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spread your wings “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss

DEPARTMENT Message from the Executive Director by Patricia Bowron

WHAT’S INSIDE... Department & Team Message from the Executive Director...................2 Test Your Knowledge............................................11 Extra Mile Award....................................................18 “The places you go� Photo Contest........................19

Education Chilean Graduates....................................................5 First GLST Graduate.................................................5 Scholarships ..........................................................15 Bachelor of Business Administration...................20 Education for Employment.....................................6,7

International Alumni & Students Tomomi Matsumoto, University Transfer...............10 'DYLG.DULXNL+XPDQ6HUYLFH:RUNHU&HUWLÂżFDWH Takashi Yoshida, University Transfer.....................12 Katja Grosse, Tourism & Recreation Management..13 Faisal Altamimi, English Language Training.........13 Kathy Li., University Transfer...................................16

Homestay Mohammed El Bakush.........................................14 Peter & Heather......................................................14

COTR News COTR Expansion...................................................19 Prime Minister Visit to COTR ................................20

COTR Staff & Student Mobility *ULIÂżWK 8QLYHUVLW\  Tanzanian Consultancy...........................................8 Ecuador Consultancy..............................................9 Finland Exchange.....................................................4 Spain Exchange........................................................5

Partnership Tanzania/Ecuador Training Program.......................9

Events Student Activities....................................................16 Photo Contest..........................................................17 AIDpril Wine Fundraiser...........................................18

Photo Credits Karen Crawford; cover, pg 15: Roberto Polanco, pg 4; Jeff Cooper, pg 5, 7, 10, 11, 20; Graham Knipfel, pg 6, 7, 9, 13


t’s hard to believe it’s time to start another academic year. Over the summer, amidst renovations and temporary relocation, COTR International has been busy preparing more opportunities to enhance your international IQ. Now freshly moved in to our new central space we are set up to serve students and partners better. New developments in the department include: x Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited COTR in August and met COTR students from around the world. x7KH*OREDO6WXGLHV*UDGXDWH&HUWLÂżFDWH3URJUDPFHOHEUDWHGRXU ÂżUVWJUDGXDWH3DWULFLD3XQDQFR6LOYDIURP&KLOH)HOLFLWDFLRQHV Patricia! x Three Tourism and Recreation Management students have returned from Finland and Spain after taking part in our CanadaEU Transatlantic Mobility partnership. x 2YHU WKH VXPPHU ÂżYH &275 HPSOR\HHV KDYH WDNHQ SDUW LQ consultancies in Africa and Latin America. xCOTR International is excited to announce approval of our new, three year, International Youth Internship Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. This funding will enable COTR to send 42 Canadian college or university graduates overseas to work with our partners in Ecuador, Peru, Kenya and Tanzania for a six month period in the areas of health, tourism, business, education and environment. Our 2010-11 interns have just departed to begin their overseas work placements. Look for their stories in future issues. x Hosted 8 guests from Ecuador, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Libya. x Our Ecuadorian partner, Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo, has recently received government approval for our jointly developed Diplomado in Sustainable Community Entrepreneurship. &RPHÂżQGRXWKRZZHFDQKHOS\RXOHDUQPRUHDERXWRXUZRUOG Opportunities abound to travel, invite overseas guests into your home, or learn about global issues. Hope you enjoy our latest newsletter! “Somewhere on this planet, someone has a solution to each of the world’s problems. It might be one of us. With your help, we can build a more hopeful world.â€? ...Marianne Larned, author of Stone Soup for the World

Editor Shannon Parnall

Fall 2010




ichelle Signer, a former College of the Rockies’ student is now studying at *ULI¿WK 8QLYHUVLW\ LQ 4XHHQVODQG Australia. This was made possible by a partnership transfer agreement between the two institutions. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management GHJUHHDW*ULI¿WK

and one-on-one time with instructors helped me to gain the skills necessary to succeed at college/university. I learned how to learn - and learned about super sweet stuff at the same time! Now at university I know what

“But I loved COTR!� she enthused. “I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone; such a great place with an amazing atmosphere, lovely people and fun times. Looking back at college I know I did everything I wanted to while I was there -- and still got a quality education at the same time! I am so glad I attended COTR -- I wouldn’t have wanted to go to college anywhere else.�

Signer started at College of the Rockies in September of 2006, enrolling in the Recreation Management (Event Management Major) diploma program. After completing her Recreation diploma in April of 2008, she decided to return to COTR for a third year and ÂżQLVKERWKKHU7RXULVP0DQDJHPHQW diploma and Business Administration FHUWLÂżFDWH Signer originally had plans to transfer to Royal Roads University to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Following a discussion with the Tourism and Recreation program coordinator, Grant Unger, about the possibility of studying in Australia, she decided to seek additional information.

Signer has lots of plans once she’s ¿QLVKHG KHU GHJUHH ³, GRQœW NQRZ which ones I will actually end up doing, but my number one plan is to travel! I didn’t take a break after high school, so after I’ve completed university I want to see the world. I plan on visiting every continent,� she concluded.

