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Beyond Comfort

Posted by on 1:21 pm in Students | 0 comments

Beyond Comfort – by Christina Strater (QUIC World Link Volunteer, 2015-2016) The International Education Week (IEW) is coming up from November 16-20th and the QUIC is planning several exciting events to host for the Queen’s community.  With IEW in mind, I would like to share some insight on my own educational experience abroad.  Eight months ago, I moved to Germany for what would become an adventure.  I lived near Frankfurt and took classes at the University of Heidelberg.  At the beginning, adjusting wasn’t easy, but the more I pushed myself to discover where I was living, the more comfortable I became.  I bought a bike and found my way around the city, the school’s various campuses, and to and  from rowing practice at a club on the Neckar, the river running through the Altstadt or Old City.  I knew some German before I arrived, but nothing could compare to my immersion once there.  I heard German everywhere; among students in the cafeteria and in line for the post office.  While the experience of trying to find my place and ease into a completely new environment was intimidating at first, I soon realized how much I thrived here. Many of us have had experiences which push us to live differently.  Sometimes we love these experiences and find we take away insight that we might never have thought possible.  Other times, these experiences can be stifling and also difficult.  Most of the time however, we go through a range that starts with culture shock.  It is not easy; I had a hard time adjusting at first but trying only builds our confidence and strength. My name is Tina and I’m interested in stepping outside of comfort.  We’ve been told to take the leap from an early age, but how?  I have a passion to see the world and experience what it has to offer.  My passion has taken me to some beautiful places, from Tunisia to Uganda, Lithuania to Serbia, but it has also made me think more about what we can do to get the most out of these places, cultures and what we do once we are there.  To me it boils down to experience.  Experience lies in the memories we create, like learning to play an instrument and going to watch a hockey game.  The more we expose ourselves to other cultures, the more we learn to be respectful and accepting because we realize that the world is a diverse, multi-cultural place.  We can absorb information in class, but I would argue we also learn through the experiences we undertake.  These experiences force us to surpass our boundaries by stepping past the levels of comfort we know so well. Moving beyond comfort and experiencing something different or unknown is one of my biggest takeaways from my time abroad.  Back at Queen’s, I realize this is something which I can apply every day to my life here; it’s something we can each apply.  Challenging ourselves to learn a new language and think differently, to try something unusual and to meet new people is both exhilarating and so important.  At Queen’s we are diverse in our stories and ideas and we each come from a different background so let’s embrace these differences.  I will always want to promote international events and experiences,...

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OceanPath Fellowship Program – for Graduating Students

Posted by on 7:49 pm in Events, News | 2 comments

Do you have an innovative idea to strengthen a community you are connected with, either here in Canada or abroad?  An idea, which you think will make a difference in that community? Ocean Path Fellowship provides year-long experiential learning opportunities for graduating students (either from an undergraduate or graduate program) and offers up to $25, 000 in funding*[1]to support successful candidates to implement their idea for a project that would foster sustainable and positive social change in communities in Canada and around the world. Come to the information session to learn more about the program and funding! Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 10:30am – 11:30am   QUIC Hall (in JDUC) Visit QUIC OceanPath for more information or  email *funding available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents only!...

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International Education Week

