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Columbia International College
Columbia International College
1003 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4P3
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Contact name:
Marina Rosas

Phone number:
(905) 572-7883×
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Columbia International College
 

Columbia International College

1003 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4P3

Curriculum:
Traditional
Grades (Gender):
7 to 12 (Coed)
Tuition:
$2,300/course
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
15 to 25
Enrolment:
Day: Varies (Gr. 7 - 12), Boarding: 1,700 (Gr. 7 - 12)
E-Brochure:

Get more information

Contact Name:
Marina Rosas

Phone Number:


School Address
1003 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4P3

Highlights:

highlights

About this school:

highlights

For 38 years, Columbia International College has built a legacy of excellence. Our students excel academically, and develop strong character for a lifetime of accomplishment. We deliver peace of mind to parents worldwide by keeping their children safe, healthy, and focused. At the heart of our success is the Total Care Education System® – an innovative approach to living and learning at boarding school. It offers a tightly integrated experience, where each student has daily contact with a team of professionals, from guidance counsellors and teachers, to houseparents and liaison officers. Total Care Education® works proactively to provide students with what they need to succeed, in- and outside of the classroom. We maximize their academic potential by emphasizing inquiry, collaboration, and presentation skills. Dedicated residence, food service, and security staff work together to create a safe and stress-free living experience. Leadership opportunities and real-world experiences nurture the development of students' character. Our graduates gain admission to preferred schools with help from our University Placement officers. The Total Care Education System® is Columbia’s proven approach to fostering student excellence, and ensures that our graduates are well-prepared for success as they attend top universities in Canada and around the world.


The Our Kids review of Columbia International College

our takeWhile some schools pride themselves on being small, Columbia finds its strength in being large—with a student population in excess of 1800, it is easily the largest boarding school in Canada. What Columbia might lack in intimacy it gains in the ability to provide a wealth of supports and programs that smaller schools simply can't. The school maintains extensive liaison offices, a dedicated guidance staff, and even its own medical clinic. The faculty, through size and experience, is remarkably adept at providing a quality, well-rounded education with an eye to success in postsecondary education. The school provides ESL to students who need it, and liaises directly with universities in Canada and beyond in order to facilitate the transition to postsecondary education. In all, the school excels at doing what it was created to do: to support the university-bound international learner who is living away from home within a culture, and at times a language, that is unfamiliar.



Principal's Message

principal

M. Ron Rambarran, Principal

Columbia's unique Total Care Education System® offers young people from around the world the unique experience of living and learning in an environment dedicated to the highest level of academic and personal achievement. With over thirty years of experience in teaching and administration, I truly believe that Columbia International College's Total Care Education System® is the most trustworthy education system for international students and their parents. The concept of Total Care grew out of our own Executive Director's and staff's experience as international students and a shared passion to help students adjust to life in Canada. Total Care was intended to help students adjust to Canada using strategies developed under Total Learning® (academic), Total Living® (social and emotional), Total Communication® (maintaining close family ties) and Total Development® (leadership and enrichment opportunities). Through our Total Care Education System® Columbia International College has developed a solid reputation for academic excellence. As Canada's largest private international boarding university-preparatory school, 100% of our graduates, since 1995, have been accepted into prestigious universities in Canada and worldwide.


Academics


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional


What school says: Giving students a head start for success begins with our academic programming at Columbia International College’s world class Junior Middle School. We offer an extensive curriculum of core subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Computer and Information Technology, French, Physical Education, Visual Arts, Dramatic Arts/Dance, and Music. In addition and unique to Columbia’s grade 7 and 8 streams are courses offered in Literacy and Media Studies and Social Justice. These courses foster critical and higher order thinking and language skills which are essential to achieving academic excellence at the middle school level and beyond as students prepare to transition into the academic curriculum at the high school level. Our approach to learning is also achieved through a commitment to good character. Character education is embedded in all subjects and is developed in relation to the learning styles and intellectual abilities of our students. Qualified and attentive teaching staff support academic development and personal growth to ensure a strong work ethic for academic achievement, creativity and self-confidence and cooperation and respect for others.

  • Approach:
    Focus
    Academic


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  


    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.


    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  


    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  


    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  


    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  


    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   12
    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish • ESL


    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  


    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

      Expressive
      Disciplined
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  


    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Chemistry

    Sex and Health Education Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education:
    This school only begins in Gr. 7.
    Topics We begin covering this topic at: Begins in Ontario
    Body parts Gr. 7 Gr. 1
    Nutrition Gr. 7 Gr. 1
    Human development Gr. 7 Gr. 1
    Puberty Gr. 7 Gr. 4
    Sexual health and hygiene Gr. 7 Gr. 4
    Reproduction Gr. 7 Gr. 5
    Pregnancy Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Sexually transmitted infections Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Sex and decision-making Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Contraception Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Consent Gr. 7 Gr. 9
    Sexual orientation Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Gender identity Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Misconceptions relating to sexuality Gr. 7 Gr. 10
    Relationships and intimacy Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Bias and stereotyping about sex Gr. 7 Gr. 12
    Sexual harassment Gr. 7 Gr. 9
    Body image issues Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Mental illness Gr. 7 Gr. 11
    Social justice and diversity Gr. 7

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Approach:
    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.


    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.

    Traditional

    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.


    What school says: This information is not currently available.



    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What school says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.


    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Developmental Priorities Intellectual, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Special Needs Support Moderate

    Moderate

    school provides special accomodations for certain learning disabilities (moderate to severe). They do not provide specialized support for developmental disabilities, behavioural/emotional disorders, or physical disabilities.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Accommodations
      Modifications
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      Learning disabilities
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Dyscalculia
      Dysgraphia
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Developmental
      Autism
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Physical
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Blindness
      Deafness
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support Moderate

    Moderate

    School offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Columbia International College students perform an average of >2 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    9101112
    school120 mins120 mins160 mins160 mins
    Site Average71 mins82 mins97 mins110 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades7 to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

     Grades78
    Non-lunch recessFrequency No recess No recess
    Location
    Amount 55 55
    Lunch recessAmount

    What school says: This information is not currently available.



    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What school says:
    • 2015- Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer team wins the Hamilton-Wentworth Interscholastic Athletic Council (HWIAC) championship.
    • 70+ clubs and extracurricular activities for students
    • School Club Fair is held twice a year where students can learn more about, and register for, extracurricular activities.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Football
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Rugby
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
      Badminton
      Running
      Squash
    • Clubs Offered
      Animation
      Art Club
      Band
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Math Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Photography
      School newspaper
      Science Club
      Student Council
      Yoga

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

     
    789101112
    Boarding $2,300 / course


    Discounts

    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)all students25%
    3rd child (sibling)all students25%
    4th child (sibling)all students25%


    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.



    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 1,700
    Average enrollment per grade283
    Gender (grades)7 to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)100%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.


    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.


    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview
    SSAT
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)7 - 12
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    Rolling

    Boarding students:
    Rolling


    What Columbia International College says:

    Students are asked to submit their transcript from their previous school with their application. 



    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    100%

    Type of student Columbia International College is looking for: This information is not currently available.


    Day Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0 (100%)0 (100%)0 (100%)0 (100%)0 (100%)0 (100%)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    000000

    University Placement

    highlights
    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Internships
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size500
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements 397
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)


    What Columbia International College says:

  • In 2015, students were admitted to the following universities: UofT - 397 McMaster - 175 Waterloo - 150 Carleton - 143 Western - 125 York - 126
  • In 2015, 24 students were admitted to the Rotman School of Management

  • Stories & Testimonials

    News

    NEW ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FORMS

    In August, Citizenship and Immigration Canadaannounced new entry requirements for visa-exempt foreign nationals; “Those who fly or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) with the exception of U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa.”

    The new policy will begin on March 15, 2016 and applies to those from countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Antigua, Barbados, and France, who previously did not need a visa to enter Canada. Nationals from these countries will now be required to complete an online application for an eTa before travelling to Canada by air. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land, sea) have not changed.

    Students are asked to visit the Admission Office in room 163 if they have questions or would like more information.

    Information can also be found by visiting Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    ...



    COLUMBIA CELEBRATES THE ARTS

    On Friday, November 13th, Columbia held its second annual Arts in Unison show – a collaborative project of the English, Arts and Business Departments. This unique celebration of the Arts was composed of two one act plays, a digital short, and a musical intermission.

    Classes equally contributed to the production: Mrs. Pivniceru’s Writer’s Craft class served as the Playwrights; Mrs. Ward’s grade 12 Drama Class and Mrs. Savelli’s grade 11 Drama calls performed the dramatization; music was provided by Mr. Lawlis’ grade 11 and 12 vocal classes and the school band; Mr. Ferreria’s Art classes were responsible for the art design; and Mrs. Story’s Art Classes prepared the Stage Design.

    The plays were well-written, featured assorted themes and both had elements of comedy, drama , mystery, and adventure. The first play, No Contrast, focused on mental health, while the second play, Who’s Next, was a murder mystery.

    Starring Roles

    No Contrast

    Starring Cast:

    Anna Oudatov

    Oluwatamilore Adegbite

    Mykyta Kovalov

    Fei Ping

    Cham Phung Thi Ngoc

    Yersain Aubakirov

    Nuoting Huang

    Zichuan Chen

    Luu Minh Vien

    Elma Amukamara

    Who’s Next

    Starring Cast:

    Wai Ling Chan

    Anton Snyrnov

    Slava Ligay

    Rakiya Nasidi

    Liza Ustinova

    Renata Nasibullina

    Jeffrey Moes

    Wei Jia Yu

    Thank you to all those involved in the production including writers, teacher advisors, stage crew and lighting and sound crew.

    Each play will be available on our YouTube channel in the upcoming days.

    ...



    MCMASTER UNIVERSITY VISITS COLUMBIA

    Yesterday, students were thrilled to attend an information session given by McMaster University. As an institution that “inspires innovation and discovery,” McMaster is one of the world’s top 100 universities and with over 62 research centres, its ranked eighth in Canada for its research capabilities

    McMaster is also home to one of the best commerce schools in Canada, the DeGroote School of Business. It is consistently ranked high for experiential learning, research intensity and overall program and internship opportunities.

    University Partner®

    The university partnership between McMaster and Columbia gives graduates access to exclusive scholarships and benefits. Columbia graduates who attend McMaster are eligible to receive one of four designated entrance scholarships of $3000.

    Fall preview days will be taking place on Saturday, November 21.

    Thank you to McMaster for visiting!

    More University visits

    Many more universities are scheduled to visit Columbia over the upcoming months including:

    • University of Ottawa
    • Carleton University
    • University of Toronto, Faculties of Arts & Science, Rotman Commerce, Engineering
    • Trent University
    • Algoma University
    • University of Alberta

    Please visit UPO to room locations and time.

    ...



    DECMEBER GRAD DINNER AND DANCE

    Columbia will be celebrating its December graduates later this month at the annual Graduation Dinner and Dance.

    Held at the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, December graduates will enjoy a night of dinner and dancing. They will also be treated to a special fireworks display over Niagara Falls later in the evening. The dinner is scheduled for Friday, November 27, 2015. Students will leave residence at 5:30pm.

    Those interested in attending can contact Ms. Stefanie in S244 for further information.

    ...



    FLU CLINIC RETURNS TO COLUMBIA

    As flu season approaches, Canadian health officials are recommending that the public protects themselves against the virus by receiving the flu vaccination.

    What is the flu?

    The flu is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus that affects people of every age. Common flu symptoms include:

    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Stuffy nose
    • Chills
    • Sore throat
    • Cough

    It is important to note that these symptoms can be different for each person. The flu typically lasts for about one week but there is a possibility that it can develop into a more serious illness. It is best to visit the nurse if your symptoms last longer than a week.

    Preventing the Flu

    Columbia cares about health and safety of its students and staff and is taking the necessary precautions to ensure that everyone is protected from the influenza virus. To minimize the risk of catching or spreading the flu, Columbia will be holding a free vaccination clinic open to all students and staff.

    What: Flu Vaccination Clinic

    Ainsliewood Building

    Where: Living Wall Lounge

    When:  9am-3pm, November 11-13 & 18-20

    Cedar Building 

    When:  9am-3pm, November 18

    Students who wish to be immunized require parental consent if they are under 18 years of age.

    More information about the flu virus and the flu shot, can be found on the City of Hamilton’s website.

    ...



    MOVEMBER RETURNS TO COLUMBIA

    Movember is back at Columbia International College!

    Throughout the month of November, Columbia’s staff and students will be joining forces to participate in Movember – a campaign which raises funds and awareness for men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health, and physical inactivity.

    What is CIC doing?

    The SOCS team (Students on Campus Serving) will be organizing this year’s campaign and will be encouraging all staff and students to get involved throughout the month of November. Look for fundraising events and activities around the school to support the Movember campaign.

    Moustache competition

    Students and staff can participate in Columbia’s Movember moustache competition. Students will be able vote for the best ‘stache at CIC and a winner will be announced at the end of the month.  Those participating should visit Student Development to have their ‘before’ picture taken.

    More information regarding the school’s Movember campaign and events can be found in Student Development, room S244.

    About Movember

    Since beginning in Australia in 2003, over 800 Movember campaigns in 21 countries have raised $574 million for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer and male mental health issues. To find out more about this creative campaign, visit the official Movember Canada page.

    ...



    NOTEWORTHY NOVEMBER

    November is an exciting month at Columbia as there are endless opportunities to pursue new interests, make new friends and explore the community at large. Columbia’s November activity schedule offers students the chance to participate in every aspect of school life. Students are strongly encouraged to join all activities.

    November Events

    2: Staff vs. Varsity team basketball game, Concordia University, Bishop’s University, and McGill University visits

    3: Lakehead University visit

    4: University of Windsor Visit

    5: International Cuisine Series dinner: La Gran Fiesta University of Calgary, Brescia University visit

    6: Video Games and Karaoke in residence, Western University visit

    7: CN Tower Climb for United Way, Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service Event)

    9: Literacy Day

    10: Staff vs. Student Volleyball, University of Waterloo Math visit

    11: Remembrance Day, BrockUniversity visit, Movie trip: Spectre 007

    12: McMaster University visit

    13: Winter Show, The Hunger Games Movie Marathon

    13-14: Relay for Life

    15: Hanukkah Hustle (Community Service Event), The Hunger Games Movie Marathon

    16: University of Ottawa visit

    17: University of Alberta Application workshop

    19: Carleton University visit

    20: Movie trip: Mocking Jay part 2

    21: Medieval Times trip, Santa Claus Parade (Community Service Event)

    23: Staff vs. Students basketball game (female edition)

    25: Awards Ceremony

    26: International Cuisine Series

    27: Graduation Dinner, Mapleview mall shopping trip

    28: Mission Services (Community Service Event), Playdium trip

    29: NBA game: Toronto Raptors vs. Phoenix Suns

    To learn more about events and activities happening this month, contact a member of Student Development in room S244. Visit the University Placement Office for information relating to the upcoming university visits.

    ...



    COLUMBIA CELEBRATES LITERACY

    Columbia International College is organizing a day dedicated to literacy as students prepare to write the OSSLT – Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

    On Monday, November 9th, the school will encourage and promote literacy by holding Literacy Day.

    The day will feature many great themed activities and students will be encouraged to visit the Living Wall Lounge during periods 2, 3 and 4 to:

    • review student literacy projects
    • borrow a book or magazine to read independently or with friends
    • review examples of test questions and take handouts to help prepare for on the OSSLT

    Students will also be encouraged to wear a shirt with expressions or slogans for others to read (must not contain inappropriate messages or images).

    Visit Mrs. Youn in room 235 for more information about Literacy Day.

    OSSLT

    The OSSLT will be written on March 31st, 2016. Leading up to the test, Columbia will hold workshops and information sessions to help students prepare for the test.

    The OSSLT measures student’s reading and writing skills by testing their ability to understand, interpret, and apply the diverse concepts and material. As a provincial initiative administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office –EQAO-, the Test promotes lifelong learning by developing skills that are needed for success. All students who study in Ontario must successfully write the test in order to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

    ...



    SD RELAY FOR LIFE CHALLENGE

    Relay for Life is returning to Columbia!

    Our Student Development (SD) Department is challenging one another to an exciting and fun Relay for Lifeevent in coordination with the Canadian Cancer Society.

    On November 14th, the male or female SD members will cut off their hair to raise money for, and to support, cancer research.

    SD is letting the school community decide who they want to win the challenge by donating to the jars located at the reception desks of our Cedar, Ainsliewood, and Maple buildings. If the boys win, they will shave their heads. If the girls win, they will cut off their ponytails. The team with the MOST donations will cut their hair. Donations will be accepted until November 12th.

    Relay for Life

    Relay for Life is a 12 hour, pledge-based event where students, teachers, staff, family and friends form teams and take turns walking about a track while enjoying fun activities and entertainment. This year’s relay will take place on Friday, November 13-14.

    To find out more about the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life visit their website.

    ...



    YELT OFFERED AT CIC

    The YELT test – York English Language Test – is coming to CIC!

    On November 28, York University will administer the YELT test at Columbia. The test will determine if those applying to York will require additional ESL courses when they begin their first year of study.  The test will assess English reading and writing comprehension as well as English speaking skills at the university level. The two part test includes written and oral components.

    Students interested in applying to York University are strongly encouraged to write the test.

    To learn more about, visit the website.

     Registration

    Students can register by visiting the External Testing Office located in room 106 of the Ainsliewood building.  The test fee is $150 and the registration deadline is November 20.

    External Testing Office

    Columbia International College’s External Testing Office administers numerous English proficiency tests throughout the year. As an officially certified testing centre, Columbia students can conveniently write an English proficiency test on campus. Test sessions occur throughout the year with each session accommodating 50-100 students. Pre-registration is required.

    ...



    Columbia grad releases debut novel

    A former Columbia International College student is making a name for himself by becoming a multifaceted entrepreneur and author.

    Sultan Moni, a 2014 graduate from the United Arab Emirates, recently released his debut novel Let the Heart Beat. The young adult fiction novel is about overcoming adversity. The book’s synopsis on Moni’s website reads as follows:

    “Anabelle Lyndon didn’t have the best life in the world. Between school, work, and split weekends between parents, there’s only one thing she looks forward to each week; hospital visits with the kids. That’s where she meets 11 year old Skyler Goldberg, diagnosed with lung cancer, and her older brother Zak Goldberg. To help make little Skyler’s life a bit easier she makes up a game; Five Little Wishes. Skyler gets to make 5 wishes for anything that she wants, then Anabelle and Zak have to make them come true. Through the months Zak and Anabelle get closer and closer, but they couldn’t possibly prepare for the looming fear of losing Skyler. When life gets rough, will they have each other to lean on, or will their relationship crumble and fall?”

    The book is available on Amazon.

    About Moni

    As a self-described dreamer, Moni’s dedication and determination to reach his goals are inspiring. He is committed to starting his own business and wants to become a global entrepreneur. After studying at Columbia for one year, he began his post-secondary career at Trent University where he is currently studying Business Administration and Mandarin.

    To learn more about Sultan visit his website or Facebook page!

    ...



    GAMES DAY UNITES STUDENTS

    Last Wednesday, students flooded the back field for their opportunity to participate in Columbia’s annualGames Day.

    Students participated in engaging and fun activities that tested both their athleticism and analytical skills including:

    • Human foosball
    • Rock climbing
    • Mini putt
    • Wipeout Sweeper challenge
    • Bean bag toss
    • Ball and spoon race
    • and many more!

    Members of the Student Development team, and of the school’s student leadership teams – Athletic Prefects, School Prefects, Student Council and Residence Council – organized and managed the activities throughout the day. Along with explaining game rules, they cheered on students and ensured everyone had an enjoyable experience.

    Promoting character

    While Games Day promotes school spirit and encourages the school community to come together, it also strives to teach students principles of our character education: fair play, teamwork, inclusiveness, perseverance, and positive conflict resolution.

    The Games Day tradition began in 1999 and has since become one of the most popular school events during the fall semester’s Spirit Week.

    Thank you to the Student Development department, student leaders and staff who organized this year’s Games Day.

    ...



    HELP FIGHT CANCER

    Columbia International College is looking for students who are interested in making a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer by participating in this year’s Relay for Life event.Along with raising funds and awareness for cancer research, this annual event seeks to “celebrate the lives of those who are living with cancer” and “remember loved ones lost to cancer.”

    The 12 hour marathon event is scheduled to begin on Friday, November 13th and end at 7am on Saturday, November 14th. Music, movies, arts and crafts and guest speakers are a few of the activities planned for those participating.

    The Relay for Life event is popular fundraising initiative at Columbia as it promotes optimism and teaches key character traits like caring, teamwork, respect, inclusiveness, responsibility, and perseverance.  All funds raised through the event will assist in:

    • Preventing cancer,
    • Funding research to outsmart cancer,
    • Empowering, informing and supporting Canadians living with cancer, and
    • Advocating for public policies to improve the health of Canadians.

    Those interested in participating can visit room S244 for more information.

    To find out more about the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life visit their website.

    ...



    CELEBRATING SPIRIT WEEK

    It’s Spirit Week at Columbia!

    Students will have endless opportunities to show their school spirit by participating in activities, theme days and events all week long. Morning activities will take place from 8:45-9am and will have different homeroom classes competing against each other in various challenges.  These challenges will encourage school spirit and foster values of teamwork, inclusiveness, and respect. Winning homerooms will also receive a prize!

    Theme Days

    Spirit Week would not be complete without featured theme days. This semester, students can trade their uniforms for pyjamas, cultural pieces and wacky outfits or costumes that best represent each days theme:

    • Monday, October 5: Pyjama Day
    • Wednesday, October 7: Games Day, Casual Day
    • Thursday, October  8: Culture Day
    • Friday, October 9: Wacky Day

    Staff and students who participate in theme days are reminded to pick up a Spirit Day Sticker each morning in the Living Wall Lounge.

    ...



    Outstanding October

    October is filled with great opportunities for students to engage in diverse academic and extracurricular activities here at Columbia. From Spirit Week to University visits to community service events, students will have endless opportunities to explore new interests and become active members of the student body.

    OCTOBER EVENTS

    1: WeDay Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University visit

    2: Huron University College visit, CFL Game – Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Calgary Stampeders

    3: Meals on Wheels (Community Service Event), FIFA PS4 tournament

    4: CIBC Run for the Cure (Community Service Event)

    5-9: Spirit Week

    5: Laurentian University visit

    7: Games Day

    8: International Cuisine Series – China

    9-12: Duke of Edinburgh trip to Bark Lake

    9: Movie Night (Hotel Transylvania),

    10: Movie Night (Hotel Transylvania 2), Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Event)

    10: University of Toronto visit, Trip to Mapleview mall

    12: Thanksgiving Holiday

    13-14: Orientation

    14: Ryerson University visit

    17: Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland

    19: University of New Brunswick visit, Queen’s University visit

    21: UBC visit

    23: Mapleview Mall shopping trip

    24: Niagara Falls trip for new students, Volunteering at Galcom, Corn Maze

    29: Halloween Dance

    30: Costume Contest, Pumpkin Carving Competition, Pine Hall Haunted House

    31: Happy Halloween! – Volunteering at Galcom, Scary Movie Night

    To learn more about October’s events, contact a member of Student Development in Room S244. Stop by the University Placement Office for more information on the upcoming university visits.

    ...



    Important dates from the Guidance Department

    The Guidance Department would like to remind students about some important upcoming dates this semester.

    October

    9: Final exams for 4-week and 8-week students (ESL and Academic)

    13 & 14:  Orientation and registration for new students

    13 – 19, 2015 (50% DEFERRAL)
    Students can withdraw from a course and defer 50% of the balance tuition fee (certain conditions apply)


    14: 16-week mid-term reports / 8-week final reports

    15: New 8-week and 4-week classes begin

    19: Last day to withdraw from a 16-week course with no mark shown

    22: 8-week late registrants will be auditing, Last day for 8-week students to drop a course with fees deferred

    26-30: Course Confirmation Week
    10:30 am – 2:30 pm

    Department course show case in the marketplace
    Career cruising workshops

    November

    18: Last day to withdraw from a 8-week course with no mark shown.

    27: Last day to withdraw from 8-week & 16 week course with average mark to date shown.

    December

    8-11: Final exams

    Please visit the Guidance Office or contact your Guidance Counsellor if you have any questions.

    ...



    Oak dining hall reopens

    After undergoing much anticipated renovations, the Oak Hall dining hall reopened its door on Saturday, September 26th.

    The updated facility now includes an expanded seating area with modern and comfortable booths and high-top seating. We hope students enjoy redesigned student friendly designed space.

    Residents of Oak Hall can begin to reuse the dining services during the breakfast, lunch and dinner hours.

     

    ...



    UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO RANKED AMONG WORLD’S BEST UNIVERSITIES

    The University of Toronto was recently ranked among the world’s best universities according to a study by the QS World University Rankings.

    In a global ranking of the world’s top post-secondary institutions, the renowned University ranked 34th out of thousands of schools. Factors considered in the rankings included student-to-faculty ratio, academic reputation, and international student ratio.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge and Stanford topped the list. Other Canadian universities making the top 100 included McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta.

    The full list can be found here.

    University of Toronto and Columbia

    The University of Toronto is one of Columbia’s eight University Partners® granting exclusive scholarships and admission benefits to graduates of Columbia including a Future Leaders Admission Scholarship and 10 admission scholarships.

    ...



    ANNUAL TERRY FOX WALK-A-THON

    Next week Columbia students will be taking part in the school’s annual Terry Fox Walk-a-thon.

    On September 30th, students will walk from Hamilton’s Pier 4 to the Ainsliewood building to honour Terry and to raise funds for cancer research. In participating, students learn about Terry Fox and his journey,  and gain a better understanding of the importance of helping others and perseverance.

    Last year Columbia raised over $23,086.73 and is hoping to exceed that amount this year.

    Columbia and the Terry Fox Run

    Columbia’s school community is committed to working together to end cancer. For over 30 years Columbia has participated in the Terry Fox Run and is proud to be only 1 of 6 schools in the world to have achieved this. Since 1980, Columbia has raised $139,892.84.

    ...



    ESL TRANSITION DAY

    Earlier this week, Columbia welcomed its newest ESL students to our school and to Hamilton by holding information sessions during Transition Day. Held at our new Cedar building, the daylong event presented students with important information of student life as well as familiarizing them with the school’s many resources.

    Students heard from members of the Medical Clinic, the Liaison Department, Student Development and teachers. They were also introduced to our Campus Safety staff who spoke to them about safety practices within the school and the city.

    After attending morning seminars, students enjoyed a fun and leisurely afternoon at the movies. The afternoon activity was a great opportunity for students to explore the city, socialize with their new classmates, and practice their English skills.

    Thanks to all those who made Transition Day a great success!

    ...



    LEADERSHIP RETREAT AT BARK LAKE

    Columbia’s leadership teams are preparing to visit our Outdoor Leadership Education Centre, Bark Lake. Later today, students from our four school Prefect leadership teams – Service Prefects, Athletic Prefects, Residence Activity Prefects, and Student Council – will depart for a four day leadership retreat.

    From September 11-14, 54 students will spend the weekend participating in a number of fun and engaging activities designed to foster their leadership skills including canoeing, high ropes, archery, as well as a series of team building and problem solving challenges. The Bark Lake trip is one of the year’s highlights as students get the opportunity to experience the Canadian wilderness and take part in unique activities.

    Leadership education and character development are integral parts of Columbia’s Total Care Education System® that teaches students’ core values and helps them become responsible Global Citizens.

    Students interested in learning more about leadership opportunities within the school should visit the Student Development Office, room S244.

    ...



    FALL DATES FROM THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT

    The Guidance Department is reminding students of important upcoming dates in September and October:

    September
    15 - Progress Report /Mid Term Reports / Final Reports

    14-18 (70% Fee Deferral )-Students can withdraw from a course and defer 70% of the balance tuition fee. Refer the fee deferral policy.

    18 - Last day to withdraw from a 8-week course with no mark shown.

    21-25 - Full ASEP Survey

    October
    9 - Final exam for 4-week and 8 week students (ESL & Academic).

    13 & 14 - Orientation and registration for new students.

    For more information, students should contact their Guidance Counsellor or visit the Guidance Office.

    ...



    NEW ESL BUILDING OPENS

    Last month, Columbia International College opened a new academic facility for ESL students. The new building, named Cedar campus, will be home to our comprehensive ESL program for Canadian and international students with various ESL proficiency levels.

    With state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms and language labs, students will have access to a number of resources designed to foster their academic and personal success.

    The building is centrally located on the Hamilton Mountain, conveniently beside our Pine Hall residences. Columbia provides busing services to students who need to commute between the Cedar and Ainsliewood buildings.

    ESL program
    The ESL program offers 5 levels of instruction ranging from Beginners (ESLAO) to Advanced (ESLEO). Through the program, students learn to communicate clearly and effectively and develop good ESL reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

    To learn more about our ESL program, click here.

    ...



    September events

    September offers students many opportunities to participate in fun and rewarding activities. Sports, leadership trips and community service outings are a few of the things that await students this month.

    September events 
    4: Video game tournament in residence
    5: Canada’s Wonderland trip, Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service event)
    7: Labour Day Holiday 
    9: Short Period Day
    11: Bowling trip
    11-14: Bark Lake Leadership Retreat
    12: Mission Services (Community Service event)
    13: International Cuisine Series – South East Asia, Korea and Japan
    18-20: Bark Lake trip
    19: Playdium Indoor Arcade trip, Stair to Care (Community Service event)
    20: Telling Tales (Community Service event)
    25: Maze Runner, the Scorch Trails movie trip
    26: MLS game, TFC vs. Chicago Fire, Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service event)
    30: Terry Fox Run

    To learn more about September’s events, visit the Student Development office in room S244.

    ...



    University education is the best path to success

    “The best path to career success for Ontario students is still a university degree.” — 2014 Graduate Survey

    A recent survey by the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has concluded that a university degree leads to well-paying jobs in relevant fields of study. Two years after graduating from an undergraduate program, almost 94 percent of graduated are employed in their field with an average starting salary of $49,000. It also found that 87.6 percent of university graduates are employed six months after graduation and earn on average $42,301.

    The survey found that university skills and university program subject matter are being transferred to the workplace.

    “The survey of Ontario university students who graduated in 2012, conducted for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, concludes that university graduates get jobs related to their education. The best path to career success for Ontario students is still a university degree.”

    View the full report here.

    University Partners®
    Columbia partners with eight Canadian universities, offering its graduates exclusive scholarships and admission benefits. Each year, 100% of our graduates are accepted into top universities, many with scholarships.

    We proudly partner with:
    • University of Alberta
    • Brock University
    • McMaster University
    • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    • University of Toronto
    • University of Waterloo
    • Western University
    • York University

    To learn more about our University Partners® program, click here.

    ...



    US and UK information sessions

    Columbia’s University Placement Office (UPO) is dedicated to assisting students with their university applications and career planning.

    Throughout the year, the department holds a number of workshops and information sessions to assist students in completing their university applications both domestically and internationally. These presentations discuss every topic from university admission procedures to writing a personal statement. This week, UPO is holding workshops for those interested in attending university in the US and in the UK:

    US/UK Workshop- Monday, August 31

    US Workshop - Thursday, September 10

    UK Workshop - Monday, September 14

    US/UK Workshop: Personal Statement - Thursday, September 24

    US/UK Workshop: Personal Statement Editing Session -  Friday, October 9

    All workshops will be held at 4pm in the Student Cafe. Any students who may be interested are encouraged to attend.

    For questions, please visit UPO.

    ...



    Over 70 clubs featured at Club Fair

    With students now settled into their classroom schedules they can add a little fun into their daily routines as they begin to participate in their favourite clubs and extracurricular activities.

    Yesterday, the Student Development department held a Club Information session in the Ainsliewood gym to introduce students to the clubs and activities offered at Columbia. Students browsed the booths of over 70 clubs featured and met activity advisors and fellow classmates with similar interests.

    Featured clubs included:
    • International Film Club
    • Spanish Club
    • Duke of Edinburgh
    • Community Service
    • Digital Culture Club
    • Model UN
    • Art Club
    • Athletics in School and in Residence
    … and many more!

    Club Requirements
    Club participation is an essential component of Columbia’s education system, especially for our younger students. Club requirements are as follows:

    AgeNumber of Clubs14 and under415-162

    Club sign up
    Students can sign up for clubs offered at Ainsliewood today after school in the gym. Club sign up for activities at Pine Hall Boys and Girls will take place between 7-8pm tonight at each residence.

    Students will be allowed to sign up for clubs that are not yet full on Friday, August 28 from 9am-5pm in the Student Development Office, room S244.

    Clubs begin on Monday, August 31. Students should check with club leaders to confirm club times and locations.

    ...



    New bike racks installed on campus

    A small addition has been made to the Ainsliewood building – a new bike rack!

    Installed earlier this week, the new bike rack is now located at the front of the Ainsliewood building. The new location is conveniently situated in front of the Campus Safety Office for the safety and convenience of Columbia’s students and staff.

    Over the next few weeks, new bike racks will also be installed at the Pine Hall Boys and Pine Hall Girls residences, as well as at the new Cedar campus.

    Bicycle safety tips 
    Those who ride their bikes to school are reminded to follow these important safety tips:

    General tips
    • Have lights installed on your bike – front and back- and make sure they are turned on during night riding
    • Wear reflective clothing at ALL times which allows you to be visible in day or night
    • Use proper hand signals when riding at ALL times

    Riding your bike
    When riding your bike, remember to:
    • Ride on the far right side of any roadway (riding on sidewalks is illegal in Hamilton)
    • Wear a bicycle helmet (by law anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet).
    • Obey traffic rules
    • Watch for pedestrians and vehicles
    • Ring your bell when passing pedestrian or other cyclists.

    Bike Security
    • Lock your bike to one of the bike racks located at the front of a CIC building
    • Secure your bike with a quality lock such as a U-Lock

    Students are encouraged to speak to a member of Campus Safety if they have any issues or concerns.

    ...



    Community service at Columbia

    Community involvement is an important part of student life at Columbia International College (CIC). We encourage our students to give back to the community by volunteering with various organizations and groups across the City of Hamilton.

    Throughout the year, students are able to take part in fun and rewarding community service trips that allow them to better understand issues facing the community, such as poverty and homelessness. So far this year, our May and June graduates completed over 40,000 hours of community service, much more than the provincial minimum needed to graduate high school.

    Sign up for community service trips
    Students seeking community service hours can visit the Student Development Department (SD) in room S244 of the Ainsliewood building for a list of opportunities. Here’s how the sign up process works:
    • Every Monday the week’s community service trips are posted in SD
    • Students sign up occurs in this order:
    Mondays -Those needing hours to graduate at the end of the current semester
    Tuesdays- Those needing hours in order to graduate
    Wednesdays - Anyone may sign up

    Students are reminded to sign up early as there are a limited number of spaces for each trip. While priority is given to those needing hours, there are many volunteering opportunities to ensure that everyone is able to participate in the local community.

    Independent community service 
    Students who are passionate about a certain issue or who are interested in volunteering for a particular organization can seek independent community service roles. Students must have independent roles approved by Columbia before they begin volunteering.

    Opportunities within CIC 
    There are also a number of volunteering opportunities within the CIC community including:
    o Tutoring
    o Mentoring
    o Orientation Leaders
    o Executive Student Leadership
    o Community Service Clubs
    o International Cuisine Dinner planning teams

    Visit Ms. Courtney in SD to find out more about community service and volunteering in the Hamilton community!

    ...



    Duke of Edinburgh Award program

    Are you looking for a challenging and unique opportunity? Do you want to achieve personal goals in community service, skills, fitness, and adventure? If so, consider participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Level Award program.

    What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program?
    The Award Program encourages personal development and community involvement for young people aged 14-24. It strives to teach responsibility and commitment while fostering personal development and is composed of four components:
    • Service (helping people in the community)
    • Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
    • Physical Recreation (sport, dance and fitness)
    • Expeditions (training, planning and completing a journey on foot or horseback, by boat or bike)

    Students who are interested in the program should attend an information session given by the Student Development department. Sign up for the program will begin on August 21, 2015.

    Information Sessions
    Dates: August 18-20
    Location: S244
    Time: 4:15 p.m.

    Sign up
    Dates: August 21 &24
    Location: Room 113
    Time: 4:15 p.m.

    To learn more visit the Student Development Office or visit the Duke of Edinburgh website.

    ...



    August Orientation

    Orientation and Registration is now in full swing at Columbia. For the past week, staff members, teachers, and current students have been welcoming new students and parents from across the world to both our school and the City of Hamilton.

    Students and parents have been attending a three-day orientation program designed to inform them of school policies and the academic structure while giving them opportunities to have one-on-one meetings with staff, such as Guidance Councellors and Liaison Officers. They have also been touring residence and learning about all the exciting extracurricular and residence programming available.

    Orientation concludes on Friday, August 14 but students are encouraged to speak with any member of our staff if they have questions or concerns. Listed below are a few common questions:

    I missed my assigned Orientation Day what can I do? 
    For a new date or changes and inquiries contact:
    • Mrs. Dorrette Joseph, Admissions Manager, Ainsliewood Building, Room 163, 905-572-7883 x 2801

    What if I slept in and missed the bus?
    • 8 am: The Orientation will begin each day in the Ainsliewood gym
    • 10 am: The latest time to arrive at the school before you will be marked absent
    • Students marked absent will need to arrange another day to complete their Orientation. See Mrs. Dorrette Joseph in room 163 of the Ainsliewood Building

    I arrived after Orientation week (Aug6-14) what should I do?
    Students must report to the Academic Office in the Ainsliewood Building for Orientation and Registration arrangements.

    I have already tested in my home country, do I have to go to Orientation?
    Yes. Students who are tested overseas are still required to attend the entire Orientation. They will have an alternate schedule.

    Are my parents allowed to attend Orientation?
    Yes. All parents are welcome to attend Orientation and Registration. They will have the opportunity to have meetings with various Columbia Staff including the Executive Director, Principal, and Residence Manager.

    We look forward to welcoming all of our new students!

    ...



    Amazin' August

    Columbia’s staff is hard at work preparing for a new school year.

    Tomorrow the school will begin to welcome students from across the world in preparation for the new school year.

    New and returning students can look forward to exceptional academic programming and outstanding extracurricular opportunities in new and newly renovated facilities.

    To help students and parents prepare, important dates are provided below.

    August
    6-14: Registration and Orientation for new students
    7: Last day for returning students to change courses
    8-14: Residence check-in
    10: Start of fall 2015 Semester
    14: Professional Development Day
    17: Classes begin, late registration fee applies to returning students
    21: Last day for new students to add or change a course
    28: Last Day for all students to drop a course with fees deferred

    ...



    U of T introduces new scholarships for CIC students

    Recently, the University of Toronto announced its new scholarship program exclusive to Columbia International College students.

    As Columbia is the leading feeder school for U of T in the world – meaning more students attend U of T from Columbia than any other school in the world – the scholarship recognizes and rewards the Columbia’s high achieving graduates.

    The University of Toronto Future Leaders Admissions Scholarship, announced during June’s graduation ceremony by Mr. Ken Withers, Director University Student Recruitment, University of Toronto (U of T) , is valued at approximately CAD $40,000.

    The Scholarship will be awarded annually and will be divided amongst high achieving students on entrance to the:

    o Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
    o University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus
    o University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus
    o Rotman Commerce
    o Arts and Sciences or Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education OR Faculty of Music OR Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

    University Partners®

    The University of Toronto is one of Columbia’s eight University Partners®granting exclusive admission and scholarship benefits for Columbia graduates. Learn more here.

    ...



    Sodexo team wins national awards

    Columbia International College would like to congratulate members of ourSodexo team on being nominated among the best employees in the country.

    Recently, members of our food services team were named Gold winners in the2015 Spirit of Sodexo Awards for Canada. The national Awards recognize those “who through their commitment and dedication personify Sodexo’s unique values of Service Spirit, Team Spirit and Spirit of Progress.” We are proud to announce that our Sodexo team received Gold in two out of three categories:

    1. Team Spirit
    Gold Winners for Management Team – Elizabete Chan-Li, Jeffrey Frederick, Karla Quinteros, Steven Khor, Therese Graham, Wendy Hill

    2. Spirit of Progress 
    Gold Winner - Chef Steven Khor

    Congratulations to our Sodexo Team!

    Sodexo at Columbia 
    Sodexo has served Columbia for the past 25 years. Each day their team works hard to provide services which improve the quality of life for all staff and students at school and in residence. Columbia proudly partners with world renowned Sodexo to provide students with delicious and nutritious meals needed to maintain a balanced diet.

    To learn more about meal services at Columbia click here.

    ...



    Columbia named top fundraiser for The Terry Fox Foundation

    Columbia International College would like to thank and congratulate its students, staff and school community for their contributions and participation during the school’s annual Terry Fox Run.

    As a result of the commitment of our school community, we have been named one of the top 50 fundraisers for 2014 in Ontario! We were ranked 7th out of all other participating high schools in the province by raising $23,086.73.

    Columbia and the Terry Fox Run
    Each year, Columbia students learn about Terry Fox, his journey and the importance of helping others by participating in his Marathon of Hope. Students and staff complete a 7.5km walk from Hamilton’s Pier 4 to the Ainsliewood campus to raise funds for The Terry Fox Foundation and cancer research.

    For 35 years Columbia has participated in the Terry Fox Run and is proud to be only 1 of 6 schools in the world to have achieved this.

    ...



    Columbia recognized for its business contributions in the City of Hamilton

    Columbia International College was recently recognized for its business contributions to the City of Hamilton. Yesterday, Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, accepted a Business Appreciation Award on behalf of the school during a City Council meeting last night at Hamilton’s City Hall.

    Columbia was recognized in the Large Business Category for Ward 8 and was presented with a plaque by Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Councillor Terry Whitehead.

    The award is given to small and large businesses in each city ward that have helped support the City’s economic development. Award winners are selected by city councilors and the City’s planning and economic development department.

    Columbia’s success in the local community is a result of the hard work and dedication of its staff and local partners who diligently work to offer unique educational programming for students from close to 100 countries around the world.

    We are proud to be located in Hamilton and will continue to deliver a world-class education and living experience to students and welcome them to this beautiful city.

    ...



    36th annual Graduation Ceremony

    Congratulations to the 2015 May graduating class!

    On Thursday, May 14, hundreds of Columbia International College students proudly celebrated one of life’s milestones, high school graduation.

    Held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, Columbia welcomed parents, staff, university partners and community members who were in attendance to celebrate this exciting occasion with over 700 students. The Ceremony highlighted both the academic and extracurricular success while recognizing those who made significant contributions to the local and global community.

    Special Messages 
    Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger was the first to welcome all students, parents and guests to the ceremony. He thanked Columbia for bringing such a diverse group of students to the City of Hamilton and thanked the students and parents for their contributions to the City. As Hamilton is one of the most diverse cities in the country, he hopes students will return to study or work in Hamilton.

    Don Hunt, Registrar, York University also addressed the graduating class to offer a congratulatory message on behalf of the University. He spoke about the strong partnership York University and Columbia have developed over the years and acknowledged the high achieving Columbia students who receive scholarships to York year after year.

    Keynote Speaker
    Columbia was pleased to have Dr. Carolyn Ford, Director, International Undergraduate Recruitment, Western University, as this year’s Keynote Speaker. In her address, she shared important key messages and pieces of advice with graduates. She reassured them that it is normal to be unsure of what you want to do in the future and that you should continue to work hard and improve your skills. Dr. Ford further told students to not be afraid to fail as “failure is a critical component of success.” Failure early on in life will help discover resiliency and allow one to be more confident later on in life.

    Valedictory Address & Vote of Thanks
    The May 2015 graduating class voted Andy Nguyen to represent them as Valedictorian. In his heartfelt speech, he thanked the staff and teachers at Columbia for allowing him to develop the skills that have prepared him for success. Andy also acknowledged the hardships and difficulties that lie ahead but remained optimistic that his peers will conquer these challenges as they did when they first arrived at Columbia. Before concluding his speech, Andy reminded his peers to never stop believing in themselves and wished them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

    Nina Wang‘s charismatic Vote of Thanks speech left everyone laughing and smiling. In thanking the entire Columbia community -from everyone to teachers to the support staff to housekeeping to Sodexo- she shared personal stories that resonated with her fellow graduates. She credited the school’s Total Care Education® for giving all students unique opportunities to step out of their comfort zone and contribute to the world around them.

    Columbia would like to thank the following people for their work in organizing this year’s May graduation; Maintenance, UPO, the Liaison and Media teams, Mr. Lawlis, the school band and the Vocal Music Class, and all those that helped in the organizing the event.

    We would also like to thank all university representatives and the Hamilton Convention Centre for helping to make this year’s May graduation a memorable one.

    Watch the entire ceremony on our YouTube channel.

    ...



    Students help Sodexo Stop Hunger

    Throughout the month of April, Columbia’s leadership classes partnered with our Sodexo team to raise awareness for a critical issue affecting millions of people worldwide, hunger.

    Members of the leadership team helped promote school activities and events to the school community in support of Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Servathon fundraising campaign. Selling treats during the lunch hours and holding raffles were among the many ways students contributed to the campaign.

    Thanks to the efforts of students, staff and Sodexo, Columbia raised a total of$5746 by holding the following events
    • Easter Basket Draw
    • Give a Hand To Stop Hunger
    • Candy Apples
    • Cotton Candy
    • Bubble tea
    • Ice Cream with a Heart
    • Casual Day
    • 50/50 Draw

    The leadership classes also held a Home Room Food Drive Challenge and asked students to donate non-perishable food items. Ms. Milicevic’s ESLEO class was this year’s winner as they collected more than 1000 pounds of non-perishable items, costing an estimated $600. In total, the school collected3272 pounds of food which provided:
    • 120 breakfast meals for local children’s Breakfast Club programs
    • 600 meals packed for Food4Kids

    In total, the leadership and Sodexo teams volunteered a total of 565 hours.

    Columbia would like to thank the Sodexo team and all the students and staff who contributed, and participated in the Servathon.

    Sodexo’s Servathon 
    The Stop Hunger Servathon fundraising campaign is a global initiative run by Sodexo. It has become an annual event at Columbia and continues to grow each year. To learn more about what Sodexo is doing to Stop Hunger, click here.

    ...



    Diversity Week 2015

    This past week, Columbia International College celebrated the diversity of our unique student body by hosting Diversity Week!

    Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to explore different cultures and learn about the diverse background of their peers and friends. Exploring cultures and traditions that make each individual unique were highlighted as means to give students a deeper understanding of the principles of diversity.

    Student Development prepared a number of great fun and interactive events and activities to showcase the diversity of Columbia’s student population:
    April 7 – Diversity in Music Day
    April 8 – Diversity in Food Day
    April 9 – Diversity in Unity Day, International Fashion Show
    April 10 - Diversity in Games Day

    All activities took place at the beginning of third and fourth period in Ainsliewood’s Living Wall Lounge. The International Fashion Show was held in the Gym afterschool and featured traditional dress from over 20 countries.

    Diversity week provides students with an educational learning experience that reinforces important character traits taught at Columbia such as respect, inclusiveness, and caring.

    To view photos of Diversity Week, visit our Facebook page!

    ...



    Taking a stand against bullying

    Columbia’s students and staff showed their support towards anti-bullying as they participated in Pink Shirt Day.

    The international campaign is celebrated across the world and is designed to put an end to all forms of bullying, as well as raise awareness for those who are victimized by bullying. By wearing pink, Columbia’s school community pledged their commitment to stopping bullying and to standing up for those they see being mistreated.

    Columbia is pleased to support this worth cause as the values of Pink Shirt Day align with the values and morals Columbia instills in its students. We are a school of character that promotes kindness, integrity, respect for others, inclusiveness, fairness and caring. All members of our school and residence community are committed to showing these character attributes every day.

    Origins of Pink Shirt Day
    The International Day of Pink / Pink Shirt Day campaign began in Nova Scotia in 2007. Two students intervened when a classmate was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They then bought pink shirts for everyone at school to wear as a symbol of solidarity and unity. To learn more visit dayofpink.org.

    ...



    Longwood facility now open

    Columbia International College has once again added to its already vast and extensive campus with the recent addition of an all-new student fitness complex.

    The newest facility, located on the corner of Main St. W. and Longwood Rd., is only a short walking distance from the Ainsliewood and Maple academic buildings, as well as the Oak Hall residence. The new building will be used primarily for recreational purposes; however, it is equipped with a few classrooms as well. The extra athletic facilities will provide students with greater opportunities to play sports such as basketball, ping pong, as well as participate in fitness and team building activities.

    With the building now officially opened, students have even more resources available to help them develop their ASEP needs. The addition of the Longwood facility is one of many enhancements Columbia has made over the past few months. Last year, the school renovated Ainsliewood's front entrance which included increased space of key resources including the Guidance Office, the University Placement Office and the Campus Safety Office.

    The new Longwood facility is one of the many ways Columbia is enhancing the overall student experience while fostering student success.

    ...



    Varsity soccer team wins gold

    Earlier this week, the Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer team was presented with a championship plaque for their 1-0 win over Saltfleet Secondary School in the Hamilton-Wentworth Interscholastic Athletic Council (HWIAC) soccer final on March 3.

    The team had an almost perfect season winning nine out of ten games and finishing at the top of their division with 27 points. The boys played exceptionally well, keeping calm and working as a team throughout the game.Jonathan Byron scored the only goal with the help of his teammates and the direction of the coaches.

    Columbia is exceptionally proud of the team as they have reached the HWIAC final the past six years but have had trouble conceding goals. The win is a great achievement for the school and represents the support shown by the entire school community.

    A special thank you to coach Mr. Erind, Mr. Freddy, and all the fans, especially Ms. Simpson, who supported the boys throughout the season.

    Congratulations to the Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer team!

    ...



    Dr. Vincent Lam at Columbia

    Yesterday, Columbia International College was honoured to welcome Canadian author and medical doctor, Dr. Vincent Lam.

    Dr. Lam spent the day speaking with Columbia students currently enrolled inWriter’s Craft and ENG4U courses. He spoke of his childhood growing up in the Chinese expatriate community in Vietnam, his early writing career, his artistic inspirations, and balancing his life as a doctor and author.

    When speaking to the Writer’s Craft class, Dr. Lam gave the aspiring writers a few of key pieces of advice such as “reading is a necessity to writing,” and “write about something you care about.” He also made an interesting comparison between medicine and writing; “with medicine, you’re dealing with a story. Patients want you to understand their story and have an ending for them.” Dr. Lam further expressed his difficulty in choosing between medicine and writing and believes that each profession compliments the other and helps him be a “useful member of society.”

    Before concluding his visit, Dr. Lam met with the members of Columbia’s student newspaper, the Columbia Chronicle, and gave them an exclusive interview.

    Guest Author Series
    Dr. Lam was the fourth author to participate in the English department’s guest author series which began in 2006. The series gives students the opportunity to connect to the literary works their studying and develop a better understanding of the content. Previous authors included Nino Ricci, Wayson Choy, and Lawrence Hill. Click here to learn more about Dr. Vincent Lam.

    Columbia would like to thank Dr. Vincent Lam for his visit and presentation and Ms. Pivniceru for organizing another successful guest author event.

    ...



    Last chance literacy workshops

    Columbia’s English department will be holding additional literacy workshops this week to ensure that students are well-prepared for the upcoming OSSLTon March 26.

    Starting today, students wishing to practice their skills can attend one of the many added workshops. Seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who have not yet attended a literacy workshop are encouraged to participate.

    Wednesday, March 11

    3:30-4:30 - Writing Paragraphs & Reading Tips

    • Room 105 – Ms. Kreso
    • Room 155 – Ms. Shaughnessy
    • Room 201 – Mr.McIver
    • Room 219 – Ms.Klodt

    Thursday, March 12

    4:05-5:05 - News Report

    • Room 105 – Ms. Kreso
    • Room 155 – Ms. Shaughnessy
    • Room 201 – Mr.McIver
    • Room 219 – Ms.Klodt

    Friday, March 13

    4:05-5:05 - Writing an Opinion Essay

    • Room 105 – Ms. Kreso
    • Room 155 – Ms. Shaughnessy
    • Room 201 – Mr.McIver
    • Room 219 – Ms.Klodt

     

    ...



    Literacy Week

    As Columbia students prepare to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), their teachers are continuing to aid their preparation by holding additional literacy workshops and hosting fun literacy activities.

    All week, students will have the opportunity to participate in Literacy Week’sthemed days designed to promote and encourage literacy among students;

    Monday, March 9- Read my shirt day

    -Wear a shirt that has English words on it (no swearing or inappropriate language allowed).Uniform pants must be worn.

    Tuesday, March 10 - SQUIRT day

    -15 min of Super Quiet Uninterrupted Individual Reading Time during homeroom.

    Wednesday, March 11- Bookmark day

    Make a bookmark in your free period in the Living Wall Lounge.

    Thursday, March 12 - Read in your free time

    - Hang out in the study room (Room 121AB) and read a magazine or newspaper or book. Hot drinks will be provided.

    Friday, March 13 - Message board display

    Write encouraging and positive messages about the upcoming literacy test on a display board in the Living Wall Lounge.

    All students are encouraged to participate!

    ...



    Dr. Vincent Lam coming to Columbia

    Next week, Columbia International College will welcome celebrated Canadian author and medical doctor, Dr. Vincent Lam.

    As part of the English Department’s Guest Author Series, Dr. Lam will speak to students currently enrolled in Writer’s Craft and ENG4U courses. He also set aside time to be interviewed by the Columbia Chronicle, the student monthly newsletter, and to meet and take pictures with students.

    Literary Works
    Dr. Lam’s literary works include:
    The Flu Pandemic and You (A medical guide)
    Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Short Story)
    Extraordinary Canadians: Tommy Douglas (Biography)
    The Headmaster's Wager (Novel)

    In 2006, Dr. Lam won the Giller Prize - a literary award given to a Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English – for his first book Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. The Headmaster's Wager, his first novel about a Chinese compulsive gambler and headmaster of an English school in Saigon during the Vietnam War, was shortlisted for the 2012 Governor General's Literary Award.

    His visit is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 10 in the Ainsliewood gym.

    About Dr. Vincent Lam
    Dr. Vincent Lam was born in Canada and raised in Ottawa by his parents who came to Canada from the Chinese expatriate community in Vietnam. He completed his medical training at the University of Toronto and worked as an emergency physician in the city and in international air evacuation and expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships. Currently, he works in addictions medicine and is a Lecturer at the University of Toronto. Click here to visit his website.

    ...



    Students attend health advocacy workshops

    Recently, members from the Ontario Lung Association’s Youth Advocacy Training Institute were invited to Columbia to educate students on the tobacco industry.

    Organized by the Student Development department, the workshops discussed two very important issues: the Tobacco Industry and Health Advocacy in the community.

    Students learned how tobacco is intentionally marketed to youth and what role they can play in taking a stand against the industry. Students from the Health Action Team as well as senior students interested in pursuing post-secondary studies and future careers in health and medical fields attended the workshops.

    Ms. Denise Bentum, Activities Instructor at Columbia, believed the sessions were great for students as they were both informative and interactive, giving students a hands-on learning experience and a unique learning opportunity.

    Thank you to Ms. Denise for coordinating the event.

    Youth Advocacy Training Institute 
    The Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI) is a program of the Ontario Lung Association. YATI supports youth and youth-serving organizations in Ontario by providing exciting and interactive learning experiences that equip youth, young adults, and adults working with youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent and reduce tobacco use, promote health and advocate for positive change in their communities through youth engagement. For more information visit YATI online.

    ...



    March Madness

    Happy March Columbia!

    With the mid-winter break, extracurricular activities and a number of great community service opportunities, this month’s featured activities will delight students. The diverse programming also encourages students to try something new and allows them to appreciate the school’s diversity.

    March
    • 1: The Heart of Robin Hood theatrical performance trip, Chilly Half Marathon community service event
    • 4: Staff vs. Students basketball game
    • 5-6: Orientation for New Students
    • 6: Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer Championship game
    • 7: Trip to Niagara Falls
    • 9-13: Literacy Week
    • 10: Author Dr. Vincent Lam presentation
    • 11: Hoops for Heart 3 on 3 basketball tournament, Short period day
    • 12: International Cuisine Series: Europe
    • 13: Mapleview Shopping Centre trip
    • 14-18: Bark Lake Winter Camp
    • 16-20: MARCH BREAK
    • 17-20: Ontario Gleaners community service event
    • 17: 3 on 3 soccer tournament
    • 19: 3 on 3 basketball tournament
    • 20: Movie night
    • 26: Literacy Test
    • 27: MADD Presentation, movie night
    • 29: 30 Hour Famine

    Students interested in any of the above activities or trips should visit the Student Development Department, in Room S244, for more information.

    ...



    CIC nominated for a Hamilton Community News Readers' Choice Award

    Columbia International College has been nominated for a 2015 Hamilton Community News Readers’ Choice Award. The Hamilton Community News is an online community newspaper for Hamilton and the surrounding area and its Readers’ Choice Awards recognize the best businesses within the region.

    Columbia is one of 18 nominees for Best Private School and listed under the Best Business/Service section. A few months ago, the school was chosen as the area's Best Private School in the 2014 Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards.

    How to vote
    To vote for Columbia, follow the steps below;

    1. Visit the Hamilton Community News Reader Choice Awards online;http://readerschoice.hamiltonnews.com/
    2. Login or create an account
    3. Select Business or Service
    4. Select Private School
    5. Vote for COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE (it is the third choice)

    Voting will close on March 8 at 11:30 pm.

    Thank you for supporting Columbia!

    ...



    Staff attend 2015 Town Hall meeting

    On February 19, Columbia International College held its fourth annual Town Hall meeting. Staff and faculty members came together to learn about the school’s upcoming initiatives and attended a health and wellness seminar.   

    The meeting also served as a platform to recognize and celebrate the achievements and dedication of dynamic staff by presenting two types of awards; Total Care® Awards which recognize staff for going above and beyond in their work; Long Term Service Awards which recognizes the long serving staff who have been with Columbia between 5-25 years.

    Total Care® Awards Recipients

    Team Player Award: Paul Yoo, Liaison, Catherine Walsh, Residence

    Volunteer Award: Roger Ferreira, Teacher

    Innovator Award: John Fleming, University Placement

    Customer Service Award: Marina Rosas, Admissions

    Communicator Award: Julianna Giancarlo, Liaison

    Long Term Service Award Recipients

    5 Years

    Mark Minniti, Teacher

    Robert Warelis, I.T.

    Jeff Smith, Maintenance

    Paul Knox, Teacher

    Jessica Savelli, Teacher

    Don Perera, Administration

    Montathar Abbas, Residence

    Roger Ferreira, Teacher

    Sarah Carusi, Teacher

    Yi (Joyce) Zhang, University Placement

    Hui Jiang, Liaison

    Kanagasingham Ahilan, Tutor

    Tania Costa, Teacher

    Iuliu Pasca-Hossu, Teacher

    Hamdi Farah, Residence

    Lombardo Lemus, Residence

    10 Years

    Reyad Al-Taie, Residence

    Cong (Kitty) Zhou, Liaison

    15 Years

    J. Lynne Ziada, Teacher

    Daniel Courchesne, Maintenance

    Priscilla Tamaklo, Admissions

    Maria Hernandez, Housekeeping

    WanLian (Julia) Guo, Liaison

    Annie Rong, University Placement Office

    Pauline Olthof-Youn, Teacher

    Claudia Corado Monterroso, Housekeeping

    Min (Mindy) Wang, Residence

    Randy de Resendes, I.T.

    Congratulations to all award recipients!

    We would like to thank our dedicated staff members and faulty who proudly serve the school and who are committed to the values and mission of Columbia.

    ...



    Time management workshops

    Later this week, the Guidance Department will be holding one of two time management workshops designed to help students succeed in their academic and personal lives;

    Date: Friday, February 27 & Monday, March 2
    Time: Periods 2, 3 & 4
    Location: Guidance Centre

    Topics of discussion
    Students attending the workshop will benefit from learning simple time management strategies including setting deadlines and asking for help when needed. They will also learn skills such as:
    • how to prioritize and manage tasks
    • evaluating where their time is actually being spent
    • effective time planning
    • goal setting
    • strategies for becoming more effective learners

    The time management workshops are one of the many ways Columbia is helping students maximize their potential and preparing them for success.

    Sign up information
    Students can sign up on a voluntary basis with their homeroom teacher until February 24, 2015. All are encouraged and welcome to attend. Visit the Guidance Office for more information.

    ...



    Columbia and York University expand partnership

    Columbia International College is pleased to announce that is has expanded the conditions of its University Partners® agreement with York University. In addition to the existing four designated entrance scholarships ($2000 each) and priority attention from York’s International Admissions Officers, Columbia students will be offered three added unmatched entrance conditions:

    1. IELTS/TOFEL waived for students with:
    • 80% or above in ENG4U
    • 75% or above in ENG3U &ENG4U

    2. Guaranteed admission for students with:
    • 80% in 6 Gr. 12 courses

    3. Designated Scholarships for students with:
    • 95% or higher ($5000 each)
    • 90-94.99% ($2500 each)
    • These scholarships can be combined with the existing designated entrance scholarships of $2000 each

    Mr. Clement Chan, Executive Director, Columbia International College, andDr. Martin Singer, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University, signed the new agreement last week. Columbia is now the only school in Canada to offer such entrance conditions for international students wishing to study at York University.

