Sophia Chiu

Taiwan

What made your ELC program special?

I think it was meeting lots of people from different cultures and different ages that made my experience so special. We became friends and some of us still keep in touch now after 3 years.

If you could travel back in time, what part of your ELC experience would you re-visit? Why?

I definitely enjoyed the time talking with native speakers in the Learning Centre. That’s part of my favourite time in school because I got to know a lot of cultural and lifestyle things there.

What's it like living in Victoria?

Victoria is super beautiful and has a nice weather. There are different flowers and plants everywhere, and plenty of friendly animals around the house. It’s a really relaxing place to live. There are many beautiful beaches and natural places to go. The best thing to do here is lie down on the grass or at a sandy beach and enjoy the sun on a warm afternoon.

What is the most memorable thing that happened to you as an ELC student?

I spent my 24th birthday with my host family and friends. We had hot pot for dinner. It was memorable because I was born in Canada but it was the first time to have birthday there.

Do you have any favourite memories of Canadian culture?

I remember on Canada Day, people gathered on the yard in front of the Parliament Buildings to celebrate that day with music and performance. I think that Canadians love their country.

How did learning with other students from other cultures change how you see the world?

It made me realize that we all see the world from our perspective, which most of the time would be influenced by strong culture, therefore we sometimes cannot see the truth. After learning with students from Mexico, Iran and Syria, I started to really know their culture and how different they are from my culture.

Did studying English with us open any new opportunities for you? What are you doing now?

I’m working as a teacher counsellor to help students find their motivation and ways of learning. Sometimes I teach English, although not very high level. The ELC course made me feel confident with my English ability so that I can teach, and what I learned truly helps my teaching a lot.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the ELC, UVic, or Victoria?

ELC, UVic and Victoria are really great place to visit!!!

Best advice for new students

Try meeting people from different cultures and hanging out with friends. It is the best way to practice English while broadening your horizons. Be prepared and enjoy it!

Sophia Chiu