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.

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.

alex blog 4

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.

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.

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.

Socio-Cultural Fun with Sarah

Hello QSoE! My name is Sarah and I am a 3rd year Queen’s University Bachelor of Commerce student. I work at Queen’s School of English (QSoE) as a socio-cultural monitor. In my position as a socio-cultural monitor I lead activities for students, accompany groups on trips and facilitate discussion classes. I love being a socio-cultural monitor for many reasons:

1Socio-cultural activities are so much fun to lead. They provide me with an opportunity to build friendships with the QSoE students. Students also benefit from socio-cultural activities because they can practice their English, meet Queen’s students and learn new Canadian games and activities.

10421431_747471278625279_8651047625812489446_nI enjoy accompanying QSoE students on weekend trips. Each group of students makes every trip exciting for me. Our students often visit Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Montreal while they are studying with us. We go on many adventures during our trips, such as the Maid of the Mist and the CN Tower.

3Leading discussion classes is also a great experience. I always become good friends with many of the students in my discussion classes. Discussion classes provide students with an opportunity to have guided English conversations in a relaxed setting.

Learn more about our socio-cultural program and check out our activities calendar: http://queensu.ca/qsoe/activities.