Meet Desi Ivanova, the Eager Beaver!

desiThis week on the CultureWorks Hotspot we are joined by Desi Ivanova.  Desi has been teaching at CultureWorks since 2009 at our Oshawa campus.  As many of our students will tell you, she’s an awesome teacher and a very fun person!

Q. What is your favourite show on Netflix right now?

A. I have been watching “White Collar” its about a con-man who is given an option to help FBI agents capture other criminals in return for his freedom.

Q.What idiomatic expression best describes you and why?

A. I would say I am an eager beaver because I like learning new things and most of the time I am enthusiastic and excited about new projects. At the start of every semester I get really pumped up about new groups of students and a new start.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/American_Beaver.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/American_Beaver.jpg
http://i.neoseeker.com/
http://i.neoseeker.com/

Q. When you’re not teaching, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies and why do you like doing them?

A. When I am not teaching, I am either cooking or spending time with my son. I try and stay healthy so I like exercising, which is my hobby I guess. Or maybe I just like it as it clears my head and helps me relax. I also enjoy reading books and watching documentaries. I am really into the documentaries right now. I just finished one on Dubai, it was very interesting.

http://cdn.shopify.com
http://cdn.shopify.com

Q. You are excellent with people, Desi. How do you make our students feel comfortable in class? What do your students need when they first come to CultureWorks?

A. I once was an ESL student myself so I understand the hardship that new students experience. I feel for their struggle to fit in and adjust to a new culture. In class, I try and keep it light and positive. I always want all of my students to be heard and to feel happy coming to class. I often try and get to know more about my students by asking them what their hobbies, favourite music/movies are. I think when students first come to CultureWorks, they need to feel welcome and excited about being here. I think they need to feel like this is their home away from home, and that someone here cares about them and their education.

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Q. Lastly, for fun, if you could add one item, food or beverage, to the Tim Horton’s menu, what would it be? Why?

A. I would add Nutella sandwiches with the option of adding peanut butter because Nutella is like heaven on earth and everyone everywhere totally LOVES Nutella! Its like Italy with pasta! Canada with Nutella! 🙂

http://cdn.mtlblog.com
http://cdn.mtlblog.com

There we have it folks.  An eager beaver who loves documentaries and eats ‘nutellwiches’.  What more could you ask for in a teacher?  Thanks Desi, I hope you can stop by the blog again soon. 🙂

Coffee Clash!

coffee-if-youre-not-shaking

We all know what we need in order to succeed at school:

1. Attend Classes

2. Maintain Study Habits

3. DRINK COFFEE!!!

So my question is very simple: Which coffee do you prefer?  This has been a long debate in Canada for quite some time, and ever since McDonald’s introduced their line of coffee, the debate has become quite heated! (And we need heat this time of year.)  Starbucks is considered to be the international ‘standard’ for good coffee-on-the-go, so let’s compare the others to it.

tim-hortons-starbucks-camps

mcdonalds-vs-starbucks

I want to know what you think.  Which one has the best taste?  The best price?  The best selection?  Which one works for late night study sessions?

If you are a tea drinker, I’m sorry if you feel excluded from this post.  Feel better knowing that you are probably healthier than the rest of us coffee lovers!

 

Top 5 Reasons to Love CultureWorks!

Welcome to CultureWorks!  Are you excited? Do you have any idea how fantastic your experience is going to be this year?  Well, juice up your laptop batteries and open up your minds, boys and girls!  Our new term begins next week!  And to get everyone in the mood, here are the top 5 reasons you’re going to love learning English at Ontario’s premiere EAP school.

#5.  Experience Campus Life

At CultureWorks, you’re not only getting a conditional acceptance to a Canadian university, you’re also getting an on campus education in world culture.

King’s University College, Brescia University College, Western University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Durham College and Carleton University all boast a vibrant community of learners who come from India, Europe, Africa, Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Korea, China and many, many more countries.  It’s like a buffet of culture! You are going to be learning so much just by going to school together.  How cool is that?

students on campus JUNE CAMPUS 2010 LONDON

#4.  Ontario is an Awesome Playground

Let’s face it.  You can’t *always* be studying, right?  Ottawa, Toronto, and London are filled with satisfying distractions.  Live music venues, tons of restaurants, fabulous parks, a huge selection of movie theatres, and groovy coffee shops are just the beginning to some super fun times!

You might ask, “Yeah, Canada sounds great, but how do I know what to do?”  And my answer is, “Make friends with the great people in your Student Services office!”  Want to know how to rent an apartment?  Have to take a subway in Toronto?  Interested in joining a campus team?  Our CultureWorks Student Services team will help you figure out your life in Canada. Don’t be shy!