Michelle Signer and friend in Queensland, Australia where she is studying following graduation from College of the Rockies.

type of learner I am and how best to study and complete my assignments to their fullest Âł, GLVPLVVHG WKH LGHD DW ÂżUVW EXW potential,â€? Signer added. after thinking about it for a while and investigating the block transfer Signer described some of the differences agreement further, I decided that I she’s experienced. “At College of the Rockies would give it a try,â€? she continued. I had two 1.5 hour classes per course, per “I received a full transfer credit for week. Here, I have one two-hour lecture all of my previous courses. I am (with between 70-100 people) and one, oneFXUUHQWO\ LQ WKH PLGGOH RI P\ ÂżUVW hour tutorial per course, per week. I feel that VHPHVWHU DW *ULIÂżWK , KDYH WZR at COTR courses were more discussionPRUHVHPHVWHUVOHIWXQWLO,ÂżQLVKP\ based and engaged a bit more of hands-on Bachelor of Business in Tourism learning, as opposed to basic university lectures. I also feel that I was able to get Management degree. to know my instructors on a more personal “The foundation I gained at COTR basis because they did not have 100 students has helped me immensely with my to try and keep track of! I do feel that I am VWXGLHVDW*ULIÂżWK6PDOOFODVVVL]HV receiving a quality education here though. Fall 2010

“The atmosphere is very different here. One might expect that though, considering COTR is a small college that has about 2,500 students and *ULIÂżWK KDV RYHU  VWXGHQWV studying everything from medicine to oceanography.â€?


6KHZDQWHGWRDGGDVSHFLÂżFPHQWLRQ and special thank-you to three of her past instructors; Grant Unger, Ken Rintoul, and Steve Kamps. COVER PHOTO: President Dr. Nick Rubidge congratulates graduates (top to bottom): Shuo (Weson) Lin - English Language Training, Chih-Chieh (Jacky) Chen -Adult Basic Education, Susan Araya Burchard - Tourism & Recreation Management Program and Peter Muhuro University Transfer

STUDENT MOBILITY Finland Student Exchange Blogs by Roberto and Kevin COTR Students Roberto Polanco and Kevin Montgomery travelled to study in the Sustainable Tourism program at Hyria in Finland, and Katie Ritchie went to Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia in Spain for the same program. Both institutions are part of the Canada - EU Transatlantic Mobility partnership. Following are excerpts from their blogs posted during their studies, reprinted with their permission. Wednesday, March 31, 2010 another post This past week has been very fun, with many excursions. We went as a class to a few new places in Finland. First on Monday we went to an aquarium and learned about WKHGLIIHUHQWVSHFLHVRI¿VKLQWKH areas of Finland which include some that we actually have back home such as trout. It was a great day out and we were grateful to leave school grounds for a while. On Tuesday we went to two museums to learn about wildlife in the area. First we visited a place to learn about the birds of Finland and second we went to a hunting museum to learn more about the animals. We learned that many years ago New York gave Finland Canadian beavers as a present and they are still living here today, as well as lynx which we are all very interested LQ%\WKHZD\ZHVDZRXU¿UVW wildlife on the drive which was a reindeer. Today we went on a snowshoe hike to a place where ZHWRRNDEUHDNDQGPDGHD¿UH to roast sausages. The hike was a former student’s evaluation DQG ¿QDO H[DPLQDWLRQ )XQQ\ thing was that it was one of the students that came to Canada with this exchange, Tuomas. Kevin Montgomery Fall 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010 Another week in school Last week was very interesting for us Canadian students because our teacher Matti Mattila took us on trips to follow up our course. We left the school facilities on Monday to drive to the city of Kotka which is really near the Russian border. The purpose of our visit was to learn about one of the tourism attractions they have there which is their Aquarium. It was nice that the other Finnish students came along and made the trip much more enjoyable. Unfortunately we did not receive a tour in English since the guide only spoke in Finnish, nevertheless it was a great dish to the eye to see all of the different species of Fish they have in Finland. We also went to one of the other colleges owned by Hyria. It was in the town of Riihimaki. We met with the teacher Elisa and met the students enrolled in the journalism course. They showed us their school when we got there and took us to the different labs and shops they have. In that school students go to take courses such as, Journalism, Welding, Auto body, Heavy duty mechanics, Sound Engineering and Machinist. They had prepared questions for us about what we thought of being in Finland, how much we have learned since we have been here, and comparisons between Canada and Finland. We also visited the Hunting Museum in Riihimaki where they took us on a tour to learn about the different species of wild animals that have been living in Finland since the beginning of time. Surprisingly there was 4

Finland street at night

a section if the museum dedicated to Canadian species, there were big horned sheep, crows, Moose, Elk to mention a few. There were also weapons that were used during the war between Finland and Russia. The museum is funded by the city and a small amount of money that comes from every person who owns a hunting license. 7RÂżQDOL]HRXUVFKRROZHHNZHZHUH taken snowshoeing on an expedition led by Tuomas Haavisto who had already come to Canada last year to participate in an exchange student arranged between Hyria and College of the Rockies. We met at one of the buildings from our school were we borrowed all the gear that we needed to bring with us and be prepared adequately for the weather and the land conditions. He did a really good job and led the expedition where he spoke to us about the type of trees and animals we could see living in that part of the land. He spoke English the entire time and we were grateful about it. It is good to see that people here are willing to make that switch from Finnish language to English just for us, four students from Canada. Roberto Polanco

