Whittling Down the Many Questions to One: University Admissions 2015

CM129175xThe results are in!  Almost…

With the majority of university admissions decisions being released, and in view of the incredible success of LCC’s Pre-University Class of 2015 in gaining admission to a wide range of universities, students now face the daunting task of making a choice. Not just about where and what to study, but what kind of university experience they are really looking for.

How many students will be in my class? What will the professors be like? Do I want a single, double, triple or quad in residence? Can undergrads do research?  Or get a job on campus? What kinds of clubs will I join? What kinds of clubs are there? Will I study abroad? Do a co-op? Get an internship? Join Greek life?  Play intramural sports? What if I’m hungry at midnight?  How will I know when my laundry is done?

So many questions that need to be considered when deciding where one’s future lies.

The truth is every university has pros and cons. There is no idyllic, perfect university campus for all students. But there is a place for every student, where they can explore new ideas and discover meaningful passions; find out who they are and what kind of impact they want to have in the world. And the reality is that place can be anywhere.

It isn’t about the name of the institution that makes the experience great for a student.  It’s about what the student does with the opportunities available at that place. Students who approach their college years with an open mind, who are up for any adventure or new challenge, will engage, explore, and make the most out of their experience regardless of the name of the university where they happen to be attending classes.

Every year in Pre-U we have students go to universities across Canada and the US, in the UK, Europe, and occasionally, even in Australia and New Zealand, and 95% of those students have loved/are loving their university life. And they should! University is fun!

However, university is also the place where young adults experience the steepest curve of personal growth. So this is the most important question for students to consider when making their ultimate university decision is: Is this place where I am going to be my best?  (academically, socially, and emotionally)? Are these the people I want to be with for four years?  Is this the place that is going to stimulate my intellect, challenge how I think, develop my analytical and writing skills, inspire me to want to be more, do more?

The “right” university is out there. The students just have to focus on what’s important to them, how they feel on campus or about that university to be confident that their choice is the right place for them.

- Kim Tulloch, Pre-University Program Coordinator & Director of University Advising

Round Square: A Sacred Experience, from Bogotá to Guatavita

blog_gardalcicThe Round Square conference in Bogotá, Columbia, has been such an amazing experience. Today, we had the chance to visit the beautiful town of Guatavita located very high in the mountains, one hour away from Bogotá. First, we visited the Guatavita Museum. There we learned all about the artwork and traditions of the native people who used to live there. Next, we went to the main square of the town to complete a fun scavenger hunt.

After going to a beautiful sailing club for lunch, we went on an afternoon hike up a mountain to see the lagoon of El Dorado. The view was breathtaking; the lagoon was almost perfectly round and surrounded on all sides by forest. We learned that the lagoon is filled with gold due to the traditions of the Muisca, who believed the lagoon was sacred. In all, the Round Square conference has been such an amazing experience and I am excited for new adventures to come. -Alexandra Gardilcic ’16, Round Square Participant

Round Square 2015: Building in Bogotá

unknownWe arrived in Bogotá on a chilly Friday afternoon. Greeted by familiar faces, the staff from Anglo Colombiano, I could not control my excitement about being back in this beautiful city. After a well-needed rest in our hotel, we went to the school to meet our host families and spend the rest of the afternoon with them.

Our second day began with a conference; we got to listen to Pedro Medina speak about the evolution of Colombia, which helped to dispel stereotypical views of the country. Next, we got to know our Barazza groups (basically, our advisory group or “homeroom” for the rest of the week) by playing name games and doing different activities. On the third day, we set off at 7:00 am to La Calera, which is situated just on the other side of a huge mountain. To put things in perspective, Bogotá is 2,640 metres above sea level and we trekked up to about 3,000 metres. Therefore, by the time we got to our destination, we were completely out of breath.

The plan for the day was simple. Change the reality of a family while changing our own perspectives by building a house. One floor, three rooms, for three young boys and their parents. We met and worked with the family throughout the day. They were overjoyed to see us helping to make their dream come true.

Still, building the house was confusing to us. Similar to the theme of the conference – magic realism – it really seemed as though magic was the only thing keeping the concrete blocks stable while we stacked them on top of each another – with no cement or anything that was really setting them in place. We worked from around 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and then took a break for lunch, which was provided by the family. They made us a traditional Colombian soup, which had chicken, corn, potatoes, and other delicacies. Afterwards, it was back to work until 4:00 pm. Although the roof still had to go up (so we did not completely finish the house), we could see in the eyes of the family members how happy they were, as we kissed and hugged them goodbye. It wouldn’t take much to finish the house and the final walls stood strong.

Throughout the day, I could barely wrap my mind around the idea that our team could help improve the lives of a family all in one day. I was happy because not only was I able to participate in such a fulfilling experience, but I also got to know the family. I spoke to the mother about her life in La Calera and held her little niece while they prepared the soup. This is a day – and more importantly, a family – I will never forget. As I sit on the bus on the way to Guatavita, a lagoon, and yet another beautiful destination within the city, I know that there are many more memorable experiences ahead and I am looking forward to the rest of the week in Bogotá, Colombia, at the 2015 Round Square Conference of the Americas. – Mikaela Ludwick ’16, Round Square Participant

Student Exchange: Memories of Thailand

IMG_1781Sadly, my time in Thailand has come to an end, after six amazing weeks of being among newly made friends and in an exotic new country. I am writing this on the airplane heading back to Montreal, and as much as I want out (because of boredom), half of me wants to turn the plane around and head back to Thailand. I already miss a lot of the food, fruit, and customs of the country and of my exchange school, Regents International School Pattaya. Of course, life must go on, and I have to come back to Canada and readjust to the time zone and the ways here.

