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.

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Walking Through a Rainbow Bridge

By: Jill Xu

I am a current Queen’s MBA student from China. I am also a mother of a 20-month-old girl. It is the first time for me to live in another country and I plan to work in Canada after graduation. This is my Canadian dream—I hope my daughter could grow up in Canada and I want to be a mother of whom my daughter could be proud. It’s easier said than done. Before I came here, I was really worried about the intensive courses of the MBA program because I have been out of school for so many years and I seldomly spoke English.

Can I adapt to the new life? Can I communicate well with new classmates from different countries? Can I catch up with the lessons?

When I was frustrated, the Pre-MBA QBridge Program came into my sight. This two-month program with small classes and experiential learning were attractive for me. Two months prior to the MBA program, which starts in January, I came to Queen’s to begin the Pre-MBA QBridge program at Queen’s School of English.

If you ask me to describe the program, I would say it’s my rainbow bridge.

blog pic

For the first several days, I dared to talk to anyone. I was nervous when I went to the grocery store because I was not sure whether I could understand what the tellers were saying. In China, we usually buy live fish for cooking, but when I came here I never went to buy live fish because I had to talk to the sellers. Making a phone call was even more difficult. I made no phone calls in the first several weeks.

I have to say that the QBridge program saved me. Everyday during the morning sessions, we spent half an hour reading the Globe and Mail newspaper. Our writing teacher, Susan, explained some political, economic and cultural news to us.  Sometimes we watched videos from TED Talks. The knowledge I gained from the newspapers and videos has proven to be very useful in my latter MBA program. Now if I want to start a conversation with teachers or classmates, I have many topics to talk about: the revenue-split policy of Harper’s government, the slumping oil prices and traditional Canadian food. In some of the MBA courses, professors often assign some reading materials or videos from Globe and Mail or TED Talks. The reading and listening in QBridge was a good start for me.

During the QBridge program, we had an experiential learning once a week. We had a conversation with a local business owner, a portfolio manager and a customer manager at Scotiabank. We also joined the Christmas party of Chamber of Commerce, the established meeting of disability organization in Kingston, and the ceremony for the Memorial Day. During this process, we had a chance to better understand the culture and the business world of Canada, and to learn communication and networking skills that are essential for MBA students.

In the last week of the program, teachers and students brought food of their own countries and enjoyed an international potluck lunch together.

For me, the Pre-MBA QBridge Program is not just a language program, but a warm-up program for my MBA.  I feel very lucky to have been enrolled in this program because when the MBA program started, I had no time to learn the language or to adapt to its fast pace, but only to work hard on all the papers, team projects and different assignments.

Today is the 100th day I have been at Queen’s. I like talking to my wonderful classmates from Canada, India, Africa and Brazil. I have made several complaint calls to my internet providers and I often go to grocery store and I buy live fish for cooking. Although it’s cold in Kingston now, I can still feel the warmth and colorful lights of the rainbow of the Pre-MBA QBridge Program. I’ve gone through the rain days and now I am walking to my dream.

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.

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

EAP Testimonials from our Blog Club

Our Summer 2013 EAP Session has come to an end! Below, some of the members of our Blog Club reflecting on their experience studying at QSoE:

By: Chihiro from Japan

Chihiro final pictureI have studied at QSoE in Kingston for about four months since April. I have never spent this long in a foreign country ever, so I was worried about whether I could study and spend time away from my country because of differences of both languages and cultures. However, my life here was completely at ease. The reason I chose QSoE is just one; I was very interested in the program called English for Academic Purposes (EAP). This program is for people who wish to develop their academic English skills and enables them to improve all language skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking. Of course, I had a strong wish to improve my English skills, especially language abilities, for I wanted to learn English for the purpose of English improvement, so this program was suited for me. Also, QSoE has an “English only rule”, which means that we must not use other languages except English as long as we live in Kingston. I hesitated to speak English at first because I thought my speaking skills were not good. Now, however, I can speak English more than before. I learned that it was important to have a wish to talk English actively even though I may not speak fluently. I attributed my change of feeling to the English only rule. My achievement is due to not only the “English only rule” but also to the help and advice from my teachers and my classmates. I have never regretted having chosen QSoE as a place for studying English!

By: Michael from Taiwan
Michael Final PictureI’m an ESL student in School of English of Queen’s University in Canada. In QSoE, I met many students from different countries and I’ve learned different cultures from them. Also I can practice understanding different accents here. Because of the good impression that I had fifteen years ago when I visited Canada, I decided to come back here to learn English. You can learn reading, writing, listening and speaking in QSoE. Teachers are really helpful, patient and professional. Beside studying, there are a lot of activities that can help you to understand Canada’s culture and be part of them. I set a goal for myself before I came here, I wished that I could talk with other people in English. Now I can talk with people in English although it may not perfect. I found out that I did improve my English within these 7 months that I have been here studying. I really enjoyed my life here!

By: Richard from Panama

Richard final pictureI have been part of this amazing program since January 2013 and it’s difficult for me to express all I have done and experienced. I still remember my first day of class during winter, everything was new for me. I met such nice people who came from different cultures and countries. People always treated me well and that helped me to feel much more comfortable. Interacting with my teachers and sharing beautiful moments with my classmates and friends always will be something special that I’m going to keep in my memory. Also something that I will never forget will be the socio-cultural activities that I have joined after classes, which really helped me to improve my English skills. Classes always were a challenge for me; sometimes it was a bit difficult for me to follow the sequence and order of it.  However, I’m proud of myself and I will be always grateful for being part of this unbelievable program!