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International Education

Stephen Cohen in Toronto – International Astronautical Congress 2014

Stephen Cohen, who teaches in the physics department at Vanier College, presented his research on the mechanics of a space elevator at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), in Toronto, Ontario in September, 2014.  His paper was entitled: “Static deformation of space elevator tether due to climber” – it is likely to be published in Acta Astronautica.  Stephen has previously published several journal articles on the subject of space elevators.

Stephen also mentors students in association with the Vanier Science Student Research Center.  They are currently planning which aspects of the space elevator that they intend to study.

Malawi Nursing Exchange 2015 – Mont Tremblant Pre-Departure Workshop Weekend

The six participants for the 2015 Malawi Nursing Exchange have now been selected! Congratulations to Philomina Corera, Chloée Caron, Kristal Santos,
Laura Heather, Emélie Elkrief, Emilie Ducas Gagnier.

Their first pre-departure workshop took place last weekend at Mont Tremblant. The theme of the weekend was team building. In preparation for their seven weeks abroad, retired Vanier teachers Guy Quinn and Doug Miller lead the group through a variety of team building exercises designed to build trust and understanding within the group. Several alumni from previous exchanges also attended to provide support and share their experiences.  The Fall colors, crisp air and camaraderie all added to a perfect weekend!

Modern Languages: Exchanges with Germany 2014

For several years now, students of German in the Modern Languages Program at Vanier have had the opportunity to participate in a three-week student exchange trip to Freiburg and Berlin in Germany, this year, from May 23 to June 15, 2014. This trip, which has been in place since 2001, is organised and under the direction and management of Alain Forget, Coordinator of the Modern Languages Program at Collège Ahuntsic.

Alain Forget accompanied a group of his own language students as well as two students from Dawson College and one of our Vanier College Modern Languages Program student, Iliyana Micheva. The students found the trip rewarding, enriching, and exciting.

The group stayed the first week in Berlin where they explored the rich cultural diversity within the city, and, where the group engaged in a German language course, easing the students into their immersion of German. Illiyana had the following to say about this first week: “The classes were actually extremely fun and useful. Martin, our teacher, knew exactly what we wanted to learn about Berlin, German culture and he quickly adopted his teaching level to our German language knowledge. He used music  videos, short movies, photographs, taught us current Berlin street language and encouraged interaction at all times.

Staying with host families allowed the students full immersion into German family life and culture. Group excursions to surrounding towns, Basel in Switzerland, and to Strasbourg in France, provided additional stimulation and experience.  The value of the cultural and linguistic immersion to our participating students is extremely valuable as can be gathered from Iliyana’s own account: “By the end of the 2 weeks stay [with the host family in Freiburg], the goodbyes at the train station were heartwarming.”

In the meantime, Iliyana has graduated successfully from Vanier College. She is happy to endorse and encourage other German students at Vanier to take advantage of this exchange trip to Germany. Iliyana tells us, “the organization of this trip was mind-blowing for the price paid! It was just the right mix of thoughtful, in advance preparation (tickets, great facilities, the apartments in Berlin), German seminars and some carefully planned day excursions to other cities and enough freedom to explore and organize things on our own. Alain and Martin, our teacher in Berlin, and our host families were very receptive of our needs, always ready to tailor activities to our needs and/or give advice if we wanted to explore something else.”

We would like to thank Alain Forget of Collège Ahuntsic for all his effort and the Ministry of Sports, Leisure and Education of Quebec (MELS) for funding 50% of the student’s costs.

Environmental and Wildlife Management Internships 2014

In the winter of 2014, seven, third year students in the Department of Environmental and Wildlife Management had the opportunity to complete their final internships in three international locations.

Thanks to the continued partnership between Vanier College and The Canadian Organization For Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC), four EWM students completed internship projects at the Cano Palma location in Costa Rica (Michael Panzera, Patrick Lauriault, Blanca Ramirez, and Kiera O’Hagan).  All students continued work on the ACER Plots, contributing valuable data to this project, originally set up by a Vanier student in 2012. In addition, two of the students also contributed to other long-term monitoring projects at Cano Palma, including a Caiman Monitoring Census and a Shorebird Census.

