than a scholar factory with limestone buildings, books, classes, exams and scholars. It embodies a strong community, active student leadership and engaged administration. It is the place where new ideas sparkle and new skills develop. After a transition from east to west and an adaptation to local culture, I eventually got over homesickness and enjoy my life full of contentment from being with my housemates, taking interesting but challenging courses and involving in extracurricular activities.

Right before my second year started, I contacted that engineering student who helped me in my first year and thanked him again. Surprisingly, he said: “You do not have to thank me, but that is what the Queen´s community is all about.” In such a tight and supportive community, there are infinite opportunities of knowing new people and making friends, but bearing in mind making good friends does take time. Not until the second semester in my first year did I make friends with my current housemates, who enrapture me when we live together. Coming from four ethnic groups but with similar personal traits and interests, three other housemates and I care about each other, have fun in watching movies and cooking together and enjoy discussing world history, literature and religion, and most importantly we learn from each other. When I come back home, their smiling faces release my stress and their words of warmth and encouragement hearten me. We are not only sincere housemates who enjoy each other’s company, but also housemates who point out shortcomings of others and perfect ourselves together.

Other than contentment from my housemates, my academics bring me fulfillment. Generally speaking, class sizes of upper year courses are smaller than those of first year courses. I enrolled in an environmental economics course (Econ 391: topics in environmental economics) with only twenty students. With such a small class size and an interactive teaching approach consisting of group studies, presentations, essays and self-research, this course offers me an incredible learning experience. It was in a first year philosophy course that I wrote my longest English essay, and it is in this course that I made my first presentation. Moreover, my perspective on environmental economics has changed by studying how humans value nature, learning environmental ethics and conducting a simulation on trading emission permits. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses without any doubt. Take advantage of these strengths and overcome these weaknesses while learning, and that it is.

In addition to academics, I also get involved in some extracurricular activities. In my first year, I joined Queen’s Campus Lions Club, which is a two-year-old club focusing on fundraising and senior health. This year, I was elected as a Club President. Even though I have spent a lot of time and effort in this position, although sometimes with extra stress and pressure, I would say being a Club President is another incredible experience I have in my second year because of the leadership skills and problem-solving skills I have learnt. Due to a big turnover, caused by former member’s graduation, internship and exchange, Lions Club underwent a member shortage at the beginning of this school year. With the help from members and my supervisor, I started promotions in the Frosh Week and Queen’s Club Night. It was the first time for me to realize how hard it is to organize and market events. After another month’s promotion through social media, nearly ten new members joined this club finally, which was a good result for a small club. With the aim of serving Queen’s and Kingston’s communities, Lions Club is organizing a photo contest, Capture Queen’s U, which allows student to express their unique experience at Queen’s. For me, being a President and an event organizer not only provides me with opportunities of learning new skills and meeting new people, but it also allows me to affiliate tightly to Queen’s community by serving other students and helping those in need.

Apart from organizing a club, I am also volunteering as a Co-Chair for a publication, CultureSHOCK!, under Social Issues Commission. CultureSHOCK! is an anti-racist publication which strives to provide a forum in the Queen’s and Kingston community for artistic expression for those who have been historically and currently marginalized. After working hard on editing and designing for a month, I am excited about CultureSHOCK’s launch at the end of March. As a Co-Chair, not only am I enchanted on promoting equity among different ethnic groups at Queen’s, but I also enjoy working with others on designing this publication and organizing events. In fact, I returned to School of English for one of its photo campaigns so as to call for submission of photos, which brought me here to write this blog.

Visit CultureSHOCK! Facebook Page

As you may not know, Queen’s has the Canadian’s oldest undergraduate student government and the second largest number of clubs in the world, only to Harvard. Thousands of dedicated and passionate students are serving for Queen’s community, and tons of opportunities exist. For me, it is getting involved in extracurricular activities that accelerates my integration into this community and enhances my experience.

Samuel Ullman wrote in his famous poem Youth: “Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul”.  Surrounded by enthusiastic peers, ardent professors and other faithful employees, I feel as if a stream of passion was flowing in my heart: working hard, playing hard and never giving up trying.

Acknowledgement:

Thanks to the School of English who provided me with this opportunity to share my story, and thanks to everyone who helped me in the past two years, especially my housemates.

Something about me:

I am into painting, playing tin whistle, reading the classics, and I am also attracted by the beauty of jet engines. You can reach me at: xiangtaom@gmail.com