EF International Language Centers
Academic Year Abroad For adults and Students aged 16 & above
Toronto One of North America’s coolest cities, Toronto is Canada’s hub for innovative entertainment, fashion and arts. Its international population and urban style make it an exciting place for studying English. Contact details: 127 Portland St. Toronto, Ontario M5V 2G5, Canada Tel: +(1) 416 850 2456
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Accreditations and Memberships The EF International Language Centers in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester, Bristol and Bournemouth are:
The EF International Language Centers in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester and Bournemouth are members of:
EF Dublin is accredited by:
The EF International Language Centers in the USA are accredited by:
The EF International Language Centers in the USA are members of:
EF Vancouver and Toronto are accredited by Languages Canada.
The EF International Language Centers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are accredited by:
Important Note: Factual information contained in this document is subject to change.
The EF International Language Centers in Brisbane and Perth are members of:
The EF International Language Centers in Cambridge, München, Cape Town and Nice are accredited by:
EF Nice is recognized with the Label Qualité Français Langue Etrangère.
Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations.
All EF Courses are certified by Southern New Hampshire University.
EF Education is an active participant in the Comité Européen de Normalisation.
All EF Courses are recognized by Hult International Business School.
Contents - Toronto Section....... Topic
1 .............Introduction to EF 2 .............Welcome to Canada 3 .............Weather watch 4 .............Travel & transfer service 5 .............School information 6 .............Academics 7 .............Accommodation & meals 8 .............Money matters 9 .............Phones, faxes & Internet 10 ...........Health care & insurance 11 ...........School activities & excursions 12 ...........Transportation 13 ...........Expectations 14 ...........Canadian culture & living tips
Dear Student Thank you for choosing our school for your studies. The EF Toronto staff is committed to ensuring that your time here is enjoyable and rewarding. We believe that whether this is your first visit to Canada or if you are a seasoned traveller, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time at the EF Toronto School. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the school centrally located downtown, along with the liveliness and cosmopolitan feel of Toronto will serve to make your stay here unique! From the lively downtown to the lovely Niagara Falls to the dizzying view from the CN Tower, we feel sure there will be something to suit every need. We are looking forward to meeting you soon and helping you make the most of your time in Canada.
15 ...........Adjusting to a new culture 16 ...........EF school calendar & holidays 17 ...........Checklist
Best wishes, Steve Allen, School Director EF International Language Center, Toronto
1. Introduction to EF EF Education First welcomes students of all ages from every corner of the world to learn a language where it is natively spoken. Our innovative curriculum, the EF Efekta™ System, integrates face-to-face learning in a classroom with studying outside the classroom using the interactive learning tools in our online iLab. An intensively structured academic program along with an array of educational and social activities results in a fast and fun way to learn a language. EF students come from diverse backgrounds and like you, they have chosen a program to enhance their language skills as part of their academic or career plan. Many have planned for years to take advantage of this opportunity. A large percentage of EF students apply their new language skills by taking a recognized exam, such as Cambridge, TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS. Successful completion of such exams provides the necessary language qualifications for university and for professional endeavors. Many students view their time with EF as a chance to explore educational alternatives while improving language and study skills. Students wishing to study at university can access information and make informed academic choices through our EF University Placement Service. A great aspect of an EF program is the variety of nationalities at our schools. We welcome you to join this international community where you’ll experience life and language with EF. We take great pride in our continuing dedication to our mission - breaking down barriers of language and culture.
2. Welcome to Toronto, Canada Toronto is Canada’s largest city (population of 3 million) and the capital of the province of Ontario. In recent years, Toronto has become one of the most exciting and progressive cities in the world. The city is a multicultural Mecca, with more than 80 ethnic groups speaking approximately 100 languages. Located in the heart of Ontario, Toronto is Canada’s cultural, financial and transportation hub. According to a UNESCO survey, Toronto is one of the safest and least expensive cities in the world to live. Toronto is home to the CN Tower, the world’s tallest free standing structure, named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World; Ontario Place, which features the first permanent giant-screen IMAX® theatre, a Canadian invention; and the Skydome indoor stadium, which is famous for its retractable roof. Other great places to visit in Toronto include: zA ir Canada Centre: Home to the Raptors Toronto’s Basketball Team and the Maple Leafs - Toronto’s Hockey Team. zA rt Gallery of Ontario: art in 50 galleries. zB each Blast: Indoor beach volleyball facility located in central Toronto. Six Olympic size courts, locker rooms, food and beverages. zE aton Centre: Toronto’s largest shopping center - located at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street. zM aid of the Mist: Experience Niagara Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist. A 30-minute boat tour in front of the American Falls and to the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. zR ogers Centre: Home to the Blue Jays Toronto’s Baseball Team and the Argonauts - Toronto’s Canadian Football Team zY onge Street: Toronto’s main thoroughfare is the longest street in the world (about 1,200 miles /1,800 km long.) Other great facts about the city: zT here are over 400 parks within the city and surrounding areas zT oronto has the world’s third largest theatre district after London and New York zT oronto has the fourth largest financial center
in North America z It is the home to North America’s third largest film and video production center zT here are more than 20,000 retail stores and restaurants within the city zT he underground concourse in the downtown area is 11 km long and links over 1,100 stores and restaurants zT he city is only a few hours away from some of the largest U.S. and Canadian cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, and Ottawa.