Posted by on 1:07 pm in activities, Events, News | 0 comments

  Events and Activities Schedule (printable pdf)   QUIC Events: The annual International Education Week #IEW2015 will be celebrated at the QUIC International Community Lunch, on Monday, Nov. 16, 12 – 1:30 pm.  QUIC will be serving Bangladeshi lentil soup.  Students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend. We encourage you to drop in to meet other members of our international community on campus. The ‘Where in the World Contest‘ starts on Facebook on November 16. Students are invited to share their knowledge of the world on social media. QUIC and the OceanPath Fellowship Program organized an information session for graduating students, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10:30 am at the QUIC. Student volunteers in the QUIC World Link program will present a World Trivia Night at QUIC on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7 – 8:30 pm. QUIC is inviting everyone to a custom Tour of the Queen’s AEAC for international students, staff and their families, on Thursday, Nov. 19, 5:30 – 7 pm. Campus Community Events: Queen’s AIESEC Just Dance, Monday, Nov. 16, 6 – 10 pm, at the QUIC. QIAA (Queen’s International Affairs Association): International Foods Night, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6 – 8 pm, at Wallace Hall in the JDUC. LLCU (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures): Movie Night ‘The Other Son’ by Lorraine Lévy, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7:30 – 9 pm, at the QUIC. Queen’s S.A.L.S.A. (Spanish & Latin American Students’ Association) Conversation and Dance classes throughout the week. Cha Gheill Luncheon with guests from the Queen’s University International Centre, Queen’s Alumni Kingston Branch, Thursday, Nov. 19, 11:30 am, Donald Gordon Centre. Demystifying Chinese English language education, Thursday, Nov. 19, 1 pm, at Duncan McArthur Hall, B245. Queen’s Cuban Studies Showcase: Films and Curation on Cuban Topics, Thursday, Nov. 19, 7:30 pm, at The Isabel, Rm 222. Global Development Studies Internships info. session, Friday, Nov. 20, 1 – 2:30 pm, at MacCorry Hall, A416. QSAA (Queen’s South Asian Association): Diwali Celebration, Friday, Nov. 20, 6 – 11 pm, at Grant Hall. Local Fundraiser for ‘Save a Family from Syria’: Sarah Harmer Concert, Friday, Nov. 20, 7:30 pm, at The Isabel....

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Home Away from Home

Posted by on 9:57 am in Students | 0 comments

Home Away from Home – by Ross Dutkiewicz (QUIC World Link Volunteer, 2015-2016) Is there somewhere that you feel completely at home?  The saying goes “home is where the heart is,” or “home is where the Wifi connects automatically,” which, if you’re like me, covers about fifty different place from campus to friend’s houses to random hostels and coffee shops.  Perhaps this best reflects what home actually is: wherever you’re most comfortable. My name is Ross Dutkiewicz; I’m a 4th year computer engineering student.   I recently returned from a year-long internship in Munich, Germany, a city I can now call home.  Getting to the point where I could call it home took a long time: the entire first six months were challenging, sometimes frightening, and not always exciting, but once I found good friends, learned the lay of the land, and got used to the cultural shift I found “home” now encompassed this new environment. Of course comfort level varies from place to place, from day to day, but I think that after a certain amount of time anyplace it becomes home.   After this adjustment period, the tension and discomfort is gone from the location.  A subconscious relaxation of the shoulders, a slowing of the pulse and breath, and a feeling of confidence emerges from the initial quagmire of emotions.  These changes are unlikely to be noticed immediately, and the shift is gradual, but these are the symptoms of familiarity. I know, personally, that when I visit a new place I cannot relax as well as I can in a familiar location.  I’m constantly aware of where I’m going, noting the landmarks I pass: making sure to map out my route so I know I can get home if I need to.  I prefer to always have a paper map, and check it frequently, relying on my wits rather than my smartphone.  I look at everyone else around and feel like they’re locals, like they know so much more than I do. Then, over time, the feeling shifts.  Instead of sitting on the bus or train and feeling on edge, I sit back and surrender to the trip in peaceful acceptance.  I know where I’m going, I know how long it will take to get there: I’ve trod this path several times over.  I know that when I return later I will still feel this familiarity.  This city is mine, now and forever. Consider your hometown.  You can picture all of the paths you usually walk, the old haunts, and the house you lived in.  As much as these might change over time, you will never lose that familiarity; return and it will feel the same as it always has. Now, though, it may be tinged with nostalgia.  Nostalgia is caused by a change in yourself that is not echoed by the surroundings: you’re not the same person you were when you last walked these familiar streets, but they have not changed. Now look back on your first few days in a new city: feeling lost, alone, even scared.  Compare that to how you feel today.  Do you now feel as comfortable as in your hometown?  Probably not, and perhaps you never will, but surely you’re more comfortable than in the initial adjustment period.  Can you pinpoint the transition,...

