Posts Tagged ‘LSI Vancouver’

David Hughes, ex-director of LSI New York, reminisces about his 20 years at LSI

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

After 20 years working at various LSI schools, David Hughes is now reaching the end of his last week as the school director for LSI New York. Whilst it will be hard for LSI to see him go, we wish him all the best for his exciting new plans for the future. Here David tells us a little more about the wonderful years he has spent at LSI.

LSI New York School Director David Hughes“How long do you think you will stay at your next job? A year, three years? More? Well, when I started teaching at LSI Vancouver twenty years ago, I thought I would stay for a little while and then move on. After all, I had never lived in the same house for more than three years, and I’d just come back to Canada after five years of teaching English in Tokyo, Tunis and Barcelona. Vancouver was nice, but I didn’t expect to be there for very long. And I was right. Less than two years later, I agreed to move out to Toronto to open LSI’s second Canadian school. The plan was to supervise that project, hire teachers and staff, then hire a permanent Director and come back to Vancouver after about six months… HA!!”

“A year went by. I assembled every kind of school furniture you can imagine, hired a group of teachers and staff that are still among my good friends, typed invoices, responded to faxes and sent confirmations by Canada post. We leased more space in the building. Three years went by. I assembled more desks. I bought a Compaq computer for $1200 and Microsoft Office (for $200 or something). I still typed invoices every Friday, but there were rumors of a computer system that would make my Smith-Corona redundant. Once, I rented walls to make additional classrooms in the empty suite next door. We had picnics on Toronto Island in the summer and rented a church refectory for Christmas dinner. We took dozens of students to Niagara Falls, up the CN Tower, and to Canada’s Wonderland. We even went skiing in winter until a Brazilian student stepped into his bindings, went backwards through the shop, zipped across the parking lot, over a snow bank and into a tree. Not bad, considering he was registered blind!”

“And so it went on for five or six years. Toronto was growing, the school was doing well. And when the chance came to buy a small building in Rosedale, LSI took it. Busy summer! Two locations, lots of students. More picnics on the island, but fewer nights playing pool at the Pilot. Every day I jumped on the streetcar, rolled past Kensington Market and the University of Toronto. Our teachers were great, the folks in the office really knew what they were doing, and the students were determined to keep things interesting. They studied hard, sure, but they also started a fire in the student lounge, bought old cars and drove to Vancouver, played guitars downstairs, walked to Downsview Park to see the Pope and almost won the first ever Toronto ESL idol contest!”

“And then I heard that Rosemary, the Director in LSI New York, was retiring and that old rambling feeling was awakened. I talked about it with my girlfriend. We decided it was worth a try. She’s a visual artist, and a wanderer, too. I asked , and LSI said yes. In December of 2008, I said goodbye to the best group of friends I’d ever had and headed off to the Big Apple, to a house in Queens with a crazy roommate. A year later, Sherri and I got married – in Las Vegas, by Elvis – and she and the cats bundled down from Toronto. No more interrogations at the border for her! Finally, we moved to Bed-Stuy, in Brooklyn – Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Norah Jones and Mike Tyson all lived there when they were kids. Then it was a no-go neighborhood but things have changed here so much. And all for the better.”

“LSI New York is a great school. It’s got that LSI family feel and the students are extremely cool (of course). We have some good things going with the Metropolitan College of New York, including taking a group of their MBA students to LSI Zurich and London as part of a case study. Every year some of our students enroll there and there’s an international student association coming soon. New Yorkers are a nice bunch of people as long as you don’t waste their time. And everywhere you go, you feel like you’re in a movie.”

“But that spell of staying has been broken and I decide that changing cities isn’t enough. I have been studying for a Masters in Non-Profit Management offered by the New School University and I’m just about to finish my first semester but come the Fall I want to go full-time. Hence my decision to say a sad farewell to LSI.”

“So that’s where I’m at. This is my last week at LSI. After twenty years. Who knew? All the best to everyone I have worked with both students and staff.”

And all the best to you David from all of LSI. Thanks for everything!

Attending A LSI Pajama Party – A report from LSI Vancouver student Tânia Amorim

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

LSI Vancouver recently held a pajama party for its students. Pajamas, also called pyjamas and PJs, are a loose top and matching trousers that are  usually worn in bed so it was a bit of a surprise as well as great fun for the students to be invited to the party at school. One of the student’s , Tânia  Amorim from Brazil, decided to write about the experience.