    Students interested in learning more about York University or the entrance conditions can visit the University Placement Office or can contact their University Placement Counsellor.

    ...



    30 Hour Famine returns to Columbia

    Columbia International College is once again gearing up to host its 30 Hour Famine event on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

    In support of World Vision, the event will raise money and awareness to help end poverty and world hunger. Students who sign up to participate will be asked to raise $50, fast from food for 30 hours, and attend the educational event March 28.

    Who Can Sign Up?
    • Maximum of 200 students
    • Lottery style sign up (lucky draw) – due to high popularity
    • Open only to students who have not previously participated in the event

    Sign Up Procedure
    1. Fri. Feb. 20 or Mon. Feb. 23 (between 9am-5pm)
    • See Ms. Melissa in Room S244
    Option A: Sign up for the lucky draw individually
    Option B: Sign up in a group of 2-3 friends (if you do this, all students must come to sign up at the same time)

    *You only can put your name in the lucky draw once*

    2. Tuesday February 24 at 4pm
    • Check Room S244 to see if your name (or group) was chosen in the luck draw
    • If your name is on the list, sign-up for a training session with Ms. Melissa by Wednesday, February 25.

    Important notes:
    • If you are selected and you do not attend the information session, you will lose your spot in the event
    • No reminders or call slips will be sent

    Students wishing to learn more can visit the Student Development Office, room S244.

    World Vision Youth Canada
    World Vision Youth Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to working with children and communities. The organization encourages youth and students to become agents of change and to BE the solution to global issues of poverty and inequality.

    ...



    OSSLT parent guide

    Students across Ontario are preparing to write theOntario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), scheduled for March 26.

    The OSSLT will measure students’ reading and writing skills by testing their ability to understand, interpret, and apply the diverse concepts and material. As a provincial initiative administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office –EQAO-, the Test promotes lifelong learning by developing skills that are needed for success. All students who study in Ontario must successfully write the test in order to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

    Columbia students have already begun preparing for the test by participating in weekly literacy days and attending a series of workshops and information sessions.

    Parents wishing to learn more about the test can download an information guide, available in 21 languages here. They can also contact their child’sliaison officer or guidance counsellor.

    ...



    Important upcoming dates

    The Guidance Department would like to remind students about some important key dates coming up in February and March;

    FEBRUARY
    9 - Progress Reports / Mid-term reports for 8-week courses

    9 – 13 - 70% Fee Deferral - Students can withdraw from a course and defer 70% of the balance tuition fee (Certain Conditions Apply)

    12- Last day for 8-week students to withdraw with no mark shown

    20 – 4-week ESL mid-term

    MARCH
    4 - Final exams for 8-week courses

    Students can contact their Guidance Counsellor or visit the Guidance Office for more information.

    ...



    Columbia, Get Ready to Show Your Spirit!

    From February 9 – 13 we will be celebrating our school and showing our school pride during Spirit Week!

    Students will be encouraged to participate in interactive activities and challenges throughout the week to show their school spirit. They will also take part in morning activities each day, in both the Ainsliewood and Maple buildings, where a group of classes will compete against one another for a small prize.

    Lastly, staff and students will have the option of participating in themes days by dressing up in outfits and costumes that best represent the theme of the day. This is the most anticipated spirit week tradition and this year will feature the following:

    Pajama Day (Monday)
    Culture Day (Wednesday)
    Wacky Day (Friday)

    Spirit Week is held twice a year, in the winter and fall semesters, and is designed to encourage school spirit and foster character values amongst students.

    Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch all Spirit Week action!

    ...



    2015 University Fair a Great Success

    Yesterday, Columbia International College welcomed 20 of Canada’s best universities to its campus for the school’s annual University Fair.

    The Fair gave students’ unparalleled access to a number of university representatives which provided them with great information about each institution and the academic programs they offer.

    Students were able to roam the booths set up in the Ainsliewood gym and speak with university representatives. Topics of discussion included everything from admission and program requirements, to scholarships and extracurricular opportunities and student life.

    Following the morning session of the Fair, students attended two information sessions of their choice held by each university. During these sessions, university representatives went into more detail about tops of interest for students as well as program specific information.

    As the university application submission deadline is quickly approaching, the sessions presented the perfect opportunity for students to clarify admission requirements and supplementary application details.

    University representatives also enjoyed the fair as allowed them to interact with Columbia’s diverse student population and meet prospective students from around the world.

    Columbia would like to extend a special thank you to all the university representatives who participated in the University Fair.

    See you next year!

    A special thank you to Mr. John and the UPO staff for organizing the Fair.

    Photos and video of the event will be posted on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.

    ...



    Fun Filled February

    Columbia International College’s Student Development (SD) team has planned a number of great activities to keep students entertained over the month of February. Athletics, community service trips, and in school activities are among the planned events designed to give students unique and memorable experiences.

    February

    2: Air Canada Centre trip
    3: Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer Game, Project Almanac movie theatre trip
    4: University Fair
    5: Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer Game, Individual meetings with University of British Columbia representatives
    6: Project Almanac movie theatre trip
    7: Hamilton Winterfest (Community Service Event)
    8: Harlem Globetrotters trip
    9-13: Spirit Week
    10: Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer Game
    12: Valentine’s Day Dance
    14-16: Hamilton’s Kids-Fest (Community Service Event), Iron Man Marathon
    16: Family Day
    18: International Cuisine Series: Lunar New Year Dinner
    19: Ski and Snowboarding Trip, Ontario Gleaners (Community Service Event), Chinese New Year
    20: Mapleview Mall shopping trip
    21: Go-karting activity
    27: Pine Hall social event
    28: Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service Event)

    For more information on the trips and events listed above, please visit theStudent Development department in room S244.

    ...



    Literacy activities

    The 2015 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is quickly approaching!

    Scheduled for March 26, the test will measure students’ reading and writing skills. Columbia has already begun preparing students as teachers and tutors are working to ensure they earn a successful grade. There will also be a series of literacy activities and workshops leading up to the test date. Starting in February, each academic department will dedicate a week to literacy activities within their curriculum;
    Feb. 2-6: Science department
    Feb. 9-12: Social Sciences department
    Feb. 16-20: Business department
    Feb. 23-28: Math department

    Literacy workshops will also be held February 17-27 where students will be able to practice their skills, ask questions and participate in mock test sessions.

    More about the OSSLT
    The OSSLT measures student’s reading and writing skills by testing their ability to understand, interpret, and apply the diverse concepts and material. As a provincial initiative administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office–EQAO, the Test promotes lifelong learning by developing skills that are needed for success. All students who study in Ontario must successfully write the test in order to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

    ...



    Bark Lake leadership retreat

    Members of our school’s leadership teams spent the weekend at beautifulBark Lake, Columbia’s outdoor leadership training centre.

    51 students who currently hold a position on one of five leadership teams - Student Council, Service Prefects, Athletic Prefects, and Residence Activity Prefects School – were invited to attend the four day leadership retreat at Bark Lake. The retreat focused on building students’ communication, teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills by participating in a series of indoor and outdoor activities.
    Student leaders had a great time at Bark Lake and are eager to put their newly acquired leadership skills to use.

    Leadership education 
    Columbia holds a number of leadership retreats throughout the year that play an important role in the school’s leadership education program. These retreats help, and encourage students to, build relations that are integral to their role as student leaders. They further instill students with Character values that help them become responsible Global Citizens and become agents of positive change in their communities.

    Students interested in learning more about leadership opportunities within the school should visit the Student Development office, room S244.

    ...



    Columbia hosts Crime Stoppers Evening of Appreciation

    Last night, Columbia International College had the privilege of hosting theHamilton Crime Stoppers Evening of Appreciation ceremony. The celebration recognized the organization’s greatest supporters including members of the Hamilton community, the Hamilton Police Services, and members of local print, radio and television media outlets.

    Hamilton Police Chief, Glenn DeCaire was among the guests and spoke about the important role Crime Stoppers plays in keeping the Hamilton community safe. He also thanked the members of the community who continue to play a role in keeping the city safe.

    Columbia received special recognition for partnering with Crime Stoppers for 20 years. Columbia and Crime Stoppers share a special connection as Principal, Ron Rambarran, has served as its Past Chair since 1995. Mr. Rambarran was honoured to host another Crime Stoppers Appreciation night at Columbia and said the school “is a proud supporter of the Hamilton community” and will continue to work with local organizations to teach its students the importance of community, inclusiveness, and integrity. On behalf of Columbia, Tim Putt, Head of Senior School, presented Crime Stoppers with a $6000 donation raised from the school community through events such as Casual Day and bake sales.

    About Crime Stoppers
    Crime Stoppers is a local organization that functions as an “investigative tool” and uses the resources of local police, members of the community and the media to solve crime and make the community a safer place. There are over 100 Crime Stoppers programs in Canada, Hamilton being the city in Ontario to develop a Crime Stoppers program.

    ...



    Columbia set to host Canada’s best universities

    Columbia International College is preparing to once again welcome university representatives from across Canada to its annual University Fair. OnWednesday, February 4, representatives from 20 Canadian universities will be in the Ainsliewood Gym to meet, and speak with, Columbia students.

    Organized by the University Placement Office (UPO), the daylong event will provide students with the opportunity to roam each university’s booth, learning about their academic programs and university life. Students will also gain a better understanding of be programs, scholarship opportunities and entry requirements when they attend two university seminars of their choice in the afternoon.

    Universities scheduled to attend include:

    University of Alberta
    Bishop's University
    University of British Columbia
    Brock University
    Cape Breton University
    University of Guelph
    Lakehead University
    McMaster University
    OCAD (Ontario College of Art & Design College)
    University of Ottawa
    Ryerson University
    University of Toronto
    - University of Toronto, Mississauga
    - University of Toronto, Scarborough
    Trent University
    University of New Brunswick
    UOIT
    University of Waterloo 
    Western University
    - King’s College
    - Brescia College
    - Huron College
    Wilfred Laurier University
    University of Windsor
    York University

    For more information, students can visit the University Placement Office.

    ...



    Upcoming university workshops

    The University Placement Office (UPO) at Columbia is committed to helping students achieve and maximize their post-secondary opportunities. Information sessions, workshops and individual counselling sessions are among the ways students are supported in their university application process. Over the next few days UPO has arranged for university representatives to meet with students to discuss the supplementary application process at their respective institutions.

    The University of Toronto
    Representatives from the University of Toronto will discuss the supplementary application process for the Rotman School of Management, the Faculty of Engineering, and programs offered at the Scarborough campus on January 22at 4pm in the Grill. Students applying to these programs are encouraged to attend as they will learn great tips for completing their applications.

    Western University
    Representatives from Western University’s Ivey School of Business will also be conducting a special business lecture for Columbia students on January 22 to provide them with a glimpse into life at the renowned business school.

    OCAD University
    OCAD University (Ontario College of Art and Design) will be visiting CIC in the last week of January (date to be announced). Representatives will answer student questions about preparing art portfolios and will conduct practice reviews.

    University of British Columbia
    Students can arrange a personal meeting with a representative from the University of British Columbia. They will have a unique opportunity to have all their questions about the school, its academic program, and general student life answered. Students should come prepared with questions.

    Students may sign up for all workshops in the University Placement Office.

    Additional university representatives will attend Columbia’s annual University Fair taking place on February 4 in the Ainsliewood Gym. All are welcome to attend.

    ...



    Varsity soccer team looking for gold

    Columbia’s Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer team is on their way to securing a spot in the HWIAC Indoor Soccer League championship.

    The varsity team began their season in late November and have only three games left in their regular season. After achieving an almost next to perfect record, the team currently sits in second place with 18 points. Given the talent and skill level of the roster, Columbia fans have reason to be optimistic about their team’s chances in the playoffs. Coach Erind is also working hard to develop the team, teaching them not only technical skills, but also how to play with good character and spirit.

    The team will have plenty of time to practice and rest before their next game scheduled for February 3 against Sherwood high school.

    HWIAC Indoor League
    Columbia has been participated in the indoor athletic program with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for several years now. They are one of 12 teams represented in the league.

    The league’s standings, results and game schedule can be found here.

    Good luck boys, we’re cheering for you!

    ...



    Top subject awards presented to JMS

    Yesterday afternoon, Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students were presented with Top Subject Awards for their academic achievements in the 2014 fall semester.

    Top Subject Awards are presented each semester to JMS students who achieve the highest mark in individual subjects. Last term, nine JMS students were recognized for excelling academically and were presented with a Class Honours certificate and a Columbia medal. Ms. Garell-Teti, Head of JMS,Ms.Willison and Ms. Foster , JMS teachers, and Mr. Rambarran, Principal, were at the ceremony to congratulate students and distribute medals and certificates to the winners. Congratulations to the JMS top achievers:

    Gr. 7

    Nelly Okuwuolu

    •French
    •History
    •Computer and Information Technology
    •Language Arts
    •Literacy and Social Justice
    •Mathematics
     

    Maria Petrenko (not pictured)

    •French
    •Science
    •Art
    •Music
    •Drama
    •Language Arts
     

    Amy Ting Ting Huang

    •Physical Education

    Gr. 8

    Kimberly Leixi Lai

    •Music
    •Language Arts
    •Literacy and Social Justice

    Nikolay Avilov

    •Drama

    Elizaveta Golova

    •French
    •Art

    Sasha Khen Ir Li

    •Science
    •Computer and Information Technology
    •Mathematics

    Daye Fubara

    •Physical Education

    Aliyah Jimoh

    •Music

    JMS at Columbia
    Columbia’s unique JMS programming focuses on developing well-rounded young adults by evaluating students on their ability to communicate, understand, and apply the knowledge and concepts learned in class. Students are also taught the importance of becoming responsible Global Citizens by participating in the many character focused projects that are incorporated into their academic and extracurricular activities.

    More information on JMS programming can be found by visiting the JMS section of our website.

    ...



    Club Fair 2015

    Club Fair is back at Columbia!

    Twice a year, during the school’s largest intakes, Columbia holds a Club Fairwhere students are given the opportunity to join many great extracurricular clubs and residence activities. Over 70 clubs are profiled and students will be able to register for two clubs during the regular sign-up period.

    The Student Development department is holding a Club Information session on Tuesday, January 13 for students to learn about what clubs are being offered this semester. Club sign-up will begin on Wednesday, January 14. Details for both days are listed below:

    Tuesday, January 13 - Club Information Sessions

    Ainsliewood Clubs4pm-5pm, Ainsliewood Gym

    Pine Hall Girls Clubs: 7pm-8pm, Pine Hall Girls Gymnasium

    Pine Hall Boys Clubs: 7pm-8pm, Pine Hall Basement

    Wednesday, January 14 - Club Sign-up

    Ainsliewood: 4pm-5pm, Ainsliewood Gym *2 club sign-up limit*

    Pine Hall Girls: 7pm-8pm, Pine Hall Girls Gymnasium

    Pine Hall Boys: 7pm-8pm, Pine Hall Basement

    Club Requirements
    At Columbia, students are required to register for a certain number of clubs. Club requirements are as follows:

    Grade 9 - 4

    Grade 10 & 11 - 2

    Grade 12 - 1 + University Prep Club = 2

    More Clubs
    Student interested in joining more than two clubs can drop by the Student Development Office on Thursday, January 15 between the hours 9am-5pmto sign-up for additional clubs that are not yet full.

    All clubs will begin on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Student should check the start time and location with their club leader.

    ...



    Jam-packed January

    With the new year comes a new semester and new opportunities to experience and get involved in student life. January’s event schedule is full of great activities in school and in residence. Visit the Student Developmentdepartment in room S244 to learn more about, or to sign up for, these great events.

    January Events
    5-6: Orientation for new students
    7: Classes begin
    8: Varsity boys Indoor soccer game
    9: Movie night
    10: Niagara Falls trip
    13: Varsity boys indoor soccer game
    13-14: Club Fair
    15: Clubs begin, Intramural tournament captains meeting
    16: Mapleview Shopping Centre trip
    17: Hamilton Snow Angels (Community Service event), Snow Tubing trip
    19: Intramural basketball tournament
    20: Indoor soccer tournament
    23-26: Bark Lake leadership training
    23: Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies AHL Game
    24: Hamilton Snow Angels (Community Service event)
    26-30: Full ASEP survey
    30: Pine Hall social event
    31: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada trip

    Students are encouraged to participate in these events as extracurricular activities play an important part of student life, providing unique experiences and fostering personal growth.

    ...



    Cold weather alert in effect

    cold weather alert for the City of Hamilton remains in effect today as temperatures are expected to drop to as low as -20C.

    Cold weather alerts are commonly issued during this time of year when temperatures are at or are expected to reach below -15C or -20C with the wind chill.

    Students are reminded to dress warm and to cover any exposed skin when going outside.

    To ensure that everyone is prepared for the low temperatures and cold fronts that define Canada’s winter season, we want to offer some tips for staying warm this winter.

    1. A Warm Winter Coat
    • An insulated winter coat is the most important thing you can buy for winter. Coats should be down-filled and waterproof to maximize warmth.

    2. Dress in Layers
    • Wearing more than one layer keep your body warm and insulated. Longjohns and sweaters are a few things you can layer to help keep you warm.

    3. Keep your Feet Dry
    • Waterproof and insulated winter boots make walking through the snow easy and painless. Wool socks are also recommended to keep you warm and dry.

    4. Accessorize
    •Hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and earmuffs are just as important as coats and boots. They will keep your body covered and ensure you maintain your body heat.

    Winter clothing can be easily found in stores across Hamilton. If you need to stock up on winter garments, consider visiting these local retail locations:
    • Jackson Square (2 King Street West. Hamilton)
    • Westdale Village (King Street West, -from Cline to Sterling Ave- Hamilton)
    • Walmart Supercentre (675 Upper James St., Hamilton)
    • Limeridge Mall (999 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton)

    Local weather conditions can be found on the school’s homepage, or local news outlets such as the Weather Network and or CBC Hamilton.

    ...



    ...



    January's registration & orientation schedule

    Columbia International College is preparing to welcome hundreds of new students next week when the 2015 winter semester begins. Ushering in a new year and a new semester is always very exciting for students who look forward to new beginnings and meeting new people. To ensure that students are prepared for the new semester, Columbia will be holding full-day registration and orientation sessions on January 5 and 6.

    Student registration and orientation reminders
    Students are reminded to bring the following documents to orientation;
    • Passport
    • Student Visa
    • Letter of acceptance from Columbia
    • Most recent school records

    Registration and orientation will take place on Monday, January 5 and Tuesday, January 6, 2015 in the Ainsliewood gym. Both sessions will be from 8am-5pm and will include a welcome assembly, testing and residence activities.

    Parent orientation
    Parents of new students are also invited to attend an orientation session on Monday, January 5, 2015. They will have the opportunity to meet with various staff members and learn about everything from academics to residence to meal services. Orientation for parents will take place in the Ainsliewood building from 8am to 5pm.

        Time                       Location                  Activity
       8 – 8:30 AM             Gymnasium               • Welcome Assembly & Principal’s address
       8:30 – 9 AM             Café                          • Meet with the Principal, Head of Senior School
       9– 9:30 AM              Café                          • Meet with the General Manager , Executive Director
      9:30 – 9:45 AM          Café                          • Meet with Visa Officer, discuss visa & passport renewal
      9:45– 10 AM             Café                          • Meet with Financial Manager
      10 – 10:30 AM          Café                          • Meet with University Admissions Guidance Counsellors
      10:30 – 11 AM          Cafeteria                    • Residence question and answer session with Residence Director
    11 – 11:30 AM            Café                          • Meet with Sodexo staff
    11:30AM–12:30PM     Café                           • Meet with Student Development Department Head
    12:30 – 2 PM             Café                           • Lunch Break
    2– 5 PM                     Ainsliewood                • Orientation Sessions for new students (you may follow your child’s                                                                      schedule)

    Students are reminded that the first day of classes is Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Classes begin at 8:45 a.m.

    We look forward to welcoming all new and returning students!

    ...



    Nominate Columbia for a Hamilton News Readers’ Choice Award

    Nominate Columbia International College for a 2014 Hamilton News Readers’ Choice Award! Columbia received a nomination in the category of “Private School” and is one of 14 nominees.

    The Hamilton News Readers’ Choice Awards is “an annual survey completed by local residents that recognizes local businesses for products and services in Hamilton, Ontario.”

    How to submit a nomination
    To nominate Columbia, follow the steps below.

    1. Visit the Hamilton Community News Reader Choice Awards online;http://readerschoice.hamiltonnews.com/
    2. Select Business or Service
    3. Select Private School
    4. Nominate COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE (it is the third choice)

    Nominations can be submitted until January 11, 2015.

    In October, Columbia was voted Best Private School in the 2014 Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards.

    Thank you for supporting Columbia!

    ...



    Holiday Hours

    If you are looking to contact staff at our Ainsliewood or Maple buildings during the holidays, please be advised of our Holiday Hours;

    December 24 – OPEN (8am-1pm)
    December 25-26 – CLOSED
    December 29-30 – OPEN (8am-5pm)
    December 31- OPEN (8am-1pm)
    January 1 – CLOSED
    January 2 – OPEN (8am-5pm)

    On behalf of the entire Columbia community, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    ...



    December grads encouraged to live a life that matters

    Yesterday, Columbia International College celebrated December’s graduating during the 2014 December graduation ceremony. Joined by staff, teachers, parents and friends, teachers, students, Ainsliewood Gym to attend the 90 minute ceremony.

    Keynote Address
    Ms. Kim Meade, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Student Services), Brock University delivered an inspiriting keynote address. She gave a number of important tips for succeeding in their academic and personal lives; “express appreciation to those who have helped you,”; “tap into your potential and passion,”; and “mistakes and failures are essential to learning.” Her last piece of advice was to “live a life that matters” and borrowed the words from Michael Josephson’s “What Will Matter” poem.

    Valedictory Address and Vote of Thanks
    Ubani Chiamaka Hilary was overwhelmingly chosen by his peers -with 95% of the vote-to represent the 2014 December graduating class as Valedictorian. He began his speech with the normal and usual formalities like reflecting on the time spent at Columbia and recapping some of the fun and exciting events. However, it was the latter part of his speech that excited his peers and captivated the attention of those in the audience. Ubani made history when he rapped the final part of his speech, focusing his message on fulfilling dreams and living life to the fullest.

    Vote of Thanks was eloquently delivered by Zhang YanZi (June) who expressed her gratitude for being chosen to speak on behalf of the class. She thanked everyone from teachers and support staff, to campus safety and the medical clinic for playing vital roles in ensuring student success. She also stated how thankful she was for meeting people from around the world and making lifelong friends.

    University Representatives 
    Columbia was grateful to welcome university representatives from across Ontario who served as the ceremony’s guests of honour and presented certificates to the graduates. Included were:
    Mr. Ni Jadon, Ms. May Zhai - McMaster University
    Mr. Marc-André Gougeon - University of Ottawa
    Ms. Alisha Koumphol - Ryerson University
    Mr. Dan Vassiliou - University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    Ms. Jenny Hickman - University of Toronto, Scarborough
    Dr. Serge D’Alessio - University of Waterloo
    Ms. Betty Chang - Western University
    Ms. Lindsay Amyot - York University

    Special Presentation
    Columbia’s Head of Campus Safety also attended the ceremony to presentHamilton Police Service Constable, Jon Van Oene, with a special memento thanking him for his exemplary service as our schools Police Liaison Officer. Constable Van Oene has worked closely with us and goes above and beyond to ensure that our students, and our school community, remain a safe one.

    Photos and Video
    For the second consecutive year, December’s graduation ceremony was streamed live on our YouTube channel. The full production of the ceremony will be available in the coming weeks.

    Photos of the ceremony and reception can be found on our Facebook page.

    A special thank you to UPO, Liaison, and Maintenance teams for their work in organizing and preparing for the event.

    Thank you also to Sodexo for providing a wonderful reception and to Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Ensemble for their musical contributions.

    ...



    University Partners® recognized in global employability rankings

    Higher Education recently released its ranking of global employability of university graduates. Based on surveys of over 2000 international recruiters in 20 countries, the rankings included five Canadian universities. Among the Canadian schools listed were two of Columbia’s University Partners®;University of Toronto (ranked 13) and McMaster University (ranked 80).

    The University of Toronto was ranked the highest of all Canadian universities and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom was ranked first overall.

    To view the complete list, click here:http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/global-employability-university-ranking-2014-results/2017406.article

    ...



    Christmas picture contest

    Columbia, show us how you’ll be spending your Christmas break. Whether you’re staying local or returning home, we want to see how you celebrate the holidays.

    Starting today until December 31, 2014, send us a picture on Facebook or Twitter that best represents how you celebrate the holidays using the hashtag #CICChristmas.

    Prizes
    Prizes will be given to the top three submissions;
    • One $50 gift card to Indigo
    • Two $20 gift cards to Tim Hortons

    Winners will be announced on January 7, 2015.

    Only ONE entry per student.

    Pictures must be submitted before January 1, 2015.

    Follow us today!
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia.International.College
    Twitter: @cic_totalcare

    We look forward to your entries.

    ...



    Visit from Waterloo Math

    Earlier this month, representatives from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics returned to Columbia to meet with prospective students.

    Faculty of Mathematics 
    Waterloo’s Mathematics faculty is renowned worldwide and is known for producing some “has the largest concentration of mathematical and computer science talent in the world.”

    It currently ranks 24th in the world, and second in Canada, for Computer Science and Mathematics (Quacquarelli Symonds).

    Most programs incorporate lab work and offer students hands on experience as well as the option of completing a co-op placement. The university also offers many academic and social support services including tutors in residence, a Student Success Office, and International Student Office, and a Student Life office.

    University Partners®
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;
    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    For more information regarding the mathematics program, visit the University of Waterloo online.

    ...



    JMS compete in local spelling bee

    Three Junior Middle School (JMS) students proudly represented Columbia at a local spelling bee competition held last month.

    Sasha Li Khen Ir, Elizaveta Golova, and Kimberly Lai Lie Xi traveled to Mohawk College on Nov. 29 to participate in the Rotary Club of Ancaster Spelling Bee. Over 40 participants in grades 7 and 8 from private and public schools in Hamilton competed against one another.

    Our JMS students were chosen as participants after they came in first in their classes from a mini-spelling bee held at Columbia a few weeks before the competition. They were challenged to spell a number of difficult words but persevered and made it to the fourth round!

    The spelling bee was a great learning and educational experience for JMS students. Along with promoting literacy and building vocabulary, it improved students’ confidence, public speaking skills and study habits. Columbia would like to congratulate all those who participated on their determination and hard work during the competition.

    ...



    Columbia welcomes Canadian Trade Commissioner

    Last week, Columbia was honoured to welcome Canada’s Trade Commissioner to Brazil, Mr. Paulo Orlandi to its campus. He met with staff, toured campus and learned about our educational partnerships in Brazil.

    Mr. Orlandi was in Ontario to attend the Construct Canada Trade Show in Toronto, held Dec.2-4, where he supported and encouraged Canadian institutions and companies to develop business agreements and partnerships in Brazil.

    Canada’s Trade Commissioners
    Canada’s Trade Commissioners help businesses invest abroad and attract investment and develop partnerships. Trade Commissioner Service offices around the world help Canadian business break into local markets and forge business and communications partnerships.

    We would like to thank Mr. Paulo Orlando for visiting Columbia.

    ...



    Live stream December’s graduation ceremony

    Columbia International College’s December graduation ceremony is just one week away.

    While we hope to welcome many family members and friends to campus to celebrate this milestone, we understand that many will be unable to attend. We are pleased to once again offer live coverage of the ceremony to give those near and far the opportunity to be a part of the ceremony.

    Live Streaming of December Graduation Ceremony will be available on our YouTube channel;https://www.youtube.com/user/ColumbiaIntlCollege/live.

    Streaming starts at 10:50 a.m. (EST) on December 16, 2014 with the ceremony scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

    ...



    Final exam study tips

    With the winter break quickly approaching, students are busy preparing and studying for their final exams, being written December 8-11. To ensure students are well prepared for their final exams, we would like to offer some useful study tips.

    1. Start early – Don’t wait until the night before your exam to start studying. You should already be reviewing your notes and making your own personal study guide. If you haven’t started studying yet, STOP procrastinating and open your books!

    2. Make study notes – Sometimes putting the information you have learned into your own words is easier to understand. By making your own notes you can paraphrase class materials and see how much you really understand what you have been taught.

    3. Test yourself – Read through old assignments and tests and re-do the exercises. This is a great way to review class material and will help you identify your weaknesses.

    4. Study in groups – Sometimes it is easier to study with a group of friends so you can quiz each other on what you have learned in class. Group study is also a great way to brainstorm and come up with new ideas.

    5. Get plenty of sleep – Getting the right amount of sleep is very important. Your body and brain need to rest for you to function at your highest capacity. Ensure you get a good night’s rest and don’t stay up all night studying.

    6. Stay focused and positive – Focus on studying and don’t get discouraged by something you don’t understand. Remember you can always ask a friend or a tutor for help. Have a positive attitude and don’t doubt yourself.

    Good luck to all students and happy studying!

    ...



    Made in Movember

    Columbia would like to thank all the staff and students who participated in, and contributed, to our Movember campaign.

    Your donations have helped Movember Canada raise over $18,000,000, and much needed awareness, for prostate cancer and men’s health.

    Moustachery 101

    Many males at Columbia accepted the Movember challenge and grew some great moustaches for the month. The best looks were voted on last week and the winners are as follows:

    Students:
    1st - Arslan Ahmed
    2nd - Sakthi Karunanithi
    3rd - Wainaina Gaithuma

    Staff:
    1st - Mr. Susin
    2nd - Mr. Tony 
    3rd - Mr. Hayes 

    Special mention to Mr. Susin who has claimed the best moustache title for two consecutive years!

    Thanks to all those who participated in the campaign!

    ...



    Dashing December

    It’s the holiday season …

    In just two week winter exams will be over and students will begin their winter break! Many will be returning home for the holidays, but there will also be a large number of students spending their break in Hamilton. Residence staff and Student Development staff have organized a variety of events to ensure that those spending the holidays in residence will have a great winter break and will get to experience events and traditions unique to Canada.

    December Events
    1: Boys Varsity Soccer game
    2: Leadership BBQ
    5: NBA Game (Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers), Mapleview Mall shopping trip
    8: Boys Varsity Soccer game
    8-11: Final Exams
    12: Boys Varsity Soccer game, Operation Christmas Child (Community Service event)
    13: Santa Burlington Race (Community Service event)
    15: Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service event)
    16: Graduation Ceremony
    17: Boys Varsity Soccer game
    18-19: Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service event)
    20: Movie Night – The Hobbit
    14-Jan 2: Residence Holiday Program (Check your residence for daily event schedule)
    22-23: Good Shepherd (Community Service event)
    25: Merry Christmas!
    27: Boxing Week Shopping trip
    30: 3 on 3 basketball tournament
    31: New Year’s Eve Party

    For more information, or to sign up for community service events, visit theStudent Development in room S244.

    ...



    Awarding Excellence

    Columbia’s students and staff gathered in the Ainsliewood Gym on Wednesday afternoon to honour those who excelled in clubs, groups and extracurricular activities this semester's Award Ceremony. Activity advisors and teachers were in attendance to present award recipients with a certificate of achievement and medals to those involved in athletics. Hosted by the Student Development Department, the awards are a bi-annual tradition that highlights the exceptional contribution of students to the Columbia and Hamilton community.

    Distributed Awards
    Students were recognized for their efforts and contributions in extracurricular activities and given awards in five categories:
    • Outstanding Achievement in Clubs
    • Community Service Awards
    • Athletic Awards
    • Special Awards
    • Overall Contribution

    Congratulations to all award winners!

    Character Building
    Columbia’s clubs and extracurricular activities give students opportunities to acquire strong leadership skills and become well-rounded responsible Global Citizens. Along with giving students opportunities to engage outside the classroom, these fun activities provide a means to gain meaningful and healthy social interaction.

    Thank you to Student Development for producing another fantastic ceremony.

    ...



    October's top ESL achievers

    Yesterday, four top-achieving ESL students were recognized for receiving the highest mark in their respective classes.

    Each student was presented with a medal of distinction and certificate of achievement for their accomplishment in a small ceremony held in the Living Wall Lounge. Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head, Mr. Rambarran, Principal, and Mr. Putt, Head of Senior School were all in attendance to congratulate each student.

    October’s Winners
    ESLAO - Ye, Tongshan
    ESLBO - Zheng, Qi
    ESLCO - Pollet, Julia
    ESLDO – He, Runda

    Fostering Success
    Columbia strives to instill good work values in its students to help foster their academic and personal success. Teachers, support staff and subject tutors are all available to help students overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

    ...



    Varsity team defeats staff 70-38

    Columbia’s students are used to learning important lessons from their teachers and staff but yesterday, the boys’ varsity basketball team taught them a thing or two about athleticism and humility.

    In a friendly, yet highly competitive, basketball game, Columbia’s staff and students faced off in the Ainsliewood gym. With excitement and school spirit at an all-time high, thanks largely to the support of the cheerleading squad, it was clear that this would be an epic battle.

    From the tip-off, the boys’ varsity basketball team showed why they are amongst the city’s top high school teams. They dominated the court and secured a huge lead in just the first quarter. Their speed, skill level and high quality plays were problematic for staff who tried their best to narrow the scoring opportunities. While staff did gain some ground in the second half, the boys kept their momentum up and defeated staff 70-38.

    In addition to being a battle of athleticism, the game is played annually in November as part of Columbia’s Movember fundraising campaign. While attendance to the game was free, spectators were encouraged to donate to Columbia’s Movember fund.

    Thank you to referees Mr. Freddy and Ms. Lue, and the staff and students who participated in the game.

    ...



    Art in Unison - a celebration of the Arts

    Last week, Columbia held its first ever co-production of the English, Arts and Business Departments. This celebration of the Arts, entitled Art in Unison, was composed of two one act plays and several digital shorts.

    Each department equally contributed to the production; Writer’s Craft class wrote the two plays, Drama classes performed the roles, the school band and choir were responsible for the musical performances, the Art classes created the sets and props, and the Marketing class was in charge of all promotional materials. Teachers in each respective department also had a hand in the productions serving as Directors, Producers, Stage Managers and more.

    The two one act plays -The Handshake of Death and The Inheritance– were written by Mrs. Pivniceru’s Writer’s Craft and offered a bit of mystery, intrigue, comedy and tragedy. The former was performed by Mrs. Savelli’s Grade 11 Drama Class while the latter by Mrs. Ward’s Grade 12 Drama Class. Intermission was just as entertaining with a number of digital shorts produced by students and outstanding musical performances by the school band. 

    The Art in Unison Show replaced this year’s traditional Winter Talent Show and given the magnificent performances and work by students, we hope this becomes the new winter tradition!

    Thank you to all those involved in the productions including writers, teacher advisors, stage crew and lighting and sound crew.

    ...



    University Partner U Waterloo visits Columbia

    The University of Waterloo recently stopped by Columbia to hold an information session for Columbia students. As an established institution, excelling in research, engineering and technology programs, the University recruits students with good academic standing and passionate individuals to bring forward new and innovative ideas.

    Fast Facts
    • “Canada’s most innovative university” for the past 23 years
    • home to the largest engineering faculty in Canada and largest actuarial science program in North America
    • first school in Canada to adopt the co-op learning program
    • the world’s first kinesiology department
    • 1 main campus in Waterloo; 3 satellite campuses in Cambridge, Kitchener and Stratford

    Programs are available in 6 faculties and may incorporate lab work as well as the option of completing a co-op placement. The university also offers many academic and social support services including tutors in residence, a Student Success Office, and International Student Office, and a Student Life office.

    University Partner
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners®, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;
    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    The University’s Mathematics department will hold a separate workshop for Columbia students on Dec. 1.

    For more information regarding programs, admissions, and scholarships, visit the University of Waterloo online.

    ...



    Movember 2014

    Columbia International College is participating in Movember!

    Once again, Columbia’s staff and students are encouraged to show their support for the campaign, not only by growing a moustache, but by raising awareness and money for men's health issues. Last year, Columbia raised a total of $1107.37 from various fundraising initiatives including bake sales, casual days and button and mug sales, as well as personal donations. This year, they are hoping to raise even more money through similar fundraisers and the traditional staff vs. students basketball game.

    Those wishing to participate in any of the school’s Movember events can contact Student Development in S244 for more information.

    About Movember
    Since beginning in Australia in 2003, over 800 Movember campaigns in 21 countries have raised $574 million for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer and male mental health issues. To find out more about this creative campaign, visit the official Movember Canada page.

    ...



    Lest We Forget

    Today, we celebrate Remembrance Day; a national day of remembrance observed in Canada and many countries across the world. It is a day dedicated to honouring “the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace" (Veterans Affairs Canada).

    Did you know … 
    • Remembrance Day was originally called Armistice Day because it signified the end of World War I. On November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. - the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Germany signed the armistice agreement that ended WWI.

    • Over 100,000 Canadians have died serving our country.

    • It was common for poppies to grow over soldiers’ graves soldiers and on battlefields. As a result, the Poppy is used as a symbol of Remembrance.

    • The famous war poem “In Flanders Fields” was written during the battle of Ypres by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. After seeing battlefields and soldiers’ graves covered in poppies, he was inspired to write the poem which has been adopted as the unofficial anthem of Remembrance Day;

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    - John McCrae

    Please join us at 11 a.m. this morning in observing a moment of silence to remember the men and women who have courageously fought, and continue to fight, to keep our country strong, proud and free.

    ...



    Upcoming Literacy Day

    On Thursday, November 13, Columbia International College will be hostingLiteracy Day.

    The day, intended to promote and celebrate literacy, will encourage students to read and will highlight the importance of reading and writing as they begin to prepare for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) scheduled for March 26, 2015. Throughout the day, students can participate in a number of literacy related activities:

    1) Wear a shirt with expressions or slogans for others to read (they cannot have swearing or inappropriate language or images on them)
    2) Review student-made literacy project on display in the Living Wall Lounge during periods 2, 3 & 4
    3) Make bookmarks for themselves or others during periods 2, 3 & 4 in the Living Wall Lounge
    4) Practice for the OSSLT by looking over test questions and picking up practice handouts

    Visit Mrs. Youn in room 235 for more information about Literacy Day or the Literacy Test.

    ...



    JMS compete in Spelling Bee

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School students practiced their English vocabulary skills yesterday afternoon as they participated in a mini Spelling Beecompetition. One by one, students were asked to spell out a number of challenging words in front of their peers and three judges; Mrs. Wilkinson, Mrs. Willison, and Mrs. Olthof-Youn.

    The competition’s was held not only to promote next week’s Literacy Day, but also to determine finalists who will attend the Rotary Club of Ancaster's Spelling Bee on November 29 at Mohawk College.

    Those students chosen to attend will compete against other grade 7 and 8 students from the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board for a chance to win the Spelling Bee and a number of individual and school prizes.

    We will reveal the results of the Ancaster Spelling Bee on December 1, 2014!

    ...



    Take Our Kids to Work Day

    Columbia International College is welcoming Grade 9 students to its campus today as it participates in Canada’s Take Our Kids to Work™ program.

    The national program allows students in Grade 9 to visit the workplaces of their parents, relatives and friends to gain a better understanding of the working world and encourages them to thing about their future. It further supports career development by demonstrating the importance of education, skills development and training in the workplace.

    Those students participating in Columbia’s Take Our Kids to Work™ day have a fun-filled educational day ahead of them. Here are some of the things they can look forward to:
    • Welcome address
    • Tour of Ainsliewood
    • Activities through Student Development
    • Job Shadowing

    Columbia hopes this experience will provide students with an opportunity to learn they type of skills needed in the workplace and better appreciate their parents’ work.

    ...



    Noteworthy November

    November is a busy month at Columbia with events and activities scheduled for every area of student interest. Students are encouraged to participate in all activities to develop their skills, meet new friends, and maintain a balanced education.

    November Events
    1: Leadership Retreat, Road 2 Hope Marathon (Community Service event)
    3: University of New Brunswick visit, Badminton tournament
    4: Trent University visit, Hong Kong Application Workshop
    4-6: Flu Clinic
    5: Girls Staff vs. Students Basketball game
    5-7: Health Action Team Lunchtime events
    6: JMS Spelling Bee, Staff vs. Students Ping Pong game
    7: Mapleview shopping trip
    8: Relay for Life
    10: University of Waterloo visit
    11: Remembrance Day, University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management, Engineering, Arts & Science visit
    11-13: Flu Clinic
    13: Literacy Day, Algoma University visit
    17: University of Ottawa visit, OCAD University visit
    14: Winter Show
    15: Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service event), NBA Game (Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz)
    16: Hannukah Hustle (Community Service event)
    19: Queen’s University visit
    20: International Cuisine Series – Africa, University of Guelph visit
    21: December Graduation Dinner
    23: Santa Claus Parade (Community Service event)
    24: Staff vs. Students Basketball Game
    25: UOIT visit
    26: Awards Ceremony
    28: Wilfrid Laurier University visit, Coffee House (Residence Event)
    29: Laser Tag trip

    To learn more about events and activities happening this month, contact a member of Student Development in room S244. Visit the University Placement Office for information relating to the upcoming university visits.

    ...



    Columbia welcomes Western U

    Be extraordinary.

    Columbia students explored their post-secondary options at one of the world’s top ranked universities yesterday as they attended an information session given by Western University. Known for its commitment to academic excellence, its renowned research facilities, and unique program combinations, Western attracts top students eager to become global leaders and global citizens.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked as the best student experience among large Canadian universities
    • Four campus options; Main Campus, Brescia University College, Huron University College, King’s University College
    • Home to the Ivey School of Business
    • Named Canada’s most beautiful university
    • Welcomes international students from over 117 countries
    • Only school in Canada to receive an A+ in recreation programs

    University Partners® 
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners®, Western offers Columbia graduates exclusive benefits including:
    • Three designated admission scholarships to the top three graduates of Columbia who register at Western's main campus each year, at a value $1000 higher than published admission scholarship values.
    • Guaranteed admission scholarships for students who are admitted and attend Western’s main campus with a final admission average of 88% or above (as calculated by Western and including pre-requisite course)

    Want to Visit Western? 
    Columbia will be holding a trip to attend Western’s Fall Preview Day on Sunday, November 16, 2014. Students interested in attending are encouraged to sign up in the University Placement Office.

    A special thank you Ms. Carolyn Ford for visiting Columbia.

    ...



    CIC voted Hamilton’s best Private School

    The results for the 2014 Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards were announced today and Columbia International College is thrilled to report that we were voted number one in the category of Best Private School. Out of 10 local schools nominated, we were awarded the title of Platinum winner.

    The Readers’ Choice award recognizes local businesses in the Greater Hamilton Area and winners are determined by votes of local residents. To see a list of all winners, click here.

    We would like to thank all those who voted for us and the Hamilton community for their support throughout the years.

    ...



    Career information sessions

    Columbia students were encouraged to attend a variety of Career Information Sessions this week as they begin to think about and plan for their future.

    Held in the Maple building auditorium, the sessions were designed to give students a better look at careers in their fields of interest:
    • Engineering and Science
    • Social Science and Humanities
    • Business and Math

    Guidance Counsellors and University Placement Counsellors spoke to students about courses they can take in high school and university that relate to their careers of interest. Counsellors explained the differences in programs and made them aware of all the great opportunities they will have to explore careers in university through co-op placements, internships, volunteer events, and exchange programs. They also advised students to take advantage of the resources at their disposal and encouraged them to meet with their Guidance or University Placement Counsellor if they had any questions.

    The Career Information Session was just one of many ways the Guidance Department is helping students prepare for their future. Throughout the year they hold a number of workshops to foster student success including topics such as time management, stress management, and much more.

    ...



    Canadian universities visit Columbia

    Universities from across Canada continue to visit Columbia to discuss the post-secondary options at their respective schools. Students have been attending information sessions to learn about academic programs and meet university representatives. Here are the schools that visited last week:

    McGill University
    McGill University is one of Canada’s premier research intense universities; “the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in Canada.” Admissions to their acclaimed programs are highly sought after and students who apply have some of the highest entering averages in the country.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranks 31st in Times Higher Education world rankings
    • 1st ranked Canadian medical-doctoral university (Maclean's University Rankings 2014)
    • International students account for 20% of the student population
    • 10 Nobel prize winners among alumni

    The University of British Columbia
    The University of British Columbia (UBC), known for its research capabilities, innovation and leadership, is one of the best post-secondary institutions in Canada and the world. Students who choose to study here will gain unique experiences and will discover endless opportunities on Canada’s West Coast.

    Fast Facts 
    • One of the world’s top 40 research universities, ranked 32nd by Times Higher Education
    • Home to the second largest research library in Canada
    • Campuses located in Vancouver and Okanagan Valley
    • 9000 international students from 151 countries
    • One of the nation’s best Varsity and university athletic programs
    • $8 million in scholarships available to international students

    The University of Windsor
    Located in the diverse city of Windsor, Ontario, the University of Windsorwelcomes students from across Canada and the world. As a mid-sized student-centred institution, the University fosters student success by providing endless learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.

    Fast Facts
    • Offers 190 undergraduates programs, 65 graduate programs and six professional programs
    • International students account for 11% of the population
    • new $70-million downtown campus for the School of Arts and Creative Innovation to open in 2015
    • Odette School of Business offers courses in accounting, finance and HR
    • The job placement rate for Computer Science graduates is 100%
    • Outstanding Scholars Program gives top achieving first-year students the opportunity of a paid research experience

    Memorial University 
    Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university. Known for its inclusive community, it is dedicated to “innovation and excellence in teaching and learning, research, scholarship, creative activity, service and public engagement.”

    Fast Facts
    • 4 campuses, 3 in Newfoundland and Labrador and one in the United Kingdom
    • International students represent 11% of the student population
    • Diverse scholarships available for domestic and international students

    Students interested in learning more about each school should visit their University Placement Counsellor.

    ...



    Get your flu shot at Columbia

    The flu season is fast approaching! With the virus expected to affect a larger number of the population this year Canadian health officials recommend being immunized with the flu vaccination to fight, and prevent the spread, of the seasonal flu.

    What is the flu?
    The flu is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus that affects people of every age. Common flu symptoms include:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Stuffy nose
    • Chills
    • Sore throat
    • Cough

    It is important to note that these symptoms can be different for each person. The flu typically lasts for about one week but there is a possibility that it can develop into a more serious illness. It is best to visit the nurse if your symptoms last longer than a week.

    Preventing the Flu 
    Columbia cares about health and safety of its students and staff and is taking the necessary precautions to ensure that everyone is protected from the influenza virus. To minimize the risk of catching or spreading the flu, Columbia will be holding a free vaccination clinic open to all students and staff.

    What: Flu Vaccination Clinic
    Where: Living Wall Lounge, Ainsliewood building
    When: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Students who wish to be immunized require parental consent if they are under 18 years of age.

    For more information about the flu virus and the flu shot, cont the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Flu Guide; http://www.fightflu.ca/index-eng.php.

    ...



    ESL top achievers: August & September

    August and September’s ESL awards were handed out yesterday, recognizing the top achievers in each of the five ESL programs. Certificates of Merit and medals of distinction were presented to nine students by ESL Department Head, Mr. Jeremy Galea, Principal, Mr. Ron Rambarran, and Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, in a ceremony held at the Living Wall Lounge.

    The following students were recognized for their hard work and outstanding accomplishment:

    AugustSeptemberPollet, Julia (ESLAO)Wang, Lihan (ESLAO)Pham, Duc Dung (ESLBO)Zhang, Wenjie(ESLBO)Li, Ruoyan (ESLCO)Liu, Chen (ESLCO)Yao, Moru (ESLCO)Wang, Zhi (ESLDO)Xiao, Ling (ESLDO)Yao, Moru (EOA4Z)

    Perseverance 
    Mr. Galea, Mr. Rambarran, and Mr. Chan, were all equally impressed by the progress each student has made since arriving at Columbia. They understand the difficulties associated with learning a new language and are proud of the students for challenging themselves and persevering through obstacles. All three administrators encouraged students to continue to strive for excellence and they hope receive awards again next month.

    ...



    Columbia girls climb CN Tower

    On Saturday, October 18 Columbia students were challenged to show their “altitude” by participating in the 2014 Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way.

    Nine girls from Pine Hall residence participated in the climb, each hoping to not only conquer all 1,776 stairs, but to raise funds to support United Way and its vital role in the community. All girls completed the climb, most reaching the end in less than 30 minutes. Those who participated included;
    1. Sara Haghani
    2. Daria Oleynichenko
    3. Kristina Oleynichenko
    4. Liza (Eliza) Getmanskaya
    5. Gloria Amah
    6. Emma Gutierrez
    7. Yasmin Suleimenova
    8. Aminata Traore
    9. Alejandra Barajas
    10. Angel (Marie)

    The girls worked extremely hard to prepare for they climb. They trained for months by climbing the stairs in residence and those on Hamilton’s Chedoke trail.

    Thank you to Ms. Simpson for climbing with the girls and thank you to Ms. Mahaffey for her support during training and the climb.

    Congratulations to all those who participated!

    ...



    Celebrating Character

    “Goodness is about character - integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. – D. Prager”

    Columbia is celebrating Character Week!

    Students at Columbia will be celebrating good character all week long as promote the school’s Character keys during Character Week. Different Character keys will be highlighted each day and students will be challenged to complete activities that reflect the different vales;

    Mon, Oct. 20: Responsibility - Students receive a ping pong ball to care for the entire week. They are also reminded to bring the ball to school each day to complete the ping pong challenge.

    Tues, Oct. 21: Respect, Caring – Students show their appreciation to friends, teachers, family and others, by creating and giving out thank you cards.

    Wed, Oct. 22: Inclusiveness – A “Mix-it-Up” lunch activity encourages students to reach out to others and meet new friends. Students are encouraged to take selfies so we can create a "selfie" banner to showcase our diversity.

    Thurs, Oct. 23: Honesty, Integrity and Caring – Students will participate in a Character Truth and Dare Challenge.

    Fri, Oct. 24: Perseverance – Students will learn the value of persevering through a Minute to Win It Challenge.

    Activities will be held in the Maple building from 11:50 – 1:10 p.m. and between 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. in the Ainsliewood building (Living Wall Lounge). All students are encouraged to participate.

    Character at Columbia
    Columbia is devoted to building Character in its students who pledge to practice 10 important Character traits. Each month, a different Character trait is taught and incorporated across the academic and extracurricular curriculum. Character education plays a large role in student life and aims to create responsible global citizens.

    ...



    October's Course Fair

    Columbia showcased its diversity in programming to current students as it held this semester’s Course Fair. Throughout the week, different departments set up information booths in the Marketplace to discuss their respective courses with students. Members of the Math, Science, English, Social Science/Arts, and Business Departments participated in the Fair. Course books, sample projects and tests, and course outlines were among the items displayed to give students a general overview of their program of interest.

    The Social Sciences and Arts department also tried something new this year and used the augmented reality app Aurasma to engage students, giving them a better overview of courses and subjects.

    Along with gaining a better understanding of the courses offered at Columbia, students learned more about university prerequisites, and had the opportunity to meet members of the teaching staff.
    Program Selection

    Columbia offers a large variety of programs in all disciplines to students at both the Junior Middle School and Senior School level. Programs are designed to foster students’ academic and social skills while giving them unique experiences inside and outside the classroom. Character development is also implemented across the school curriculum to ensure students received a balanced education. To view a full list of courses offered, visit our website.

    ...



    University visits continue

    Columbia continues to welcome university representatives from Canada and the United States to its campus to hold valuable information sessions for students. Laurentian University, the University of Calgary, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ryerson University were the most recent visitors to our campus.

    Laurentian University
    Laurentian University is one of Canada’s fastest growing universities. It is known for its personalized learning experience and small class size which fosters academic growth. Laurentian excels in research, especially in the fields of business, health, mining and the environment.

    Fast Facts
    • International admission has grown by 50%
    • One of only two bilingual universities in Canada
    • Two campuses – Barrie and Sudbury
    • Ranked high for Services for International Students by the Globe and Mail
    • Leader in environmental studies, health sciences, mineral exploration and mining, engineering, and management

    University of Calgary 
    The University of Calgary is Canada’s top-ranked young university. Located in Western Canada, Calgary is a vibrant city with a booming economy and is a short distance away from the beautiful Canadian Rockies. The University is known for its sustainability efforts and hopes to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016.

    Fast Facts
    • Offers more than 200 programs in 14 faculties
    • 77 Canada Research Chairs
    • Programs promote active learning and hands-on learning
    • Values leadership and student engagement in the community

    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) is a research intensive institution that places great emphasis on leadership and involvement. Its competitive and selective admission process strives to develop holistic students.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide (2014 QS World University Rankings)
    • International students from over 130 countries
    • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Degrees available

    Ryerson University
    Ryerson University is one of the most applied-to universities in Ontario and is widely recognized as a leader of innovation.

    Fast Facts
    • Experiential learning opportunities through its co-op and internships placements
    • Launched joint programs with Osgoode Hall Law School and St. Michael’s Hospital
    • Largest business school in Canada - Ted Rogers School of Management
    • Its Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) is one of Canada's largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs

    Columbia would like to thank all university representative for visiting and speaking with students.

    ...



    Columbia hosts Ivey Business School

    Representatives from Western University’s Ivey School of Business held an information session yesterday afternoon for Columbia students. Students packed the Café to learn about the programs and unique teaching methods used at this world renowned business school.

    Ivey representatives introduced Columbia students to life at Ivey and its distinguished “case method” coursework. Students also learned about the school’s Learning Through Action courses which gives students valuable hands on experience and allows them to practice the concepts and theories learned in class.

    Fast Facts
    *All facts have been taken from Ivey
    • Ranked in the world’s top 100 global business schools by the Financial Times (2014)
    • Over 40% of all Ivey alumni hold the title of Chair, President, C-Suite, Vice-President, Managing Director or Partner
    • Renowned for its "case method," Ivey Business School is one of the two most important producers of business cases in the world alongside Harvard
    • Committed to creating leaders
    • 19 Ivey alumni running Profit 100 Fastest-Growing Companies
    • Ivey is the world's largest producer of current Asian and Indian business cases
    • 4 campuses; London, Toronto, Hong Kong, Mumbai

    Thank you to the representatives from Ivey for their presentation. Visit the Ivey School of Business online for more information.

    ...



    U of T back at Columbia

    Boundless Opportunities

    Columbia held another university information session today and was pleased to welcomed back a representative from the University of Toronto (U of T).

    The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s most renowned educational institutions. Known for its dynamic learning strategies and research capabilities, U of T attracts the best and brightest students from around the world.

    Fast Facts 
    • Three campuses - downtown Toronto (St. George campus), Mississauga, and Scarborough
    • Home to the Rotman School of Management
    • Partnership with Sheridan College offers degree-diploma combination
    • One of the top 20 universities in the world
    • Home to over 10,000 international students

    University Partners®
    The University of Toronto is one of Columbia’s eightUniversity Partners®. With this partnership, graduates of Columbia are given conditional admission. There are also 10 admission scholarships, awarded annually, to the top 10 Columbia graduates who apply, receive admission to, and register at one of three U of T campuses for the September semester.

    Thank you to the University of Toronto for visiting Columbia.

    More information regarding all programs can be found by visiting their website. Information handbooks can also be picked up from UPO.

    ...



    Varsity Cougars defeat Hamilton Police Service

    Columbia’s Varsity Boys Soccer team lit up the pitch today as they defeated members of the Hamilton Police Service 5-1.

    In a friendly match played on the Ainsliewood field, the Varsity team showed spectators why they are one of the leading soccer teams in Hamilton. While their victory did not come easy, they worked as a team, maintained their composure and stayed focused on performing to the best of their ability. Both sides made it very difficult for the opposing team to concede a goal yet in the later part of the second half, the Cougars found a weakness in the Hamilton’s defense.

    Games between the Varsity teams and members of the Hamilton Police Service have become tradition here at Columbia, occurring twice a year in the fall and spring. Along with bringing staff and students together outside the classroom, games promote school spirit and allow them to interact with members of the community.

    Columbia would like to thank Coaches and referee Mr. Erind and Mr. Freddy, the members of the Hamilton Police Service and the Varsity Team, and all the students and staff who came to watch.

    A special thank you to Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire for coming out to support the teams!

    ...



    McMaster University information session

    Columbia’s neighbouring university, McMaster University, held an information session for students yesterday in the Café. Recognized as an institution that “inspires innovation and discovery,” McMaster University is widely known for delivering high quality education. Students are drawn to its charming campus and its diverse and inclusive school community.

    Fast Facts
    • One of four universities in Canada to be included in the top 100 universities in the world
    • Home to 80 Research Centres and Institutes
    • Welcomes students from over 85 countries
    • 50% of upper-level courses have experiential components
    • Home to the DeGroote School of Business, one of the best commerce schools in Canada

    McMaster will be holding fall preview sessions on Sat. Oct. 25 and Sat. Nov. 15 where prospective students can tour the campus, meet staff, learn about academic programs, and visit residence.

    Students interested in applying to McMaster can view their handbook onlineand should speak to their University Placement Counsellor for more information.

    Thank you to McMaster University for visiting Columbia.

    ...



    UOIT at Columbia

    On Oct. 6, Columbia was pleased to host theUniversity of Ontario Institute of Technology(UOIT). Recognized for its “award-winning technology enriched learning environment” and its innovative research, UOIT is one of Ontario’s fastest growing universities. The school is dedicated to research and has state-of-the-art facilities used for research in all areas ranging from hydrogen production to automotives.

    Fast Facts 
    • Bachelor, Master and PhD programs available
    • Programs of study include Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Business, Teacher Education and Criminology
    • Co-op placements, internships, and research opportunities with industry and community partners
    • Recipient of nine Canada Research Chairs
    • Ranked high by the Globe and Mail for Class Size, Campus Technology, Ease of Course Registration and Buildings and Facilities

    University Partners®
    Since 2004, Columbia and UOIT have proudly partnered to extend benefits to Columbia graduates through our University Partners® program. Graduates of Columbia who attend UOIT are eligible for two designated entrance scholarships valued at $2000 each. Also, in lieu of TOEFL, all Columbia International College Pre-U graduates with Pre-U English marks of 70%+ are eligible for admission.

    Thank you to UOIT for visiting today.

    ...



    A visit from Brock University

    A representative from Brock University held an information session at Columbia yesterday afternoon for prospective students. Considered as one of Ontario’s “medium-sized institution,” Brock provides its students with quality education and quality teachers. The University strives to nurture “both sides of the brain” so that students excel academically and socially.

    Fast Facts
    • Over $500,000 in awards and bursaries offered to students
    • Large focus on community involvement, like Columbia
    • Campus is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
    • Offers over 70 programs across seven academic faculties
    • Known for excellence in athletics
    • Goodman School of Business offers Canada’s largest business co-op program

    University Partners®
    Brock University is one of manyUniversity Partners®, offering Columbia graduates many exclusive benefits and privileges. Currently, the University exclusively grants our graduates four designated entrance scholarships that are renewable each year.

    To learn more about Brock, visit their website.

    ...



    Columbia students attends We Day 2014

    Locally active, globally aware.

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School students (JMS) and the JMS mentors had an experience of a lifetime yesterday as they joined thousands of students across Ontario to participate in Free the Children’s We Day.

    We Day, a yearly event designed to inspire and empower youth, brings “young people together to celebrate the actions that they are taking in their local and global communities.” Students pledge to continue their roles as active global citizens and commit to bettering the world, shifting their views from ‘me’ to ‘we’.

    Speakers and Performers
    This year’s event was held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Government officials, humanitarians, singers, actors, social rights activists, and motivational speakers were among those who addressed the crowd of 20,000 youth. They included:
    • Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan
    • Big Sean
    • Katie Couric
    • Hedley
    • Kweku Mandela
    • Col. Chris Hadfield
    • R5
    • Jo Jonas
    • Nelly Furtado
    • Lights
    • Craig & Marc Kielburger
    • and many more.

    We Day and Columbia 
    The JMS contribution to the We Act program is how they earned their tickets to attend this year’s event. Tickets were not sold to the public and were only given to students who are actively involved in serving the local or global community.

    As part of the JMS social justice program, students participate in many of Free the Children’s initiatives including their Adopt-a-Village campaign, Walk 4 Water, and We Create Change.

    ...



    Fair play at Games Day

    Classes ended early yesterday to allow all students the opportunity to experience in one of the most popular events of the school year, Games Day.

    With the school’s back field transformed into a mini-fair, students lined up to participate in the unique and exciting games and activities. The cloudy sky and intermittent rain did not deter many students as they were eager to spend their afternoon outside and join all the action. They had many activities to choose from that test both their mental and physical strength.

    Activities were managed and supervised by members of Student Development and student leaders (Athletic Prefects, School Prefects, Student Council and Residence Council) who were seen cheering on and their peers.

    Fair Play 
    The games selected were based on key principles Columbia strives to teach its students inside and outside of the classroom; fair play; teamwork; inclusiveness; perseverance; and peaceful and positive conflict resolution. Along with fostering school spirit, the games were a great place for students to put character into action by demonstrating their understanding of the school’s key character values.

    Thank you to the Student Development department, student leaders and staff who organized this year’s Games Day.

    ...