3. Weather Watch Toronto’s seasons are easily distinguishable from one another. Toronto enjoys long, hot summer days and sunny weather, while springtime is mostly warm and pleasant, making it the most welcomed season after the winter’s snowstorms that sometimes strike as late as March. Annual average rainfall is 68.9 cm (27.25 inches) and annual average snowfall is 135 cm (53.2 inches). Temperatures range from: Spring: 0° to 12°C (32° to 54°F) Summer: 13° to 22°C (55° to 72°F) Autumn: 0° to 18°C (32° to 64°F) Winter: -7° to 6°C (19° to 43°F) Check www.weather.com for Toronto weather forecasts.
4. Travel & transfer service Transfer service Arriving at a busy airport in a foreign city can be confusing. EF offers a one-way transfer service from the Toronto Airport to your accommodation for an additional fee. We highly recommend you take advantage of this service. At least one month before your arrival you must inform the EF Office in your home country of the exact details of your flight, e.g. airline, flight number, date and time – this is especially important if you will be using the transfer service. Students whose flights are changed in transit should inform the school office immediately.
When you arrive at the Toronto airport, you should look for the EF sign in the International Arrival outside of the International Baggage Claim area. Note: Please pass through the baggage claim and customs! The airport greeter will be carrying an EF sign or a sign with your name on it. When you see the Greeter, please introduce yourself to him or her; they will be happy to meet you and help you get to your accommodation. Please be aware that other students will be arriving on the same day and you may have to wait up to an hour for other students to arrive before you leave the airport. What if you cannot find the greeter? Toronto Airport has three Terminals (Terminals 1, 2 and 3). Please ask someone which terminal you are in. Do Not Leave The Airport. If you cannot locate us, please go to the Traveler’s Aid desk and call the EF Toronto flight emergency number. You will receive this number and other important contact information prior to your departure. What if my flight is delayed? If you are going to arrive late or if you have a change in schedule please call the emergency number that you were given by your local EF office prior to your departure. Students arriving independently: Toronto taxi prices are based on what area of the city you are traveling to. Zone maps with pricing information should be clearly posted in each vehicle. A taxi to the school or to the area where the majority of homestays are will cost no more than $40 to $60 Canadian dollars. Please be considerate of your homestay hosts and call them if you are going to be delayed.
5. School Information EF’s program in Toronto is located in the heart of downtown Toronto at Portland and Richmond Streets. The EF school is on all major public transportation routes, including bus and subway lines and surrounded by many restaurants, shops, stores, side walk cafes and other tourist attractions. Fully renovated, the school has a computer room equipped with educational and pronunciation software, textbooks, dictionaries, reference books and audiovisual equipment, as well
as three computer rooms with 17 computers each. The school also has a modern student lounge and a lecture hall equipped with television, music, VCRs, DVDs and educational games. Students have access to free email and Internet use. Staff The School Director is assisted by an accomplished staff of teachers and administrators. There is also an Activities Coordinator who organizes EF activities and excursions.