“The ‘Pajamas Party’ was one of many creative ideas from my lovely teacher, Chloe. Initially it was only planned for our class but in the end the entire school participated! Our teachers, Chloe and Steve, had on some funny pajamas and there was a lot of laughter! It was amazing to see students saying “Good Morning” while wearing pajamas with cute teddy bears and slippers on. Can you see in the picture I took? Really, LSI Vancouver is the best English language school ever if a little crazy !!”

The value of LSI Multi-Center courses – a student’s view

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

At LSI we have always promoted our Multi-Center courses as a unique way to combine travelling the world with study and the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of different cultures. Don’t think that just because English is spoken in Australia, Canada, the USA , the UK and New Zealand that our students will have the same experiences wherever they study. Even the language itself can change depending on where you study!

Back in March, the LSI blog featured Japanese student Kayo Yamaguchi as she was leaving the 2010 Winter Olympic host city of Vancouver for sunny San Diego. We caught up with her again in the beginning of May during her last week at LSI San Diego. We were curious how she enjoyed her multi-center experience:

LSI San Diego students on Multi centre course“At first I wanted to go to Vancouver because of the Olympics, but actually I like to stay in hot weather and I wanted to live in California so that is why I decided to move to California after Vancouver. It was a nice decision because I could feel the atmosphere of two countries and compare the two countries. I liked that the student makeup of each school was different. It was very interesting for me to meet people from so many different countries.”

Kayo explained her reasons for learning English:
“I’d like to study at university using my English. I want to study sports management which is why I went to the Olympic city of Vancouver. I am going to study in the UK since London is hosting the next Olympics in 2012.”

From what Kayo was saying it seems we may be seeing her sometime soon at one of our London schools, LSI London Central or LSI London Hampstead.

Former Student Joins the LSI Vancouver Team

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Vancouver students with Vancouver in background“As a former student and now the summer activities coordinator at LSI Vancouver, I am in a great position to come up with  fun activities for after school,” states Dalibor Vartovnik, the newest member of the LSI Vancouver team. “Vancouver is known as an active city with plenty of opportunities to enjoy free time outside. For example, last week I took our students to explore the beauty of Stanley Park, the largest urban park in not just Canada but North America. It takes just about 20 minutes on foot to reach this amazing place, which should be the envy of every other city. We rented bikes and had an astonishing ride around the seawall. The many attractions such as Siwash Rock, Lost Lagoon, Lions Gate Bridge and the Totem Poles make Stanley Park the best place for relaxing and recharging yours batteries after a long day of studying.”

LSI Vancouver students on beach“If I haven’t convinced you yet what about kayaking in Deep Cove, hiking in Grouse Mountain, swimming in the ocean or playing volleyball on the beach. All these activities keep our students in good shape and eager to study English here at LSI Vancouver. Summer is the best season in Vancouver and all us here at LSI Vancouver welcome anyone who wants to share joy and broaden his/her English. At LSI Vancouver you will never be bored!”

Volunteering work at WOG – a report by Dalibor Vartovnik

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

My journey as a volunteer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (WOG) in Vancouver  all began when I talked to my LSI teacher Mia. She came up with the idea to volunteer for WOG . I applied for the position the next day  and then waited for an answer. A couple of months later, whilst I was preparing for my FCE exam at LSI Vancouver, I had an unexpected call. I had been choosen for as a volunteer!

Before the Olympics started I did a couple of training courses. They told me that I would be working in residential services in one of the buildings in the Vancouver Olympic village dealing with everyday athletes’ needs and residential issues.

Then the Games started. The atmosphere in the village was amazing. Everybody was nice and there was a smile around every corner. The volunteers did excellent work with lots of positive feedback. Because  I am from the Slovak Republic I was placed in the building with the Slovak athletes. I was so happy: working for WOG and meeting athletes from all over the world, it  could not have been any better. I was living in a dream. During my time in the athletes’ village I met many great people from whom I learnt a lot and received a lot of support. I made many good friends and we became like a small family.

Now the Olympics have ended but my journey as a volunteer has not finished yet. I will be working as a chaperon for  the Paralympics for the anti-doping section. I am looking forward to this job too.

