Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English Winner: Akiho Yatsuda!

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.

My Favourite Things about 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:

  1. Chizuru Blog 1Socio-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.

  1. Location

Chizuru Blog 2Kingston 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!

  1. Local People

Generally, the people who live in Kingston are very friendly and kind in comparison to Chizuru Blog 4people 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.

Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English

Awarded for the first time to two recipients on January 12, 2016.

Queen’s School of English (QSoE) recently announced the winners of the winter 2016 Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English. This award was established in memory of Marion Edith Dubin and awarded to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study at Queen’s School of English. The evaluation criterion for the award is based on an essay written by each of the applicants. Typically, the scholarship will be awarded to one recipient per session. However, we had two recipients of the scholarship this session. Junjie Jin and Sojeong Kim were each awarded $850 at the All School Meeting on January 15, 2016.

junjie​Junjie Jin is an Environmental Engineering student from Nantong, Jiangsu, China. Junjie is on exchange in Canada from Tongji University. Before beginning his two year exchange program in the department of Applied Science and Engineering at Queen’s University, Junjie is completing the English for Academic Purposes QBridge Program at QSoE. Junjie selected Queen’s University as his exchange destination because of the reputation of the teaching staff and the university as a whole. Once he completes his undergraduate degree at Queen’s, Junjie might like to stay in Canada for his Master’s degree.

Junjie began his English language studies at QSoE in September 2015. During the fall session at QSoE, his teacher told him about the Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English. As a scholarship applicant, Junjie was required to share with QSoE why studying English is important for his future: “Studying English is important because it is a language that is used worldwide. Learning English will allow me to communicate with experts in my field from all over the world.”

Junjie is grateful to have the opportunity to study at QSoE. “My favourite thing about studying at Queen’s School of English is the experienced teaching staff. They are very kind and patient,” Junjie said. As his time at QSoE nears the end, Junjie says he is both nervous and excited to start his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University.

sojeong​Sojeong Kim is a fourth year Materials Engineering student from Jeonbuk University in South Korea. Although she is studying Engineering, Sojeong would like to be a flight attendant after she graduates. “Studying English is important for my future because I want to be a flight attendant for the Arab Emirate Airline, and they require English,” Sojeong said.

Sojeong chose to learn English in Canada because of the kind people and the immersion in the English language.  When selecting an English program, Sojeong knew she wanted to attend a school with a diverse student body. She has been very happy with her QSoE experience so far. “Although I like everything about QSoE, my favourite thing is the English only rule,” Sojeong said.

Sojeong learned about the Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English from her teacher last session. She applied to the scholarship with the hopes of being able to help her parents finance her English language studies. She is very grateful to have received the scholarship.

Click here to learn more about the Marion Edith Dubin Scholarship in English.

Transitioning from QSoE to Queen’s University

By: Haoran Liang

Haoran graduated from the EAP program in 2014 and is now in his second year of the Bachelor of Commerce program at Queen’s University. 

International students studying at an English based university face a lot of unique challenges including adapting to a new culture, language and environment. When I first came to Canada, I did not speak English often. I found it very challenging to build relationships with people in Canada due to my lack of English skills. However, Queen’s
School of English helped me improve my English. I am very thankful that I had the chance to go to QSoE. At QSoE, I learned English, attended social activities, enjoyed casual 12071438_506550072854863_731859484_nconversation with native English speakers and made a lot of new friends. My time QSoE played a significant role in helping me to overcome my culture shock, language barrier and other issues that I struggled with. Time has flown since I arrived in Canada in December 2013. I spent one year studying at QSoE and I am now starting my second year in the Bachelor of Commerce program at Queen’s University. My confidence in my academic and social abilities has increased dramatically since I arrived in Canada. I am very happy that many of my former instructors from QSoE have remained my mentors, and continue to teach me and guide me through my university life. Two years ago, I never thought that I would have the courage to speak out loud in group discussions, to give business presentations in front of people or to join university clubs. I can confidently say that I am totally adapted to Canada and the Queen’s community. I would not be having this much success in university if I did not have the experience of studying at QSoE.

Socio-Cultural Fun with Alicia

Hi! My name is Alicia and I am a fourth year Psychology student at Queen`s University. I have been a socio-cultural monitor at Queen’s School of English for almost one year. cookiesI am part of QSoE’s socio-cultural team.  Our job is to create opportunities for students to have fun together outside of the classroom. As a monitor, I have a lot of different responsibilities. One of them is facilitating discussion classes. During discussion class, students discuss different topics. I like facilitating discussion classes because it helps students to practice their spoken English in a more casual setting. We even play games sometimes! I also lead activities with the students, like sports or card games. Cooking and baking activities are my favourite because we all eat, dance and talk — almost like a party! Often we go on weekend trips to places like Toronto and Montreal. When we go on trips, it is my responsibility to make sure students are safe and having a good time. My favourite trip is when we go to Canada’s Wonderland. Canada’s Wonderland is a big amusement park with games, rollercoasters, and a water park. wonderlandOutside of my responsibilities, most of my time as a monitor is spent having a good time with the students – we always have the funniest and silliest conversations. I enjoy helping students in any way that I can. I really love my job because I get to make friends with people from all over the world. Learn more about our socio-cultural program and check out our activities calendar: http://queensu.ca/qsoe/activities.