2012 was an exciting year of celebration as QSoE marked its 70th anniversary. It was wonderful to spend the year renewing old friendships and highlighting the past and present activities of our school. As the celebrations unfolded, we became much more visible through various social media sites and local news coverage. Below are some of the media releases:
Our goal is to continue to improve our communications and to keep in touch with our current, past and future students and staff, as well as our friends.
An increasing number of our students enroll in our English for Academic Purposes program in order to satisfy the English language requirement for undergraduate and graduate programs at Queen's. In addition, our QBridge program (for those with conditional acceptance to Queen's University) ran for its third successful year.
We welcomed three new members to our administrative team: Nadya Maskurova, Marketing and Communications Coordinator; Janice McAlpine, Senior Program Coordinator; and Helen Parfitt, Homestay and Student Support Coordinator (part-time). They are looking forward to working with you and our students. We were also very happy to take on seven new education agents representing: Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Korea and Turkey. View the full list of our education agents here.
We are currently updating our website to provide better information, and we are using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to communicate with our wide community of students, staff, alumni, colleagues and partners. I invite you to visit our social media sites and hope to continue to keep in touch with you.
We look forward to our next 70 years!
In 2012, Queen's School of English celebrated its rich history and accomplishments in providing English language instruction to students from around the world. QSoE hosted two events during the year. Our current administrative staff, instructors, socio-cultural monitors and students joined together in June for a summer barbeque, group photo, cake, and speeches by Ms. Elaine Armstrong, Director of QSoE, and Dr. Jim Lee, Vice Provost, International. On October 4, 2012, QSoE opened its doors to the current and former staff, instructors, socio-cultural monitors, students, homestay hosts, friends and members from Queen's and Kingston communities. During the 70th anniversary Open House, we were honoured to welcome many visitors and special guests, including Dr. Daniel Woolf (Principal and Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Jim Lee (Vice Provost, International), Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft (Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science), Mr. Jim Neill (Deputy Mayor, Councillor), past QSoE directors Dr. Dan Wilson (1968 -1974) and Mrs. Eleanor Rogers (late 1970s to 2002). The Open House provided the visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the current program offerings, the School's local and international partnerships and involvement, its history, its people, programs and evolving English language curriculum. The support of the QSoE team, students, partners and friends made this celebration very special and memorable for everyone involved.
To learn more about the QSoE 70th anniversary celebrations, please visit our website page, dedicated to this milestone.
The fall 2012 offering of our Business Internship Program, concluding in December, was a great success. Twenty students from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan graduated from the program after completing several weeks of in-class instruction segueing into over 200 hours of work experience in a Canadian workplace setting. Internships were completed with our community partner employers on Queen's campus and in the Kingston community. Several of our previous workplace hosts returned for the fall session and we welcomed the following new workplace hosts: The Jessup Group, Queen's University Campus Bookstore, Sodexo, Queen's University Residences, The Grad Club, Queen's University International Centre, and Multatuli Coffee Merchants. Through this experiential learning opportunity, the students enjoyed meeting and working with local Kingstonians as well as learning new work-related skills, honing their language skills and expanding their cultural perspectives.
Despite the increase of various online opportunities for marketing and student recruitment, our visits to different countries continue to be very important in allowing more personal contact with prospective QSoE and Queen's students and partners. QSoE representatives traveled extensively this past year in efforts to recruit new students, build new partnerships, and visit our current partners and student ambassadors. The year began with Ms. Armstrong, Director of QSoE, making her annual visit to China. Early in February she traveled to Beijing and Shanghai with Ms. Andrea MacIntyre (former Undergraduate Admissions Manager) to promote and screen students for the 2012 summer QBridge program. Her trip coincided with the Principal's trip to Asia and she was able to meet many alumni and QSoE friends at the Principal's receptions.
In Spring, QSoE participated in the ICEF North America Agent Workshop in Montreal, QC, where Ms. Nadya Maskurova, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, and Ms. Armstrong met with some of our current education agents and developed new partnerships with agents from Thailand, South Korea and the Middle East. QSoE values working relationships with its education agents, who provide the school with insight into their country's educational needs and help QSoE to communicate with prospective students.
The fall focus was on exploration of South American markets. Ms. Armstrong travelled to Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile, to attend education fairs organized by the Canadian Embassy in each country. The Canadian Embassy in Peru organized their first education fair, and the turnout was outstanding; hundreds of students came with their families during the two-day event to find out more about studying opportunities in Canada. During the visit to Chile, Ms. Armstrong worked with our
student ambassador , Pablo, whose enthusiasm was a great asset during the education fair. At the Canadian Embassy fair in Chile most visitors seemed interested in pursuing post-secondary studies, and many came specifically to learn more about Queen's. Ms. Maskurova continued the South American visits by making a trip to Recife and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she met with university representatives and education agents and attended education fairs organized by the Canadian Embassy in that country. The demand for English language programs in Brazil continues to grow, especially with the introduction of the Science Without Borders, a large Brazilian national scholarship program which sends science students abroad. As we continue to raise the awareness of Queen's University in South America, we hope to begin to welcome more South American students to our campus.