STUDENT MOBILITY Spain Student Exchange Blog by Katie Monday, April 12, 2010 *OREDO6WXGLHV&HUWLÂżFDWH Intercultural Awareness- I found that Finland and Sweden are both countries that are very much like home with their trees, grass, wildlife, and weather I felt as if I was back there. I also found that the people in both places are really nice and willing to help travelers. In Germany though I didn`t meet too many people I found that it is a much more multilingual country than I thought and some of the people I met know up to 7 languages, and I thought Canada was doing well with 2 ha-ha. Sustainability- There are tons of things to do in these new countries that are sustainable even just the way that in Germany the power in

my room didn’t work and so I spent the entire time without lights or television, it was actually really nice and easier on the eyes when the sun came up in the morning. There are no recycling bins in the Madrid airport did you know this? I think that this needs to be changed. Spain had great usage for their solar panels because of the amount of sun. In Finland I stayed in the dorms with the other Canadians and it is amazing the amount of recycling they do and even when we went to one of the teacher’s cottages their teacher was quizzing the students on what bin the rubbish went into. In Sweden I found it quite amazing how the museums we went into were “no photography permitted� as to keep both the tourism within the museum and the objects in better condition. Katie Ritchie



Mauricio Flores Salazar joined the College in 2008 from Chile. After completing English upgrading, he attended the Fernie campus and has now graduated with DFHUWLÂżFDWHLQ0RXQWDLQ $GYHQWXUH6NLOOV7UDLQing.

Susan Araya Burchard joined the College in 2008 from Chile. After completing English upgrading, she has now graduated with a FHUWLÂżFDWHLQ7RXULVP & Recreation Management.

Fall 2010

Katie’s complimentary tourism/ KHULWDJHWRXULVPFODVVRQD¿HOG WULSWR&DUDYDFDGHODFUX]LQWKH Murcia region of Spain


KH*OREDO6WXGLHV&HUWLÂżFDWHSURJUDP */67 RIIHUV students a unique opportunity to gain a post-graduate FHUWLÂżFDWH TXDOLÂżFDWLRQ WKDW UHODWHV WR WKHLU RZQ specialization from an international perspective. We are happy to announce that Patricia Punanco Silva is RXU ÂżUVW &275 *OREDO 6WXGLHV JUDGXDWH 3DWULFLD  ZKR comes from Chile, started her Global Studies program in September 2009 and completed her studies in August 2010. Patricia believes this program will “allow me to work in WKH WRXULVP ÂżHOG LQ &KLOH ZLWK D ZLGHU SHUVSHFWLYH RI WKH possible marketsâ€?.



MADINI Mining And Development Industry Needs Initiative A partnership between the Mineral Resource Institute and College of the Rockies.

EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT The MADINI project establishes a sustainable partnership that contributes to the improvement of industry linkages, creating skilled graduates from MRI to work in the Tanzanian mineral sector. The Education for Employment program is managed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges with funding from CIDA.

Agence canadienne de dĂŠveloppement international

Fall 2010


Canadian International Development Agency


S A FA RI Sustainable Activities For A Rising Industry A partnership between the National College of Tourism, Niagara College and College of the Rockies.

EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT The SAFARI partnership is contributing to the improvement of tourism training at NCT, creating skilled Tanzanian graduates to work in the tourism industry. The Education for Employment program is managed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges with funding from CIDA. Agence canadienne de dĂŠveloppement international

Fall 2010


Canadian International Development Agency


I hope I am able to share some of the knowledge I have gained. As a life-long learner I am also excited to be learning from our Tanzanian partners and working together to assist in continuing to improve their postsecondary education system. In your words, what will be the general focus of this consultancy? The general focus of this consultancy will Doug McLachlan, Senior be an opportunity for the COTR consultants ,QVWUXFWLRQDO2IÂżFHLQWHUYLHZHG to share their experiences and expertise in SULRUWRKLVGHSDUWXUHLQ$XJXVW teaching adults. We will also be providing Doug is responsible for strategic opportunities for our partners to experience HGXFDWLRQDOSODQQLQJFDPSXVDQG and learn from our knowledge in competencyFRQWLQXLQJHGXFDWLRQRSHUDWLRQV based education, advisory committees, prior DQGHGXFDWLRQDOVHUYLFHVOHDGHUVKLS learning assessment, labour market research and share approaches to successful teaching Why did you apply for this methodologies. At the end of the day our consultancy? goal is to have the Tanzanians go away with I had an opportunity to participate in skills in a number of areas that will help them college business in China and Kenya in their positions at the Mineral Resource in the past and the experience was Institute. rewarding for both the College and myself personally. With over 30 Why do you think international experience years in post-secondary education is so valuable for College of the Rockies?

Having an opportunity to work for COTR in another country with a vastly different culture does several things including: o

Make one aware of the some of the challenges that international students who choose to attend COTR may have. o Help us realize how fortunate we are to have the educational resources available to us that we do in Canada and at COTR. o Develop an awareness and sensitivity to other cultures. o Provide us with a wonderful opportunity to experience a new culture and be open to new learning opportunities. o Develop relationships with other countries that will always help us to improve our communication skills and continue to enhance our own teaching and learning environment.


