CultureWorks student from Jordan keeps his life simple: ‘Help all people, and all people will help you.’


Mohamad, a Level 6 student at CultureWorks, shares his opinion on reactions to the New Zealand massacre.

Mohamad Abed Alfattah is 19 and has been a student in the CultureWorks ESL program for five months. He is in Level 6 and is slated to graduate in June.

His home is Jordan and his family lives in the country’s capital, Amman. He is the fifth child in a family of eight.

As personable a student as you will find, it had been less than a week after the horrific massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“I am a Muslim person and I am proud of this religion because it is a piece of my identity and personality,” Mohamad said in the CultureWorks office. “What happened in New Zealand is really a sad thing in that country, that great country.”

Mohamad was talking about this news because it was the story of the day, the week, the year. Like the world over, he was shocked.

He made his usual Friday trek to his mosque in London, Ontario, the day of the shooting. Obviously, it was different than the usual Fridays.

“In the Friday prayer, they were talking about this,” Mohamad said. “Actually, it was a lot of people came to the mosque and security people as well. It was really sad; it was a very bad thing. We can see there was no connection here between terrorism and Islam.”

Horrific news from far, far away can be difficult to handle for international students. For Mohamad, the mosque and CultureWorks are always available for his own personal peacekeeping.

Mohamad talks about his experiences in Canada and with CultureWorks

Mohamad said he is cognizant of the fact CultureWorks teachers and staff are close by when any problem – small or large — arises for students.

Mohamad’s father and three of his sisters from Amman, Jordan.
Mohamad’s father and three of his sisters from Amman, Jordan.

“The teachers are helpful. When I ask someone in CultureWorks they will help me; they will answer me; they help solve the problems. And they have time to listen to me and they respect me.

“If I want something personal, I can go to Liz (Macedo), so I can ask her about something, she will help me.”

CultureWorks Founder and President Tina Bax said she is thrilled to hear that.

“That makes me feel good. That means we are doing something right, and hopefully a lot of things doing right so that they feel tied to us and we can see that when they come back for alumni events,” Tina said.

Tina said it is important to have experienced staff available.

“When I go abroad and have frustrating experiences … I want someone to not necessarily parent me because then I really don’t learn how to deal with the next time and it will happen. I am looking for somebody to teach me ‘here is how you can overcome this problem’.”

Meanwhile, Mohamad is more than happy he chose our ESL school and Canada to be his new home.

Mohamad and Moe, his friend of 15 years, out for lunch in London, Ont.
Mohamad and Moe, his friend of 15 years, out for lunch in London, Ont.

“First of all, I decided after my high school to come here because I actually want to build my future by myself. I don’t want my father just to help me and give me money and go ahead in a new country,” Mohamad said.

“My father asked me if I wanted to go to U.S.A. or Canada or Germany. I chose Canada and I talked with my teacher. He is my friend and still is my friend. He told me to go to Canada. ‘That’s what would be good for you. It’s a great country’.”

Staying in Canada after completing ESL school

Mohamad finds London a “beautiful city,” albeit a small city. He doesn’t plan to leave.

“It is really beautiful to see all these cultures (in London) together, helping each other, and living in peace,” he said. “They respect each other. That’s what I want, to respect other people and other people respect you. That’s really a nice thing.”

Tina understands Mohamad’s decision to make London his final home.

Mohamad with his homestay Marilyn Light and her friend Albert.
Mohamad with his homestay Marilyn Light and her friend Albert.

“I think when you go abroad and have an experience when you are living abroad — especially when it’s your first time abroad or when you going abroad for the first time to learn a language, put down roots, being away from your family — you really end up being tied to the first school that you land on whether it be a university or a high school or in this case, a language school, because we are the stepping stone to that education that they eventually want to have at college or university.

Meanwhile, Mohamad confirms that one major decision.

“I don’t think about (leaving). I am staying here,” he said, quite clearly.
“I am not just talking about university; I am not just thinking about studying … I am talking about an opportunity, my future, about people who can respect you, people who can help you.”

Or as he sums up his way of living …

“Help all people, and all people will help you. If you do best for me, I will do the best for you.”

Do you want to learn English as a second language in a supportive environment?

Discover the caring teachers, staff, and students at CultureWorks.