    Outstanding October

    Games day, Spirit Week, Bark Lake, Character Week and university visits from Canada’s top schools are a few of the many things students can look forward to this month. With Columbia’s diverse academic and extracurricular programming, students will have endless opportunities to explore new interests and become active members of the student body.

    OCTOBER EVENTS 
    1: Games Day
    2: We Day, International Cuisine Series – China, Brock University visit
    4: Meals on Wheels (Community Service Event)
    5: CIBC Run for the Cure and Bike for MPS II Charity Ride (Community Service Events)
    6-10: Spirit Week
    6: University of Ontario Institute of Technology visit
    7: McMaster University visit
    9: Varsity Soccer team vs. Hamilton Police, University of Calgary visit, Laurentian University visit
    10-13: Duke of Edinburgh trip to Bark Lake
    10: University of Toronto visit, Trip to Mapleview mall
    11: Haunted Maze, Volunteering at the Salvation Army (Community Service Event)
    13: Thanksgiving Holiday
    14-15: Orientation
    14: Ivey School of Business visit
    15: University of Wisconsin visit, Ryerson University visit
    17: Reptile Show, McGill University visit
    18: Halloween Haunt, Enbridge CN Tower Climb (Community Service Event)
    20-24: Character Week
    21: University of British Columbia visit
    22: University of Windsor visit
    23: International Cuisine Series, Memorial University visit
    24: Coffee house in residence
    25: Niagara Falls trip
    28: University of Alberta visit
    29: Western University visit
    30: Halloween Dance, Carleton University visit
    31: Costume Contest, Pumpkin Carving Competition

    To learn more about October’s events, contact a member of Student Development in Room S244. Stop by the University Placement Office for more information on the upcoming university visits.

    ...



    Dalhousie University visits Columbia

    Inspiring Minds.

    A representative from Dalhousie University is at Columbia today to hold an information session for prospective students. As one of Canada’s oldest universities, Dalhousie is known for its world-class academic programs, award-winning professors, and research capabilities. With campuses in Halifax and Truro, it is a perfect choice for those looking to study on the East Coast.

    Fast Facts 
    • Offers more than 180 degree programs
    • Low student-professor ratio
    • "World leader in marine biology and ocean related sciences”
    • International students represent 14% of the student body
    • Home to 50 Canada Research Chairs

    Detailed information regarding programs and admissions can be found online.

    Thank You to our Dalhousie representative for visiting us here at Columbia.

    ...



    University visits continue

    Concordia University and Bishop’s University held a joint information session today for Columbia students.

    Located in the province of Québec, both schools offer students unique and exceptional learning experiences.

    Concordia University
    Located in Montreal, Concordia University is a comprehensive institution teaches using innovative learning strategies. It strives to help students find solutions for, and make contributions to, society.

    Fast Facts
    • One of the top four universities under 50 in Canada
    • Faculties include Arts and Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Business,
    • Co-op placements in more than 30 undergraduate programs
    • 25% of students use English as their second language
    • Home to 18 research units and 29 Canada Research Chairs
    • Extensive co-op program in four faculties

    To learn more, visit Concordia online.

    Bishop’s University
    Bishop’s University is a small-sized residential institution. It provides students with intimate learning opportunities which allow students to work closely with professors. Its values of community, discovery, excellence and sustainability ensure students receive a balanced and fulfilling educational experience.

    Fast Facts
    • Programs of study include Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Williams School of Business, School of Education
    • International students represent 15% of the student population
    • Over 550 exchange programs worldwide
    • One of Canada’s “most generous scholarship programs”
    • Emphasis on experiential learning for all students

    To learn more, visit Bishop’s University online.

    Thank you to Concordia University and Bishop’s University for spending the afternoon speaking with Columbia students.

    ...



    UManitoba and UAlberta visit Columbia

    Columbia students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from two respected Canadian universities yesterday; the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta. Both schools were present to answer student questions about admissions, scholarships, residence, internships and much more.

    The University of Manitoba
    Define yourself. Define your future.

    Located in Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba was western Canada’s first university. It is best known for its research-intensive programs and diversity of program selection, offering over 60 undergraduate degree programs.

    Fast Facts
    -International students represent 13 percent of the student body, coming from 104 countries
    - Home to 46 of Canada’s Research Chairs
    - Only Canadian school with a Department of Entomology (study of insects)
    - Hosts a Centre of Creative Writing and Oral Culture – the first of its kind in Canada

    The University of Alberta
    Uplifting the whole people

    The University of Alberta is among the world’s top 100 universities. It offers over 200 undergraduate programs across 18 faculties and is proud of its campus-wide focus on teaching and learning.

    Fast Facts
    • One of the top 5 universities in Canada
    • Houses the 2nd largest library system in Canada
    • 5 campuses across the province
    • Home to Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology
    • 6000 international students from 150 countries

    University Partners®
    The University of Alberta is one of one of Columbia's eight Canadian University Partners® is pleased to partner with. As such, all Columbia graduates who attend UAlberta and graduate with at least an 80 percent average are eligible to receive an entrance scholarship of $4,000.

    Thank you to the representatives of the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta for speaking with our students.

    ...



    Columbia nominated for a Readers' Choice Award

    Columbia International College is nominated for a 2014 Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice award! Columbia received a nomination in the category of “Private School” and is one of 15 nominees.

    The Readers’ Choice award recognizes local businesses in the Greater Hamilton Area and winners are determined by votes of local residents.

    How to Vote 
    Voting began yesterday and will end on October 2 at 11:30 p.m. Vote for Columbia here and follow these simple steps:

    1. Log in or create an account
    2. Select Business or Service
    3. Select Private School
    4. VOTE FOR COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE (it is the first choice)

    Thank you for supporting Columbia!

    ...



    Brescia, Huron & King's visit Columbia

    Representatives from all three affiliated colleges atWestern University – Brescia, Huron, King’s -held and information session for prospective students yesterday in the Student Café. Students learned about the benefits of attending a smaller campus while still having access to the resources and facilities offered at Western.

    Brescia
    Brescia University College is Canada’s only women’s university dedicated to educating women seeking to enhance their leadership skills. This unique environment provides students with tailored education plan and develops their communication and analytical skills.

    Fast Facts
    - Offers a pre-university Preliminary Year program, Bachelor and Master’s programs
    - 14:1 student-faculty ratio
    - Community orientated
    - Its affiliation with Western University allows students to take classes at Western’s main campus and at the Huron and King’s campuses
    - Offers an exceptional scholarship program to ensure that all women are able to pursue education
    - Graduates earn a degree from Western University

    For more information on Brescia, visit their website.

    Huron 
    As an affiliate of Western University, Huron provides quality student-centered education. Students benefit from its small campus community and interactive learning.

    Fast Facts
    - Undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Theology with over 70 areas of specialization
    - Small class sizes enhance classroom learning
    - Various support services for international students are offered
    - Dual degree program with the Richard Ivey School of Business
    - Students are able to take classes, and use the resources, at Western’s main campus, as well as Brescia and King’s
    - Graduates earn a degree from Western University with a Huron distinction

    Interested in attending Huron? Visit them online for more information.

    King’s
    King’s University College is Western’s Catholic educational institution. It strives “to foster an environment based on open inquiry, Christian values and service to the larger community.” King’s places great focus on social justice and its students advocate for the betterment of local and global communities.

    Fast Facts
    - Undergraduate programs in the liberal arts, social sciences, and social work
    - Master’s program in social work offered
    - Home to close to 300 international students
    - Small interactive class sizes
    - Strong focus on social justice and community outreach programs
    - Students have access to classes and resources at Western’s main campus and its affiliates
    - Graduates earn a degree for Western University

    For more information, visit King’s online.

    Thank you to all representatives for visiting Columbia.

    ...



    Lakehead U & Nipissing U hold information session

    Columbia continues to welcome top universities from across Canada. Recently, representatives from Lakehead University and Nipissing University stopped by the Ainsliewood campus to hold information sessions for students.

    Lakehead University
    Exceptional. Unconventional.

    Lakehead University is one of many well-recognized Canadian institutions. Known for its research excellence, quality education and innovative teachings, the University provides students with unique learning opportunities. It places great emphasis on providing students with a “learner-centred experience” and has endless resources to foster student success.

    Fast Facts
    • Campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia
    • Home to 9 Canada Research Chairs
    • Hosts world-renowned Paleo-DNA Laboratory and a Biorefining Research Institute
    • Small student to faculty ratio; 17:1 at the Orillia campus; 19:1 at the Thunder Bay campus
    • Ranks among Ontario’s top 10 in scholarships and bursaries
    • Offers 57 degree programs across 10 faculties

    Nipissing University
    One student at a time.

    Nipissing University is primarily an undergraduate university that is committed to delivering a student-focused and innovative teaching experience. Its small classes and supportive faculty help students earn a quality education.


    Fast Facts
    • Earned a “reputation for excellence in teacher education, arts, science and professional programs”
    • 3 campuses located in Brantford, Muskoka and North Bay
    • Known for its unique campus atmosphere, student/faculty interaction, and work-play balance
    • Recognized for dynamic career preparation and Information Technology programs
    • Undergraduate, Graduate, Diploma and Professional programs available

    ...



    Creating leaders at Bark Lake

    Last week, members of Columbia’s school prefect leadership teams were invited to attend a leadership retreat at the school’s outdoor leadership training centre, Bark Lake.

    From September 12 -15, 55 Columbia students, those currently serving roles in the Student Council, Service Prefects, Athletic Prefects, and Residence Activity Prefects School, spent the weekend engaging in a series of activities designed to foster their leadership skills and character development. They participated in activities such as canoeing, high ropes, archery, as well as a series of team building and problem solving activities.

    The retreat is an important part Columbia’s leadership education as it helps students build relations that are integral to their role as student leaders. It teaches students’ core Character values and helps them become responsible Global Citizens and become agents of positive change in their communities.

    Students interested in learning more about leadership opportunities within the school should visit the Student Development office, room S244.

    ...



    University visits begin with York U

    Columbia began its long list of university visits last week when it welcomed York University to its campus. On Sept. 11, a York U representative held an information session for prospective students, discussing everything from program selection to residence life.

    As one of Columbia’sUniversity Partners®, students were eager to learn more about the special benefits for Columbia graduates (including Dual Admission and four entrance scholarships each worth $2,000) offered by York.

    York University 
    York is Canada’s third largest university and is recognized for its unique interdisciplinary approach and prides itself on delivering academic excellence.

    Fast Facts: 
    • 2 Campuses in Toronto – Keele and Glendon
    • 28 research centres
    • Over 5,000 courses offered throughout its 11 faculties
    • Offers Canada’s only space engineering program
    • The Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies are among the largest and most diverse in Canada
    • 280 partnerships with international universities and a large population of international students

    Schulich School of Business
    York is also home to one of the country’s best Business schools, the Schulich School of Business.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked among the top 10 MBA schools in the world
    • Satellite centers in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; and Moscow, Russia
    • Offers unique programs such as BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and iBBA (International BBA)

    Thank you to York U for visiting Columbia!

    ...



    Columbia launches mobile app

    Columbia International College is launching a mobile app to enhance communication between the school, students and parents.

    The app will replace the traditional Student Planner typically distributed to students at the beginning of a new semester. Students and parents will be able to receive centralized information and instant access to school news, academic reports and social media feeds.

    Features include:
    - School and personal calendars
    - Student handbook
    - Location of medical clinics and medical policies
    - Staff contact information
    - Student Report
    - Interactive map of Hamilton
    - Building information
    - And more!

    The app will be a great time management resource and organizational tool for students, helping them keep track of their assignments as well as their academic and personal calendars. Posters and instructions will be placed around the school to ensure students understand how to use all the features within the app. Members of IT will also be in the Living Wall Lounge to assist students in downloading and navigating the app.

    The app is compatible with iOS, Android and BlackBerry Q10 browsers and is free to download. Students can download the app by using this link:http://agenda.cic-totalcare.com/en/#!/ or by scanning the QR codes placed around the school.

    A big thank you to mobile app provider WeeverApps for creating the Columbia app.

    ...



    USA & UK university application workshops being held this month

    Students interested in applying to university in the USA or the UK are encouraged to attend important workshops that are being held this month. Organized by the University Placement Office, this series of workshops will focus on everything ranging from application fees and processes to admission requirements.

    Session details
    Four workshops for both USA and UK applications are being offered. Workshops run on a drop-in basis and pre-registration is not required.

    Sept. 9: USA & UK Introduction -  Overview of application process (Student Cafe)
    Sept. 12: USA Workshop 1- Choosing universities and a step-by-step guide to the application process (AW 160)
    Sept. 16: UK Workshop 1- Choosing universities and a step-by-step guide to the application process (AW 160)
    Sept. 18: USA & UK Workshop 2 - Preparing a personal statement draft and refining your university choices (AW 160)
    Oct. 10: USA & UK Workshop 3 - Finalizing your personal statement and completing the application (AW 160)

    All sessions are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

    The US and UK information session will be the first of this semester. University visits from schools across Canada and the US begin next week as Columbia’s hosts York University. Their visit is scheduled for Thursday, September 11 at 4 p.m. in room 113.

    ...



    Safety tips for students

    The safety of students and staff at Columbia International College is our highest priority. We want to ensure that everyone practices proper safety techniques and avoids preventable injuries. We also want to ensure that our students know, understand, and obey local street and traffic rules. As such we want to remind students of simple practices to follow when crossing the street from Maple to Ainsliewood, or any street in Hamilton;

    • Cross the street ONLY at marked crosswalks and intersections and ONLYwhen the ‘Walk’ signal is displayed
    Pay extra attention when walking in a construction zone
    Look left, right, and left again before crossing – vehicles need extra time to slow down and stop in winter conditions
    Be visible to drivers at night by wearing brightly coloured clothing and accessories
    Avoid shortcuts and walk on designated paths and sidewalks
    Pay attention to your surroundings
    Be alert when crossing the street – put cell phones and music away
    Follow directions from Campus Safety when loading buses and entering and exiting the school buildings

    Following these safety tips is a simple way students can ensure their own safety when travelling around the city. Providing safety tips is one of the many ways Columbia is ensuring that the school remains a safe place to learn and grow.

    Students with any safety concerns are encouraged to speak with a member of the Campus Safety team. The new Campus Safety office is located at the front of the Ainsliewood building.

    ...



    Spirited September

    September is here and with it comes endless opportunities for new and returning students to immerse themselves in campus life. Whether it is joining a new club, participating in residence activities, or attending a weekend trip, events this month are sure to generate rave reviews from students.

    September
    1: Labour Day Holiday
    6: Trip to Toronto, Galcom International (Community Service Event)
    10: Short Period Day
    11: International Cuisine Series – Gran Fiesta
    12-15: Bark Lake Leadership Retreat
    13: Medieval Times Trip, Salvation Army (Community Service Event)
    19: Residence Council Event
    20: Ancaster Fair
    21: TFC Game, Ancaster Fair
    24: Terry Fox Walk-a-thon
    26-28: Bark Lake Retreat
    27: Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Event)
    28: NHL Game, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres
    29-Oct. 3: Spirit Week

    To learn more about September’s events, contact a member of Student Development in room S244.

    ...



    Terry Fox Walk-a-thon sign up begins next week

    Columbia’s annual Terry Fox Run is less than a month away. Scheduled forWednesday, September 24, 2014, the fundraising event will teach students about Terry Fox and his incredible journey, along with educating them on the importance of helping others and perseverance. Students will also learn about the struggles those with cancer, and their families, encounter.

    Student sign up
    To participate in the event, students must complete the following:
    • Attend an information session at the beginning of their free period onWednesday, Sept 3 OR Thursday, Sept 4 in room 113.

    • Students that cannot attend during their free period, must attend the 4 p.m. session on either day

    Information about the walk-a-thon route, community service hours and eligibility will be discussed at the meetings.

    Questions should be directed to Ms. Keylin in Student Development, room S244, or Ms. Sherry in the Academic Office, room 101.

    All students are encouraged to sign up and help raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation and cancer research.

    Columbia and the Terry Fox Run
    Columbia’s school community is committed to working together to end cancer. For 30 years Columbia has participated in the Terry Fox Run and is proud to be only 1 of 6 schools in the world to have achieved this.

    ...



    Students attend Club Fair

    Columbia’s Student Development department is thrilled that students are back in class so all their great clubs and extracurricular activities can begin!

    Yesterday, Columbia held the first of two Club Fair sessions. Students eagerly flocked to the Ainsliewood Gym after school to learn about all the more than 70 clubs offered at school and in residence.

    Some of the clubs featured included:
    • Cooking Club
    • Web Design
    • Fashion Club
    • Duke of Edinburgh
    • Community Service
    • Residence activities
    • History through film
    • Art Club
    • Athletics in School and In Residence
    … and many more!

    Clubs begin tomorrow, Wednesday, August 27. Students should check with club leaders to confirm club times and locations.

    ...



    Columbia grads studying EngSci at U of T

    Columbia is thrilled to announce that six of its 2013/2014 graduates have been accepted into one of the world’s most selective engineering programs;Engineering Science at the University of Toronto.

    The "EngSci" program attracts top students from over 19 countries and is “one of the most selective and advanced engineering programs offered in the world.”

    Ji, Yuhao, Liu, Zheqi, Ma, Simiao , Zhang, Bohan, Zhang, Bokun (not pictured), and Xu, Beibei were accepted to this prestigious program.

    Five of the six students have chosen to attend the program and will begin their studies in September.

    Program details
    Engineering Science at the University of Toronto is academically demanding and has a class entering average of 94%. Before selecting a major, students learn the foundations of engineering and science in their first two years. The Engineering Science program, like Columbia’s Total Care® Education System, is also focused on extracurricular involvement and aims to develop well-rounded global citizens.

    The program’s “2+2” curriculum structure means that the first two years of study will focus on foundation curriculum and the last two years will be composed of specialization curriculum. Other unique program features to note are listed below:
    • The program is designed and delivered at a level that is more academically demanding;
    • The Engineering Science program contains more mathematics, science and engineering science, with greater focus on deriving results using a first principles approach;
    • All students are required to complete an independent research-based thesis project.

    Visit the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science homepage to learn more.

    ...



    Welcome back Columbia

    Today marks the first day of the fall 2014 semester. Columbia would like to welcome all new and returning students to its campus. To help students have a successful school year, here are some back to school tips:

    1. Ask questions. For many students entering a new school can be intimidating. The best way to learn your way around school and the city is to ask questions. Remember that teachers, staff and fellow students are all here to help you.

    2. Stay organized. Mark down important dates and assignments. Ensure you keep track of important dates, events, assignments and homework.

    3. Get involved. Joining school clubs and activities is the best part of school! Becoming a member of the school community is a great way to meet new people, develop your interests and have fun.

    4. Balance work and fun. Balancing academics with and extracurricular activities is vital to your well-being. While this can be challenging, it ensures you develop into a well rounded students and makes learning fun!

    5. Stay healthy. Eating well is important to your overall well-being. Don’t skip meals. Sodexo is here to help you stay healthy and prepares nutritious and delicious meals daily.

    6. Meet your support team. Get to know your Liaison Officer, Guidance Counsellor, University Placement Counsellor, Residence staff and other members of the support team. They are here to help you succeed so it’s important you form a good relationship with them.

    7. Set goals. Stay positive. School can be overwhelming at times. It is important to stay focused on your goals and maintain a positive attitude. Remember that you are working towards these goals and your hard work will pay off in the future.

    ...



    Euclid Math Contest Zone Team Champions

    Columbia International College is a Zone Champion again this year!

    After participating in the grade 12 Euclid Math Contest earlier this year, Columbia students were recognized as Zone Champion for receiving the highest scores in our area.

    18,161 students from 1490 schools worldwide participated in the contest
    developed by the University of Waterloo.

    Congratulations to all students who participated and worked very hard for this honour and to the teachers who prepared them.

    ...



    August Orientation

    Today members of Columbia’s staff are busy welcoming new students and parents to its campus. A series of orientation and registration sessions will take place over the next week to familiarize both students and parents with school programs, residence life and much more.

    Students will spend the day with members of Student Development and Columbia’s welcoming team while parents will meet with staff, Managers and Department Heads.

    Sessions for parents on August 8, 11 & 13 will take place in the Ainsliewood Gym, room 118 while the one scheduled for August 15 will be held in the Café, room 113.

    8:15-9 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Welcome Session & Principal’s Address

    9-10 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Meet with: Executive Director, General Manager, Principal, Head of Senior School

    10-10:15 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Meet with Financial Manager

    10:15-10:30 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Meet Visa Officers, discuss visa and passport renewal process

    10:30-11 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Meet University Placement Officers, Admissions Staff and Guidance Counsellors

    11-11:30 a.m.: Gym, room 118 - Introduction to Sodexo food services staff

    11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Cafeteria - Lunch with Columbia representatives

    12:30–1 p.m.: Gym, room 118 - Question & Answer session with Residence Director

    1–1:30 p.m.: Gym, room 118 - Information on student life activities with Student Development Head

    1:30-5:30 p.m.: Ainsliewood Building - Orientation Session for new students (parents are welcome to follow their child’s schedule)

    On behalf of all of us here at Columbia, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students and their parents.

    ...



    August Hours; Accounting Office, College Store

    Books, bus passes and uniforms are among the things new and returning students will have to pick up in the upcoming days to prepare for the new school year.

    The Accounting Office and the College Store are eager to welcome back students and would like to inform them of key pick up locations.

    Please note: Books will be sold all day in the College Store. Accounting Services in the Maple Building will be open on August 18.

    Aug. 8-15

    12–5 p.m. - Uniform FittingsCollege Store, Room 159

    Aug. 18-29

    1:30–4 p.m. - Uniform fittings for late student arrivalsCollege Store, Room 159

    Aug. 8-22

    8 a.m.-5 p.m - Bus Pass DistributionLiving Wall Lounge

    Aug. 8-22

    8 a.m.-12 p.m. - Locker DistributionLiving Wall Lounge

    Blue Form Distribution
    Blue Form Distribution will take place between August 18 -22. Please check the chart below for distribution dates and locations.

    Aug. 8-15 - 8 a.m.-5 p.m.Room 109

    Aug. 18 - 8-11 a.m.Room 113

    Aug. 18 - 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Room 109

    Aug. 19-22 - 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.Room 109

    ...



    New students to receive Hamilton Taxi Voucher

    Columbia International College has partnered with Blue Line Taxi to implement a new safety measure – Emergency Taxi Vouchers.

    The school will provide new students with an Emergency Taxi Voucher to ensure that they have a safe method of transportation in an emergency situation. This new safety measure is also designed to provide students with a sense of security when they venture off-campus.

    Use of the voucher
    Students who find themselves in an unfamiliar place can call the toll-free number on the card for a free ride back to their residence or the Ainsliewood building. New students will receive the card in their residence welcome packages and can redeem it for one ride within the Hamilton-Wentworth region.

    Safety at Columbia
    Student safety is top priority at Columbia. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and strive to provide students with a comfortable and safe learning environment.

    To learn more about safety measured practiced at Columbia, visit the Safety section of our website.

    ...



    Amazing August

    August is here!

    The summer is quickly coming to an end and Columbia is preparing to welcome new and returning students to its campus to begin another school year. Exceptional academic programming, outstanding extracurricular opportunities and newly renovated facilities are just some of the things awaiting students.

    To prepare students for the upcoming school year, important dates are listed below:

    August
    11-14: Residence check-in
    12: Start of 2014 fall semester, last day for returning students to change courses
    11-15: Registration and Orientation for new students
    12: Last day for returning students to change courses
    18: Classes begin
    22: Last day for new students to add or change a course
    25: 8-week late registrants will be “auditing”
    29: Last day for all students to drop a course with fees deferred

    Questions?
    Contact us by phone at 1-905-572-7883 or by email [email protected] if you require additional information.

    ...



    Fostering Leadership

    "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." —John Quincy Adams

    Columbia is confident the 16 students who participated in this year’s Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program will use their newly acquired skills in leadership and personal and career development to make significant contributions to their school and local communities.

    On Friday, July 25, the 2014 LIT program concluded with a graduation ceremony, attended by Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, General Manager, Mr. Jim Campbell, and members of Student Development. Each student was presented with a certificate of completion for their hard work, commitment and dedication. While all students performed extremely well, LIT facilitators, Ms. Abla and Mr. Chris, wanted to acknowledge a few students for their contributions and outstanding performance in the program;
    Most Improved: Oreoluwa Awokoya
    Top Performer Runner-up: Clementia Andam and Chiamaka Larry Ubani
    Top Performer: Luis Armando Lopez Hernandez

    Luis Hernandez was also chosen to speak on behalf of the LIT’s during the graduation ceremony. He thanked his LIT mentors for helping the group develop their skills and for giving them the confidence to be true leaders in all aspects of their lives.

    Congratulations to those who completed the 2014 LIT program!

    Thank you to Sodexo for hosting a great graduation reception and thank you to the Maintenance team and IT team for their contributions.

    ...



    Columbia recognized for excellence in Physical Education

    Columbia International College was recently presented with two respected awards for their physical education and recreational programs.

    CIRA Ontario
    The Canadian Intramural Recreation Association of Ontario (CIRA) awarded Columbia with an Outstanding Intramural Achievement Award for its exceptional intramural/recreation program in 2013-2014. The award was given to 48 schools across Ontario that “promote and develop active living, healthy lifestyles and personal growth through intramural and recreational programs within the education and recreation communities.” The letter from CIRA stated that Columbia’s programs “have greatly improved the quality of education for students by recognizing the value of physical activity for mental and physical well-being." This is the 11th consecutive year the CIRA Ontario award has been presented to Columbia.

    PHE Canada
    Columbia was also presented with a national award from Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada), in recognition of the school’s “comprehensive Physical Education program that provides a foundation for the development of physical literacy.” As one of 500 schools out of 15,000 that received this award, Columbia is proud that its physical education, afterschool activities and student leadership programs were recognized for “enabling students to live physically active and healthy lives.”

    Recreation at Columbia
    Mr. Freddy Velazquez, Athletics Coordinator, believes the two awards are a testament to “Columbia’s effort and support for physical activities, recreation and leadership programs for our students.”

    A special thank you goes to Mr. Freddy, Mr. Erind, Ms. Simpson and all advisors and staff from Student Development for their leadership in various athletic programs both in school and in residence.

    Both banners are displayed in the Ainsliewood Gym, alongside those awarded in previous years.

    Congratulations Columbia!

    ...



    Fall 2014 Course Change Deadline

    The Guidance Department would like to remind returning students that August 8, 2014 is the Course Change Deadline.

    • All registered students for the fall semester (201408), can make course changes at the Guidance Office until August 8.
    • Changes made after August 8 will be subject to non-availability of classes or a penalty fee.
    • Students should check their EZ-Report to confirm their study plan course for August.
    • Changes to class teachers, sections or periods are NOT allowed.

    Students should speak with their Guidance Counsellor before August 8 to make necessary changes to their fall study plan.

    For more information, visit the Guidance Office or contact your Guidance Counsellor;
    Ms. Sophia (A – G) - [email protected]
    Ms. Grace (H – L) - [email protected]
    Mr. Mike (M – T) - [email protected]
    Ms. Suzanne (U – Z) - [email protected]

    ...



    Leaders-in-Training Summer Program

    Columbia’s, Leaders-in-Training (LIT) summer program is back!

    After its popular and successful inaugural year, the LIT program continues this summer with students eager to develop their leadership skills.

    Organized by members of Student Development, the LIT program aims to “develop leaders of good character through training and practical experience by volunteering with Columbia’s Summer Camp.”

    In assisting Summer Camp staff with orientation and training and daily activities, LIT participants will develop essential life skills in leadership (conflict resolution, decision making, problem solving etc.) and personal and career development, among others.

    Upon completion of the program LIT’s will travel to Bark Lake Leadership Centre and Eastern Canada and will receive individual evaluations.

    For more information
    The LIT program currently runs throughout July and is open to high school students. Contact a member of Student Development or e-mail [email protected] using LIT Program in the subject line to learn more

    ...



    Learn English and Discover Canada

    Unique adventures, sightseeing, and making friends from around the world are just some of the things our summer campers can look forward to in the upcoming weeks.

    Columbia International College’s Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Program welcomes hundreds of campers from around the world each summer. During their time in Canada, campers will learn English, explore Hamilton, Ontario, and Canada, and most importantly, have a fun and safe adventure. Highlights of the program include visits to:
    • Niagara Falls & Niagara–on-the-lake
    • Toronto (CN Tower, Marineland, Medieval Times, Rogers Centre and more!)
    • Bark Lake Leadership Centre
    • Montréal & Ottawa

    More about camp
    Columbia’s ESL summer camp program is a unique opportunity to practice English, explore Canada, and meet people from around the world. 3- 4 week programs are available for juniors (ages 9-14) and seniors (ages 15-19). To learn more about Columbia’s Summer Camp program click here.

    Stay connected
    See how summer campers are spending their summer,
    • follow them on Twitter, or
    • visit their blog.

    ...



    Columbia celebrates June graduates

    On Monday, June 30th, Columbia International College held its June Graduation Ceremony in the Ainsliewood Gym. The ceremony honoured close to 200 graduates who were eager to walk up on stage and receive their high school diplomas.

    Keynote Speaker
    Columbia was proud to welcome His Excellency Mr. Fang Li, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, to this year’s ceremony as the Keynote Speaker.
    He spoke to students about his early life and recounted tales of his experiences in school and in university. He encouraged students to remain optimistic when faced with adversity and advised them to study hard and strive to achieve their goals in life.

    Mr. Li believes the Sino-Canadian cooperation in trade, tourism and educational exchanges and other aspects of deepening cooperation, has helped China become the world's second largest economy and Canada's second largest trading partner. He hopes this relationship continues to grow, giving students around the world greater opportunities to advance their career aspirations.

    Valedictory Address
    Vicky Yun Ling Wu was chosen to deliver June’s Valedictory Address. In her uplifting speech, she reflected on the time she spent at Columbia. She credited the school for providing students with exceptional learning opportunities that contributed to both their personal and academic development.

    Vicky offered her peers many encouraging messages and reminded all to be kind to others, to stop worrying about what others think and above all, to not fear change as “mistakes will only make you stronger.“

    Vote of Thanks
    Muhammed Mujtaba Khan acted as the voice of the June 2014 graduating class as he delivered the Vote of Thanks. He made it appoint to thank those individuals whose hard work and dedicated often goes overlooked. Notably, he thanked Mr. Chan and Mr. Rambarran for their tireless efforts in strengthening the school.

    Muhammed also thanked teachers for being mentors and friends and recognized the efforts of the Maintenance staff, the Cleaning staff, the I.T. Staff and the Campus Safety team. These departments are the “foundation of Columbia that make everything run smoothly and ensure student safety.”

    He further praised Sodexo, the Liaison department, Accounting, the University Placement Office, the ESL Department, Housing and Residence staff and f Student Development for being key pillars in student success.

    University Representatives
    Columbia would like to thank all university representatives from the following universities for attending the ceremony and assisting in the presentation of diplomas;
    • Brock University,
    • University of Guelph,
    • Ryerson University,
    • University of Toronto,
    • Western University, and
    • York University.

    Columbia would also like to thank the following people for their work in organizing this year’s June graduation; Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Class, the University Placement Office, the Liaison department, teachers, support staff, maintenance and cleaning staff, Sodexo, and the I.T. department.

    Congratulations to all June graduates!

    ...



    Upcoming June Graduation

    On Monday, June 30, Columbia International College will be holding June’s Graduation Ceremony in the Ainsliewood gymnasium. Around 200 graduates are expected to attend the morning ceremony which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

    Details for graduates
    Graduates are asked to arrive at Columbia between 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Buses will leave residence at 8:45 a.m. Upon arrival, graduates are reminded to register outside of Room S244 and have their student ID card with them.

    Dress Code
    Graduates are asked to comply with the graduation dress code which consists of the following:
    • Business-like attire
    • Black dress shoes
    • Natural hair colour only
    • NO jeans, track pants, running shoes, boots, flip-flops

    As in May, June’s Graduation Ceremony will celebrate Columbia’s 35th anniversary and promises to not to disappoint.

    ...



    Columbia's Sodexo team globally recognized

    Columbia’s dynamic Sodexo team recently made headlines as they were globally recognized for their inclusive culture.

    The team was profiled In the June edition of Sodexo’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Newsletter for their efforts in promoting diversity by hosting a Cultural Diversity week in May.

    The newsletter is distributed to Sodexo employees worldwide – including Germany, Sweden, Chile, France, the United Kingdom and the United States - highlights those teams who innovatively promote Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

    Sodexo has been a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Earlier this year, they were recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.

    Sodexo
    Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in North America. It provides food and hospitality services to 50 million consumers in about 80 countries every day.


    Columbia proudly partners with Sodexo because of their commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, and the overall well-being of staff and students.

    ...



    Green Team gears up for Summer Camp

    In just under one week, our Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Camp program officially begins!

    Our Summer Camp staff, known as the Green Team, is just days away from welcoming campers from around the world to Columbia and Canada. Having recently completed their training, the dynamic team is excited to meet campers and provide high quality instruction. Throughout the summer, the Green Team will accompany summer campers on fun excursions and trips, while teaching them English and exposing them to Canadian culture.

    Learn English and Discover Canada
    Columbia’s ESL Summer Camp program welcomes students (aged 9-19) from around the world.

    Popular camp highlights include;
    • Weekend trips to Bark Lake, Ottawa, and Québec
    • Day trips to Niagara Falls, Medieval Times, CN Tower, Canada’s Wonderland
    • Talent Show
    • End of Camp Graduation Ceremony

    More information about camp programs can be found by visiting our website.

    Stay in touch with the Green Team this summer, follow them on Twitter: @cic_summer

    ...



    Celebrating JMS

    Columbia celebrated the achievements of its Junior Middle School (JMS) today in a special Year End Ceremony.

    The celebration highlighted the accomplishments of the past year and reflected on the hard work JMS students out into organizing and hosting events and activities including;
    - Theatrical production of Charile’s Web
    - Model UN Simulation
    - Aboriginal Awareness Event
    - Coin drive and fundraising initiatives for Free the Children

    Students were also presented with Top Subject Prizes, Residence Certificates, Young Global Citizen Certificates and their Certificates of Completion.

    Vote of Thanks
    Adaolisa Dorene Azike was chosen by her peers to deliver this year’s Vote of Thanks. She thanked Columbia for allowing the JMS class to share in many new experiences together that developed both their confidence and character. After thanking her parents, houseparents, teachers and support staff, she concluded with the following motivational quote; “Life is like a roller coaster, sometimes it will pull your down but you’ll get up again.”

    Teaching Excellence Award
    Each year, one member of the JMS staff is recognized for their dedication and commitment to teaching. Mrs. Willison was presented with this year’s Teaching Excellence Award for her role in producing and organizing the JMS dramatic production, her passion for teaching social justice and her work liaising with houseparents.

    A special thank you to Ms. Garell-Teti, Ms. Pat Doric, and the JMS Staff for their work in organizing the ceremony. A special thank you to the Maintenance team for their hard work and to Mr. Lawlis and his Vocal Music Class for their contributions.

    We would also like to thank Sodexo for providing a wonderful reception that reflected the culture of the JMS students.

    ...



    FAME 2014

    Last week, Columbia celebrated the arts and student artistic talent as it hosted the Ferreira Annual Mural Expo (FAME) 2014, a youth mural directed by Art Teacher Mr. Roger Ferreira.

    Hosted in the Living Wall Lounge on Thursday, June 12, the Expo challenged students to produce an original piece of art that reflected this year’s “Festival of Light” theme. Students from within the Westdale area, including Westdale High School, St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Prince Philip Elementary School and Columbia, participated in the Expo.

    More about FAME
    The FAME expo was initially designed as a onetime event to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Stewart Memorial Church, an important institution for Hamilton’s African community. Mr. Ferreria has continued the tradition as he believes it is a great way “to promote art in our schools and to foster a sense of camaraderie.” He also believes that this meaningful art can be used “to change society for the better” and is a wonderful way of producing “a unique community mural.”

    Thank you to Mr. Ferreria or his great work in organizing and hosting the event and to all the spectators who attended.

    ...



    Water Wars

    In an epic battle this afternoon, Columbia’s students and staff members suited up to participate in the annual student vs. staff water balloon rumble!

    With the back field divided, students and staff took their positions and were eager for the game to start. Round after round, both students and staff showed no mercy towards the opposing team and were drenched by the end of the game. Class schedules were also changed to accommodate the activity and to give all an equal opportunity to participate in the water fight.

    The outdoor event was a means to foster a sense of community amongst students. Along with taking a break from the classroom, those who participated were also helping the community as water balloons were purchased to help a local organization. This year, students and staff purchased five water balloons for $1 with all proceeds going towards the NGen Youth Centre in Hamilton. Approximately 6000 water balloons were created and sold for the event.

    NGen Youth Centre
    The New Generation Youth Centre is a Hamilton organization that welcomes youth from all walks of life and encourages them to work together and build community while developing their leadership skills.

    NGen offers youth a positive space where they can be themselves and empowers them through mentorship and teamwork programs.

    To learn more, click here.

    Thank you to Student Development, the student volunteers and all those who participated in the game.

    ...



    Canadian Cuisine Dinner

    Last week, Columbia held its last International Cuisine Series of the semester that celebrated Canadian culture. Students enjoyed a truly Canadian experience as they attended a special BBQ dinner prepared by Sodexo.

    The menu included many Canadian delicacies including:
    • Apple and Cheddar salad with Maple dressing and candied walnuts
    • Butternut squash soup
    • Quebec Poutine
    • Maple Walnut Salmon
    • Grilled mixed vegetables with Québec goat cheese

    Throughout the evening, students and guests participated in numerous activities, including a donut eating contest, in which both staff and students participated.

    Cuisine Series at Columbia
    Columbia’s International Cuisine Series is a monthly event that gives students the opportunity to learn about different cultures and practice key values such as respect and inclusiveness. Students from all regions – from Latin America to South and South East Asia- volunteer each month and are responsible for picking the menu, organizing the evening’s activities, and hosting the dinner.

    Thank you to all our student volunteers, all students and staff that attended, and our Student Development team for organizing the event. A special thank you to Sodexo for preparing another delicious cuisine series dinner.

    Photos of the dinner can be found on our Facebook page.

    ...



    JMS presents Charlie’s Web

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students shined on the Ainsliewood stage yesterday as they performed Charlie’s Web, a rendition of popular children’s novel Charlotte’s Web by author E.B. White.

    Directed by Mrs. Willison and Mr. Lawlis, and produced by Mrs. Konior, the story about friendship and loyalty was well-received and showcased the diverse talent of JMS students.

    Cast of Characters
    JMS students worked extremely hard, especially in the last few weeks, learning their lines and assisting with the stage design.

    Students took on the following roles:
    Mwombeki Rugalema - Charlie the Spider
    Joshua Onuotu – Wilbur the Pig
    Nikolay Avilov – Templeton the Rat
    Aledandr Kim – Sammy the Sheep
    Adaolisa Azike – Gussy the Chicken
    Elizaveta Golova – Betsy the Cow
    Kaiqi (Lucy) Cheng – Ike the Horse
    Daye Fubara – Brooks the Crow
    Elizaveta Getmanskaya – Owen the Crow
    Maryam Yusuf-Aliyu – Fern the Girl
    Alejandro Galan Medina – Farmer

    Admission to the show was free, however students and guests were asked to donate $2 to support of the JMS Nicaragua fund.

    Thank you to all teachers and staff members who were involved in this year’s performance. A special thank you to the four musicians – Clara, Chris, Kelly and Liew Tze – for being a part of the show.

    ...



    Training Leaders

    Leadership is a large part of the academic and extracurricular programming here at Columbia. We encourage leadership throughout our school and hold numerous leadership retreats to develop and prepare students for their roles in leadership positions.

    This past weekend, Columbia held a Leadership Retreat on Saturday, May 31 for students currently involved in leadership roles. The Retreat took place in the Ainsliewood building and was designed to foster leadership skills amongst students. Along with attending workshops, students participated in activities that focused on;
    o Team Building
    o Conflict Resolution
    o Communication
    o Time Management

    Leadership @ Columbia
    Columbia’s student leaders are responsible for organizing and facilitating a number of school activities and events ranging from welcoming new students at orientation to participating in community service events. For more information visit the Student Development Department in room S244.

    ...



    Columbia raises funds for McMaster Children’s Hospital

    Serving the community is one of the many priorities of Columbia’s student body. Throughout the year, students participate in numerous fundraising initiatives and learn about the diverse needs of the Hamilton community.

    The McMaster Children’s Hospital is one of the many local organizations Columbia students support. Each year students and staff participate in a Walk-a-thon to raises funds and awareness for the organization. This year, Columbia students and staff set a new record by raising a total of $11,040.95, for the Hospital.

    Last week, members of Columbia’s staff –Mr. Tim Putt, Head of Senior School and Ms. Sherry Thompson, Administrative Assistant to the Principal- met with Hospital staff to present the donation. Hospital staff were thrilled to accept the donation and thanked the Columbia community for their continued support in making a difference in the lives of children.

    Mac Kids Miracle Weekend
    Columbia presented the donation during the Mac Kids Miracle Weekend – a weekend dedicated to collecting donations to support the “the costs to upgrade and purchase new medical equipment and fund programs that improve the lives of children across this region.”

    Columbia students also participated in the weekend events, volunteering at the Walk & Wheels for Miracles at Hamilton’s Pier 4 Park on May 31.

    Thank you to all students and staff who participated in the Walk-a-thon and Walk & Wheels event.

    ...



    Sodexo raises funds for Food4Kids

    Yesterday, members of Columbia’s staff joined the Sodexo team to support the fight against hunger in our local community.

    Columbia and Sodexo were proud to present Ms. Lena Bassford, Executive Director of Food4Kids, with a large donation for her grassroots organizations that is dedicated to ending child and youth hunger in the Hamilton community. In total, $5042.01 was raised for Food4Kids through a variety of activities that took place during Sodexo’s Servathon campaign last month.

    Servathon
    Throughout the month of April, staff and students at Columbia teamed up with Sodexo to host of variety of events such as fundraisers and food drives, to help fight hunger in the local community. It has become an annual event at Columbia which educates students on hunger awareness and teaches them the importance of giving back to the community.

    Servathon is an initiative of Sodexo’s Stop Hunger campaign where Sodexo employees around the world come together “to contribute to their communities.” Now in its 18th year, Servathon continues to grow and expand its partnerships with non-governmental organizations dedicating to eradicating hunger.

    Food4Kids
    Food4Kids is a vital community organization that “provides packages of healthy food for kids aged 5-14 years with limited or no access to food each weekend.” The organization is funded solely through community donations and ensures that all food donations are discreet to prevent students from encountering any stigma associated with hunger or food assistance.

    This summer, the organization will be launching a Summer Feeding Program where they will provide healthy meals to 300 children all summer.

    Visit them online to donate or learn more! http://www.food4kids.ca/

    Thank You Columbia!
    Columbia would like to thank the following people for making this year’s Servathon a tremendous success:
    • Mr. Jeffrey Frederick Director of Food Services, Sodexo, Mr. Karla Quinteros, Sodexo Manager of Food Service in Oak Hall/The Grill/Arkledun Hall and the entire Sodexo Staff
    • Ms. Cathy Cheeranjie, Head of Student Development, Ms. Courtney Cuthbert, Leadership and Community Service Coordinator, Mr. Brandon Lewis, Student Life Coordinator and the Student Development team
    • Ms. Kreso’s class for their contributions to the food drive
    • All students and staff who contributed and support this year’s Servathon

    ...



    Sodexo celebrates diversity

    Last week, Columbia’s food services provider, Sodexo, celebrated the uniqueness of its staff by holding a Cultural Diversity Week.

    The week was dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion, two inherent values in Sodexo’s and Columbia’s culture. With a staff of 130 representing 32 different countries, diversity and inclusion are concepts Sodexo prides itself on.

    Throughout the week, employees learned how diversity is not just about how each person differs, but how it is about embracing one another’s uniqueness and differences. After weeklong activities, the Sodexo team concluded Diversity Week with a potluck celebration which gave them the opportunity to feast on delicacies from around the world. They also participated in a Diversity Fashion show, modeling the traditional clothing of their respective country.

    Sodexo has been a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Earlier this year, they were recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.

    Sodexo
    Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in North America. It provides food and hospitality services to 50 million consumers in about 80 countries every day.

    Columbia proudly partners with Sodexo because of their commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, and the overall well-being of staff and students.

    ...



    Students receive Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

    During last week’s graduation ceremony, Columbia students were recognized for their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program.

    15 students, including both graduates and current students, were given the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Level Award, an award that recognizes youth who are committed to bettering themselves and their community. Open to youth ages 14-24, the program focuses on four components (Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, and Expeditions) and strives to teach responsibility and commitment while fostering personal development.

    For the first time, the awards were presented at graduation. Columbia was honoured to have Ms. Jill Hermant, Executive Director, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Ontario Region, attend the ceremony and present the awards to the deserving students.

    Congratulations to the 2014 Bronze Level Award Winners:
    • Agbor, Julie Brandie
    • Awaniowo, Iyanuoluwa Glory Feyi Olu
    • Chan, Zhang Connie Ivett
    • Esotu, Nnenna Audrey
    • Li, Hongin
    • Mutuyimana, Marie Louange
    • Ngwala, Ngwala Nathalie
    • Obikudu, Obichukwu
    • Ogunmade, Oluwatoni Olorunfunmi
    • Okwor, Chisom Ifeoma Adaeze
    • Okunlola, Ayomide Mosunmola
    • Oluwole, Olutomi
    • Roopchand, Jade
    • Udofia, Uduak
    • Vowotor, Elorm

    Character at Columbia
    Character building and character development are integral components of the Total Care Education System®. Participation in the Duke of Award Program is one way Columbia gives students opportunities to acquire strong leadership skills and become well rounded responsible global citizens.

    ...



    Celebrating the “Generation of Change”

    Columbia International College held its 35th Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, celebrating the accomplishments of close to 500 of its senior students.

    Dressed in the traditional cap and gown, Columbia’s 35th graduating class beamed with excitement as they walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas.

    Held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, the Ceremony highlighted both the academic and extracurricular successes of students. Staff, parents, guests and representatives from universities across Canada were in attendance to celebrate this significant milestone. For the first time at graduation, students were also joined by the Duke of Edinburgh's Executive Director, Jill Hermant, who presented 15 students with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Level Award.

    Keynote Speaker
    Ms. Diane G. Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management, University of Toronto, Mississaugua, delivered this year’s Keynote Speech. She spoke about the challenges international students encounter when studying abroad but also highlighted the many values of an international education. Learning new things, experiencing Canadian culture and making lifelong friends are among the things that she believes Columbia gave to its students. Ms. Crocker is proud of the accomplishments of Columbia graduates and is certain that the education they received has “well-prepared them for the future.” Graduates of Columbia excel at the University of Toronto, Mississauga and she is looking forward to welcoming more Columbia graduates to its campus in September.

    Special Guest Speaker
    As Columbia celebrates its 35th Anniversary, a special guest speaker, Ms. Christine Davis, First Principal of Columbia International College, also addressed graduates and guests. She was taken aback by the growth of the graduating class, having a graduating class of only nine during her first year as Principal. After reflecting on the growth of Total Care Education®, she congratulated students and wished them the best of luck as they begin a new journey.

    Valedictory Address & Vote of Thanks
    Carmella Munyuzangabo, Columbia’s Student Council president, was voted by her peers to be the May 2014 Valedictorian. She described the Columbia experience through a student’s eyes and encouraged her peers to be “the generation of change” by positively impacting their local community.

    Elisa Umuhoza and Henry Bohan Zhang were chosen as the Vote of Thanks speakers. They thanked everyone from their teachers to the support staff to housekeeping to Sodexo for ensuring they received the best care while at Columbia. They also expressed their gratitude to the school and all departments for creating a “warm experience and friendly environment” from the moment they arrived and for allowing them to achieve great successes, academically and socially.

    Columbia would like to thank the following people for their work in organizing this year’s May graduation; Maintenance, UPO, the Liaison and Media teams, Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Class, and all those that helped in the organizing the event.

    We would also like to thank all university representatives, Ms. Hermant and Ms. Davis for being a part of this special milestone and the Hamilton Convention Centre for hosting our 35th Graduation Ceremony.

    ...



    Marvelous May

    May is an exciting month at Columbia as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates and prepare to welcome many new students to our campus. Here are a few of the events we have planned for this marvelous month;

    May
    5-9: Final Exams
    10: Stress Buster activities
    14: 35th Anniversary Graduation Ceremony
    14-15: Registration and Orientation for new students
    16: Classes begin (Summer Semester), Trip to Mapleview Mall
    17: Pine Hall Birds of Prey Show, Trip to Niagara Falls
    19: Victoria Day – Canadian Statutory Holiday
    21: Soccer Tournament
    22: Basketball Tournament
    31: Leadership Retreat, Mac Kids Walk & Wheel for Miracles Community Service event

    To learn more about the marvelous May events, contact a member of the Student Development team in Room S244.

    ...



    Sodexo’s Servathon a huge success

    Over the past few weeks, Columbia students teamed up with Sodexo, our food service provider, to raise awareness about local hunger and malnutrition.

    Throughout the month of April, our Sodexo team held a number of events designed to raise awareness and funds about local hunger. The “Servathon” fundraising campaign – a drive which Sodexo runs globally – has become an annual event at Columbia and continues to grow each year. Students once again showed they are committed to fighting hunger and raised a total of $5,042.01 through the following activities:
    • Ice Cream with a Heart - $2965.00
    • Give a Hand to Stop hunger - $727.00
    • Casual Day - $968.00
    • 50/50 Draw - $331.00
    • Coin boxes donations - $35.01
    • Easter Basket draw $16.00

    Along with raising funds, Columbia students and the Sodexo also made significant contributions to the Hamilton community, which included:
    • collecting 5150 pounds of non-perishable food items for Hamilton’s Food Share
    • donating 150 breakfast meals to the Breakfast Club program at two local schools
    • preparing 950 meals for Food For Kids

    Through all their efforts, Columbia students and the Sodexo team volunteered 570 hours!

    Thank you to the entire Sodexo team and all the students and staff who contributed, and participated in the Servathon.

    ...



    Prom 2014; a night of elegance and grandeur

    Donning fancy dresses and elegant suits, Columbia students radiated with smiles and excitement as they entered the Grand Olympia Banquet Hall for Prom 2014.

    The school’s annual celebration was held last Friday, April 25, and exuded elegance and class as it perfectly reflected the event’s Great Gatsby theme.

    Students enjoyed a five course meal, followed by a night of dancing. On the evenings many highlights was the crowning of Prom Queen and Prom King; an honour given to Anna Chubakova and Mohamed Khalifa.

    We would like to thank the staff of the Grand Olympia for the great service and wonderful meal.

    Thank you also to Student Development for making this year’s prom a truly unforgettable experience.

    A special thank you to Mr. Rob, Media Team, for capturing all of the great moments of the night.

    ...



    Stress Management Workshop

    Earlier this week, the Guidance Department held a number of Stress Management Workshops to help student’s better handle and cope with anxiety and stress the as they approach a very busy time of the semester.

    The workshops were designed to help students release tension and refocus their minds. While both workshops focused on stress management techniques, the second workshop served as a meditation session and took place in the Wellness room. Students in both sessions learned and engaged in stress management techniques that promoted both physical and mental relaxation.

    The Stress Management Workshops are one of the many ways Columbia is helping students maximize their potential and preparing them for success. Students can visit the Guidance Office for more information.

    ...



    Celebrating Spring

    On Thursday, April 17, there was standing room only in the Ainsliewood gym as hundreds of students and staff members came together to cheer on fellow peers and students at the annual Spring Show!

    For over 90 minutes, students and staff were captivated by each and every performance. Performers were welcomed by loud cheers and roaring applause as they made their way across the stage. This year’s show featured everything from dancing and singing to a stellar yo-yo performance by China’s National Champion, Benson Fok.

    Exploring and developing skills and talents are integral parts of student life here at Columbia. The Spring Show is one of the many avenues that allows students to showcase their talents and is one of the school’s most popular events.

    Thank you to all those who participated in, and organized this year’s Spring Show. Thank you also to Mr. Lawlis and his vocal class for their contributions to the show.

    ...



    Tobacco Awareness Week

    Breath healthily, live happily.

    It’s Tobacco Awareness Week at Columbia. In an effort to educate students on the health effects and risks of smoking, Columbia’s Health Action Team is holding various information sessions to promote a smoke-free environment. Throughout the week, members of the Health Action Team, along with a Public Health Nurse, will be in the Living Wall Lounge to answer student questions about tobacco use, smoking, and strategies on how to quit smoking.

    Featured topics include:
    April 14 – Effects of Smoking using a Pig Diagram
    April 15 – Q & A / Trivia Wheel
    April 16 – Tobacco Marketing
    April 17 - Tobacco use around the world

    Tobacco Facts
    • Tobacco kills about 37,000 Canadians a year (Lung Association)
    • Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals (Lung Association)
    • Tobacco use kills 5.4 million people a year (WHO)
    • On average tobacco kills one person every six seconds and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide (WHO)

    To learn more about the health effects of tobacco and smoking visit Health Canada.

    ...



    JMS participate in Model UN Simulation

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students increased their knowledge of international affairs as they participated in a Model United Nations simulation last week.

    The simulation was administered by our partner school in Mexico and took place via Skype. Each student acted as a national delegate for their chosen country and began preparing for their roles weeks in advance. Along with learning about their respective countries, students were introduced to the structure of the UN and became familiar with the vocabulary and procedures used at formal meetings of world leaders. Countries represented included:
    • Canada
    • Spain
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Ukraine
    • Indonesia
    • Republic of Liberia
    • Morocco
    • Central African Republic

    As part of the school’s Character Building and Young Global Citizen programming, the exercise gave students a better understanding of how culture, society, economics, technology and the environment affect the world.

    ...



    Learn about McMaster’s B.Tech program!

    Two great Hamilton institutions -McMaster University and Mohawk College- have teamed up to offer a unique program that gives students an education in hands-on skills-based engineering along with management skills.

    The four-year Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) program provides “a balance of university-level course study and practical experience by applying classroom knowledge and theory to real-life situations.”

    It aims to produce graduates who are ready for the workforce and have the skills to work in management positions. It is also suited to those who are looking to further their education at the Master's or Ph.D. level.

    Students who complete the full program will graduate with 12 months of work experience (obtained through a co-op placement), a full McMaster University B.Tech degree, and a Mohawk College diploma.

    Columbia students interested in learning more about the program should attend the B.Tech presentation on Tuesday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m. in the Student Café. A representative from the program will be present to discuss the opportunities and admission to this exciting program.

    For more information, visit the University Placement Office.

    ...



    Euclid Prep Workshop

    On April 3, Columbia students attended workshop in preparation for an upcoming Euclid Mathematics Contest. Facilitated by Professor Ian Vanderburgh, Director of the Centre of Education for Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo, the workshop taught students important strategies and concepts for writing the contest. Students also tested their skills and got a better understanding of what to expect from the contest as they completed a series of practice questions.

    Good luck to all students writing!

    Thank you to Professor Vanderburgh for preparing Columbia students and thank you to Ms. Markuc, Mathematics Department Head, for organizing the workshop.

    ...



    2014 International Fashion Show

    Don't just stand there, let's get to it, strike a pose, there's nothing to it!

    Yesterday afternoon, Columbia held one of its most anticipated events, the International Fashion Show.

    As the student and staff models strutted down the Ainsliewood Gym runway, they were greeted like celebrities with defying cheers and standing ovations from those in attendance. In just over 30 minutes, the show took us on a trip around the world as it highlighted some of the 70 nations represented at Columbia, including:

    • Australia • Albania • Cameroon • Canada • China • Congo • Egypt
    • United Kingdom • France • Ghana • India • Indonesia
    • Jamaica • Kazakhstan • Kenya • Korea • Mexico • Nigeria • Pakistan • Russia • Rwanda • Scotland • Taiwan • Turkey • Trinidad & Tobago • Ukraine •United Arab Emirates •U.S.A • Venezuela • Vietnam •Zambia

    As the last of series of events for Diversity Week, the Fashion Show gave students the opportunity to represent their country by modeling their national clothing. It also highlighted the inclusiveness and respect that all members of the school community show for one another.

    Thank you to Ms. Bobbi, Mr. David, and the entire Student Development team for organizing the show. We would also like to thank the set-up crew, maintenance, and the student volunteers for helping making the show a tremendous success.

    ...



    Course Confirmation Fair

    Columbia International College offers over 50 academic courses to junior and senior students.

    To ensure students are aware of all their options, and to help them choose their courses, Columbia hosted a Course Confirmation Fair.

    On April 2, teachers from all departments set up booths in the Ainsliewood Gym to highlight the various courses offered in their respective disciplines; Arts, English, Science, Math, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, ESL and International Languages.

    The Fair was designed to inform both new and returning students of the academic programs available to them in the upcoming semester. In addition to learning about courses offered, students had the opportunity to review course materials and speak with teachers and the Guidance Department about their academic future.

    Thank you to the Guidance Department for organizing another successful Course Fair!

    ...



    JMS Aboriginal Awareness Event

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students celebrated Canadian history by holding an Aboriginal Awareness event for students and staff. On March 31, the JMS department organized an open house in the Maple Auditorium to foster an understanding of, and create awareness for, Aboriginal cultures and traditions amongst the school community.

    The celebration allowed JMS students to educate their peers on various aspects of Aboriginal culture. Stations were setup throughout the Auditorium that highlighted traditional Aboriginal practices in areas such as arts and entertainment, health, athletics, lifestyle, and cuisine. Along with learning a traditional dance, guests made medicine wheels and sampled a common meal consisting of fried bread, white corn soup and strawberry juice.

    Aboriginal Awareness day provided students with the opportunity to better understand a fundamental aspect of Canadian history. It also allowed them to celebrate the uniqueness of Aboriginal cultures while practicing and promoting Columbia’s character traits such as caring, respect, inclusiveness and fairness.

    Thank you to the JMS students and their teachers for hosting this celebration and a big thank you to Sodexo for providing.

    Visit our Facebook page to view photos of the event.

    ...



    Active April

    Spring has sprung!

    After a long winter season, we’re all eager to welcome warmer weather and enjoy the beauty of springtime.

    April’s activity schedule is guaranteed to put a little spring in students’ steps as it is filled with great extracurricular events;

    April
    • March 31 –April 4: Diversity Week
    • 3: Diversity Fashion Show
    • 4: Female Badminton Tournament, Varsity Boys Soccer Game
    • 5: Leadership Retreat, MLB Game – Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees, Spin 4 Kids Community Service Event
    • 7-11: Sodexo’s Servathon
    • 8: McMaster Children’s Hospital Walk-a-thon
    • 10: International Cuisine Series: Middle East and Southern Asia
    • 11: Pine Hall Games Day
    • 12: Fix Our World Festival Community Service Event
    • 14: Varsity Boys Soccer Game
    • 17: Spring Show
    • 18: Good Friday, Trip to Great Wolf Lodge
    • 19: Easter Parade Community Service Event, Trip to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
    • 21: Easter Monday
    • 23: Awards Ceremony
    • 25: Prom
    • 26: Earth Day
    • 29: Leadership BBQ
    • 30: Varsity Boys vs Hamilton Police Soccer Game

    Students should visit the Student Development department in room S244 to learn more about participating in this month’s events.

    ...



    Celebrating Diversity

    "Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness." - Ola Joseph

    Next week, Columbia will be celebrating the vast differences of the school community as it hosts Diversity Week. Throughout the week, students will gain a deeper understanding of the principles of diversity as they embrace the individual differences that make up the school’s dynamic student body. Learning about cultures, traditions, religions and other factors that make each individual unique will be highlighted during the week.

    To showcase the diversity of the student population, Student Development has prepared a number of great activities and events:
    March 31– Diversity Painting
    April 1 – International Music, Dance & Food Day
    April 2 – International Games Day
    April 3 – International Fashion Show

    Diversity week provides students with an educational learning experience that reinforces important character traits taught at Columbia such as respect, inclusiveness, and caring.

    Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to follow all Diversity Week activities and events.

    ...



    Students prepare to write Literacy Test

    Tomorrow, students across Ontario are will spend the majority of their school day writing the OSSLT - Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

    The OSSLT measures student’s reading and writing skills by testing their ability to understand, interpret, and apply the diverse concepts and material. As a provincial initiative administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office –EQAO-, the Test promotes lifelong learning by developing skills that are needed for success. All students who study in Ontario must successfully write the test in order to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

    Columbia students have been preparing for weeks by attending mock test sessions and working with teachers and tutors to ensure they earn a successful grade.

    Literacy Test Reminders
    The Test begins promptly at 9 a.m. however students must report for attendance by 8:30 am. All students are responsible for checking the Literacy Test bus schedule posted in residence, throughout the school, and on Facebook, to ensure they arrive to campus on time.

    On the day of the test students are also reminded of the following:
    • Proper uniform and student ID are required
    • Cell phones and electronic devices are to be left at home/in residence
    • Dictionaries are not allowed
    • Writing is to be done in blue or black pen or pencil
    • Access to lockers during breaks is not permitted
    • Only water bottles without labels or writing are allowed in the classroom

    Students should also thank Sodexo for preparing and providing nutritious snacks to help keep their minds sharp while writing the Test.