Why did you apply for this consultancy? I wanted to assist the National College of Tourism (NCT) in Tanzania with the development of their tourism training programs. Through education and training, developing countries can implement sustainable tourism business practices to better protect their environment and culture. As tourism revenues increase, Tanzanians can better provide for themselves, their families and the communities in which they live. In your words, what will be the general focus of this consultancy? The focus will be working with Fall 2010

LQGXVWU\ WR ÂżQG RXW ZKDW VNLOOV WKH\ DUH looking for in tourism graduates. Once that is established it can be compared to the current curriculum of the NCT and any competency gaps can be isolated and curriculum developed to meet these gaps. Current curriculum will also be reviewed to look for opportunities to implement competency based education and training. Why do you think international experience is so valuable for College of the Rockies? The more that we can connect with the world around us, the better suited we will be to adapt to the globalization that is taking place. The opportunities to bring international learners and educators to COTR and have our students and faculty assist in other countries will connect our 8

Greg McCallum, interviewed before his departure, is a Business Administration and Global Studies Instructor at COTR. Greg has a Masters in International Hotel Management. g countries and increase trade, global environmental awareness and cultural understanding.

STAFF MOBILITY (FXDGRU&RQVXOWDQF\ 8QLYHUVLGDGGH(VSHFLDOLGDGHV(VSLULWX6DQWR Nathalie Lesage, was interviewed prior to her departure to Ecuador to wotk with UEES. She has been an instructor at COTR for over 10 years and presently teaches French, Spanish, Communication and Global Studies for COTR and is the coordinator for the University Studies department.


he international consultancy opportunities offered by the International Department to COTR faculty have always interested me. Fortunately, a recent call for consultancy work in Ecuador coincided well with my schedule, LQWHUHVWVDQGTXDOL¿FDWLRQV The focus of the consultancy in Ecuador will be to assist the staff of Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo (UEES) in the design of an evaluation process and procedure, and to contribute in the marketing strategy of their

recently accredited Diploma in Sustainable Community Entrepreneurship. These international consultancy assignments offer tangible and intangible professional development opportunities to a faculty member. They allow you to apply your knowledge and skill set in a work situation that is often far removed from the realities of COTR and, generally, forcing you to step out of your comfort zone to experience life a little differently. These international projects also give way to unexpected collaborative initiatives. I am certain the Ecuador consultancy will afford me meaningful experiences that I will be able to share with COTR communities, and integrate into my Spanish and Communication courses to add value to my students’ classroom experience. Nancy Hilgert, Director of Environmental Sciences, UEES and Nathalie Lesage tour the new tourist information centre in Dos Mangos, Ecuador



Canadian Rocky Mountains. Rounding out the crew was COTR International Project Coordinator Jeff Cooper, as well as faculty member Brian Conrad, who travelled to NCT in July 2010 as a project consultant.

n June 2010 COTR held a training program with partners from three different projects, and from two different continents. Participants attended conferences, Train-the-Trainer workshops, interactive sessions, met with tourism and mining community partners, and conducted public presentations. Manuel Burgos, Director of Tourism from Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo (UEES) in Ecuador and three of our guests from the National College of Tourism in Tanzania (Ms. Mbunda, Mr. Chiza and Mr. Kobelo), joined local mountain Fall 2010

L to R: Zawadi Mbunda, William Chiza, Andrea Losada, Singano Ramadhani, Manuel Burgos and Stephen Kobelo in Cranbrook BC guide and tour operator Dave Quinn for an overnight hiking, snowshoeing and camping competency-based Practical Experience Leadership Excursion to Maus Creek in the 9

Mr. Singano from the Mineral Resources Institute in Tanzania visited the East Kootenay Chamber of Mines to share best practices in industry/education relations; toured the Teck Coal Line Creek Operations just north of Sparwood; reviewed core samples with representatives of Eagle Plains Resources at ...Cont’d page 10

INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI 7RPRPL0DWVXPRWR Born and raised in a homogenous society of Japan, my experiences at COTR were eye-opening in every way. I met so many inspiring and caring mentors, advisors and lifetime friends. With the college’s great support for international students, I had the opportunity to study university-level science among local students under amazing professors who were full of passion for teaching in their subject ¿HOGV$OWKRXJKLWZDVQœWDOZD\VHDV\ to keep up with the advanced studies while still improving my English, the college support was tremendous, and after all, it was all worth it because it equipped me with the passion, skills DQGFRQ¿GHQFH,QHHGHGWRSXUVXHP\ dream of working in the conservation ¿HOG

my commitment to conservation as the future professional career. After graduation, I was able to get a Masters of Science (MSc) position under a leading researcher LQ WKH ÂżHOG RI SRSXODWLRQ JHQHWLFV and conservation genetics at the University of Alberta. Since then, I spent the past two years of my life wrestling with my MSc research concerning genetics of wildlife disease, which has been more than worthwhile and an exceptional experience so far.