4 reasons to visit Niagara Falls while attending ESL school in Canada

ESL school in Canada

Niagara Falls is one of the most famous natural wonders in Canada. If you study English in London, Ontario you’ll be just two hours away from this must-see sight. Of course, the main reason for visiting Niagara Falls is to see the incredible waterfalls themselves. But did you know there are actually many other attractions nearby that are also worth a visit?

Visiting Niagara Falls is a highlight for countless people who come to study English in Canada. It is also a fantastic opportunity to spend a fun-filled day with friends and classmates. You’ll get to see an amazing natural attraction and even practice your English language skills while you’re at it.

1. Practice your English language skills with a boat cruise to the falls

For a truly unforgettable way to see the falls, take one of the boat cruises available. The most popular Niagara Falls boat cruise is the Maid of the Mist, which departs from the U.S. side. However, there is another cruise called the Hornblower that leaves from the Canadian side. Both cruises take you past the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. Because these are guided tours, they are a great opportunity to test the skills you learn in your intensive English program. You’ll get really close to the falls and you will definitely get wet, so make sure your camera is waterproof!

2. Stay past dark to see fireworks and the illumination of the falls

You may be surprised to know that for many people the best time to see the falls is not during the day, but at night. That’s because as soon as the sun sets, the waterfalls are lit up in different colours using incredibly powerful LED lights. Different colours of lights are used to mark special occasions or to promote worthy causes. This light show is an incredible sight that occurs every night of the year. Even better, from mid-June to September there is a nightly fireworks show above the waterfalls.

The falls are lit up with lights and fireworks every night during the summer
The falls are lit up with lights and fireworks every night during the summer

3. Join your ESL classmates for a day of thrills at Clifton Hill

One of the most popular attractions in Niagara Falls is called Clifton Hill. Clifton Hill is a street lined with a lot of fun and even bizarre attractions, such as wax museums, haunted houses, video arcades, a Guinness World Records Museum, and miniature golf courses. Clifton Hill is an entertaining place to visit with friends and classmates from your ESL school in Canada. Many of the buildings have very outlandish architecture and the street is often compared to Las Vegas. In the middle of Clifton Hill is the Niagara SkyWheel, which is a giant Ferris wheel offering spectacular views of the falls.

Clifton Hill is a great place to enjoy fun attractions such as haunted houses and a Ferris wheel
Clifton Hill is a great place to enjoy fun attractions such as haunted houses and a Ferris wheel

4. Take a look behind Niagara Falls during your intensive English program

Another inspiring way to see the famous waterfalls is by visiting Journey Behind the Falls. This attraction takes you down an elevator into a network of tunnels that have been carved into the rock behind Niagara Falls. From these tunnels you get to see behind the waterfalls and really feel how powerful they are. There is also an outdoor observation deck located at the bottom of the falls that is great for photo opportunities.

Do you want to study English as a second language in Canada?

Contact CultureWorks today to learn about our programs!

Studying an ESL program? Learn 4 ways Canadians celebrate Valentine’s Day

learn English as a second language

In Canada, Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 and it is a day to celebrate love and romance. While most Canadians don’t get Valentine’s Day off from work, it is still considered an important holiday, especially for those in romantic relationships. If you study English in Canada, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Canadian culture, including the many holidays it celebrates. Here are just a few things Canadians like to do on February 14.

1. Students in an ESL program in Canada will see many full restaurants on Valentine’s Day

About a third of Canadian couples celebrates Valentine’s Day by going out for dinner at a restaurant. So if you plan on going to a restaurant in February, you better make a reservation far in advance! Many couples also stay at home and cook a romantic meal. Certain types of food are definitely considered more romantic than others in Canada. French, Italian, Spanish, and sushi restaurants, for example, tend to be really popular for a romantic night out. Hamburgers, fried chicken, and fast food, however, are considered a lot less romantic!

2. Both children and adults exchange Valentine’s Day cards in Canada

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. In elementary schools, young children often make valentines and give them to their classmates. A valentine is a small card decorated with hearts and flowers. It is usually sent anonymously, so that the person getting the valentine won’t know who sent it. Even adults sometimes exchange cards on Valentine’s Day, although usually they are for their romantic partners and not for friends and acquaintances! When you study in an ESL program in Canada, you will often find entire aisles of department stores and pharmacies filled with Valentine’s Day cards for sale in February.