    Good Luck Columbia!

    ...



    Students fast for world hunger

    Hundreds of Columbia students came together this weekend to take a stand against world hunger. For 30 hours, from Friday, March 21 to Saturday, March 22, students fasted to raise awareness and funds for global hunger as part of World Vision Canada’s 30 Hour Famine.

    Over the course of 30 hours, students reflected on the issue of hunger by participating in educational workshops and attended a presentation by a World Vision Youth Canada representative. Students also kept their minds off their own hunger pains by playing a variety of fun games and activities organized by the Student Development Office. Through this experience, students gained a better understanding of the suffering hunger causes. They also learned the importance of being positive agents of change and responsible global citizens.

    In total, Columbia students raised an impressive $10,121.64 towards hunger projects around the world.

    30 Hour Famine
    World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine began in 1971 to raise funds and awareness for the famine in Africa. The event has grown over the years and is now held in 15 countries worldwide including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. More information about the event can be found here.

    A special thank you to Sodexo for keeping our participants energized and refreshed by providing juice, water and tea throughout the event. Thank you to Student Development and all students for participating in the famine.

    Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.

    ...



    Columbia students attend Medical School Conference

    Last month four Columbia students attended a Medical School Conference where they got a glimpse into life as a medical student. The MedSS -Medical School for Secondary School Students- workshop allowed students to partake in medical lectures, leadership training, clinical skills sessions and professional interviews run by current medical students and physicians.

    The conference is designed for grade 12 high school students who plan to study medicine, or are interested in careers as doctors, physicians and other medical specialists. Area high schools may only select four students to attend the event. Columbia’s science department nominated its four students based on academic performance and overall passion for science and medical studies;
    • Halim, Vincent
    • Liu, Ziyu
    • Luo, Nianchao
    • Shaw, Karina

    Special recognition goes to Vincent Halim who won two awards at the conference; Public Speaker and Peer Educator.

    MedSS
    Supported by the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, the conference aims to provide students, who are serious about a medical profession, with a thorough understanding of medical practices.

    ...



    Duke of Edinburgh Excursion

    Over March Break a group of Columbia students embarked on an adventure journey at Bark Lake as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. Students braved the frigid temperatures and spent several days camping at Bark Lake. On their journey they hiked through the snow covered wilderness in snowshoes, used a sled to pull their equipment, and made an authentic site by chopping their own firewood, cooking over the campfire and setting up their own tents. Most importantly, students worked as a team to accomplish their goals.

    Students who participated were divided into two teams;
    Team Wolf Pack:
    Mr. Chris, Mr. Nick, Toni, Obi, Osahon, Francess, Udy, Nnenna, and Elorm
    Team Bapa Miscodis:
    Ms. Lue, Angel, Nathalie, Tomi, Adaeze , Arina, Angela, Ayo and Feyi

    Congratulations to all those who participated for completing this challenging final, section of the program.

    Duke of Edinburgh Award Program
    The purpose of the Award Program is to encourage personal development and community involvement for young people. Open to youth ages 14-24, it strives to teach responsibility and commitment while fostering personal development. The program is composed of four components:
    • Service (helping people in the community)
    • Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
    • Physical Recreation (sport, dance and fitness)
    • Expeditions (training, planning and completing a journey on foot or horseback, by boat or bike)

    Columbia’s Duke of Edinburgh Instructor, Ms. Lue Mahaffey, believes the program "is an opportunity for Columbia students to further their ASEP achievements and is available to any student who is willing to commit themselves to fulfilling its four requirements.”

    ...



    Columbia welcomes novelist Wayson Choy

    Columbia’s students and staff were honoured to welcome revered novelist, memoirist, and short-story writer Wayson Choy to its campus today.

    Choy spent the morning with students, holding two separate seminar presentations. He first spoke to Ms. Pivniceru’s Writer’s Craft class where he discussed the craft of storytelling and highlighted elements of a good narrative. Students listened attentively to his lecture and took away valuable pieces of information that they can apply to their writing and academic career. Good punctuation, sentence placement, and a solid understanding of grammatical principles were among the elements he told students are crucial in creating a dynamic writing piece.

    Choy reserved his second presentation for English 4U students who are currently studying his novel The Jade Peony. He brought his narrative to life as he explained his upbringing, his culture and his search for identity. Students, inspired by his words, thanked him for coming and sharing a unique experience with them.

    This was the second time Choy visited Columbia. He first spoke to students and discussed his novel The Jade Peony in 2012.

    About Wayson Choy
    Wayson Choy was born in Vancouver in 1939. He attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) and studied creative writing. He relocated to Toronto in 1962 and taught writing at Humber College. Choy has received various awards for his literary works including the Trillium Book Award and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. In 2005, he was named to the Order of Canada for his contribution to the arts (writing).

    Notable Works
    Wayson Choy’s great literary works include;
    The Jade Peony – Originally written as a short story, this was Choy’s first novel.
    All That Matters – A sequel to The Jade Peony.
    Paper Shadows – His memoir about growing up as an immigrant during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
    Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying – A memoir about his childhood in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

    Thank you to Mr. Wayson Choy for spending the day with us. It was a true honour to host you!

    ...



    ESL awards ceremony celebrates success

    Academic excellence was rewarded once again this month as awards were presented to January and February’s top achievers. Students who received the highest mark in their respective classes were awarded with a medal of distinction. Medals were presented by Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head, Mr. Rambarran, Principal, and Mr. Putt, Head of Senior School in a ceremony earlier today.

    ESL Top Achievers
    January
    ESLBO: Wu, You
    ESLCO: Yang, Qiaoqiao
    ESLDO: Zhang, Shaoguang
    EOA4Z: Ltew, Chee Liam
    EOA4Z: Lu, Xiaolin

    February
    ESLBO: Ma, Jiahao
    ESLBO: Nguyen, Thi Nhat Viet
    ESLBO: Cheng, Jinling
    ESLDO: Zhang, Xiaoqing
    EOA4Z: Zhang, Shaoguang

    Secret to Success
    What does it take to become a top achiever, here’s advice from some of our winners:
    • “Hard word is the key to success. Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” - Chee Liam Liew
    • “You need to understand what teachers say. You need to do your homework carefully.” - Jinling Cheng
    • “You should review what you learn everyday and listen carefully to the teacher.” - Shaoguang Zhang
    • “Business before pleasure. If you want knowledge, you must work for it.” - Xiaoqing Zhang
    • “Study every day, do homework, and review grammar or vocabulary. Try to talk to Canadians to practice speaking English.” - Thi Nhat Viet Nguyen

    Congratulations to all our top achievers!

    ...



    Front expansion update

    Columbia is once again expanding its campus and improving its resources to meet the needs of its growing student population. Over the past few months, students and staff have been patiently awaiting the completion of a front addition to the Ainsliewood building.

    The expansion was designed to improve the space of key resources including the Guidance Office, the University Placement Office and the Campus Safety Office. The addition has also created many new state-of-the-art facilities ranging from meeting rooms, a university resource centre and an art room.

    Along with creating more space for teaching and learning, the expansion allows Columbia to grow its services to enhance the overall student experience while fostering their academic and personal success.

    Construction of the building began last fall and is expected to be complete in the upcoming weeks.

    ...



    Students learn realities of impaired driving

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) visited Columbia this morning to hold a presentation on impaired driving. Students intently watched the powerful presentation which will be shown to students in grades 7-12 across Canada. Along with informing students of the dangers of impaired driving, the presentation highlighted popular misconceptions and told students how easy it is to get a safe ride home.

    MADD Canada
    MADD Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping impaired driving and helping its victims. It formed in early 1980’s and now has 100 local chapters across the country. To learn more about the organization and its mission, click here.

    Facts: Impaired Driving
    • On average, 4 Canadians are killed and 175 are injured every day in Canada.
    • Approximately 65,000 Canadians are impacted by impaired drivers annually.
    • Young drinking drivers are most likely to be killed or injured in the summer (32.4% and 40.8% respectively) and least likely to be killed or injured in the winter (8% and 11.4% respectively).
    • A large percentage of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured on the weekend.
    • The vast majority of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured in crashes at night.

    Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death in Canada and North America. Columbia is a proud supporter of MADD Canada and would like to thank the organization for educating Columbia, and people across the country, on this very important issue.

    ...



    Hoops for Heart basketball tournament

    Columbia’s students and staff have joined together to raise awareness and funds for Canada’s Heart & Stroke Foundation.

    Throughout the course of the day, 32 teams of students and staff -made up of male, female and coed players- participated in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the Ainsliewood gym. Students were asked to raise a minimum of $25 in order to be eligible to participate in the tournament. Prizes were awarded to the winning teams, as well as the class that raised the most money.

    Along with promoting the importance of daily physical activity, the tournament teaches students important life values, such as responsibility and fairness, and is a great way to promote school spirit.

    A special THANK YOU to Ms. Simpson for her hard work organizing the tournament again this year. A big thank you to Mr. Freddy, Mr. Erind, student volunteers and all those who supported the tournament.

    Heart & Stroke Foundation
    The Heart & Stroke Foundation is one of Canada’s leading health charities and is the largest contributor to heart and stroke research after the federal government. The foundation’s mission is to prevent disease, save lives, and promote recovery by investing in life-saving research, advocating for healthy public policies and partnering with stakeholders.

    ...



    2014 Summer & Fall Executive Student Leaders positions available

    Are you interested in making a difference in student life, organizing great student activities, or developing leadership skills?

    Join one for Columbia’s Executive Student Leader teams for Summer or Fall 2014!

    These fun and dynamic teams play key roles in promoting character and leadership throughout the school. While each team has their own set of specific duties, they all work together to enhance the student experience and the school community.

    An Executive Student Leader:
    • Is a team of students who work with the Student Development Staff
    • Plans and runs activities in the school
    • Helps make positive changes for the school body
    • Receives leadership training
    • Receives community service hours for their work

    Positions available with:
    • Columbia Crew
    • Prefects
    • Student Council
    • Pine Activities Council

    Applications are available from Ms. Melissa in the Student Development Office (S244) and must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 24, 2014. Visit Ms. Courtney in S244 if you have any question

    ...



    March Madness

    Orientation, March Break, Literacy Test, community service events and weekend trips have filled the month of March. Students will enjoy endless opportunities to participate in activities that foster both their personal and academic success.

    March
    • 1: Salvation Army Community Service Event
    • 2: Chilly Half Marathon Community Service Event
    • 3-4: Orientation for New Students
    • 3-7: Literacy Week
    • 6: Hoops for Heart 3 on 3 Basketball tournament
    • 7: MADD Presentation
    • 8-11: Bark Lake Winter Camp
    10-14: MARCH BREAK
    • 14: Movie Night
    • 20: International Cuisine Series: China
    • 21-22: 30 Hour Famine Community Service Event
    • 22: NBA March Madness viewing
    • 23: Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks Game
    • 27: Literacy Test
    • 28: Residence Council Event
    • 29: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada Trip, NBA March Madness viewing

    Students interested in any of the above activities or trips should visit the Student Development Department, in Room S244, for more information.

    ...



    Varsity soccer team seeking spot in divisional championship

    The Varsity Boys Indoor Soccer team is having a record breaking year. The boys started their season with an almost perfect record, showing their diverse skills and talents. While they have yet to earn their spot in the divisional championship, fans and coaches are hoping their focus, passion and dedication will lead them to victory.

    Storm Cup Champions
    Earlier this month, the Varsity Boys participated in the Indoor Soccer Storm Cup Varsity championship held at Redeemer University College. After playing six intense games against top teams from Hamilton’s Public and Catholic school boards, the Cougars defeated one of their greatest rivals, Saltfleet Secondary School, to win the championship.

    The team is currently ranks 2nd in the standings and is playing a quarterfinal game today (Feb.28) at 5 p.m. They hope to reach the championship which is scheduled to take place on March 21.

    Thank you to coaches Mr. Freddy and Mr. Erind for their dedicating their time to the team and to enhancing Columbia’s athletic programs.

    ...



    Guidance department holds time management workshops

    Columbia’s Guidance Department is holding a series of Time Management Workshops throughout the week (Feb. 25-27) to help students succeed in their academic and personal lives.

    The Workshops are designed to prepare students for university life and help them to:
    • develop good time management skills
    • stay healthy in body and mind
    • enhance personal and student life
    • manage and prioritize daily life
    • understand personal work schedules

    Students attending the workshops will participate in a number of fun and competitive activities that highlight proper time management techniques.

    Time Management Tips
    All students can benefit from following simple time management strategies including;
    • setting goals and priorities
    • creating action plans to complete goals
    • setting deadlines
    • making a ‘to do’ list and planning your week
    • asking for help when needed

    The Time Management Workshops are one of the many ways Columbia is helping students maximize their potential and preparing them for success. Information on additional workshops can be found by visiting the Guidance Office.

    ...



    Donation presented to the Community Council of Hamilton

    Last week, Mr. Ron Rambarran, Principal, Mr. Freddy Velazquez, Athletics Coordinator, and Constable Jack Vander Pol, Hamilton Police Service, presented a donation to the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton.

    The $1000 donation was raised though last month’s charity basketball game between members of the Hamilton Police Service and Columbia’s Varsity Boys Basketball team.

    Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator, Ms. Cecilia Marie Flynn, was present to accept the donation on behalf of the organization and was pleased to learn of Columbia’s dedication to mental health.

    Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton
    As a charitable, non-profit organization, the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton works to promote awareness, and create change, through leadership, advocacy, and education. It is the leading community advocate on the issue of suicide prevention and aids the community by providing critical resources such as education and training.

    More information can be found by visiting their website.

    ...



    Ryerson holds information session

    Columbia students had the opportunity to meet a representative from Ryerson University yesterday during an information session held in the Café.

    Students learned about its vibrant city campus and notable programs that draw some of the highest number of applicants in Ontario each year. Ryerson is an institution known for its innovation and entrepreneurship and offers over 100 undergraduate, Master’s and PhD programs.

    Fast Facts
    • Experiential learning opportunities through its co-op and internships placements
    • Launched joint programs with Osgoode Hall Law School and St. Michael’s Hospital
    • Largest business school in Canada - Ted Rogers School of Management
    • Its Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) is one of Canada's largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs
    • Welcomes students from over 140 countries

    Thank you to Ryerson for their presentation! To learn more pick up an Admissions Handbook (pictured above) in UPO.

    ...



    Health Action Team

    Healthy living is a large part of the curriculum at Columbia. A recent initiative, the establishment of a Health Action Team, is ensuring that students remember the importance of healthy living – physical, emotional and mental – both inside and outside of the classroom.

    Recently, the Health Action Team (HAT) was in the Marketplace to discuss stress and homesickness with students. They asked those who stopped by to write down what causes them the most stress and what they miss most about home. Students quickly learned that many of the answers were the same and that their feelings or insecurities are common. They then brainstormed ways to which relive stress and to overcome homesickness.

    Delivering a balanced education to students is among the many initiatives of Columbia’s Total Care Education System®. Along with promoting health and well-being, initiatives like the Health Action Team promote togetherness and allow students to share common bonds.

    More information can be found by visiting Student Development in room S244.

    ...



    Upcoming Spirit Week

    Columbia is gearing up for a week of fun, enthusiasm, and most of all, school pride as it prepares for Spirit Week!

    From February 10 – February 14 students will be participating in fun and interactive activities and challenges designed to encourage school spirit and foster character values of teamwork, inclusiveness, and respect. Morning activities, in both Ainsliewood and Maple buildings, will take place each day and will have classrooms competing against one another for a small prize.

    Staff and students will also have the opportunity to show their spirit by dressing up on theme days in outfits and costumes that best represent the theme of the day;
    Pajama Day - Monday, February 10
    Culture Day - Tuesday, February 11
    Wacky Day - Wednesday, February 12

    Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch all Spirit Week action!

    ...



    24 Canadian universities attend Columbia’s University Fair

    Columbia had the privilege of welcoming top universities from across the country to its campus yesterday as it held its annual University Fair!

    Representatives from 24 of Canada’s best universities filled the Ainsliewood Gym to meet students, answer their questions and advise them on important areas of university life ranging from admissions, program requirements, scholarships, extracurricular opportunities and student life.
    After the Fair, each university held an information session which allowed representatives to provide detailed and program specific information to students. The sessions were extremely helpful for students who will be submitting university applications in the upcoming weeks.

    Columbia would like to extend a special thank you to all the university representatives who participated in the University Fair. See you next year!

    A special thank you to Mr. John and the UPO staff for organizing the Fair.

    Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook Page. Video of the event is posted on our YouTube channel.

    ...



    2014 Town Hall

    Columbia held its third annual Town Hall meeting on January 31 in which staff and faculty members gathered to reflect on the past year and learn about the school’s upcoming initiatives.

    The meeting also serves as a platform to recognize and celebrate the achievements and dedication of dynamic staff by presenting two types of awards; Total Care® Awards which recognize staff for going above and beyond in their work; Long Term Service Awards which recognizes the long serving staff who have been with Columbia between 5-25 years.

    Total Care® Awards Recipients
    Team Player Award: John Lafave, Maintenance
    Volunteer Award: Kristina Nedelka, Teacher
    Innovator Award: Chris Vander Deen, Student Development
    Community Service Award: Yvonne Huang, Residence
    Communicator Award: Renuka Arun, Guidance
    Outstanding Achievement Award: Courtney Cuthbert, Student Development
    Outstanding Achievement Award: Paula Trainor, Liaison

    Long Term Service Award Recipients
    5 Years

    Halwa Abdi, Housekeeping
    Julia Abdoullaeva, Liaison
    Stefanie Achkewich, Teacher
    Jack Chow, Teacher
    Patricia Doric, Human Resources
    Min (Judy) Gu, Residence
    Teodoru Gugoiu, Teacher
    In Hoe Koo, Teacher
    John Le, Residence
    Brandon Lewis, Student Development
    Jane Liu, Liaison
    Bohdana Lopatnyuk, Teacher
    Dina Magarin, Housekeeping
    Zainab Rage, Housekeeping
    Marta Robleto, Housekeeping
    James Seo, Teacher
    Jennifer Thompson, Accounting
    Heather Tremble, Teacher

    10 Years
    Carolyn Dowall, Residence
    Suzanne Garell, Guidance
    James Lawlis, Teacher
    Carmen Story, Teacher

    15 Years
    Leonard Forte, Teacher
    William Georgis, Maintenance
    Peter Shaw, Teacher

    20 Years
    Freddy Velazquez, Student Development

    25 Years
    Theresa Nip, Administration

    Congratulations to all award recipients!

    We would like to thank our dedicated staff members and faulty who proudly serve the school and who are committed to the values and mission of Columbia. ...



    Fun Filled February

    The annual University Fair, Spirit Week and the Valentine’s Dance are among the many great events and activities awaiting students this month. February is filled with great opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities and develop their skills.

    February
    1: Salvation Army (Community Service Event)
    2: Cirque du Soleil Performance
    3: Varsity Boys Soccer Game
    5: University Fair
    6: Soccer Tournament
    7: Mapleview Shopping Trip
    8: Side Show Musical Trip, Salvation Army (Community Service Event)
    9: Harlem Globetrotters
    10-14: Spirit Week
    13: Valentine’s Day Dance
    15: Pirate’s Cove Trip
    15-17: Hamilton’s Kidfest (Community Service Event)
    17: Family Day Holiday
    18-19: 30 Hour Famine Sign-up
    20: International Cuisine Series: European Dinner, Varsity Boys Soccer Game, 30 Hour Famine Lottery
    22: Snowshoeing Trip
    24: 30 Hour Famine Registration
    28: Roller Skating Trip

    For more information on the trips and events listed above, please visit the Student Development department in room S244. ...



    Snow tubing trip

    On January 25, Columbia students bundled-up to brave the cold winter temperatures as they went snow tubing!

    Over 80 students filled buses to Chicopee Tube Park in Kitchener, ON to participate in this unique adventure sport. Students spent the evening riding inflatable tubes down snow covered hills with their friends and classmates. This true Canadian experience also allowed them to practice inclusiveness as they worked together to ensure that everyone climbed to the top of the hill with their tubes. Although many were exhausted by the end of the night, they “loved snow tubing” and “had lots of fun.”

    Students will have another opportunity to experience more Canadian adventure sports during a ski and snowboarding trip taking place this weekend. Contact Student Development for more information.

    Watch highlights from this trip on our YouTube Channel! ...



    Community service trip

    In a recent community service trip, a handful of Columbia students spent the day assembling radios for international mission work. Student’s volunteered with Galcom International Canada, a North America organization that seeks ship missionary radios around the world with the help of overseas partners. Along with learning how to build radios from scratch, the students were taught the important role radio messaging plays in the lives of those who cannot read.

    Students found this teamwork experience very rewarding and were pleased to contribute to such a unique mission.

    Thank you to all students who volunteered at this event! ...



    Upcoming University Fair

    Columbia is once again gearing up to host its annual University Fair. On Wednesday, February 5, the Ainsliewood Gym will be hub of activity as university representatives from across Canada come together to meet hundreds of Columbia students and discuss the post-secondary options available to them at their respective institutions. Designed to provide students with information about academic programs and university life, the daylong event allows students to roam each university’s booth before attending university presentations of their choice in the afternoon.

    Columbia’s University Fair continues to grow each year with the highest number of attendees – 24 Canadian universities – expected at this year’s fair including:

    Acadia University
    University of Alberta
    Algoma University
    Bishop's University
    University of British Columbia
    Brock University
    Cape Breton University
    Carleton University
    Dalhousie University
    University of Guelph
    Lakehead University
    McMaster University
    OCAD (Ontario College of Art & Design College)
    University of Ottawa
    Queen's University
    Ryerson University
    University of Toronto
    - University of Toronto, Mississauga
    - University of Toronto, Scarborough
    Trent University
    UOIT
    University of Waterloo
    Western University
    - King’s College
    - Brescia College
    - Huron College
    Wilfred Laurier University
    University of Windsor
    York University

    For more information contact the University Placement Office in room 109. ...



    Sodexo's award winning food safety

    Columbia would like to congratulate Sodexo, its premier food service provider, for attaining Double Gold in a recent public health and safety audit conducted by NSF.

    Earlier this month, NSF conducted two audits at our Ainsliewood facilities. Along with assessing Sodexo’s Safety Program, the organization also inspected the Food Safety procedures. Sodexo scored exceptionally well in both audits, earning the highest possible score of 105.3% in the Safety Program Audit and 100% in the Food Safety Audit. This is the sixth consecutive year that Sodexo has been awarded the Double Gold in Health and Safety measures and Food Safety.

    NSF - The Public Health and Safety Organization
    NSF develops standards to “test and certify products and systems for public health and the environment.” The organization conducts food safety audits for organizations around the world and strives to promote the improvement of global health.

    Columbia and Sodexo
    Columbia is proud to partner with Sodexo and values their commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, and the overall well-being of staff and students.

    Congratulations and thank you to Mr. Jeffrey Frederick, Sodexo’s Director of Food Services at Columbia, and the Sodexo staff for their hard work and continuous efforts in providing healthy and tasty meals to Columbia. ...



    Columbia hosts Hamilton Police in basketball friendly

    There was standing room only in the Ainsliewood gym yesterday afternoon as Columbia’s Varsity Boys Basketball team took on members of the Hamilton Police Service in a friendly lunch hour game.

    The much anticipated game got off to a quick start and captivated the attention of spectators within minutes of the first half. Deafening cheers and fast-paced action quickly filled the room as students showed great school spirit and sportsmanship. Those who were lucky enough to be in attendance witnessed the high skill level of players from both teams. After trailing 11-17 at half time, Columbia’s varsity boys regrouped and took a late lead. Unfortunately, it was a lead they could not maintain as they fell to the Hamilton Police 32-33. All players were tremendous in their efforts and demonstrated great character throughout the game.

    Thank you to the members of the Hamilton Police Service and all the staff and students who came out to cheer on Columbia. A special thank you to Coach James, Mr. Freddy and Mr. Erind for their efforts in organizing another great community event.
    ...



    JMS students presented with Top Subject Awards

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements in a special ceremony on January 17. JMS students were joined by Mr. Rambarran, Principal, Ms. Garell-Teti, Head of JMS, and staff and faculty of the JMS department for the awards ceremony. Those in grades 7 and 8 who achieved the highest mark in individual subjects were recognized and presented with an Honours certificate as well as a medal of distinction.

    JMS Award Winners:
    • Nikolay Avilov
    • Maryam Yusuf-Aliyu
    • Daye Fubara
    • Elizaveta Golova
    • Joshua Onuotu
    • Jih-Pen Lu
    • Mwombeki Rugalema
    • Elizaveta Getmanskaya
    • Alejandro Galan Medina

    Many students received more than one medal, including Daye Fubara who was the recipient of six top subject awards. Congratulations!

    Columbia’s unique JMS programming evaluates students on their ability to communicate, understand, and apply the knowledge and concepts taught in class. Contact us to learn more! ...



    December grad awarded international scholarship

    Columbia graduate Dinh Hung (William) Ngo has been awarded one of ten International Scholarships from Queen’s University.

    The December graduate shared the exciting news with his former University Placement Counsellors and educators earlier this week. Ngo is honoured to receive the international scholarship and was surprised when the scholarship offer accompanied his letter of early acceptance to Queen’s Science program.

    Queen’s University offers a limited number of international entrance scholarships “to reward the high level of academic excellence” of its future students.

    Top Achiever
    Ngo, a student from Vietnam, is one of many top achievers at Columbia. Ngo is well known in the school community and was part of the heavily involved in the school community Executive Student Leadership Team (Prefects), Student Mentors, and Peer Tutors. Along with graduating as an Ontario Scholar in December 2013, he was awarded the top subject prize for Food & Nutrition Science. He also completed over 236 community service hours – the most of all December graduates.

    CONGRATULATIONS WILLIAM! ...



    JMS Coin Drive

    Columbia’s JMS students are once again becoming agents of change and are raising money to build a school in Nicaragua.

    All month longs, JMS students will be holding a coin drive in support of Free the Children’s We Create Change campaign. Their goal is to help improve access to education for children around the world, especially those in developing nations. Every student is encouraged to participate by donating to their homeroom fund.

    JMS involvement in the We Create Change campaign is part of Columbia’s character education. Initiatives such as this allow students to acquire strong leadership skills and develop into responsible global citizens. Past participation in a Walk 4 Water campaign, a penny drive, a food drive, and general fundraising have all been part of the character education program. ...



    Columbia wins big at UW Math Contest

    Columbia is thrilled to announce that it was named a Zone Team Champion in the November 2013 Canadian Senior Math Contest (CSMC) presented by the University of Waterloo.

    Out of the 6,932 Canadian and international students that participated in the contest, 31 Columbia students scored in the top 25 percent and received a Certificate of Distinction. Representing the Greater Hamilton Area, Columbia students, on average, outperformed others in the region and were rewarded with the honour of being Zone Champion. Four Columbia students -Guo, Siyuan, Lei, Jia Nan, Liu, Xinyu, Tian, Yi Ran- were also recognized for their outstanding performance and received medals.

    The CSMC contest began in 2011 and seeks to develop students “mathematical problem solving abilities.” It is open to senior students at public and private secondary schools in Canada and abroad. More information about this and other math contest can be found here.

    Thank you to Ms. Markuc and the entire Mathematics Department for preparing Columbia’s students for this contest.

    Congratulations to all those who participated! ...



    2014 Club Fair

    With classes back in session, students are beginning to immerse themselves in student life. Thanks to the Student Development department, students will have the opportunity to get involved in clubs suited for any interest.

    Students patiently waited in line today to attend Columbia’s annual Club Information Day. Held in the Ainsliewood Gym, the event allowed students to preview more than 70 clubs extracurricular offered at Columbia. Clubs include:
    • Cooking
    • Web Design
    • Drama
    • Community Service
    • Athletics
    … and many more!

    Club sign up officially begins tomorrow but those wishing to participate in clubs at Pine Girls and Pine Boys can sign up tonight at 7 p.m. in their respective residence.

    Clubs begin this Wednesday, January 15. Check with club leaders to confirm club times and locations. ...



    Perfect Attendance Reward System

    Perseverance and responsibility are among the life skills Columbia strives to develop in its students. One way students are learning to acquire these skills is by challenging themselves to participate in the Perfect Attendance Reward System.

    Who is rewarded?
    The reward system applies to individual students and classes at the senior school (grades 9-12) level. Rewards will be distributed at the end of each month, and at the end of each semester from September to November and from February to March.

    How are rewards determined?
    Individual students who attend 100 per cent of their classes will be rewarded. Classes with the highest average class attendance, determined by the total number of unauthorized absences divided by the number of students, will also be recognized.

    Rewards may include:
    • gift cards
    • shopping trips
    • taxi vouchers
    • restaurant vouchers
    • weekend trips

    For more information, speak to your Guidance Counsellor or Liaison Officer. ...



    Winter Walking Safety Tips

    Classes have begun and students are beginning to adjust to their new environment here at Columbia; that includes getting used to Canada’s wonderful winter weather. As snowfall, high wind chills, and ice covered surfaces are prominent this time of year, we would like to remind students of how to stay safe during their winter commutes.

    Falls and slips can easily occur in winter weather. Students are encouraged to exert extra caution when walking or crossing the street and are reminded to:

    • Cross the street ONLY at marked crosswalks and intersections and ONLY when the ‘Walk’ signal is displayed
    • Look left, right, and left again before crossing – vehicles need extra time to slow down and stop in winter conditions
    • Be visible to drivers by wearing brightly coloured clothing and accessories
    • Wear waterproof and insulated boots with traction
    • Walk slowly and look for ice patches
    • Avoid shortcuts and walk on designated paths
    • Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid talking on the phone or listening to music
    • Follow directions from Campus Safety when loading buses and entering and exiting school buildings ...



    Jam-Packed January

    Happy New Year!

    Columbia is ready to usher in a New Year and has organized great events and activities to keep students involved all month-long.

    January Events
    2-4: Orientation for New Students
    6: Classes Begin
    9: Varsity Soccer Game
    11: Niagara Falls Trip
    13-14: Club Fair
    16: Varsity Soccer Game
    17-20: Bark Lake Leadership Training
    21: Basketball Tournament
    22: Indoor Soccer Tournament
    25: Snow Tubing, Walk for Memories Alzheimer’s Society (Community Service Event)
    29: Toronto Raptors Event at the Air Canada Centre
    30: International Cuisine Series: Lunar New Year
    31: Professional Development Day, Ski/Snowboarding Trip, Chinese New Year

    Students are encouraged to participate in these events as extracurricular activities play an important part of student life, providing unique experiences and fostering personal growth.

    For more information regarding trips and events, please visit the Student Development department in room S244. ...



    Students give back to the community

    While students usually take advantage of their winter break to visit family and friends, travel and return home, a large number of Columbia students will be spending the holidays here in Hamilton.

    Along with participating in fun winter activities, students are lending a hand to help the community and to ensure that everyone has a great holiday season. On Monday, December 16 students were busy volunteering at Hamilton’s Good Shepherd. Students spent the day sorting donations for Hamilton families in need. In doing so, students connected to the local community, learned the importance of becoming responsible global citizens and gained valuable life skills.

    Student Development would like to thank all those that volunteered. You have made Columbia proud with your hard work and dedication to serving others.

    Hamilton’s Good Shepherd organization seeks “to enhance the quality of life for all those who seek assistance and support.” They work under the values of availability, hospitality, flexibility, adaptability and dignity. ...



    Teaching Excellence Awards

    December’s graduation ceremony was particularly memorable this year as it honoured both graduates and staff. Seven members of Columbia’s staff were presented with Teaching Excellence Awards. Presented by Mr. Clement Chan, Executive Director and Mr. Ron Rambarran, Principal, the awards not only recognize the outstanding teaching by staff members but also serve to highlight the contributions, dedication and commitment staff show towards students, their respective departments and the school.

    This year’s winners include:
    • Ms. Heather Tremble, Business
    • Ms. Dagmar Strobl, ESL
    • Ms. Alice Pivniceru, English
    • Ms. Sophia Szoke, Guidance
    • Mr. Teodoru Gugoiu, Mathematics
    • Ms. Leslie Klodt, Science
    • Mr. Jim Lawlis, Social Sciences

    Congratulations to all and thank you for you for exemplifying excellence each and every day. ...



    Class of 2013

    “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” – Dr. Seuss

    On Friday, December 13, Columbia held its third and final graduation ceremony of 2013. Elated graduates were greeted by the many parents, friends, staff and teachers who filled the Ainsliewood Gym to attend the 90 minute ceremony.

    Keynote Address
    December graduates were honoured to have Dr. Marilyn Lambert-Drache, Associate Vice-President International at York University deliver their keynote speech. In her speech, Dr. Lambert-Drache offered advice and life tips to December’s graduating class and urged them to purse what they love, embrace opportunities and to not fear the unknown or failure. After speaking of their great accomplishment, she advised them to “do great things, care about the world, and make a difference.”

    Valedictory Address and Vote of Thanks
    Maria Luisa Radice Daher was voted by her peers to represent the graduating class as December’s Valedictorian. In her Valedictory Address, she reflected on her time at Columbia and thanked teachers, staff and friends for contributing to her success. She encouraged her classmates to embrace differences and told them “never give up on anything you do, trust your passions and be yourself.”

    For the first time in Columbia’s history, the Vote of Thanks was given by two students – Marcos Julio Perez and Lu Qiao. The two thanked shared their experiences at Columbia and explained how each department made them feel at home when they first arrived. Although they are excited to begin the next chapter of their lives, they admitted that they will miss all those at Columbia who made them feel like part of their family during their time here.

    University Representatives
    In addition to welcoming York University’s Dr. Lambert-Drache, Columbia was grateful to welcome university representatives from across Ontario who served as the ceremony’s guests of honour and presented certificates to the graduates. Included were:
    • Dr. Glenwood Irons, Brock University
    • Ms. Leanne Stillman -University of Guelph
    • Ms. Salisha Mohammed - Ryerson University
    • Mr. Dan Vassiliou, Ms. Diana Gutierrez - University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    • Ms. Ting Li - University of Toronto Mississauga
    • Mr. Andre Jardin - University of Waterloo
    • Ms. Carolyn Ford - Western University
    • Ms. Marie Larose, Ms. Rohini Chatrath - York University

    Photos and Video
    December’s Graduation ceremony was streamed live on YouTube for those who could not attend in person.
    Photos of the ceremony and reception can be found on our Facebook page.

    A special thank you to UPO, Liaison, and Maintenance teams for their work in organizing and preparing for the event.

    Thank you also to Sodexo for providing a wonderful reception and to Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Ensemble for their musical contributions. ...



    University visits conclude with UW

    Waterloo University representatives returned to Columbia as the last of many guests in our university visit series. The University is known for its experiential learning, leading research, and co-op education, and recruits passionate individuals to bring about new and innovative ideas.

    Fast Facts
    • named “Canada’s most innovative university” for the past 22 years (Maclean’s)
    • hosts the largest engineering faculty in Canada
    • Canada’s best comprehensive research university (Research InfoSource)
    • the largest actuarial science program in North America
    • the largest post-secondary co-operative education program in the world
    • one of the top 3 “Best overall universities in Canada” (Maclean’s)

    University Partners®
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners®, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;
    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    For more information regarding programs, admissions, and scholarships, pick up a handbook from UPO or visit UW online. ...



    Dashing December

    The holiday season has arrived! For students, December signifies the end of exams and the beginning of winter break. Some students will be returning home in the next few weeks and some are choosing to spend the holidays in Canada. Residence Staff and Student Development Staff have organized a variety of events to ensure that those who are spending the holidays in residence will get to experience events and traditions unique to Canada.

    December Events
    6-11: Final Exams
    6: Scavenger Hunt, Pottery Painting Class
    7: Gingerbread House Competition
    13: Graduation Ceremony
    13-14: Residence Movie Nights
    15-28: Residence Holiday Program
    16-17, 20: Wesley Urban Ministries (Community Service event)
    21: PS4 Tournament
    23-24: Good Shepherd (Community Service event)
    25: Merry Christmas!
    27: Boxing Week Shopping trip
    31: New Year’s Eve Party

    Visit Student Development for more information regarding Residence Holiday Programs. ...



    York and Schulich visit Columbia

    University Partner® York University and its Schulich School of Business recently stopped by Columbia to hold information sessions for prospective students.

    York University
    York is Canada’s third largest university and is recognized for its unique interdisciplinary approach and prides itself on delivering academic excellence. As a University Partner®, York University offers special benefits for Columbia graduates including Dual Admission and four entrance scholarships, each worth $2,000.

    Fast Facts
    • 2 Campuses in Toronto – Keele and Glendon
    • 28 research centres
    • Over 5,000 courses offered throughout its 11 faculties
    • Offers Canada’s only space engineering program
    • The Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies are among the largest and most diverse in Canada
    • 280 partnerships with international universities and a large population of international students

    Schulich School of Business
    Recent graduate and current Schulich student Malak El Allaki, returned to Columbia as a Schulich representative. In her presentation, she highlighted the university’s renowned reputation and gave students an inside look at its innovative teaching style.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked the top Business School in Canada by The Economist
    • Ranked among the top 10 MBA schools in the world
    • Satellite centers in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; and Moscow, Russia
    • Offers unique programs such as BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and iBBA (International BBA)

    For more information on York or Schulich visit UPO. ...



    Fall 2013 Awards Ceremony

    Wednesday afternoon, the Columbia community gathered in the Ainsliewood Gym to celebrate outstanding student achievement at the annual Awards Ceremony. Hosted by Mr. Brandon Lewis, and organized by the Student Development Department, the Awards Ceremony acknowledged students who went above and beyond in their respective clubs and extracurricular duties.

    Distributed Awards
    Students were recognized for their efforts and contributions in extracurricular activities and given awards in five categories:
    • Outstanding Achievement in Clubs
    • Community Service Awards
    • Athletic Awards
    • Special Awards
    • Overall Contribution

    Congratulations to all award winners!

    Thank you to Student Development for producing another fantastic ceremony. ...



    Top universities visit Columbia

    Columbia students are meeting representatives from universities across Canada as the University Placement Office continues to hold university visits for students interested in all disciplines.

    Laurentian University
    Laurentian University is one of Canada’s fastest growing universities. It is known for its personalized learning experience and small class size which fosters academic growth. Laurentian excels in research, especially in the fields of business, health, mining and the environment.

    Fast Facts
    • One of only two bilingual universities in Canada
    • Two campuses – Barrie and Sudbury
    • Recognized for its “enviable class sizes” by the Globe and Mail
    • Leader in environmental studies, health sciences, mineral exploration and mining, engineering, and management
    • Ranked 5th in Canada for Scholarships and Bursaries by Maclean’s

    Queen's University
    Queen’s University is one of the country’s most established and recognized post-secondary institutions. It is a leader in research, specializing in areas such as globalization studies, mental health, and computational science and engineering.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked high for quality of teaching and learning, most satisfied students, and student-faculty interaction by the Globe and Mail (2012)
    • Among the top 4 medical-doctoral universities in Canada (Maclean’s 2014)
    • Welcomes international students from over 120 countries
    • Home to 6 libraries, several museums and libraries
    • Ranked 13th in Canada for research funding

    Ryerson University
    As an institution known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, Ryerson is one of the most applied-to universities in Ontario. It is located in the heart of Toronto which gives its students access to a vibrant city lifestyle.

    Fast Facts
    • Over 100 undergraduate, Master’s and PhD programs
    • Experiential learning opportunities through its co-op and internships placements
    • Launched joint programs with Osgoode Hall Law School and St. Michael’s Hospital
    • Largest business school in Canada - Ted Rogers School of Management
    • Its Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) is one of Canada's largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs
    • Welcomes students from over 140 countries

    Students wanting to learn more can pick up university handbooks in the UPO office. ...



    Female Basketball Game

    Columbia’s students and staff once again hit the court to challenge each other to a friendly game of basketball in an all female matchup. Last week the Female Basketball Skills Club took on female members of Columbia’s staff in the Ainsliewood Gym.

    Coached by fellow student and varsity Basketball team member Obi, the Skills Club showcased their talents and perseverance as they worked as a team to compete. While both teams played extremely well, the staff managed to claim victory. Fortunately, the Skills Club will have an opportunity to redeem themselves next semester.

    Thank you to Ms. Lue and all those who came out to play!

    View game photos by visiting our Facebook page. ...



    Movember

    Calling all Mo Bros and Mo Sistas …

    November has arrived and with that comes the month-long campaign to promote awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health, commonly referred to as Movember. Each November, men around the world sign-up and pledge to grow a moustache to educate the public about the health risks facing men. Women are also encouraged to participate by raising funds and encouraging men to participate. Currently in its 10th year, Movember has raised $447 million globally for men’s health particularly prostate cancer and male mental health issue.

    Columbia’s staff and students are once again participating in Movember and pledging their support to this important issue. In addition to raising money through pledges, Movember themed mugs and buttons are being sold throughout lunch periods and proceeds from November casual days will go towards the campaign.

    To find out more about this creative campaign, visit the official Movember Canada page. ...



    October's ESL Award Winners

    Earlier today, October’s ESL Awards were handed out to five dynamic students. ESL Department Head, Mr. Jeremy Galea , and Principal, Mr. Ron Rambarran, recognized the recipients in a ceremony held in the Living Wall Lounge. Along with receiving heartfelt congratulations, the award winners were also presented with an honours certificate and a medal of distinction.

    Congratulations to October’s Recipients:
    • Wu, Wenhui (ESLAO)
    • Deng, Yan Yu (ESLBO)
    • Yu, Qing (ESLCO)
    • Fang, Zixin (ESLDO)
    • Liu, Yu Jia (ESLDO)

    Secrets to Success
    Columbia strives to instill good work values in its students to help foster their academic and personal success. This month’s recipient’s believed that maintaining a balanced lifestyle, asking questions, active listening and taking advantage of the school’s resources, such as support staff and tutors, are a few of the main factors that helped them achieve success.

    Congratulations to all winners! ...



    Winter Show 2013

    Entertaining, uplifting and engaging is how audience members are describing this year’s Winter Show. For over 70 minutes, the highly anticipated variety show captivated the attention of hundreds of students and staff in attendance. The show’s two Master of Ceremonies, Marcos Perez and Karina Shaw, were sensational at hyping up the audience and uniquely. Performances included:
    • Ms. Ward’s Drama Class in the Great Gatsby
    • Cheerleading Club
    • Salsa Club
    • JMS & Senior School Bands
    • Ms. Savelli’s Drama Class in Home Alone
    • Vocal Performance Class


    The Winter Show is an annual tradition at Columbia that allows students to showcase their talents and practice their personal interests. It also serves as a platform for students to demonstrate November’s character trait –responsibility- as they are responsible for creating, developing, and performing an act for the entire school.

    A special THANK YOU to Mr. David and the Student Development team for organizing the Winter Show and to Mr. Lawlis and the band for their musical contributions. Thank you also to the Maintenance Team and the backstage crew of students and staff for all their hard work.

    Pictures of the event are available on our Facebook page. Video will be posted on our YouTube channel shortly. ...



    Canada's capital universities visit Columbia

    Canada’s capital universities recently visited Columbia and held respective presentations in the Student Café.

    University of Ottawa
    The University of Ottawa offers students an unmatched educational experience in a culturally diverse city.

    Fast Facts
    • Largest French immersion program of all Canadian universities
    • Largest bilingual school in the world
    • Fourth largest co-op program in Canada
    • Over 380 specialized programs offered
    • Millions of dollars awarded in scholarships and bursaries
    • Innovative research strategies for learning and teaching
    • Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) for hands-on experience

    Carleton University
    Carleton University attracts students from around the world. Due to its location, Carleton partners with many industry and government sectors and is able to offer its students unique research and work opportunities.

    Fast Facts
    • Programs in over 50 disciplines
    • International approaches to research
    • Joint programs in science and engineering with the University of Ottawa
    • Co-op opportunities available in all faculties
    • Ranked 6th in Canada for Most Comprehensive university (Maclean’s, 2013)
    • Home to the Sprott School of Business
    • Millions in entrance scholarships and bursaries awarded annually

    Thank you to Ottawa U and Carleton U representatives for their presentations. ...



    Ivey at Western

    Western University’s premier business school, Ivey School of Business, made a trip to Columbia yesterday afternoon. As one of Canada’s, and the world’s, best business schools, Ivey attracts students with its unique teaching methods and renowned reputation.

    In a special presentation held in the Student Café, Ivey representatives introduced Columbia students to life at Ivey and its distinguished “case method” coursework. Students also learned about the school’s Learning Through Action courses which gives students valuable hands on experience and allows them to practice the concepts and theories learned in class

    Fast Facts
    *All facts taken from Ivey
    • Ranked #1 for placement success in Canada by Financial Times (2013)
    • Over 40% of all Ivey alumni hold the title of Chair, President, C-Suite, Vice-President, Managing Director or Partner
    • Renowned for its "case method," Ivey Business School is one of the two most important producers of business cases in the world alongside Harvard
    • 19 Ivey alumni running Profit 100 Fastest-Growing Companies
    • Ivey is the world's largest producer of current Asian and Indian business cases
    • 4 campuses; London, Toronto, Hong Kong, Mumbai

    Thank you to Ivey for their presentation. More information about the Ivey School of Business is available online or through a viewbook available at UPO. ...



    Walk-a-thon proceeds presented to McMaster Children’s Hospital

    In late April, Columbia’s staff and students participated in a 5k walk-a-thon to raise awareness and funds for McMaster Children’s Hospital.

    Yesterday, members of Columbia’s staff –Mr. Rambarran, Principal, Ms. Sherry, Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Ms. Courtney, Leadership & Community Service Coordinator– met with Hospital staff to present them with a $7,357.05 donation. Hospital staff were thrilled and proud to announce that Columbia’s contribution was the largest donation to be made from a student walk-a-thon to date!

    Congratulations Columbia, your donations will help make a difference in the lives of children across the community. ...



    Columbia is looking for leaders

    Columbia is looking for current students to fill leadership positions as Orientation Leaders and Student Mentors. Both roles offer great opportunities for students to develop life skills, contribute to the school community and meet new people.

    Orientation Leaders
    Orientation Leaders are current Columbia students who have been at Columbia for at least one semester. They help with a variety of things on Orientation days in January, such as:
    • Helping at the College Store
    • Leading groups of new students through their Orientation Days
    • Helping Ms. Melissa in the Student Development Office (S244)

    Student Mentors
    Student Mentors are current Columbia students who have lived in residence for at least one semester. They are responsible for welcoming and helping new students by:
    • Helping with the transition to life in residence
    • Helping promote the values and character of Columbia
    • Informing them about all the of the resources available to them at Columbia
    • Ensuring they attend their Orientation

    Students wishing to become an Orientation Leader or Student Mentor must submit their application to Ms. Melissa in room S244 by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. ...



    Remembrance Day; Lest We Forget

    Today we join millions of people across the world in celebrating Remembrance Day.

    On November 11, 1918 at 11a.m. –the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month- Germany signed the armistice agreement that ended WWI. From then on, November 11 has been declared a national day of remembrance observed in Canada and many countries worldwide. It is a day dedicated to honouring the hundreds of thousands of “the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace" ( Veterans Affairs Canada).

    Please join us at 11 a.m. this morning in taking a moment of silence to remember the men and women who have courageously fought, and continue to fight, to defend our safety and freedom.

    “In Flanders Fields”
    The famous war poem, “In Flanders Fields,” was written during the battle of Ypres by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. After seeing battlefields and soldiers’ graves covered in poppies, he was inspired to write the poem which has been adopted as the unofficial anthem of Remembrance day.

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    - John McCrae
    ...



    Character week poster contest winners

    The winner’s of last month’s Character Week Homeroom Poster contest were announced yesterday morning. In a special ceremony held in the Living Wall Lounge, Ms. Workman and Ms. Garell-Teti, both members of Columbia’s Character Advisory Committee, announced the first place winners and the runner-ups. Students were challenged to create an innovative and creative poster that displayed character. The poster entries exceeded all expectations, not only in their creativity but in the messages delivered, and made selecting a winner difficult for the judges.

    Character Poster Contest Winners
    1st Place (Ainsliewood): Ms. Pivniceru’s homeroom class
    1st Place (Maple): Ms. Jane Li’s homeroom class

    Runner-Ups:
    • Ms. Clark’s homeroom class
    • Ms. Story’s homeroom class

    After announcing the winners of the poster contest, Ms. Workman acknowledged a group of students who played key roles in organizing and conducting activities during Character week. All showed remarkable character and some were rewarded for their hard work.

    Overall Character Week Participant Awards
    1st place: Xu, Dan (Annabelle)

    Runner-Ups:
    • Bobryk, Diana (Diana)
    • Huang, Jialin (Jenny)
    • Irawan, Ivannia (Ivannia)
    • Kandakova, Alena (Alena)
    • Liang, Yan Xin (Selena)
    • Nguyen, Diep Phuong Chi (Chi)
    • Perez Rodriguez, Marcos Julio (Marcos)
    • Xu, Beibei (Julia)
    • Romo Beltran, Estefania (Estefania)

    Thank you to all those who participated in the Homeroom Poster Contest and in Character week. Visit our Facebook page to see the winning entries! ...



    Students upset staff

    Columbia students once again proved they should not be underestimated as they defeated staff in a volleyball game yesterday afternoon. Students stunned staff members with their athletic prowess and managed to win a game that is traditionally won by staff. The game was off to a quick start and students took the lead early on. While staff managed to rally back, they were unable to take the lead.

    Aside from their athleticism, what was most impressive was the sportsmanship of the students who rallied together to keep their momentum, encouraged their teammates, and remained positive and focused when they were down a few points. This spirit helped them win three out of five sets. As the staff vs. students rivalry continues, staff will have a chance to rebound from their slipping winning record when they play the students in next month’s feature game.

    Thank you to all staff and students who played in the game and to all the fans who came out to cheer on your team! A special thank you to Mr. Freddy for being the game’s referee. ...



    Waterloo returns to Columbia

    Representatives from the University of Waterloo and its Faculty of Mathematics returned to Columbia yesterday afternoon to meet with students interested in attending the University.

    The University of Waterloo
    The University of Waterloo is an established institution, excelling in research, engineering and technology programs. Aside from students with good academic standing, the university looks for passionate individuals to bring forward new and innovative ideas.

    Fast Facts
    • named “Canada’s most innovative university” for the past 21 years by Maclean’s
    • largest engineering faculty in Canada
    • largest actuarial science program in North America
    • world’s first kinesiology department
    • number one for career preparation (Globe and Mail, 2013)
    • 80% of programs offer co-op options

    The university also offers many academic and social support services including tutors in residence, a Student Success Office, and International Student Office, and a Student Life office.

    Faculty of Mathematics
    Waterloo’s Mathematics faculty is renowned worldwide and is known for producing some “has the largest concentration of mathematical and computer science talent in the world.”The Faculty strives to “conduct research that has worldwide impact and recognition”

    This is the second visit Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics has made to Columbia this semester. In early September, Dr. Serge D’Alessio, Associate Dean of Mathematics, held an information session for all prospective Columbia students.

    University Partner®
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;
    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    For more information regarding programs, admissions, and scholarships, pick up a handbook from UPO or visit the University of Waterloo online. ...



    Noteworthy November

    The clocks may have turned back this weekend but that won’t slow down this month’s activity schedule. Evening and weekend trips, in school activities, and special events are all planned to provide students with opportunities to develop their talents and interests beyond the classroom.

    November Events
    1: Scary Movie Night
    2: Leadership Retreat, Road 2 Hope Marathon (Community Service event)
    4: University of Waterloo – Mathematics Department visit
    5: Staff vs. Students Volleyball game
    7: Intramural Basketball Finals
    9: Relay for Life
    11: Remembrance Day
    12: Lakehead University visit
    13: Ivey School of Business visit
    14: Carleton University visit
    15: Winter Show
    16: Santa Claus Parade, Premium Outlets shopping trip
    17: Hannukah Hustle (Community Service event), NBA game (Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trailblazers)
    18: Varsity Soccer game, Laurentian University visit
    19: Intramural Soccer finals
    20: Queen’s University visit
    21: International Cuisine Series
    22: December Graduation Dinner, Mapleview Shopping trip, Schulich School of Business visit
    23: Santa Hamilton Race (Community Service event)
    26: Movember, York University visit
    27: Awards Ceremony
    28: Varsity Soccer game, University of Waterloo visit
    29: AHL game (Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Toronto Marlies)
    30: Laser Tag Outing

    To learn more about events and activities happening this month, contact a member of Student Development in room S244. Visit the University Placement Office in room 109 for more information on the upcoming university visits. ...



    U of S and Lauier at Columbia

    Recently, representatives from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and Wilfrid Laurier University met with Columbia students who

    University of Saskatchewan
    Established in 1907, the University has earned a reputation for research excellence and develops innovative solutions to modern day problems.

    Fast Facts
    • Home to 28 Canada Research Chairs
    • Signature areas of research include Aboriginal Peoples, Agriculture, Energy and Mineral Resources, One Health, Synchrotron Sciences, and Water Security
    • Over 21,000 students from over 100 countries
    • Student-to -faculty ratio of 16:1
    • Over $10 million in scholarships awarded

    Wilfrid Laurier University
    As one of Canada’s mid-sized universities, Laurier offers students an educational experience that combines academic teaching with co curricular and community involvement.

    Fast Facts
    • Given an A in Class Size, an A- in Campus Atmosphere and Quality of Teaching and Learning by the 2013 Globe & Mail University report
    • Partnerships with the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph,
    • 2 Campuses located in Brantford and Waterloo
    • First year awards and scholarships available to international students
    • Paid co-op opportunities for some programs

    Pick up a 2014 viewbook for each school by visiting UPO. ...



    Student Reflects on Terry Fox Walk-a-thon

    Columbia students learned important life lessons when they participated in the Terry Fox Walk-a-thon. One student in particular caught the attention of his teachers and staff as he embodied fundamental traits of perseverance, responsibility and optimism.

    Cangjui Yan, a grade 12 student from China, took part in the walk despite having an impaired foot the day of the event. Despite experiencing discomfort during the walk, he said it was his job to finish; “I remember to never give up and never give in. I learned that through playing video games. Never give up and you will go far.” Yan also rejected several offers by staff to drive him back to school. Staff were both impressed and proud of Yan for his commitment to the walk and believe he is a true leader in the school community.

    Giving Back
    After learning about Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope in his English class, Yan decided to participate in the school’s walk-a-thon to help raise funds and awareness for cancer research. He instantly recognized the importance of giving back and “wanted to use [his] time to save others.” He further believes that students must help those that cannot help themselves and should not take anything for granted; “Students here are safe and healthy and it’s good to want to make them help others who are sick.”

    Yan wants people to remember Terry Fox and believes participating in the walk-a-thon was “great life experience” and proves that “everyone can make a difference.” While he is aware of the severity of cancer and its effects, he remains optimistic about finding a cure in his lifetime.

    Representatives from the local Terry Fox office were touched by his story and sent him a marathon t-shirt as a token of appreciation. Mr. Rambarran and Ms. Sherry recently presented the gift to Yan who was surprised and honoured to have received it.

    Yan has only been in Canada for a few months and has loved learning about Canadian history and participating in local traditions. He plans to study physics in the future and is deeply interested “in the relationship between humans and the universe.” ...



    Course Confirmation Fair

    Earlier today, students attended a Course Confirmation Fair presented by the Guidance Department. Held in the Ainsliewood Gym and the Living Wall Lounge, the Fair was designed to inform both new and returning students on the academic programs available to them in the upcoming semester. Along with learning about the courses offered at Columbia, students had the opportunity to review course materials and speak with teachers and the Guidance Department about their academic future. We hope everyone enjoyed the fair!

    Thank you to the Guidance Department and all staff who participated in this year’s fair!

    Columbia offers over 50 academic courses to junior and senior students designed to help students achieve their full academic potential. Click here to learn more about our academic programs. ...



    Columbia welcomes UBC

    A Place of Mind

    Innovation and leadership are among the qualities that the University of British Columbia (UBC) instills in its students. Yesterday, a UBC representative visited Columbia and discussed how UBC students become innovative leaders and develop extraordinary academic and personal skills. The information session described the University’s role as a major research institution and highlighted the unique experiences students gain from attending school on Canada’s West Coast.

    Fast Facts
    • One of the world’s top 40 research universities
    • Home to the second largest research library in Canada
    • Campuses located in Vancouver and Okanagan Valley
    • 17 faculties with over 200 undergraduate programs
    • 9000 international students from 151 countries
    • 1st Canadian university to achieve Kyoto protocol targets
    • One of the nation’s best Varsity and university athletic programs
    • $8 million in scholarships available to international students

    For detailed program information and admission requirements visit UBC’s website or consult the handbook available at UPO.

    A special thank you to UBC for yesterday’s presentation. ...



    University of Toronto at Columbia

    Columbia was pleased to welcome the University of Toronto (U of T) back to its campus last week to participate in its series of university visits.

    The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s most renowned educational institutions. Known for its dynamic learning strategies and research capabilities, U of T attracts the best and brightest students from around the world.

    Fast Facts
    • Three campuses - downtown Toronto (St. George campus), Mississauga, and Scarborough
    • Home to the Rotman School of Management
    • Partnership with Sheridan College offers degree-diploma combination
    • Over 700 undergraduate programs in all disciplines including Arts and Science, Music, Architecture, Kinesiology, Physical Education, and Engineering
    • Given the highest ranking of all Canadian universities by Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings and is ranked 21st overall in North America
    • Home to over 10,000 international students

    UTM
    U of T's second largest campus is its Mississauga campus. With fewer students and smaller class sizes, UTM gives students a more intimate learning experience. The University of Toronto, Mississauga offers programs in Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Business, Management, Communication, Fine Art and Theatre. Last year, UTM and Columbia formalized their longstanding partnership which grants Columbia graduates 10 exclusive scholarships valued at $2000 each.

    Thank you to all University of Toronto representatives for visiting Columbia.

    Information handbooks for all campuses can be picked up from UPO. ...



    Character week concludes

    Over the past week, Columbia students embodied the school’s 10 character keys as they participated in character week. Students were taught what it means to show character and learned how to use this character to make positive change. Daily themed events and activities allowed students to practice each character trait.

    Character Team
    Columbia’s student Character Team worked with members of Student Development to organize and run the activities of the week. The Character Team helps promote character within the school is part of the leadership and character program Columbia incorporates into its educational system.

    Thank you to the Character Team, Student Development, and the Character Advisory team for their hard work in preparing this week’s activities and teaching Columbia the importance of good character.

    Photos of all events can be found on our Facebook page. ...



    Executive Director participates in Canada-Mongolia Education Round Table

    On October 25, 2013, Columbia’s Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan participated in the Canada-Mongolia Education Round Table in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, organized by the Canadian Embassy. Mr. Chan joined other Canadian academics and Mongolian stakeholders at the education round table where they discussed how to further Canada-Mongolia educational collaborations and how to better share their knowledge across borders.

    Above, Mr. Clement Chan is joined by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Gregory Goldhawk, the Ambassador of Canada to Mongolia. ...



    September's ESL Award Winners

    September’s ESL award winners were recognized in a ceremony earlier today. The six award recipients were joined by ESL Department Head, Mr. Jeremy Galea, Principal, Mr. Ron Rambarran, and Head of Senior School, Mr. Tim Putt, in the Conference Room to celebrate their accomplishments. Each student was presented with an honours award and a medal of distinction for their outstanding performance as top achiever in their respective ESL course.

    Congratulations to this month’s winners
    ESLAO: Du, Hui
    ESLBO: Traore, Aminata Dato
    ESLCO: Xue, Liyi
    ESLCO: Gong, Cheng
    ESLDO: Pletnikova, Yekaterina
    EOA4Z: Huo, Fa Tu Mei
    EOA4Z: Zhang, Yan Li

    Perseverance
    Mr. Galea was impressed with the dedication and perseverance of this month’s recipients, some of whom were repeat award winners. He congratulated students on their ability to persevere through the difficulty and frustrations associated with learning a new language and encouraged them to help their classmates and continue to strive for academic excellence.

    Congratulations to all winners! ...



    Students attend OCAD U presentation

    “University of the Imagination”

    A representative from the Ontario College of Arts and Design (OCAD) University visited Columbia Wednesday afternoon. Located in Toronto’s art and design district, OCAD offers students endless research opportunities. The University places a large emphasis on individual creativity and its small class sizes are set in a studio environment.

    Fast Facts
    • 14 undergraduate programs in Fine Arts (6), Design (6), Liberal Arts & Sciences (2)
    • Programs include: Advertising, Environmental Design, Illustration, Photography, Print Making, Video and Critical Studies, and more
    • Evaluations are based on studio work (70%) and academic and written work (30%)
    • All teachers are working practitioners for the benefit of student learning

    Admission to OCAD is further based on individual portfolios, an in person interview, and a personal creative statement of interest. It advises those students interested in applying to start working on their portfolios and sketchbooks early so they have a wide variety of material to present to the university.

    For more information visit OCAD online or pick up a 2014 viewbook from UPO.

    Thank you to OCAD U for visiting Columbia! ...



    Varsity Boys defeat Staff

    In the first half of Tuesday’s Staff vs. Varsity Boys’ basketball game, it looked as though the staff would rebound from their series of recent losses to Columbia students.

