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Columbia International College
課程：Grade 9 - 12（中三至中六）
Three Things I Miss About Studying in CanadaHello, my name is Al and I am currently an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University. Prior to university, I have also attended elementary and secondary school in Vancouver. I was able to spend extended periods of time in Hong Kong throughout the last few years because of an exchange semester at the University of Hong Kong and an internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Hong Kong. During my time in Hong Kong, I was also very involved in the hockey community and coached ice hockey for players aged 6-19. My experiences in Hong Kong have been amazing and the city will always be a second home to me. Although I’ve truly enjoyed all the time I’ve spent in Hong Kong, there were things I definitely missed about studying in Canada, which I will include in this blog. Things I missed about studying in Vancouver: 1. Access sport facilities Growing up, sports have always been an important part of my life. Whether it was high school or university, I’ve always had multiple golf courses, ice rinks, and sport centers within 15 minutes from my school. 2. Access to nature It was very easy for me to take advantage of nature and study at a nearby park or a grass field on campus back in Canada. During times when I want a study break, I would take a walk at a nearby park (or even kayak at a lake for longer breaks) to clear up and refresh my mind. As a student and intern in Hong Kong, I’ve had difficulties finding such quiet areas close to where I stayed. 3. Food There is no doubt that Hong Kong has some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world. However, the famous restaurants usually come with a very high price, which is definitely not in a student’s budget. I mainly went to more affordable restaurants, or restaurants on campus when I studied at HKU. When comparing the lower priced food in Hong Kong and in Vancouver, I find that I was able to find higher quality food in Vancouver for that price range. I have just finished an internship in Hong Kong and will be heading back to Vancouver soon. While I truly enjoy being in Hong Kong and hope to be back soon, I’m also very excited to head back for the final year of my undergraduate degree at SFU.
Tips on Improving Your English QuicklyThroughout my time in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school, I realized the oral and written skills of many of the international students progressed at very different rates. Whenever I come across an international student who improved their written and oral English skills at an impressive rate, I always ask them how they did it and came up with a list of their advices. I’ve used these tips to greatly improve my Cantonese (and now Mandarin) and thought it may be beneficial to share with others. Tips on how to improve your English quickly: 1. Be in an English speaking environment and make use of it When you’re studying in an English speaking environment, such as Canada, you have the constant access and exposure to improve your English. However, I believe it is extremely important for a student to make use of it. Whether it is ordering a coffee or trying on clothes, you have tons of opportunities to practice English wherever you are in Canada. You have the choice to cut those conversations short or try to extend it longer to use them as practice for your English. 2. Have a notebook dedicated to new words It is very beneficial to create your own notebook and write down any new or important words you encounter Without writing it down in a notebook, many times we will forget the new words we’ve learned 3. Don’t be afraid I often see international students hesitating to speak in certain situations due to the fear of pronouncing certain words incorrectly. This type of fear will hold one back significantly from improving their English because it prevents them from speaking or practicing the language. The fear that others will laugh at you if you don’t speak perfectly is untrue as I have never seen that happen. Generally, people in Canada really do not mind if someone is unable to pronounce words perfectly. 4. Use something that you have an interest in For someone who is interested in basketball, I would recommend them to watch NBA games in English and turn on the subtitles. For someone interested in finance, I would advise them to read English finance books. It is much easier for one to focus on learning English when it is linked to something else they have an interest in.
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