ESL program
Young children often make their own valentines and share them with their classmates

3. Couples will often give gifts to one another on Valentine’s Day

Many couples exchange gifts, like chocolate or flowers, on Valentine’s Day. Red roses are definitely the most popular flower to exchange on Valentine’s Day. If you are from a country that celebrates White Day, you may be used to women giving men gifts on Valentine’s Day. Canada does not celebrate White Day, therefore on Valentine’s Day there is no expectation that only women give gifts. Instead, couples are free to exchange gifts however they want. In fact, many couples don’t exchange gifts at all and prefer to just spend the day together.

English as a second language
Roses and chocolates are some of the most popular gifts to exchange on Valentine’s Day

4. Many Canadians prefer memorable experiences on Valentine’s Day

When you learn English as a second language in Canada, you will encounter many people saying they dislike exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day because they find it too commercial. Instead of exchanging gifts, a lot of couples prefer doing fun and romantic activities together on Valentine’s Day, such as going to the spa, taking dance lessons, or going ice skating together. For many people, these experiences tend to be far more meaningful and memorable than flowers or chocolates.

Do you want to learn English in Canada?

Contact CultureWorks to learn about our English as a second language program!

Experiencing our country’s history when you take English training in Canada

English language training in Canada

One of the most exciting things about travelling to a new country and studying its language is learning about its history. Luckily, when you study English in Ottawa or London, Ontario, you’ll be close to some of Canada’s best museums and most important historic sites. So, you can easily go on trips in your free time to learn about Canada’s long history. These sites even make for fascinating conversation topics to help you practice your English with your classmates and the people you meet in Canada.

Learn about the Underground Railroad at Uncle Tom’s Cabin during your English training

Close to London, Ontario, is Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. Here you can learn about Canada’s role in the Underground Railroad, which was a secret network of routes in the 1800s that slaves in the southern United States used to escape to freedom in Canada. The site includes the restored 1841 home of Josiah Henson, who was a former slave. He was also the model for the popular 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. There is also a museum, gallery, and other buildings from the 1800s at the site, so you can see what life was like in Canada nearly 200 years ago.

Visit the Canadian Museum of History while studying English in Ottawa

If you enroll in an intensive English program in Ottawa and you want to learn about Canadian history and culture, then you should definitely visit the Canadian Museum of History. It is one of the biggest and most important museums in the country and it covers 20,000 years of Canadian history. It’s also a great place if you are looking for subjects that you can use to practice your English skills. That’s because exhibits such as the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles and the world’s oldest hockey stick are great conversation starters!

The Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa is one of Canada’s most important museums
The Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa is one of Canada’s most important museums

Visit the Diefenbunker to learn more about Canada during the 20th century

Just a short drive outside of Ottawa is the Diefenbunker, which is one of Canada’s most unusual museums. The Diefenbunker is an underground bunker built by former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in the 1950s and 1960s. The bunker was supposed to house the government in case of a nuclear attack during the Cold War. Today, you can visit this underground museum and see exhibits about Canada during the Cold War. You can even see rooms preserved just as they were in the 1960s, including the Prime Minister’s suite.
You can see the Diefenbunker here in this short clip:


Visit the Museum of Ontario Archaeology during your English training in Canada

If your English training in Canada takes you to London, Ontario, make sure you visit the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. This is a great museum to learn about Ontario’s First Nations peoples, and our London students have a lot of fun going on trips here! It covers 13,000 years of history, from the Ice Age to when Europeans first arrived in the area. The highlight of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology is the Lawson Site. The Lawson Site is where an Iroquois village that housed up to 2,000 people was once located. Archaeological digs have been going on at the Lawson Site for 150 years. Parts of the village have even been restored so you can see what it looked like 500 years ago.

Are you interested in completing English language training in Canada?

Contact CultureWorks to learn more about our programs!

Considering an ESL program in Canada? Here’s why celebrating Christmas in Canada is a unique experience

ESL program in Canada

Winter in Canada is a truly wonderful time of the year. Snow covers the ground, and shops and homes are covered with decorations such as wreaths, lights, and garlands. There is so much to enjoy during this time of year. For many ESL students, experiencing a Canadian winter is exciting. The holiday season adds another fun element, which includes tasty foods, fun songs, and more!

Here are just a few reasons why Christmas in Canada is a unique experience.

