IH Student Spotlight Part 3 of 4

Continued From Last Week:

Steven L.

Steven is a Taiwanese student eager to learn English.. Within a year, Steven feels that he can greatly improve his pronunciation and hopes to travel around the world with the improved knowledge of English he hopes to achieve at IH. In Steven’s free time, he likes to travel around the city and take in the sights and scenery. In a few weeks he plans to head down to the United States for a well-deserved vacation.


Next week, IH Student Spotlight on Sun Young M.

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Studio 819 in San Diego

The Lobby at Studio 819

We offer a wide selection of homestay options as well as long-term stay at hotel accommodations near our Fashion Valley campus at IH San Diego.

We are also pleased to offer residential suites in the nearby Studio 819 residential hotel.  The suites at Studio 819 are perfect for students who prefer to prepare their own meals and look after themselves. The rooms all come equipped with a private bathroom, desk, telephone, microwave, refrigerator and cable TV. Wireless Internet is available for a small fee.

Located just a short 10-minute bus or bicycle ride (see map) from the school in the trendy San Diego neighbourhood of Hillcrest. This neighbourhood is fun and pedestrian friendly, known for its locally owned and eclectic stores, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.

IH San Diego has negotiated very favourable rental rates with Studio 819, making it a very affordable option for stays of one month or more. Our Accommodation Coordinator will look after all of the arrangements for you.

Room at Studio 819

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J-Shine at IH Vancouver

Asami Takei with J-SHINE Graduates

“The most rewarding aspect of the J-SHINE program is seeing my students grow in confidence as teachers,” says Asami Takei, the coordinator of J-SHINE as she reflects on the growth of the J-SHINE program at IH Vancouver. “We have been offering J-SHINE for several sessions now and all of the students have successfully obtained the J-SHINE certificate.”


One advantage to taking J-SHINE with IH Vancouver, even though it is offered in Japan as well, is the relative time and cost. Students can learn in an intensive 4 week course and obtain the same certificate as in Japan. And the experience of living in an English speaking country is another benefit. The IH J-SHINE program is also recognized by several Japanese universities. Very soon university students from Japan will be able to take JSHINE in Vancouver as a university credit.

J-SHINE students receive practical instruction in teaching English. They learn about classroom management and current teaching techniques in both English and Japanese.The first two weeks of the course is an immersion experience for students as they receive all of their instruction in English. In the following two weeks, they gain a firm understanding of teaching English to young children in their own language, Japanese. “Another unique aspect of the J-SHINE program at IH Vancouver is our 50-hour practicum placement. It is an ideal way to reinforce and apply the knowledge that students have gained in the classroom, and this type of hands-on training is not readily available in Japan.”

J-SHINE Students on the Pracitcum

J-SHINE prepares students to work in ESL immersion classrooms in Japan. Typically our graduates find employment in Daycares and Elementary schools. Starting in April 2011, English will be mandatory in all Elementary schools in Japan, and demand for English teachers will grow dramatically. J-SHINE graduates will have knowledge and skills that are needed.

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IH Student Spotlight Part 2 of 4

Continued From Last Week:

Clea G.

Clea hails from the French part of Switzerland; she came to Canada because it was her dream to see the vast beautiful landscape that this nation holds. Clea wants to do well in the CAE and to expand her vocabulary. Clea wants to travel and attend university. Currently, most of Clea’s free time is spent on emailing her friends and family back home and on her life here in Canada. Clea’s plans for the summer are to just stay in Canada as  just being here is her vacation.


Continued next week with the spotlight on Steven L.


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IH Student Spotlight Part 1 of 4

One of the best things about International House is its diversity of students.  I had the chance to interview four lovely students at various levels of English proficiency. Each student was different in their own way but something they all shared was the fact that they all came to Vancouver to learn English.


Lina K.

Lina is from South Korea, she came to Canada to work and learn English. Although her pronunciation is not at a level where she would like it to be, Lina continues to work hard. Besides attending classes, eating and sleeping, Lina does not do much else besides study and go to the park with her friends. Lina is still unsure of what  the future holds for her, but she hopes to use the knowledge she has gained from IH to work in the field of business, especially between Canada and South Korea. For summer vacation, Lina hopes to travel to another city.

This post will be continued next week with the next student profile of Clea G.

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My Week at International House



IH Vancouver

This week, as new students walked anxiously through the doors of IH awaiting their placements and books, no one expected to see a nervous new face behind the counter as well.

My name is Maya Bhangoo. I am a high school student intern at International House. I have been placed here as a result of my aspirations of becoming a teacher. After being here for nearly a week, I feel as though my goals are within my reach, as long as I work hard, persevere and graduate high school, of course.

My initial expectations of ESL students were low. I expected to see students wandering around without any form of authority or control. Upon walking in, I was instantly gratified to see the organization and team effort displayed in getting the students ready for their first day of classes. The management of chaos was outstanding. My expectations only continued to rise throughout the week. The office is casual, yet undeniably professional and I was completely taken aback with the amount of work everyone gets done on a daily basis. As I sat in a few classes, I viewed how the positive and supportive atmosphere, established by the teachers, charged the students’ drive and enthusiasm. Simply put, I was awed and entertained.