Courtesy of www.niagarafallscourtsidein.com
Courtesy of www.niagarafallscourtsidein.com

#3.  Rockstar EAP Program

eyecontact2011LONDON

It’s all about our teachers.  They make your experience real, and help make your success a reality.  They have lived overseas too, which makes CultureWorks teachers understand the language learning process and international experience like no one else.  They are  your true Canadian ambassadors.

The CultureWorks’ curriculum is one of a kind, above and beyond what any regular ESL school has to offer.  Academic level Reading, Writing & Grammar, Listening & Speaking, Pronunciation, Canadian Studies and Integrated Study Skills & Exam Preparation are blended so that you are always practicing more than one language skill at a time.   As an intensive, academic program, you will be prepared for the advanced skills required at university.

#2.  100% Authentically Canadian

The central theme to your life in Canada, is….Canada!  Right?  And how better to learn about this amazing country than to experience it?  Three times a term, students embark upon an exciting, different trip to a wide variety of Canadian destinations to share in once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  Grab your camera and upload your pictures to show your new life off to loved ones at home.

Dreamcatchers_OshawaNative_2013

#1.  CultureWorks Puts You in Control

The absolute best feature of the CultureWorks experience is that it teaches you how to take control of your learning.  We give you the opportunity and tools to work hard, reflect upon your skills, and ask your teachers smart questions.  “How can I improve my reading?”  “What is the best way to expand my vocabulary?”  “How do I make friends at university?”  When you are aware of your learning, you know which areas to develop, and that will set you on a path to success.

As your excitement builds over the next week, remember that your Canadian adventure with CultureWorks is a unique opportunity.  Not everyone lives in a foreign country, or learns another language, so take every chance to learn and enjoy.  In the end, we show you the culture and how English works.  We need you to put them together and succeed at CultureWorks.  Welcome!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcVYXvnEIwI&list=TLh7QeEE8D_rg

HAGRADGROUP_OSHAWA_APRIL2013

Study in Canada

CultureWorks students, I applaud you! Again you find yourselves at the end of another successful term, glowing from your efforts studying English.  And again, we need to reflect upon why you are able to realize your academic dreams.  Of course, hard work and determination are the key components ~ you should be very proud of yourselves!  But the other component is quite clear too, although maybe too obvious to realize sometimes:  you chose to study in Canada!

I stumbled upon this amazing article today and had to share it with you.  If you need a reminder why you chose Canada, or you know someone who wants to come here to study, read and share this article. It is amazing.

http://www.studentworldonline.com/article/study-in-canada-special-the-experts-answer-your-questions/194/

Canada is built to help people succeed.  Our educational policies set out by the government are designed to help students build their future.  Whether you are studying in London, Oshawa, or Ottawa, you have experienced the amazing support our country brings to facilitate your learning.  Furthermore, Canada is proud to have international learners come to our great shores!

Have a spectacular term break!  Enjoy our mighty country and come back to the classroom with stories to tell!

canada_0

 

Student Appreciation Week!

1,955,340 — That’s the approximate total number of students enrolled in Canadian universities and colleges in 2013.  Do you have any idea how many late night pizzas that is?  Yikes!

Seeing as it’s Student Appreciation Week, I’m going to dedicate this week’s blog to you, students.  Consider it a big digital hug.

Thanks for maintaining Canada’s high level of academic standards on the global scale.

Thanks for striving for excellence and furthering yourself.

Thanks for contributing to Canadian society in a constructive, intelligent, and progressive way.

And if you are an international student in Canada, thank you for diversifying our campuses, and enriching our worldview.

Check out the two awesome videos of these two CultureWorks  students, Amanda Dantas Oliveira De Medeiros, and Meshel Albaqmi.  They are being interviewed about their experiences at CultureWorks.  Excellent work you guys!  You both have excellent English speaking skills, and your positive attitude toward learning is inspiring!  Happy Student Appreciation Week to you both, and to the other 1,955,338, too!

[wpvideo 7tqnpHuj]

[wpvideo iOLKIjrq]

KEEP YOUR STICK ON THE ICE

“Which English expression do you think best represents Canada?”

A few years ago, I asked my ESL students this question.  They had been living in Canada for about 6 months, and I was curious to hear what they’d say.

The most memorable answer came from a retired mathematician in my class.  He was a tall, distinguished Iranian gentleman with a lust for language and turtleneck sweaters.  With a smile, he answered:

“Keep your stick on the ice.”

