Do you know how to dress in layers?
Many students arrive in Canada and the USA during the coldest months of the year, between January and March. For many of them, it is their very first winter (they are snow virgins). This is why we prepared this short guide, to help them face the winter, so they don’t stop enjoying it.
To better understand the traditional adage of dressing in layers, it is convenient to understand the function of each layer:
1. Inner layer (underwear): It keeps your skin dry from your own sweating.
2. Middle layer or insulation layer: It maintains your body heat to protect you from the cold.
3. Outer layer or shell layer: It protects you from wind and rain.
Inner layer (thermal underwear): When it hits several degrees below zero, it is necessary to wear long underwear, a piece of clothing that covers even the ankles. In North America they are popularly called “Long Johns”. Some people use their running tights or sport tights subjectively. Also, there are people who use a comfortable short or a medium-length underwear instead of the long ones. To select this layer, we should consider not only the weather, but our metabolism, and the kind of activities.
Middle or insulation layer. It is convenient to know your piece of clothing’s aimed temperature. You can buy a fleece, a puffer jacket, a large coat with goose feathers, sweaters of polar material, among others. For more insulation you can double this layer with another piece of the same kind. When considering outdoors’s temperature, remember to check the chilling sensation as well, the effect of the added wind and humidity.
Outer layer (Shell): Usually a windbreaker with a hoodie. Many coats have the middle and outer layers in one single piece or in two combined pieces. By itself, this layer will give you little insulation against the cold, but it protects you from the elements: wind, rain and snow. Some coats come with fur around the hoodie to protect your face and neck from the snow, and provide better insulation.
It is not always necessary to wear all layers but remember: it is better to wear all layers and have to take one off, than missing one layer and face a major inconvenience.
“It is better to wear all layers and have to take one off, than missing one layer and face a major inconvenience“.
Last but not least, do not forget to use gloves and a scarf for further protection.
By following the aforesaid, you will be prepared to hit the snow and enjoy the many outdoor activities that you can do in winter.
The use of standardised tests in Canadian immigration is now almost universal. Therefore, to apply under the Quebec Skilled Worker program for example:
Monsieur Jean Dupont who has a doctorate in French philosophy from La Université de la Sorbonne de Paris will still need to pass a test recognized by the MIDI to get his French language points!
Joseph Smith, holder of a Booker Prize for English Literature, will still need an IELTS or CELPIP test results to gain language points under Express Entry!
Today the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) of Québec accepts the results of the following tests in French:
· (TEFAQ) Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France (CCIP-IDF);
· (TCF-Québec) Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec of the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP);
· (TEF) the Test d’évaluation du français of the CCIP-IDF;
· (TEF Canada) the Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada of the CCIP-IDF;
· (TCF) the Test de connaissance du français of the CIEP;
· (DELF) the Diplôme d’études en langue française of the CIEP; and
· (DALF) the Diplôme approfondi de langue française of the CIEP.
For English, in addition to IELTS, CELPIP tests are accepted.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will only consider the results of two tests of French for the immigration program managed through the Express Entry system:
· Test d’évaluation du français (TEF) of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France; and
· Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada) of the CCIP-IDF.
Prepare yourself well and avoid gimmicks !
Some schools may promise that the success of some “internal” language course given by them might make it unnecessary to take one of the tests listed above.
This is a word of caution: Think of what lies behind this promise made to a certain “captive audience” of students in vocational programs. Can you expect the same quality of education when there is an exemption of standardized tests?
If you want to apply to Canadian immigration program, like the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) or the Express Entry; you must take an international standardized test such as
IELTS, DELF or any other of the ones explained before, the home certificate proving the success of such a language program will not be acceptable under Express Entry for the precious 2nd language points!
For immigration purposes, I urge you to choose a school that will teach you the language well! And that will prepare you for the real, more universally recognized tests! And for life in Canada!