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Intercultural Competence Training @ QUIC

Posted by on 12:27 pm in News | 0 comments

It takes a lifetime to become interculturally competent.  QUIC understand this, and has developed various training activities that are meant to engage all members of the Queen’s community in the journey to intercultural competence. Students please note the next Series of the Intercultural Competence Certificate Training starts on November 7th.  Any student may register at (QUIC student volunteers are encouraged to participate!) Are you curious what QUIC brings to the picture? For students, we offer an intercultural competence certificate program that guides participants through the discovery of their own cultures, provides some basic skills and knowledge to navigate intercultural interactions, and helps them to understand their own orientations toward difference and commonality. We have workshops for those who have recently arrived and are eager to find some ways to succeed in Canadian culture.  We train volunteers to work more effectively with students in various programs from English Language Support to Income Tax Assistance and more. The university community can access a set of online modules that offer a basic introduction to intercultural learning, one that provides a good foundation for understanding and appreciating the intercultural interactions that fill our days. QUIC also works with Queen’s Human Resources to provide various training workshops to university staff who want to understand the complexities and richness of international activities on our campus. It has developed the nationally recognized International Educators Training Program (IETP) that provides practical competency-based training to professionals working in the broad field of international education. QUIC training team is busy throughout the year – discover the training opportunities that will fit your needs at...

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Queen’s Career Fair includes international opportunities

Posted by on 9:40 am in Events, News | 0 comments

Students are encouraged to visit the annual Queen’s Career Fair on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 10:30 am – 3:30 pm. Location: The ARC (Athletics and Recreation Centre), Main Gym The 2015 Career Fair is the biggest EVER! Meet employers – a variety of sectors and locations will be represented Explore further education programs – a variety of post-graduate programs will be in attendance NEW! Consider international opportunities – there will be reps from study abroad and volunteer abroad organizations Get career help (student prep area; drop-in career advising; resume checks on-site; LinkedIn photo booth)             Employer Showcase: Meet representatives from organizations and companies from a variety of geographic locations and sector (including all three levels of government) ALL students in ALL disciplines (undergraduates and graduates) are welcome Education Expo: Talk with reps from graduate schools Talk with reps from professional schools (e.g. meds, law, teaching, rehab…) Talk with reps from post-degree college programs Schools from a wide variety of locations represented (and some from outside Canada as well) International Opportunities Meet with representatives from a variety of sectors and countries Skills Development Zone: Get your professional Linkedin head shot taken Have your resume reviewed Ask your career questions – head over to the drop-in career advising booth (no appointment...

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ELS Program is looking for student volunteers

Posted by on 12:36 pm in News, Students | 0 comments

Testimonial from Victoria Ourumis (ArtSci’16) Hi, my name is Victoria, and I am one of ELS volunteers at the QUIC. After returning to Queen’s from an exchange abroad in Shanghai last fall, I joined the ELS Conversation Group as a volunteer with the hope of becoming more involved with the international community here at Queen’s. I wanted to meet students from various backgrounds and hopefully be able to help them in any way I could during their time at Queen’s and in Canada. Over the course of the winter semester, I met many wonderful new friends, shared many laughs, and realized that the more cultures you embrace here at Queen’s, the more fulfilling your time becomes. I saw firsthand how students from a wide variety of backgrounds came together at the conversation group and quickly became the best of friends. I met students from India, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Turkey and France, to name just a few, all of whom were friendly and welcoming to myself and all other students. Our conversations quickly veered away from the conversation guide we had been given as everyone was interested in learning about others’ cultures and sharing stories about their own, while also discussing how they were enjoying their time at Queen’s.  I am sure this year’s conversations will be just as amusing and I am looking forward to meeting many more new friends who will improve their conversational English through our discussions each week. To access the volunteer application for QUIC ELS Program, click here.  ...