6. Academics EF language courses give students the opportunity to study the English language and the local culture for as long, and with as much intensity, as suits the student and his or her needs. EF Level Placement Test Within 24-hours after booking your course, you’ll receive your personalized EF username and password for the online EF campus called My EF. Before traveling, you will take the EF Level Placement test online. This test will measure your language level and ability, grammar and listening comprehension abilities. Using your test results, our academic team will place you in one of six different language levels. As your English language skills become stronger, you will be promoted into the next language level. You may speak with your teacher if you feel you have been placed into the wrong level. Please note: you may have both morning and afternoon classes depending on the time of year and course type. Orientation When you arrive at the school you will take the EF Level Placement test, if you have not done so already. During your orientation you will receive your class schedule and other important information about the school and the city. Fun activities are planned to help you meet students and staff. General English Classes General English classes focus on the development of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. They also include work on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
Special Interest Classes Depending on your course type you may also select a number of special interest (SPIN) classes. SPINs allow you to improve your English through the study of a wide range of subject options. Admission to some of these will depend on academic and linguistic level and availability of places. The selection of SPIN classes varies throughout the year and a student may not be able to repeat the same SPIN class. Each lesson is 40 minutes in length. Class size The average class size is 15 students with a maximum of 17 students. Attendance You are expected to attend all classes. Consistent failure to attend class, for whatever reason, may result in expulsion from the program with no refund of course fees. It is important to note that in order to be eligible for an EF certificate, students are expected to participate in class and must attend at least 80% of all classes. Canadian immigration regulations require you to attend 80% of all your classes. EF is required to report students who fail to maintain this 80% average to Canadian Immigration Authorities. Consequently, students with low attendance may be asked to leave the program and return to their home country. Homework You are expected to complete all assignments set by your teachers in General English and Special Interest classes. If you are taking an examination preparation class you should expect at least one hour of homework per night. Assessment You will be assessed at regular intervals throughout the course. Assessment is based on attendance, participation, attitude and performance. Course books As part of your academic program, you’ll be expected to buy the books and classroom materials that you will use in class. The exact number of books that you’ll need is determined by your academic level, progress and choice of special interest classes. If you wish to buy additional books you may need more money. The
books you buy are yours to keep, write in and take home with you for future reference. iLab Learning All English language school courses include six iLab sessions per week. iLab sessions complement and reinforce classroom learning in an interactive online learning environment. There is an iLab computer room at the school, which is for your iLab lessons and self-study tutorials. Please note: iLab is not included in the EF Basic Course. Exams You may enroll for several different public examinations during your course. Some can be taken at the school itself, others must be taken at an external examination center and booked several months in advance. Please note: you will be responsible for the cost of all exam registration fees, which cannot be paid at the sales office. Library The school has a computer room equipped with educational and pronunciation software, textbooks, dictionaries, reference books and audiovisual equipment EF is also located close to the largest reference and English Language library in Canada. EF University Placement Service EF International Language Centers offer a University Placement Service (UPS) that provides guaranteed admission into a university or college for qualified students. If you are interested in continuing your studies, you are encouraged to talk with the University Pathways Manager at your school. University Transfer Credit Through our partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), EF students may be eligible to receive university credit for their coursework.
7. Accommodation & Meals Homestay living and student residence accommodations are available at EF Toronto. All housing matters should be directed to the Housing Coordinator.
Homestay Students staying in a homestay will have the opportunity to experience Canadian life and also have the chance to practice their new language skills with fluent English speakers. Students who choose homestay accommodation should do so because they want to live in a family environment and interact with the family members. Families choose to host international students because they want to learn about other cultures and people. Students who live in a homestay must respect the family and their home. Likewise, the family will respect the student. As you get an in-depth look at Canadian life, you will realize that Canadian culture is not the same as your culture, and therefore, family life may be quite different. The relationship between husband and wife, the roles of family members, the relationship with or discipline of children and the relationship with pets are just some examples. If you are openminded about these differences, life in the family will be a great learning experience. In Canada, the traditional family of two parents with children is slowly disappearing. More and more, families may be a single parent with children or a single adult living alone. To avoid confusion, EF will speak of “homestay” rather than of a “family” accommodation. Even in Canadian families that have a more traditional set-up, family members with children may lead separate lives. Many students request a home in a family with children of their same age. However, few Canadians over 18 live with their
parents, and those who do, rarely participate in group activities within the family. You can expect that your hosts will be busy. Most men and women work outside the home, including people with children. Your host may also have social and professional commitments. They may not be able to spend all their leisure time with you. However, remember that you can take part in the activities offered by EF. Canada is a land of immigrants with a great range of ethnic and racial diversity. Our selected homes reflect this cultural diversity. Unless you have paid the single supplement and a single placement has been confirmed to you by EF, you will be placed in a double room with another student. You are responsible for all transportation costs to and from the host’s home. You may be placed up to one hour away from the school. Linens will be provided, but you will be responsible for cleaning your own room and doing your laundry. If the hosts prefer, you may be required to take your laundry to a nearby Laundromat for washing. You are responsible for your personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap and other items. You will probably share the bathroom with others. This means that you may need to be flexible about shower and bath times. Very few students have their own bathroom. If you want to take a long time in the bath or shower
check to see that nobody else is waiting to use the bathroom.
them to know how to cook food from your country. Be adventurous and open-minded.
