Ji Ah Kim is a UBC student from Korea who got a start on her Canadian academic career at the English Language Institute (ELI). Here she talks about what inspired her to study English, what attracted her to the ELI and some tips on getting the most out of your English language learning experience.
Q: Why did you want to improve your English?
A: When I was young, I wanted to understand Disney movies. When I was older, I believed I can get a better job if I improved my English.
Q:What will you do with the language skills you've gained?
A: I hope to return to Korea and get a job with an international company. That way, I can constantly put my English language skills to practice. Also, because English is the international language, I hope to make new friends from many different countries.
Q: What made you want to study at UBC's English Language Institute?
A: A good friend in Korea was a former ELI student and she recommended the ELI. She told me that the ELI had an excellent academic program in addition to a well organized socio-cultural program.
Q: What did you like most about the program?
A: Teachers were reliable and the class content was helpful. I learned practical conversational English from the CAs (Cultural Assistants) and the activities were fun.
Q: What was your favourite class?
A: My favourite class was Louise's drama class. Louise created a fun and relaxing atmosphere for learning English.
Q: What did you do to practice your English?
A: I tried to read magazines weekly and watch TV. I tried to hang out with international friends and CAs as opposed to Korean speakers.
Q: What other skills did you gain through the program?
Q: Describe how your language skills have developed.
A: I learned how to make many different types of international foods from the Cooking Club. I also learned about many different cultures and how to communicate with people that have very different cultural backgrounds.
A: At first, I was nervous to speak to native English speakers. However, after around 1 month in Vancouver, I became more confident with my English ability.
Q: What did you like about studying at UBC's English Language Institute?
A: I can meet lots of international friends. The CAs organized many activities that allowed me to meet many different students from the other classes. We had good and patient teachers. The CAs were friendly and understanding.
Q: Did you have any special experiences in the course of your studies?
A: In Louise's drama class, Louise brought a group of improv actors to perform for the class. It was not only interesting and fun to watch, but the best part was that all the students were able to participate as well.
Q: What do you like about Canada?
A: The fresh air and the many interesting places to visit. There is lots of good international food. It is close to the USA and is multicultural.
Q: What advice would you give to other students coming to study in Canada?
A: Learning English can be fun. Try to make lots of international friends and speak lots of English.