Two weeks ago, my roommate, Osman, left to help look after his grandmother. I can tell you, I was really sad to see him leave, even though I would see him in school the next day. He was the funniest guy I have ever met, and I was never bored with him. But, as I said, he left, and I roomed with another one of my friends, Jeenchai. Though not as funny, he was special and entertaining in his own way.

For two weekends, I was hosted by Osman because he had been staying with his grandmother. In the first week, his parents were visiting from Russia, so we went to see a couple of tourist places. On Friday, we saw a Chinese museum and the Pattaya Buddha Mountain. I also got to eat a coconut and lots of passion fruit. The next day, we went swimming in their pool and just relaxed. On Sunday, we went shopping and then I had to go back to school. The next weekend was a more relaxed weekend. We stayed inside a lot because it was one of the only times it rained while I was there. On Sunday, we went shopping for souvenirs because it was my last week there.

On my last day, and for the first time, I wore my LCC suit to school – all the other days I only needed to wear a shirt, pants, and shoes, because of the heat – and yes, I was sweating most of the day. I had to wear the uniform because I’d made a promise to someone that I’d wear it on the last day. At the end of the school day, after getting our grades for the term, everyone said goodbye to me. They were all upset that I was leaving, and they also said that I should’ve been there for the school Songkran (the Thai New Year) party the next day. I was told it was really fun, but sadly, I wasn’t going to be there. It was a very sad day. I got back to the boarding house and immediately started to pack, because I had to leave in seven hours and I’d barely packed. I took a break for dinner, and I’m glad I went, because it was the school Songkran dinner. It was a feast, and I can easily say that that was my favorite meal there. There were two appetizers, four main courses, an amazing dessert, and then lots of different fruit. I was challenged to eat a whole chili pepper, and I did. The next five minutes of my life was spent eating tons of fruit and breathing out sharply to get rid of the spice. It was a fun last experience in Thailand.

More quickly than I’d expected, my time to leave the school had come, and sadly, I walked down the same corridors I had walked down 100 times before to get around the school, but this time would be the last. As I got on the bus, I took one last look at the school that had become my home for the last six weeks of my life. I would miss it. I said goodbye to all the boarders and the staff who had welcomed me when I’d arrived, and then I left for the airport. After a total of twenty hours in the air, and three hours sitting in the airport, I am back in Montreal, welcomed by the thing that most of the people in Thailand have never seen, and the thing I haven’t seen in six weeks: snow. – Eli Samuel ’17, Exchange Student at Regents International School Pattaya


Ma quatrième semaine à Paris

Déjà ma 4ième semaine à Paris terminée! Je me sens finalement comme chez moi ici. Les activités que nous avons faites cette semaine étaient sublimes. Premièrement, mardi soir le 26 mars, ma famille d’accueil a décidé de me faire une petite surprise. En fait, pour moi c’était l’une des plus grandes surprises de ma vie, un évènement qui constituera ma meilleure expérience à Paris.

Ce soir-là, alors que je lisais mon livre d’anglais tranquillement, je reçois un appel de Marc Jablonski, le père. Avec une voix pressée et excitée, il me dit «Ryan! Habille-toi, on va visiter un musée!», sachant que je ne serais pas trop enthousiasmé par une sortie au musée. Marc préparait ainsi la surprise pour que ma réaction soit inoubliable. Et il a eu raison. Lorsque Marc m’a donné mon billet bleu, je suis resté bouche bée devant Le Stade de France remplie d’une foule incroyablement bruyante. J’allais vivre l’expérience d’un match de soccer, France contre Brésil avec 80 000 autres Parisiens. J’étais en manque de mots, ébahi et ne pouvant pas parler pendant 2 minutes. Même si on (je parle de la France bien entendu) a perdu 3-1, cette expérience a été fantastique et le jeu était excitant. J’ai tellement apprécié cette opportunité qui m’a été offerte, une expérience que je ne vais jamais oublier.

La deuxième activité qu’on a faite cette semaine était la visite d’une gallerie d’art au Grand Palais. Comme je l’ai mentionné avant, personnellement, je n’aime pas trop les musées ou les galleries. Mais d’abord, on parle du magnifique Grand Palais sur les Champs-Élysées, construit pour l’expo universelle de Paris en 1900. Ensuite, ce que j’ai vu dans cette gallerie a changé ma perception de l’art et éveillé mon intérêt. C’était une œuvre d’art, créée par Manuel Merida, un vénézuélien, qui s’appelle Cercle Bleu Outremer. Cette œuvre consistait en un grand cercle rempli de poudre de vitre, qui tourne très lentement, de sorte que ces fragments tombent lentement lorsque le cercle tourne graduellement.  J’ai immédiatement téléphoné à ma mère pour lui raconter ma découverte et la convaincre d’acheter l’œuvre!

En conclusion, ma quatrième semaine était évidemment un grand succès. Encore une fois, c’est incroyable de penser qu’il me reste seulement 2 semaines. Je suis devenu attaché à la ville de Paris et les gens qui habitent ici et je vais avoir de la difficulté à leur dire aurevoir.  – Ryan Garber ’17, Exchange Student at École alsacienne