With the MSc program nearing the HQG,ORRNEDFNDQGÂżQGLWKDUGWR believe how far I was able to come: I was once a shy girl with broken ALUMNI PROFILE English and today I am teaching After the completion of the COTR program, undergraduate labs and presenting Name: Tomomi Matsumoto I continued my undergraduate study at the P\ UHVHDUFK ZRUN DW VFLHQWLÂżF Home Country: Japan University of British Columbia, where conferences! I am so grateful for Program: University Transfer I found expanding research in biology the boost I got at COTR. It truly Graduate Year: 2005 LUUHVLVWLEO\IDVFLQDWLQJSDUWLFXODUO\LQÂżHOGV broadened my horizons and made where ecology, evolution and genetics me believe in my potential and the y two years at COTR were intersected. In addition to the course work, power of hard work. I hope the WKH ÂżUVW VWHS RI P\ OLIH I had opportunities to gain valuable research journey I started at COTR will take in Canada and the very experiences under the supervision of a great me even further from here, until foundation of my journey through professor. I also took a once-in-a-lifetime one day I could become a part of the Canadian university education trip to a remote forest reserve in Ecuador as international conservation efforts. that leads up to today. a conservation volunteer, which reinforced


PARTNERSHIPS Cont’d from page 9 their Gold Creek facilities; and had an informative personally guided railway tour of the old Cominco minesite in Kimberley. Andrea Losada, UEES Inbound Student Coordinator, spent time with the International Department Fall 2010

Education team sharing experiences and ideas on student exchanges and programs. A video-conference was also held with the UEES International Department staff to discuss ways to facilitate increased communication for students of both institutions. UEES Workshop led by Andrea Losada and Manuel Burgos




arrived in Cranbrook from Kenya, my home country, on -DQXDU\  DQG P\ ¿UVW impression about this place was the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains here in BC, and also the cold weather in winter time!

around the world, including students from my own country and especially my beautiful girlfriend from Chile.

As a student, I am very grateful to my instructors who have been a great support during my learning process. They are very helpful and understanding, I am especially I had been working with people with thankful to Louise Abbott, Heather Wik, learning disabilities as a support Kathy Nelson, Kathy Bonell and Ildi worker for several years, and it is a Walkley. I also really appreciate the work job that I really love to do. However, of the International Department of COTR. I felt that I still had many things to They are always available for anything that OHDUQ DERXW WKLV ¿HOG WKDW LV ZK\ , I need. I am especially thankful to Graham decided to study Human Service Knipfel, Marifer Lam and Shannon Parnall Work at COTR. who always are there to help me. I have already completed one year at COTR and my life as a student,couldn’t be better. I adapted to the College almost immediately because here people are very nice and friendly. At COTR, I have had the opportunity to meet people from

After six months studying at COTR, I started working for REALM, a company dedicated in empowering lives of people with developmental disabilities, and this fall I will start my Mental Health Diploma at COTR. Being a student at College of the Rockies

ALUMNI PROFILE Name: David Kariuki Home Country: Kenya Program: Human Service :RUNHU&HUWL¿FDWH Graduate Year: 2010 was an excellent choice. I couldn’t have made a better decision and I am really proud of it. I am hoping my second–year courses will go as well DVWKH¿UVW\HDURQHV

7(67<285,17(51$7,21$/.12:/('*( 1.


Which country has the highest population density? a) India b) Japan c) Monaco

d) China (Macau)

What is the highest waterfall in the world? a) James Bruce Falls b) Victoria Falls

d) Olo’upena Falls

c) Angel Falls


Can you match the hottest recorded temperature with the location? (degrees Celsius) a) 42.8 b) 57.7 c) 50.7 d) 40.1 1) Chuping, Malaysia 2) Osoyoos, BC 3) Al Aziziya, Libya 4) Athens, Greece


How many countries are located directly on the Equator? a) 12 b) 10 c) 8

d) 15

5. Who said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” a) Ralph Waldo Emerson b) Mark Twain c) Oscar Wilde d) Abraham Lincoln Answers on page 15

Fall 2010


INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI 7DNDVKL<RVKLGD ALUMNI PROFILE Name: Takashi Yoshida Home Country: Japan Program: University Transfer Graduate Year: 1998


want to share with you how coming to Canada has changed my life for the better.

College programs with Canadian students. The international student counselor was always there to support international students for study programs, host families, activities and so on.

in Japan working for an international company based in the United Kingdom. I belong to the marketing department where I contact UK for any marketing requirements on web IURP $VLD 3DFL¿F FRXQWULHV VXFK Not only studies but also outdoor activities as Japan, China, Hong Kong, and near the Rocky Mountains; something we Taiwan. cannot experience anywhere else. I enjoyed snowboarding, taking hot springs, hiking, It is not an exaggeration to say that my biking, camping and so on. experience at College of the Rockies was the key factor of changes in my After COTR, I transferred to University of better life. Northen British Columbia and graduated with a major in marketing as aimed. I am now Thanks COTR.

My English skill was so poor (TOEFL 320) when I arrived in Canada. Vancouver was the place where I started my study in an ESL course. However, I had to speed up my pace to gain an English skill because my objective of studying in Canada was to graduate from university. In Vancouver, there were a lot of chances for me to speak Japanese. I spent about eight months before coming to Cranbrook. I wanted to talk with Canadian SHRSOHEXWWKHRQO\SHRSOH,FRXOG¿QG were tutors. I needed to put myself in an environment where I had to speak English. This was the main reason why I decided to study at COTR in Cranbrook, where I experienced the real Canadian life eventually. From my point of view, international students should go to a school like the COTR if they seriously want to learn English and the Canadian culture.