    The staff took an early lead and quickly gained confidence that they could defeat one of the best student teams in the city. The Varsity Boys, eager to show their skills, tied the game in the third quarter. They worked together to score points from every angle of the court and had the staff racing to catch up.

    By the fourth quarter, it seemed less likely that the staff would bounce back and regain the title of victor. Despite great effort and tremendous teamwork, the staff fell short and were defeated 49-35. The staff will have a chance to redeem themselves next month in the Staff vs. Students volleyball game.

    Thank you to referees Mr. Freddy and Mr. Erind and to all those who came out to watch the game.

    Photos can be found by visiting our Facebook Page. ...



    Concordia and Bishop's University visit Columbia

    Yesterday, Columbia was excited to welcome Concordia University and Bishop’s University to its campus. Both students held a joint information session in the Café for prospective students.

    Concordia University
    Concordia University is a comprehensive institution teaches using innovative learning strategies. It strives to help student find solutions for and make contributions to society. Located in Montreal, Quebec, it is ranked as one of the top four universities under 50 in Canada.

    Fast Facts
    • One of the world’s top 500 universities
    • Faculties include Arts and Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Business,
    • Welcomes 5,523 international students from over 130 countries
    • 25% of students use English as their second language
    • Home to 18 research units and 29 Canada Research Chairs
    • Extensive co-op program in four faculties

    For more information visit their website or consult a 2014 viewbook available in UPO.

    Bishop’s University
    Bishop’s University is a small-sized residential institution located in Quebec. It provides students with intimate learning opportunities which allow students to work closely with professors. Its values of community, discovery, excellence and sustainability ensure students receive a balanced and fulfilling educational experience.

    Fast Facts
    • Programs of study include Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Williams School of Business, School of Education
    • 15% of the student population is international students
    • 550 acre campus with 25 buildings including seven residences, two libraries, two theatres, laboratory and athletic facilities, a historic chapel, a duck pond and wildlife refuge, 10 tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a golf course
    • Emphasis on experiential learning for all students

    Visit Bishop's online or pick up a 2014 viewbook in UPO to learn more!

    Thank you to Concordia University and Bishop’s University for spending the afternoon speaking with Columbia students. ...



    CN Tower Stair Climb

    Over the weekend 13 Pine Hall Girls students challenged themselves and showed their altitude’ by participating in the 2013 Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way.

    Joined by two members of Student Development, the girls began the climb at 9:30 a.m., each hoping to achieve the personal record they set prior to the climb. All girls completed the climb, most reaching the end in less than 30 minutes! After climbing all 1776 stairs, the girls were exhausted but proud and satisfied with their accomplishment.

    A special mention goes to students Lidia Rojas from Mexico and Victoria Warsito from Indonesia who completed the climb with times of 19:01 and 19:14 respectively.

    Congratulations to all those who participated! ...



    Concordia and Bishop's University visit Columbia

    Yesterday, Columbia was excited to welcome Concordia University and Bishop’s University to its campus. Both students held a joint information session in the Café for prospective students.

    Concordia University
    Concordia University is a comprehensive institution teaches using innovative learning strategies. It strives to help student find solutions for and make contributions to society. Located in Montreal, Quebec, it is ranked as one of the top four universities under 50 in Canada.

    Fast Facts
    • One of the world’s top 500 universities
    • Faculties include Arts and Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Business,
    • Welcomes 5,523 international students from over 130 countries
    • 25% of students use English as their second language
    • Home to 18 research units and 29 Canada Research Chairs
    • Extensive co-op program in four faculties

    For more information visit their website or consult a 2014 viewbook available in UPO.

    Bishop’s University
    Bishop’s University is a small-sized residential institution located in Quebec. It provides students with intimate learning opportunities which allow students to work closely with professors. Its values of community, discovery, excellence and sustainability ensure students receive a balanced and fulfilling educational experience.

    Fast Facts
    • Programs of study include Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Williams School of Business, School of Education
    • 15% of the student population is international students
    • 550 acre campus with 25 buildings including seven residences, two libraries, two theatres, laboratory and athletic facilities, a historic chapel, a duck pond and wildlife refuge, 10 tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a golf course
    • Emphasis on experiential learning for all students

    Visit Bishop's online or pick up a 2014 viewbook in UPO to learn more!

    Thank you to Concordia University and Bishop’s University for spending the afternoon speaking with ...



    Celebrating Character

    Character week has returned to Columbia!

    Throughout the week, staff and students at Columbia will be celebrating, and encouraging, good character among the student body. Each day, students will have the opportunity to participate in a fun activity that highlights various character keys .

    Activities will be held in the Maple building from 11:50 – 1:10 p.m. and place between 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. at the Living Wall Lounge in Ainsliewood. All students are encouraged to participate.

    Character Week Schedule
    Monday, October 21: Introduction Day, Spinning Wheel, Lucky Draw
    Tuesday, October 22: Spoken Word Performance Day
    Wednesday, October 23: Craft Day (Character Keychains, Bracelets, Buttons)
    Thursday, October 24: Mix-It-Up Lunch
    Friday, October 25: Random Acts of Kindness Day

    Character at Columbia
    Columbia is devoted to building character in its students who pledge to practice 10 important character traits. Each month, a different character trait is taught and incorporated across the academic and extracurricular curriculum. Character education plays a large role in student life and aims to create responsible global citizens. ...



    Columbia welcomes Saint Mary's University

    One University. One World. Yours.

    A representative from Saint Mary’s University (SMU) was in the Marketplace yesterday. Located in Halifax - the “Happiest city in North America,” the University offers students unique opportunities in a picturesque environment.

    Saint Mary’s is known for its living learning approach to education which gives students hands-on experience and one-on-one access to professors. Its programs encourage students to become citizens of the world and its experiential learning techniques provide graduates with the skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

    SMU Fast Facts
    • Ranked among the top 10 undergraduate universities by Maclean’s magazine
    • Undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of the Environment, Faculty of Science, and Sobey School of Business
    • $5 million in scholarships awarded annually
    • International students represent 31 % of the student body
    • Partnerships with universities across the globe in 90 countries
    • Committed to sustainability and is home to the Atlantic Centre for Green Chemistry

    For more information visit their website or consult a 2014 viewbook available in UPO.

    Thank you to Saint Mary’s University for spending the afternoon speaking with Columbia students. ...



    U of G at Columbia

    Changing Lives. Improving Lives.

    A representative from the University of Guelph greeted students in the Café Tuesday afternoon. U of G is the latest post-secondary institution to visit Columbia this semester as part of UPO’s arranged university visits university visits. Guelph promotes lifelong learning and prepares its students to become successful global citizens through its dynamic and innovative teaching methods.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked #1 in Canada for student satisfaction
    • One of the world’s Top 100 universities
    • Entrance scholarships for international students are given for September admissions
    • Popular programs include Hotel Management, Commerce and Engineering
    • Guelph-Humber partnership offers students the option of receiving a Degree and a Diploma
    • Home to North America’s largest integrated science teaching and research facility, the Science Complex
    • Ranked #1 in food services for the past 10 years

    To learn more visit their website or pick up a 2014 handbook from UPO .

    Thank you to the University of Guelph for coming to Columbia. ...



    We Scare Hunger

    Columbia’s JMS students are continuing their quest to become responsible global citizens as they participate in Free the Children’s “We Scare Hunger” campaign. Over the next few weeks, JMS students will be joining participants across North America and the UK in raising awareness about local hunger. In addition to educating themselves and their peers about the realities of hunger, JMS students will also be collecting non-perishable food items for a local food bank. This year students have chosen to support the Living Rock, a Hamilton organization that helps at-risk youth.

    Living Rock is currently in need of the following:
    • Pasta
    • Pasta Sauce
    • Canned Fruit
    • Canned Vegetables
    • Baby Formula
    • Canned Meat
    • Soup
    • Rice
    • Grocery Bags
    • Gently used clothes

    Donation boxes have been placed in the Ainsliewood and Maple lobbies for those wishing to contribute. The food drive runs until October 31 and any donation will be greatly appreciated.

    870 million people around the world go hungry every day. Help fight hunger before it strikes and contribute to the JMS “We Scare Hunger” project. ...



    Varsity boys play Hamilton Police in friendly match

    The Varsity Soccer team eagerly made their way to the pitch at Ainsliewood this afternoon as they competed in a friendly match against members of the Hamilton Police force. The game got off to a quick start with both teams scoring within minutes of the first half. The focused Varsity team quickly took the lead and had no trouble maintaining it well into the second half.

    Despite the valiant effort by the Hamilton Police, the Varsity team earned a 6-3 win and showed why they are one of the best teams in the city. The thrilling game drew an impressive crowd of students who cheered on their peers and helped them secure victory.

    The friendly match against members of the Hamilton Police is biannual event held in the fall and spring at Columbia. It allows staff and students to come together outside the classroom and fosters school spirit. Apart from having fun, the game promotes community involvement and shows the partnership between Columbia and members of the Hamilton community.

    Thank you to refereed Mr. Freddy and Mr. Erind, the Varsity team, and members of Hamilton Police for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the game. ...



    UAlberta comes to Columbia

    Uplifting the whole people

    Yesterday representatives from the University of Alberta visited Columbia to hold an information session for prospective students. The University offers over 200 undergraduate programs across 18 faculties and is proud of its campus-wide focus on teaching and learning.

    Fast Facts
    • Ranked one of the world’s top 100 universities
    • 2ndlargest library system in Canada
    • 5 campuses across the province
    • Home to Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology
    • 6000 international students from 150 countries
    • International Centre to accommodate all needs of international students

    University Partner®
    The University of Alberta is among the many schools Columbia is pleased to partner with. As a benefit of this partnership, all Columbia graduates who attend UAlberta and graduate with at least an 80 percent average are eligible to receive an entrance scholarship of $4,000.

    Pick up an International Students handbook from UPO or visit UAlberta online.

    A special thank you to the University of Alberta representatives who stopped by Columbia. ...



    Dalhousie and Windsor at Columbia

    Dalhousie University and the University of Windsor recently visited Columbia to speak with prospective students.

    Dalhousie University
    A Dalhousie University representative was on campus yesterday to hold an information session for prospective Columbia students. As one of Canada’s oldest universities, Dalhousie is known for its world-class academic programs, award-winning professors, and research capabilities. The school offers more than 180 degree programs and is “a world leader in marine biology and ocean related sciences.” Other noteworthy programs include:

    • Architecture
    • Costume Studies
    • Community Designs
    • Informatics
    • Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS)

    International students at Dalhousie come from over 110 countries and represent 12 percent of its student body. The University provides international students with specialized programs, services, and advisors, as well as a multitude of resources available through its International Centre. With campuses in Halifax and Truro, it is a perfect choice for those looking to get a taste of East Coast living.

    Thank you to our Dalhousie representative for delivering a great presentation and for visiting us here at Columbia.

    Detailed information regarding programs and admissions can be found online. Student viewbooks can be picked up at UPO.

    University of Windsor
    This afternoon, Columbia students, met in the Student Café to attend a presentation given by a representative from the University of Windsor.

    The student-centred University fosters student success by providing endless learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. The University of Windsor offers 190 undergraduates programs, 65 graduate programs and six professional programs:
    • Humanities
    • Social Sciences
    • Languages
    • Sciences
    • Fine and Performing Art
    • Professional programs (Business, Digital Journalism, Engineering, Law, Human Kinetics, Forensics)

    The University has a diverse student body and international students from over 100 countries comprise 11 percent of the student population.

    Recently, the University has invested vast resources to modernize and improve its downtown campus which is expected to be fully complete for 2015. Students can get a sneak peak of the revocations by attending an open house on Friday, November 8.

    Thank you to our Windsor representative for stopping by!

    Students can consult the 2014/2015 viewbook or visit UPO for more information. ...



    McMaster University visits Columbia

    Representatives from McMaster University were in the Student Café today giving students everything they need to know about the University. As an institution that “inspires innovation and discovery,” McMaster is one of the world’s top 100 universities and is ranked sixth in Canada for its research capabilities.

    McMaster is also home to one of the best commerce schools in Canada, the DeGroote School of Business. It is consistently ranked high for experiential learning, research intensity and overall program and internship opportunities.

    University Partner®
    The university partnership between McMaster and Columbia gives graduates access to exclusive scholarships and benefits. Columbia graduates who attend McMaster are eligible to receive one of four designated entrance scholarships of $3000.

    Fall preview days will be taking place on Saturday, October 26 and Saturday, November 16.
    We would like to thank the McMaster representative for spending the afternoon with us.

    Students interested in applying to McMaster should speak to their University Placement Counsellor in room 109. Students can also view the first year viewbook online. ...



    A SPIRITED week at Columbia

    Over the past week, Columbia students showed exceptional school spirit as they participated in numerous activities and dressed in outrageous outfits in honour of Spirit Week!

    Spirit Week, a popular tradition at Columbia, unifies the school community, boosts student morale and instills important life values in students. Throughout the week, homeroom activities, interactive challenges and group events were held not only to encourage school spirit, but to give students an education that goes beyond academics. Sportsmanship, inclusiveness, teamwork and respect were among the value promoted and practiced to students.

    Highlights of the week included:
    • Wacky Day
    • Staff vs. Students soccer match
    • Cultural Day
    • Games Day
    • Pyjama Day

    Thank you to all staff and students who participated in Spirit Week. A very special thank you to the Student Council, student leaders and Student Development for organizing all of the week’s events and promoting school spirit all week.

    To view photos of Spirit Week events visit our Facebook page. ...



    Games Day 2013

    The school was alive with spirit Wednesday as students assembled in the back field to participate in Games Day.

    Students spent the afternoon playing games, trying new challenges and interacting with their teachers and peers while taking part in numerous group activities. The theme for this year’s games was “MOGA Madness” which stands for Most Outrageous Group Activity. Games were selected based on the principles of fair play, inclusiveness, and of course, fun! For more than two hours, students roamed the back field trying each game and some stopped to enjoy the cotton candy and ice cream provided by Sodexo. Activities were managed and supervised by members of Student Development and student leaders (Athletic Prefects, School Prefects, Student Council and Residence Council) who had just as much fun as those playing the games.

    Games Day first began in 1999 and has since grown into one of the most popular school events.

    A huge THANK YOU to Student Development and all of the student leaders for making this one of the best, if not the best, Games Day in Columbia’s history. ...



    University Visits Continue

    Throughout the week, Columbia had the privilege of welcoming representatives from some of Canada’s top universities.

    Earlier this week, representatives from the University of Calgary and Memorial University held information sessions for our students.

    University of Calgary
    The University of Calgary is Canada’s top-ranked young university. Located in Western Canada, Calgary is a vibrant city with a booming economy and is a short distance away from the beautiful Canadian Rockies.

    The University is known for its sustainability efforts and is home to one of the most active and engaged student populations and welcomes a large number of international students each year. With its innovative learning environment, the University hopes to become one of the country’s top five research institutions.

    Programs of Study
    • Arts
    • Business Administration
    • Commerce
    • Engineering
    • Kinesiology
    • Nursing
    • Physical Education
    • Recreation
    • Science, Science in Pharmacy
    • Technology

    Memorial University
    Located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University has campuses throughout the beautiful East Coast including St. John’s, Norris Point, and Labrador City.

    Memorial is committed to providing its students with creative and innovating teaching and learning that fosters academic excellence. The University is deeply rooted in the community and promotes public engagement and service in its students.

    Programs of Study
    • Arts
    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medicine and Science
    • Music
    • Nursing
    • Pharmacy
    • Human Kinetics and Recreation
    • Social Work

    To learn more about either school visit their website or contact your University Placement Counsellor in Room 109. ...



    Students continue soccer supremacy

    Columbia’s staff and students continued their athletic rivalry yesterday during the monthly staff vs. students sport series. Members of Columbia’s staff joined students on Ainsliewood’s back field to take part in a soccer match.

    The game got off to a quick start and within minutes, the students were up 1-nil. Staff quickly retaliated to even the score. Unfortunately for staff, they spent the remainder of the game chasing not only the lead, but also the young and energetic students. By the end of the second half, the students were up 5-1. With minutes remaining in the second half, staff scored a late goal and fiercely tried to make a comeback. Despite their determination, the students came out on top and defeated staff by a final score of 5-2.

    Both sides played exceptionally well and should be congratulated for their efforts. Most importantly, they showcased key character traits such as perseverance, teamwork and fairness.

    Thank you to Columbia’s best referee, Mr. Freddy, and to all staff and students who participated in the game.

    View game photos on our Facebook page. ...



    Outstanding October

    October is bursting with great opportunities for students to engage in diverse extracurricular activities here at Columbia. From Spirit Week to University visits to community service events, students can easily fill up their spare time by participating in, or attending, one of the many great activities being held this month.

    OCTOBER EVENTS
    1-4: Spirit week
    1: Staff vs. Students Soccer game
    2: Games Day
    3: International Cuisine Series – Caribbean, Memorial University visit
    5: Meals on Wheels and Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Events)
    6: CIBC Run for the Cure (Community Service Event)
    7: McMaster University visit
    8: Dalhousie University visit
    9: University of Windsor visit
    10: University of Alberta visit
    11-16: Orientation
    12: Haunted Maze, Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Event)
    14: Thanksgiving Holiday
    15: Guelph University visit
    17: York University, Saint Mary’s University visits
    19: Halloween Haunt, Enbridge CN Tower Climb (Community Service Event)
    20: Wellwood Walk/Run for Colorectal Cancer Awareness (Community Service Event)
    21-25: Character Week
    21: Concordia University and Bishop’s University visits
    22: Schulich School of Business visit
    24: International Cuisine Series, University of Saskatchewan visit
    25: Mapleview Mall shopping trip
    26: Niagara Fall trip
    27: Hamilton Bulldogs game
    28: University of British Columbia visit
    29: Wilfrid Laurier University visit
    31: Costume Contest, Pumpkin Carving Competition, Halloween Dance

    To learn more about events and activities happening this month, contact a member of Student Development in room S244. Visit the University Placement Office in room 109 for more information on the upcoming university visits. ...



    University Partners® visit Columbia

    This week, Columbia welcomed representatives from a few of its University Partners® including the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Brock University. Both schools were present to meet prospective students and discuss the many post-secondary options available at their respective institutions.

    UOIT
    The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is recognized for its “award-winning technology enriched learning environment” and its innovative research. UOIT offers programs in the Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Business, Teacher Education and Criminology. The school is dedicated to research and has state-of-the-art facilities used for research in all areas ranging from hydrogen production to automotives.

    Columbia Graduates
    Graduates of Columbia who attend UOIT are eligible for two designated entrance scholarships valued at $2000 each. Also, in lieu of TOEFL, all Columbia International College pre-u graduates with Pre-U English marks of 70%+ are eligible for admission.

    Brock University
    Brock University, considered to be a “medium-sized institution,” provides its students with quality education and quality teachers. With over 70 undergraduate programs to choose from, students can earn a degree in Business Economics, Computing and Business, Kinesiology, Public Health, Sport Management, and much more.

    Columbia Graduates
    Columbia’s partnership with Brock offers our graduates many exclusive benefits including four designated entrance scholarships that are renewable each year.

    Detailed program and admission information for both UOIT and Brock can be found by visiting their websites. Students can also pick up a school handbook from the University Placement Office.

    Thank you to all UOIT and Brock representatives who visited Columbia. ...



    August’s ESL Award Winners

    Yesterday, the ESL department resumed its monthly awards ceremony by honouring August’s top achievers. ESL Department Head, Mr. Galea, and Principal, Mr. Rambarran presented four dynamic students with medals of distinction in a special ceremony held in the Living Wall Lounge. Both Mr. Galea and Mr. Rambarran were impressed by the students’ achievements and encouraged them to continue their pursuit of academic excellence.

    Congratulations to this month’s recipients:
    • Wang, Zhuohong
    • Xue, Li Yi
    • Feng, Wei
    • Zhang, Yifeng

    Secrets to Success
    It takes hard work and perseverance to become a top achiever. Just look at this month’s recipients personal secrets to success:

    Wang, Zhuohong: "Always work harder and harder"

    Xue, Li Yi: "Be active in class and listen carefully. Find the problems and ask for help. Do homework in time, then relax."

    Feng, Wei: “I work hard after class. In the class I will listen to the teacher earnestly."

    Zhang, Yifeng: "Keep going and be confident. Don't complain too much, just do it."

    ESL at Columbia
    Columbia’s ESL program provides students with the skills needed to succeed at the university level. In studying the English language at Columbia, students have the opportunity to practice and perfect their English skills, inside and outside of the classroom. ...



    Columbia, show your spirit!

    Beginning today, Columbia students will have the opportunity to show their school pride by participating in Spirit Week!

    All week long, students will be involved in fun and interactive activities and challenges designed to encourage school spirit and foster character values of teamwork, inclusiveness, and respect. Morning activities will take place from 8:45-9 a.m. Monday to Friday in the Ainsliewood gym. A different activity will be featured each day and the winning classrooms will receive a prize! Those in the Maple building will also participate in their own exciting challenges.

    Staff and students will also have the opportunity to show their spirit by dressing up on theme days in outfits and costumes that best represent the theme of the day. Themed days this semester will be held from Wednesday to Friday and those wishing to participate are reminded to pick up their spirit week stickers from the Academic Office, the Living Wall Lounge, and the main doors of Maple.

    Theme Days:
    Wednesday, October 2: Wacky Day, Games Day
    • Thursday, October 3: Culture Day
    • Friday, October 4: Pajama Day

    Good luck to all classes! ...



    Chef Steven a finalist in Hamilton’s Healthy Menu Contest

    Columbia's Sodexo Executive Chef, Mr. Steven Khor, has been named one of three top winners in a citywide Healthy Menu Choices Recipe contest!

    The annual contest is conducted by the Healthy Living Division of the City of Hamilton Public Health Services in conjunction with Ontario’s Eat Smart! Workplace program.

    Chefs were challenged to create an original healthy and innovative recipe for an entrée that were to:
    • include at least three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide
    • be prepared in a healthier way
    • be prepared in a way that uses less sodium/salt
    • state that this recipe will be or has been added to your cafeteria or catering menu
    • be an original recipe of the contestant

    Steven will be at Pine Hall Girls on Thursday, Sept. 26 where he will be cooking for three local judges consisting of Annette Hamm (host of CHCH TV’s Morning Live), Claire Lechner (Program Manager for Healthy Food Systems, City of Hamilton Public Health Services) and Pat Elliott-Moyer, RD, MHSc (Public Health Nutritionist, City of Hamilton Public Health Services).

    The first place winner will appear on CHCH TV Morning Live on November 14 to showcase their winning recipe. All top three finalists will also receive gift certificates to purchase new kitchen items for their respective workplaces.

    Columbia wishes to congratulate Steven on becoming a finalist and wishes him the best of luck in the final! ...



    UW-M and Nipissing visit Columbia

    Columbia students were yesterday welcoming university representatives from Canada and the United States. Both schools held presentations in the Student Café where they introduced students to their respective campuses and programs of study.

    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Rated 19 among the world’s best universities
    • International students from over 130 countries
    • “Holistic, competitive, and selective admission process”
    • Focus on leadership and involvement
    • Programs of study include: Agricultural and Life Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Human Ecology, Letters and Science, Nursing, Pharmacy
    • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Degrees available

    To learn more visit their website.

    Nipissing University
    One student at a time.
    • Earned a “reputation for excellence in teacher education, arts, science and professional programs”
    • 3 campuses located in Brantford, Muskoka and North Bay
    • Ranked 1st in Career Preparation, Best Student Residences, Class Size, and Student-Faculty Interaction by the Globe & Mail (2012)
    • Undergraduate, Graduate, Diploma and Professional programs available

    Visit their website to learn more.

    We would like to thank the representatives from Wisconsin-Madison and Nipissing for visiting Columbia. ...



    Bark Lake Leadership Retreat

    From September 13 -16, 56 Columbia students participated in a leadership retreat at Bark Lake. Members of the Student Council, along with School, Residence and Athletic Prefects attended the weekend retreat.

    Over the four day period, students engaged in a series of activities designed to foster their leadership skills and character development including team building and problem solving activities. They also experienced great outdoor activities such as low and high ropes and voyageur canoeing.

    The retreat is an important part Columbia’s leadership education as it helps students build relations that are integral to their role as student leaders. It teaches them core character values that help them develop into responsible global citizens and become agents of positive change in their communities.

    A big thank you to Ms. Courtney, Ms. Lue, Mr. Brandon and Mr. Freddy for accompanying the group to Bark Lake! ...



    Western visits Columbia

    Be extraordinary.

    Yesterday, representatives from Western University, and its affiliated colleges, visited Columbia. Students attended an information session in the Café to explore their post-secondary career at the well recognized University and learned everything about the school ranging from program options to admission requirements to scholarship offers.

    Western University
    • The BEST student experience among large Canadian universities
    • Four campus options; Main Campus, Brescia University College, Huron University College, King’s University College
    • New Ivey School of Business building
    • Exceptional academic programming supportive residence life, student services, and wide-ranging co-curricular clubs and activities
    • An International and Exchange Student Centre that offers year round support and activities
    • Renowned research facilities
    • Bachelor, Graduate, and Doctoral Degrees

    University Partners®
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners®, Western offers Columbia graduates exclusive benefits including:
    • Three designated admission scholarships to the top three graduates of Columbia who register at Western's main campus each year, at a value $1000 higher than published admission scholarship values.
    • Guaranteed admission scholarships for students who are admitted and attend Western’s main campus with a final admission average of 88% or above (as calculated by Western and including prerequisite course)

    Want to Visit Western?
    Students interested in attending Western are encouraged to attend Fall Preview Day on Saturday, November 16, 2013.

    A special thank you Ms. Carolyn Ford and the entire Western recruitment team for visiting Columbia. ...



    Join SD and help fight cancer

    The Student Development department is organizing a Relay for Life event in coordination with the Canadian Cancer Society. This event is a celebration of survival, a tribute to the lives of loved ones and an event full of fun, friendship and fundraising to beat cancer!

    Relay for Life is a 12 hour, pledge-based event where students, teachers, staff, family and friends form teams and take turns walking about a track while enjoying fun activities and entertainment. This year’s relay will take place on Friday, November 8.

    Those interested in participating should contact Ms. Bobbi in room S244.

    To find out more about the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life visit their website. ...



    We Day 2013

    Locally active, globally aware.

    On Friday, September 20, a group of Columbia’s Junior Middle School and Senior students will join thousands of students across the province in pledging to become active global citizens. As part of Free the Children’s We Act program, young adults commit to advocate for a global issue. They will also attend We Day, an yearly event designed to inspire and empower youth.

    Now in its seventh year, We Day is a movements designed to encourage students to “shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’.” The empowering event occurs throughout North America and recently added a stop in the United Kingdom. This year, government officials, humanitarians, singers, actors, social rights activists, motivational speakers and many more will appear on stage at the Air Canada Centre during Toronto’s We Day.

    Speakers & Performers include:
    • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    • Hon. Kathleen Wynne
    • Martin Luther King III
    • Darren Criss
    • Robin Wiszowaty
    • Chris Hadfield
    • Demi Lovato
    • Jonas Brothers
    • Hon. David C. Onley
    • Craig & Marc Kielburger
    and many more!

    We Day and Columbia
    The We Day mandate aligns with Columbia’s values and is a great way to develop students into responsible global citizens.

    Follow all the action of #WeDay on Twitter! ...



    UWaterloo’s Associate Dean of Mathematics visits Columbia

    This morning, Columbia was honoured to welcome Dr. Serge D’Alessio, Associate Dean of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, to its campus.

    Dr. D’Alessio hosted a presentation in the Living Wall Lounge for students approaching graduation that discussed the transition from secondary school to university. He discussed important issues first year students struggle with including the difference between high school and university and time management. The presentation was valuable to students interested in all fields as Dr. D’Alessio offered some survival tips and personal advice to those in attendance. He stressed that hard work is the key to success and told students they must be willing to “put in the work” if they want to do well in university.

    Representatives from the University of Waterloo will return to Columbia on Nov. 28. Students interested in attending the University are encouraged to attend the presentation.

    On behalf of Columbia, we would like to thank Dr. Serge D’Alessio for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak to students today.

    University Partners®
    As one of Columbia’s University Partners, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;
    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    For more information, contact your University Placement Counsellor in room 109. ...



    Students attend Supercrawl

    Over the weekend, a group of Columbia students participated in Supercrawl, Hamilton’s largest art street festival.

    Students contributed to the festival by marching in a paraded that stretched from the Hamilton Farmer’s Market to James St. N. Parade Master Mr. Ferreira led the parade which featured murals from his art students and music by Mr. Lawlis’ band class. Students also showcased their artistic talents and creativity by making their costumes out of paper and old blankets and by providing face painting to local children who stopped by their booth.

    Their efforts and creativity were well received by local residents who complimented Columbia students on their enthusiasm and positive energy throughout the festival.

    Thank you to all students who participated in Supercrawl. A special thank you to Mr. Ferreira and Student Development for organizing this great event.

    James St. N. Supercrawl
    Now in its 5th year, the James Street North Supercrawl is one of Hamilton’s most popular festivals. With an ever-growing art scene, the festival attracts tourists from across the province who come to experience the unique atmosphere of the neighbourhood. ...



    Terry Fox Walk-a-thon

    Help make cancer history by participating in the Terry Fox Walk-a-thon!

    Students can help make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer by participating in the Terry Fox Walk-a-thon. On Thursday, September 26, 2013, Columbia staff and students will show their support by walking approximately 7½ km from Hamilton’s Pier 4 to the Ainsliewood building.

    All students are encouraged to sign up and help raise funds for cancer research and the Terry Fox Foundation. Those who do attend may also earn up to seven volunteer hours.

    Sign up now!
    Students wishing to participate can pick up a pledge sheet from their homeroom teacher. Those who do not have a period one class can get their pledge sheets from the academic office. Pledge sheets and money must be returned to homeroom teachers by Tuesday Sep.17. 

    For more information please see Ms. Sherry in the Academic Office.

    Columbia and the Terry Fox Run
    Columbia’s school community is committed to working together to end cancer. For 30 years Columbia has participated in the Terry Fox Run and is proud to be only 1 of 6 schools in the world to have achieved this.

    To date, Columbia has raised $95,756.80 for the Terry Fox Foundation. ...



    International cuisine series returns

    The international cuisine series returned from its summer hiatus Wednesday night with a Latin inspired dinner. La Gran Fiesta dinner was the perfect way for Columbia to welcome back one of its most popular after school events. The dinner, which took place in the Student Café, celebrated the best of Spanish and Latin culture and was largely organized by student volunteers at Columbia.

    Students and staff enjoyed a delicious meal that consisted of popular dishes from Mexico, South America and other Latin countries. Along with customary dishes, La Gran Fiesta featured traditional music, games and activities that charmed all guests in attendance.

    The Menu
    Appetizers
    • Fresh Tri-Colored Nachos with Guacamole, Salsa & Sour Cream
    • Ensalada (Mix Salad)
    Entrées
    • Tacos (Chicken, Beef & Vegetable) with fresh toppings Salsa, Sour Cream, Cheese, Lettuce & Guacamole
    • Mexican Style Rice & Beans
    • Corn on the Cob with Lime Butter
    Dessert
    • Strawberries with Fresh Cream & Cinnamon Sugar
    • Mango Ice Cream

    Cuisine Series at Columbia
    Columbia’s International Cuisine Series is a monthly event that gives students the opportunity to learn about different cultures and practice key values such as respect and inclusiveness. Students from all regions – from Latin America to South and South East Asia- volunteered at this event and were responsible for its success.

    Thank you to all our student volunteers, all students and staff that attended, and our Student Development team for organizing the event. ...



    Health Fair 2013

    Today marks day two of Columbia’s Health Fair!

    Public health nurses and public dental health practitioners have set up booths around Ainsliewood to educate students on mental and physical health issues facing today’s young adults. Along with promoting health awareness, the Health Fair makes wellness information easily accessible for students. The Fair concludes tomorrow and all are encouraged to visit the various stations during periods three and four and receive tips for living balanced and healthy lives.

    Health topics and locations
    Living Wall Lounge:
    • Mental Health
    • Gambling
    • Tobacco
    • Peer-to-Peer Nutrition

    Student Development:
    • Healthy Lifestyle
    • Public Dental Health

    Thank you to the public health nurses, dental health practitioners and Columbia’s Medical team for making this year’s Health Fair a success. ...



    Upcoming University Visits!

    Classes may have just recently begun but many students are already thinking about the future. Students exploring their post-secondary options will have the opportunity to speak to numerous university representatives when Columbia welcomes over 20 universities from across Canada and abroad to its campus. University representatives will be on hand to answer student questions about everything from academic programs to residence life. Presentations will take place in the Student Café or the Marketplace beginning September 23. For more information visit the University Placement Office, Room 109.

    SEPTEMBER
    23: Western University -Marketplace, 4 p.m.
    24: University of Wisconsin-Madison - Café, 11 a.m., Nipissing University - Café, 4 p.m.
    25: UOIT - Café, 4 p.m.
    26: Brock University - Café, 4 p.m.
    30: University of Calgary - Café, 4 p.m.

    OCTOBER
    3: Memorial University – Marketplace, 11 a.m.
    7: McMaster University - Café, 4 p.m.
    8: Dalhousie University - Café, 4 p.m.
    9: University of Windsor - Café, 4 p.m.
    10: University of Alberta - Café, 4 p.m.
    15: University of Guelph - Café, 4 p.m.
    17: York University - Café, 4 p.m., Saint Mary's University – Marketplace. 11:30 a.m.
    21: Concordia University and Bishop's University – Café, 4 p.m.
    22: Schulich School of Business – Café, 4 p.m.
    23: University of Toronto – Café, 4 p.m.
    24: University of Saskatchewan – Marketplace, 11:30 a.m.
    28: University of British Columbia – Café, 4 p.m.
    29: Wilfrid Laurier University – Café, 4 p.m.

    NOVEMBER
    5: University of Ottawa – Café, 4 p.m.
    12: Lakehead University – Café, 4 p.m.
    13: Ivey School of Business – Café, 4 p.m.
    14: Carleton University – Café, 4 p.m.
    18: Laurentian University – Café, 4 p.m.
    20: Queen's University – Café, 4 p.m.
    28: University of Waterloo – Café, 4 p.m.

    *Schedule subject to change. ...



    Discover Hamilton

    At Columbia, we believe learning outside the classroom and extracurricular activities are important parts of personal development. Student Development has organized two great excursions for students living at Crowne, Linden and Arkledun residences to satisfy personal interests and to give students the opportunity to discover different areas of Hamilton.

    Locke Street Festival
    This festival is a tradition in Hamilton that features live music, street vendors, delicious food and great entertainment. The one day festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7. Students will depart from Linden Hall at 1 p.m. and spend a few hours exploring the street.

    James St. N. Supercrawl
    Now in its 5th year, the James Street North Supercrawl is one of Hamilton’s most popular festivals. With an ever-growing art scene, the festival attracts tourists from across the province who come to experience the unique atmosphere of the neighbourhood. The two day festival runs from September 13-14 and students will attend the evening of Friday, Sept. 13. Various styles of art and music will be on display as well as a large variety of food trucks and other entertainment.

    Supercrawl Sign up:
    Linden: Tuesday, Sept. 10 - 8 p.m.
    Crowne: Thursday, Sept. 12 - 6:30-7 p.m.
    Arkledun:Thursday, Sept. 12 - 7:15 p.m.

    Students attending either festival are reminded to bring their bus pass. For more information visit Ms. Beth in Student Development. ...



    Spirited September

    With students settled back into their academic routines, they can begin to enjoy the great extracurricular activities and events that Columbia offers. September is full of unique opportunities for new and returning students to immerse themselves in campus life. This month, students will give back to the local community, visit landmark attractions and participate in special school events all while developing passionate school spirit.

    September
    2: Labour Day Holiday
    7: Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Event)
    11: International Cuisine Series – Gran Fiesta
    11-13: Health Fair
    12: Short Period Day
    13-16: Bark Lake Leadership Retreat
    14: Medieval Times Trip
    20: We Day Trip
    21: TFC Game, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (Community Service Event)
    23: Western University Visit
    23-27: Spirit Week
    24: University of Wisconsin & Nipissing University Visit
    25: Games Day, UOIT Visit
    26: Terry Fox Run, Brock University Visit
    28: Toronto Zoo Trip, Hamilton Victory Gardens (Community Service Event)

    To learn more about September’s events, contact a member of Student Development in Room S244. Stop by the University Placement Office, Room 109, for more information on the upcoming university visits. ...



    Get Moving

    Looking for something fun to do after school?

    Want to stay fit and meet new people?


    Participate in Columbia’s athletic programs!

    The Athletic Department and the Student Development Department have organized great after school athletic programs to ensure that students keep fit and have fun. From 4:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends, students can drop by the Ainsliewood gym or the Fitness areas of both Pine Hall residences to participate in sports and activities ranging from table tennis to swimming, to squash. Registration is required for some activities so students are encouraged to check the schedules in advance. Schedules are posted on the Athletics Board outside the Ainsliewood gym and on notice boards at each residence.

    Visit the Athletic Department for more details! ...



    Columbia’s 2013 Club Fair

    The Ainsliewood gym was a hub of activity yesterday afternoon as Columbia held this semester’s Club Fair.  After school, students made their way to the gym to sign up for their club of choice and were greeted by members of Student Development and teachers. With over 60 clubs represented, students were impressed by the diverse options including:
    • Director’s Cut
    • Art for a Cause
    • Leadership
    • Urgent Issues
    • Self Discovery
    • Cheerleading
    and many more!


    Activities are also available at Pine Hall Residences (Boys and Girls). Sign up for these activities also took place yesterday at each respective residence. 

    Availability may vary, but students can still sign up for clubs today starting at 4 p.m. in the Ainsliewood gym.

    Students are reminded to confirm club start dates, times and locations with club leaders. ...



    Varsity Tryouts

    Columbia‘s Athletic department is currently in the process of selecting its male Varsity Basketball and Soccer team members. Coaches for both teams will have difficulty in selecting their final teams as they were impressed the number and skill of students who attended the first tryouts last week.  

    Cougars Varsity Basketball
    The fast and fierce Varsity Basketball team is hoping to add some new talent to its roster.

    Next tryout: Monday, August 26 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, August 29 at 7 p.m. 

    Coach: Mr.  James Cuthbert

    Cougars Soccer Team
    With only 5 returning players, the team hopes to maintain its reputation for being one of the best teams in Hamilton by adding new players with speed and skill to its lineup.

    Next tryout: Wednesday, August 28 at 4:15 p.m. and Thursday, August 29 at 4:15 p.m.

    Coach: Mr. Erind Hametaj

    Good luck to all those trying out! ...



    Back to School Tips

    Students have survived their first week back and are slowly settling into their daily routines. Starting a new school, meeting new people and adjusting to a new environment can all be very stressful and nerve-racking for students. To assist their transition, and to ensure that students have a successful year, Columbia would like to offer students a few back to school tips:

    1. Ask questions. For many students, entering a new school can be intimidating. The best way to learn your way around school and the city is to ask questions. Remember that teachers, staff and fellow students are all here to help you.

    2. Stay organized. Use your agendas, phones or computers to mark down important dates and assignments.  You don’t want to miss out on great activities or be penalized for a late assignment because you didn’t write down any information about it.

    3. Get involved.  Joining school clubs and activities is the best part of school! Becoming a member of the school community is a great way to meet new people, develop your interests and have fun. In fact, Columbia graduates have said that their biggest regret was not joining clubs or participating in school activities.

    4. Balance work and fun. Balancing academics with and extracurricular activities is vital to your well-being. While this can be challenging, it ensures you develop into a well rounded students and makes learning fun!

    5. Stay healthy. Eating well is important to your overall well-being. Don’t skip meals. Sodexo is here to help you stay healthy and prepares nutritious and delicious meals daily.

    6. Meet your support team. Get to know your Liaison Officer (room 163), Guidance Counsellor (room 100), University Placement Counsellor (room 100), Residence staff and other members of the support team. They are here to help you succeed so it’s important you form a good relationship with them.

    7. Set goals. School can be overwhelming at times. It is important to stay focused on your goals and maintain a positive attitude. Remember that you are working towards these goals and your hard work will pay off in the future.

    We hope everyone has a terrific semester! ...



    Leader Appreciation Dinner

    On Monday, August 19, Columbia honoured its Student Mentors and Orientation Leaders with a special dinner. Held in the Grill, the dinner was organized by Student Development as a means to express their gratitude towards those students who volunteered during the 2013 August student intake and orientation.

    Leadership and Community Service Coordinator, Ms. Courtney, thanked students for dedicating their time to the school community and believes that Student Development “could not do [their] jobs without the help of such active students.” She discussed how these leaders welcomed new students in residence and how they have helped new students adjust to life at Columbia.

    Department Head, Ms. Cathy, along with Student Life Coordinator, Mr. Brandon, and Athletics Coordinator, Mr. Freddy, also expressed their appreciation towards the students. They reiterated the important role they played during orientation and congratulated them on being exceptional role models for both new and returning students. A handful of Student Mentors and Orientation Leaders were then recognized for going above and beyond their general duties and were presented with award certificates. 

    A special thank you to Sodexo for catering the event.

    Students wishing to gain leadership experience and contribute to the school community can apply to become Executive Student Leaders. Applications are due at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 23. Visit Ms. Courtney in Student Development for more information. ...



    Calling all leaders…

    Do you want to be involved in student life?

    Are you interested in making positive changes for the student body?

    Do you want to plan and run activities at Columbia?


    Student Development has the perfect leadership opportunities for students seeking to become active members of the student body. They are looking for new and returning students to fill Executive Student Leader positions of:

    • athletic prefects
    • residence activity prefects
    • service prefects
    • student council members

    How to Apply
    The application process is simple:
    1. Pick up an application package from Ms. Melissa in room S244 (the Student Development Office)
    2. Fill out all forms and include all request documents
    3. Submit the application package to Ms. Melissa by 9 a.m. on Friday, August 23, 2013

    Questions?
    If you want to learn more about the role and responsibilities of an Executive Student Leader, please see Ms. Courtney in the Student Development Office, room S244. ...



    Thank You Green Team

    They provided entertainment and laughter, they ensured camper safety and they were responsible for delivering a once in a lifetime summer camp experience to hundreds of children and young adults. Columbia’s Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Camp would not have the success it did without the dedication and hard work of the Green Team staff.

    Known as the “Dream Team,” summer camp staff worked tirelessly to ensure that this year’s camp program exceeded all expectations. To honour their commitment to the camp program and to thank them for their efforts, Columbia held an appreciation lunch in their honour. The luncheon took place on August 9th in the Café and was catered by our renowned food services provider, Sodexo. Those in attendance were welcomed by Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, and General Manager, Mr. Jim Campbell, both of whom congratulated the staff for delivering an exceptional camp program this year.

    Camp Director, Mr. Krist Hayes, and Assistant Camp Director, Ms. Carrie Bishop, also expressed gratitude towards their staff for their efforts and commitment throughout the summer. They were impressed by the Green Team’s enthusiasm and experience and are looking forward to planning next year’s summer program.

    Thank you to all Green Team members for their hard work.

    Visit the summer camp blog or our Facebook page to view photos of this year’s program. ...



    Improvements to the College Store

    Over the summer months, the College Store underwent a few renovations to better serve Columbia’s students. With an ever expanding student population, the Store has increased its space and will be able to better meet the needs of students, staff and guests.

    Enhancements to the College Store include a larger service desk and a larger student waiting area, both designed to provide more efficient service.

    Improvement Projects
    The upgrade to the College Store is just one of Columbia’s many recent improvement projects. Last year, a new South Wing was added to Ainsliewood and its back field was renovated to give students more outdoor space. Currently, the front of  Ainsliewood is under construction and will be expanded to increase school facilities. This is expected to be completed before the New Year.

    Be sure to stop by the College Store (Room 159) and say hello to your Student Services Officers. ...



    Orientation for New Students

    It’s hard to believe that classes at Columbia will begin in just one week (August 19). As returning students prepare to make their way back to Hamilton, new students have already arrived and are spending time exploring their new city and their new school.

    To make the adjustment period for new students easier, Columbia is holding Orientation and Registration sessions all week. Students will spend the day with members of Student Development and Columbia’s welcoming team and learn about all the great student life programs available to them. They will also tour the school and familiarize themselves with staff and school policies. Parents will also meet with staff, Managers and Department Heads to learn about school policies and ensure that all of their questions are answered. They will also have the opportunity to tour the school facilities and sign up for the University Tours trip which will be taking placing on Aug. 14 and 15.

    On behalf of all of us here at Columbia, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students. We hope you’re excited to begin a new academic year. ...



    University Tours for Columbia Parents

    As the 2013 fall semester quickly approaches, Columbia’s teachers and staff have been busy welcoming new and returning students, and their parents, to its campus. Along with joining orientation sessions at Columbia, parents are also invited to attend two university tour trips.

    Next week, tours will be offered to the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus (August 15), and York University (August 16). The tours will give parents the opportunity to explore and learn about some of Columbia’s University Partners®. They will also make stops at nearby attractions including the CN Tower, the Toronto Eaton Centre or Vaughn Mills Shopping Outlet.

    Buses for both trips will depart Ainsliewood at 8:30 a.m. and are expected to return to Hamilton by 6 p.m. The cost of the trip is $10. Parents can sign up at the College Store (Room 159). ...



    Columbia Graduate Recognized for Community Involvement

    Columbia alum, Ms. Abena Andam, has been recognized for her work in the Hamilton community. The current MBA student at McMaster university's DeGroote School of Business was honoured by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) at a June conference held in San Francisco.

    As a result of her community involvement, with groups such as Habitat for Humanity Halton and the Living Hope Christian Assembly, and her interest in working in government, Abena was one of two students chosen to receive the Frank L. Greathouse Scholarship (valued at $5000) by the GFOA.

    Abena originally decided to pursue an MBA to start her own company dedicated to helping children and women in the third world. After studying at DeGroote and completing a co-op term with the City of Hamilton, she quickly developed an interest in public policy. She is now focused on becoming a policy advisor and hopes to bring positive change to her community. Abena was honoured to receive the award and thanks DeGroote for giving her the tools and experiences needed to excel in her future career.

    Prior to beginning her education at DeGroote, Abena worked as the Assistant Liaison Director at Columbia. She also attended Columbia before starting McMaster University. On behalf of Columbia we would like to congratulate Abena on her success and wish her the best in her future career.

    To view the original story, visit http://www.degroote.mcmaster.ca/articles/degroote-student-honoured-as-scholarship-recipient/.

    GFOA
    The Government Finance Officers Association is “a professional association of state/provincial and local finance officers in the United States and Canada.” Its aim is to foster the development of financial policies within government that benefit the public.

    DeGroote School of Business
    The DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University is also one of Canada’s premier business schools. With a focus on experiential learning and research, DeGroote produces some of the world’s best trained commerce graduates. ...



    Columbia Welcomes New Head of Senior School

    Columbia International College is proud to welcome Mr. Tim Putt as the new Head of Senior School. Mr. Putt will be taking over for Ms. Nancy Baker who is looking forward to beginning her new role as the Head of the English Department.

    Recognized as a leader in private school education and administration, Mr. Putt is passionate about teaching and is looking forward “to working directly with students and listening to their suggestions and ideas.” We are confident that his experience and dedication to education will help Columbia students Go Higher® in their pursuit of academic excellence and character development.

    Prior to joining Columbia, Mr. Putt was the Principal and Vice-President of Academics at Blyth Academy. He also served as the Head of Senior School and Assistant Headmaster at Ashbury College. In addition to holding undergraduate degrees in Law and Education, Mr. Putt holds a Masters Degree of Education, with a focus on Learning and Teaching.

    On behalf of the entire Columbia community, we would like to extend our warmest welcome to Mr. Tim Putt. ...



    Amazin' August

    Happy August! The summer is nearly over and soon new and returning students will arrive at Columbia to begin a new school year and a new adventure. New facilities, new teachers and new friends are just some of the things students have to look forward to when classes resume later this month. Here are some important dates to help students plan their transition back to school:

    August
    11th-14th: Residence check-in
    12th: Start of 2013 fall semester, last day for returning students to change courses
    12-15th: Registration and Orientation for new students
    19th: Classes begin
    23rd: Last day for new students to add or change a course
    27th: Registration and Orientation for JMS students
    28th: JMS classes begin

    Questions? Contact us by phone (1-905-572-7883) or email ([email protected]). ...



    LIT's Graduate

    On Friday, July 26, Columbia honoured the 23 members of its Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program. As the first set of students to participate in the newly implemented program, the 2013 LIT’s celebrated the end of their leadership training with a graduation ceremony.

    Held at Pine Girls Residence, the LIT’s joined members of Student Development, Liaison staff members, and Columbia’s Executive Director and General Manager for a barbeque lunch on the rooftop patio before attending the ceremony in the lounge.

    Along with receiving a Leader-in-Training diploma for completing the program, a few LIT’s members were also presented with certificates of distinction for their outstanding contribution to the program and to summer camp. To celebrate their hard work and achievements, the LITs have traveled to Bark Lake and Eastern Canada and will return August 2.

    With their newly acquired skills in leadership, personal and career development and camp specific skills such as confidentiality and responsibility, we are confident that these students will make significant contributions to their school and local communities. Congratulations to all of our newly crowned leaders!

    Thank you to the Pine Hall Girls staff, Maintenance and Sodexo for their involvement in the LIT graduation.

    Photos of the LIT graduation can be found on our Facebook page. ...



    Summer campers visit Toronto

    From baseball games to midways to historic landmarks, Columbia’s summer campers are exploring much of Ontario’s capital city, Toronto.

    Those enrolled in the Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Camp program will visit the city numerous times throughout their stay, discovering a new area each time. Trips to the city allow campers to practice the English they learned in class, submerge themselves in Canadian culture and explore firsthand many famous sites they have seen only on TV.

    Campers will visits popular Toronto attractions such as:
    • CN Tower
    • Medieval Times
    • Rogers Centre / Blue Jays Game
    • Toronto City Tour
    • Canada’s Wonderland
    • Eatons Centre

    About Toronto
    As the largest city in Canada, Toronto has close to 3 million residents and is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. To learn more, visit the city's website. ...



    Outdoor Adventures at Bark Lake

    Summer campers are getting a true Canadian experience during the Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Camp program. Over the past few weeks, groups of campers have been visiting Columbia’s private outdoor leadership education centre, Bark Lake. Campers will explore all 700 acres of its pristine grounds which are located in the Haliburton Highlands and the Kawartha Lakes.

    During their stay, they will fall in love with the outdoors by participating in fun activities and adventures such as:

    • Canoeing
    • Hiking
    • High and Low Ropes
    • Archery
    • Campfires
    • and more!

    As Bark Lake is Columbia’s premier leadership training facility, campers will also participate in character building and teamwork exercises, learning essential life skills like respect, integrity and perseverance.

    This is one of the most popular trips for campers as it introduces them to Canada’s beautiful outdoors and allows them to develop an appreciation for nature. Those wishing to learn more about Bark Lake can visit their website.

    Keep up to date with the Green Team and Bark Lake by following them on Twitter:
    Green Team: @cic_summer
    Bark Lake: @BarkLakeLC

    For more information about Columbia’s Summer Camp Program please click here. Pictures of Bark Lake trips can also be found by visiting our Facebook page. ...



    June’s ESL Award Winners

    Earlier today, five ESL students were recognized for achieving the highest mark in their June ESL courses. The students were congratulated by Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head, and were each presented with a certificate of distinction and a medal during a special outdoor ESL Awards Ceremony. The award recipients include:

    Ku, Bit Na (ESLAO)
    Yan, Xin Yuan (ESLCO)
    Li, Pablo (ESLDO)
    LIN, LIN (ESLDO)
    Li, Wen Cong (EOA4Z)


    Secrets to Success
    So what exactly does it take to become a top achiever? Here is what this month’s award recipients had to say:
    Ku, Bit Na (ESLAO): “Studying very hard with the help of many friends.”
    Yan, Xin Yuan (ESLCO): “Do homework, remember what the teacher says and review every day.”
    Li, Pablo (ESLDO): “Listen carefully in the class and review hard day and night.”
    Lin, Lin (ESLDO): “Use oral English often, practice every day, enjoy the class time and do homework!”

    Wen Cong Li returned home for the summer and was absent from the ceremony.

    A special mention goes to Pablo Li and Wen Cong Li who are recurring recipients, having achieved the highest mark in their respective classes in May and June.

    ESL at Columbia
    Columbia’s ESL program provides students with the skills needed to succeed at the university level. In studying the English language at Columbia, students have the opportunity to practice and perfect their English skills, inside and outside of the classroom.

    Congratulations to all ESL award winners! ...



    Lights, Camera, Action

    On July 16, summer campers packed the Ainsliewood gym to secure their spot for one of the most anticipated events of summer camp - the 2013 summer camp talent show!

    A wide range of talent was displayed as campers entertained the audience with everything from song and dance to magic and comedy. Some summer campers also incorporated cultural aspects into their routines and opted to perform traditional songs and dances.

    One of the evening’s biggest surprises was the Green Team's version of the highly popular dance, the Harlem Shake(pictured above). Staff danced their way on stage wearing jersey’s that represented their own culture and bizarre accessories. Campers loved their fun look and crazy dances moves and showed their appreciation by giving the Green Team a standing ovation.

    The summer camp talent show is an annual event is held twice a year to ensure that all campers are given the opportunity to showcase their talents. The next summer camp talent show is expected to take place in August. To view photos from the show, please visit our Facebook page.

    Thank you to all summer campers and Green Team members for participating in, and attending, last night’s talent show. ...



    June Valedictorian encourages classmates to Go Higher®

    Unique, innovative, inspiring; all words used to describe June’s Valedictory Address.

    With nothing more than a piece of paper and insightful words, Ms. Allegra Kartika, voted by her peers to represent June’s graduating class, delivered a memorable Valedictorian Address that outlined her high school journey and explained how attending Columbia has allowed her to Go Higher®.

    She used a simple paper airplane analogy to describe her and her peer’s journey at Columbia; “Each one of us came to Canada with different background and motivation. When I think of us, I think we’re all like a piece of paper, all a different kind of paper.” For example, upon arriving in Canada, she described herself as a shy and timid, what she called a “blank” page. She admitted that aside from her knowledge of Canadian pop culture, she was relatively unfamiliar with what a Canadian lifestyle would offer. After reflecting on her education and time at Columbia, she realized that everyone starts as “a blank piece of paper” and is given the opportunity to fill their page and “transform into something stunning.”

    For Allegra, graduating from Columbia not only signified the end of a journey, it also symbolized the transformation of her blank page into a paper airplane with “each fold in the plane representing the things [she] learned.” With the help of the Total Care Education System’s support team including, houseparents, teachers, and staff, her blank page quickly filled with education, unique life experiences, self-confidence, and knowledge that have prepared her to Go Higher® in the chapter of her life.

    She encouraged her classmates to embrace their next journey and to use the skills they have acquired to soar above obstacles; “take the strengths that [they] have and make it a journey [they] will always remember.”

    Allegra’s inventive Valedictory Address reminded graduates that with hard work and dedication, they can accomplish their dreams and Go Higher®.

    Congratulations Allegra and the June 2013 graduating class! Best of luck in your future endeavours. ...



    Leaders-in-Training Summer Program

    Creating dynamic leaders and fostering student success are central goals of our Total Care Education System®. At Columbia, we are constantly implementing innovative programs to support students in achieving their goals. The Leaders-in-Training (LIT) Summer Program is among these new additions.

    Organized by members of Student Development, the LIT program aims to “develop leaders of good character through training and practical experience by volunteering with Columbia’s Summer Camp.”

    LIT’s will participate in our Summer Camp’s orientation and training sessions and will execute weekly and weekend activities after their initial observation period. They will learn life skills and will be taught:

    Leadership skills (conflict resolution, decision making, problem solving etc.)

    Personal and career development

    Camp specific skills (confidentiality and disclosure, safety, responsibility and liability etc.)

    In their final week, LIT’s will receive individual evaluations and attend a trip to Bark Lake Leadership Centre and Eastern Canada.

    23 students – 10 current Columbia students, 9 students from Mexico, and 2 local students – make up this year’s enthusiastic LIT team. Also known as the “Blue Team”, LIT’s can be identified by their blue Columbia Character t-shirts. Be sure to introduce yourselves to them when you see them on campus.

    The LIT program currently runs throughout July and is open to high school students. For more information speak to a member of Student Development or e-mail [email protected], quoting LIT Program in the subject line. ...



    Summer Camp 2013

    Travel and adventure are what over 600 campers can expect from Columbia ‘s Summer Camp program this year.

    Summer Camp staff, known as the Green Team are in the process of welcoming hundreds of campers who are participating in Columbia’s Learn English and Discover Canada ESL Summer Camp.

    Camp officially began on July 1 and will continue until the end of August. During their time in Canada, campers from around the world will learn English, explore Ontario and Canada, and most importantly, have a fun and safe adventure. Campers will also tour Hamilton and familiarize themselves with the city they will call home for the next few weeks. In addition, they will travel across Ontario and Québec and visit some of Canada’s landmark attractions.

    Campers will visit:
    • Niagara Falls and Niagara–on-the-lake
    • Toronto (CN Tower, Marineland, Medieval Times, Rogers Centre and more!)
    • Bark Lake Leadership Centre
    • Montréal
    • Ottawa

    The Green Team has been working very hard to deliver an unforgettable camp experience to this year’s participants. Camp Director, Mr. Krist Hayes, and Assistant Camp Director, Ms. Carrie Bishop, are confident that the camp program will meet and exceed camper’s expectations with the dynamic programming they have implemented.

    Columbia’s ESL summer camp program is a unique opportunity to practice English, explore Canada, and meet people from around the world. 3- 4 week programs are available for juniors (ages 9-14) and seniors (ages 15-19). To learn more about Columbia’s Summer Camp program click here.

    Stay connected with the Green Team
    Follow them on Twitter: @cic_summer
    Visit their blog: http://www.canadasummercamp.ca/
    Watch them on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BvPwiuHKWM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUiNLscRwLJ-aF3DpOUc-wBQ ...



    Construction Progress

    Construction on our Ainsliewood building is well underway!

    The ongoing expansion project will add many great new areas to our campus and provide both staff and students with even more state-of-the-art resources.

    Additions will be made to the first and second floors and will include these great facilities:

    1st Floor:
    • Welcome Centre
    • Reception and waiting area
    • Reading and Computer room
    • Expanded Guidance Office
    • Security Office

    2nd Floor:
    • Fitness Room
    • Meeting Room
    • Additional classrooms

    We once again would like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during this time. ...



    June Graduation: “Bigger, Better, Stronger”

    On Friday, June 29th, around 200 Columbia students celebrated one of life’s major milestones, high school graduation.

    In a special ceremony, graduates were congratulated and honoured for their accomplishments by Columbia’s teachers, support and executive staff, and university representatives. The Ainsliewood gym was filled with proud parents and guests who were eager to see their children and friends walk across the stage. After a warm welcome from Ms. Baker, Head of Senior School and the Master of Ceremonies, and encouraging messages from Mr. Rambarran, Principal,

    Keynote Speaker
    Graduates and guests were honoured to have Ms. Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, as their Keynote Speaker. She spoke about the importance of having long-term goals and of learning important lessons from every experience you are given. She also encouraged graduates “to profit from diversity and to talk to everyone with an open mind.”

    The Valedictory Address
    Ms. Allegra Kartika gave June’s Valedictory Address. In it she recapped her journey at Columbia and reflected upon the lessons she has learned along the way. She offered several pieces of advice to her fellow graduates and encouraged everyone to persevere through all obstacles. Allegra also encouraged her peers to embrace mistakes as they will become “bigger, better, and stronger” people because of them. After thanking her classmates, Columbia’s teachers and staff, she challenged her peers to “take [their] strength and make [their] journey one that [they] will always remember.”

    Vote of Thanks
    June’s Vote of Thanks was given by Ms. Anastasia Medvedeva. She expressed her sincerest gratitude to Columbia for giving her the opportunity to come to Canada and study. Anastasia thanked members of Student Development and UPO for encouraging her, and all students, to participate in student life and solving all of their problems. She also described how thankful she was to the Liaison, Guidance, Residence staff, support staff, and teachers for making Columbia feel like home. Anastasia ended by thanking Campus Safety, the Medical Staff, the Maintenance and Cleaning staff, and Sodexo for providing a safe and healthy living environment to all students.

    Thank You
    Columbia would like to thank the following people for their work in organizing this year’s June graduation; Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Class, the Liaison team, teachers, support staff, Maintenance and cleaning staff, and Sodexo.

    We would also like to thank Ms. Andrea Horwath, Ontario’s NDP leader and Ms. Carolyn Ford, Manager of International Recruitment at Western University, for attending the ceremony.

    Congratulations to all June graduates! ...



    Pine Boys Summer Fitness Challenge

    Perseverance and optimism are among the character traits instilled in Columbia students.

    Over the past 6 weeks, 33 male students practiced these qualities as they participated in a Summer Fitness Challenge at Pine Hall Boys. The students competed against each other and were challenged to complete 3 workouts a week. Each time a student completed a new workout, they were given a badge and their name was entered into a draw.

    While there were only four prize winners, each student who participated increased their strength, improved their cardio capabilities and enhanced their overall health.

    Challenge Winners
    Abdulganiyu Akanbi Yusufu won 1st prize and received a $50 Sport Check gift card.

