LIA, En­han­cing In­ter­na­tio­nal Stu­dents’ Ex­pe­rien­ce

La Jornada (Canada) - - ¿QUÉ PASA? -

We sat down with Jor­ge Bravo Pe­rez, a 17-year-old boy from Co­lom­bia who has been at LIA sin­ce the start of our Winter Se­mes­ter 2016. Read on to hear his thoughts on im­pro­ving his En­glish, his ho­me stay ex­pe­rien­ce and li­ving th­rough a Ca­na­dian winter!

Tell me a little bit about your­self?

My na­me is Jor­ge Al­ber­to Bravo Pe­rez, I came from Co­lom­bia and I am 17 years old.

When did you first arri­ve in Ca­na­da?

I arri­ved in Ja­nuary. When I came he­re, I didn’t speak En­glish li­ke this now; but I am get­ting bet­ter and I am fee­ling good.

What we­re you fee­ling when you first arri­ved at LIA? We­re you ner­vous?

When I came he­re I was so ex­ci­ted. I just con­ti­nued stud­ying and tal­king to tea­chers to prac­ti­ce my En­glish. Ever­yo­ne he­re is so friendly, it is li­ke being part of a fa­mily and that’s one thing that hel­ped me. I li­ke that ever­yo­ne he­re speaks ot­her lan­gua­ges, li­ke Chi­ne­se, so I ha­ve to speak En­glish with them. I can’t speak Spa­nish and so I prac­ti­ce my En­glish.

Tell me about your ho­me stay?

I ha­ve the best ho­me stay. When I came he­re I reali­zed I ha­ve anot­her fa­mily, it is li­ke my ot­her fa­mily. I lo­ve them, they are so friendly. I ha­ve been tra­ve­lling with them and next month we will tra­vel to a small house, clo­se to To­ron­to on a la­ke, so that will be awe­so­me.

What kind of ad­vi­ce would you gi­ve to so­meo­ne back in Co­lom­bia who is con­si­de­ring co­ming to Ca­na­da, in or­der to ha­ve a suc­cess­ful ex­pe­rien­ce?

You should go be­cau­se it will be a really good ex­pe­rien­ce, and you should co­me to LIA. I ha­ve friends who came he­re to Ca­na­da with ot­her com­pa­nies, and I vi­si­ted them in To­ron­to and one dif­fe­rent thing is that they study with La­tin peo­ple, and they do their clas­ses in Spa­nish, so they don’t prac­ti­ce their En­glish. So that’s why I re­com­mend to co­me to LIA be­cau­se peo­ple are from around the world and you must speak En­glish, be­cau­se they don’t speak your lan­gua­ge ne­ces­sa­rily.

What are so­me of the things you li­ke about the city of Lon­don?

I lo­ve this city be­cau­se it’s so si­mi­lar to my ho­me­town. It’s a quiet city, you can walk around with no pro­blems, ever­yo­ne is friendly, everyt­hing is clo­se. You can use the pu­blic trans­port and get around with no pro­blems.

What are your fa­vou­ri­te things to do for fun he­re in Ca­na­da?

I li­ke pla­ying soc­cer with Mr. Se­lles, it’s a lot of fun. I lo­ve going to the YMCA af­ter school to work-out, and I al­so ri­de my bicy­cle to school be­cau­se the weat­her is great.

You ha­ve got­ten in­vol­ved in vo­lun­tee­ring and sports, can you tell me which spe­ci­fic things you ha­ve do­ne he­re?

I li­ke to vo­lun­teer be­cau­se you can prac­ti­ce your En­glish, it’s a really good ex­pe­rien­ce be­cau­se you in­te­ract with dif­fe­rent peo­ple and so­cia­li­ze with peo­ple from the city and the school. I ha­ve vo­lun­tee­red with Lin­da from Lon­don Com­mu­nity Gar­dens; that was my first vo­lun­tee­ring ex­pe­rien­ce. I trans­la­ted as she wor­ked with La­tin peo­ple. I ha­ve al­so vo­lun­tee­red

at BMO sports cen­tre, pla­ying soc­cer with the chil­dren.

What kind of be­ne­fits do you think you will ha­ve when you mo­ve back to Co­lom­bia, now that you ha­ve im­pro­ved your En­glish skills?

Whe­re­ver you go, you can find peo­ple that speak En­glish, so it’s a really great thing; that’s why we are he­re! I’m going to study me­di­ci­ne and the best books are in En­glish. I want to be a doc­tor and get a spe­cia­li­za­tion, in in­ten­si­ve ca­re, the ICU. I li­ke hel­ping peo­ple. I am going to study me­di­ci­ne in Co­lom­bia and I ha­ve four op­tions of schools.

How does the weat­her com­pa­re he­re to back in Co­lom­bia?

The weat­her is so dif­fe­rent, but I li­ked the winter and the cold. I had the op­por­tu­nity to be in this pla­ce when everyt­hing is whi­te. I went snow­boar­ding with the school and my ho­me stay too, its so fun, I lo­ve snow­boar­ding. And now I can say I am good at snow­boar­ding. In Co­lom­bia, it only snows in the moun­tains.

What is your fa­vou­ri­te food?

Ca­na­dian: I ha­ve as­ked so­me peo- ple what the ty­pi­cal Ca­na­dian food is, they told me the­re isn’t one but they ga­ve me the ad­vi­ce to try pou­ti­ne, and its good I li­ked it. I al­so li­ke ham­bur­gers.

Co­lom­bian: fri­jo­les (beans with green plan­tain), San­co­cho (soup with meat; chic­ken/fish, po­ta­toes, cas­sa­va, green plan­tain), Ajia­co (chic­ken, po­ta­toes, soup with gas­ca spi­ce), ta­ja­das (fried ri­pe plan­tain)

Is the­re anyt­hing you want to add?

I am so happy he­re, and my ad­vi­ce is you should co­me. I’ve ma­de a lot of good me­mo­ries he­re, pla­ying soc­cer, mee­ting new peo­ple, I ha­ve ma­de friends from Chi­na who want to co­me to Co­lom­bia now, and they are all wel­co­me. The first two months we­re hard, but I ha­ve ma­de it th­rough. Everyt­hing gets bet­ter, and on­ce you can see how your En­glish is going to im­pro­ve, su­re ma­kes me feel good.

About LIA:

Lon­don In­ter­na­tio­nal Aca­demy

Ad­dress: 361 - 365 Rich­mond St, Lon­don, ON N6A 3C2

Pho­ne: (519) 433-3388

Fo­to iz­quier­da, Jor­ge doing a tour to his grand­pa­rents at LIA. Der, Jor­ge with his grand­pa­rents and Math tea­cher Amanda at the Co­vent Gar­den Mar­ket, Lon­don.

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