Canadians usually do all major chores once a week, on Saturday or Sunday. Since you are a new member of the family it would be helpful if you acted like one as well. It would be polite to offer to help. Always remember to keep your room clean and tidy. Make your bed, and put your belongings away. You are also responsible for cleaning up after snacks, and for washing your own dishes after breakfast. It is also polite to help clear the table after dinner.
If you would like to use the kitchen, ask your host if you can do this. Appliances, such as toasters, often differ from one country to another. The first time you use an appliance, ask your host to show you how. If you happen to break an appliance, offer to replace it or repair it.
You may make local calls and collect calls from your homestay. Unless you are using a calling card, you should not make long distance calls from your homestay. Remember that you are sharing the telephone with the rest of the people in the home. Do not spend more than 15 minutes on the phone at any time. Tell your friends and family to call you before 9 pm Toronto time. Homestay accommodation is booked for your entire course. You may only change homestays for very serious reasons. Requests for change will be considered on an individual basis. No refunds will be granted for students who choose to leave their homestay for personal reasons. Meals in a homestay Your host family will provide you with breakfast and dinner during the week and all your meals on the weekends. You are responsible for your own lunch during the week. Located within a five-minute walking radius of the school are many restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offering meals from CAN$1.50 pizza slices to CAN$10 all-inclusive lunches of various cuisines. Meals will only be provided when you are home to participate. Please be sure to call your hosts if you do not plan to be home for dinner. There will be no refund for meals not taken at home with your family. You will find that meals in Canada may taste different from meals at home. Canadians eat a lot of pasta, stew, chicken, fish, salad, and vegetables. They rarely eat steak. If you have any allergies, let your host know right away. Expect your hosts to serve you Canadian food or food from their ethnic origin. Don’t expect
8. Money Matters Currency The Canadian dollar is the basic monetary unit in Canada and 1 dollar = 100 cents. Paper currency comes in denominations (values) of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in denominations (values) of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, $2. Banks The safest place to keep your money is in a bank. You can exchange most foreign currencies at any bank. Different banks offer different exchange rates. You can call around to find the best rate for your money. It is a good idea to open a bank account if you will be staying more than 3 months. Spending money Depending on your lifestyle, we recommend that you bring between CAN$100 and CAN$150 per week excluding excursions, and depending on how much traveling, shopping and eating in restaurants you plan to do during your visit to Toronto. Please remember that you will be responsible for some meals. You will also need to take money for learning materials used in class and for any language proficiency exams you plan to take. How to wire money to Toronto Please leave this information with anyone who will be wiring money to you during your stay! If you are in Toronto longer than 3 months, you will probably open an account at a local bank. Ask the bank how to wire money into your account. If you don’t have an account, you can have money wired to Western Union. From your bank in your home country, wire the money to Western Union. You will be charged a fee to receive a wire transfer. Please inquire with Western Union before sending your money.
There are a few Western Union locations in Toronto. The nearest locations are: z2 35 Spadina Avenue at East Giant Corporation (between Dundas St & Queen St) Tel: 416 596 7327 Toll free telephone in Canada: 800 235 0000 zM oneyMart 617 Yonge Street Tel: 416 920 4146 Two blocks south of Yonge & Bloor – open 24 hours Credit cards EF strongly recommends that students travel with either a Visa or MasterCard. Credit cards enable students to rent cars, reserve hotel rooms and do various activities, which may be more difficult with cash or traveler’s checks.
9. Telephones, fax & Internet Telephone All long distance calls must be collect calls, charged to the person you are calling, or charged to a prepaid telephone card, which can be purchased at the EF office. We recommend that students expecting to stay for a long period of time come with or purchase a mobile phone. Fax All EF schools use fax machines to conduct business. The school will charge a small fee to send long-distance faxes (usually CAN$5). There are also many places close to the school that send faxes and charge for the time used. Ask the front desk for directions to the nearest fax machine you can use. When you receive mail or faxes at the school, these will be kept at the front desk for you until you pick them up. Internet The school is equipped with Wi-Fi wireless Internet. Students are highly encouraged to bring their personal laptop computers for email and Internet use on the wireless network.