Avisit to Seoul, South Korea, wrapped up the year's international travels. Ms. Jenny Bourne, former Senior Program Coordinator, met with our valued education agents in Seoul, visited universities there and participated in an education fair organized by the Embassy of Canada. Jung Ho, our seasoned student ambassador in South Korea, once again helped out at the fair by sharing his QSoE experience with the prospective students. QSoE welcomed a new partnership with Kyung Hee University, located in Seoul, South Korea.
Ahmed from Saudi Arabia:
It has been a year and five months since I started studying at QSoE. This period of time must have had a lot of events. Some of them may have been joyful moments, and some may have been sad moments. Well, some people may ask what the reasons are to study at QSoE. I have chosen QSoE to study in because Queen's University has a magnificent reputation throughout Canada and the whole world, and QSoE is a part of that educational edifice. Therefore, it must be a great place to study at. Another reason is that I have some relatives who have studied at QSoE one day. They recommended that I should come to QSoE due to the qualified and experienced teachers and the ideal programs that they have. I owe QSoE very much because it has been giving me many opportunities at all levels. Socially, it has given me a chance to meet and get involved with a variety of people, cultures and mentalities, and I have learned so many things! Educationally, it makes me able to enter the university that I want to start off my major at in the future. I would not be the person or the student I am today without its assistances and teachers.
Truly, it is an honor to be part of QSoE in their 70th anniversary, and luckily I was voted school valedictorian in summer session 2012 . Isn't it remarkable to play a role in a huge, educational edifice that will not be forgettable for decades?! I am so proud and lucky that I am a student at QSoE at this period of time, and I wish QSoE another 70 years full of success and development.
Naoto from Japan:
I had been living in Kingston for three months to study English at QSoE in 2012 fall. Participating in EAP program was part of training for my business and I'm very satisfied with the result of the program. The aim of EAP program is improving student's academic English skills. Thus, contents and activities were focused on using English correctly. For me, this course was very effective because I think I had a problem about English grammar knowledge. This course contained all basic skills such as listening, writing, reading, speaking in English and every class was based on grammar knowledge. In addition, teachers who work at QSoE always helped students to understand. Actually, there were students who had different weak points about English skills in our class; however, our teacher dealt with each of them very carefully. If students take two sessions in QSoE, they will be able to improve their English skills enough. Thus, I think the contents of English class are very valuable for various students. Besides the class, there were many supports for international students such as insurance, orientations, activities, school trips, conversation programs. These are also very helpful for international students to spend foreign life in Canada. Needless to say, every student should do their best to achieve their goal. Finally, I was given Student Achievement Award at the graduation ceremony and it was my big honor in the session. If you make best efforts, the results will follow at QSoE!
Mariem from Mauritania:
Studying at Queen's School of English was not my own choice to be honest, but I have never felt at any moment any kind of regret about it. [...] It has been one of the best and richest experiences I have ever had. Starting with the great amount of English I have learned in such a short time, the amazing friendships I have made, and the opportunity that I got to learn about myself in a comforting and helpful environment. To say the least, talking about how great and qualified the QSoE staff, teachers, and programs can take me my whole life, and, undoubtedly, I will remain not able to give it the right compliment.
The driving force of the QSoE success is its hardworking staff and amazing teachers. The staff is quite helpful and sympathetic. Moreover to the smile with which they welcome us, they almost know everyone by name and work hard to make our stay as comfortable as possible. The QSoE provides its students with a variety of socio-cultural activities, trips, and, more importantly, the homestay program. This program is a crucial support for students who feel that they have been pulled out from their zones of comfort and put into a completely new environment. The host families are great people who help, care, and comfort students no matter what their cultures and religions are. Concerning the academics, this program provides a variety of courses that put into consideration the needs of ESL students. There are spoken classes, listening labs, and core classes in which students acquire the necessary grammar rules, reading, and writing skills. [...] More essentially, the QSoE has one of the best and most skilled teachers. There is not a more caring group of teachers out there. They pushed us to our limits because they can see what we are really capable of even if, sometimes, we, ourselves, are unable to see it. [...] We have made memories that will last a lifetime. We have held a lot of potlucks together. We have introduced each other to our cultures. We have shared the happy and sad moments. We have taken parts in each other's lives. This is really the most unforgettable part of my time at the QSoE.
In fact, I was lucky to discover haphazardly this great school. I really enjoyed experiencing the Canadian life in the safe and peaceful city of Kingston. In addition, studying there helped me get into Queen's University. I got accepted directly after finishing the University Preparation Class [EAP program]. The school administration was helpful. I had a good assistance from them and my teachers.
To sum up, I strongly recommend this school for everyone who wants to improve their English and have an amazing Canadian experience. It was not my choice to come here, but I advise every English learner to make it his or her own, and they will never regret it. I bet.