Takashi at home in Japan with his son, Light, and wife, Sanae

, VWDUWHG (6/ FRXUVHV DW &275 ¿UVW and gradually joined the College programs that allowed me to transfer to marketing programs at university. The ESL programs were very organized so that the international students like me GLG QRW ¿QG GLI¿FXOWLHV WR IROORZ WKH Fall 2010


INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Katja Grosse Family Fun Night event, Katja is second from right, middle row

STUDENT PROFILE Name: Katja Grosse Home Country: Germany Program: Tourism & Recreation Management


fter two years of travelling and working in Canada, I fell in love with this country and decided to go studying. I chose the College of the Rockies because the East Kootenay region is somewhat like a new home for me and the College also offers the program Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interested in. I have been working for two years in Fairmont Hot Springs at a Timeshare

Resort and I met really friendly and helpful Canadians. My friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support helped with my decision to study at COTR in Cranbrook. Besides the East Kootenay region area is a reason to study here. Being surrounded by such amazing nature and wildlife makes studying even enjoyable. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m studying in the Tourism & Recreation Management Diploma Program. I enjoy the small class sizes at the college, quite a difference to Germany where most of the time I did not even know the people sitting right beside me, because the class sizes were so big. Another interesting fact in the program Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m studying, my class mates come from all over the world. If we have topics about how things are in different countries compared to Canada, we can just ask each other. Being a student in the Tourism Program is like a travel tour across the world, just cheaper. Plus the program gives the opportunity to plan and organize different events, where the class works together as a team. These projects

are a change to daily normal classes and it is kind of fun. The program has great instructors. They are not just teaching out of books, they also involve their personal experiences and give examples of real life. The experience every international student makes, studying in a different country and a different language, is a once in a lifetime opportunity and lets them grow in a way they will never have again. Thanks to College of the Rockies for giving international students the opportunity to study together with Canadians and other international VWXGHQWV LQ GLIIHUHQW ÂżHOGV :H DOO learn way more from each other than we get out of books. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.â&#x20AC;? .........Sandra Carey



arrived in Vancouver on March 18, 2009 WR VWXG\ (QJOLVK IRU ÂżYH PRQWKV WKHQ moved to Kelowna and studied there for three months, then came to Cranbrook on January 10, 2010. So, why did I choose Cranbrook and College of the Rockies? )LUVWWKHFROOHJHKDVTXDOLÂżHGWHDFKHUV Faisal enjoys activities - like rafting on the St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s River

STUDENT PROFILE Name: Faisal Altamimi Home Country: Saudi Arabia Program: English Language Training Fall 2010

Second, Cranbrook and College of the Rockies give international students a fantastic chance to learn English, faster than another city in Canada. Third, Cranbrook people are really friendly and very nice. Also, when I need help inside WKHFROOHJHRURXWVLGHLW,ZLOOÂżQGVRPHRQH 13

who will help me, especially the International Department. I would like to seize this opportunity to thank Omar Badran, Shannon, Cheryl, Marifer, Graham and Jeff. Fourth, COTR gives lots of free services, such as transportation, gym, computer lab, telephone, swimming pool, copies, etc.

Finally, if I had known about COTR before I came to Canada, I would immediately make the decision to come to College of the Rockies



LQ&DQDGDVLQFHP\¿UVWDUULYDOWR&UDQEURRN I am living and this has very much affected my love for Canada and its in October 2009. people. In addition, my studies have 7KLVZDVP\¿UVWWLPHLQP\OLIHWREHDZD\ been positively progressing because from my own family and live abroad in an of their continuous attention. I have environment that is not so similar to my own. deep respect to Peter and Heather However, since October 2009, I have to say and much love to Kayle, Alyssa, that I have never once felt I was a stranger Dylan and Tyler. I hope one day they living with a strange new family. Peter, will visit me in my home in Libya so Heather and all the kids have made me their that I can return part of their favour new family member and have treated me with to me. respect and love just like their own son :KHQ,¿UVWDUULYHGWR&DQDGD,ZDV or brother. My homestay family has welcomed at the Rocky Mountain become my family away from home. International Airport by a Canadian They took me on many trips and visits IDPLO\0U 0UV'DYLV WKHLU¿UVW to places and cities and helped me to names are Peter and Heather) have learn English faster because I always 4 kids: Kayle, Alyssa, Dylan and talk to them and they are always happy Tyler. They all live in a beautiful to answer my questions. They showed house about 20 minutes away (on me support and attended all the foot) from the college. The Davis homestay college activities that they family has become my family here were invited to. I am very happy where y name is Mohamed El Bakush and I am a Libyan student who is currently living and studying in the city of Cranbrook in the province of British Columbia, Canada. I have come to Canada to continue my higher education studies as I hope to enter a program in Business Administration. Currently, I am studying English language at College of the Rockies.



eter grew up sharing his home with international students and has many fond memories. One student was a SDUW RI WKHLU IDPLO\ IRU RYHU ¿YH years and played the violin at their wedding. Now he is enriching his children’s lives with the experience. Heather, Peter and their four children have been hosts to Mohamed (Mo) from Libya since September, 2009. Min joined the household in June, 2010 from Korea. Mo is very outgoing and friendly and is just like a big brother to the children. He takes time to teach them soccer and read to them, a fun way for all of them to improve their English language skills. Min is quieter and has settled in well. Fall 2010