    Oleksii Isichenko, Oluwafeyisayo Nicol Mabayoje and Ruslan Nikolaev were the runners-up and were each awarded a $20 Tim Hortons gift card.

    Ogheneruno Awenode also received an honorable mention for completing ALL workouts.

    Congratulations to the Challenge winners and to all those who participated.

    Thank you to Mr. James and the Student Development team for organizing the Summer Fitness Challenge and for motivating the boys. ...



    Perfect Attendance

    Bo Li, a grade 12 student, was honoured by the Guidance Department and Mr. Rambarran, Principal, for having perfect attendance in all 6 of his courses.

    He was delighted to receive recognition for his efforts and admits that attendance never used to be his priority. After many conversations with his parents and teachers, Bo realized that attending class was “important to [his] education.” He would like to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo next year and is trying hard to succeed not only to ensure his future success, but to “make [his] parents proud.”

    Congratulations Bo!

    Columbia students who have not missed, or been late for, any of their classes are awarded Attendance Honour Certificates. ...



    JMS Graduation

    The Ainsliewood gym was alive with excitement and energy yesterday as Columbia’s youngest students graduated from Junior Middle School.

    In an uplifting ceremony, students were recognized and congratulated for working hard and striving for excellence. Ms. Garell-Teti, Head of Junior Middle School and Master of Ceremony, expressed her pride and fondness for the graduates as she recapped their achievements of the past year.

    Award Winners
    Along with their Certificates of Completion students were also presented with Top Subject Awards. Winners included:
    Grade 7
    Elizaveta Getmanskaya - Music, Dramatic Arts, Library Media and Social Justice, Science, Visual Arts, History, Computer Science and Information Technology
    Sesie Matanawi - French, Mathematics, English, Physical Education, French

    Grade 8
    Alexander Tsybakin - Music, French, Mathematics, Dramatic Arts, English, Physical Education, Science, History
    Josephine Oduro-Yeboah - French
    Antonio Valverde - English, Library Media and Social Justice
    Yan Xin Yuan - Visual Arts
    Kim Min Jung - Computer Science and Information Technology

    Vote of Thanks
    Josephine Oduro-Yeboah was “honoured to be chosen” to deliver this year’s Vote of Thanks. In her speech, she thanked her parents, teachers and house parents for their support and guidance throughout her two years in JMS. She believes the JMS program made her “more confident” and is excited to begin high school.

    Congratulations to all JMS students!

    A special thank you to Ms. Garell-Teti, Ms. Pat Doric, the JMS Staff and Liaison and Admissions teams for their work in organizing the ceremony. A special thank you to the Maintenance team for their hard work and to Mr. Lawlis and his Vocal Music Class for their musical performances.

    We would also like to thank Sodexo for providing a wonderful reception that reflected the culture of the JMS students.

    Visit our Facebook page to view the event's photos. ...



    May’s ESL Awards

    “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” ‒Frank Smith

    Columbia’s ESL students have realized that although learning a new language is challenging, its rewards are plentiful. Every month, ESL students are recognized for achieving top marks in their respective courses. Earlier today, Mr. Galea, ESL department head, and Ms. Baker, Head of Senior School, handed out May’s ESL awards to a few dynamic students:

    Ru Jia Sun (ESLAO)
    • Wen Cong Li (ESLCO)
    • Penghao Wang (ESLDO
    )

    Mengzi Jiang (EOA4Z) also received an award but was unable to attend the ceremony.

    Secrets to Success
    Our award winners also advised their peers on how to become top achievers;
    Ru Jia (ESLAO) – “Study hard and listen carefully.”
    Wen Cong (ESLCO) - “Try your best and don’t give up!”
    Penshao (ESLDO) – “Finish your homework and listen carefully in class.”

    An honourable mention goes to Mengzi Jiang for being a three-time ESL top achiever! Although she was absent from today’s ceremony, she will be given her medal and certificate at a later date.

    ESL at Columbia
    Columbia’s ESL program provides students with the skills needed to succeed at the university level. In studying the English language at Columbia, students have the opportunity to practice and perfect their English skills, inside and outside of the classroom.

    Congratulations to all ESL award winners! ...



    Meet the 2013 Green Team

    Our Summer Camp Green Team has arrived! With only weeks to go before our Learn English and Discover Canada Summer Camp program begins, the summer camp team is working hard to ensure campers have an unforgettable experience.

    The Green Team, who began training today, will use their abilities, versatility and creativity to provide high quality instruction to campers. They will be with our summer campers on every step of their journey teaching them fun activities and accompanying them on tours and trips across Ontario.

    Summer Camp Director, Mr. Krist Hayes, is impressed by the enthusiasm of this year’s Green Team and is excited for summer camp to begin. He is certain campers will gain valuable experience from the program and hopes they return home with fond memories of Columbia and Canada.

    Stay in touch with the Green Team this summer, follow them on Twitter: @cic_summer!

    Columbia’s ESL summer camp program welcomes students (aged 9-19) from around the world. Visit our Summer Camp page for more information or to apply. ...



    University of PEI visits Columbia

    This afternoon, Columbia had the privilege of welcoming a representative from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI).

    Located in the province’s capital city, Charlottetown, UPEI has deep historical roots and is one of Canada’s top universities. Its fast growing campus accommodates students from over 63 countries and headquarters the National Research Council of Canada and the Atlantic Veterinary College.

    Along with its Graduate and Doctoral programs, the university offers undergraduate programs in:
    • Arts
    • Business
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Science
    • Veterinary Medicine

    Thank you to Ms. Catherine Gillan, International Development Officer with UPEI, for visiting Columbia.

    For more information visit their website or pick up a handbook from UPO. ...



    Water Warriors

    Run, dodge, duck and aim if you want to survive this game!

    Yesterday afternoon Columbia’s students took on their teachers and members of the support staff in the most anticipated event of the year - the water balloon fight.

    Students flocked to the back field during yesterday’s lunch hour for the chance to drench their teachers with water balloons. Round after round, both teachers and students were ruthless in their attempt to upstage the opposing team. Students charged at the stationary teachers from every angle and tired all sorts of tactics to catch them off guard. With their water guns in hand, the teachers were ready to take down the students and had a few surprises waiting for their opponents. The high energy game represented the great sportsmanship and school spirit of our students and staff.

    Students purchased 3 water balloons for $1 with all proceeds going towards Hamilton’s City Kidz organization. In total, 6000 water balloons were created for the event.

    Thank you to Student Development, the student volunteers and all those who participated in the game ...



    Ainsliewood Under Construction

    Columbia is currently in the process of renovating its Ainsliewood building in order to improve facilities for staff and students.

    Construction of the building began this week and is expected to last until early fall. As a result, the front entrance of the school will be closed and the side door is being used as the main entrance. Staff and students may also enter the school through the back doors. Please note that all visitors must sign-in using the side door.

    Students should also be aware of the new school bus pick up and drop off zone which is now located at the back of the school/back field.

    We urge all staff and students to exercise extra caution when approaching the construction area.

    We also thank everyone for their patience during this time as we take the necessary steps to make Columbia an even better place to learn and grow. ...



    Students Help Community One Scoop at a Time

    Strawberry or vanilla? Sprinkles or chocolate? These were the difficult decisions students had to make during today’s lunch hour as Ms. van Dyk’s GPP30 Leadership class hosted an ice cream fundraiser!

    Held in the Living Wall Lounge, the fundraiser was in support of the Lansdowne Children’s Centre, Every Kid Counts program. With 5 flavours and a variety of toppings to choose from, GPP30 students were kept busy scooping and serving the delicious treat for their classmates and teachers who were happy to donate $2 for the notable cause.

    The ice cream fundraiser is just one of the many ways Columbia’s GPP30 Leadership class raises awareness and funds for local programs. Throughout the year they, along with the entire student body, work hard to promote character values such as responsibility, inclusiveness and peaceful and positive conflict resolution.

    The ice cream sale continues tomorrow in the Living Wall Lounge from 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

    Thank you to the Ms. van Dyk, the GPP 30 Leadership class and Student Development for organizing the event.

    The Every Kid Counts program helps youth aged 6-18 with special needs participate in recreational activities. For more information, please visit their website; http://www.lansdownecentre.ca/recreation_programs/every_kid_counts/ ...



    JMS Walk 4 Water

    On Friday May 31st, Columbia’s JMS students braved the outdoor summer heat and walked 4 km in support of their adoptive village in Tortoras, Ecuador.

    As their last fundraising event of the year, JMS students participated in Free the Children’s “We Walk 4 Water” event as part of their Adopt a Village initiative. They walked to Princess Point -a beautiful green space located near Lake Ontario-, collected about 2 litres of water each and attempted to clean it using their own water filters.

    All year, they have been working to provide clean water to the people in Totoras by holding a number of school wide fundraisers such as hosting a penny drive and selling friendship chains. To date, they have raised close to $3000 which will greatly improve the quality of life for those living in this small community.

    Columbia’s JMS students are actively involved in Free the Children’s Adopt a Village project. With their efforts, a water well and a school have been built for the people living in the Tortoras community. Their involvement in the project teaches them about social justice and encourages them to give back by becoming responsible global citizens.

    Thank you to Ms. Willison and Mr. Wong for accompanying the students on their water journey. Thank you also to all staff and students who have supported this project. ...



    Jumpin' June

    Summer is here! This month Student Development is going all out to make sure that students have a great summer. Check out the great events happening this month;

    June Events
    1st: Mac Kids Walk & Wheel for Miracles community service event, TFC vs Philadelphia Union Soccer Game
    3rd: Wesley Urban Ministries community service event
    6th: International Cuisine Series: Canada
    8th: Turkey Point beach trip
    8th – 9th: Ride to Conquer Cancer community service event
    12th: Water Games
    15th: Canada’s Wonderland trip
    22nd: Beach Party
    26th: Final Exams
    27th: Canada’s Wonderland trip
    28th: Graduation

    Students can also participate in a number of daily lunchtime activities taking place between 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. in the Student Development centre, Room S244. ...



    Columbia Student Wins Entrepreneur Contest

    Columbia student George Oni, a senior from Nigeria, was one of six winners in a provincial high school entrepreneurship contest.

    His idea of KEMIES, “a range of apparel products that are interchangeable and can be customized,” generated a great deal of interest and earned him a spot in the finals. He was then named a contest winner after pitching his business plan to judges yesterday at Ontario’s Centres of Excellence Discovery conference, held in Toronto.

    As a contest winner, George was awarded with $750, to be used for his post-secondary studies. He was also given great business advice from all five judges.

    You can watch his video pitch here.

    Congratulations George! ...



    JMS Transition Week

    Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) students are getting a glimpse into their high school lives as they participate in transition to Grade 9 week.

    Throughout the week, JMS students will spend their mornings at Ainsliewood, touring the facilities and meeting teachers and staff. They will also meet with their future Guidance Counsellors who will introduce them to the academic and extracurricular programs available to senior students. In addition, JMS students will attend time management workshops and visit high school classes.

    Transition week gives our junior students an accurate overview of the programs and expectations of high school. JMS students enjoy the experience as it prepares them for success in a new learning environment. ...



    FAME 2013: One Tribe

    One tribe, one time, one planet, one race

    Last night, Columbia had the pleasure of hosting FAME 2013 -the Ferreria Annual Mural Expo, a youth mural directed by Mr. Roger Ferreira. Held in the Living Wall Lounge, this evening of art and culture was dedicated to honouring the unity of human kind.

    Students from schools in the Westdale area including Westdale High School, St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Prince Philip Elementary School and Columbia participated in the project and were challenged to produce an original art piece that reflected this year’s theme; “One Tribe,” inspired by the Black Eyed Peas song.

    The art of each student beautifully reflected the night’s theme. In presenting their work, students explained their designs and the powerful messages and meanings they hoped their piece conveyed;

    “No matter who you are, we’re all the same, we’re all brothers and sisters.”
    “People are of different cultures and colours and we should accept them.”
    “We’re all the same. We should look at the world in a different way.”

    The presentations were followed by a reception that allowed the student artists to interact with one another and respond to questions from peers and spectators.

    The FAME expo was initially designed as a onetime event to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Stewart Memorial Church, an important institution for Hamilton’s African community. Mr. Ferreria has continued the tradition as he believes it is a great way “to promote art in our schools and to foster a sense of camaraderie.” He also believes that this meaningful art can be used “to change society for the better” and is a wonderful way of producing “a unique community mural.”

    Thank you to Mr. Ferreria or his great work in organizing and hosting the event. Thank you also to Ms. Bobbi and all the students and spectators who attended the event.

    All murals can be viewed by visiting our Facebook page. ...



    Columbia offers an “outstanding intramural program”

    “Promoting fun, active participation for all”

    For the 10th consecutive year, Columbia International College has been recognized for its dynamic intramural sports program.

    CIRA Ontario – the Canadian Intramural Recreation Association of Ontario – has awarded Columbia with an Outstanding Intramural Achievement Award for its exceptional intramural/recreation program in 2012-2013. The award was given to forty-four schools across Ontario that “promote and develop active living, healthy lifestyles and personal growth through intramural and recreational programs within the education and recreation communities.” Mr. Freddy Velazquez was also recognized for having a lead role in organizing the school’s intramural and recreational programs.

    Along with offering students many opportunities to engage in meaningful and fun activities, Columbia’s extensive intramural program teaches students character qualities such as leadership, teamwork, inclusiveness and respect.

    Congratulations Columbia! ...



    Admission offers from Schulich continue

    Columbia students attending the Schulich School of Business will have no trouble finding a familiar face when they begin their studies this September. A handful of Columbia graduates are receiving early admission offers from York University’s prestigious business school, the most recent being graduate Rosemary Kamau.

    Upon learning of her acceptance to Schulich, Rosemary was ecstatic, although she admits that at first, she “did not think the offer was real.” After reading her letter numerous times, she did what most students do; she phoned her mom and her friends. For Rosemary, acceptance to Schulich was much more than just an offer of admission: “It represents more to me and showed me what I can achieve.” Here is what she had to say about her Columbia experience:

    What does Columbia mean to you?
    • When I think of Columbia, I think of a good education and the diversity of the school. I have met people from around the world who have taught me new things, introduced her to new food, and expanded my cultural knowledge.

    What was your greatest fear before coming to Columbia?
    • I was very nervous about coming here. I did not know anyone in Canada and knew it would be hard leaving my mom, family, and friends. My mom is my number one supporter and I knew it would be very difficult being apart from her.

    How did you overcome this fear and what advice would you give future students?
    • I overcame this by forcing myself to participate in school life, like Student Council, and joined many clubs. I would tell others in a similar position to make friends with other people and stay close to your family and support system.

    Has attending Columbia and being in Canada changed you?
    • Yes, it has made me more independent and has taught me how to be more responsible. I have to learn how to make good decisions on my own and accept the consequences of these decisions.

    What CIC event has been most memorable to you?
    • This year’s Prom, it was beautiful and magical. It made me feel like I was living the true American dream.

    In addition to Schulich, Rosemary has also received admission offers from Carleton University, McMaster University, and Ryerson University with scholarships totaling $29,000.

    Congratulations Rosemary, we wish you the best of luck in university! ...



    April's ESL Award Winners

    April’s ESL awards were presented to 4 outstanding students during yesterday’s ESL awards ceremony. Mr. Galea, ESL department head, and Ms. Baker, Head of Senior School, presented each student with a medal and a certificate of distinction for receiving the highest mark in their respective courses. This month’s winners are:
    • Pablo Li (ESLBO)
    • Mengzi Jiang (ESLCO)
    • Deliequjie Deliequjie (ESLDO)
    • Weikai Gu (EOA4Z)


    Secrets to Success
    What does it take to become an ESL top achiever? Here are some tips from the winners:

    Pablo (ESLBO) - “Review work day and night and listen carefully in class.”
    Mengzi (ESLCO) - “Focus on what the teachers say and review what I have learned every day.”
    Deliequjie (ESLDO) – “Study very hard and read English books.”
    Weikai (EOA4Z) – “We should finish our homework on time every day, speak and practice more.”

    Their study methods may seem simple but they have proven to be effective especially for Pablo, Mengzi, and Weikai who have achieved the highest marks in their courses for the second consecutive month. Mr. Galea and Ms. Baker congratulated the students for their efforts and encouraged them to continue their good work.

    Congratulations to all winners! ...



    The Perfect Score

    Yu Meng Yang is a recent Columbia graduate who caught the attention of university recruiters, parents, and fellow classmates when she was recognized for her academic excellence during May’s graduation ceremony. Her academic achievements go unrivaled as she is the only student to have received a final mark of 100% in eight senior level classes.

    Yu Meng’s strong academic record earned her much praise, and many awards, at last week’s graduation ceremony. Along with being awarded with the prestigious Governor General’s Medal, Yu Meng was also given the Principal’s Scholarship and three top subject prizes for Arts, Business, and Mathematics. She has received numerous admission offers, and scholarships, from some of Canada's best universities, including Western University, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Carleton University, University of Ottawa, and Ryerson University. She has accepted an offer from the University of British Columbia and will be entering their Commerce program in the fall.

    She is a dedicated worker who is committed to her studies and the local community. During her time at Columbia, she raised the academic bar and completed 70 hours of community service by participating in community events such as Walk for ALS, Hamilton’s Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Road to Hope Marathon.

    Congratulations Yu Meng! We wish you the best of luck in university. ...



    Class of 2013: Leaders of Tomorrow

    Friday, May 10th was an exciting and emotional day for the graduating students of Columbia International College. While they were eager to receive their diplomas, they would also be saying goodbye to their classmates and teachers to begin a new chapter of their lives. To sum up their unique high school experience, Malak El Allaki and Abdul Wahab were chosen to be the voice of their peers during the graduation ceremony.

    Valedictory Address
    Malak El Allaki is known to be a leader in the school community and was voted by her peers to be this year’s Valedictorian. She delivered a smart, witty, and optimistic Valedictory address that showed her charismatic personality and immediately captured the audience’s attention. In her speech, she reminisced about beginning her studies at Columbia and her initial fears about coming to a foreign place. Thanks to the unique opportunities Columbia provided, she quickly felt at home and made friends with people from all over the world.

    She took time to remind her fellow classmates that “they are all unique in special ways” and encouraged them to follow their dreams and their passion as they will be the “future leaders of the world.” Malak’s final statement; “I believe in all of us and in 10-20 years from now, we will be the heroes and we will be the ones inspiring all;” brought the crowd to their feet and her earned a much deserved standing ovation.

    Vote of Thanks
    As an active member of the school body and the local community, Abdul Wahab was selected to deliver the Vote of Thanks. Students related to his sincere and humble words as he described a style of learning and a system of Total Care® that is offered exclusively by Columbia.

    Wahab expressed “an enormous thank you” to the entire CIC staff and support team that instilled him, and his peers with “the attitude to strive for success.” He described how this support team united students and allowed them to overcome the toughest challenges and the most difficult barriers. After expressing his gratitude to Columbia for providing him with unmatched opportunities, he thanked all departments and staff for “making [students] successful.”

    Thank you and congratulations to Malak and Abdul! ...



    CIC’s 34th Graduating Class; Largest in Ontario

    HAMILTON, ONTARIO - May 15, 2013 - On Friday, May 10, Columbia International College celebrated its 34th graduation ceremony, the largest for the school and the largest in the province of Ontario with 537 graduates.

    Held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, the afternoon ceremony was attended by over 200 guests, including parents, alumni, and special delegations. Canadian post-secondary institutions were also represented as Deans, Directors, and faculty members of prominent universities were on hand to present diplomas to graduates;
    • Brock University
    • University of Guelph
    • McMaster University
    • University of Toronto (St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough campuses)
    • University of Waterloo
    • Western University
    • York University

    Dr. Ian Goulden, Dean, Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo and Mr. Richard Levin, Executive Director, Enrolment Services and University Registrar, University of Toronto (St. George), served as the event’s keynote speakers and delivered encouraging and inspiring advice for all students. Goulden spoke of the reputation Columbia students hold at his institution and informed those in attendance that “there are more students entering [Waterloo] from Columbia than from any other school in the world” (a statement reiterated by Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrollment Service, University of Toronto, Mississauga).

    The afternoon ceremony followed a morning reception for parents and dignitaries that introduced them to the economic opportunities available in the city of Hamilton. Reception guests of honour included Hamilton Mayor, Bob Bratina, who thanked Columbia’s Executive Director, Clement Chan, for his educational concept which he stated was “a true jewel in Hamilton’s educational community.”Hamilton’s Director of Economic Development and Real Estate Division, Neil Everson also addressed parents, highlighting the economic development and economic growth of the City.

    The reception and ceremony introduced community members and university representatives to the high caliber students who study at Columbia (over 60% of which are Ontario scholars) and showcased their involvement in the Hamilton community, earning 26,867 community service hours. Columbia graduates are known to attend some of Canada’s best schools; York University and its Schulich School of Business, University of Waterloo, Western University and its Ivey School of Business, University of British Columbia, Queen’s University, McGill University, University of Toronto; and American Ivy League universities including Columbia University. ...



    May grad reflects on studying at Columbia

    During last week’s Graduation Reception, grade 12 student, Rowa El-Tohami, reflected on her time spent in Hamilton and spoke to parents and community members about her journey at Columbia.

    Rowa, a top achiever at Columbia, finished her high school career with an overall average close to 95%, nearly 100 hours of community service, and an impressive amount of university offers, including one from Columbia University in New York. She is a dedicated student and credits her accomplishments to the Total Care Educational System®.

    Rowa described her time at Columbia as the perfect “stepping stone” to achieving her dreams. Along with being academically challenging, she believes Columbia provided unparalleled opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and become an active member of student life. Above all, Rowa praised the teaching and support staff, including Mr. Susin, Ms. Sophia, Mr. John, and Ms Terra, for their dedication to student success; “they were the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life.”

    She concluded by thanking the Hamilton community for being the “kindest and most accepting people” she has had the pleasure of meeting. Rowa said she was thankful for the relationships she has formed and will use the education and skills she acquired at Columbia to make a difference in the world.

    Columbia thanks Rowa for her insights and wishes her all the best in her future endeavors! ...



    Mayor addresses parents of May graduates

    On Friday, May 10th, Columbia had the pleasure of hosting a graduation reception for the parents of May graduates, guests, and special delegations.

    The morning reception welcomed parents to Columbia and introduced them to the economic opportunities available in the City of Hamilton. It also featured a number of guest speakers who spoke about Columbia’s role in Hamilton. After a brief introduction by Principal, Ron Rambarran, Hamilton’s Mayor, Bob Bratina, addressed the crowd and greeted the visiting delegates in Mandarin. He spoke of the economic development of the city and thanked Columbia’s Executive Director, Clement Chan, for his educational concept which he believed is “a true jewel in Hamilton’s educational community.”

    Hamilton’s Director of Economic Development and Real Estate Division, Neil Everson was also present to highlight the economic growth of the city. He encouraged investing in Hamilton as it has a higher rate of economic diversity than some of the nation’s largest cities including Toronto and Vancouver. He was also extremely proud of the city’s unemployment rate, 6.1%, which is the lowest in Ontario. Parents and guests were later given the opportunity to ask both Mayor Bratina and Mr. Everson questions about the city and its educational facilities.

    An informal brunch followed the reception and featured cuisine from the various regions such as Asian, Canadian, and Mediterranean dishes.

    On behalf of Columbia, we would like to thank Mayor Bratina and Mr. Everson for being our guests of honour, as well as all the parents and delegates who attended the reception.

    Thank you also to Sodexo and Chef Steven for preparing a delicious brunch and thank you to the Maintenance, Student Development and Liaison teams for their roles in organizing the reception. ...



    Columbia Student Rewarded for Volunteerism

    Columbia is proud to announce that one of our students has been recognized for her outstanding contribution to her local community. Krystal Sade Reynolds, a grade 12 student, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship (to be used for her post-secondary education) for her “good humanitarian work” in and around her hometown of Kingston, Jamaica.

    During the Christmas break, Krystal returned to Jamaica and spent her time volunteering with several key community groups. Reading with children at a local school, preparing meals for the homeless, and working with the elderly are among the ways she served her community. In Kingston, Krystal is known for her benevolence and has been referred to as “the girl with the heart of gold” by the Jamaican Gleaner news. She caught the public’s attention a number of years ago when she first teamed up with Jamaica’s Salvation Army to deliver Christmas meals to the city’s less fortunate and has been profiled several times by local news outlets.

    To reward her efforts, the I.M.G. Foundation, a nongovernmental organization in Jamaica, has rewarded her with a scholarship so she can pursue her education and continue serving the less fortunate.

    Krystal has also been actively involved in Columbia’s school community -acting as a Prefect and Tutor- and has dedicated her time to helping her peers. The Character Building program has enhanced her natural leadership skills and allowed her to remain focused on helping others by volunteering at local community service events.

    We are proud of the dedication and commitment Krystal has shown and are certain she will continue make a difference in the lives of others by acting as a responsible global citizen.
    ...



    Students spring into action

    This past weekend 30 Columbia students participated in the Hamilton Spring Sprint, a local fundraising event for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada.

    Along with handing out water, the student volunteers created a cheer squad and were instrumental in motivating those in attendance. The event’s Volunteer Facilitator, Ms. Ingrid Exner, credited our students with “inspiring the runners, walkers, survivors, families and friends” who participated in, and attended, the event. The Spring Sprint educated students on the issues relating to brain tumor research and allowed them to showcase their character to the Hamilton community.    

    Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada
    The Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by brain tumors. Through research, the Foundation gives hope to millions of patients, survivors, and their families, and is committed to finding a cure. For more information, visit their website.

    Thank you to all students who participated in the Hamilton Spring Sprint! ...



    UC IRVINE visits Columbia

    Columbia graduates, known for their academic excellence and extracurricular involvement, are sought after by universities around the world. As a result, some of the world’s best universities visit Columbia to meet and recruit students.

    Recently, a representative from the University of California’s Irvine campus visited Columbia to speak with students about pursing their post-secondary education south of the border. UC Irvine offers top-rated research programs in diverse fields including Biological Sciences, Engineering, Nursing and many more.  The university further welcomes students from over 100 countries and offers unique scholarships and programs to ensure its students fulfill their academic goals. Earlier this year, Times Higher Education ranked UC Irvine as the 4th best school in the world, and 1st in the U.S., on its list of the best universities under 50.

    More Information
    Students interested in attending UCI should speak with their University Placement Counsellor in Room 109. Detailed information about admissions, academic programs and scholarships at UCI can be found by visiting their website. ...



    Columbia Students Fight Hunger

    What is shaped like a heart and weighs 3300 lbs? The donations from Columbia’s Homeroom Food Drive!

    On April 30th, members of Sodexo’s and Columbia’s staff gathered in the Student Café to celebrate the results of the school’s Homeroom Food Drive, held from March 8th - 19th. The event, organized by Mr. Lewis’ GPP 30 Leadership and Peer Support Class, challenged students to donate hundreds of non-perishable food items to restock the shelves at the Hamilton Food Bank. Students not only surpassed their goal of donating 1600 lbs (last year’s total), they doubled it by bringing in 3300 lbs of non-perishable food items.

    Mr. Frederick, Sodexo’s Food Services Director at Columbia, was impressed by the quantity and quality of contributions the students made. He and Mr. Lewis agreed that “the students were the driving force” behind the food drive and that their generosity and dedication to ending hunger is admirable. The food drive highlighted the issue of hunger in local communities and taught students the importance of giving back to those in need.

    Homeroom Contest Winner
    Congratulations to Mr. Koo’s class for winning the homeroom contest. They donated 640lbs pounds of non-perishable food items and received a pizza party for their contributions.

    Thank you to Sodexo and Columbia’s staff and students for working hard to make a difference in the local community. ...



    Introducing Columbia’s New Executive Chef

    Columbia is pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member, Steven Khor - Sodexo’s new Executive Chef.

    As a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Chef de Cuisine, Steven understands the importance of healthy living and is committed to providing the highest quality of food and service to Columbia.

    Before joining Columbia, Steven worked at prestigious hotels like The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, The Sheraton Centre Hotel, The Shangri-la International Hotel - Singapore, The Plaza Hotel, New York City, fine dining restaurants and with healthcare units. Steven was thrilled to join the Sodexo team and is working hard to ensure that students and staff eat well; “My goal at CIC is to create a diverse set of healthy, delicious and nutritious meals specifically to students offering global flavours.”

    His international experience has helped him fuse together culinary tastes, creating delicious meals for students and staff to enjoy. Steven has also played a large role in implementing the Eat Smart programs in Ontario and has been associated with culinary training at a number of educational institutions.

    Welcome to Columbia Steven! We’re delighted to have you here. ...



    Prom 2013

    April 26th was a night of glitz of glamour for Columbia’s graduating students; they walked down the red carpet, posed for photos in their evening gowns and suits, and were given the Hollywood treatment.

    The reason? The 2013 graduation dinner and dance, commonly referred to as Prom! The evening is a custom in North America that gives students the opportunity to celebrate the end of their high school careers.

    Held at the Grand Olympia Banquet Hall, this year’s Prom was bigger and better than ever. The Hollywood theme captivated prom-goers who were impressed by the life-sized Oscar statuettes and other movie memorabilia.
    Students dined on a delicious meal, danced the night away, and created memories that will last a lifetime. One of the evening’s highlights was the crowning of Prom Queen and King. This year, students elected Rose Lu as Prom Queen, and Nihal Singh as Prom King. After being crowned, the pair shared a dance and thanked their classmates for giving them their beloved titles.

    We would like to thank the staff of the Grand Olympia for the great service and wonderful meal. Thank you also to Student Development for making this year’s prom a truly unforgettable experience. A special thank you to Mr. Rob for capturing all of the great moments of the night. ...



    UTM and Columbia sign University Partnership Agreement

    Recognizing Excellence:  Signed University Partnership agreement with U of T creates 10 scholarships and bestows special privileges exclusively for CIC graduates

    HAMILTON, ONTARIO: Columbia International College signed a partnership agreement with the University of Toronto Mississauga on April 10th, 2013.

    Highlights of the agreement include:
    • Conditional admission to UTM for Columbia students at time of application
    • 10 admission scholarships, of $2000 each, awarded annually in August to the top ten Columbia graduates who apply, receive admission, and enroll at UTM for the September semester

    In a ceremony at UTM, Columbia’s Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, and Principal, Mr. Ron Rambarran, along with UTM’s Vice-President and Principal, Dr. Deep Saini, signed a University Partnership Agreement, which gives Columbia International College graduates exclusive scholarships – the first agreement in the history of University of Toronto Mississauga to grant exclusive scholarships to a single school.

    Thanks to the Partnership Agreement with University of Toronto Mississauga, Columbia International College is now partnered with 8 top ranking Canadian universities, each agreeing to offer exclusive scholarships and special privileges to our graduates.

    Ms. Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrollment Management at UTM said “there are no other schools in Canada where we get more students in any one year than Columbia International College.”

    The U of T Partnership Agreement is in recognition of the consistently high quality of CIC graduates entering and continuing their education at the university.

    Dr. Saini said the “tailor made scholarships” compliment Columbia’s “high quality students who have gained a reputation for excellence in their post-secondary studies at UTM.” He also declared that “Columbia students graduate faster than the average students at UTM.” He further believes UTM’s “innovative culture and young energy” reflects that of Columbia.

    The agreement formalizes the longstanding relationship of the two institutions, and reflects the mutual trust, honesty and confidence each school has for one another. ...



    2013 Winter Semester Awards Ceremony

    Columbia rolled out the red carpet yesterday to honour the outstanding achievers of the 2013 winter semester.

    During the annual Awards Ceremony, over 50 students were recognized for their outstanding participation in after-school clubs, activities, athletics and contributions to community service events. All students were congratulated for their achievements by Mrs. Cheeranjie, Director of Student Development and the ceremony’s host, and were encouraged to continue participating in school activates. Honourable mentions go to Omonosifon Samuel Udo who received the Excellence in Service Award for completing over 125 hours of community service and Ugonwa Chimoa Echendu and Ikechukwu Frank Mbala who were named Female and Male Athletes of the Year.

    Along with promoting inclusiveness and respect, the Awards Ceremony highlights the diversity of the student body and encourages school spirit. Extra-curricular activities play a large role in student life at Columbia. Students are encouraged to partake in such activities to ensure they develop a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
    Congratulations to all award winners!

    Thank you to Ms. Cheeranjie and the entire Student Development team for organizing this year’s Awards Ceremony. ...



    JMS Production of Mary Poppins

    On April 22nd and 23rd Columbia’s Junior Middle School (JMS) delighted audiences with their production of Mary Poppins, a classic Disney musical.

    This year’s cast was spectacular and featured outstanding lead and supporting performance by students in grades 7-12. Spoon Full of Sugar, Supercalifragilistic, Chim Chim Cher-ee, Let’s Go Fly a Kite were among the great musical numbers performed by the dynamic and talented cast.
    Cast members included:
    Elizaveta Ustinova - Mary Poppins
    Guo (Jack) Shen Chen – Bert
    Zeng (Hana) Jin Han – Jane
    Poungvarin (Stang) Navabhum – Michael
    Polina Stegnienko – Mrs. Banks
    Ruslan Nikolaev – Mr. Banks

    Produced by Mrs. Garell-Teti, Mrs. Willision, Mr. Lawlis and Mrs. Wilkinson, the performance introduced students to famous characters in North American popular culture and familiarized them with one of the most successful musicals of all time.
    Admission to the show was free, however students and guests were asked to donate $2 at the door in support of the JMS Ecuador fund.

    Thank you to the entire cast and crew for your role in this year’s production. ...



    Spring Show 2013

    On Friday, April 19th students rushed to the Ainsliewood gym to get a front row seat to the much anticipated Spring Show.

    The hour long event featured stellar solo, duet, and group performances that mixed modern and classic elements and captured the audience’s attention. There was singing, dancing and acting from our junior and senior students, all of which resulted in roaring applause and cheers from their peers.

    The MC’s of the show - Colette Keung and Abdul Wahab– were just as entertaining as the performers themselves. They communicated with the audience and revealed their talents in a few short impromptu performance.

    As an annual tradition at Columbia, the Spring Show showcases the diverse talents of the student body and allows students to display their artistic skills.

    Thank you to all those who participated in, and organized this year’s Spring Show. Thank you also to Mr. Lawlis and his vocal class for closing the show! 
    ...



    ESL Awards: March Winners View What links here Edit Outline

    In a special ceremony last week, four ESL students were honoured for their outstanding academic achievement. Each student was presented with a certificate of distinction and a medal for their hard work and dedication in their ESL courses. Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head and Mr. Rambarran, Principal, attended the ceremony and were extremely proud of the progress the students have shown over the past few weeks. The winners were:
    ESLAO: Li, Pablo
    ESLBO: Jiang, Mengzi
    ESLCO-M: Gu, Weikai
    ESLDO-L: You, Zi


    Secrets to Success
    ESL students work hard to develop and master their English language skills. This is what they said helped them excel in their respective courses;
    Li, Pablo (ESLAO) - “Listening to teachers and studying hard at night in residence.”
    Jiang, Mengzi (ESLBO) -“Reviewing my work and studying hard helped me.”
    Gu, Weikai (ESLCO) - “Working on my vocabulary and speaking English inside and outside of class.”
    You, Zi (ESLDO) - “Practicing many exercises and reviewing my work.”

    Congratulations to March’s winners! ...



    Student Walk-a-thon

    On Thursday, April 11th, Columbia students participated in a Walk-a-thon to raise awareness and money for McMaster’s Children Hospital.

    Students walked 5km from Hamilton’s Bayfront Park to the Ainsliewood building to show support for Canada’s top pediatric health science centre. Along with raising awareness for this vital institution, students learned what it means to give back to the local community and how their actions will have a positive impact on the lives of children living in Hamilton, and its neighbouring communities.

    Thank you to Ms. Sherry for organizing the event and thank you to those students and staff who participated.

    The Walk-a-thon, causal days, and athletic tournaments, are some of the many ways Columbia students exemplify good character while supporting Hamilton’s local organizations. ...



    Schulich’s newest student

    Another Columbia student is celebrating after receiving an early admission offer from York University’s Schulich School of Business. Tiga Huang, is the second Columbia student to receive an early admission offer from the prestigious business school and was overjoyed by the news.

    As a top student with an impressive academic and extracurricular record, Tiga was shocked when he learned he had been accepted to his first rated school. Like most other students, he “screamed and called his mom” upon confirming the news. Participating in school activities and acting as the school’s current Vice-President have motivated and encouraged him to become an influential leader in the school and community. This involvement no doubt attracted Schulich recruiters who seek well rounded students with diverse interests.

    Tiga is excited to begin his post-secondary studies at Schulich but will miss all the friends he has met over the past few years at Columbia. These people have given him an “insight into different cultures and inspired [him] to work overseas in the future.” He thanks Columbia for giving him the opportunity to participate in unique experiences and for making him realize his academic potentials.

    Congratulations Tiga! We wish you the best of luck in your business career ...



    A Shoe in to Schulich

    Universities have begun sending out early acceptance letters, many of which are reaching the students here at Columbia. Western, McGill, York and Queen’s are among the universities that have offered early admission to our students. This exciting news has thrilled both students and staff who are eager to share the information with family and friends.

    Malak El Allaki is one of the many graduating students who received an early admission offer from York University’s  Schulich School of Business. The offer was warmly welcomed by Malak who “read the letter three times because [she] didn’t believe it.” After realizing that her hard work paid off, she said she called everyone she know and celebrated over dinner with some friends.

    For Malak early acceptance to Schulich represents academic and personal victory. When she began her education at Columbia 2 years ago, one of her greatest fears was failing math because it was one of her weaker subjects. She struggled at first, but received 94% on her last math test and thanks Columbia’s teachers, tutors, house parents and support staff for helping and guiding her thorough difficult times. Malak said this large support system “was what made all the difference” and what allowed her to reach her full potential.

    With her high school career merely weeks away from being completed, and her acceptance to Schulich, Malak is on her way to realizing her dream of becoming a financial analyst for United Nations. 

    Congratulations to Malak on her early acceptance! We wish you all the best in university and in your future endeavors. ...



    Columbia’s students strike a pose

    Flashing lights, deafening screams, and colourful couture filled the Ainsliewood Gym yesterday as Columbia held one of its most popular events - an International Fashion Show.
    With the gym transformed into a luxurious red carpet runway, students and members of staff strutted through the gym to parade their best cultural looks. As students made their way down the runway, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause, showing their support for both their home country, and their peers.  Introducing the models, their country of origin, and their attire were the event’s charming and energetic hosts, students Josh and Sherry, whose witty remarks kept the audience entertained throughout the show. The models beamed with national pride and loved sharing the stage with their friends and classmates.
    The show highlighted some of the 72 nations represented at Columbia, including:
    • Australia
    • Albania
    • Cameroon
    • Canada
    • China
    • Congo
    • Egypt
    • United Kingdom
    • France
    • Ghana
    • Holland
    • Hungary
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Jamaica
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kenya
    • Korea
    • Liberia
    • Mexico
    • Morocco
    • Niger
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Rwanda
    • Scotland
    • South Africa
    • Sri Lanka
    • Tanzania
    • Turkey
    • Trinidad & Tobago
    • U.S.A
    • Venezuela
    • Vietnam


    Created to celebrate the diversity of the school, the Fashion Show gave students the opportunity to represent their country by modeling their national clothing. It also highlighted the inclusiveness and respect that all members of the school community show for one another.
    Thank you to Ms. Bobbi, Mr. David, and the entire Student Development team for organizing the show. We would also like to thank the set-up crew, maintenance, and the student volunteers for helping making the show a tremendous success. ...



    Course Confirmation Fair

    Yesterday, Columbia Guidance Department held a Course Confirmation Fair in the Ainsliewood Gym and the Living Wall Lounge. New and returning students attended the fair to learn about their academic options in the upcoming semesters. Teachers from each academic department were on hand to discuss individual courses and answer questions from students.
    Thank you to all the Guidance Department for hosting another successful fair!

    Columbia offers over 50 academic courses to junior and senior students designed to help students achieve their full academic potential. ...



    Korean Cuisine

    Last Thursday, March 28th, Columbia held its monthly International Cuisine Series dinner which celebrated the culture and diversity of Korea. Hosted and organized by Student Development, student volunteers, and Sodexo, the dinner gave students the opportunity to learn about every aspect of Korean culture.

    The dinner, held in the Student Café, mixed traditional Korean customs with popular culture; student volunteers wore hanboks - traditional Korean clothing- and decorated the tables with images of prominent Korean historical and modern figures and events. About 120 guests dined on a variety of traditional spicy and savory delicacies that included:
    • Seaweed Soup
    • Kimchee Slaw
    • Tteokbokki-Spicy Stir-fried Rice Cakes)
    • GalbiGui _ beef Short Ribs
    • Tak Toritang - Spicy Chicken & Potato Stew
    • Rice
    • Teriyaki Beef Bento Sushi
    • Sikhye-Barley Rice Beverage
    • Chocolate tart
    • Punch Fountain

    The International Cuisine Series dinner allows students to learn and experience a new culture through activities and cuisine. In attending the cuisine, students are given a new found respect for the diversity at Columbia and learn how important it is to care for all cultures in the school.
    Thank you to the Student Development team, Sodexo and all the student volunteers for making this event possible.

    Next month’s feature: Middle East ...



    Active April

    Spring has finally sprung in Ontario, bringing sunshine and warm weather. The season, which symbolizes renewal, is welcomed by Canadians as it re-energizes the population after a long winter season. Columbia'€™s April event calendar reflects this rejuvenated spirit as the month is packed with activities that are guaranteed to delight all students. April - 1st: Easter Monday - 2nd: Table Tennis Tournament - 4th: Diversity Day Fashion Show - 5th: Varsity Boys Outdoor Soccer Tournament, Mapleview Mall Shopping Trip - 6th: Blue Jays Game, Leadership Retreat - 8th-12th: Give a Hand Week - 10th: McMaster Walk-A-Thon - 11th: Literacy Test - 12th: Coffee House - 13th: Hamilton Victory Gardens (Volunteer Event) - 15th-19th: Ice Cream with a Heart Week - 19th: Spring Show - 20th: Webster'€™s Falls Hike - 22nd: Mary Poppins JMS Production - 24th: Awards Ceremony - 25th: International Cuisine Series: Middle East - 26th: Prom - 28th: Pine Hall Bird'€™s of Prey show - 29th: Leadership BBQ Students should visit the Student Development department in Room S244 to learn more about participating in this month's events. ...



    University of Exeter visits Columbia

    On March 18th, a University of Exeter representative, stopped by Columbia to talk to students about attending university in the United Kingdom. The university booth attracted many students to the Living Wall Lounge's Marketplace where students learned about the school's academic programs, their lively student life activities, admission requirements, and scholarship opportunities. Students were also given information on Exeter'€™s 3 campuses and its study abroad programs and partnerships which gives students the opportunity to study at some of the world’s leading institutions, including Canada's University of Toronto.

    About Exeter

    The University of Exeter is an international university and recruits top student from over 140 countries and is ranked within the top one percent of universities worldwide. Along with being one of the UK'€™s top 10 Universities, Exeter is recognized for its “first class education” and its commitment to developing student skills needed for a successful career.

    More Information

    Students interested in attending the University of Exeter, or other UK universities should make an appointment with Mr. John in UPO for more information.

    Thank you to Robin, Exeter’s university representative, for coming to Columbia and introducing our students to your school.

    ...



    March Break Events

    March Break Events

    Students across Ontario, and a few other provinces, only have a few more days left to enjoy some time off school as the end of March Break quickly approaches. Whether students chose to travel, visit family, or enjoy attractions around town, the winter break is welcomed as it allows them to recharge and relax before heading into exam season. Columbia is helping students get the most out of the week by organizing events to keep students entertained and offer them unique experiences. NBA games, volunteering for Mountain Kidz, and trips to Niagara Falls and Toronto were all included in Student Development’s March Break plans.

    For those students who are graduating, this week presents the perfect opportunity to explore their post-secondary options. The University Placement Office organized trips to several Ontario universities that held March Break open houses for high school students. Students visited Western University, the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, and Laurier University where they toured each campus, spoke with professors, and got their first taste of university life.

    We hope all students enjoy their remaining time off.  

    ...



    Columbia’s Students Eat Smart!

    Columbia’s Staff and Students Eat Smart!

    Last week, Columbia and its food services provider, Sodexo, were presented with three Eat Smart! - Awards of Excellence for providing outstanding food services in the Ainsliewood Cafe, the Ainsliewood Dining Hall, and its residences. The Eat Smart! workplace program is administered by the City of Hamilton's Public Health Services  and recognizes workplaces that provide "€œexceptional standards" in

    • healthy food choices,
    • food safety, and
    • supporting a smoke free Ontario.

    Columbia cares about the overall well-being of the school community and believes that healthy eating and good nutrition play key roles in the development and success of its staff and students. Sodexo and Columbia are committed to providing nutritious meals and are proud to have been recognized by the Eat Smart! program.

    Eat Smart!

    The Eat Smart! program is a provincial initiative that recognizes Ontario schools, workplaces and recreation centres for their outstanding commitment to five core standards:

    • Nutrition,
    • Food Safety,
    • 100% smoke-free environment,
    • Supportive environment, and
    • Healthy eating policy. 

    Along with promoting a healthy lifestyle, a main goal of the program is to reduce the number of food-borne illnesses and chronic disease in Ontario. To encourage healthy eating, Eat Smart! has partnered with the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Ontario Public Health Association. More information can be found by visiting the Eat Smart! website.

    ...



    Hoops for Heart 2013

    Fun, fairness and fitness were at the core of Columbia’s Hoops for Heart tournament yesterday. Hundreds of students and staff members participated in the Heart & Stroke foundation’s annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament to promote health education and social change. This fundraising event, which was held in the Ainsliewood gym, is popular across Canada and educates students on two important health issues; heart disease and strokes.

    The competition was intense, yet players amongst all three divisions showed great sportsmanship and comradery. Congratulations to this year’s top teams:

    Male Division
    3rd place – Dr. Newman and Mr. Kim
    2nd place – Mr. Lawlis
    1st place – Mr. Koo

    Co-Ed division
    3rd place – Mr. DeZoete and Mr. Koo
    2nd place – Mrs. Simpson
    1st place – Mr. Seo

    Female division
    2nd place – Mrs. George (math 2)
    1st place – Mrs. George (math 1)

    The ‘heart work’ of Columbia truly paid off as students raised over $3000 for the Heart & Stroke foundation while learning about exercise and healthy living. 

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Hoops for Heart tournament. A special thank you to Ms. Simpson, Mr. Freddy, and Mr. Erind for organizing the event and for their dedication to this cause. 

    To learn more about the Hoops for Heart and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, click here.

    ...



    Columbia Student Recognized as Top in the World

    Columbia International College students are among the best and brightest in the world, recognized for their academic excellence and their commitment to become responsible global citizens. This past June, a current Columbia student received one of the most prestigious international awards for academic excellence. Rowa El-Tohami, a grade 12 student, was named Top in the World after she achieved the highest exam score in the world for the Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Examination. The IGCSE – International General Certificate of Secondary Education- exam is offered in over70 subjects and is administered by the University of Cambridge International Examination. Along with being recognized by top educational institutions, it is highly valued by employers worldwide.

    About Rowa

    Rowa, a passionate and driven individual, came to Columbia to further her education. The social and political conditions in her home country of Sudan, encouraged her to immerse herself in an international environment so that she would be better equipped to “make a change” in the world. Due to its world-class Total Care® education system and diverse student population, Rowa felt Columbia would broaden her cultural perspective and provide her with unique experiences and skills that would allow her to be successful in the future. 

    Although she is the only student at Columbia currently from Sudan, she believes this is a positive thing as it has pushed her out of her comfort zone. Since moving to Canada and attending Columbia, Rowa says she has “learned a lot about [myself] and have become more independent and self-sufficient.” She is now an active member of the school community and holds roles with the Executive Student Leadership Team, the Prefects, and the Student Mentors.

    Writing the IGCSE Exam

    Preparing for the IGCSE exam was not difficult for Rowa. As she is very interested in sociology, she truly enjoyed studying for the exam and applying all the concepts she learned to real life scenarios. Rowa credits her success on the exam to her strong interest and strongly believes that “if you have passion and heart, and you love what you’re doing, success will follow.”

    Rowa wrote the IGCSE exam in June while she was attending her high school in Sudan. She received her results in mid-January which excited and surprised her; “I really love the subject but I never thought I’d get the highest in the world.” She also extremely proud that her accomplishment recognizes Sudan “for something good rather than all the negative issues the world usually associates with it.” She also hopes that her award will inspire others to try new things and leave their own comfort zones.

    Future Plans

    With only a few months left until graduation, Rowa is still weighing all her options. She plans to study Economics and Political Science in Canada or the United states and would like to attend Law school. These of course are just stepping stones to realizing her lifelong dream of becoming the first female President of Sudan. Rowa lives by the infamous Eric Thomas quote - “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath, you will be successful”- and we are certain that with her drive and passion, she will accomplish great things.

    More information regarding the Cambridge IGCSE exams can be found by visiting their website.

     

    ...



    Hunger Awareness

    This past weekend, Columbia students participated in World Vision Canada’s 30 Hour Famine, one of the school’s most popular Community Service events. Hundreds of students signed up to participate in this year’s famine to draw attention to the global pandemic and to contribute to ending world hunger.

    The event, which began on Friday, March 1st at 9:00 a.m. and ended the following day at 3:00 p.m., challenged students to fast for 30 hours and had them experience what millions suffer around the world; hunger. Although it was difficult for students to go without eating, Student Development organized many activities to keep them entertained and distracted. Students took part in educational workshops, played fun games and listened to guest speakers, all of which allowed them to reflect on the severity of world famine and practice character values such as fairness, caring and inclusiveness. Last year Columbia raised over $10,000 in support of World Vision and this year’s contributions will be announced later this week.

    Thank you to Sodexo for keeping our participants energized and refreshed by providing juice, water and tea throughout the event. Thank you to Student Development and all students for participating in the famine.

    World Vision …

    World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine began in 1971 to raise funds and awareness for the famine in Africa. The event has grown over the years and is now held in 15 countries worldwide including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more about the event and its impact visit famine.ca

    ...



    A Taste of Europe

    Austria, Ukraine, Spain, and Kazakhstan were among the many nations celebrated during last night'€™s European dinner. As the second International Cuisine Series dinner this month, staff and students gathered in the Student Cafe to indulge in European delicacies and honour the many different cultural traditions within the region. A number of traditional dishes were served, including:

    • Couscous salad
    • Pita bread with Baba Ghanouj & Hummus
    • Cream of Mushroom Soup
    • Paella
    • Spinach and Feta Perogies
    • Chicken Gorky
    • Country Ham Gratin
    • Beef Skewers
    • Chocolate Cake

    Throughout the evening, guests were treated to outstanding musical and vocal performances by Columbia students.  They also participated in fun and engaging games and took home some great prizes.

    Those in attendance agreed that the mouthwatering meal and unique entertainment has excited them for the next International Cuisine Series which will take place on March 28th and celebrate Korean culture!

    Thank you to the Student Development team and the student volunteers for organizing the dinner. Many thanks also to Sodexo for their hard work in preparing another great dinner.

     

    ...



    March Madness

    It’s March Madness at Columbia! This month students will be busier than ever as they try to keep up with all the amazing activities and events happening at school and in residence. Every interest from the arts to athletics will be covered, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate in an activity they love. The range of programs also encourages students to try something new and allows them to appreciate the school’s diversity.

    March:

    • 1st-2nd: 30 Hour Famine Community Service Event
    • 1st: Mapleview Mall Shopping Trip for YAA students
    • 3rd: Chilly Half Marathon Community Service Trip
    • 4th-5th: Orientation for New Students
    • 7th: Hoops for Heart - 3 on 3 Basketball tournament
    • 8th: Scrap Art Musical Performance
    • 9th-12th: Bark Lake Outdoor Adventure Trip
    • 11th-15: MARCH BREAK
    • 12th: Niagara Falls Trip for new students
    • 15th: Toronto Raptors Trip
    • 16th: CN Tower and Eaton Centre Trip
    • 19th: Staff vs. Students Volleyball Game
    • 21st: Indoor Soccer Tournament
    • 23rd: Bark Lake Leadership Retreat & Dave & Buster’s Trip
    • 23rd-24th: NCAA March Madness Basketball event
    • 28th: International Cuisine Series – Korean Dinner
    • 29th: Zacada Circus School Trip  
    • 30th: Easter Parade

    Students interested in any of the above activities or trips should visit the Student Development Department.

    ...



    International Student Population soars in Canada

    A new report issued by Citizenship and Immigration found that Canada is attracting a record number of international students. The report indicates that Canada welcomed over 100,000 international students, in 2012, the highest number to date.

    Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, attributes this surge in numbers to Canada’s renowned reputation as a welcoming and inclusive country that offers top quality educational programs; “Canada remains a destination of choice for international students because of the remarkable educational opportunities that exist in our world class institutions.”

    As the top private boarding and university preparatory school in Canada, Columbia attracts students from over 70 countries and has contributed to the nation’s growing reputation as the number one destination for international study.

    ...



    Town Hall 2013

    On Monday, February 11th Columbia held its second annual Town Hall meeting. The focus of this event was to celebrate the achievements within the school as well as the hard work and dedication of our talented staff.  The gathering also allowed all staff and faculty members to come together, reflect on the past year, and learn about the upcoming projects at Columbia.

    The meeting also served as a platform to discuss the progress and results of one of Columbia’s newest initiatives, the Celebrating Success Committee. This new internal committee seeks to recognize Columbia’s outstanding employees by allowing staff to nominate their co-workers who go above and beyond their duties and who have “contributed to the success of Columbia's overall missions, vision and values.” As a result, the committee created the Total Care® Awards which recognizes staff in 5 key areas. Congratulations to this year’s Total Care® Award recipients:

    • Team Player Award
      • Krist Hayes, Liaison Department
    • Volunteer Award
    • Lue Mahaffey, Student Development Department
    • Diana McMahon, Residence Staff
    • Diana Koutsokeris, Teaching Staff
    • Jane Liu, Liaison Department
    • Bert Susin, Teaching Staff
    • William Georgis, Maintenance Department
    • Customer Service Award
    • Innovator Award
    • Communicator Award
    • Outstanding Achievement Award :

    Another purpose of Town Hall is to acknowledge Columbia’s dynamic long serving staff. This year Long Service Awards were given to staff members who have been with Columbia for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years. Congratulations to the following Long Service Award Recipients:

    25 Years

    • Daniela Markuc, Department Head Mathematics

    20 Years

    • Denice Garell-Teti, Head of Junior Middle School
    • Diana Karan, Teacher

    15 Years

    • Migdalia Young, Housekeeping
    • Rosa Hernandez, Housekeeping
    • Nancy Baker, Head of Senior School
    • Elizabeth Nagy, Academic Office Manager
    • James Campbell, General Manager
    • Zhi-Yi Li, Residence

    10 Years

    • Renuka Arun, Department Head, Guidance
    • Rena George, Teacher
    • Kristina Nedelka, Teacher
    • Hualing Lei, Residence
    • Bocheng Hu, Residence
    • Alice Pivniceru, Department Head, English
    • Sandra Kaytor, Accounting
    • Andrea Malelu, Teacher
    • James Fitzpatrick, Teacher
    • Bonita Towell, Tutor
    • Natalia Inozemtseva, Teacher
    • Dana Pasca-Hossu, Teacher

    5 Years

    • Norma Rivera, Housekeeping
    • John Broer, Financial Manager
    • Colleen Forte, Support Staff
    • Rebecca Wellum Junior Middle School
    • Robert Archer, Maintenance
    • Loganathapillai Jeyanathan Tutor
    • Maria Sara Carranza, Housekeeping
    • Lin Lin, Residence
    • Lisa Ciofani, Accounting
    • Stefanie Billeci, Teacher
    • Diana Koutsokeris, Teacher
    • John O'Carroll, Tutor

    Such initiatives contribute to Columbia’s overall success and is one of the many factors that makes Columbia’s work environment unique. We would like to thank our dedicated staff members and faulty who proudly serve the school and who are committed to the values and mission of Columbia.

    ...



    University Fair Reviews Continue

    Universities across Canada continue to send in their reviews of the Columbia’s 2013 University Fair. The University of Windsor and Trent University visited Columbia last semester and were pleased to return for our Fair;

    "You did a great job. I had a lot of interest throughout the day, the lunch was great, and the assigned Student Ambassador was fantastic! Congratulations on an excellent event!"
    Tim Brunet
    Student Recruitment Officer
    University of Windsor


    "Thanks for hosting an excellent fair!  ... The new format was excellent … Everything went so smoothly."
    Andrea Maxie, M.Sc.
    International Enrolment Advisor
    Office of the Registrar/Trent International Program
    Trent University

    Our staff is proud of the positive feedback they have received and are working hard to deliver another memorable Fair next year. Thank you again to the University of Windsor and Trent University for visiting Columbia this semester.

    ...



    A Healthy Smile for a Bright Future

    On February 21st, Columbia held a Dental Health Day to teach its students about the importance of dental hygiene. Dr. Malisa Gambacorta from Dentistry on Dundurn held 5 information sessions for both JMS and senior students, teaching them about the basics of oral health.  The last presentation was also translated into Chinese by Ms. Grace for some of our ESL students. Students learned about proper brushing, and flossing techniques, cavities, tooth decay, plaque and tartar control, and gum disease. Dr. Gambarcorta answered student questions following the presentation and brought everyone toothpaste to ensure that their smiles stay bright and healthy.

    Thank you to Dr. Malisa Gambacorta and the team at Dentistry on Dundurn for spending the day with us here at Columbia. Thank you to Ms. Grace and the Medical Clinic for organizing this visit.
     

    ...



    Queen’s University surprises Columbia students

    During Columbia'€™s University Fair, Queen'€'s University surprised a few Columbia students by hand delivering their university acceptance letters.  Grade 12 student Abdul Wahab was among the lucky group of students to receive this very personal acceptance and said he never expected anything like this would happen. As a student leader, Wahab was assigned to the Queen's booth to assist their university representatives. He was €œshocked€ when he received his letter and thanks the university for giving him such a "memorable experience."

    Queen'€™s was one of five schools Wahab applied to for a Bachelor of Arts program. While still undecided about which school to attend, he admitted that €œ"Queen's is the best"€ and believes the University Fair is a great idea for graduating students€ because it allows students to ask questions and helps them narrow down their choices.

    Congratulations to Wahab and all students who have received early acceptance!

    ...



    University Fair Impresses Waterloo and Laurier

    The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University were among the school’s that participated in Columbia’s University Fair earlier this month. Both schools were popular among Columbia students who were attracted to the diverse academic programming and well-known reputation of each school. Students were also eager to learn about the designated entrance scholarships offered to Columbia students by the University of Waterloo as part of the University Partners® program. University representatives were overwhelmed by the student turnout and sent us these kind reviews:

    "The event was well run.  We were really popular so the day flew by... The welcome, the venue, the lunch and the overall coordination all seemed excellent."
    Tony Munro
    Manager, Strategic Partnerships
    Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment

    University of Waterloo


    "… I very much enjoyed your fair. It was very well organized and your students are wonderful!"
    Gloria Song
    Admissions
    Wilfrid Laurier University

    Thank you to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University for participating in the Fair and sending us such rave reviews.

    ...



    Total Care® Workshop

    Columbia’s ASEP Total Care® system strives to enhance and develop the skills of each student. Our program ensures that students are well looked after by our team of professionals who teach life skills and strategies that help students succeed in life. Yesterday, the Guidance Department held a Total Care® workshop on time management, an issue many students struggle with. Students who have found it challenging to manage their academic and social lives were invited to participate in the workshop to better maximize their time. Those who attended participated in a number of fun and competitive activities that highlighted proper time management techniques and offered important organization tips.

    This was the first of many themed workshops that will take place this semester. A follow-up time management workshop is scheduled for February 21st at 9:30 a.m. All students interested in attending should contact the Guidance office.

    ...



    JMS students presented with Top Mark Awards

    Earlier this week, some of Columbia’s younger students were recognized for going higher and achieving academic excellence during the Junior Middle School (JMS) awards ceremony. Six JMS students, who achieved the highest marks in individual subjects, were presented with a Class Honours certificate and a Columbia medal. Ms. Garell-Teti, head of JMS, and the JMS teachers, distributed the Top Mark Awards to the surprised and excited students.

    Congratulations to the following award winners:

    Antonio Valverde: Drama, Physical Education, Mathematics, Geography, French

    Josehpine Oduro-Yeboah: Language Arts, Library Media/Social Justice

    Min Jung Kim: Computers, French

    Paulina Terron Mondragon: Science

    Elizaveta Getmanskaya: Music

    Hitomi Kadowaki: Art

    Columbia’s unique JMS programming evaluates students on their ability to communicate, understand, and apply the knowledge and concepts taught in class. More information on JMS programming can be found by visiting our website

    ...



    Western University fond of Columbia’s University Fair

    Last week Columbia held its annual university fair and welcomed university representatives from around the country. With a record number of university participants this year, Columbia'€™s staff were overjoyed by the positive reviews and many thank you notes they received in the days following the fair. Comments from Western University and its colleges were among the first to be received by our UPO staff:

    "We are so appreciative of the hard work you’ve put into the organization and delivery of such an amazing university fair."

