EIP Connections

Around the World, One Poster at a Time: EIP International Day

4th annual International Day

Photo credit: Ahmed Hijji,, Group 0120W1


We celebrated our 4th annual International Day on March 14, 2017. More than 150 people showed up to experience and learn about the different cultures presented by EIP students. Students and staff ran international kiosks representing Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Kurd culture, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria. The International Day event featured a variety of food, traditional dress, posters, and music from several cultures, and highlighted the exchanges fostered between cultures. Undoubtedly, our International Day proved to be a success once again this year! Our gratitude goes to Solmaz Alimohammadi and Saba Hersi, who helped students in group 0120W1 and 0140W4 with the preparation for the poster exhibition. Sincere thanks are also given to Ina Lazarescu and Kelly Holmes for their generous guidance and support of the Japanese students from the Niigata program.



Join the EIP Closing Ceremony!

Closing Ceremony


By: Xiaoyang (Audrey) Zhang, EIP Mentor

With spring just around the corner (hopefully), our Winter 2017 session is soon coming to an end.

The EIP Closing Ceremony will take place at the Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Avenue, on April 13. Doors will open for guests at 10:15 a.m., and the ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m. This event is a celebration for EIP students and teachers, and an opportunity to acknowledge all of EIP’s dedicated students. After your final exams, come celebrate all of your hard work. Bring your friends, and get ready to be entertained by your classmates with their musical performances.

Lunch will be served, and fun is guaranteed! To reserve your seat, please register online by April 10.



Learning Tip: Using English in the Real World

 Using English in the Real World


By: David Pratt, English Instructor


After spending the cold winter inside (studying, right?), it is easy to fall into the routine of keeping to yourself. Summer is the perfect time to get out of that slump and seize the opportunity to get out and practice English. The summer in Ottawa is the perfect time and place to practice the language skills you have been perfecting over the past few months with other people in the community. It can be a challenge to meet people when you live in a different country, and even harder to meet native English speakers, especially when you spend all of your time at the university. Here are some ways you can get out and meet people to experience Canadian culture, practice English, and hopefully have fun at the same time:


1. Volunteer at a festival

I have done this, and I can tell you from experience that it was a wonderful experience. Ottawa has lots of music and cultural festivals during the summer, and they are always asking for volunteers. The biggest is Bluesfest, which is a 10-day festival in July. When you volunteer, you also get a free pass to the rest of the festival!

Here’s the website with all the information you’ll need:


2. Meetup

Meetup is a really cool online community that connects people with similar interests (this is NOT a dating site!). There are many groups in Ottawa, and signing up for this website will open you up to so many great events happening in the city. There are photography groups, adventurer clubs, business groups, people who get together to try new restaurants, etc.

Here is the link to the Ottawa Meetup groups:


3. Other Volunteering

Ottawa has so many places to volunteer. Not only will this be a good opportunity to practice English, it also looks great on a resume. There is a huge list of options to choose from at this website:


4. Join a running group                   

People in Ottawa love to stay active, especially when the weather gets warm. There are free running groups all over the city who meet up to exercise together. One of the easiest to join is the Running Room group, and they meet a couple of times a week in many locations around the city—and it’s free!

Here’s all the information you need:




Good luck and enjoy taking advantage of a great summer in Ottawa!

10 Things about University Life that you should Know

about University life


By: Xiaoyang (Audrey) Zhang, EIP Mentor


I am a fourth year undergraduate student in the faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa, and will be graduating this April. Looking back on the past four years of my academic journey, I have come up with 10 pieces of advice for our EIP bridging students who will start their university lives in the fall. I hope you will find this advice beneficial. Good luck with your university studies!


1. You may have a class that has 200 students.

Your professor will not learn your name, and he or she may not even recognize you. So if you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your professors. Don’t wait for him or her to get in touch with you because that just will not happen.


2. Your professor may have an accent that you are not familiar with and, and they talk extremely fast.

You may be able to switch sections or drop the class. However, keep in mind that it will get easier with time, and if you stay it will give you an opportunity to learn to adapt. Working with people from around the world is a big part of living and studying in a multi-cultural society like Canada.


3. You may have four midterms and three assignments in the same week.

This means that you might feel stressed and overwhelmed, so time management is really important in university. Don’t worry, you also get reading week!


4. You will have to do group work and presentations.

It is very important to learn how to collaborate with people. Trust me, you will learn more than you can imagine from working with others!


5. Remember that you can ask for extensions.

If you feel so overwhelmed with all your courses and assignments, but you still have a 20-page paper due in 3 days, ask your professor for an extension. From my own experience, professors often say yes!


6. Your course syllabus will be your “course bible”.

The professors will list important information in the syllabus. For example, your exam dates and formats, the materials and readings that will be covered throughout the semester, and requirements you need to know for your papers and assignments will all be included there. The syllabus will also have information on things to do and not do during the course. Funny thing to share: one of my professors is allergic to peanuts, so he banned peanut-eating in his lectures…


7. Some professors permit recording.

If you find the professor is hard to follow, or if you are having a hard time taking notes and paying attention to the professor at the same time, ask the profs if you can record the lecture. Recording enables you to listen to the lecture later as many times as you need, however, remember that you have to ask for the permission first!


8. Second-hand textbooks are always available.

Yes, textbooks are expensive in Canada, but no worries, you can always find second-hand books. Facebook and Kijiji are the two main sources that I know where you can get second-hand books. Chinese students also like to sell their books via CFC, which is a Chinese website that sells other second-hand stuff as well.


9. Take advantage of reading week.

The reading week is there for a reason, which is for you to catch up the readings and reviews. If you can make good use of the reading week, you will feel more in control the second half of the semester.

Keep in mind: usually before and after reading week, you will have many tests and assignment dues.


10. One magic way to succeed in the university: ask!

Every time you ask, you learn! Your professors will be very happy to answer your questions, and there are so many services on campus that can help you succeed. Also, don’t forget your teammates and friends: two heads are always better than one!


Good luck in your studies!

If you are interested in sharing your ideas about the newsletter and/or in contributing to its development, we would love to hear from you.  Please email your submission to our Student Services Coordinator at eip@uottawa.ca.

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