It's All Possible

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"During my studies, I have been excited at the ELP. It has provided several opportunities for students like me to participate in fascinating activities such as volunteering, explore many places in Toronto, and learn in interesting classes. Here, I have met many people from different countries, with different cultures and points of view. By studying, communicating, and volunteering I have learned a myriad of useful things and broadened my horizons. Toronto has motivated me to learn more and inspired me to do a lot."

By Raushan Ayekenova of Kazakhstan, Academic English

The more you know in life, the more wisdom you have” is my life credo. During my life, I have faced many challenges. However, the hardest one was applying for a scholarship through the Bolahsaq program.  This program is organized by my government in Kazakhstan and provides opportunities for youth who are interested in studying abroad. 

After several times not succeeding, I finally received this scholarship and had a chance to choose where I would like to study.  My dream since I was a child was to study in Canada. I do not know why Canada, exactly, but I had that dream and now an opportunity to follow it. You know what? Dreams come true! Now I am here, in the multicultural city of Toronto. I am studying at the English Language Program (ELP) and it has been a great opportunity for me to explore Toronto and learn many things.  During my studies, I have been excited at the ELP. It has provided several opportunities for students like me to participate in fascinating activities such as volunteering, explore many places in Toronto, and learn in interesting classes. Here, I have met many people from different countries, with different cultures and points of view. By studying, communicating, and volunteering I have learned a myriad of useful things and broadened my horizons. Toronto has motivated me to learn more and inspired me to do a lot. 

"If my initial goal was to improve my speaking skills, I can say without a doubt that you can improve not only speaking but also your listening skills by volunteering because you have conversations with so many people."

Initially, I decided to participate in volunteering activities to improve my speaking skills because I wanted to have new experiences, explore and see different places, and work with interesting people with different backgrounds. Here in Toronto, you can get to know about cultures from around the world. Moreover, I have always enjoyed helping others and supporting seniors. I truly believe that if you do good things, they will come to you like a boomerang. If my initial goal was to improve my speaking skills, I can say without a doubt that you can improve not only speaking but also your listening skills by volunteering because you have conversations with so many people. 

However, it is not only by having new experiences that you learn at the ELP.  You also meet creative and smart Cultural Assistants— such as Marisa, David, Eileen, Zack, and others— who are always ready to help and explain to you what you need to know when out on an activity. They are more than just assistants: they have become friends. Engaging with Cultural Assistants and with my international friends has made me more open-minded. When you are far away from home, you try to manage your time as much use as you can; with the ELP at the University of Toronto, you can do so much and meet so many people. It is all possible.

My lovely instructors here at the ELP have been available to help and encourage me.  I am really thankful for my instructors Dorothy, John, Jesse, Jennifer, Steve, and Nick, who have always been ready to help and support me. Moreover, one of my favourite parts to my program is the project work we have to do. During my project about immigration, I have found myself more confident and like a journalist, interviewing many people with many rich experiences. In my country of Kazakhstan, we do not have many immigrants like they do here in Canada. This project has opened me up to possibilities outside of my own culture. My instructor, Nick, has always tried, encouraged and given advice to us. He has made me feel confident this has kept me motivated to continue working on my project. It has been an amazing experience.

It usually happens everywhere that some people work behind the scenes.  At the ELP, these people work in the ELP Office and spend their days planning and creating the interesting activities and experiences for us.  I would like to thank these people who work in the office: Rosa, Dan, and Shawn. Usually, what we do not see or study in school or university are seen and heard only through our daily experiences in life. These experiences in Toronto at the ELP have become a part of my life and changed my life perspectives. The things that I have learned here are very valuable and memorable.