Christmas in Canada incorporates traditions and foods from many different cultures

Christmas in Canada includes elements from many different cultures. For example, some Canadians enjoy foods such as Christmas pudding, which is a traditional British dessert. Canadians may also eat Yule log (called Buche de Noel in French). Yule log is a round cake shaped like a tree log. It’s a tradition that was brought to Canada from France and still included in festivities to this day.

A Yule log is a dessert often enjoyed at Christmas
A Yule log is a dessert often enjoyed at Christmas

American traditions are also found in Canada too, as Canadians drink eggnog, a sweet milky beverage that is usually only found in Canada and the United States during this time of year. Grocery stores may also sell panettone, a light Italian fruit cake.

Canadians have many different faiths and traditions, so the holiday season isn’t just about Christmas. Hanukkah is celebrated by many Canadians all over the country, as is Kwanzaa. For students who want to experience many different cultures while learning English, enrolling in an ESL program in Canada could be a great idea!

Music is very important to Christmas celebrations in Canada

In Canada, celebrating Christmas includes plenty of music. You might see carollers sing songs outside to raise money for charity, or hear radio stations play popular Christmas songs.

Canada’s oldest Christmas carol is the Huron Carol, a song originally written in the language of the Huron/Wendat people. This song dates back to the 17th century, and has been passed down for generations, as well as translated into French and English.

You can listen to the Huron Carol in all three languages here:


Canada is one of the biggest producers of Christmas trees in the world

If you want to study English in Canada because you love nature, then this could be a wonderful time to enjoy. Winter in Canada is an experience that is quite unique, and landscapes become very beautiful as they are covered with snow.

Pine trees grow all over the country. In fact, if you decide to go for a hike or walk in the woods, you’ll likely see plenty of them. In the past, many Canadians would cut down their own pine tree to bring home and decorate for Christmas. However, most Christmas trees are now grown on farms. Canada has over a thousand Christmas tree farms, and exports trees to countries all over the world!

Canada has a post address for Santa Claus

Canadian parents usually don’t lie to their children. However, Christmas is an exception. Children in Canada often grow up hearing stories about Santa Claus, a jolly man who lives in the North Pole and delivers presents to children on Christmas. In reality, parents are the ones who buy the gifts, and sneak them under the tree at night when their children are sleeping.

Children write letters to Santa, asking for presents
Children write letters to Santa, asking for presents

It might sound a little strange, but Canadians take this tradition seriously! They take it so seriously that Santa Claus even has an official postal code so that children can write letters to him. Hundreds of volunteers work hard to read each letter and send a reply. If any children ask you about Santa Claus, you can carry of the tradition and tell them that he is real. It’s one of the many fun things about celebrating Christmas in Canada!

Do you want to attend English as a second language school?

Learn more about the programs available at CultureWorks!

Why study English in Canada?

ESL program in Canada

English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is spoken by approximately 1.5 billion people, and is the official language of over 50 countries. This presents a world of opportunity for students who would like to study English. However, it also presents a world of choice. How do you choose which country to study in?

Here are some of the reasons why more and more students are deciding to learn English in Canada.

Experiencing Canada’s four seasons is a lot of fun

Not many countries around the world experience the four seasons seen in Canada. While it’s true that winters can get quite cold, it’s also true that summers can be very warm too. Temperatures can be as cold as -20°C in the winter, as warm as 30°C during the summer.

Each season in Canada brings fun new activities and adventures
Each season in Canada brings fun new activities and adventures

Each season brings its own joys. The first snowfall of the winter is a wonderful moment that many ESL students treasure. Winter sports such as tubing and skating are also activities that students can look forward to.

The spring is when maple sap is harvested and turned into maple syrup, which is why many Canadians and ESL students enjoy visiting a traditional sugar shack during this time of year. In the fall, many ESL students can marvel as the leaves of trees change colour. And in the summer, the warm temperatures make it easier to enjoy camping, visiting an amusement park, or spending a day at the beach. For students who want variety and a unique experience, studying in Canada is a terrific idea.

There is so much natural beauty to enjoy in Canada

Even though Canada is the second largest country in the world, it has a relatively small population of 37 million. It’s no surprise then that much of the country is unpopulated, and that many large woods and natural preserves exist for students to enjoy.