Two students (Rosemin Nathoo and Daniel Hiscock-Haney) found themselves in the Belizian Rainforest interning with Ecorana at the T.R.E.E.S hosting center.  These two helped to collect valuable baseline data by performing an initial forest survey of the 200 acre property.  This data will be used in conjunction with a variety of other projects including migratory bird studies, herpetofauna surveys, and mammal censuses.

The final EWM student (Kyle Gagnon) interned at the Alouatta Primate Sanctuary in Chiriqui Province, Panama.  Alouatta’s mission is to protect native wildlife populations while creating opportunities for visitors and students to learn about tropical forests.  Kyle spent six months in Panama interning with Alouatta’s wildlife conservation and education program, specifically, working on troop identification guides, running school groups, and performing conservation education. He also contributed greatly to the overall sanctuary’s goal of primate rehabilitation.

The Department of Environmental and Wildlife Management would like to offer a sincere thank you to the Vanier’s International Education Office and to CEGEP International, whose help and support were instrumental in accomplishing these projects.

 

Modern Languages: Scholarships to Qufu

Thanks to our partners at Qufu Normal University in the province of Shandong as well as Shirley Zhu from Vanier’s Modern Languages (Mandarin), Sandra Sandoval, Morgane Gouilloud, Roxane Richer-Lussier and Katrine Bergeron were awarded a full scholarship to study Mandarin at Qufu for the 2013-2014 academic year.

“This project allows Vanier students to learn Mandarin and Chinese culture at a very low financial cost, and to share their experience with other Vanier students who do not have a chance to go,” says Shirley Zhu who teaches Mandarin at Vanier College. The experience has been very highly rated by all the students who have spent a year of study in China.  “In the past two years, a discussion between students in China or back from China and Vanier Mandarin II students was held each year,” says Shirley. “By sharing their experience, other Vanier students improved their understanding of different cultures in the world and their appreciation of Canadian values.”

Of her experience, Sandra Sandoval, who was in China last year, had this to say, “It’s been an extraordinary experience. I studied Chinese every day and I taught English part-time to Middle School students.  I’ve made friends from all over China and from other countries like Korea.  I’m surprised at how independent I’ve become. Rizhao, the city where Qufu University is located, is a very large city and I’m amazed at how easily I get around and don’t get lost.”

Sandra has been so successful in her Chinese studies that she has obtained a second scholarship and is returning next year to study at a more advanced level. Joining her this year will be Modern Languages students, Rachel Lebrun and Aleksandra Vutova, who have each been awarded a scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year.

 

Russian Language Exchange 2014

For the third year in a row, Natalia Pakhomova accompanied Vanier students who were enrolled in the Russian language courses of Philological Faculty of St. Petersburg University, the first educational establishment in Russia which is listed by UNESCO into the top 10 rating of the world universities.  They took classes in small groups (8 -15 students) from Monday to Friday, 20 academic hours per week. The students benefitted from the expertise of various highly trained professionals and the diversity of classes.  In their courses they focused on phonology, grammar, conversation and translation. The facilities were very good and the text books and manuals were excellent.

Our students took various levels of languages courses at the St. Petersburg University: Fanny Autin and Irina Geurguiev – Beginners-2 level, Steven Betancourth and Ludovic Boudrias-Fortier – Intermediate level, Jaymes Nepomuceno –Advanced level. Jaymes is a graduating student and decided to stay for extra two months in St. Petersburg, Russia to extend his studies at the State University till August 2014.

The enrollment in the special program in a foreign university introduced Vanier students to a university environment and structure. They had a hands-on experience of independent University level studies, learnt about university programs and appreciated the priority of academic research and development. Our students experienced first-hand the opportunity to work with the rich collections of original materials in St. Petersburg libraries. They also witnessed the university approach towards creating interdisciplinary programs and a strong effort in setting-up resource centers where students, teachers and scientists will be able to conduct research.

Vanier students had a unique opportunity to study with students from various countries –Italy, Holland, England, France,  Germany, USA, China and other countries, many students took the Russian language courses in addition to their prior fields of studies as diverse as Music, Business Administration and Science. Our students enjoyed the interaction and academic exchange, and made new friends.