10. Health Care & Insurance The EF staff can recommend nearby hospitals and doctors offices if you need medical attention. If you have a medical emergency, go to the emergency department of the hospital closest to you. Make sure to bring some identification (i.e. passport) and your insurance card with you. Walk-in medical clinics are for medi-
cal problems that are not emergencies. There is no need to make an appointment. You can simply go see a doctor. Please ask the EF staff for assistance if you need medical attention. Immunizations EF requires that all students attending an EF school in North America carry proof that he or she has been immunized against measles I and II, polio, TBC, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus. Please note that it is not sufficient to have had the diseases as a child. If you do not bring this documentation with you, you will be required upon arrival at the school to obtain the immunizations at an area hospital. The cost to students is approximately CAN$50 (this amount is not covered by insurance). Insurance All students traveling to Canada are required to have medical and accident insurance upon starting their program of study. All students are required to bring proof of insurance in English to show that they have proper health insurance when a medical emergency occurs. Students who do not bring proof of insurance will be required to purchase insurance through EF at the school. Erika Travel Insurance Because security is EF’s number one priority, we have negotiated a comprehensive tailor-made travel insurance package for EF students with Erika Travel Insurance, an international insurance expert. The policy protects you against expenses incurred through accident or illness, and provides coverage for loss or theft of baggage and personal effects. It also provides coverage against interruption of your EF program due to illness as well as liability and legal expenses. The EF staff is trained to assist with your Erika Travel Insurance questions and claims. When you are sick or injured the last thing you want to do is deal with such issues. Let us help you!
11. Activities & Excursions Extracurricular activities contribute greatly to your social and academic success. Your school’s activities and trips give you the opportunity to apply your life skills, practice English in real situations and familiarize yourself with Canadian culture.
Activity program The EF Activities Coordinator arranges a regular schedule of local activities, day-trips, and weekend excursions to area attractions. The cost of these trips is not included in the tuition. Local activities Local activities are offered twice a week, including cultural events, visits to ethnic restaurants, movies, theatres and dance nights. Weekend excursions and day trips The school arranges weekend excursions and day trips to local attractions. The number of trips and the cost depend on the time of year and the number of students wishing to participate. Excursions can be paid for in cash or with traveler’s checks. It may be possible to use credit cards to pay for excursions – please check with the school upon arrival as to whether or not credit cards are accepted. Please note: all prices are denoted in Canadian dollars. There may be a small fee charged if credit cards are used. For more information on what activities are planned during your stay, pick up an activities schedule at the front desk of the school. The following are typical excursions and the prices are estimates and do not include meals: zM ontreal-Ottawa-Quebec City CAN$350 zN ew York CAN$330 zN iagara Falls/Lake Tour CAN$45 zO ne day Ski Trips (all inclusive) CAN$80 zM etro Toronto Zoo Day Trips CAN$20 zC anada Wonderland CAN$40 Visiting the United States If you plan to visit the USA during your stay in Canada, you may need a multiple-entry visa. It is very difficult to get the tourist visa once the
student has arrived in Canada, so we strongly recommend that you apply for a US visa before coming to Canada. Most European Union students, Swiss and Japanese students do not need a visitor’s visa to visit the US. They can enter the country under the Visa Waiver program. However students from other countries must obtain the visitor’s visa prior to arrival in Canada. If you decide to obtain a visa once in Canada you will need to visit the US consulate office in Toronto. For more information on how to obtain a visa while in Canada, ask a staff person in the school office. Sports The school also organizes year round sporting events, including ice-skating, snow skiing, soccer, baseball, basketball, camping, canoeing, horseback riding and water skiing.