Despite having a very busy household with four small children Heather and 3HWHU¿QGWKDWKRVWLQJDQLQWHUQDWLRQDO student doesn’t interfere with their family time as Mo and Min are at the College all day and they enjoy the (L to R) Heather, Peter and Mohamed interaction in the evenings. Heather enjoy a winter day and Peter appreciate that the boys are focused on their goal of learning English and also take an active interest in them (with a few phone calls home learning more about Canada and our culture, to mom to make sure he was doing it right). plus they are eager to share their culture. Heather wanted to tell people thinking of hosting students from other cultures who might be concerned about the dietary and religious differences that this has never been a problem. The Davis’ are an active Christian family and there is mutual respect for the GLIIHUHQWEHOLHIV\VWHPVZLWKRXWFRQÀLFW$V for diet restrictions, they just cook a little extra chicken the few times they serve pork. Mo has even prepared a traditional dish for 14

Part of the fun in hosting a student from a different culture is sharing the sense of joy and wonder as they experience the uniqueness RI&DQDGD±OLNHWKHLU¿UVWVQRZ Now Mohamed has become so XVHGWRRXUFROGZHDWKHUKH¿QGV the summer is too hot – even though Libya is much hotter than Cranbrook!

SCHOLARSHIPS ,QWHUQDWLRQDO6WXGHQWV¡([FHOOHQFH6FKRODUVKLS COTR Global Learning Scholarship - $2,000 each College of the Rockies Global Learning Scholarship is for current COTR students who would like an international learning RSSRUWXQLW\8SWRÂżYHVFKRODUships of $2000 are awarded for students who complete international experiences including studies, practicas, volunteer postings, internships or other approved experiences, and who are returning to COTR for a least one semester. Omar Badran, Manager International Education & Mobility and Dr. Nick Rubidge, COTR President present COTR International Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Excellence Scholarships to (L to R) Lin-Hsuan Wei, Maki Kawasaki, Shanna Wang, Juliane Stein and Yuehua Lu.

Recipients: Dylan Foster-Virtue; Patrick Moser; Ryan Schissler; Marta Wirrell

COTR International Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Excellence Scholarship - $2,000 each International Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Excellence Scholarships are open to COTR international students planning to enroll in University Studies, Business Administration, Tourism and Recreation management and other programs as approved by the Awards &RPPLWWHH8SWRÂżYHVFKRODUVKLSVWR&275ZLOOEHDZDUGHGWRVXFFHVVIXODSSOLFDQWVIRUWXLWLRQ Applications will be available early January, 2011.


b) Mark Twain

4) a) 12- They are Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia and Kiribati 3) a â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2 recorded July 27, 1998; b-3 recorded September 13, 1922 is the hottest recorded temperature on earth; c-1 recorded April 9, 1998; d-4 recorded July 10, 1977 2) c) Located in Venezuela, Angel Falls has a total height of 979 meters. Victoria Falls is the largest with a width of 1708 metres, and a height of 108 metres. James Bruce Falls is located in BC, Canada and has a height of 840 metres. Oloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;upena Falls in Hawaii is 900 metres. 1) d) Macau (China) has 48,004 people/square mile. Monacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population density is 42,831/sq. mi.; Japan has 873/sq. mi. and India has 930/sq. mi. Canada has 8.8 people/square mile. TEST YOUR INTERNATIONAL KNOWLEDGE ANSWERS (Quiz on page 11): Fall 2010




y name ALUMNI PROFILE is Xitong Kathy Li. I Name: Xitong (Kathy) Li studied in Maple Home Country: China Leaf International Program: University Transfer High School for three years. In Grade 12, my parents and I were confused about college and university. We were thinking to go into university directly is hard for me, or if we choose college to transfer university is going to be hard to transfer. Finally, my DGYLVHULQKLJKVFKRROHQFRXUDJHGPHWRJRLQWRFROOHJHÂżUVW At the same time, International Project Coordinator, Jeff from COTR helped me to know COTR is a small college which can KHOSPHWRÂżQLVKP\ÂżUVW\HDUDQGWKHQWUDQVIHUWRXQLYHUVLW\

International Department staff Jeff Cooper, Cheryl Webber and assistant George Watson hosted a teleconferr ence for Dalian Maple Leaf students

$W&275,JRWDORWRIKHOSIURPLQWHUQDWLRQDORIÂżFHDQGDOO of my instructors. I also had a nice host family, Sheri and Alex Green. I really enjoyed this eight months with them. I miss them and love them so much. ,QP\ÂżUVW\HDU,VWXGLHGFRXUVHVDQGÂżQDOO\LQ0D\ I got offers from Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria. I decided to go into SFU in September 2010.

Cheryl Webber, International Student Coordinator enjoys reuniting with forr mer COTR students Mika Fukuda, Chiho Fujioka and Kenji Aoto at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan


Left: students joined in the fun at the annual Cranbrook Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Festii val

Above: Lots of tricky shots at the local Mini Golf course. Right: An evening of laser bowling is always a good party

Fall 2010

Yonos El Bakush, COTR International student activity coordinator, organized a wide variety of events throughout the year for students to get together, socialize and have fun. 16

STUDENT ACTIVITIES 3KRWR&RQWHVW:LQQHUV The International Department held a photo contest in May 2010. Prizes were awarded for the top two Canadian and International photos.