Canada also has many beautiful natural wonders, including the breathtaking Niagara Falls. Whether enjoying parks and bike paths in the city or travelling to a beautiful preservation nearby, there are many ways you can appreciate Canada’s natural beauty during your studies.

Canada is a very safe country

For many students who choose to study abroad, safety is a top concern. It’s important to feel safe when studying in another country, especially when you may have difficulty speaking the local language.

This is one of the reasons why many students are choosing to study English in Canada. Canada is one of the safest countries on the planet. According to a recent survey, Canada is the 8th safest country in the world—ahead of both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Canada is a welcoming and multicultural country

In addition to being very safe, Canada is also very welcoming and multicultural. In fact, multiculturalism has been an official policy in Canada for decades. Canadians also welcome diversity. As former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau once said:

“Uniformity is neither desirable nor possible in a country the size of Canada… What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all-Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate. A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breeds mediocrity. What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values: compassion, love, and understanding.”

There are many high quality ESL programs in Canada

Of course, for many students one of the most important aspects of studying abroad is enrolling in an excellent ESL program. It’s important for students to get plenty of practice speaking English, and to learn from experienced and highly qualified instructors.

A high quality ESL program can make all the difference
A high quality ESL program can make all the difference

Fortunately, Canada is known for the high quality of its programs. For many ESL students, this, along with the many other benefits that come with studying in Canada, make our country an excellent choice.

Would you like to enrol in an ESL program in Canada?

Discover CultureWorks and its many different programs.

Nature parks to visit while studying English as a second language in Canada

English for academic purposes courses

Canada’s natural wonders are one of the reasons students far and wide come here to study. Beautiful trees, brilliant lakes, quiet meadows, and vibrant local wildlife are exciting to interact with, and great for taking a quick selfie! There’s no shortage of exciting nature parks and wildlife reserves to explore near Ottawa and London, should you decide to take English as a second language course in the province of Ontario.

Here’s how our country’s excellent nature parks will inspire you to make Canada your ESL destination!

When studying in Ottawa, come view the beautiful sights in Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park is a big park filled with many different trails and paths for walking and hiking. What really makes this nature park so special are two unique spots within the park: Pink Lake and King Mountain.

Park guests can make their way toward Pink Lake by walking along a trail that leads to and surrounds the lake. Along the trail are plenty of pine and maple trees, and if you’re lucky to be studying English as a second language in the autumn, you’ll see the leaves change colour to red, orange, and yellow! Pink Lake is a meromitic lake, which means that the water on the surface of the lake doesn’t mix with the water below. This is why the lake has a beautiful green colour to it (not pink, as the lake’s name would suggest!).

King Mountain is awesome if you love hiking. It’s an uphill climb that is challenging, but not too tough to handle. What makes King Mountain special are the many lookouts that guests can use to see the rest of Ottawa. Make sure to have a camera, because if you go even higher to the Eardley Escarpment, you can see even more of the Ottawa Valley from 300 metres high. It’s a wonderful opportunity for ESL students to take beautiful pictures!

Studying English as a second language in London, ON? Check out Medway Valley!

London, Ontario, isn’t without its beautiful and relaxing nature parks, one of the best being Medway Valley Heritage Forest. This nature park has plenty of rare and stunning natural sights such as dense forests, marshes, creeks, and trails that give guests access to places such as the Museum of Ontario Archeology, as well as the Elsie Perrin Williams Estate. We’d recommend heading over to the park’s flower covered valley slopes to check out the beautiful trilliums, violets, and trout lilies. Be sure to take a picture with your friends for a wonderful memory!

Canada is a country proud of its Indigenous heritage, and Medway Valley Heritage Forest is a nature park with a rich and long history. For thousands of years, the forests and valleys that make up the park were home to Indigenous people known as the Attawandaron by the Huron-Wendat Nation, and as the Neutral Nation by European colonisers. In fact, a village of more than 2,000 people used to be located where the Museum of Ontario Archeology is now.

Students learn about Indigenous peoples and their cultures
Students learn about Indigenous peoples and their cultures

Study ESL at CultureWorks and check out Niagara Parks!

One of the great perks about registering in English for academic purposes courses at CultureWorks is the day trips students can participate in. For example, students can enjoy a trip to Niagara Falls, one of Canada’s greatest natural wonders. While you’re there, Niagara Parks, which is the nature park that maintains and preserves the area around Niagara Falls, offers a lot of different nature trails and gardens to explore. Start by taking a hike up the paths of the Niagara Glen and you’ll see plenty of rocky cliffs, pines, and local plants. Take a look over the edge of some paths and you might just catch a glimpse of the Niagara River Whirlpool!