12. Transportation Public transportation The public transportation system in Toronto is excellent. It is also affordable and reliable, so take advantage of every opportunity to use it. The EF school is located at 127 Portland Street, which is in the heart of the downtown area. There are numerous bus and streetcar stops only a few feet away from the school. The nearest subways are St. Andrew and Osgoode Union stations. Union station is also the central train station where you can take trains to various cities in Canada and the United States. If you start your first day of school in the beginning of a calendar month, after orientation the school will show you where you can
purchase a “metropass.” The approximate costs of transit pass are: zM onthly pass - CAN$121 (metropass) zW eekly pass - CAN$36 zO ne-way ride - CAN$3 The subway, buses, and streetcars can take you to any part of the city. Toronto’s transit system runs from 6:00 am to 1:30 am. On Sunday, it runs from 9:00 am to 1:30 am. Some of the major bus routes have 24-hour service. For more information, check the Toronto transit map. Car rentals Some students choose to rent a car during their stay in Toronto. To rent a car in Canada, you must have an International Driver’s license and own a major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.) You also must be 25 years of age or older. For more information on how to rent a car, please ask at the front desk or at in the activities office. Please note: you should not expect to park at the school. Public transportation is extensive and reliable and offers easy access to and from the downtown area, so we strongly recommend that you use it. Flights The Toronto area is well served by the Lester B. Pearson International Airport. It takes approximately 30 minutes to travel between the airport and the city. The school staff can help you with any flight arrangements while you are at the school. A taxi from the airport to downtown costs approximately $45-50. Shuttle service is approximately $16 to a downtown hotel.
13. Expectations Expectations are a normal part of anticipating a new experience. Remember that many of your expectations may have been formed by the unreal world of TV and movies. Arrive at your course center with an open mind! What you can expect from EF: zS upportive staff, available for guidance and encouragement. zA n academic program which combines language, special interest, and culture-oriented classes. zF ull program of local activities and excursions at special EF rates. zA ccommodation in either homestay or stu-
dent residence. zA ll designated meals. zE F Academic Year Abroad Diploma for Academic Year Abroad students with 80% attendance per term and good academic standing and academic records zE F Course Certificate for International Language Students with 80% attendance and good academic standing. zP reparation classes and/or materials for appropriate standardized language exams and availability of University Placement Service (UPS). What EF expects of you: zT o develop a greater understanding of the world around you. zT o attend at least 80% of all classes and to do your best in class at all times. zT o be respectful of your homestay hosts, your classmates, your teachers and your community. zT o keep your room and shared areas clean. zT o speak English at all times. zT o abide by all laws, rules and regulations of your host country, state, campus and school. What you can expect from your homestay hosts: ❚❚A comfortable, clean place to live. ❚❚Prepared meals or accessibility to food to prepare yourself according to the meal plan. ❚❚Access to the school in approximately one hour by public transportation. All transportation costs are your responsibility. School rules and regulations As a member of the school and Greater Toronto community, you will be asked to observe all campus rules. These include: zY ou must arrive on time every day for class. zN o alcoholic beverages allowed if you are under the age of 19. zN o illegal drugs allowed in the school or host family under any circumstances. zN o smoking in the school building. zS tudents must respect quiet hours set by the homestay hosts. zS tudents must be respectful of other students and school property zA ll students are expected to attend at least 80% of all classes. Failure to comply with the above rules and regulations may lead to your dismissal.
14. Canadian culture & living tips Safety Canada is a very clean and safe country. However, use the same caution that you would take in your own country. Be aware of the people around you and of your surroundings. Try to appear as though you know where you are going, even if you do not. The following tips may be helpful: zD o not carry large sums of cash. Try to plan your cash needs so that you use the bank machine during daylight hours. If you must use the bank machine after dark, go with someone you know. zW hen you are in restaurants or outside the school, keep your purse or backpack beside you. z Use caution when you travel on public transit at night. You may choose to take a taxi instead which is more expensive but a safer option. zW hen you go out at night, go with another person. Stay on streets that are well lit. z If you are going out alone, tell someone where you will be and what time you will be home. Call if you are going to be late. zD o not give your address or phone number to strangers, such as people you meet in bars or on the street. Mail All local postal stations are open 8 am 5:30 pm weekdays. Substation hours vary depending on the location. Many locations are listed under Canada Post Corporation in the white pages of the telephone directory. Important: Canadian postage must be used on mail posted from any point in Canada. The letter and postcard rate within Canada is 52 cents. Letters and postcards mailed to destinations other than Canada and the U.S. are CAN$1.60. Please note that rates may vary depending on weight. Toronto drinking and smoking laws The drinking age in Ontario is 19; students under 19 will not be able to purchase alcohol or enter bars and discos. Most places that serve alcohol will ask for proof of age before they let you in. You need to show picture identification, such as your passport. These rules also apply to purchasing alcohol at a liquor store. z In Ontario (Toronto), you must be 19 years of age or older.
