Student Spotlight Fall’16

Friendships Found at QSoE


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.


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!


Thanksgiving Holiday

This weekend, many QSoE students will have their first experience of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. When Thanksgiving was mentioned to some students, their first thoughts were of excitement for Black Friday, and the spectacular deals shoppers may find. However, Black Friday is a distinctly American phenomenon which coincides with Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. Although they celebrate the holiday in a very similar way, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the third Thursday in November. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October.


Cornucopia or ‘Horn of Plenty’ – a symbol of abundance and nourishment associated with Thanksgiving Day

Canadians have been officially celebrating Thanksgiving Day since 1879, when Parliament proclaimed it as “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”. The practice of having a special feast in thanks and celebration of the harvest at this time of the year has been a tradition of First Nations and Native American tribes, and of peasant societies in Europe for long before any records of Europeans holding formal harvest celebrations. One of the earliest recorded dates of such an organized celebration by European members of society dates to 1578 when explorers in the Arctic wrote of their harvest celebration during this time of the year!

In the United States, much of the origin of Thanksgiving Day as a holiday is attributed to the Pilgrims (early European settlers in Massachusetts) who celebrated their first harvest with a feast of freshly harvested North American foods. These foods likely included wild fowl (such as turkey, grouse, duck, or goose), indigenous berries and nuts, seafood, and foods which Native Americans were cultivating such as corn, potatoes, beans, peas, squash, and onions.


Wild Turkeys

Today, both Canadians and Americans typically celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a day off of work/school, travelling to be with family and close friends, and honoring the blessings of their lives by sharing a feast including dishes such as a whole roasted turkey, squash, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin or apple pie. Roasting a turkey is something that is usually only done on Thanksgiving Day, though sometimes at Christmas or Easter as well. Although there are wild turkeys living in Ontario (which can be hunted and eaten), generally people buy domestically-raised turkeys from the grocery store, or from a local farmer.

We would love to hear about your experiences and see your photos of Thanksgiving Day celebrations! Email to share.

Poutine: A Canadian Dish!

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!

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.