I almost fell off my chair!  What a perfect answer!  Not only does it represent Canada’s love for hockey, but, in my opinion, it truly expresses the Canadian attitude.

‘Keep your stick on the ice’ means to ‘never give up’, ‘stay focused’, and ‘do your best’.

Today the NHL season officially begins. (www.nhl.com) NHL stands for the National Hockey League.  The organization started on November 26, 1917 .  Hockey, as you may or may not realize, is an incredibly important part of Canadian culture…it’s our national winter sport.  In fact, I’d say that hockey is to Canadians as air is to humans.  We NEED IT to live. 🙂

http://storage.canoe.ca
http://storage.canoe.ca
www.senatorsextra.com
www.senatorsextra.com

When living in a new country, I strongly recommend getting involved in all aspects of its culture.  You’ll see that the NHL hockey teams will be on TV almost every night soon.  The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators, and the Montreal Canadiens are all extremely exciting teams to watch.  Better than hockey on TV though, is live hockey!  Every one of our university partners boasts an exciting hockey culture that you should really check out!

If you are studying at CultureWorks in London, Western’s hockey team are The Mustangs:

MENS:

http://www.westernmustangs.ca/index.aspx?path=mhockey

WOMENS:

http://www.westernmustangs.ca/index.aspx?path=whockey

www.lfpress.com
www.lfpress.com

If you are at our CultureWorks Oshawa campus, UOIT’s hockey team are The Ridgebacks:

MENS:

http://www.uoitridgebacks.com/varsity/m-hockey/

WOMENS:

http://www.uoitridgebacks.com/varsity/w-hockey/index.htm

www.uoitridgebacks.com
www.uoitridgebacks.com

If you at CultureWorks Ottawa, Carleton’s hockey team are The Ravens:

MENS:

http://goravens.carleton.ca/teams/mens-hockey/

WOMENS:

http://goravens.carleton.ca/teams/womens-hockey/

http://roussakisphotography.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/hockey1-4.jpg
http://roussakisphotography.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/hockey1-4.jpg

Whether you are playing hockey or learning English, keep your stick on the ice, my friends!  Any guess what ‘Keep your eye on the puck’, means?

Here’s a quick video ‘teaser’ to get you in the mood for the 2013/2014 hockey season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV8xd1k_cVU

Happy Sweet 15, CultureWorks!

What do you love about birthdays?  Is it the cake, or the gifts?  I’m going to be totally honest with you here, and you might think I’m weird if you don’t already, but my favourite part of birthdays is hiding in the dark waiting to shout SURPRISE!!

That’s exactly what CultureWorks did this week!  On July 1st it is CULTUREWORKS’ 15th BIRTHDAY!!!  To mark the occasion we organized a reverse surprise party for all of our university partners.  It was awesome!  Even though it was our birthday, we planned a  stealth, province-wide sneak attack on the very people who have helped our mighty school to blossom over the last decade and a half.

We decided to celebrate our birthday by giving gifts, rather than receiving them.  We wanted to celebrate the gifts our partners have given us over the years. The gift of enthusiasm.  The gift of opportunity.  The gift of collaboration.

As the first and biggest of its kind in Canada, CultureWorks has grown to become Ontario’s premier ESL & EAP school.  Founded by Tina Bax, President, CultureWorks started as one location with four students in 1998 and has grown to six partner schools in three cities with 525 students. Over 3,000 students from 26 countries around the world have studied at CultureWorks. What makes our school so unique and innovative, is that we were the first in the country to offer international students conditional acceptance to post-secondary institutions.  It’s ground-breaking innovation in education, and our spectacular students are the proof!

And who doesn’t like a good surprise, right?  I tell ya, our partners sure did!  Check out these great shots from our cross-campus birthday party.

CultureWorks@Kings University College

L-R Janine DeForge, CultureWorks London VP,  Dr. David Sylvester, Principal, King's University College at Western University, Tracy Cunningham, Associate Registrar, King's University College at Western University, Yu Ma & Shu Lin, Graduating CultureWorks Students
L-R Janine DeForge, CultureWorks London VP, Dr. David Sylvester, Principal, King’s University College at Western University, Tracy Cunningham, Associate Registrar, King’s University College at Western University, Yuan Ma & Shu Lin, Graduating CultureWorks Students