At the end I want to thank LSI and all Vancouverites for warmly welcoming me and for the opportunity that they gave me. All of this would not have  happened with out them.

A unique experience – a report from Kayo Yamaguchi

Monday, March 15th, 2010

“I have been lucky enough to be studying at LSI Vancouver during the last few months and was  in this wonderful city when the Oympics was on. I really enjoyed the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.  Of course, some problems happened too.  For example, I needed to line up everywhere for a long time.  Even at pubs where I didn’t need to line up at before the Olympics, and at stations and pizza stands! There were just so many visitors. All the famous places like Robson Street and Granville Street were impossible to walk down because of all the people. It wasn’t all problems though…”

“I was really moved so much by everything, and it was especially great to see the Opening Ceremony at BC Place because the audience was like one big team.  They cheered for the Olympics and enjoyed it together.I also enjoyed the atmosphere in Vancouver and I was especially impressed about how much Canadians love ice hockey!  Everybody was staring at the TV watching ice hockey and screaming and getting very excited during ice hockey matches. I had never seen an ice hockey game in Japan, but when I return to Japan I will watch Canadian ice hockey game on the internet. I really love it now.”

“Sadly my studies are coming to an end in Canada. I have really enjoyed my time here at LSI Vancouver  and I love the Canadian people. I am not returning home to Japan quite yet. As I have enrolled on one of LSI’s multicentre coures I will now be going to study at LSI San Diego. I am looking forward to seeing what it will be like to study and live in the the USA. I hope I enjoy it as much as my stay in Canada”

The Winter Olympics – Reviews by LSI Vancouver Students

Friday, March 12th, 2010

All eyes were on Vancouver recently as Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. We asked some of our students at LSI Vancouver to give their thoughts about what it was like to live and study in an Olympic city.

Marvin Muñoz is currently studying for a Cambridge exam (CAE – Certificate for Advanced English ) at LSI Vancouver.

“Being in Vancouver for the Olympics was an amazing experience for me, especially because I am from Mexico so perhaps that will be the only chance I’ll ever have to really experience the Olympics from first hand. I even had the opportunity to go to a couple of events (2 hockey games) and I will remember that forever. ”

Fellow student Jeongmin Lee from South Korea also enjoyed the experience.

“I saw the opening ceremony of 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in a pub with other LSI students. It was really crowded there. It was like when we held the 2002 World Cup in Seoul, Korea. It was such a good experience for me. I am lucky to visit Vancouver during the Olympic season! I will never forget it. Go Canada Go!”

Our next Olympic city will be London in 2012. Can you imagine what it might be like to study at one of our two London schools  (London Central and London Hampstead) whilst the Olympics are on? Judging by the comments from our LSI Vancouver students, it will be an opportunity not to be missed!

The House of Switzerland – Working and studying at LSI Vancouver

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

My name is Anita Kropf and I  studied English at LSI Vancouver. The day I arrived in Vancouver I had no idea what to expect of the adventure I was about to start. From September to December 2009 I worked every morning in the Swiss Consulate General and in the afternoon I studied at Language Studies International (LSI) . LSI is such a nice place with so many friendly people! This was a big opportunity for me to make some really good friends, to have fun and to improve my English. I really loved the mix between school and work.

After leaving LSI I  worked full time at the ‘House of Switzerland in Canada’ , the official Swiss guest centre set up in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was a lot of hard work, not enough sleep, but I met some very interesting people (including athletes),and went to many parties … O my god, it was an amazing experience and I shall never forget those days! The House of Switzerland in Canada was a great success as you can see from the numbers:

  • Over 60,000 guests
  • 4 tonnes of cheeses from Switzerland and 2 tonnes of Lindt chocolate consumed
  • 1,700 facebook fans, 580 Twitter followers
  • 8 medal celebrations (6 Gold, 2 Bronze)- including Simon Ammann who won the first Gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games
  • Anticipated to raise $10,000 Canadian dollars for Streetohome, a Vancouver-based charity, including a sizeable cash donation from Lindt
  • 36,000 Swiss pins given-away

I will never forget the time in Canada and would love to thank everybody who was somehow involved in this great experience! Thank you too to LSI Vancouver who gave me the confidence with my language skills to take on this challenge.