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VGC Student Experience – Meet Kyoko

  • Name: Kyoko Ishikawa
  • Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
  • VGC Course: University Preparation
  • Favorite part of Vancouver: “There are so many unique breweries! Wonderful beer, nice people, good vibes….I still have a dream about them. Going to North Vancouver by SeaBus was also my favorite. It always made me excited.”

Kyoko Ishikawa’s educational journey in Canada started off by enrolling in VGC’s University Preparation (UP) course. This program not only equipped her with the academic skills necessary for the challenges of college life but also helped her adapt to life in a foreign environment. Currently pursuing Global Business Management at Humber College in Toronto, Kyoko acknowledges the demanding nature of her studies but feels well-equipped to handle it. “It’s tough, but I was mentally prepared for college life because my UP (University Preparation) teachers emphasized that it wouldn’t be easy,” she remarked.

Read more about Kyoko’s time with VGC and why she considers the UP program to be essential when planning to attend university or college in Canada.

Why did you want to come to Vancouver?
Because of the high educational standards, cultural diversity and mild climate (then I didn’t know about rain!) were attractive. Also Vancouver always ranked high as the most livable city in the world.

Why did you choose to study at VGC?
My agent recommended VGC and another school, and I chose VGC because I heard it is more friendly and supportive.

What did you like best about your time studying at VGC?
I liked my teachers and my classmates. Through VGC, I made friends from various countries, which was one of my life’s best things and broadened my perspective.

I didn’t only learn English but also learned other important things in life. I’ll never forget a teacher who said she wouldn’t tolerate discrimination in her class. I felt safe and liberated in her class!

Tell us about your UP experience at VGC?
I liked my teachers in UP because they gave detailed feedback and always encouraged me. My essay writing and presentation skills were improved. For example, I tended to use vague expressions in my essays, but I learned how to avoid it. Summarizing articles, writing essays and delivering presentations were very important to me.

 I also learned how to avoid plagiarism by correctly using citation rules and the importance of making connections with professors.

How are your studies at Humber College?
I have six classes a week. Most of my professors are very friendly and helpful, and their lectures are interesting and practical. However, they give me an individual assignment every week, and one or two minor group assignments, a major group assignment, tests and exams every semester – I’m often overwhelmed!

It’s tough, but I was mentally prepared for college life because my UP emphasized that it wouldn’t be easy.

How else did VGC’s UP program help you adjust for college life?
My UP teachers often told us how college life is and invited a guest speaker who also graduated from VGC’s UP program and became a college student in Canada. I had opportunities to know about real college life and those experiences helped to anticipate the coming new life and made it easier to acclimatize to a new situation.

Would you recommend the UP program to other international students who want to go to college in Canada?
Yes you will learn practical and mandatory skills you need for college. Also, it can be it will be an advantage to be familiar with Canadian common sense and international environment. It will help you to fit comfortably into college life.

 Most of international student in my class are from countries whose official language is English, so they don’t have a language barrier. I was overwhelmed at first, but I could try to make friends without an internal barrier because I got used to the international environment at VGC.

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