CultureWorks@Brescia University College

L-R.  Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Brescia University College Principal, Xiaoya Jin, CultureWorks London Student, Derek Martin, CultureWorks Principal, London
L-R. Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Brescia University College Principal, Xiaoya Jin, CultureWorks London Student, Derek Martin, CultureWorks Principal, London
L-R. Derek Martin, CultureWorks Principal, London, Yang Wang, Ziaoya Jin, Yuting Huang, London CultureWorks students, & Marianne Simm, Brescia University College Registrar
L-R. Derek Martin, CultureWorks Principal, London, Yang Wang, Xiaoya Jin, Yuting Huang, London CultureWorks students, & Marianne Simm, Brescia University College Registrar

CultureWorks@UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)

L-R Matthew Devlin, CultureWorks Oshawa Vice-Principal, Fahad Bubshait, Fatimah Alabbad, CultureWorks Oshawa students, & Dr. Michael Owen, Vice President Research, Innovation and International
L-R Matthew Devlin, CultureWorks Oshawa Vice-Principal, Fahad Bubshait, Fatimah Alabbad, CultureWorks Oshawa students, & Dr. Michael Owen, Vice President Research, Innovation and International
Hongbo Fang, Boqiang Niu, CultureWorks Oshawa students, Almey Tse Soriano, Manager, Graduate Admission & Registration @ UOIT, & Matt Devlin, CultureWorks, Oshawa Vice-Principal
Hongbo Fang, Boqiang Niu, CultureWorks Oshawa students, Almey Tse Soriano, Manager, Graduate Admission & Registration @ UOIT, & Matthew Devlin, CultureWorks, Oshawa Vice-Principal

CultureWorks@Durham College

L-R. Don Lovisa, President of Durham College; Han Wang, Kachia Phan Nguyen, CutlureWorks Oshawa students; Matt Devlin, CultureWorks Oshawa Vice-Principal
L-R. Don Lovisa, President of Durham College; Han Wang, Kachia Pham Nguyen, CultureWorks Oshawa students; Matthew Devlin, CultureWorks Oshawa Vice-Principal

CultureWorks@Western University

L-R. Carolyn Ford, Manager of Western International Undergraduate Recruitment; Rageed Bushnaq, Han Xi, Hongda Chen, Xiuyan Ou, CultureWorks London students; Derek Martin, CultureWorks London Principal
L-R. Dr. Carolyn Ford, Manager of Western International Undergraduate Recruitment; Rageed Bushnaq, Han Xi, Hongda Chen, Xiuyan Ou, CultureWorks London students; Derek Martin, CultureWorks London Principal
L-R. Derek Martin, CultureWorks London Principal; Zhe Hu, Shan Wu, Mohamed Bognash, CultureWorks London students; Kimi Maruoka, Manager of Student Academic Services at Western Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
L-R. Derek Martin, CultureWorks London Principal; Zhe Hu, Shan Wu, Mohamed Bognash, CultureWorks London students; Kimi Maruoka, Manager of Student Academic Services at Western Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

CultureWorks@Carleton University

L-R. Greg Aulenback, International Recruitment Officer, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs at Carleton University; May Alshamian, Eduardo Carmargo, Ferreira da Cruz, CultureWorks Ottawa students, Trevor van Peppen, CultureWorks Ottawa Principal
L-R. Greg Aulenback, International Recruitment Officer, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs at Carleton University; May Alshamian, Eduardo Carmargo Ferreira da Cruz, CultureWorks Ottawa students, Trevor van Peppen, CultureWorks Ottawa Principal
L-R. Eduardo Carmargo Ferreira da Cruz, May Alshamian, CultureWorks Ottawa students, Dr. Roseann O'Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University; Dr. Peter Rickets, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Carleton University; Suzanne Blanchard, Associate Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) and University Registrar, Carleton University; Trevor van Peppen, Principal, CultureWorks Ottawa
L-R. Eduardo Carmargo Ferreira da Cruz, May Alshamian, CultureWorks Ottawa students, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University; Dr. Peter Ricketts, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Carleton University; Suzanne Blanchard, Associate Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) and University Registrar, Carleton University; Trevor van Peppen, Principal, CultureWorks Ottawa
L-R. Janice O'Farrell, Director of Admissions Services at Carleton University; May Alshamian, CultureWorks Ottawa Student, Jacalyn Britton, CultureWorks Ottawa Registrar; Trevor VanPeppen, CultureWorks Ottawa Principal
L-R. Janice O’Farrell, Director of Admissions Services at Carleton University; May Alshamlan, CultureWorks Ottawa Student, Jacalyn Britton, CultureWorks Ottawa Registrar; Trevor van Peppen, CultureWorks Ottawa Principal

Happy 15th Birthday, CultureWorks! And thank you again to all of our partners for letting us sneak our celebration on you like that.  The anticipation was well worth it!

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