At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, International Student Program Staff spoke with Sam Wen about his experiences at the Halton Catholic District School Board.
WHO ARE YOU?
“Hi, I am Sam Wen. I’m currently in Grade 12 at St. Thomas Aquinas.”
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE WITH TEACHERS?
“In terms of the teachers, they are really helpful, especially to International Students, because they know that those students will have some difficulty with language and such, so they will usually take more care with them. They are really patient, I have to say.”
DID YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CLASS OR TEACHER?
“In terms of teachers, as I mentioned, they are really helpful. Especially my Physics teacher Mr. Moore. He is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Because my Physics course is my last course of the school day, I could spend some time after school with my teacher. Usually, I discuss some of the Physics questions that I don’t know with my teacher, he is really helpful. He even went further to find some information that cannot be found in the textbook. I have to say that he is a really good teacher that is taking his career into action. I know he hasn’t been a teacher for very long, but he is really one of the best teachers that I have ever met here.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RELIGION COURSES?
“In terms of Religion Studies, Chinese people do not have lots of background. I have to say that I have learned a lot through the course, and thanks to my religion teacher, he knows that I am an International Student from China, he knows that I don’t have much background in religion he takes more care of me. From time to time I can think of religion concepts when I am making choices. I have to say the religion course is very helpful. I will say that most Chinese students won’t have any opportunity to have proper religion study course. This course is one of the courses I would recommend, even when it is not a mandatory course.”
DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN ANY EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
“I would like to talk about extra-curricular activities because I know that in Chinese schools and such clubs are left out of the school because we tend to focus more on just studies. But here, high school is more like a small community where students are supposed to make friends with each other. For me, I attended the Anime Club since I was here. I met a lot of people that shared the same interest as me, and I made tons of friends there. The club activities are really fun, every week we took one or two hours to watch anime some episodes of anime, and we shared our opinions and talked a lot, it was really fun.”
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE WITH OTHER STUDENTS?
“Throughout the two years I was at St. Thomas Aquinas, I met a lot of people, and many International Students like me. I made friends with them. I would say that making friends is really good for students, especially when they are coming from another country. So that they can know a lot about the country and culture and studies. Especially when they are in the same classes they can help each other.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MEMORY?
“After the Anime Club we often go to Tim Hortons, which is a famous coffee shop here to talk and chat. Through my experience, that’s a really helpful way for a student like me to meet different people and to make friends with them. Because as I said, I spent some time other than at school with my friends, which is really helpful to improve the friendship. That was one of my best memories here, because they people I met there they are also from tons of other countries, like some are from France, some are from Philippines. You’re really merging the communities, you talk and chat and discuss – talk and chat and discuss!”
DID YOU TRAVEL AROUND HALTON REGION AND ONTARIO?
“During the breaks my parents and I went to Niagara Falls several times, it’s really a good place to go. Really nice and beautiful. The Falls are really impressive. We went to Ottawa, Kingston, and London – not England! Those places are really nice to be. We also went to Algonquin Park – which is mostly trees and stuff, lots of nature, it’s really nice. Even to the Bruce Peninsula, where we took a ship. It’s pretty far, but I would say it’s worth it. As you travel, so shall you read. As you travel to different places, it’s like reading different books. Because we’ve been to several places, I would really recommend to travel places, and not stay in one place.”
WHAT ARE YOUR POST-SECONDARY PLANS?
“I am going to University of Toronto for General Engineering in the summer. I applied to lots of universities and programs. The engineering program at University of Toronto is one of the most prestigious ones, I selected to go there. I’m more interested in, say, Software Engineering, I’m going to choose to do more things about computers in my second year, and choose software discipline in my third year.”
Thanks for sharing your experiences Sam!