z In Quebec, you must be 18 years of age or older. z In the U.S., you must be 21 years of age or older. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings, elevators, lobbies, stairwells, shopping malls, cinemas, and sports facilities unless signs say that you may smoke. Smoking is allowed in restaurants only where there are smoking areas. If you smoke in a “smoke free” place, you could be fined up to $5,000. You must be 19 years of age or older to purchase cigarettes. Most host families only allow smoking outside the house and EF prohibits smoking inside the school. Taxes The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 5% tax that is charged on most goods and services sold or provided in Canada. There is also a Provincial Services Tax (PST) of 8%, which applies to goods and services sold within Ontario. Tipping It is the custom in Canada to leave your waiter/ waitress a “tip” for good service. You leave the tip on the table when you leave the restaurant. The general rule is to leave 15% of your total bill before the tax. The easiest way to calculate this amount is to add the P.S.T. and the G.S.T. (taxes) together. Recommended reading and websites zL et’s Go Canada, Harvard Student Agencies, Inc. Great student travel guide for where to go, how to get around, where to stay and what to eat. Recommended websites ❚❚www.toronto.com ❚❚www.city.toronto.on.ca ❚❚www.infotoronto.com ❚❚www.nowtoronto.com ❚❚www.eye.net
15. Adjusting to a New Culture The EF community is more than a group of students who have come together to learn English. It is also a multi-cultural group of young adults who are eager to share their own culture and learn the culture of their host country and fellow classmates. One’s culture is made up of values, beliefs, arts,
traditions and practices of a specific community or population. Our culture affects how we view ourselves, how we relate to others and what we value as important in life. We are often unaware of how much our culture affects our lives. You may have already had some exposure to the new culture you are about to experience. You may have seen television shows, read books, or studied in school about Canada. While some parts of this culture may already seem familiar to you, experiencing a new culture first-hand will prove exciting. You will be meeting students from all over the world who, like you, are looking forward to spending a year learning and living a language, both inside and outside the classroom. As a visitor to a new culture, you may experience periods of fatigue and discomfort when you are uncomfortable. Culture shock is what sometimes happens when we try to meet challenges of our new culture by using the values, beliefs, and attitudes of our own culture. As visitors to a new culture, we must learn that cultural differences are merely different - not right or wrong. It is a good idea to bring traditional objects from your culture to share with other students and your host to teach them about your country. Tips on coping with change Remember that change does not come without some effort! We humans need a certain amount of stress to motivate us to learn new ways of being. Learning always involves some form of change. You should try the following: zW hile you might be tempted to surround yourself with things that are familiar to you, try not to isolate yourself by being only with others from your home country. Keep reaching out to your host, roommates and other students. zP ut off making major decisions such as an accommodation change, until you feel more “at home” with the culture in general. zT alk to us about your worries or problems. EF Staff are here to help and would prefer to know about any problem you may have so that we can help you. zS et goals, no matter how big or small, and accomplish them! You will feel good about
yourself in doing so, and you will reduce the negative feelings associated with culture shock. For example, set a goal that you will speak English at all times. zR emind yourself that you came to this country to experience a new culture, to meet others and to explore your new surroundings. Relax, take a deep breath and reflect back on the days before leaving your home country when you were excited about your new adventure. Try to refocus this former excitement towards your experience. Keeping a journal One way to keep track of emotions and changes that take place over the year is to keep a journal. By recording your experiences and feelings on a regular basis, you will be able to reduce the impact of culture shock. You will have a record of your academic and personal progress to look back on in days and years to come. Be sure to note changes in: zL anguage skills zS chool performance and involvement zC ampus/host adjustment z Individual learning and growth Keeping a journal will help to remind you that culture shock is truly a temporary phase of adjustment. Bring pictures and items from home If you have room in your suitcases for some music, a costume, pictures, or some typical crafts, it would be good to show other students, as well as to decorate your room to make it seem like home. We have seen costumes and drums from Korea, dancing and music from Austria and a piñata and tortillas from Mexico. Please bring pictures of your friends, family and surrounding area.
