One of the activities outside of class at the School of English is to make poutine! Poutine is a Canadian dish originating in the province of Quebec, and is made with French fries and cheese curds, topped with a light-brown gravy. Students enjoyed making (and eating) it last week. Thanks to Social Media Club members Honami and Airi for submitting these photos!
Akiho Yatsuda is the Summer 2016 winner of the Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English! Akiho, from Chikushi Jogakuen University in Dazaifu City, Fukuoka, Japan, is currently in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at the Queen’s School of English. She arrived last Fall, and will be finishing the program in August of this year. We had a chance to sit down with her recently to talk about her experience here:
What were her first impressions of Canada? She recounts her first glimpses of Toronto from the airplane, and compared her view of Toronto to the large cities in Japan. “I’d heard Toronto was a big city, but I didn’t think it was!”
What does she like about Kingston? “I really like Kingston because there is a lot of nature. There are lots of trees, a lake and lots of green space.”
“Kingstonians are also very kind,” she says. She recounts many instances of being lost and fellow Kingstonians helping her with directions.
What experience has she enjoyed the most since she has been here? Her best experiences so far have been ice skating behind City Hall in the winter, and also watching the Kingston Frontenacs hockey team play at the K-Rock Centre. “It was my first time seeing a hockey game. The players were all hitting each other, but it was very exciting!”
She enjoyed her recent winter term when she became friends with classmates who were from all over the world — Brazil, Quebec, Saudi Arabia, China and Libia. “Each person had different opinions, and they all were very motivated to study English.”
Akiho received the highest mark in her class. How did she do it? “The secret is to sit as close to the teacher as possible. If I sit near the teacher I get more opportunities to speak.”
What does she like about the Queen’s School of English? “The teachers in the School of English are really great. They teach very academic English and they have lots of experience. They also give you lots of one-on-one attention.”
What advice does she have to give to students? “Do your best every day. Don’t be lazy. Try to keep doing something every day/month. Always think about your motivation for coming here. I think about my parents and the opportunity they gave me to study here.”
What career goals does she have? Akiho has one more year to complete at university, but would like to work in Japan in communications and perhaps with international students. “I would like to help people using English.”
For more information on Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries or Financial Assistance at the School of English click here.
On April 1, 2016, our 150 level class held a poster presentation, which was well attended by students and staff. This assignment provided our advanced level students with an opportunity to work on a project that closely resembles the type of work that will be required at the university level. Each of the participating students took the time to provide more insight into their projects:
Shan Shan, China
Topic: Long-term care in Canada
Why did you choose this topic? I chose this topic because I would like to choose public health as my future area. I am more focused on the preventions of chronic diseases, but I know that long-term care is another important aspect of public health. I know that Canada is well known as a welfare state, which started to build its long-term care system in the 1960s. I’d like to learn how the system runs. Meanwhile, as the aging problem is getting more and more serious, Canada is going to face the problem soon. Both Canadian citizens and people who want to immigrate to Canada need to know if the governments will be able to deal with the problem in the forthcoming years. I thought that I could do research on this topic to teach my audiences about the long-term care system in Canada.
What was the most interesting thing that you learned? I learned that nowadays, researchers and employees who work in long-term care (LTC) facilities are paying attention to the quality of life of the residents who live in the LTC facilities, and they are using a system to invite residents to report their quality of life through it. This shows an important change in this area. I’d like to learn more about this topic in the future.
Youjin Kim, Korea
Topic: How Kinesins Move on Microtubules – The Controversial Moving Mechanism of the Kinesin Motor Protein. In this topic, I briefly introduced what kinesins are and compared two models that explain the moving mechanism of kinesins.
Why did you choose this topic? I chose this topic because I have a profound interest in proteins and also want to make people know how interesting proteins are. The reason why I picked kinesins among many candidate proteins is that these proteins still have unrevealed parts, which make an attractive controversy. In addition, the video that describes kinesins’ movements looks pretty interesting, so I thought it could stimulate others’ curiosities.
What was the most interesting thing that you learned? I learned a lot through this project, but if I should pick the only one thing, I learned how scientists support their arguments logically and scientifically. Because I compared two models supported by different scientists, I had a chance to analyze their conflicting arguments and evidence. I think this experience will help me a lot when I write my own research paper someday in future.
Zhenyu Qiu, China
Topic: Smog control in China
Why did you choose this topic? An important reason was that smog is an environmental issue that is tightly related to Chinese residents’ daily life; I used to live there and my family is still there. That was an interesting and new topic for me; I’d like to learn more about it to increase my knowledge. Also, it is good to know some methods, for individuals, to make efforts to improve the current situation. I hope to consciously try to prevent some lifestyles that are not environmental friendly.
What was the most interesting thing that you learned? It was a sad topic, and there were a lot of facts that depressed me. Perhaps it was interesting to learn about the corruption. It is pretty ironic to know that some of the taxes we paid were used by some government officials to protect those companies that were polluting the environment; in another word, we are paying taxes to hurt ourselves. I hope this can be changed as soon as possible.
