REVIEW OF Cambridge International Academy BY Alum, Hanson Feng
- Date of Review
August 28, 2023
- Grades (year)
Gr. 12 (2022 - 2023)
- University (major)
University of Toronto (BBA Co-op)
(5) Overall Experience
My experience at Cambridge International Academy has been definitely one of my best school experiences. What I like most about it is how diverse and multicultural the environment is. Everyone was easy to talk to, especially the staff, and making friends was also one of my favorite parts. The school supported every student's goals and helped them reach them every step of the day. Whenever a student needs help, staff will always be there to guide you to where you need to be. For example, I struggled with math at the beginning of the year, and Johnny (a teacher) would provide me with more practice questions that would be taken up with the class. They notice where you struggle most and will help you improve in that aspect of the subject. Students should expect a welcoming entry to the school as they take their first steps in the school, and also a more personalized journey as they advance in their lives at Cambridge.
(5) School Leadership
I enjoyed being a part of the well-organized leadership environment at Cambridge. I say with 100% certainty that it is worth the experience. What makes it stand out is that students are given several opportunities to prove themselves as a good leader to lead the school for certain activities. One example was when I was elected as student council president for term 2 of the school year. I ensured everyone was treated with respect, which became the outcome. I was eager to be involved in such roles like this because it allows me to demonstrate my true skills of being a leader. Overall, being a leader at Cambridge helps enlighten students and motivate them to be the best of themselves. Everyone communicated effectively and fairly to each other, which is something I respect out of the school. Each student was able to handle discipline well and fairly. Therefore, I am impressed with the leadership here at Cambridge and would keep encouraging it.
The teaching experience here was almost a dream come true for me. Each of my teachers put in their effort and time to help me achieve my personalized goals not only in academics but in everyday life as well. For example, Mr. Chang guided me in math problems and explained thoroughly when I did not understand a certain topic. He gave me personalized problems to work on as well which helped me understand further. Ms. Sumia had a private chat with me to figure out my weaknesses and what I needed to work on most. During classes such as business and English, she helped me tackle those weaknesses, and therefore I improved but a great mile. Each teacher I had challenged me and had a positive impact on my academic choices and I will forever be grateful for that.
I'd first like to acknowledge the brilliant students who have a passion for mathematics. Almost every time during the Waterloo math contests, our school reaches a higher score each time. Teachers who helped prepare those students have the academic advantage because they have more time to focus on the competition (unlike public schools) especially since Cambridge is private. From my experience, I have improved significantly through my academics. The welcoming atmosphere gave me the driving motivation to work as hard as I could to be successful. With every challenge comes an outcome, and most times those outcomes are successful. To conclude, Cambridge's academic program helped me develop mental and academic growth and matured to a great extent. I was given advice for university preparation too and was advised to work extra hard as I transition into a harder reality.
I appreciate Cambridge because they offer room for so many extracurricular clubs and activities. These include: Masterchef, badminton, math, basketball, tai chi, robotics, 3d printing, DECA, Model UN, and more. The atmosphere around those activities was diverse and multi-cultural. All clubs are welcome for anyone to participate in even if it's just for fun, and most importantly, provide leadership development opportunities and promote staying physically active in learning.
What stands out to me about the student body is that everyone is inclusive despite their weaknesses in the group. Students have learned to be nice to each other in the respectful environment they are exposed to, especially the elementary students. Cambridge aims to promote anti-bullying, respect, honesty, kindness, and more to everyone, and having such a diverse workforce helps promote those things perfectly. The school welcomes all ethnic backgrounds such as African, Chinese, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and many more. Getting along with each other was brought through by extracurriculars and staff encouraging students. This developed teamwork, friendships, and a sense of community amongst everyone at Cambridge. Sports, for example, taught valuable lessons in collaboration, communication, and sportsmanship. Whether it was tai chi, badminton, or basketball, students learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration.
(5) School Life
Overall, the school life was very clean and tidy. I felt safe and fresh every time I stepped into the common area, bathrooms, and classrooms. I loved the kindness of staff and office managers who assisted with anything I needed help with. To improve Cambridge's quality of life, I would just say to keep encouraging students and staff to keep doing what they are doing to promote a safe quality of life. One rule I respect about the school is that no one in the elementary area is allowed to leave the school alone or without permission. This is an example of security and it shows that Cambridge cares about the safety and concerns of each child. At no times were any incidents that happened in regards to the paragraph above.
The community overall is diverse and engaging, along with being inclusive towards all members of the Cambridge environment. From my experience, no one was left out of any activity. All parents are welcome to contribute to anything that happens here as well, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere that celebrated differences and encouraged mutual understanding within each other. Ever since my final days, I made sure to stay in touch with all the new friends I made - a good memory I will never forget. The sense of belonging created at Cambridge built a strong sense of gratitude and loyalty towards the school. Overall, the experiences with the community and memories from Cambridge were more than just a part of the past, they became a source of inspiration for a fulfilling and purposeful life ahead.
(5) School Location
Cambridge International Academy is in an urban area where there are plazas nearby where students can grab lunch or buy food from the grocery store within walking distance. Students responsibly go out to get a drink from Tim Horton's which is convenient for when students are hungry for a quick bite to keep themselves hydrated and energized. As of my knowledge, there were no students who ventured to places they were not supposed to.
There were no issues with me and applying for admission here, at Cambridge International Academy. It was quick and simple. I recall them asking what I expected to get out of transferring here. The questions were to get to know you so they can determine what assistance you need from Cambridge staff. The application wasn't stressful at all and was quite considerate. After my application, the school didn't take too long to get back to me. After I got admitted and entered the building on the first day, the admissions team helped and supported me a couple of times to check up on how I would be doing and if I required any more assistance in regards to anything else that would help me either academically or mentally.
(5) University placement and counselling
I was expecting the university counseling program to be complicated, but surprisingly, it was the opposite. Step by step, teachers were helping each graduating student in twelfth grade sign up for their OUAC account during a lunch meeting. This proves they ensure no student is confused on any instructions. I was given the help of choosing ideal programs from different universities by a guidance counselor. This helped me understand what I am getting into rather than figuring it out myself where there could be potential for confusion, which then would lead to even more complicated situations. Every student in my opinion was given the appropriate guidance. Although some students had trouble, Cambridge's teaching staff was patient enough to stay after school to assist them in any way possible.