QSoE Students Get Involved with Local Charity

An Idea for Giving Grows

Each session, QSoE organizes a candy grams event to raise funds for a local charity. Students, instructors and staff can purchase a candy gram – piece of candy with a personalized note attached — to have delivered to others within QSoE. It is quite popular, and makes everyone feel good. The class which sells the most candy grams gets to designate the charity that will receive the money raised by all classes.

For Amie Pilgrim’s 140 class, one of the homework assignments was for each student to research a charity and present to the class what this charity does and who it serves. Students presented on a variety of charities, some of which raised money in other locations for both people and animals. The class then voted on which charity they would support if they had the opportunity (if they raised the most money via candy grams).

kysThe class collectively decided that, if given the opportunity, they would like to support Kingston Youth Shelter. Several members of the class explained that as a class, they felt that they could best support this charity because they could easily relate to who it serves (youth of similar ages to themselves), and they liked the idea of keeping the money raised within the local community.

When Amie’s class did not get to designate the charity which would receive the candy gram money (Rasha’s class 150 sold the most candy grams), she didn’t want to just suddenly abandon the momentum that had been built up through the presentations and discussions about different charities. She decided to ask the class if they would like to continue their discussions and work on a project involving helping Kingston Youth Shelter. They decided that this was something they would like to do, and began brainstorming how they could help.

Helping Kingston Youth Shelter

The class decided to host a café in early November as one part of their project. They worked together to create posters and advertisements, coordinated supplies, and managed sales as they served hot beverages and treats to student and staff in the Duncan McArthur Hall. They managed to raise $225 to donate to Kingston Youth Shelter!cafe

In addition to the café, the class organized a donation collection area in QSoE for winter clothing items and school supplies for the youth in the shelter. They were surprised to receive so many winter clothing items – numerous bags full – and will continue the collection until November 30, 2016.

Real Projects for Real Learning

In addition to working together to plan and coordinate the café and clothing/supplies donation drive, Amie’s class gained a deeper perspective into the history and operations of Kingston Youth Shelter via a class trip and tour of the shelter, and through a discussion held in their classroom with Executive Director of the Shelter, Jason Beaubiah.

The class prepared a list of questions for discussion with Jason, and learned that the shelter provides several different services to Kingston youth: emergency overnight shelter, transition shelter for up to a year, and family communications support services. It was interesting to learn that Kingston Youth Shelter began with volunteers 16 years ago, with the intention of operating for only 6 months. Also, unique to Kingston is this statistic: Of the youth using Canadian shelters, 50% are males; however, in the Kingston Youth Shelter, 70% of the youth using the shelter are male.bunks

Amie’s class also learned that making real, meaningful projects happen as a group is loads of fun. They said that they’ve gained valuable planning skills through coordinating these events, and have learned a lot about delegating tasks. Students agreed that working as a group brought them awareness regarding their own strengths and areas for improvement, and helped them to appreciate other peoples’ creativity. For some students from developing nations, discovering that even ‘rich countries’ such as Canada have issues around housing was surprising, but also strangely comforting and unifying.

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Student Spotlight Fall’16

Friendships Found at QSoE

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Jose Izquierdo & Ryosuke Nunomura

Q: Where are you from? It is urban or rural?

Jose: La Paz, Baja, Mexico. It’s a city on the beach, a bit bigger than Kingston.

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The coastline of La Paz, Mexico. By Az81964444 – Own work, Public Domain

Ryosuke: Nishinomiya, Japan. It’s a city, larger than Kingston, with mountain, beaches, and a lot of tourists.

Q: Why did you choose Queen’s School of English as your language school?

Jose: Because of QSoE’s great reputation.

Ryosuke: Because it is close to New York City!

Q: If someone were to visit your hometown, what should they be sure to experience or explore?

Jose: La paz has a lot of restaurants and bars that are right on the beach that are very fun. We also have great golfing. I like to wakeboard. Lots of people like to dive with the sealions and whale sharks.

Ryosuke: Similar to Kingston, we have some malls where people like to shop. It’s very nice to go for a hike on the mountain in the city.

Q: How long have you been studying English? How did you begin learning the language prior to QSoE?

Jose: I always had about 1 hour of English per day in school.

Ryosuke: I’ve been taking English class for about 7 years in school, once per week.

Q: What are your education and/or career goals?

Jose: I want to study business at a Mexican university.

Ryosuke: I also want to be a businessman; I’m in my second year of university in Japan studying business.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time – any sports?

Jose: Tennis!

Ryosuke: Also tennis; we play together a lot here at Queen’s on the outdoor courts.

Q: Have you traveled to other countries? Which ones?

Jose: Yes: Europe (English, France…and others), the United States (Nevada, California, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston), and the Caribbean

Ryosuke: Hawaii, China, and Thailand.

Q: Do you hope to travel in the future? Name a country you would love to visit.

Jose: Yes, I want to go to Singapore next.

Ryosuke: I can’t wait to go to the United States!

Making Friends at QSoE

By: Alexander Brunner

alex blog 3My 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.

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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.

alex blog 6Let’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.