Yilin Wang. China
Why did you choose this topic? I choose this topic because I leaned Economics when I was in high school. After that I became interested in how the market works. Inflation places a major role in economy and most people have a bad attitude about inflation. My goal is trying to tell the real story about inflation.
What was the most interesting thing that you learned? I think the most interesting thing that I have learned is making a poster. I am use to writing an essay in order to show my research. It was the first time that I had to make a poster and I found it very interesting. I felt that I taught knowledge to others and I was very proud of my poster.
Zhihao Zeng, China
Topic: The contamination of plastic in the Pacific Ocean
Why did you choose this topic? When I was doing my research, I found a special term called “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” on a website. As I did more research on it, I became very interested in the topic. I started to worry about our environment and our future. I selected this topic because I really want to educate people about the truth of plastic; it is destroying our planet.
What was most interesting thing that you learned? The most interesting and cruel thing that I learned is how plastic influences the marine animals in the ocean. I felt sick when I saw how the turtles and seals were entangled by plastic products. I can’t even describe it as interesting, they were real things happened before, and it’s happening right now, so we need to do something.
Alexander Brunner, Switzerland
Why did you choose this topic? I chose this topic because it is one way that people can get manipulated. I started my research searching for different ways that people can get manipulated. During my research I found an article about “The Chameleon Effect”. As soon as I read through it, I decided to do my research about Mimicry.
What was most interesting thing that you learned? The most interesting thing that I learned was that Mimicry can have such a strong impact on peoples’ behavior, judgment and affiliation. With this knowledge we can think about different situations where we can make use of the impacts of Mimicry. It was very interesting to see the results of the studies that are already done. I think that if we start to learn more about Mimicry, we could improve our lives in various ways.
By: Alexander Brunner
My name is Alexander Brunner. I was born and raised in Switzerland. After finishing the Swiss public school, I did an apprenticeship as a car mechanic. While I was working, I realised that I wanted to go back to school. I wanted to get more education because my goal has always been to study psychology. After finishing my apprenticeship, I came to Canada to start learning English at Queen’s School of English.
I chose Queen’s to learn English because of several reasons. The main reason was because of the efforts that Queen’s makes to encourage social connections. Meeting new people, attending social events or just talking to strangers was always something I liked to do. Queen’s School of English gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. They organize social events nearly every day in which, for example, you play card games or you go to play pool or bowling and everything you do, you do with other students from QSoE.
Additionally, they organize trips like going to Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa, which are also very fun to attend with your friends from QSoE. In general, you don’t have to worry about not making friends or being left behind in social activities. In fact, it is very difficult to not make friends at QSoE, simply because every student going to QSoE is in the same situation as you. Being in a new country where everything seems totally different than in your home country, having problems to communicate because of a language that you first need to learn and leaving all your friends behind brings every student at QSoE in the same situation. The good thing is that it brings students more together, as they need to help each other “survive” the first few weeks in this “strange” country and Queen’s School of English helps you to make the first contacts with students.
Let’s talk about how it is to learn English at Queen’s School of English. Back in Switzerland I was also learning English, so I thought it would not be a big difference learning English here or there. I was wrong. First, I thought the school that I attended in Switzerland for learning English was not bad. Now I realize how boring it was back there. At QSoE you will be surprised how easy it is to learn English. You do so many different activities to learn English, for example, you have discussions, you will learn vocabulary by talking about different topics that you are interested in, you will have debates, you will do different activities in teamwork or in bigger groups and a lot more. Every day will be a new experience. You will be surprised by how easy it is to learn English at QSoE. The teachers at QSoE always try to make your visit to Canada the best experience for you.
Queen’s School of English gave me what I needed and more. I made unbelievable progress with my English and had an amazing time with people from all over the world. I will never forget my experience at QSoE and I’m thankful for the opportunity that I got from QSoE.
By: Chizuru Noma
I have been Kingston since September 2015. I really enjoy studying at QSoE. There are three main reasons why I love studying at QSoE:
- Socio-Cultural Activities
Queen’s School of English offers a lot of activities including sports, cards games and baking. There are many classes at Queen’s School of English, so it can be difficult to meet people in other classes. However, attending the activities has helped me to make a lot of friends outside of my class.
One of my friends has organized a special activity for Friday afternoons. Each Friday, we go to a restaurant that serves food from a different country. So far, we have been to Chinese, Korean, German, Spanish, and Indian restaurants. If one of my classmates came from the restaurant’s country, they teach us about the foods from their country.
Kingston is very centrally located. I can go to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, and New York by bus or train. I live in the countryside in Japan, and like being able to go to big cities such as Osaka, Nagoya by train. I like big cities for shopping, sightseeing and events. However, I prefer to live and study in a small city. Therefore, Kingston is perfect for me!
- Local People
Generally, the people who live in Kingston are very friendly and kind in comparison to people who live in big cities. For example, when I went to a skating rink in Kingston, some local people taught me how to skate. I had never tried skating before coming to Canada, so I was not very good at it. An old man, students, and children helped me learn how to skate, even though they didn’t know me before.
I am really enjoying my life in Kingston because of the reasons above. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by good friends and good people.