Student Spotlight: Mei Ling
May 11, 2021
I am an international student from Hong Kong, and my journey to Assiniboine is a long story that changed a lot when COVID restrictions started. The English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course was originally started in May 2020, and it has changed to a completely online format due to COVID-19.
I came to Canada with my husband and our 6-year-old son in August 2020, and the international team was so helpful in providing information about what we should do before arriving in Canada and how we could find support during the 14 days of quarantine.
The first thing that caught my attention from the ACC website was this title—Learn by Doing. I believe that studying at ACC will grant me international experience and exposure that I would otherwise not be able to obtain by studying in Hong Kong. Also, the safe and secure study environment that Brandon provides is critical for me. I am very happy to interact with all kinds of people in the city. Whether I go for a walk in the neighborhood or go to the grocery store, I can see everyone expressing their kindness and saying hello to each other, so I think I did choose a place that is very suitable for my family.
The very first person that made me feel welcome at the college was my instructor of the EAP program, Mr. Lloyd Fast. I met him when I was still in Hong Kong and attending the class online, it was the first time for everyone, including Lloyd, to participate in class via Zoom. Our class has gone through a lot of technical difficulties; we’ve shared laughter and tears. Lloyd is a very good mentor, and he guided me on the right path to beginning my college program. I hope that we can meet in person after COVID is gone (yes, I have never met him in person, not even in Superstore or Walmart).
It was absolutely right to choose Early Childhood Education (ECE) as my main program, especially during the pandemic. One of the reasons I am here is to develop my English skills and learn about Canadian culture. Unfortunately with COVID happening, I am not getting the social interactions that I was hoping for and most of our classes have become online delivery, which is challenging for both students and instructors. However, I am very lucky that most of the courses in the first term are related to mental health, and this has been very helpful for me in understanding how to deal with negative emotions and frustrations during my self-learning process.
My ECE instructors are super supportive. Mrs. Pamela Nightingale is one of the instructors, and she is the best teacher ever. She is not only teaching us about academic knowledge but also very concerned about our mental health, and I'm so honored to be her student. And for sure, all my classmates are awesome. I am the only international student of the ECE program this year, and they have been so inclusive and kind to me. I am very happy to be able to spend all the happy and difficult times with them.
One thing I am proud of is that I have achieved A+ in all my fall term courses. It is not easy for me to be a full-time student, a mother, and take care of my family at the same time. But I will do my best to get the best grades in the rest of the courses. I believe that the knowledge I learned from this program can help my career path, as well as my personal growth. Because the knowledge I can gain from this program will not only make me become a professional early childhood educator, but also a better person and a good mother.