Best International Photos Left: Amanda Irvine, Juliet’s Tomb in Verona, Italy Above: Patricia Punanco, Mariscando con gaviotas, Chiloé Island, February 2005, Chile

See page 19 for this year’s photo contest.

Best Canadian Photos Above: Patricia Punanco, Vancouver Sunset March 2009 Right: Mauricio Flores Salazar, View from Mount Fernie of Fernie BC, November 2009

Fall 2010




n April 16, 2010, nearly 100 people from the community gathered at the Prestige Inn for “AIDpril Wine: a wine and cheese fundraiser for children in Kenya”. The evening featured wine, cheese, and crackers served with live music from littlejazz Orchestra, a Jeopardy contest and a silent auction. Hosted by several volunteer community members, this successful fundraiser raised $5,447 for three children’s aid projects in Kenya. “It was fantastic,” recalls Graham .QLSIHO ³:H ¿OOHG WKH KRXVH DQG raised more money than we were anticipating.” Knipfel, a passionate supporter of African aid at the grassroots level, wants to thank the many volunteers who helped out with this community event, especially Jocylin Coulam, Gina Bennett, and Jeff Cooper. The proceeds went to support girls’ education and malaria prevention in

Kenya. The money was split three ways with one-third going to Mama na Dada’s Circle of Hope Daycare, one-third to the GO Africa Fund, and one-third to the Oyani Healthnet. Mama na Dada is a small grassroots organization on the shoreline of Lake Victoria that works with a community plagued by malaria and HIV/AIDS. Over  FKLOGUHQ EHQH¿W E\ UHFHLYLQJ PHGLFDO care, clothing, two daily meals, and early childhood education.

mosquito nets, offering free medical and dental camps and funding for athletic equipment and school fees for children who otherwise can’t afford them. “Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds,” says Knipfel, “but these organizations have a relentless will to create a better life for their people and the money is very much appreciated, so thanks to everyone who contributed.”

The GO Africa Fund is a committee of COTR volunteers who raise money to send underprivileged girls from the Nyeri community to secondary school –which is not free in Kenya. However, research shows that educated young women are highly effective in breaking the generational cycle of poverty. The Oyani Healthnet is a small group of Kenyan professionals who help their home communities by spreading insecticide treated

Graham Knipfel speaks to the guests at the AIDpril Wine fundraiser



t the College of the Rockies’ 2010 Employee Recognition Dinner, Jeff Cooper and Graham Knipfel were presented with an Extra Mile Award. This award is given annually as formal recognition for extraordinary contribution to the success of College of the Rockies through support of learning, community involvement, service, academic scholarship, or teaching. It is the highest honour awarded to an employee of College of the Rockies.

Jeff Cooper and Graham Knipfel accept their awards from Dr. Nick Rubidge, COTR President

Fall 2010

As one nominator says of them, “These ‘movers and shakers’ of the International Education and Development department are totally committed to this educational institution and to the welfare of not only our international students -- but all students and staff of COTR.” In addition to this, both these young men are very active in their communities in a variety of ways. To list their total accomplishments would take all evening, so we’ll just say, “Keep up the good work and congratulations on being recognized for all you do.” Our hats go off to you, Jeff & Graham!




n April 8, 2009, Jim Abbott, MP for Kootenay-Columbia, along with East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett, announced a $12.7million Knowledge Infrastructure Program project to expand and upgrade Kootenay Centre, the main building at our Cranbrook campus. 7KLV H[SDQVLRQ ZLOO VLJQL¿FDQWO\ improve student and visitor access to essential services at COTR by providing a new front entrance which will house a new Reception area, Student Services and Registration. The International Department will also move to a new location adjacent to the entrance. The new space will provide international students with a bright lounge area, access to free international calls, wireless internet computer station, information area and easy access to international department staff. The project is expected to be completed in early Fall 2010 and moves into the newly renovated space are already underway..

Right: Artists rendering of the exterior of the new COTR entrance Below: Representation of the interior of the new student reception area



ext time you travel - take a picture of yourself with our newsletter (top of the mountain, in a cave, with family, etc.) just like Graham and Shannon here - and send it to Shannon at sparnall@cotr. with stuff like who is in it, where you took it, why. Contest runs from September 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011 (no, it’s not an April Fools joke). All entries will be featured at a photographic exhibition to showcase our international students’ talent to the rest of our community….. cool, eh? Fall 2010

Open to all past and current COTR International Students. Three prizes will be awarded for •Farthest away •Most far-outlocation •Random draw

If you need a copy of the newsletter, drop us an email with your address and we’ll send you one. 19



nternational students graduating from the summer semester 2010 and COTR English Language Training faculty were excited to meet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his recent visit that coincided with the students’ farewell celebration.

&275,QWHUQDWLRQDO&RQWDFW,QIRUPDWLRQ Visit our website: for electronic versions of newsletters Questions or Comments? Contact us: College of the Rockies, International Education & Development Box 8500, Cranbrook, BC Canada V1C 5L7 Telephone: 250-489-8248 Fax: 250-489-8254 email:

Fall 2010


COTR International Fall 2010  

College of the Rockies International department newsletter. News on student and staff projects from Africa, South America, and at home.