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Alma Fabiola Portillo Lizárraga, Mexico

Where are you from?
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México

What Program(s) did you enroll in?
University of Guadalajara Tailored Program fall 2015

How long did you study at QSoE?
1 month

Why did you want to learn English?
To be an English as a foreign language teacher in Mexico. To be able to communicate with people from all around the world without any problems.

What did you like about studying at QSoE?
I liked that they actually care about their students, they made me feel home even though I was thousands of kilometers away from Mexico. I liked the fun activities with the monitors and how much I learned about Canada in my core classes..

What did you like to do in your spare time in Kingston?  
I loved to walk by the waterfront, spend the evening at Cataraqui centre, be with my homestay family, spend hours at the nearest Tim Hortons, and eat poutine!

What is your favorite restaurant in Kingston?
Jack Astor’s and Lone Star.

Name one favourite memory from your time at QSoE.
The day we throw a Mexican Christmas party “Posada” for the QSoE staff.

What are your personal experiences? What are you doing now?
Right now I’m focused on finishing my major of English as a foreign language teacher at University of Guadalajara.


Francisco Javier Lavin Garcia, Mexico

Where are you from?
I’m from Ciudad Victoria,Tamaulipas, Mexico.

What Program(s) did you enroll in?
EAP Spring-Summer 2005

How long did you study at QSoE?
 Six months

Why did you want to learn English?
Mostly for academic reasons but also for fun. I think English language opens the door to a vast world of experiences such as making friends all over the world and I am proud to say that I am still in touch with most of them.

What did you like about studying at QSoE?
First of all, the learning atmosphere in the classroom was crucial to feel like back home. My teachers were both fun and always helpful. In other words, QSoE was my second home. In terms of learning achievements, I really enjoyed my listening classes because I improved my listening skills through songs. Listening and completing exercises on weather forecast and news reports were some of the tasks I found meaningful.

What did you like to do in your spare time in Kingston?  
Since I arrived in Canada I decided to make the most of my learning experience so I found myself surrounded by English. English, English everywhere!! I loved going shopping, going to the movies with my classmates, attending church, going to museums, biking around my neighborhood and of course going to parties. I took advantage of my free time to practice my English; I was in my second home after all!

What is your favorite restaurant in Kingston?
The Grizzly Grill! It’s such a cool place to have casual dining with your buddies and play pool for hours!!

Name one favourite memory from your time at QSoE.
One of the craziest memories I have is me and my friends meeting our monitors to make a chocolate cake. We set the kitchen for the cooking thing. We did the mixing and stuff as directed, but by the time it was ready, it tasted awful!  We laughed so hard because it was a total mess but we did our best! It was fun.

What are your personal experiences? What are you doing now?
After having studied abroad and being away from home, I reflected on the importance of learning and gaining life experience while living in another country. This helped me to reinforce my life skills by interacting with people from Canada and other countries. For instance, I learned to respect other people’s beliefs through friendship. I dealt with culture issues as well and I can say I made it. You learn and grow, you know, you take the best of both worlds.

Right now, I am working as an English language teacher for my hometown university. It’s been almost 8 years since I came back from Kingston. I started working and got formal training back then. I am certified by the British Council as a language teacher. I am proud of playing the role of educator to help others develop passion for learning English as a Second Language.

Additional comments
Thanks to QSoE for all those memories that still make me laugh. Thanks to QSoE teachers and staff who made sure my stay in Canada was unforgettable. I am looking forward to coming back soon to say “hello! “ I’ll share with others my experiences in Kingston and  tell them how fun it can be learning English at QSoE. Thanks Canada!

 

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