IH Class

After meeting with some teachers during their rare free moments, I have a whole new respect for the large amounts of work teachers put into their jobs. And I discovered a common element: they all  felt as though the extra work they do is insufficient to the rewards their students give them. As a student hoping to become a teacher in the near future this was simply inspiring.  Teachers, such as Angel Shu, Carina Soares, and Fey  Laffitte, all said that that they enjoy teaching at IH because the variety of people helps them learn more about the world and the people within it. The students were grateful to the teachers for making learning fun.  It was impressive to see how  they incorporated modern media into their classes as additional supplemental work.

From this amazing, educational experience, I have learned many things about organization, time management and the basis of teaching.  I have proved to myself that I am competent enough to become a teacher. I believe this week at International House has been the first step to a future I want to establish for myself.

Maya Bhangoo

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‘Fun in the Sun!’ at IH San Diego

As we get close to our 1 year anniversary under our new ownership team, we are pleased to offer our clients a great package to experience the California sun this spring.

The special is very simple: Book a course for 4 weeks or longer to get a free week. That means that you can study at our beautiful Mission Valley campus for four weeks but pay for only three! If you prefer not to get the free week of study, we will give you one free entry pass to the world-famous Sea World attraction in our city.

Beach Village Cottage Patio

Another beautiful sunset

If  you want to experience fun in the sun while improving your English, San Diego is the perfect destination.  Students at IH San Diego enjoy a wide variety of courses, a great international mix, and an active social activity program. And the weather here is great right now. Sunny and warm, as always! See you here soon.
Creative Commons License photo credit: hoteldelcoronado


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IH Vancouver Student of the Month

IH Vancouver has always loved its wonderful students. Now we have decided to do a little more to celebrate them. Every month, our staff nomination committee will review the students nominated that month for the coveted title of “Student of the Month” . The criteria for this are as follows:

  • excellent attendance and participation in classes
  • positive attitude both in class and outside
  • participation in a variety of social activities within and outside the school
  • involvement in the local community through activities like volunteering, joining sports teams or clubs, etc.
  • general attitude towards others in the school

Young Joo Kim

For March 2011, we have chosen Ms Young Joo Kim from Seoul South Korea. Young Joo is a secondary school dance instructor in her hometown. She is not happy to only instruct her students in the beautiful art of traditional Korean dancing. She also wanted to be able to help in other subject areas so came to IH Vancouver to improve her English. She started here as a beginner but has been working very hard and improving her English ability in all areas. She also is volunteering at a local dance centre and instructing and giving presentations on traditional Korean dance.

But Young Joo likes to use her athleticism for more than just dance. As you can see in her picture here, she has taken up the Canadian past-time of street hockey and enjoys this on Sundays with her fellow IH Vancouver students.

Young Joo and friends in Canada

All of us at IH Pacific congratulate Young Joo for being our Student of the Month. Stay tuned for an interview, which will be posted here shortly.


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EQA Designation

IH Vancouver and Whistler announce EQA (Educational Quality Assurance) designation.

First with IH Whistler, in December 2010, and now IH Vancouver, in March 2011, IH Pacific schools have received the respected designation of EQA from the British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE). EQA is open to Languages Canada members from the province of British Columbia (BC) in Canada. Our schools are proud to work with the BCCIE  to promote the BC education system and the EQA Designation to international learners, institutions, agencies and governments around the world.

BC is the leader in Canada for developing the EQA system to include public and private post-secondary colleges and universities, private career training colleges, and public and private language schools. It is a provincial seal for quality education that provides assurance to prospective students coming to our province from around the world. Of course, IH Vancouver and Whistler wanted to be a part of this from its beginning. For more information on EQA and the advantage it provides please go to http://www.bceqa.ca/students/eqa-advantage.

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TOEIC Information

Global Use of the TOEIC® Tests Continues to Increase as a Record-Breaking Six Million Tests were Administered in 2010.

The TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) began in 1979 and is run through ETS (English Testing Services), based in Princeton, New Jersey. ETS also runs such tests as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test). Unlike these tests, the TOEIC test is not aimed for students pursuing further education; it is used to show companies your ability to use English on the job. For this reason, the themes in the TOEIC test are most often business related: problem solving, giving presentations and conversations among employees are very common.

Currently, over 9,000 companies in over 90 countries use TOEIC scores to asses employees ability to use English in the workplace. It is the most widely accepted test of its kind around the world.

TOEIC preparation courses are available year-round at IH San Diego and IH Vancouver schools. The schedule for TOEIC at IH Vancouver is on the IHV-15 Semi-Intensive pm program, running from 14:30 to 16:20. At IH Vancouver, students can study general English in the morning and combine this with TOEIC in the afternoon on the IHV-35 Intensive Plus program. As IH San Diego, students  study in Intensive plus  with General English classes combined with a Business Vocabulary elective and two block of TOEIC preparation. A good preparation course is very important in getting a better TOEIC score.

General TOEIC has listening and reading tests of 100 questions each that totals 990 points. There is a separate test for speaking and writing, with an extra fee, but it is not as popular as the general test. The official TOEIC listening and reading test can be taken at IH Vancouver.

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