Check out the many attractions and activities you can enjoy at Niagara Parks:

[youtube]Are you looking for a great English for academic purposes school?

Come join us at CultureWorks in Ontario, Canada!

Enrolled in ESL school in Canada? Here’s why you definitely want to visit a sugar shack this spring

English as a second language

There’s more than one reason to be happy at the end of winter. When the days get warm but the nights are still cold, maple trees start producing a lot of sap. Collect enough sap and boil it for a while and you get delicious maple syrup!

In Ontario and Quebec especially, but also across the rest of Canada, “sugar shacks” are some of the best places to go at this time of year. And not just because they’re the places where maple goodies are made!

If you pick the right ESL school, you’ll get to enjoy a springtime trip to a sugar shack yourself. Here are some of the reasons why this is so exciting.

There are delicious treats to enjoy at a sugar shack

The biggest reason to go to a sugar shack is that there is so much delicious food to enjoy. There might be pancakes, sausages, eggs, baked beans, and many other kinds of traditional foods offered. There is also maple syrup, of course, which many visitors to sugar shacks pour over almost everything on their plate. It’s delicious!

The most delicious food served at sugar shacks, though, is maple taffy. This taffy is made of maple syrup that’s been cooked a little longer, and then poured over snow. The result is chewy, sugary, and very delicious. It’s something you definitely want to try if you do an intensive ESL program in Canada.

intensive ESL program
Eating maple taffy is one of the best parts of going to a sugar shack

Sugar shacks often have petting zoos to visit, too!

Sugar shacks tend to be found in rural areas, which is why many owners have farm animals and even a little petting zoo. This means that when you visit a sugar shack, you might be able to see goats, horses, cows, or other animals.

Even better, there are some sugar shacks that offer rides in carriages pulled by horses. This is a great, authentic bit of Canadian culture that you don’t want to miss!

ESL school in Canada
A ride in a horse-drawn carriage is a fun activity students can enjoy at many sugar shacks

Going to a sugar shack is a Canadian tradition with a long history

Making maple syrup and maple sugar is a tradition first started by First Nations peoples long before European settlers ever arrived to Canada. When settlers did arrive, they adopted the art of boiling sap for syrup and sugar themselves.

Because of this, maple syrup is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a food with a long history and real importance in Canadian culture. By going to a sugar shack while at ESL school in Canada, you can get a little taste of this culture for yourself.

ESL school in Canada
Going to a sugar shack can help you learn about the important history of maple syrup in Canada

Going to a sugar shack is a great way to celebrate spring’s arrival

Canadian winters are long, cold, and snowy. It will probably still be a little chilly by the time you go to a sugar shack, and there will probably be snow on the ground, but the weather should still be much nicer.

A trip to a sugar shack can be a great way to celebrate the warmer weather outside, and spend some time outdoors. There might be a walking path in the nearby woods, or other activities that allow you to enjoy the fresh air. It’s a wonderful way to get ready for the lovely spring weather that you’ve probably been looking forward to for weeks!

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Don’t be fooled by the snow! Sugar shack season is usually a nice first taste of spring

Are you looking for a Canadian English as a second language school that offers fun activities?

Choose CultureWorks and enjoy trips to sugar shacks and many more fun places!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day when you study English in Canada

study English in Canada

St. Patrick’s Day, also called the Feast of St. Patrick, is an Irish holiday that takes place every year on March 17th. It celebrates Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Because hundreds of thousands of Irish people moved to Canada in the 1800s, St. Patrick’s Day is still celebrated by many Canadians to this day. More than four million Canadians are of Irish descent!

You don’t have to be of Irish descent to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, though. In fact, while four million Canadians are of Irish descent, more than 30 million Canadians aren’t, and they also love enjoying this fun celebration. Here are some of the ways to celebrate while you’re learning English in Canada.

The easiest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green

Green is one of the national colours of Ireland, which is why many people will wear it on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to participate in St. Patrick’s Day, the easiest way to start is to wear a bit of green yourself!

Green t-shirts, green pants, green shoes, and even green face paint are all common on St. Patrick’s Day. You have plenty of options for how you can dress up, so why not give it a try?