    Jessica Patterson & Rachel Campisi

    Admission and Liaison Officers

    Brescia University College at Western University

     

    "The fair was fantastic. Thanks to all your staff for their hard work."
    Brandon Csendes
    Admissions and Liaison Officer
    King's University College at Western University

     

    "It'€™s always a pleasure to visit CIC for the fair at such an exciting time for all your Grade 12 students."

    Carolyn Ford & Betty Chang

    International Recruitment Officers

    Western University

     

    We would like to thank all Western University representatives for attending our University Fair. It was a pleasure to welcome all schools to Columbia.

     

    Western University is one of Columbia’s University Partners® and is known for its world-class academic programs. In 2012, Columbia students received $217,800 in entrance scholarships from Western.

    ...



    ESL AWARDS CEREMONY

    Perseverance is among the key character traits Columbia instills in its students.  Last week, during this month’s ESL Awards Ceremony, 10 ESL students were recognized for displaying remarkable determination and excelling in academics.  A Certificate of Distinction and a special medal were presented to those ESL students who excelled in their respective classes and received top marks in December 2012 and January 2013.

    On hand to present the Certificates and medals were Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head, Ms. Baker, Senior School Head, Mr. Rambarran, Principal and Mr. Chan, Executive Director, all of whom were extremely proud, and impressed, with the students’ accomplishments. Mr. Galea and Mr. Chan applauded students for working hard and persevering in the challenging ESL classes. They were also confident that the students will continue to be successful in their future academic careers if they “keep working hard” and remain dedicated to their studies.

    Congratulations to the following winners;

    December 2012:

    RUAN YI JING - EOA4Z

    WU, TIAN HAO - ESLAO
    QIAO LEI - ESLBO
    ZHANG YU WEI - ESLCO
    CHU CHENHAN – ESLDO

     

    January 2013:

    LI LING YU - ESLAO
    LU YU ZHU - ESLBO
    TAN WENCONG - ESLBO
    SONG XIN YUE - ESLCO
    WANG LI JUN - ESLDO

    ...



    Lunar New Year Dinner @ Columbia

    On Thursday, February 7th, Columbia held its annual Lunar New Year dinner. Close to 200 students and staff members filled the Ainsliewood gym for the year'€™s first - and most popular - installment of Columbia'€™s International Cuisine Series. 

    Guests were eager to celebrate the Year of the Snake and signed up weeks in advance in order to secure their spot at the dinner. After admiring the beautiful decorations and listening to the opening remarks in both English and Chinese, guests feasted on traditional Chinese cuisine that featured variations of chicken, pork, fish and rice. Along with enjoying traditional food, guests were entertained throughout the evening and captivated by student performances. Singing, dancing, martial arts, and playing musical instruments were all ways in which students honoured their cultures and contributed to the memorable celebration.  

    The Lunar New Year is celebrated throughout the world and is a popular holiday in most Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea. In attending the Lunar New Year festivity gives students the opportunity to learn and experience a new culture through activities and cuisine. Students gain a new found respect for the school’s vast diversity and become culturally aware.

    Thank you to the Student Development staff for organizing this wonderful event. Thank you also to Sodexo for providing another delicious meal.  

    Visit our Facebook page for photos of this event and more! 

    ...



    Columbia’s 2013 University Fair

    University representatives from 22 of Canada’s top schools filled the Ainsliewood gym this morning as Columbia International College held its annual University Fair. Designed to provide students with information about academic programs and university life, the University Fair is unique to Columbia. Along with providing students a convenient location to access schools from across the country, the Fair presents the perfect opportunity for students to have all of their university related questions answered.

    The daylong event allowed students to roam each university’s booth before attending university presentations of their choice in the afternoon. This year’s University Fair was the largest in Columbia’s history with a record number of 22 universities in attendance. Having such a diverse group of school’s present left students with “valuable knowledge and lots of information,” as grade 12 student, Joe noticed. Columbia students were further impressed by the selection of academic programs offered and the number of universities in attendance.

    We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all university representatives who were present today. Thank you also to the UPO office, Student Development and our Student Leaders for their involvement in yet another successful event at Columbia!

    ...



    Lawrence Hill Visits Columbia

    In a special presentation this morning, students and staff welcomed award-winning Canadian author Lawrence Hill to Columbia. As part of the English Department’s Writers at Columbia program, Hill was invited to speak to grade 12 English students about his groundbreaking work which focuses on issues of race, identity, and belonging.

     After recounting his childhood and describing the struggles his parents faced living as an interracial couple in America during the 1950’s, he explained how their story influenced his writing. His parents –a black father and a white mother- moved to Toronto for a better life after facing many injustices due to the racial intolerance of the time. He believes it was his ambiguous and complex situation as an interracial child that allowed him to openly, and successfully, write about issues of race and identity. Hill spoke about his literary works, including his renowned novels The Book of Negroes, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. He then read two short excerpts from the latter which he described as “his own evolution of racial identity as a child, a teen, and a man.”

    Hill spent the last half hour of his visit answering student questions that touched on both his professional and personal life. He also graciously answered a few questions for us during an earlier interview. Here is what he had to say about becoming a writer and the advice he has for today’s youth;

    What influenced you to become a writer?

    • When I was a boy, my father made me write letter to get the things I wanted, such as a pet cat, permission to stay out late, and a new pair of running shoes.  This made me want to write effectively and persuasively, and once he got me going, I never stopped.

    What has been your greatest professional achievement?

    • First, turning myself into a committed, full-time writer. Second, writing The Book of Negroes. But I hope my greatest achievement yet will be the book that I am still writing.

    Why do you believe it is important to speak to young adults/students?

    • To inspire them, and to de-mystify the craft of writing. People who don’t write imagine that it is all inspiration and beauty. They don’t see that it is simple, hard work involving a whole lot of time spent alone in a chair. I like to speak to young people to help show them the way, to open up their eyes to the possibility that they too can become artists. But even if they don’t become artists, they can learn to enjoy the arts and pass along this love to their friends, family members and future children.

    What is the best piece of advice you were given when you were younger?

    • To rewrite my work over and over, until it shines.

    What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

    • Write as often as possible, make it real and make it sound natural. Don’t bother writing if you can’t be honest and true, in the things that you write. This holds true, even when you are creating entirely imaginary work. Write until it feels like second nature to you. And rewrite until the cows come home.

    Thank you to Lawrence Hill for visiting Columbia and sharing your stories with us. Thank you to Mrs. Pivniceru and the English Department for hosting another wonderful event.

    ...



    Columbia Celebrates Crime Stoppers 30th Anniversary

    Columbia believes in supporting community initiatives and deeply cares about the wellbeing of its students and those in the local community. On Thursday, January 24th Columbia International College hosted the Hamilton Crime Stoppers 30thAnniversary Evening of Appreciation event. The celebration honoured the organization’s greatest supporters including members of the Hamilton community, the Hamilton Police Services, and members of local print, radio and television media outlets.  Hamilton Mayor, Bob Bratina, and Hamilton Police Deputy Chief, Eric Girt, were among the evening’s 100 guests who were recognized for their efforts in supporting the organization and the Hamilton community. Numerous awards were handed out to key community supporters, including Columbia who received a Proud Community Sponsor award that recognized the school’s fundraising efforts.

    Columbia has supported Crime Stoppers for nearly 20 years and is closely connected to the organization as Principal, Ron Rambarran, has served as its Past Chair since 1995. Mr. Rambarran was honoured to host the event at Columbia and believed it was “very well received by all guests.” He also mentioned that the guests “were especially impressed with the facilities and professional appearance of Columbia – a complement to [the] amazing maintenance and housekeeping staff.” The school “is a proud supporter of the Hamilton community” and will continue to work with local organizations to teach its students the importance of community, inclusiveness, and integrity. 

    Crime Stoppers is a local organization that functions as an “investigative tool” and uses the resources of local police, members of the community and the media to solve crime and make the community a safer place. There are over 100 Crime Stoppers programs in Canada, Hamilton being the city in Ontario to develop a Crime Stoppers program. More information about the organization can be found by visiting their website.

    ...



    Fun Filled February

    February may be a short month but that doesn’t mean we'€™re cutting back on activities or events. With exciting events happening in school and in the school community, Columbia students have much to look forward to this month.

    February

    • 3rd: NBA Game- Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
    • 6th: University Fair  https://www.facebook.com/events/320131241441594/
    • 7th: Lawrence Hill visithttps://www.facebook.com/events/506040526115413/ , Individual meet and greet with a University of British Columbia representativehttps://www.facebook.com/events/318416518275720/, International Cuisine Series: Lunar New Year Dinner https://www.facebook.com/events/322452111198664/
    • 8th: Progress Reports & Mid-Term marks distributed
    • 9th: AHL Game -Hamilton Bulldogs vs. Texas Stars, Beasley Winter Carnival
    • 11th: Professional Development Day, Ski Trip
    • 14th: Valentine’s Day School Dance
    • 16th-18th: Hamilton’s Kids-Fest http://www.kids-fest.ca/Hamilton-Kidsfest.php
    • 18th: Family Day
    • 20th: Staff vs. Students Basketball Game
    • 23rd: Students volunteer at Wesley Urban Ministries
    • 27th: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) presentation
    • 28th: International Cuisine Series: European Dinner

     

    Students are encouraged to participate in these events as extracurricular activities are important parts of student life that provide unique experiences and foster personal growth. For more information regarding trips and events, please visit the Student Development department.

    ...



    Columbia Celebrates Crime Stoppers 30th Anniversary

    Columbia believes in supporting community initiatives and deeply cares about the wellbeing of its students and those in the local community. On Thursday, January 24th Columbia International College hosted the Hamilton Crime Stoppers 30thAnniversary Evening of Appreciation event. The celebration honoured the organization’s greatest supporters including members of the Hamilton community, the Hamilton Police Services, and members of local print, radio and television media outlets.  Hamilton Mayor, Bob Bratina, and Hamilton Police Deputy Chief, Eric Girt, were among the evening’s 100 guests who were recognized for their efforts in supporting the organization and the Hamilton community. Numerous awards were handed out to key community supporters, including Columbia who received a Proud Community Sponsor award that recognized the school’s fundraising efforts.

    Columbia has supported Crime Stoppers for nearly 20 years and is closely connected to the organization as Principal, Ron Rambarran, has served as its Past Chair since 1995. Mr. Rambarran was honoured to host the event at Columbia and believed it was “very well received by all guests.” He also mentioned that the guests “were especially impressed with the facilities and professional appearance of Columbia – a complement to [the] amazing maintenance and housekeeping staff.” The school “is a proud supporter of the Hamilton community” and will continue to work with local organizations to teach its students the importance of community, inclusiveness, and integrity.  

    Crime Stoppers is a local organization that functions as an “investigative tool” and uses the resources of local police, members of the community and the media to solve crime and make the community a safer place. There are over 100 Crime Stoppers programs in Canada, Hamilton being the city in Ontario to develop a Crime Stoppers program. More information about the organization can be found by visiting their website at http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com/.

    ...



    Artful Dodgers

    Loud cheers and banter filled the Ainsliewood gym yesterday afternoon as students and staff members faced off in an exciting and intense game of dodgeball. During period 3, groups of students made their way to the gym to catch a glimpse of the ongoing staff vs student rivalry. With bragging rights on the line, both sides were relentless in giving up any points and showed no mercy. The teachers claimed victory in the first two rounds but the students soon gained momentum and made defeat difficult for their opponents. The intensity from both sides was easily felt as players jumped, dodged, ran and threw the ball like their life depended on it. Although the game ended in a tie, both sides showed tremendous school spirit and teamwork. JMS and senior students also loved playing their teachers and are looking forward to the next student vs staff competition which will be held next month.

    Thank you to all students and staff who participated.

    ...



    SPIRIT WEEK Begins!

    Everyone’s favourite week is back! You can expect to see a lot of crazy costumes and unique accessories around Columbia this week as students and staff members show their spirit by participating in Spirit Week! All week long, students will have the opportunity to take part in themed days and will be challenged to dress according to the theme of the day;

    • Pajama Day – Monday, January 28th
    • Holiday Day – Tuesday, January 29th
    • Culture Day – Wednesday, January 30th
    • Athletic Jersey Day – Thursday, January 31st
    • Wacky Day – Friday, February 1st

    Daily prizes will be awarded to the best dressed students and all are encouraged to participate. Students and teachers will also compete against each other in morning activities and the winning classes will receive great prizes.

    Spirit week is a welcomed tradition at Columbia, organized by the Student Development team. It encourages students to get involved in the school community and allows them to share unique experiences with their friends and classmates. It also promotes key character traits such as inclusiveness, respect, and diversity by bringing students together and learning about different cultural customs. 

    Photos and video of daily events will be posted on our Facebook page.

    ...



    The Art of Calligraphy

    The diversity and talent within Columbia’s student body is unparalleled. Yesterday afternoon, one of our senior students Luo, Hao revealed one of his hidden talents to fellow classmates and staff members as he practiced the art of calligraphy in the Living Wall Lounge. Luo, a student from China, used his impressive calligraphy skills to help Columbia prepare for the Lunar New Year by beautifully writing various well-wishes and greetings exchanged during the New Year. Happy Chinese New Year and Best of Luck in the Snake Year are a few of the many messages he wrote that will be displayed at our annual Lunar New Year Chinese Dinner celebration happening on February 7th.

    Chinese calligraphy is an ancient art that requires much practice, focus, and discipline; all qualities displayed by Luo. Eager and excited to be involved in the Lunar New year preparations, he combined this cultural tradition with school pride and wrote a special sign that says, “Columbia International College,” - the phrase in the image above.  

    We would like to thank Luo, Hao for lending us his time and contributing his talent to our Lunar New Year celebration!

    ...



    Cold Weather Alert

    Winter is here and has brought us a mix of snow, sunshine, and high winds that have created bitter cold days and nights. Around this time of year, daytime temperatures fall below zero and a high wind chill makes it feel much colder than it really is outside. When temperatures drop below -15 degrees Celsius or -20 degrees Celsius with the wind chill, a cold weather alert is issued to warn people of the dangers associated with prolonged exposure to the cold and the high risk of getting frostbite. Environment Canada has issued an EXTREME COLD WEATHER ALERT in Hamilton for the second consecutive day due to the rapidly falling temperature. Adjusting to these changing temperatures may take some time but the best way to cope with this change is to dress in proper winter attire, even if you are just crossing the street! To ensure that everyone is prepared for the low temperatures and cold fronts that define Canada’s winter season, we want to offer some tips for staying warm this winter.

    1. A Warm Winter Coat:
    • An insulated winter coat is the most important thing you can buy for winter. A coat that is down filled and waterproof is your best defense against winter weather.
    1. Dress in Layers:
    • Wearing more than one layer ensures that you have extra clothes. Longjohns, sweaters, and socks are a few things you can wear to keep your body insulated and warm. In wearing multiple layers you have the option of removing a layer if you get too warm.
    1. Keep your Feet Dry:
      • It usually snows quite a bit in Ontario during the winter months. It is important to have a pair of waterproof winter boots to make walking through the snow easy and painless. It is good to invest of a pair of insulated boots that will keep you warm and last a few years.
    1. Accessories are Essential:
    • One of the easiest ways to keep warm is by adding an accessory to your winter wardrobe. Hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and earmuffs are staple winter pieces that keep heat close to your body. Such items can be found in almost any store for a low price.

    Winter clothing can be easily found in stores across Hamilton. If you need to stock up on winter garments, consider visiting the one of the following:

    • Jackson Square (2 King Street West. Hamilton)
    • Westdale Village (King Street West, -from Cline to Sterling Ave- Hamilton)
    • Walmart Supercentre (675 Upper James St., Hamilton)
    • Limeridge Mall (999 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton)

    Remember, to check the weather at the bottom of the school’s homepage, visit the Weather Network, or listen to the local news and radio to find out the weather conditions of the day.

    ...



    Bark Lake Winter Leadership Retreat

    Cross country skiing, high ropes and snowshoeing were among the activities Columbia students experienced this weekend. As part of a weekend leadership retreat, 50 students and a few Student Development staff members, headed north on Friday to visit the pristine grounds of Bark Lake, one of Canada’s top leadership training centres. During their four day getaway, students learned the true meaning of “leadership” by completing daily activities that focused on character building and that highlighted the benefits of diversity. They also engaged in a number of meaningful exercises that showcased the importance of inclusiveness. 

    Students embraced the activities featured in Bark Lake’s signature Total Outdoor Leadership Experience (TOLE) that were enhanced by 4 inches of fresh snow. Along with testing their athletic abilities, the outdoor activities introduced them to exciting winter sports like snowshoeing.

    Students are scheduled to return to Hamilton later today where they will begin to put their training into practice, becoming examples of leadership for entire the student body. 

    To learn more about Bark Lake, visit their website http://www.barklake.com/index.html or follow them on Twitter @BarkLakeLC.

    ...



    Winter Club Fair

    This week was all about student involvement and extracurricular activity as Columbia celebrated Club Week! All week students were introduced to the many great clubs and after-school groups offered at school and in residence. Before racing to the Ainsliewood Gym on Wednesday and Thursday to secure a spot in their favourite club, students had the opportunity to preview all clubs earlier in the week. As students are often overwhelmed by the selection of clubs, the Student Development department held several club information sessions to allow students to browse the large selection. This semester’s clubs met the diverse interests of our students and covered areas such as:

    • Cooking
    • Improv
    • Set Design
    • Glee
    • Community Service
    • Strategy Board Games
    • International Film
    • Athletics
    … and many more!

    Extracurricular activities are an important part of student life here at Columbia. Along with learning new skills and making new friends, participating in clubs helps build individual character and teaches important life values.

    Most clubs begin next week but check with your club leader to confirm start dates, time and location.

    ...



    Students Welcome Winter by Ice Skating

    This past weekend, Columbia students embraced the cold Canadian weather and participated in one of the most popular winter sports – ice skating. In a trip organized by the Student Development Department, students spent part of their weekend on ice learning the basics of skating. Along with testing their balance and practicing their spins and glides, students learned about key character traits including inclusiveness and respect. They applied these principles by working together in a variety of different challenges that taught them about team work and perseverance.

    For many, this was their first time experiencing the winter sport. Despite the stumbles and falls, students had a great time participating in this activity and are looking forward to the snow tubing trip at the end of the month.

    If you are interested in participating in more winter activities, like ice skating and snow tubing, visit Student Development in Room S244 for more information.

    ...



    Jam Packed January

    Trips, sports, guest speakers and graduation are among the events that students are looking forward to this semester.  Now that the first week of school is over and students are nicely settled in their classes and residences, they can begin to attend all the great extracurricular activities and events here at Columbia.  

    Here are some highlights of what’s to come this month;

    January

    • 3rd-4th - Orientation for new students
    • 13th - Ice Skating Trip
    • 14th - Club Information Fair
    • 15th - Club Registration: Pine Hall Girls & Pine Hall Boys Activities
    • 16th & 17th- Club Registration: Ainsliewood, Oak, Linden & Arkledun Activities
    • 18th - Shopping Trip
    • 16th, 18th & 21st - Flu Clinic
    • 18th- 21st -  Bark Lake Leadership Training
    • 25th - Reptile Show
    • 26th - Snow Tubing Trip
    • 27th - Ice Skating Trip
    • 28th - February 1st - Spirit Week 

    … and many more.

    Participating in these fun and diverse activities provides students with the opportunity to meet new people, make great friends and learn the importance of inclusiveness. Be sure to visit our Facebook page to view photos of these events!

    ...



    Activities for New Students

    School’s back in session! Today marks the beginning of the winter semester and students are excited to be reunited with their friends and teachers. It is an especially exciting time for our new students as they adjust to a new school and a new environment. To make this transition a little easier, Columbia held numerous orientation events. During a two day orientation session last week, students met with teachers and staff members, toured the school’s facilities, and participated in many workshops designed to prepare them for life at school and life in Canada.

    New students were also treated to an orientation trip to Niagara Falls this past weekend. This trip, organized by our Student Development Department, gave students the opportunity to explore one of Canada’s most renowned landmarks. Students visited the famous waterfall and spent time exploring the city’s tourist attractions including the Sky Wheel and Clifton Hill. The excursion also provided an opportunity for students to learn about cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and team building as they interacted with new friends from around the world.

    The Student Development Department has many events and activities designed for new students. Visit them in Room S244 for information on future events.

    ...



    Columbia Students excel at the University of Alberta

    Each year, graduates of Columbia attend the best universities in Canada. These universities are consistently impressed by the high caliber of Columbia students. As such, Columbia graduates often receive scholarships and awards for their academic excellence.  

    Recently, four graduates of Columbia - Tram Hai Bao Nguyen, Hei Tong Lo,  Anindita Pradana Suteja, Ka Lok Van - were recognized by the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus for their academic achievements. These students were among three hundred and twenty Augustana campus students recognized for excellence in Academics, Fine Arts, Athletics, and Leadership. The recipients include;

    Student: Tram Hai Bao Nguyen

    Graduated from Columbia: May 2011

    Program of Study: Bachelor of Management (2nd year)

    Awarded: $500 for Academic Achievement (funded by the Doug and Gail Peterson Award)

     

    Student: Hei Tong Lo

    Graduated from Columbia: May 2012

    Program of Study: Bachelor of Management (1st year)

    Awarded: $1000 for Honours (funded by The Larry Lewsaw Chartered Accountant Scholarship and The Camrose Booster Award)

     

    Student: Anindita Pradana Suteja

    Graduated from Columbia: May 2012

    Program of Study: Bachelor of Management (1st year)

    Awarded: $8000 for Academic Excellence (funded by An Augustana Faculty Academic Entrance Scholarship, A University of Alberta Academic Excellence Scholarship, A University of Alberta Maple Leaf 1st Year Excellence Scholarship, An International Student Scholarship)

     

    Student: Ka Lok Van

    Graduated from Columbia: June 2012

    Program of Study: Bachelor of Management (1st year)

    Awarded: $8000 for Academic Excellence (funded by An Augustana Faculty Academic Entrance Scholarship, A University of Alberta Academic Excellence Scholarship, A University of Alberta Maple Leaf 1st Year Excellence Scholarship, An International Student Scholarship)

    Congratulations to these students!

    The University of Alberta is one of Columbia’s University Partners® and is among the Top 5 Universities in Canada. With over 200 undergraduate programs to choose from, students can earn a degree in Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Management, Sciences and more. The University of Alberta hosts students from over 150 countries who study at one of its 6 campuses. To learn more about academic programs and opportunities at the University of Alberta visit its website or drop by UPO.

    ...



    Columbia Students Volunteer Over Winter Break

     

    Columbia students are currently enjoying a break from their academics but they are continuing to learn the values of social awareness and advocacy. Students are keeping busy during this year’s winter break by volunteering their time and giving back to the Hamilton community. Over the past two weeks, students volunteered at two of Hamilton’s core organizations: the Wesley Urban Ministries and Hamilton’s Good Shepherd. Students who participated in these community service trips spent time sorting donations for Hamilton families in need and learned the importance of becoming responsible global citizens. Students also witnessed positive conflict resolution techniques while they assisted with the supervision of the distribution of these donations. Along with practicing key character values, students became aware of the needs in the local community and were able to recognize the significance of their actions.

    Both the Wesley Urban Ministries and the Good Shepherd promote values of respect, compassion, inclusiveness, and responsibility; values Columbia teaches its students. More information on both organizations is available by visiting the links below;

    Wesley Urban Ministries http://www.wesleyurbanministries.com/index.php?page=vision

    Wesley Urban Ministries is a community organization dedicated to serving those in the community who are in need by raising funds and awareness. They operate under the values of justice and compassion and seek to decrease social barriers thorough their programs.  

    ...



    "We're All In This Together"

    Friday was an exciting and rewarding day for 71 of Columbia’s senior students as they celebrated the end of their high school careers. In a ceremony held Friday morning, graduates were honoured for their hard work and dedication to their academics and extra-curricular involvement. Graduates and guests were welcomed by Ms. Nancy Baker who served as the events Master of Ceremonies.

    After a brief introduction by Principal Mr. Ron Rambarran, graduates and guests were treated to a heartwarming keynote address by platform guest Dr. Deep Saini, Vice-President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga. Rather than offering a traditional piece of advice, Dr. Saini challenged students to “take a risk every now and then – not a foolish risk but a risk that will take you out of your comfort zone to try a new life experience.” He encouraged graduates to always choose the more difficult path for this will assure they remain challenged. After recounting the events and challenges he faced in his own life, Dr. Saini advised students to follow their passion. He also reminded graduates that they can choose to change their path at anytime and should embrace, not fear, the unknown.

    The ceremony also included a memorable <strong>Valedictory Address</strong> given by <strong>Neil Ni Jia Ze</strong>. After sharing a personal story of growth and reflecting on his high school career, he thanked his teachers and support staff for their guidance. In particular, he expressed gratitude to Ms. Courtney and Mr. David of Student Development, for their continued encouragement. Neil surprised graduates and guests by breaking into song -with some help from his friends in the audience- and singing the High School Musical hit “We’re All In This Together” at the end of his speech.

    Jimmy Nguyen Dac Vinh Hy, gave an equally moving Vote of Thanks speech as he credited Columbia for shaping him into the person he is today. He also thanked UPO, the Guidance department and the various support staff for investing in him and allowing him to excel academically and socially.

     December's Award Winners included:
    Principal's Scholarship: Mao, Zhengquan
    Kevin Matthews Memorial Scholarship:Huang, Zi Yang
    Sylvia Park Memorial Scholarship: Ni, Jia Ze
    Scarfonehawkins LLP English Proficiency Award: Zhu, Zhongxuan
    Sodexo Scholarship:Oyelowo Ifeoluwa Oluwaseyi
    Durwood Jones Barkwell Chartered Accountant Award: Guo, Yi Min, Liang, Xin, Zhang, Shao Xiong
    McCallum & Misale Insurance Limited Residence Community Awards: Mendie, Mfonido Ime (Linden), Oghoore, Nina Zino (Pine Girls), Thompson, Abasiama Mfon (Pine Boys)
    Global Citizen Award: Joshi, Shail
    Fine Arts Award: Wang, Chao
    Rita Bosas Memorial Bursary: Cui, Zhi Tong
    ESL Continuing Scholarships: Yu, Tie Ning, Chu, Chenhan, Tang, Shi Qi, Chandra, Hendry, Leung, Tsz Wah
    Internal Community Service Award: Wahab, Abdul
    External Community Service Award: Thompson, Abasiama Mfon
    Athletics Award: Nikolaeva, Ruslan

    Top Subject Prizes were awarded to:
    ARTS: Duan, Zhaojun (Visual Arts)
    BUSINESS: Guo, Yi Min (Accounting), Liang, Xin (Accounting), Soong, Tsz Kit (International Business), Park, Hye Mi (Economics), Mao, Zhengquan (Economics)
    LANGUAGES: Duan, Zhaojun (Chinese Mandarin)
    MATHEMATICS:Mao, Zhenquan (Data Management)
    SCIENCE: Zhu, Zhongxuan (Computer Science)
     
    Congratulations to all December Graduates!

    A special THANK YOU to our platform guest Dr. Deep Saini for his inspiring words and to Mr. Krist, Ms. Akos, the Media, Liaison, and Maintenance teams for their work in organizing and preparing for the event.

    Thank you also to SODEXOfor providing a wonderful reception and to Mr. Lawlis and the Vocal Music Choir for their wonderful performances.

    Pictures of the Graduation Ceremony and Reception are available on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Columbia.International.College

    ...



    Celebrating Leadership

    At Columbia, we believe in teaching leadership and offer students many opportunities to develop their leadership skills. We encourage leadership throughout our school and recognize those who promote and embody leadership values.

    Yesterday, this semester’s dynamic student leaders were thanked for their contributions to Columbia’s leadership teams. Those who held positions in the Executive Student Leadership Teams – Prefects; Columbia Crew; Student Council; Pine Activities Council – attended a special Leadership Barbeque in the Student Café. Columbia’s Leadership and Community Services Coordinator Courtney Workman believed the intimate gathering was a great way to recognize those students who have played “key roles in organizing and executing school events such as Character week, totalcare.com/content/columbia-Spirit Week, school dances, International Games Day, and athletic programs.”

    The students appreciated the BBQ as it not only recognized their hard work this semester, but it also offered them an opportunity “to get together and have fun” and “enjoy time with friends.”

    Thank you to all our Student Leaders for being positive role models in our school community!
    Thank you also to Sodexo for providing a tasty and delicious barbeque.

    Students interested in becoming student leaders will have an opportunity to apply, and re-apply, for an Executive Student Leadership position in January.

    ...



    Ice Cream for City Kidz®

    Respect, integrity, responsibility, perseverance; these are among the values Columbia students are taught in leadership training and in leadership classes. Students are encouraged to put these values into action to discover what it really means to be a leader. That is exactly what Columbia’s GPP 30 Leadership and Peer Support class demonstrated today when they made their peers scream for ice cream in support of a good cause.

    In keeping with class tradition, fun and creative events are held each year to raise money for local charities. This year, the class decided to hold an ice cream sale in the Living Wall Lounge to support Hamilton’s City Kidz organization which assists underprivileged children living in the community. They wanted to raise enough money to provide Christmas gifts for over 4,000 local children in need. They quickly surpassed their goal of $300 and are thrilled that their contributions will help thousands of children in the area.

    ...



    Columbia Honours Outstanding Achievers

    The diverse interests and talents of Columbia'€™s student body were celebrated yesterday during this semester's Awards Ceremony. Held in the Ainsliewood Gym, the Student Development staff presented over 50 awards of merit and distinction to students for their outstanding achievements in clubs, athletics, and leadership roles.

    Along with celebrating the students’ enthusiasm and commitment to their clubs and teams, the ceremony highlighted student involvement in the school and local community. Community Service Awards recognized those who completed between 75-125 community service hours this semester by volunteering their time at notable events throughout the city of Hamilton. All students were congratulated for their achievements by Ms. Cheeranjie, Director of Student Development and the ceremony’s host, and were encouraged to continue participating in school activates.

    The Awards Ceremony reflects the character of Columbia's students who consistently aim to go higher in their academic and extra-curricular life. The awards also demonstrate the dedication of Columbia’s staff who are committed to Total Development® and go above and beyond to deliver a unique student experience.

    Thank you to the Student Development staff for organizing a wonderful ceremony and to Mr. Lawlis and his period 6 class for providing the music.

    CONGRATULATIONS to all award winners! Excellence

    ...



    Students Attend Ivey Seminar

    The Ivey School of Business, Western University's premier business school, made a trip to Columbia yesterday afternoon. As a leading business school in Canada, Ivey attracts students from around the world with its unique teaching methods. Columbia students had the opportunity to discover life at Ivey, and its distinguished €œcase method teaching style, in a special after school seminar held in the Student Cafe.

    An Ivey teacher introduced students to the school's Learning Through Action courses which gives students valuable hands on experience and allows them to practice the concepts and theories learned in class. After explaining the case method and general concepts students began to analyze the case and recommend tangible solutions. Although it was a challenge, students enjoyed the Ivey experience and appreciated the seminar.

    To learn more about the Ivey School of Business, visit their website; http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/.

    ...



    JMS & Prefects sell Chains for Change!

    Over the past few weeks, Columbia’s JMS students have been working diligently to raise awareness and funds for their “Adopt a Village” project in Ecuador. The goal is to build a new water project that will provide access to clean drinking water to hundreds of children in Ecuador. In addition to initiating a penny fundraising contest in the school, the JMS have teamed up with the Prefects to sell Water Rafiki Friend Chains that will benefit their clean water project.

    The beaded Water Rafiki Friend Chains have been handmade by the Maasai women in Kenya and can be worn as a bracelet, anklet, or necklace. The chains are being sold for $11 and each one sold will provide clean water to one person for one year. One dollar from each purchase will also be donated to the JMS school project in Ecuador.

    The chains make the perfect holiday gift for family and friends. In purchasing one, you will be making a tangible difference in someone’s life. The Water Rafiki Friend Chain can be purchased in the Maple Lobby from 12:40-1:10PM and at the Marketplace in Ainsliewood from 1:10-1:40PM. Support the JMS, the Prefects, and this notable cause by purchasing one of these unique Chains!

     

    ...



    October’s Top ESL Achievers

    Perseverance, dedication, and hard work is what it takes to become a top achiever. Today, five ESL students were recognized for displaying each of these characteristics. They were awarded an honours certificate and a medal for obtaining the highest marks in their intensive 4-week October ESL courses. Before handing out the awards, Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head, Ms. Baker, Head of Senior School, and Mr. Rambarran, Principal, congratulated each student on their accomplishment. They also mentioned that their teachers were impressed by their work and that they hope these students continue to maximize their potential and strive for academic excellence.

    October’s ESL Award winners are:

    LI WEN HAO – ESL AO

    LEUNG TSZ WAH – ESL BO

    TANG SHIQI – ESL CO

    CHISTIAKOVA ANASTASIIA – ESL CO

    CHANDRA HENDRY – ESL DO

    Congratulations to all our ESL Award winners!

    ...



    Southeast Asian Cuisine!

    Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia were some of the counties being honoured at last night’s Southeast Asian International Cuisine Series dinner. Nearly 150 students and staff attended this month’s feature dinner which was held in the Student Café.

    The dinner was a monthly ritual for many of the students in attendance. For others, the evening was comforting as it brought back memories of family dinners they regularly have at home. Students were excited to be there as they got a taste of a new culture and indulged in some of the region’s most popular dishes which included:

    • Mango Salad
    • Hot & Sour Thai Soup – Tom Yum Goong
    • Vegetarian Spring Rolls
    • Hainan Chicken
    • Rice Breaded Fried Shrimp*
    • Beef Satay
    • Coconut Milk Rice – Nasi Uduk
    • Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce
    • Asian, Peanut & Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauces
    • Fresh Tropical Fruit w Ice Cream

    The evening also featured some friendly competition as guests participated in games that challenged their speed and accuracy, like the fast-paced texting challenge. The crowd was further enchanted by two powerful vocal performances from students who sang popular songs from their regions.  

    Along with enjoying a delicious meal with friends, students had the opportunity to learn and explore a different culture. The committee of student volunteers and the dinner guests further exemplified the character values of responsibility, inclusiveness, and respect.

    Last night’s Southeast Asia dinner concluded this year’s Cuisine Series. The highly anticipated event will resume in January with more great meals, fun games, and cultural representation. Photos from last night’s, and this semester’s, dinners can be viewed on our Facebook page.

    Thank you to Ms. Keylin and Ms. Melissa, the Student Development Staff and the student volunteers for delivering another extraordinary Cuisine Series. Thanks you also to Sodexo for providing another delicious meal.

    ...



    Winter Show 2012

    The best of the Arts was showcased last week as Columbia held its annual Winter Show. Students and staff filled the Ainsliewood Gym on Friday to watch this year’s much anticipated variety show. Hosted by two humorous and entertaining students - Malak El Allaki and Shail Joshi – their energy and stage presence quickly captivated the audience. The 70 minute show was composed of many high energy dance and musical routines mixed in with a number of creative dramatic performances. The show started with a bang as Columbia’s band set the tone playing an exciting melody. An electrifying atmosphere continued for the rest of the show which featured performances from these dynamic clubs and classes:

    • Zumba Club
    • Glee Club
    • Improve Club
    • Ms. Ward’s and Ms. Nagy’s Drama Classes
    • Cheerleading Club
    • Dance Club
    • Hip Hop Club
    • Vocal Performance Class

    The show ended with the largest group, the vocal performance club, directed by Mr. Lawlis, singing a melody of both Christmas and modern songs. Their powerful performance displayed the level of talent at Columbia and highlighted the diversity of the school community. It also served as a platform for students to demonstrate the character trait of responsibility as they were responsible for creating, developing, and performing an act for the entire school.

    A special THANK YOU to Mr. David and the Student Development team for organizing the Winter Show and to Mr. Lawlis for his musical contributions. Thank you also to the Maintenance Team, Mr. Colin, and the backstage crew of students and staff for your assistance.

    To view pictures of the event visit our Facebook page.

    ...



    Staff edge Students in Basketball Game

    The Ainsliewood gym was at a fever pitch this afternoon as Columbia students battled staff members in a Movember basketball game. Energy and excitement filled the air this afternoon as fans and supporters of both teams flocked to the gym filling the bleachers and leaving only standing room for this highly anticipated event.

    From the tip-off, the game was fast-paced as both teams were eager to score first. Spectators were kept on the edge of their seats as possession changed quickly, resulting in defying cheers and screams from the crowd. At the end of the first period the staff had gained a 10 point lead but the students were confident they could match it.  

    The pace of the second half was even more exciting as the varsity team battled to gain the lead and close the gap. There were a few falls and fouls that demonstrated the students’ frustration in being unable to stop the skillful staff team. The students turned their game around and scored late in the game. With only seconds left on the clock, the staff was ahead by one point. Despite their best efforts, the students lost possession which resulted in a 56-55 win for the staff.

    With their Movember t-shirts and painted moustaches, staff and students played with heart not only to win bragging rights, but also in support of a good cause. Before beginning the second half, Mr. Freddy, the game’s referee, took some time to remind those in attendance of the importance of health prevention. He encouraged everyone to take their health seriously and visit the doctor regularly. He also thanked the players and spectators for supporting the Movember initiative and raising funds and awareness for cancer and other health issues.

    Thank You Mr. Freddy, the staff and students who participated in the game.

    Pictures of the game are available on our Facebook page.

    ...



    Saint Mary’s University Visits Columbia

    Yesterday afternoon, Columbia students met with a Saint Mary's University representative to explore their post-secondary options. The intimate session, which took place in the Student Cafe, presented each student with detailed information regarding their programs of interest. Those who were in attendance learned about the university'€™s East Coast charm, its partnerships with government and non-government agencies, and its commitment to accessibility and diversity. Saint Mary's offers:

    • $5 million in scholarships and bursaries
    •  Innovative research facilities
    •  Experiential learning opportunities, such as co-op and fieldwork, across all faculties
    •  Partnerships with 49 post-secondary institutions in 20 countries
    •   Four Undergraduate Faculties:  Arts, Business, Environment, Science


    Saint Mary's University also welcomes students from around the world and has a Confucius Institute which promotes Chinese language, culture, and commerce. Students interested in applying to St. Mary's should pick up a Viewbook from UPO or consult their website.  

    A special thank you to the Saint Mary's representative for coming to Columbia!

    ...



    Movember

    You may have noticed that an unusual number of male teachers and staff members are growing a moustache. They are not trying to start a new fashion trend, rather they are participating in Movember - an initiative designed to raise awareness and money for men's health issues. Every November, men around the world sign-up and pledge to grow a moustache in hopes of educating the public about the health risks facing men.

    Columbia is ensuring its students and staff are educated on men’s health issues by hosting a number of Movember events and fundraisers. Bake-A-Difference, for example, is adding moustaches to its delicious baked goods and will be donating the proceeds of its sales in November to the Movember campaign. A Movember inspired Staff vs Students basketball game will also be played next week. The teachers will be donating $5 for their team t-shirts and players from the Cougars Varsity Team will pay $2 for a painted moustache.

    For those who cannot grow a moustache, the Student Development Centre will be selling different styles and colours of handmade moustaches for only .50¢ in the Marketplace during lunch hours. Purchase one to support Movember and help raise awareness!

    Since beginning in Australia in 2003, Movember has raised $301 million CAD, for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer and male mental health issues. To find out more about this creative campaign, visit the official Movember Canada page.

    ...



    Ryerson University: Everyone Makes a Mark

    A representative from Ryerson University held an information session for Columbia students yesterday afternoon in the Student Café. As an institution known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, Ryerson is one of the most applied-to universities in Ontario. It is located in the heart of Toronto which gives its students access to a vibrant city lifestyle. Students will also establish relationships with prominent business and community leaders through co-op and field placements, internships, and client-based projects. Academic programs at Ryerson are diverse and its extensive research programs are centered on seven key areas:
    •    digital media,
    •    energy, sustainability and the environment,
    •    health and well-being,
    •    civil society,
    •    design, creative expression and cultural industries,
    •    innovation and entrepreneurship, and
    •    learning and teaching effectiveness.

    The university also has many support services for international students and welcomes students from over 140 countries.

    Thank you to the Ryerson University representative for visiting Columbia and answering all of our questions.

    More information regarding Ryerson’s academic programs, application process, and scholarship opportunities can be found on their website. Students can also pick-up a Viewbook from UPO.

    ...



    Mathlete Competition

    If you have a rectangular swimming pool of volume 105 m³ whose length is 2 meters longer than its width and whose depth is 2 meters shorter than its width, what is the perimeter (around the top) of the rectangular pool?

    If Math is not your subject, this question probably gives you a headache. Luckily, Columbia has many students who share a passion for Math and are eager to test their skills and challenge themselves to answer such a question. In fact, that is just what a group of students did earlier this week as they participated in a Mathlete Contest!

    Students were given 30 minutes to answer all types of difficult math problems using only an English to English dictionary and a calculator. Ms. George administered the test and will be choosing five winners.

    Good luck to all those who participated!

    In case you were wondering, the answer to the above question is 24 meters.

    ...



    York University Visits Columbia

    York University and its Schulich School of Business visited Columbia yesterday afternoon. Representatives from both institutions held an information session in the Student Cafe to present students with post-secondary options at York.  As Canada'€™s third largest university, York is recognized for its unique interdisciplinary approach and prides itself on delivering academic excellence.

    Here is what you need to know about York:

    • 2 Campuses in Toronto -€“ Keele and Glendon
    • 28 research centres
    • Over 5,000 courses offered throughout its 11 faculties
    • Offers Canada’s only space engineering program
    • The Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies are among the largest and most diverse in Canada
    • 280 partnerships with international universities  and a large population of international students


    Schulich School of Business
    York University is also home to the prestigious Schulich School of Business. Ranked among the top 10 MBA schools in the world, Schulich operates worldwide and offers its MBA program in India. It also operates satellite centres in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; and Moscow, Russia. Students who attend Schlich can enroll in unique undergraduate programs that include:

    •  BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration): a comprehensive four-year degree with nine different areas of specialization, including accounting, entrepreneurship and family business, marketing, and finance, and
    • iBBA (International BBA): a four-year honours degree that combines business courses of the BBA with specially designed courses and globally-focused courses .


    As one of Columbia'€™s University Partners®, York University offers special benefits for Columbia graduates including Dual Admission and four entrance scholarships, each worth $2,000.  

    Thank you to the York University and the Schulich School of Business representatives for their presentations.

    Students interested in applying to York, or the Schulich School of Business, should visit UPO for more information.

    ...



    JMS Students help Change the World

    Did you know...
    -    3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease; 99% of these occur in the developing world
    -    780 million (about 1 in 7) people lack access to clean drinking water
    -    Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water related illness
    -    More people have a mobile phone than a toilet
    -    Each day, women spend over 200 million hours collecting water
    *All figures are courtesy of water.org.*

    Columbia’s JMS students are working hard to change these numbers. Currently in their second week of fundraising, they are encouraging the school community to donate their change in support of Free the Children’s “Adopt a Village” project. In participating, JMS students are helping to build a new water project that will provide hundreds of children in Ecuador with steady access to clean drinking water. In addition, they will be raising awareness about the lack of clean drinking water in the world’s poorest nations. Their initiative is also educating other students on the importance of becoming responsible global citizens.

    In order to collect enough money to support a village, JMS needs your help. Until November 23rd, donate your pennies, or any change you have, to the JMS’s clean water campaign. With as little as $25, WE can provide clean water to one person for life and make a real difference in the world. Don’t forget, the classroom that raises the most money will be awarded a great prize!

    Please support the JMS. Every penny counts and together WE can change the world.

    For more information please visit Free the Children.

    ...



    Relay for Life

    Hundreds of Columbia students will be spending their Friday night fighting at Ainsliewood. They will not be engaging in any type of physical altercation, rather they, along with millions of Canadians across the country, are picking a fight with cancer.

    For the second consecutive year, Columbia students will be participating in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Along with raising money for cancer research, this annual event seeks to “celebrate the lives of those who are living with cancer” and “remember loved ones lost to cancer.” All funds raised through the event will assist in

    • Preventing cancer,
    • Funding research to outsmart cancer,
    • Empowering, informing and supporting Canadians living with cancer, and
    • Advocating for public policies to improve the health of Canadians.

    The marathon will be challenging as it begins Friday at 7:00 PM and ends Saturday morning at 7:00 AM. During the 12 hour period, students will take part in a number of group activities throughout the school such as walking and running relays. There will also be music, movies, arts and crafts, and other activities to help students stay awake during the overnight hours.

    Relay for Life promotes optimism and further provides students with an outlet to practice key character traits like caring, teamwork, respect, inclusiveness, responsibility, and perseverance.

    Complete highlights of Columbia’s Relay for Life will be available next week. Good luck to all those who are participating!

    To find out more about the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life visit their website.

    ...



    Shoe Box of Hope

    Mrs. Markuc'€™s MCV 4US6 class was busy yet again this morning performing good deeds and leading by example. As part of their commitment to character, they spent the first part of class preparing shoe box gifts to donate to Operation Christmas Child, a project run by Samaritan'€™s Purse. They filled two shoe boxes -one for a boy and one for a girl- with everyday essentials including socks, soap, candies, pens, toys and more. After the boxes were filled, the class watched a video describing the journey of the boxes and the great impact the small gift will have on children in need. These students will also be able to track and follow their boxes as they make their way to deserving children living in underprivileged countries.

    Fitting all of the items into the small boxes was challenge but it was nothing these calculus students couldn’t handle. They simply applied the theory of optimization to their task, proving the relevance of math in everyday life. 

    Mrs. Markuc's class decided to participate in the shoe box project to show character and set an example for their peers. They also used part of their prize money from the pumpkin carving contest to purchase the supplies for the shoe boxes. Thank you to Mrs. Markuc and her period 1 MCV 4US6 class for showing exceptional leadership and inspiring Columbia to exemplify key character traits.

    ...



    Character in Action

    Character Development is a large part of the student lifestyle here at Columbia. Students are taught to embrace key character traits by doing good deeds and helping others. Mrs. Markuc is among many teachers who believes that Columbia'€™s character keys "€œare not just words on a paper, but they are what we live by." € She encourages her students to "€œlead by example"€ and wants them to represent Character in Action.

    After winning last week'€™s Pumpkin Carving Contest, it was no surprise that Mrs. Markuc'€™s MCV 4US6 class wanted to share their winnings. Instead of receiving a $100 Tim Hortons gift card, they requested that their prize be divided in half to allow them to spread their winnings and give back to the school and local community. With half of their prize money, they purchased hot chocolate and timbits not only for their class, but also for the 2nd and 3rd place contest winners. They surprised Mr. Kim'€™s MHF 4US5 class, Mrs. Simpson'€™s PPL 30 class, and Mr. Wong'€™s Grade 9 science class this morning by delivering a box of timbits to each of their classes. Before presenting each class with the treats, Mrs. Markuc'€™s students explained the importance of character and how they hope their actions will inspire others to lead by example.

    Mrs. Markuc'€™s class is going to contribute the remaining $50 to a larger cause. They have purchased toys, school supplies and personal hygiene products to make Christmas shoe boxes that they will donate to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that supports underprivileged children in over 130 countries. Their generous actions show how far $100 can go and how small actions can make a world of a difference. 

    We want to thank Mrs. Markuc'€™s MCV 4US6 class for showing great character and inspiring the school community to "€œlead by example."

    ...



    Dressing for a Canadian Winter

    Winter is fast approaching and it promises to bring snow, wind and bitter cold weather. Adjusting to Canadian winters takes time and is difficult not only for international students, but for local residents as well. Winter temperatures can get very low and it is common for daytime temperatures to fall below zero. In fact, with a high wind chill, temperatures can drop instantly and have reached as low as -30°C. To ensure that everyone is prepared for the low temperatures and cold fronts that define Canada'€™s winter season, we want to offer some tips for staying warm this winter.

    1. A Warm Winter Coat:
    • An insulated winter coat is the most important thing you can buy for winter. A coat that is down filled and waterproof is your best defense against winter weather.
    1. Dress in Layers:
    • Wearing more than one layer ensures that you have extra clothes. Longjohns, sweaters, and socks are a few things you can wear to keep your body insulated and warm. In wearing multiple layers you have the option of removing a layer if you get too warm.
    1. Keep your Feet Dry:
      • It usually snows quite a bit in Ontario during the winter months. It is important to have a pair of waterproof winter boots to make walking through the snow easy and painless. It is good to invest of in a pair of insulated boots that will keep you warm and last a few years.
    2. Accessories are Essential:
    • One of the easiest ways to keep warm is by adding an accessory to your winter wardrobe. Hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and earmuffs are staple winter pieces that keep heat close to your body. Such items can be found in almost any store for a low price.

    Winter clothing can be easily found in stores across Hamilton. If you need to stock up on winter garments, consider visiting one of the following:

    • Jackson Square (2 King Street West. Hamilton)
    • Westdale Village (King Street West, -from Cline to Sterling Ave- Hamilton)
    • Walmart Supercentre (675 Upper James St., Hamilton)
    • Limeridge Mall (999 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton)

    Remember, you can always check the weather at the bottom of our homepage, visit the Weather Network, or listen to the local news and radio.

     

    ...



    Pumpkin Carving Contest

    Happy Halloween Columbia!

    In keeping with tradition, Columbia held its annual Pumpkin Carving Contest today. Each class was given a pumpkin to carve during period 1 that was then judged by various staff members. There were no rules in this contest which resulted in fierce competition between the classes. The carvings and designs were imaginative and included unique creations like a Tim Hortons cup, turtles, a skeleton and a zombie. Congratulations to Ms. Markuc'€™s class for taking first prize and winning a $100 gift card to Tim Hortons.

    Contest Winners:

    1st Place: Ms. Markuc€™'s Class (Skeleton Pumpkin)

    2nd Place: Mr. Kim'€™s Class (Turtle Pumpkins)

    Tied for 3rd Place: Mr. Wong’s Class (Two-Faced Pumpkin) AND Ms. Simpson's Class (Sodexo Hamburger Pumpkin)

    Thank you to all teachers and classes for participating! Your creations were fantastic!

    Pictures of each pumpkin are available on our Facebook page.

    ...



    Columbia Goes GANGNAM

    Gangnam Style has taken the internet, and Columbia International College, by storm. Students have fallen in love with the song'€™s catchy tune and entertaining dance moves. Shortly after the video was released, students were eager to create their own parody of the song. With the help of theOmelet, a video production team, Columbia students produced their very own version of the PSY'€™s popular Gangnam Style music video. Students used the facilities at Columbia's residences, its Ainsliewood building, and various public spaces in Hamilton to recreate parts of the original video while incorporating their own fun and creative ideas into the project.

    The heart behind the project was Grade 12 student, and assistant director, Rose Lu. As a former TV drama actor in China, she is familiar with show business and came up with the idea to film the parody. Rose said that artistic projects like this parody "€œmakes students happy." € She also believes that "€œdancing makes you feel refreshed"€ and that participating in extracurricular activities is an important part of your high school career.

    Another star of the video is Mr. James Lawlis, Columbia'€™s music teacher. He quickly mastered the Gangnam Style moves and undoubtedly steals the scene.

    Columbia'€™s Gangnam Style video can be viewed on our Facebook page, YouTube and Vimeo Channels.

    Thank you to all of Columbia'€™s staff and students for your support in filming the video. Much appreciation also goes to theOmelet for creating a fantastic video for us.

    ...



    McMaster University: Inspiring Innovation and Discovery

    Columbia students filled the Living Wall Lounge yesterday to attend a presentation for prospective students given by McMaster University. As an institution that "€œinspires innovation and discovery,"€ McMaster is known for its intensive research capabilities and is home to 80 Research Centres and Institutes. McMaster’s research excellence spans all of its faculties which include:

    • Natural Sciences,
    • Engineering,
    • Computer Science,
    • Science,
    • Arts & Science,
    • Health Sciences,
    • Humanities, and
    • Social Sciences.

    The DeGroote School of Business is also one of McMaster's most popular undergraduate programs. Many Columbia students showed interest in this program and are attracted to its internship and exchange opportunities.

    Undergraduate students can also apply for numerous entrance scholarships and awards. Columbia graduates are further eligible to receive one of four designated entrance scholarships of $3000 as part of the school’s university partnership with McMaster.

    We would like to thank the McMaster representative for spending the afternoon with us.

    Students interested in applying to McMaster can pick up a 2013 Viewbook from UPO. Information is also available online.

    ...



    ICS: Caribbean Dinner

    Beautiful beaches, calypso and reggae music, bright and bold colours, and warm hospitality are a few things you would expect to find on a Caribbean island. Even though there was no beach, Columbia succeeded in creating an authentic Caribbean atmosphere during last night'€™s International Cuisine Series.

    Guests lined up early for the Caribbean dinner which was this month’s second feature in the Cuisine Series.  As they entered the Student Cafe, guests received a lei (a colourful wreath worn around the neck) and spent a few moments looking at the fun and unique decor. The vivid decorations perfectly matched the enthusiasm of students and staff who were in attendance. After a few words by the event'€™s hosts, guests dined on a traditional Caribbean cuisine that featured the following delicacies:

    • Calaloo Salad
    • Chicken & Pumpkin Soup
    • Fried Fish with Onion
    • Marinated & Grilled Jerk Chicken
    • Jamaican Style Lamb Stew
    • Basmati Rice w Peas & Coconut Milk
    • Fried Plantains
    • Banana Pineapple Apple Crisp (Hot) & Ice Cream
    • Fresh Fruit Salad -€“ Apple, Mango, Pineapple, Melons (Cold)

    The evening ended with a limbo contest that proved to be a challenge for all of the participants. While the theme of the night was the Caribbean, all countries were represented showcasing Columbia's diversity and values of respect and inclusiveness.

    Thank you to Ms. Keylin, the Student Development Staff and the student volunteers for delivering another extraordinary Cuisine Series. Thanks you also to Sodexo for providing a delicious meal.

    ...



    ESL Awards Ceremony

    At Columbia our students are regularly recognized for their success and achievements. We believe in acknowledging hard work and are proud that our students are dedicated to their studies. Our monthly ESL Awards Ceremony honours top students in each ESL division and is one of the many ways we celebrate great accomplishments.

    This morning Principal, Mr. Rambarran, ESL Department Head, Mr. Galea, and Head of Senior School, Ms. Baker held the October ESL Awards Ceremony to congratulate 7 students for earning top marks in their respective division. The award recipients were:

    Wang, Si Ya - EOA4Z

    Tang, Shiqi - ESLAO

    Chu, Chenhan -€“ ESLBO

    Zhang, Jia Ming -€“ ESLCO

    Ding, Yi Xin - ESLDO

    Nguyen, Thi Huong Giang - €“ ESLDO (8 Week)

    Ni, Gong Chen - EOA4Z (8 Week)

    The students were also encouraged by Mr. Rambarran to "continue to work hard" and to "€œkeep up the good work."€

    Congratulations to all the award winners!

    ...



    Dr. Alan Darlington

    The NEDLAW Living Wall is one of Columbia's newest and most popular attractions that is both aesthetically and environmentally pleasing. Today, Ms. Klodt’s Gr. 11 & 12 biology classes learned more about its construction and significance in a special presentation given by Dr. Alan Darlington, president of NEDLAW living walls. Dr. Darlington explained the components of the wall and compared them to that of the body. He said the process of eliminating old air and bringing in new air requires much energy but works very well. Along with describing how the wall itself works, Dr. Darlington spoke about the economic and social benefits of the wall which include increased energy efficiency and improved air quality. He also believes the wall is a balance of "biology, engineering, and sociology" as all three disciplines are vital to its sustainability.

    We would like to thank Dr. Alan Darlington for his interesting and educational presentation. 

    Dr. Alan Darlington is a former Biology Professor and Research Scientist at the University of Guelph. His strong interest in air quality served as his inspiration for developing the concept of the Living wall biological filtration system. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Environment Industry Association which represents the interests of the environment industry in Ontario.

    ...



    Excellence in Leadership

    "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."€ - John F. Kennedy

    At Columbia, the principles of learning and leadership are taught to students and exemplified by teachers and staff members. Ms. Stefanie Achkewich is one of the many dynamic teachers here at Columbia that represents these values. She joined Columbia in 2008, primarily teaching English as a Second Language. Prior to this, she spent 6 years teaching English in Taiwan and 1 year teaching in England. She currently teaches in the ESL department and has a fondness for teaching international students. In fact, the idea of teaching international students was what initially attracted Stefanie to Columbia.

    As a result of her experience and passion for teaching, she has been appointed to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) council. The College works €œto allow teachers to regulate and govern teaching standards and practices in the public interest.

    We recently spoke with Stefanie to learn more about her new role and her teaching experience at Columbia.

    What do you find is most rewarding about teaching?

    • The kids are the most rewarding. Seeing them understand, and having them show you something you'€™ve never seen, or thought of, before is remarkable. Working with other great teachers and sharing ideas is great too. I'€™m a people person and I like that interaction and the opportunity to make connections.

    You recently joined the OCT council as a Private School Representative. Tell us about your duties.

    • I'€™m excited to be part of the council. I will be involved with 3 committees of the council. The first is the Discipline Committee which reviews cases of teacher misconduct and incompetence, the second is the Finance Committee which deals with budgetary issues, and the third is the Quality Assurance Committee that evaluates the progress of the college in fulfilling its mandate.

    What do you hope to gain from this experience?

    • I hope to learn more about the policy process and how standards are enforced for teachers. It will be interesting to see how policies are made to put the public, students and parents, before the professionals. This is a great opportunity to represent Columbia and I’m looking forward to it. Being a part of the council will allow me to answers questions from teachers and the public. 

    How does Columbia’s ASEP Total Care® compare to other private schools?

    • At Columbia, we shape the curriculum to our students needs – academic, social, emotional and physical. There are students from over 73 nations here and we need to filter our teaching style to accommodate them. We always look for teaching material from different parts of the world to contribute to and enhance the lessons of different disciplines. For example, in English class we incorporate stories or novels from popular authors of specific regions so that students can relate to their stories. It is important for students to have a personal connection to what they study to interest and motivate them.

    What is the best advice you can give international students?

    • I would encourage everyone to make friends with other students from every region. It can be difficult for students to go outside their safety zone but when they do, it is very rewarding. Interacting with kids from different backgrounds also breaks down individual fears, eliminates cultural stereotypes, and helps improve English skills. Using the resources offered by Student Development and talking to teachers and liaison staff is a great way for students to branch out of their comfort zone.
    ...



    OCAD U: Imagination is Everything

    A representative from the Ontario College of Arts and Design (OCAD) University visited Columbia this afternoon and spoke to many art, and prospective OCAD, students. OCAD is an ideas focused school that emphasizes creativity. OCAD is a unique university with small class sizes in a studio environment. The school offers 14 undergraduate programs in Fine Arts (6), Design (6), and Liberal Arts & Sciences (2).

    Programs are evaluated on both studio work (70%), and academic and written work (30%). OCAD also requires its teachers to be working practitioners for the benefit of student learning.

    Admission to OCAD is further based on individual portfolios, an in person interview, and a personal creative statement of interest. It advises those students interested in applying to start working on their portfolios and sketchbooks early so they have a wide variety of material to present to the university.    Full admission and program information can be found on OCAD’s website and in their handbooks available at UPO.

    Thank you to OCAD representative Nadia Galati for a great presentation.

    ...



    Waterloo: Ideas Start Here

    The University of Waterloo is an established institution, excelling in research, engineering and technology programs. Aside from students with good academic standing, the university looks for passionate individuals to bring forward new and innovative ideas. It has earned the title of “Canada’s most innovative university” for the past 19 years thanks to the university rankings in Macleans magazine. It is distinguished in Canada, and the world, for having;

    • the largest engineering faculty in Canada
    • the largest actuarial science program in North America
    • the world’s first kinesiology department
    • the largest post-secondary co-operative education program in the world

    The majority of programs incorporate lab work and offer students hands on experience. In 80% of these programs, students have the option of completing a co-op placement. The university also offers many academic and social support services including tutors in residence, a Student Success Office, and International Student Office, and a Student Life office. 

    As one of Columbia’s University Partners, graduates of Columbia who attend the University of Waterloo receive special benefits including;

    • 4 designated Entrance Scholarships for Columbia International College Pre-U graduates (4 x $3,000)
    • Students with an average of 85% or above are guaranteed a Waterloo entrance scholarship

    For more information regarding programs, admissions, and scholarships, pick up a handbook from UPO or visit the University of Waterloo’s website.

    ...



    THIS IS COLUMBIA

    Recently, students and staff of Columbia gathered outside of the Ainsliewood and Maple buildings for group photos. With over 1000 students in attendance, the photos were a great way to bring the school community together. The photos also represent Columbia'€™s rich cultural diversity and embody the values of inclusiveness and respect.

    Thank You to everyone who participated, you look great!

    Special thanks to Ms. Akos, Mr. Krist, the Media Team and the Liaison Department for organizing the event.

    ...



    Halloween Haunt

    This past weekend, Columbia students experienced haunting sensations when they participated in Canada’s Wonderland’s annual Halloween Haunt. Some walked the Streets of the Undead, some visited the Asylum and others ran into Clowns at Midnight.