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Welcome and Orientation at QUIC

Posted by on 2:37 pm in activities, News | 0 comments

QUIC welcomes hundreds of new international students to Queen’s as they arrive from many countries of the world.  Students have the opportunity to get individual attention and personalized advice and assistance, as well as group info sessions and fun activities (Games Night!).  Our staff provides introduction to the local community, and answers questions about cell phones, student activities, accommodations, student support services on campus, and more. Our Welcome and Orientation program also offers extended hours when the QUIC will be open until 8 pm, in order to ease student arrivals. A team of student staff will be working along regular QUIC staff, to ensure the Fall Welcome and Orientation is delivered with utmost success. There are additional orientation and welcome activities available at Queen’s: Undergraduate degree-seeking students please see the Queen’s Orientation website. Graduate degree-seeking students please check with your academic department and theSchool of Graduate Studies. EXCHANGE students please check with your faculty exchange coordinator, the Residence Admission office (if applicable) and the student-organizers of NEWTS week. Are you keen to meet new students, upper year students, international and Canadian? Attend the International Networking Night on Sept. 22! You can also VOLUNTEER @...

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English Language Support (ELS) at QUIC

Posted by on 8:34 pm in News | 0 comments

Many thanks to Alyssa Broadbell, B.Ed.’16, who facilitated the Summer Conversation Circle at QUIC over the past two months. Participants varied from Queen’s undergraduate and graduate students, to researchers, visiting scholars and immediate family members. The goal of the Summer Conversation Circle was to provide an opportunity for participants to practice their English conversation skills in an informal setting. The Circle engaged in discussions, debates, and games. In many activities we were focused on the use of colloquial Canadian English, and on cultural learning that is related to language use. The ELS Program will resume in Fall. New international students, staff and their spouses/partners are welcome to join us as early as Thursday, September 17, 5:30 pm for the ELS Conversation Group.  Our Fall facilitators are looking forward to meeting...

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NEWTS Orientation Week

Posted by on 9:17 am in activities, News, Students | 0 comments

Hi! My name is Natalie Brown and I am a psychology student at Queen’s University, and will be entering the third year of my undergrad in the fall. I want to invite students to participate in the NEWTS Orientation Week, taking place September 9 – 12, 2015 (students must register for this program). Last September I participated in the Queen’s NEWTS Orientation week as a leader (also fondly referred to as a Gecko). The Orientation is for incoming exchange, international, castle, and transfer students. “NEWTS” stands for “New, Exchange, and Wordly Transfer Students”. This Orientation is organized largely by students, and it is unique because it is the only multi-faculty, non-academic and internationally focused ‘frosh week’ on campus (note: beside the NEWTS week, I suggest you also participate in the International Orientation at the QUIC, free). This week was one of the most fun and inspiring weeks of my career at Queen’s, and I would do it again if I could.After a week of training for the position and being paired with three fellow Geckos to lead a group of twenty exchange and transfer students, my group of Newts arrived from their prospective countries around the globe. After learning everyone’s name, we led the Newts through tours of campus and downtown Kingston and dropped them of at the Alehouse for their first social (optional). Later in the week, when everyone in the group knew one another a little better, we had our annual Paint Party. This consisted of everyone laying down a tarp, and then throwing handfuls of blue, red and yellow paint at one another. Everyone loved it, the sun was shining, and I was thinking of the Queen’s spirit. After we have been hosed down to wash off the paint, we all dressed up for a semiformal at Fort Henry. At this event I learned many new students are excellent dancers. For the week’s final event, we went on an epic road trip to the Toronto Zoo, where many of the Newts tried Beaver Tails, a ‘national specialty’, for the first time. Some of my Newts found them too filling, and I happily ate everyone’s leftovers. More important than the chronological sequence of the week’s events, however, were the people I met in my NEWTS group. I formed lasting friendships with several of my NEWTS, and even went on a trip to Mont Tremblant in November with them. We hiked the mountain, explained the oddities of our respective vocabularies, ate poutine and generally had an amazing time. I have remained in contact with my international friends and hope to visit them in the near future. Inspired by this intercultural experience, I will be working with the Queen’s International Centre as the ELS Program Assistant in the upcoming year and am looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities this role brings me. Please don’t forget the QUIC offers their own International Orientation for all newly arriving international students (including graduate students), free of charge – please see the schedule here. Additional orientation and welcome activities: Undergraduate degree-seeking students should also check the Queen’s Orientation website. Graduate degree-seeking students should also check with their academic department and the School of Graduate Studies. I am looking forward to meeting some of you soon! Cheers! ~...

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