Go see a St. Patrick’s Day Parade with friends from your intensive English program

One of the most common ways St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated is with a big parade. Organizations, businesses, and regular people put on green clothes and walk and dance as part of a big parade through the city. There is usually music as well as Irish-themed activities to enjoy.

Many Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa will have a big St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For students completing an intensive English program, it can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with new friends and enjoy Canadian (and Irish!) culture.

Here’s a look at Ottawa’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade:


Have a meal at an Irish pub to enjoy a taste of Irish-Canadian culture

Irish pubs have cozy decor, delicious food like Irish stew, and a fun Irish-inspired atmosphere. You can often see European soccer games playing on the TVs in an Irish pub, and some of the most popular drinks are Irish beers such as Guinness and Kilkenny, as well as delicious apple cider. On St. Patrick’s Day, there’s also a good chance that there will be live music to listen to.

Irish pubs are a great place to go to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, so consider giving it a try! Just make sure you and your friends get there early so that you can get a table! Pubs are especially popular on St. Patrick’s Day.

Read a book of Irish myths and legends while at ESL school

The Irish are famous for their storytelling and have many interesting myths and legends. If you want a fun way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, reading some of these stories is a great idea!
Irish stories are full of daring heroes and all kinds of wonderful adventures, so they can be quite exciting to read. They’re also a great way to get a little extra practice during your free time while at ESL school! For the full Irish experience, have some Irish breakfast tea while you read.

Do you want to learn English and enjoy local culture in a new country?

Contact CultureWorks to learn what it’s like to study English in Canada!

Four must-try winter activities for anyone at English-as-a-second-language school in Canada

english as a second language school

Winter in Canada is a very special time. Temperatures get cold, the ground becomes covered in snow, and Canadians get to enjoy their favourite winter activities. There are many fun things to try in the winter that you can’t do at any other time of year, such as making a snowman or having a snowball fight. If you’re not used to winters like the ones in Canada, you should make sure to try these and many other unforgettable activities while at ESL school.

Curious about which winter activities you should try? Here are some that Canadians look forward to each year!

Have a snowball fight when you study English in Canada

One winter activity Canadians love to do is have a snowball fight. It involves taking a handful of snow, making it into the shape of a ball, and throwing it at friends nearby. Sometimes you might start a snowball fight by surprising a friend, but most of the time it’s a good idea to ask first if they want to participate.

You might want to have a snowball fight with just one or two friends at ESL school, or you could see if many more of your classmates would be interested too. In fact, the largest snowball fight in the world had as many as 8,200 people participating!

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Snowball fights are a great way to have fun in Canada during the winter

Make a snowman with classmates while at ESL school

No winter is complete without making a snowman, so you’ll definitely want to try this activity while you study English in Canada! Making a snowman is a lot of fun—especially when it’s time to decorate it. Give it eyes, a carrot for a nose, and whatever other features you like. You can be as creative and silly as you want when decorating your snowman. In fact, the sillier, the better! To make it even more fun, invite friends from your intensive English program to make a snowman with you. The results can be great!

In Canada, wintertime is sledding time

A big hill covered in snow is the perfect place to go sledding. There are many kinds of sleds you can use. Some are simple plastic discs or sheets, while others can be more elaborate. The most traditional type of sled is called a toboggan. This type of sled was invented by First Nations peoples, and is usually long and made of wood. Try one of these for a double dose of Canadian winter culture!

Try going for a walk in snowshoes during your intensive English program

During the winter, snow can become very deep. In fact, it can sometimes become so deep that if you step into a big pile of it, your foot will sink very far down. This can make it difficult to walk. Put snowshoes on first, though, and you can walk right on top of deep piles of snow. This is called snowshoeing, and is a fun winter activity for everyone to enjoy!

Like the toboggan, snowshoes were also invented by First Nations peoples and used to move around during the cold winter months. It’s a very cool experience to go for a walk in the woods in places where you would normally sink up to your knees in snow. Find some time to try snowshoeing if you want to explore snow-covered forests and other beautiful winter landscapes when you study English in Canada!

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Walking in snowshoes is a fun Canadian wintertime experience you can try

Do you want to experience Canadian winter for yourself?

Contact CultureWorks to sign up for English as a second language school in Canada!