    Every October, the amusement park transforms into a creepy, mysterious and frightening place intended to terrify its visitors. During Halloween Haunt, the already chilling rides like the Behemoth, the Leviathan, the Bat and Drop Tower operate at night and are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. The park also creates thrilling shows and haunted mazes that are filled with eerie creatures, twisted roads, and endless surprises. The trip was very popular among students and sold out within days. Students who participated in this fearsome adventure described it as being fun and scary,€ €œterrifying but awesome,and so much fun.

    Halloween Haunt is perfect for those looking to get into the Halloween spirit but is not recommended for the faint of heart. For a list of complete attractions, click here to visit their website.

    ...



    UBC: A Place of Mind

    The University of British Columbia (UBC) was the latest school to visit Columbia during our University fall fair. Yesterday, a UBC representative spoke to Columbia students about its school’s academic programs, admission requirements, and life on campus.

    As one of the world’s top 40 universities, UBC is a recognized leader in research. It is home to the second largest research library in Canada and is also a global leader in sustainability. It is a multi-cultural and international school with a main campus located in Vancouver and a smaller, more intimate campus located in the Okanagan region. Like Columbia, UBC values extra-curricular involvement and looks for students who display character and leadership skills. International students are also eligible to receive scholarships and financial assistance to support their university studies.

    For detailed program information and admission requirements visit UBC’s website or consult the handbook available at UPO.

    A special thank you to the UBC representative for yesterday’s presentation.

    ...



    University Visits Continue at Columbia

    University visits continue this week at Columbia. Students are eager to attend the information sessions as they are being introduced to various schools and diverse programs across Canada. Recently, Carleton University and Trent University representatives stopped by Columbia to meet with students and present the program options offered by their respective school.

    Carleton University

    Carleton University is beautifully located in Ottawa, the nation’s capital and attracts students from around the world. Due to its location, Carleton partners with many industry and government sectors and is able to offer its students unique research and work opportunities.  Undergraduate students at Carleton can choose from over 15 programs with 100 majors in programs ranging from Humanities, to Cognitive Science, to Journalism. Some program highlights include:

    • International approaches to research
    • Joint programs in science and engineering with the University of Ottawa
    • Co-op opportunities available in all faculties
    • Entrance scholarships to students who meet the language and academic requirements

    The university has also developed a strong sense of community and offers various support services to all its students. International students can benefit from Carleton’s International Student Services Office that offers pre-departure support and the International Student Centre, a student-based organization that focuses on peer support and social activities.  

    Trent University

    Trent is a student centered university that focuses on individual learning. Known as research intensive university, Trent is one of Canada’s top research universities that offers state-of-the-art and innovative facilities. Trent's main campus is located in Peterborough, ON and its secondary campus is in Oshawa, ON.  In addition to regular courses, students at Trent can also enroll in Emphasis Programs which focus on a particular subject and compliment a standard degree. Emphasis courses include:

    • Food & Agriculture,
    • Global Power & Politics
    • Law & Policy,
    • Museum Studies.

    Trent also offers specialized programs in the following fields:

    • Sustainability and the Environment
    • Canadian and Indigenous Studies
    • Life and Health Sciences
    • Critical Cultural Inquiry

    Trent’s scholarship and bursary programs are unmatched by any other Canadian university. Students can apply for numerous scholarships and those with an average of 90% or above are eligible to receive a full scholarship.

    Those students interested in Carlton University and Trent University can pick up Viewbooks at UPO and visit the school’s websites for more information.

    Thank you to the Carleton University and Trent University representatives for visiting Columbia.

    ...



    Rock the Living Wall

    Deafening cheers, loud music and excited fans filled the Living Wall Lounge yesterday afternoon. The rock concert atmosphere was the result of a performance by Columbia’s incredibly talented music students. Vocalists and band members, accompanied by Mr. Lawlis, covered both classic and modern songs including chart topping hits such as;

    • “The Climb” – Miley Cyrus,
    • “Over the Rainbow” – Judy Garland,
    • “I Will Survive” - Gloria Gaynor,
    • “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas,
    • “Listen” – Beyoncé,
    • “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
    • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” – Lauren Hill, and
    • “As Long As You Love Me” – Backstreet Boys.

    A Grade 9 soloist, Lisa Ustinova, opened the show with a stellar performance of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” She enjoys music because she is able to “express [her] feelings through song” and believes that “sometimes [singing] is easier than just saying words.” Vivienne Shi, a Grade 12 student, also delivered a flawless performance of Lauren Hill’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” She wanted to be a part of the show simply because she “loves to sing.”

    All of the performances engaged and entertained the crowd who responded with bursts of roaring applause. Performers and spectators could also be heard encouraging one another, as well as complimenting the skill and talent of their fellow classmates. With the talent showcased at yesterday’s event, many hope they won’t have to wait too long for an encore!

    Thank You to Mr. Lawlis for his work in organizing another spectacular event. Thank You also to our maintenance team for their assistance in setting-up the stage.

    ...



    Brock: Nurture Both Sides of the Brain

    Brock University, considered to be a €œmedium-sized institution, provides its students with quality education and quality teachers. Brock's 6 large faculties incorporate distinctive programs designed to promote academic and creative excellence. With over 70 undergraduate programs to choose from, students can earn a degree in Business Economics, Computing and Business, Kinesiology, Public Health, Sport Management, and much more. Although the student population continues to grow, classes and tutorials have remained small in size which allows students to interact with their peers and instructors.

    University Partner®

    Columbia is pleased to have Brock University as a University Partner®. With this partnership, Brock offers Columbia graduates 4 designated entrance scholarships that are renewable each year. Like Columbia, Brock also encourages its students to learn outside the classroom by volunteering in communities locally and abroad. There are countless opportunities to get involved at Brock and many personal and academic support services that will ease the transition into university life.

    Thank You to all Brock representatives who visited Columbia!

    Detailed program and admission information is available on Brock's website. Students can also pick up the newest Brock Handbooks in UPO.

    ...



    Dalhousie: Inspiring Minds

    Dalhousie University representatives brought some Maritime charm to Columbia yesterday during an information session for prospective students. As one of the oldest universities in North America, Dalhousie is committed to academic innovation and combines hands-on learning with traditional and collaborative teaching methods. The school offers conventional programs such as Management, Engineering, and Computer Science, but also has many unique programs including;

    • Architecture,
    • Costume Studies,
    • Community Designs,
    • Informatics, and
    • Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS).

    Dalhousie provides international students with specialized programs, services, and advisors, as well as a multitude of resources available through its International Centre. With campuses in Halifax and Truro, it is a perfect choice for those looking to get a taste of East Coast living.

    Students wishing to attend Dalhousie are encouraged to apply for early admission - which begins October 15th - as they are guaranteed their first choice of residence. January admission is also available for some programs.

    Thank You to our Dalhousie representative for delivering a great presentation and for visiting us here at Columbia.

    Detailed information regarding programs and admissions can be found online. Student handbooks can be picked up at UPO.

    ...



    Mama Africa

     

    Mama Africa

    The second installment of this semester’s International Cuisine Series took place last night. Animal print centerpieces, colourful balloons and streamers, and flags representing different African countries filled the Student Cafe. A mix of modern and traditional music played in the background as energized and excited students eagerly waited for the festivities to begin. Music and rhythm defined the night as guests were treated to a number of surprise performances. An impromptu dance-off competition, a surprise flash mob dance, and a stepping routine were among the evening’s unexpected events. 

     

    Dinner guests also experienced African culture by indulging in traditional delicacies. The main features were;

    • Chapatti Pita/Flat Breads
    •  Moroccan Chic Pea Soup
    • Fried Plantains
    • Roast Corn on the Cob
    • Nigerian Fried Rice
    • Chicken Domoda
    • Beef Skewers
    • Carved Roast Lamb with Trio of Sauces
    • Natural Pan Gravy/Curry Sauce/Red Pepper Sauce
    • Fresh Fruit with Custard & Whipped Cream
    • Fruit Punch Fountain

     

    The event celebrated African culture and showcased Columbia'€™s diversity as students from all regions were represented.

    Columbia would like to thank the Student Development Team and the student volunteers for their hard work in organizing the event. We also want to extend our thanks to the Sodexo staff for all their help in preparing a delicious meal. 

    Next Month’s Feature: CARIBBEAN 

    The second installment of this semester'ss International Cuisine Series will take place tomorrow evening. Staff and students will experience African culture by indulging in traditional delicacies like Fried Plantains and Chicken Domoda. This month's cuisine series volunteers have also worked hard to create another exciting event and have some surprises planned for their guests. 

     

    Complete details of the Mama Africa dinner, including the full menu and photos, will be available on Friday.

    ...



    Columbia is “Baking-A- Difference”

    At Columbia, we believe that extracurricular activities are essential to every student's development.  Learning outside the classroom allows students to develop new skills, explore new interests, and meet many great friends. Columbia offers students over 60 unique clubs ranging from arts to technology and everything in between.

    Bake-A-Difference is just one of the many exciting clubs that offers students the chance to do something fun while giving back to the local community. Every Wednesday, Bake-A-Difference club members meet to bake delicious treats like Berry Bars, Senor Piquante Chili Bites, and Turtle Cheesecake Truffles. These treats are then sold during lunch hours the following day in the Marketplace. Most items sell for 50 cents with all proceeds going to Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House. 

    The club is a fun and creative outlet for students. In addition to having an interest in baking, members are eager to participate because they believe the club is "relaxing" and allows them to do something you don't get to do in residence. Grade eleven students Lynn and Fiona love the club and credit it for helping them "discover new and healthy snacks."

    Bake-A-Difference is run by Ms. Beth who teaches students the values associated with responsibility and perseverance while promoting self-confidence. It is a club that encourages teamwork and leadership, values instilled in all of our students.

    Located next to McMaster Children's Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House Hamilton (RMHH) provides a "home away from home for families of seriously ill children who are receiving treatment at a local children's hospital." RMHH expanded last spring by adding 25 new bedrooms to accommodate more families. To learn more about the charity please visit the RMHH website.

    ...



    Varsity Soccer Team vs Hamilton Police

    Columbia students acted as cheerleaders Friday October 5th as they watched the Varsity Soccer team compete in a friendly match against members of the Hamilton Police squad. The competition was fierce as the Varsity team did well to fight back their early deficit. Despite tremendous efforts from both sides, the game ended in a 4-4 tie. 

    The game against the Hamilton Police is an annual fall and spring event held at Columbia's back field. It allows staff and students to come together outside the classroom and offers a break from their studies. Admission to the game was free but donations were collected for McMaster Children's Hospital. Apart from having fun, the game promotes community involvement and is a means for the students to give back to the community.

    Thank you to the members of the Varsity Team and the Hamilton Police for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the game.

    ...



    Mama Aftica

    The second installment of this semester's International Cuisine Series took place last night. Animal print centerpieces, colourful balloons and streamers, and flags representing different African countries filled the Student Cafe. A mix of modern and traditional music played in the background as energized and excited students eagerly waited for the festivities to begin. Music and rhythm defined the night as guests were treated to a number of surprise performances. An impromptu dance-off competition, a surprise flash mob dance, and a stepping routine were among the evening's unexpected events.

    Dinner guests also experienced African culture by indulging in traditional delicacies. The main features were;
    -   Chapatti Pita/Flat Breads
    -    Moroccan Chick Pea Soup
    -    Fried Plantains
    -    Roast Corn on the Cob
    -    Nigerian Fried Rice
    -    Chicken Domoda
    -    Beef Skewers
    -   Natural Pan Gravy/Curry Sauce/Red Pepper Sauce
    -    Fresh Fruit with Custard & Whipped Cream
    -    Fruit Punch Fountain

    The event celebrated African culture and showcased Columbia's diversity as students from all regions were represented.
    Columbia would like to thank the Student Development Team and the student volunteers for their hard work in organizing the event. We also want to extend our thanks to the Sodexo staff for all their help in preparing a delicious meal.
    Next Month's Feature: CARIBBEAN

    ...



    Columbia Welcomes Western

    Western University representatives visited Columbia earlier this week to showcase its various colleges, faculties, programs and Ivey, its prestigious school of business. As Western is one of Columbia's University Partners, students were eager to learn about everything the university offers. Columbia graduates receive guaranteed admission to Western and an admission scholarship if they receive a final admission average of 87% or above. It also offers three designated admission scholarships to the top three graduates of Columbia who register at main campus each year. Other highlights include: 

     

    Western University

    • The BEST student experience among large Canadian universities
    • 4 Campus options; Main Campus, Brescia University College, Huron University College, King'™s University College,
    • Exceptional academic programming supportive residence life, student services, and wide-ranging co-curricular clubs and activities
    • An International and Exchange Student Centre that offers year round support and activities
    • Renowned research facilities
    • Bachelor, Graduate, and Doctoral Degrees

     

    IVEY School of Business

    • IVEY's Learning Through Action courses gives its students hands on experience and allows them to practice the concepts and theories learned in class.
    • 2 + 2 program structure - The first two years of undergraduate studies allow you to study in any faculty and your last two years are spent studying at IVEY
    • Their summer internship program has placed students in diverse fields in Canada and abroad at companies such as Goldman Sachs, Apple and General Mills.
    • 93% of IVEY graduates receive job offers within 3 months of graduation with an average starting salary of $64,000 -the highest of any business school in Canada.   
    • IVEY students will also gain access to their alumni network who hold great C level positions in companies around the world such as George Cope, President and CEO, BCE INC and Bell Canada, Kevin O'™Leary, star of CBC's Dragon's Den, and Laurie Campbell, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Debt Capital Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    Want to Visit Western?

    Students interested in attending Western can book a tour or attend one of their open houses;

    • Fall Preview Day - Saturday, November 17, 2012
    • March Break Open House - Saturday, March 9, 2013

    A special thank you to all Western representatives who stopped by Columbia this week.

    Western University and Ivey handbooks can be picked up at UPO. More information is also available on their website.

     

    ...



    Seek. Strive. Succeed.

    At Columbia, our students are encouraged to maximize their academic potential through character building programs.  These programs allow our students to GO Higher to achieve academic excellence, learn fundamental leadership values and build life skills.

    In a special ceremony this morning, seven Executive Student Leaders were recognized for exemplifying character and leadership through their roles as Head Mentors. Their commitment and dedication was instrumental in welcoming new students during August's student intake. Mr. Rambarran and Ms. Courtney presented each student with a Head Mentor Award for going above and beyond their mentor duties. In addition to the special plaque, each student received two tickets to a Hamilton Tiger Cats game.

    Congratulations to our Head Mentors;

    • Wahab, Abdul (Wahab)
    • Thompson, Abasiama Mfon (Thompson)
    • Sappire, Shulomith (Shully)
    • Oghoore, Nina Zino (Nina)
    • Mendie, Mfonido Ime (Mfonido)
    • Sun, Rui (Samuel)

     

    Keep up the good work!

    ...



    University of Kent appeals to Columbia Students

    A representative from the University of Kent spent a few hours in the Marketplace today to discuss the school's programs and features with Columbia students. The University of Kent is the "Uk's European university" and has established an international reputation for its academic excellence. A large number of Columbia students apply to Kent each year and it is among the top choice of school outside of Canada. In particular, students prefer the university's 3-year degree option and are drawn to its Law and Engineering programs.  The University's representative believes that students choose to study at Kent because it offers them œan international outlook, international education, and international work experience that accompanies many programs. The British education system is also comparable to that of Canada which eases the transition from studying in Canada to studying in the UK. The University of Kent offers;

    • Overseas study and work options
    • Campuses in Canterbury, Medway, Brussels, Paris and Athens
    • Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees
    • Scholarships available to international students

     

    Thank you to Kim, the University of Kent representative, for spending the afternoon with us and answering all of our questions.

    Pick up the University of Kent's International Student Guide at UPO if you would like more information

    ...



    Shoe Show

    On display in the Lobby of Ainsliewood and the Living Wall Lounge is a collection of Fabulous Footware designed by Mr. Ferreira's grade 12 art classes. Students were judged on their creations on Friday following presentations they made various staff members. The impressive collection features traditional shoes from South America, South and South East Asia, China, Russia and Africa that represent everything from cultural sports and performing arts to friendship and battle. The shoes are accompanied by a painted portrait and a description of the shoe that explains their origins and significance. Stop by on your lunch period to see all the fantastic designs!

    ...



    An Inspiring Journey

    Columbia's school community is committed to working together to outrun cancer. For 30 years Columbia has participated in the Terry Fox Run and is proud to be only 1 of 6 schools in the world to have achieved this.

    Yesterday afternoon over 300 of Columbia's students and staff members participated in the annual Terry Fox National School Run Day, walking 5.4 kilometers from Bayfront Park to Ainsliewood. The journey took around 60 minutes to complete and although it was tiring, students did a great job advocating for Terry's cause. Terry showed remarkable courage, perseverance, and optimism throughout his journey, and Columbia works hard to instill these values in its students.

    We would like to congratulate the Columbia community for surpassing our goal and raising over $12,000 for this worthy cause.  In total, Columbia has contributed $100,000 to cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation.
    A special thank you to Ms. Sherry Thompson and her committee for their dedication and hard work in organizing another successful Terry Fox Run.

    ...



    Columbia’s Games Day

    Columbia's newly enhanced back field resembled a mini fair yesterday as it was taken over by activities, sports, inflatable games, and excited students. Why all the commotion? It was GAMES DAY at Columbia!
    Yesterday afternoon, classes ended early to ensure that each and every student had the opportunity to play, have fun, and participate in Games Day. When the final bell rang, students rushed outside to lineup for the many great activities that were taking place. They included;
    - Hockey and Soccer shooting targets
    - Basketball free throw
    - Hula Hoop Competition
    - Human Hamster Ball
    - Frisbee Toss
    - Jumping Balls
    - Three-Legged Race
    - Sack Race
    And much more!
    Games Day is a recurring event at the school, organized and carried out by our dynamic Student Development department with the help of Columbia's Executive Student Leadership team. Students were responsible for running most stations and explaining game rules while ensuring their fellow classmates were having a great time. Leadership members noted that it is a special day because its ability to bring the school together and allow everyone to play.
    Games Day promotes the values that are at the core of Columbia's teaching system. Students learn Responsibility, Honesty and Integrity, Fairness, Caring, Perseverance and Inclusiveness by participating in, and experiencing Games Day.
    We would like to thank the Student Development Department for organizing the events and Sodexo for providing the delicious ice cream. Special thank you to the members of the Executive Student Leadership team for your hard work in running the events.
    To view pictures of Games Day visit our Facebook site

    ...



    ESL AWARDS CEREMONY

    In a special ceremony this morning, ten ESL students were recognized for their academic excellence, hard work, and perseverance. Awards were given to those ESL students who excelled in their classes and received top marks in June, July and August classes. Mr. Galea, ESL Department Head and Ms. Baker, Senior School Head presented each student with a certificate of distinction and a medal. Principal Mr. Rambarran, and Executive Director Mr. Chan were also present at the ceremony to congratulate the students.
    Congratulations to the following winners;

    June:
    Jiang Jin Yi - ESLBO
    Yu Tie Ning - ESLDO

    July:
    Hou Yan Hong - ESLBO
    Rong Peina - ESLDO

    August:
    Zhang Jia Ming - ESLAO
    Chen Zhou Xing - ESLBO
    Zhang Yu Wei - ESLBO
    Ou Meiyi - ESLBO
    Wu Hao Wei - ESLCO
    Zhao Shao Yao - ESLDO

    ...



    Columbia Alum Represents Laurier

    University visits have begun at Columbia! On Monday, a representative from Wilfred Laurier University, TK Azaglo, held an information session to discuss the school’s programs and answer questions from students. Among the main topics of discussion were Laurier’s partnerships with the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph, the differences between the Brantford and Waterloo campuses, co-op program options, and scholarship requirements. TK also highlighted the benefits of attending smaller sized universities, such as Laurier, as they offer smaller class sizes and greater interaction with professors and fellow students.
    As a former international student, a graduate of Columbia, and Laurier alum, TK truly understands the confusion and uncertainty international students’ encounter in choosing a university that is right for them. After graduating from Columbia in 2006, he too was nervous about beginning his university career. However, he believes that Columbia prepared him for university as it offered “a good transition into Canadian society and allowed [him] to adjust to Canadian culture.”
    He also believes the best way for students to decide on a university is to “go for a campus tour, talk to professors and students who attend the school, and get a feel for the school’s atmosphere.” TK attributed his personal success at Laurier to his involvement in the school community and extra-curricular activities. He encourages all students to get involved as he believes it is essential for “having access to all Canadian experiences.”
    Laurier will be holding campus tours on November 2nd for their Waterloo Campus and November 9th for their Brantford Campus. Contact the UPO office for more information.

    ...



    ART Attack!

    There is incredible talent in Ms. Story’s Grade 12 Portfolio class. Students in this class recently completed covers for their portfolios which are nothing short of amazing. Their designs are on display outside of Room 157 for students and staff to enjoy. Next time you walk down the hall be sure to take a moment to look at their impressive work.

    ...



    University of Alberta Representatives to visit Columbia

    On Thursday, September 27th, representatives from the University of Alberta will visit Columbia. Kelty Heck, a Recruitment Coordinator with the university, will be holding a presentation to discuss post-secondary options at the University of Alberta. Students will have the opportunity to ask specific questions related to their programs of interest. The presentation will take place at 4:00 in the Café. Representatives from the following faculties will be present:
    - Engineering
    - Science
    - Business
    - Nursing
    - Arts
    - Phys Ed
    - Augustana (Alberta's satellite campus)
    If you are considering applying to the University of Alberta, we encourage you to attend the presentation. We also suggest you research your program of choice and go prepared with questions to ask the representatives.

     

    ...



    Columbia is a SPIRITED School

    Animal ears, mismatched socks, and clown wigs were among today’s fashion trends in support of Wacky Day, the last day of Spirit Week.
    Over the past week, Columbia students showed exceptional school spirit as they participated in numerous activities and dressed up in outrageous outfits. Enthusiasm and participation increased throughout the week as excitement and student interest grew for Spirit week events. Students said they look forward to Spirit Week all semester and enjoy “dressing up,” the "cheerful atmosphere," and the “awesome morning activities.”
    Aside from looking ridiculous in unique costumes and outfits, staff and students had a great time promoting school spirit and the values of respect and inclusiveness. Spirit week has unified the school community and has allowed the student population to promote a common cause: school spirit.
    Thank you to all staff and students who participated in Spirit Week. A very special thank you to our Student Development team and the Student Council for organizing all of the week’s events.
    To view photos and videos of Spirit Week events visit our Facebook page. 

    ...



    “A single dream. A world of hope.”

    Next week, Columbia's school community will be continuing one of its longstanding traditions by participating in the Terry Fox National School Run Day. This annual event educates students on the significance of Terry's run and the impact of his actions. It also allows them to reflect on the courage, perseverance, and optimism he showed throughout his journey and ensures his legacy is kept alive. Most importantly, the Terry Fox Run inspires students to go higher to make positive changes in the world, reminding them that one person can make a difference.
    The Terry Fox National School Run Day will take place on Thursday, September 27th. Hundreds of Columbia students will be participating and their goal is to raise $12,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.
    Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope in 1980 after being diagnosed with bone cancer. He was forced to have his right leg amputated but courageously ran more than 5000 kilometers across Canada to raise money for cancer research. The Terry Fox Run is now an annual fundraising event dedicated to raising money and awareness to fight cancer. To date, the Marathon of hope had raised over $600 million worldwide for cancer research.

    ...



    Columbia Student Wins App Contest

    In a special ceremony yesterday at Hamilton City Hall’s Small Business Enterprise Centre, one of Columbia’s students was recognized for his creativity and originality. Xiao Bo Cheng, a grade 12 student, was the winner of the Hamilton Map App contest that challenged students to name and design a logo for a new app that focuses on discovering downtown Hamilton.
    Xiao Bo entered the contest because he “wanted to represent Columbia.” He came up with a design that was “simple and clear” and he believes he won because of his simplicity. As he has only been in Canada a few months, Xiao Bo loves the app and believes it is the perfect tool to help him learn more about, and discover the city. He was awarded $200 in gift certificates for downtown businesses for his design which he can use at a number of places including the Locke Street Bakery, Sapporo, and Theatre Aquarius.
    The contest was open to students of Columbia, McMaster University, and Mohawk College with the intention of “connecting youth to Hamilton” as Gisela Oliveira, Employment Service Coordinator with the Student Success Centre at McMaster University stated. Designed by Weever Apps, a Hamilton-based company, the MyHamilton app was created to reveal the many “hidden gems” of the city that are often unknown to students. The app will also publicize jobs, events, accommodations and transportation in the city’s downtown core and represents a collaborative project between Columbia, the City of Hamilton, McMaster University, Mohawk College and Weever Apps. While it is directed towards students, the app will benefit the entire city and can be used by everyone.
    To learn more about the MyHamilton app and how it works, check out the demonstration given by Steve McBride of Weever Apps on CBC Hamilton.
    More information about the MyHamilton project can be found by visiting the Hamilton Spectator.
    Congratulations Xiao Bo! We are all very proud of your accomplishment.

    ...



    Show Your S-P-I-R-I-T Columbia

    We've got SPIRIT, yes we do, we’ve got SPIRIT, how about YOU?
    It's SPIRIT WEEK here at Columbia. Beginning today, students and staff members will have the opportunity to show their spirit by dressing up in outfits and costumes that best represent the theme of the day;
    - Pajama Day -€“ Monday, September 17th
    - Nerd Day  -Tuesday, September 18th
    - Culture Day - Wednesday, September 19th
    - 1980’s Day -€“ Thursday, September 20th
    - Wacky Day - Friday, September 21st
    Those who participate can win great prizes as the best dressed student and the best dressed staff member will be crowned daily! Students will also participate in a morning activity where the winning class will receive a prize. Students at Maple will take part in a Scavenger Hunt starting on Tuesday the 18th.
    There is however more to Spirit Week than just silly costumes and great prizes. Spirit week encourages students to get involved and support the school by participating in daily events. It also allows students to practice this month'€™s character key - respect - by appreciating and respecting the school'€™s diversity.
    To view photos of daily activities, visit our Facebook page.

    ...



    Students of Columbia help ‘Fix our World’

    This weekend Columbia students will earn community service hours by volunteering at the Fix Our World Festival in Hamilton. Students who signed up to volunteer at this event will be helping raise awareness about various global issues such as Climate Change, Poverty and Disease. This event will be instrumental in teaching students the importance of becoming responsible global citizens and will allow them to practice the values of respect; the theme of this month’s character key.
    The two-day festival will be held at T.B. McQuesten Park (across from LimeRidge Mall) and begins tomorrow at 12pm. Highlights of the festival include an Open Drum Circle, a performance by Brian Melo, the 2007 Canadian Idol winner, a yoga session, and a bike giveaway.
    Proceeds raised at the festival will go towards the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, Empowerment Squared and Fix Our World. Complete festival details are available here.
    Fix Our World is a non-partisan grassroots organization aimed at educating communities, particularly youth, about pressing global issues in areas of the Environment, Peace and Conflict, Poverty, and Global Health. To learn more about their mandate and organization, visit FixOurWorld.org.

    ...



    On the Road to Success

    Mao Zhengquan came to Columbia as a high school junior in 2010 from Shanghai, China. His goals were to learn English and attend university in Canada. Nearly two years later and only a few months away from graduation, Mao is realizing his dream. In addition to achieving academic excellence, he has excelled in extra-curricular activities and has acted as a Student Mentor, a Peer Tutor, and an Executive Student Leader. His 97% class average, his extra-curricular involvement, and his 200 hours of community service have put him in contention to becoming the top December graduate. Mao recently reflected on the time he has spent at Columbia. Here is what he had to say about his journey:
    The Beginning
    - I first heard of Columbia through a family friend. They recommended it for me and I choose to attend after hearing of its great reputation.
    - Before coming to Columbia my greatest fear was the language barrier. I was afraid I would not be able to understand the teachers and what they were teaching.
    Overcoming Obstacles
    - In my first semester at Columbia I really tried to understand my teachers. I asked them many questions and studied and reviewed my notes every night. It took about two months for me to feel comfortable studying in English.
    Achieving Success
    - When I came in Grade 10 I spent lots of time in extra-curricular groups. As I got older I put more effort in my academics.
    - I know it’s hard to make friends when you’re an international student because you don’t know many people and I wanted to help others.
    - I think I have a responsibility to help in the school community because I am able to. For example, I tutor four days a week for Economics, Accounting, Data Management, Computer Science and English and I’m part of the Student Council.
    Personal Growth
    - Being in Canada and attending Columbia has made me more independent. I’m better at time management and organization now. I’m also on my own and I can socialize with other people more because my English skills have improved.
    Future Plans 
    - I want to get a Business degree and a Master’s degree in Finance. I want to stay in Canada and attend business school at either Ivy (Western University) or Rotman (University of Toronto). I’m also applying to Oxford University.
    Congratulations on all your success Mao! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

    ...



    Viva La Fiesta!

    What do you get when you mix a little spice, Spanish and Latin flare, and a dash of different cultures? A Columbia fiesta!
    After a brief summer hiatus, our International Cuisine Series returned last night to celebrate the best of Spanish and Latin culture. Mexico, Venezuela and Spain were among the many countries represented in La Gran Fiesta Dinner that took place in McCampbell’s Grill at the Café. Spots for this event filled up quickly as over 120 students and staff members indulged in delicious Spanish inspired dishes. Students had a hand in selecting the menu which included;
    Appetizers & Salad
    - Fresh Tri-Coloured Nachos with Guacamole, Salsa & Sour Cream
    - Mexican Macaroni Salad
    - Spicy Cucumber Salad
    Entrées
    - Chicken Tostados – Corn Tortillias with Layers of Refried Beans, Shredded Spiced Chicken, Cheese & Tomato
    - Carne Guisada – Mexican Style Beef Stew
    - Mexican Style Shredded Pork with Green Chili, Garlic, Lime & Chipotle Sauce
    - Camotos al Horno – Sweet Baked Yams
    - Three Bean Stew – Spiced Garbanzo, Black & Pinto Beans with Garlic, Onion, Tomato
    Dessert
    - Banana Frita con Canela e Acucar – Sautéed bananas with Sweet Cinnamon over Vanilla Ice Cream
    There was also music, raffles, and of course, dancing! After dinner students assembled in the back field and took a few swings at the piñatas.
    Columbia’s International Cuisine Series is a great event that gives students the opportunity to learn about different cultures and practice key values such as respect and inclusiveness. Students from all regions – from Latin America to South and South East Asia- volunteered at this event and were responsible for its success.
    Thank you to all our student volunteers, all students and staff that attended, and our Student Development team for organizing the event.
    Next month’s feature: AFRICA!

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    U of T’s EngSci Welcomes Columbia Grads

    Columbia students are known for achieving academic excellence. This is reflected in the number of Columbia graduates attending the University of Toronto's Engineering Science program. The EngSci program attracts top students from over 19 countries and is one of the most selective and advanced engineering programs offered in the world.
    Five Columbia students, graduates of May and June, were accepted into this prestigious program and were each offered a $5000 scholarship. Four of the five students have chosen to attend the program and are set to begin their studies next week. Congratulations to all five students who were accepted;
    - Chen, Bo Wen
    - Jiao, Zi Xin
    - Sun, Shang Zhe
    - Xiao, Zhong Yang
    - Zheng, Yu
    Engineering Science at the University of Toronto is a very academically demanding program that has a class entering average of 94%. Before selecting a major, students learn the foundations of engineering and science in their first 2 years . The Engineering Science program, like Columbia's educational system, is also focused on extracurricular involvement and aims to develop well-rounded citizens.
    For detailed program information, please visit the University of Toronto's Engineering Science homepage. 

    ...



    Safety Matters

    Safety First. Be Alert, Don’t Get Hurt. Better Safe than Sorry. Be Aware, Take Care. These are just some of the mottos we want students to always keep in mind.
    At Columbia, we are committed to protecting the safety of our students and staff. We want to ensure that everyone practices proper safety techniques and avoids preventable injuries. Starting this week, Campus Safety will be in the Marketplace every Friday to discuss a different safety issue. Today’s topic was Traffic Safety. Columbia’s Campus Safety Coordinator, Dean Mougenout, was present to deliver safety tips to students. In case you missed it, here’s what you need to know:
    - Be alert when crossing the street – put cell phones and music away
    - Pay extra attention when walking in a construction zone.
    - Be aware of your surroundings
    - Pay attention to traffic signs
    - Obey traffic signs and walk on the sidewalk
    He also wants students to know that they can visit Campus Safety anytime in Room 206 to discuss any safety concerns.
    These weekly safety information sessions are just one of the many ways Columbia is ensuring that the school remains a safe place to learn and grow.

    ...



    Columbia Sings

    Mr. Lawlis and his first period senior music class delighted staff in the Administration office this morning. They surprised workers by performing two classic songs: James Blunt's "Beautiful" and The Turtles "So Happy Together". They then made their way to other departments to deliver equally impressive performances. These impromptu renditions are regular occurrences at Columbia and are great ways for the students to practice their performing skills.
    Thank you to Mr. Lawlis and his class for brightening everyone's day!

    ...



    Club Fair @ Columbia

    Interested in Art, Cooking, or Sports? There's a club for that.
    Yesterday, Columbia held its annual Club Fair in the Ainsliewood Gym. With more than 60 great clubs to choose from, students rushed to the gym to secure a spot in their favourite club. The Club Fair is a great way to highlight the diverse interests of our student population. From Leadership to Archery, Clubs at Columbia cover all subjects and promise to have something for everyone. Some of the many unique clubs include:
    - Digital Culture Club
    - Strategy Board Games
    - Hammer Heads
    - Improv Club
    - Food-Net Club
    - Squash
    New and returning students agreed that clubs are the perfect way to meet new people, make great friends, and begin a new hobby. If you didn’t get a chance to attend yesterday, drop by the Gym today at lunch or after school. There are still many opportunities available in a variety of clubs.
    Most clubs begin next week but check with your club leader to confirm start dates, time and location.

    ...



    Summer’s End

    Learning English and discovering Canada were the two factors that attracted hundreds of campers to Columbia’s Summer Camp program. For the past two months campers were introduced to all aspects of Canadian life, and shared some very unique experiences.
    Summer camp proved to be both academically and socially rewarding for campers. In class, campers improved their English language skills while making new friends and discovering new cultures. During daily art, science, computers and sports activities, they learned new skills, created spectacular projects and were taught the importance of teamwork.
    Campers spent three to four weeks at Columbia learning English and exploring Hamilton and its surrounding areas. Apart from visiting major tourist attractions such as Medieval Times, Niagara Falls, and the CN Tower, campers travelled to various parts of Ontario and Québec. They spent time exploring Kingston, the Thousand Islands, Montréal and Ottawa, the nation’s capitol. A retreat to Bark Lake was also a popular item on their agenda.
    Whether campers were singing karaoke in the lounge, rehearsing their performances for the talent show or playing games during their lunch hour, there was never a dull moment around Summer Camp. Special guest visitors including Calvin the magician, Tai Chi Master Rose Oliver, and Historical Reenactor Jim Taggart, also entertained campers.
    This year's Summer Camp was a huge success and was made possible by the extraordinary efforts of the Summer Camp Staff, better known as the Green Team. From the beginning, their goal was to deliver the best summer experience to campers.
    After receiving feedback from campers and group leaders, they can proudly say that their mission was accomplished. Columbia's Summer Camp began on July 2nd and concludes this weekend when the last group of campers return home. For more information about Columbia’s Summer Camp program visit the Summer Camp section of our website.

    ...



    Enhancing Columbia

    At Columbia, we want to deliver the best student experience. As a result, we are constantly upgrading and improving our facilities and resources. If you have recently visited Columbia, you would have noticed the construction taking place in the back field. This is part of an improvement plan designed to maximize the space surrounding Ainsliewood and eliminate congestion in the front areas of the school. The large field will be surrounded by a 6 foot walking track and gardens, and will be used as a workout space for field sports. General Manager, Jim Campbell, said the project was initiated to create “better surroundings for students to enjoy the outdoors.” The track has been built with permeable paving which allows rainfall to infiltrate into the ground, reducing runoff and removing many contaminants. It is also Columbia’s newest investment in sustainability since establishing the NEDLAW Living Wall in May.
    The enhancements to the back field began last summer and full completion is expected within the next few weeks. Improvements and renovations to the front parking lot will also be starting shortly. The plan is to add school bus turning lanes and grant easier access the back of the lot, making pick-ups and drop-offs more convenient.

    ...



    Introducing the Marketplace

    A Marketplace is typically known as an area where goods and services are exchanged. Columbia’s new Marketplace is not focused on trade or consumerism, rather it is designed to improve student involvement in school and community events. An initiative of the Student Development Department, the Marketplace aims to be a visible and accessible space at the heart of student activity. Leadership and Community Services Coordinator, Courtney Workman, said the Marketplace is intended to “get everyone involved and reach out to students who normally would not visit Student Development.” Located next to the Living Wall, the Marketplace will be open throughout the week during lunch hours to promote current and upcoming events at Columbia. Thursdays will be dedicated to promoting community service opportunities, and Fridays will highlight various campus safety issues. The Marketplace will also be the spot where students can buy tickets for trips and events, learn about clubs and school activities, and explore opportunities such as the Executive Student Leadership and Student Mentor programs.
    The grand opening for the Marketplace took place this afternoon and was widely received by students who described it as being a “helpful” and “valuable” space. Grade 12 student Ogechukwu Ugona noted that it is “a great idea and very useful for getting involved.” Today’s impressive turnout had student’s signing up to volunteer at this weekend’s Dundas Cactus Festival and filling all available positions for Saturday, and leaving few opportunities for Sunday.
    Students are encouraged to visit the Marketplace during their lunch hour. Updates regarding weekly events at the Marketplace will be posted on our Website and our Facebook page.

    ...



    Our Success spans the Globe

    Columbia prides itself on being the largest private junior and senior boarding high school in Canada. We are honoured that students from over 70 countries choose to attend Columbia each year.
    The diverse makeup of our student body is one of many distinguishing factors that separates Columbia from other top schools. Our unique student population has contributed to Columbia’s notable reputation overseas and has attracted students from around the world:
    - Americas – 10%
    - Caribbean – 3%
    - Europe – 6%
    - Middle East – 0.5%
    - Africa – 14%
    - East Asia – 59.5%
    - South and South East Asia – 10%
    Students of Columbia learn the importance of becoming responsible global citizens and go on to study at renowned universities throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
    The Columbia Advantage is a Global Advantage.

    ...



    Orientation – Fall 2012

    Orientation is synonymous with new beginnings. It is also an exciting time for staff and students who are eager to face the challenges and adventures of the upcoming year.
    Today marks the second of four Fall Orientation days for new and returning students at Columbia. Parents and students have the opportunity to meet staff and teachers, and familiarize themselves with the school, its services and its residences. After a welcome assembly, students will complete numerous administrative tasks that include receiving their student ID’s, writing their English and Math Diagnostic tests, registering for classes, and picking up their uniforms. During this time, parents will attend information sessions and be introduced to Executive Director, Mr. Clement Chan, and General Manager, Mr. Jim Campbell.
    On behalf of all of us here at Columbia, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of our school, and an equally warm welcome back to all returning students.
    We wish all students the best of luck as they begin a new semester and a new phase in their lives.

    ...



    Total Care® delivers Success to south & SE Asia

    Student: Mai Phoung (Kate) Le (Vietnam)
    Graduated from Columbia:
    June 2012
    Accepted to: McMaster University (Commerce)
    Success at Columbia: 2012 Valedictorian, Member of Executive Leadership Team, Recipient of the Sylvia Park Memorial Scholarship and the External Community Service Award, Ontario Scholar
    Kate Le is one of many Top Achievers that has recently graduated from Columbia. Originally from Vietnam, Kate came to Canada to attend Columbia and learn English. Although she excelled academically and socially, she worked diligently to achieve her success. Here is what she had to say about the time she spent at Columbia:
    Q. When you think of Columbia, what comes to mind?
    A. Total Care. It really helped me, especially compared to my previous school.  Columbia is more than just school and studying. You can participate in events and sports and make a lot of friends. I also think of diversity because I met people from so many different countries.
    Q. What was your greatest fear before coming to Columbia?
    A. The language barrier. I was scared of coming to a new environment and I didn’t speak any English when I arrived. I was also a bad listener so I knew learning English would be difficult.
    Q. What is some advice you would give current or future students about Columbia?
    A. Most students don’t know about school activities and events. I would tell them to participate. People who complain about the school and say they don’t like it haven’t experienced all of what it has to offer.  The best way to enjoy your time here is to get involved in the school. You have to make the most of your experience here.
    Q. Describe your best experience at Columbia.
    A. I really enjoyed my time in the Executive Leadership and Prefect teams and the Student Council. In these groups we organized events and went to Bark Lake for leadership training. I saw myself change after becoming a Student Leader. I became more open and confident in all areas of my life.
    Q. What are your favourite Columbia memories?
    A. I really enjoyed going to Bark Lake because the people there are really cool and treated us like a family. I got to try new things when I was there like canoeing, archery, and high rope. The 30hour famine was also pretty cool because it was the first time I participated in an event like that and I got to spend the whole night with my friends. If I was in Vietnam, I would not have been able to do these things. If I didn’t get involved in these extra-curricular activities, I would not have these memories.
    Q. Who are your role models?
    A. I look up to my mom because she’s a successful woman and always encourages and supports me. I also look up to the Student Development Staff because I think they are good role models. They gave me advice that really helped and I learned a lot by spending time with them.
    Q. What are your future plans?
    A. In September, I’ll be going to McMaster to study Business and Commerce. I am very excited and I know it’s a great school. I hope to stay in Canada when I’m done and get a job in Banking or Finance.
    Q. Would you have done anything differently during your time here?
    A. I have no regrets. I enjoyed my life here.


     

    ...



    Go Higher with Character.

    The Character Development Program at Columbia aims to create responsible global citizens and is a large focus of student life. Each month, a different character trait is discussed and integrated into school trips and extracurricular activities. Similar to other major projects at Columbia, students worked with staff in selecting 11 character keys to focus on monthly.
    They agreed on the following:
    - Honesty & Integrity
    - Responsibility
    - Inclusiveness
    - Perseverance
    - Optimism
    - Fairness
    - Caring
    - Peaceful & Positive Conflict Resolution
    - Respect
    - Self-Confidence & Self-Advocacy
    Executive Director, Clement Chan, recently spoke about the school-wide Character Development Program, noting that it is under the guidance of world-renowned Education Consultant Dr. Avis Glaze.  Mr. Chan further noted that the program was created “in an effort to encourage our students to embody good character in addition to their academic excellence.” Character Development has been well received by students and is just one of the many ways Columbia is maximizing students’ academic potential and equipping them with the values and skills to GO Higher.

    ...



    Our Leaders. Our Champions.

    Year after year, Columbia graduates receive close to $3 million in scholarships and gain admission to some of the world's top universities. Since 1979, through our ASEP-Total Care Education System®, students have been nurtured to become strong leaders, trained to develop their potential. As a result, they have leaped higher than they thought possible.
    At Columbia there are endless opportunities for students to develop their skills and excel in both academic and extracurricular life. Our Total Development® program is committed to fostering a supportive and motivating environment for students. These programs are administered by our Student Development Office and implemented under the following programs:
    - Residence Life Program
    - Student Life Program
    - The Athletic Program
    - Leadership, Enrichment and Development (L.E.A.D.) Program
    - Community Service Program
    In addition, our Leadership Training programs are designed to cultivate communication and leadership skills. Columbia encourages students to participate in Leadership Training courses at our Bark Lake Training Centre and join our Executive Student Leadership team to foster and develop essential life skills.
    Our commitment to our students' academic and personal achievement is evident:
    Students strive for success; Columbia maximizes their potential to achieve it!

    ...



    We Work Together with our University Partners® for excellence in Education.

    Columbia’s University Partners® program is designed to provide our graduates with exclusive benefits from our partner universities. Top universities from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have joined our program throughout the years. They include;
    - Acadia University (Canada)
    - University of Alberta (Canada)
    - Brock University (Canada)
    - Cape Breton University
    - McMaster University (Canada)
    - University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Canada)
    - University of Waterloo (Canada)
    - Western University (Canada)
    - York University (Canada)
    - State University of New York (United States)
    - D’Youville College (United States)
    - University of London (United Kingdom)
    - University of Canberra (Australia)
    Guaranteed admission, waived or reduced TOEFL fees, and dual admission are among the advantages given to Columbia graduates by our University Partners®. In 2012, Columbia graduates received 3.5 million dollars in scholarships. 72 percent of these graduates were accepted into the top 8 Canadian universities with 289 admitted to The University of Toronto, 190 admitted to the University of Waterloo, and 206 admitted to McMaster University.
     

     

     

    ...



    A Historical Lesson

    A Historical Lesson

    Rural, simple and difficult are the best ways to describe life in the 1800’s. ESL Summer Camp classes were given an inside look into a typical Canadian lifestyle between the years of 1812-1820. Special guest speaker and historical reenactor, Jim Taggart spent the day at Columbia teaching campers about the way of life 200 years ago. Here are a few interesting facts he mentioned:
    - Girls were married at 14 years of age
    - Deodorant was not used
    - Baths were taken once a year, usually in May
    - People traveled by horse and buggy or on foot
    - Families grew their own harvests.
    He also showcased great artifacts and brought along historical clothing that students later modeled for their classmates and teachers.
    We would like to thank Jim, and his assistant Nick, for spending the day with us and their special presentation. 

    ...



    Eastern Extravaganza

    Canada is a beautiful country with deep historic roots, breathtaking landscapes and diverse cultures.  While this history and culture can be found in any part of the nation, a trip to Eastern Ontario and Québec is a great way to experience it all in a short amount of time.  An Eastern tour also happens to be part of our Summer Camp program itinerary. 
    Those enrolled in Platinum and Gold packages have the opportunity to visit some of Canada's most renowned landmarks.  The agenda has campers travelling throughout Ottawa and Québec.  Highlights include:
    - A visit to Parliament hill to watch the changing of the guard ceremony
    - Exploring the Museum of Natural Civilization
    - A tour of Québec City, North America's oldest city
    - A stop at Notre Dame Basilica
    Groups who already returned from the tour have had nothing but great reviews and experiences to report.  In particular, campers raved about the old city tour in Québec, the views of the St. Lawrence River, and the exciting and welcoming atmosphere in Ottawa.  They also made sure to purchase a few souvenirs for family and friends, notably hockey memorabilia.  Regardless of individual interests, campers greatly enjoyed the Eastern Tour and were glad it was included in the Summer Camp program.
    For a closer look at Summer Camp, visit our blog at http://www.canadasummercamp.ca/.

    ...



    A Weekend Retreat

    For many Canadians, summertime and cottage life are synonymous. A cottage retreat is a highly anticipated event that defines the summer months. Embracing the outdoors and soaking up the sun are central aspects of cottage life, often achieved by participating in popular cottage activities such as canoeing, swimming, and hiking. Summer campers will get the opportunity to practice this favoured lifestyle when they travel to Bark Lake. Located in the Haliburton Highlands and the Kawartha Lakes, campers will visit the pristine grounds of Bark Lake and explore the heart of cottage country.
    As Columbia’s leadership training facility, campers who visit Bark Lake will participate in character building and teamwork exercises. They will also learn essential life skills and values that will assist their academic and social development;
    ·    Respect
    ·    Integrity
    ·    Trust
    ·    Effective Communication
    ·    Positive Decision-Making
    ·    Goal-Setting
    ·    Creative Thinking
    Bark Lake is an ideal location for summer campers to learn English and discover Canada while making great friends. The experiences and training they receive here play important roles in fostering teamwork, cooperation, and leadership skills which will allow them become to responsible global citizens.
    Several summer camp groups have already visited Bark Lake. Additional groups will be making the journey throughout the next few weeks. 
    Additional information on Bark Lake can be found by visiting their website: http://www.barklake.com/index.html
    For more information about Columbia’s Summer Camp Program please visit the Summer Camp section of our website or visit our blog: http://www.canadasummercamp.ca/. Pictures of daily events can also be found by visiting our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia.International.College.

    ...



    Summer Camp Adventures

    School might be out for the summer, but things have not slowed down here at Columbia. Our Ainsliewood building has been transformed into Summer Camp 2012 headquarters. As the third week of summer camp approaches, the Green Team continues to work vigorously to deliver an exceptional summer experience for present and future campers.  Everywhere you look, you will find Green Team members preparing activities, organizing group outings, and engaging and laughing with summer campers.
    With jam-packed schedules, campers have been exceptionally busy this summer. In between attending class and participating in afternoon activities, campers have been exploring many great Canadian attractions. Here are a few things they have already experienced:
    - A  City Tour of Hamilton
    - A Tour of Hamilton’s Pier 4 and McMaster University
    - Mini-Putting , Go-Karting, and Bowling
    - A visit to the historical Dundurn Castle
    - Outlet Mall Shopping
    - A trip to Wonderland
    - Medieval Times
    This weekend promises to be very eventful as campers will travel to different parts of Ontario. Some groups will be explore the lively streets of Toronto and attend a Blue Jays Game, while others will discover the quaint life of St. Jacob’s. These excursions are the perfect way for campers to discover the diversity that Ontario offers.
    For more highlights and pictures of Summer Camp excursions and activities please visit our Facebook page; www.facebook.com/Columbia.International.College.

    ...



    “Shine In Your Own Way” – Class of 2012

    As they walked down the red carpet and took their seats, they eagerly awaited the next two hours. Today was the day they worked hard to reach, the day that would officially conclude their high school careers.
    This morning, Columbia students celebrated one of life’s many milestones, high school graduation. With close to 250 people in attendance, this year’s ceremony was marked by words of encouragement and optimism.  Ms. Baker took on the role Master of Ceremony, welcoming graduates and guests and reminding them that today marks a new beginning, not an end. Mr. Rambarran Principal’s address took on a similar tone as he offered words of encouragement about the bright and rewarding futures that await this year’s graduates.
    A special address was given by this year’s Keynote Speaker, Ms. Priscilla Tamaklo. As an International Admissions Officer here at Columbia, she has grown close to many of the graduates and has been a great source of support for them. In her inspiring speech, she discussed the process of personal transformation that results from making daily choices and decisions. Although she warned that these choices and decisions will present challenges, she believes they are essential to each individual journey. Ms. Priscilla also challenged students to recognize the difference between perception and attitude, highlighting the affect they will have on our decision making.
    Two special students – Ms. Mai (Kate) Phoung Le, and Ms. Fanta Diaby - were chosen to deliver the Valedictory address and the Vote of Thanks to their peers. Ms. Kate’s Valedictory address reflected on the past year and the moments that defined her time at Columbia. She credited her extra-curricular involvement for giving her the opportunity to meet new people and make great friends. She concluded by telling her fellow graduates to “shine in [their] own way” which will not be difficult considering their skills and talents. Both Ms. Kate and Ms. Fanta expressed much gratitude to their teachers, and all staff, for their guidance and support that allowed them to become well rounded students. It is evident by their words that they will fondly remember their time at Columbia and are excited to face the challenges that lie ahead.
    Here are some of the scholarship winners;
    Principal’s Scholarship – Zi Xin Jiao
    Harold Mills Memorial Scholarship – Fanta Diaby
    Kevin Matthers Memorial Scholarship – Davies Deshola Hamzat
    Syliva Park Memorial Scholarship – Mai Phoung Le
    Scarfone Hawking LLP English Proficiency Award- Chukwuebuka Ikenna Ekpunobi
    Sodexo Scholarship - Zi Xin Jiao
    Durwood Jones Barkwell Chartered Accountant Award – Ahmed Nagi Nassar El Gohary and Yue Yue Zhang
    Mccallum & Misale Insurance Limited Residence Community Awards - Sabahat Rahman and Niboon Tangnirunkul
    Global Citizen Award – Fanta Diaby
    Fine Arts Award- Sabahat Rahman
    Congratulations Class of 2012! We wish you the best of luck as you embark on new journeys.
    A special thank you to Ms. Baker, the entire Senior staff the Liaison and Maintenance Teams for their time and effort in organizing the ceremony. We would also like to thank Mr. Lawlis for his musical performances and the Sodexo for providing a great reception.

    ...



    ConGRADulations JMS!

    They stood tall, dressed in their Columbia uniforms, some for the last time, and reflecting on the memories of this past year. Some had beaming smiles, while others were holding back tears. Proud parents, teachers, and staff filled the beautifully transformed gymnasium this morning to celebrate the Junior Middle School graduation. Graduates and guests were serenaded by Mr. Lawlis’ Vocal Music Class, the JMS Ensemble, and Elizaveta Ustinova who performed an excellent rendition of the “The Climb.”
    This year’s graduating class was full of bright young achievers with dynamic personalities who will be missed by classmates and teachers. The intimate ceremony recognized top academic achievements and celebrated the academic success of all students.
    Among the many highlights of this year’s ceremony was the keynote address to students given by Principal Rambarran. He discussed overcoming failure and defined personal success. His speech was very personal as he addressed the individual struggles of each graduate and their ability to conquer obstacles and succeed. He encouraged students to “strive and thrive for challenge” and reminded them that some of the “greatest accomplishments will come thorough challenges.”
    The ceremony also reflected on JMS’ charitable work with Free the Children. Throughout the year they worked hard raising money to build a school house in Ecuador and were thrilled that they achieved their goal of $8,500.
    One of the last speakers was Ada Cheung who gave a heartfelt Vote of Thanks to her fellow graduates and teachers. She shared memories of class trips, school plays, and every day events. It was obvious that the JMS graduates have developed great friendships and will fondly remember their time at Columbia.
    Congratulations to all graduates! We wish you the best of luck and hope to see you again.
    A special thank you to Mrs. Willison, the JMS staff, and the Media and Maintenance Teams for their time and effort in organizing the ceremony. We would also like to thank Mr. Lawlis & the Vocal Music Class for their musical performances and Sodexo for providing a great reception.

    ...



    Character Building is the Key to Columbia's Success

    At Columbia International College, the beginning of classes is signaled not by the usual morning bell, but by pop songs such as Man in the Mirror, Lean on Me, and I Believe. These catchy tunes extol some of the positive character traits – self-advocacy, caring, optimism – that the school wants to see developed in its students as they live and study abroad. The unique morning bell is one of the ways through which the school implements its Character Building Program. Columbia understands that parents, whose children are living and studying abroad, cannot play an active role in raising their children as they used to. Therefore Columbia consciously nurtures its students’ character; by building on the values they have learnt at home; so they mature into responsible corporate global citizens. Columbia students and staff have selected 11 character traits to focus on yearly. o Responsibility o Respect o Honesty o Integrity o Fairness o Caring o Peaceful & Positive Conflict Resolution o Optimism o Self-Confidence & Self-Advocacy o Inclusiveness o Perseverance Character at School, in the Residence & Community Students learn character instructionally and experientially. Within the classroom and in the residences, teachers and house parents lead forums and discussions on the character trait for the month. They also utilize teachable moments to remind and teach students to demonstrate good character. Outside of school, students are encouraged to put character into action within their community. For example, Junior Middle School students embark on yearly projects to help the less fortunate in a country of the world. They research the project, create awareness and raise funds to support their selected cause. High School students also actively volunteer and support various causes within the school and local community. All students also have opportunities to participate in leadership retreats at the school’s 700-acre Bark Lake Leadership Center. Outstanding Global Citizens By incorporating character into the curriculum, students begin to understand their privilege and obligation to be responsible global citizens. They become enthusiastic about helping others in their community and gain confidence to apply themselves socially and academically. Consequently, students develop good character, gain valuable life skills and maximize their potential for excellence in school. Their high performance in school coupled with strong character traits through exemplary community service, enable them to: 1. Have higher prospects of admission to top universities, 2. Enter universities with higher rankings, and 3. Gain higher chances of earning university scholarships So what do Man in the Mirror, Lean on Me and I Believe have to do with character and student success? As Denice Garell-Teti, Head of Junior School and Leader of the Character Building initiative explains, “Ghandi famously said, our beliefs become our thoughts, which become our words, actions, habits, values and destiny. Our aim is to set our students on the right course by giving them food for thought, which can be processed into good deeds that will benefit themselves, their community and their world. That is the essence of personal and global success that Columbia is bringing to the students.” ...



    The Skinny on CIC Athletics: Of Awards & Beyond....

    This year a select number of Canadian Intramural Recreation Association Ontario members have been recognized for their outstanding intramural programs. 70 CIRA Ontario members have been presented with recognition banners. School programs must offer a varied line up of activities, promote fun, active participation, fair play and involve students in a leadership capacity.This year, we received our seventh provincial award for "2010-2011 Outstanding Intramural Award" from CIRA Ontario. CIC also received the "2010 School Recognition Award" from PHE Canada. PHE Canada, formerly know as the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD). This national award is awarded to those schools that achieved the standards of quality physical education, as established by PHE Canada. The letter from PHE Canada expressed "Out of the approximately 15,000 schools in Canada, close to 1,000 schools will receive this award each year for truly making their school one of Canada's leaders in physical education" . In a separate letter, The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C.,M.P. Prime Minister of Canada expressed, " This award recognizes your school's commitment to promoting the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. I would like to commend the staff, coaches and parents for supporting a program that instills physical activity, leadership and self-confidence in students. You may take pride in your efforts to provide children with the knowledge and skills to make wise choices about living a healthy life" These awards will be displayed in the gym; a yellow banner from PHE Canada and a blue banner from CIRA Ontario. They will be hung beside the awards from previous years. CIC's Athletics Department would like to share these awards with all of you; a big thanks and vote of appreciation for: Week after week of enthusiastic support to ensure longevity of the program that we deliver. Thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of the students. ...



    32nd Graduation, May 2011

    Columbia International College held its 32nd May Graduation on Friday May 13, 2011. Family, friends, Guests of Honour, staff and faculty filled Columbia's gym to celebrate the graduation of 450 CIC students. The Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina started the celebration by giving greetings from the City of Hamilton. Mayor Bratina wished the students of Columbia International College the best of luck in their education and future endeavors and hoped that they enjoyed the many opportunities that Hamilton has to offer. Mr. Rambarran followed with his Principal's address, where he wished the graduates luck in the future and stated that the excellent international education plus leadership and cross-cultural training taught at Columbia has prepared them for success at University. The Keynote speaker at the graduation was Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University. Other Guests of Honour included, Ms. Peggy Chapman, Chief of Staff City of Hamilton, Mr. Budi Setiono Chief Executive Office of PT Central International School, Indonesia and Mr. Lin Huayu Principal of Chengdu Meishi International School, China. The presentation of Diplomas and Ontario Scholars were given by Ms. Leanne Stillman International Admissions Coordinator from the University of Guelph, Ms. Betty Chan, International Recruitment Officer from the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Serge D'Alessio, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach from the University of Waterloo and Mr. Neel Joshi, International Recruitment Officer from York University. Of the 450 May graduates, 70.9% obtained an 80% average in six 4U credits to become an Ontario Scholar. Awards and Scholarships were presented by Dr. Campbell Davis from Canadian Marketing Research Institute of Professional Development. University Entrance Scholarships have been specially implemented for graduates of Columbia International College only. They represent the commitment to our university partners to assist Columbia's graduates to achieve excellence. Scholarships included - Four, $4,000 entrance scholarships from the University of Alberta - Four, $3,000 entrance scholarships from Brock University - One $2,000 entrance scholarship from Cape Brenton University - One, $2,000 scholarship from University of Canberra - Three, $1,000 scholarships from University of London School of Pharmacy - Four, $3,000 entrance scholarships from McMaster University - Two, $2,000 scholarships from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology - Four, $3,000 entrance Scholarships to University of Waterloo - Three $1,000 higher than published admission entrance scholarships from University of Western - Six, $1,000 entrance scholarships from York University Columbia International College and Columbia Scholarship Endowment Fund also presented over 20 scholarships and awards of their own, recognizing community involvement and academic excellence. The May graduating class earned a total of 27,875 community service hours. Mayor Bratina then presented the Governor General's Medal to Zhu, Ying. The Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award to Gou, Chen (Vanilla). The Principal's Scholarship was presented to Zhang, Zi Yue and Zheng, Si by Mr. Rambarran. Department heads presented the Columbia Honour Roll and Top Subject Awards. The celebration saved the best for last with Inna Filna delivering the Valedictory Address and Vanilla Guo Chen giving the Vote of Thanks. We are extremely proud of our graduates'accomplishments to date and we congratulate then on their achievements. As they begin this new chapter of their success journey, we wish them all the best. We hope that the diverse experiences they acquired at Columbia will help them continue to achieve success at university and beyond. The world is your oyster. You can do anything you set your mind to. So, Go Higher! ...



    Record Breakers!

    Congratulations Columbia International College staff and students for making this year's food drive a huge success! Mr. Brandon Lewis's Leadership class joined forces with Sodexo during their "Servathon" month to organize and promote our annual Food Drive. At the beginning of the drive, Mr. Brandon Lewis stated that he would like CIC to try and break last year's record of 495 pounds of non perishable food. However, no one could have anticipated the result. Not only did CIC staff and students exceed the weight or even double it. We more than tripled it! Columbia International College's staff and students donated 1,500 pounds of non perishable food to the Hamilton Food Bank! Congratulations go to Ms. Kennedy's English class for donating 195 pounds of canned goods. Their efforts will be rewarded by a Pizza and Ice Cream Party from Sodexo. ...