16. EF School Calendar Academic Year Schedule The Academic Year is divided into three terms. (See the applicable start date below for your program’s specific term and break schedule). January 2012 Academic Year and Semester Program Orientation: Fri 6 Jan - Sun 8 Jan Term 1: Mon 9 Jan - Fri 9 Mar Holiday: Sat 10 Mar - Sun 25 Mar Term 2: Mon 26 Mar - Fri 1 Jun Semester Departure: 2 Jun 2012 Holiday: Sat 2 Jun - Sun 10 Jun Term 3: (Year) Mon 11 Jun - Fri 17 Aug Departure: 18 Aug 2012 April 2012 Academic Year and Semester Program Orientation: Fri 13 Apr - Sun 15 Apr Term 1: Mon 16 Apr - Fri 1 Jun Holiday: Sat 2 Jun - Sun 10 Jun Term 2: Mon 11 Jun - Fri 7 Sep Semester Departure: 8 Sep 2012 Holiday: Sat 8 Sep - Sun 23 Sep Term 3: (Year) Mon 24 Sep - Fri 30 Nov Departure: 1 Dec 2012 September 2012 Academic Year and Semester Program Orientation: Fri 21 Sep - Sun 23 Sep Term 1: Mon 24 Sep - Fri 14 Dec Holiday: Sat 15 Dec - Sun 6 Jan Term 2: Mon 7 Jan - Fri 8 Mar Semester Departure: 9 Mar 2013 Holiday: Sat 9 Mar - Sun 24 Mar Term 3: (Year) Mon 25 Mar - Fri 31 May Departure:
2012 1 January - New Year’s Day 20 February - Family Day 6 April - Good Friday 9 April - Easter Monday 21 May - Victoria Day 1 July - Canada Day 6 August - August Civil Holiday 3 September - Labour Day 8 October - Thanksgiving 11 November - Remembrance Day 25 December - Christmas Day 26 December - Boxing Day 2013 1 January - New Year’s Day 18 February - Family Day 29 March - Good Friday 1 April - Easter Monday 20 May - Victoria Day 1 July - Canada Day 5 August - August Civil Holiday 2 September - Labour Day 14 October - Thanksgiving 11 November - Remembrance Day 25 December - Christmas Day 26 December - Boxing Day
1 June 2013
January 2013 Academic Year and Semester Program Orientation: Fri 4 Jan - Sun 6 Jan Term 1: Mon 7 Jan - Fri 8 Mar Holiday: Sat 9 Mar - Sun 24 Mar Term 2: Mon 25 Mar - Fri 7 Jun Semester Departure: 8 Jun 2013 Holiday: Term 3: (Year) Departure:
School holidays The EF International Language Center in Toronto recognizes the following public holidays when there will be no classes. If your arrival falls on one of these dates, please check with the school staff upon your arrival for an exact orientation schedule.
Sat 8 Jun - Sun 16 Jun Mon 17 Jun - Fri 16 Aug 17 Aug 2013
Important telephone numbers Homestay host’s or student residence name:
________________________________________ Homestay host’s or student residence address:
17. Checklist ■■ Valid passport (with visa where necessary) It’s a good idea to make copies of these and pack them in your suitcase just in case. You don’t need to carry your passport with you while you are in the Canada but you must keep it and your other documents in a safe place while you are in the country. ■■ Passport Photos (4) for EF student identification cards, travel cards and other possible documents ■■ Flight ticket ■■ Luggage correctly labeled ■■ E F Confirmation letter & other EF documents ■■ M ake sure all EF forms are complete, especially the Health Certificate ■■ Medical and travel insurance documents with proof of insurance in English. If you have secured Erika Travel Insurance from EF, you do not need to have anything translated. ■■ Immunization documents with a copy of them in English ■■ Basic medical supplies, any medication you take regularly and a spare pair of contact lenses or glasses if you wear them. ■■ An International Driving License if you are planning on hiring or buying a car. ■■ Local currency for first week and for any learning materials that are not included in the cost of the course. ■■ Money in the form of an ATM card (Automatic Transaction Card), credit cards and/or traveler’s checks (Do NOT bring large amounts of cash in any currency!).
________________________________________ Homestay host’s or student residence telephone number(s):
■■ Electric adaptor for any electrical appliances you plan to bring with you.
■■ Pencil and/or pen and notebook.
EF Sales Office telephone number:
________________________________________ EF School telephone number:
■■ Items from your hometown or country so you can share your culture with friends, homestay hosts and teachers. ■■ Personal sports equipment.
+(1) 416 850 2456
Please note: there will be no classes on public holidays.
■■ Favorite books, photos and a camera.
EF School emergency telephone number:
■■ Homestay or student residence details and emergency numbers.
+1 416 473 3509 ________________________________________
Predeparture Toronto 2012