Daniel TARDIF, CRIC
Membre R420255 du CRCIC
Consultant reconnu par le MIDI (no d’inscription 11479)
Membre de l’Association canadienne des conseillers professionnels en immigration (ACCPI)
Tél. : (001) 514-248-8994 www.convergence-canada.com
Study English Abroad
When you decide to study English abroad, you may realize there are several schools in the city that you like. You can use these tips to decide whether a school is the right one for you:
- International accreditations
You might want to know if the school is accreditedby, or associated to, a recognized organization like Languages Canada, British council, ACCET, among others, which act like the quality stamps admitted by Governments, Colleges, Universities, and High Schools.
- Course levels scale and course duration
Do you know how many levels the school has? To get organized, you should know how long will take you to get the level you want. You could get an estimation of the time requiredto achieve your goals.
- Nationality mix and average age
The mix of nationalities could be a key point. Perhaps you are looking for a course where few people speak your native language or maybe you are merely looking for a multicultural atmosphere. You could ask about the nationality mix to get an idea of the prospective class.
You could be interested in the class’s average age. This figure could vary much along the year and you could also be in a class with different age than the average age in the school. Likewise, some schools offer courses by age rank, such as: English for adults, 30 and over, 50 and over, summer camps for kids and teenagers, etc.
- Class schedule and electives
You maywant to focus on a specific language skill (speaking, reading, writing or listening) or maybe you feel attracted by a particular topic. That’s why the schools offer core English mixed with a wide variety of electives or workshops like theater, business, phrasal verbs, writing, IELTS, TOEFL, among others.
- University Preparation
If your ultimate goal is to get enrolled in a college or university, you may be interested in certain courses offered in partnership with the aimed institutions, called “university pathway”. These programs allow to comply with the language requirement and to get directly enrolled in the partner institution (if all other requirements are met).
Finally, be aware that every school is unique and there are schools to suit everyone. That’s why we recommend speaking with your Student Advisor of Language Experience, who can guide you in the process to make the best decision.
What should I wear?
Clothing and electrical appliances should be organized depending on the country of destination and theseason to travel. All information concerning the country will be available on the section destinations.
It is important to mention that in Europe the electrical voltage is different (220 V) so it will be necessary to get an adapter. The user must verify that all his equipment can work at 220 V before connecting it to prevent any damages. Read your equipment operation instructions for further details.
Language Experience, do you help me with the paperwork before the trip?
Yes, indeed, as we offer personalized attention, the assigned adviser will help you to organize the material necessary to submit your documents trough the right procedure.
Should I have health insurance before travel?
Health insurance is usually mandatory either processed by us or whether you get your insurance by other means. Nevertheless, each country usually stipulates the minimum coverage required. For more information, see our health insurance section.
Should I need Visa?
It depends on the destination country, the nationality of the client, the time and type of study. For nationals of almost every Latin American countryit is necessary to apply for visas to travel to the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Depending on the time of studies, you may need visa to France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy as well.
For European citizens, with a valid European passport, there is no need of visa to most of the countries. Ask your advisor for more details.
What to do if under age?
If the child is traveling alone without parents, it is mandatory to have a permission signed by both parents known as custodianship. If the child is traveling with one parent or a family member or chaperone it must have a notarized permission from a parent or both parents. A custodianship letter may also be necessary. Ask your advisor for more details.
Do I need to pay the Course and Homestay before arriving?
Most schools have a policy where Course + Accommodation must be paid at least 2 weeks before arrival. Registration fees are also required.
How much time in advance is recommended to start the process?
We advise our clients to request their visas at least 4 months before the date of departure. If the student is enrolled on a(n) graduate / undergraduate program, we advise to start the process at least 6 months before the start date.
Is there a maximum age for any language course?
No, each school has different packages designed according to the student needs.
What is the minimum duration of enrolling on a language course?
Our language schools offer courses from 2 weeks up to 1 year (52 weeks)
Someone picks me up at the airport? Is it an additional service?
The student can ask to be picked up at the airport; however, it is an additional service so you will have additional charges.
What should I have on hand while traveling?
Passport, homestay / residence address and school, acceptance of the school and receipt of payment with a health insurance card.
What happens if my flight is cancelled or delayed?
You must inform the school registrar or your advisor of any changes on your course of arrival whenever is possible, so they can make the relevant changes. Particularly those students who have requested to be picked up at the airport this is very important. It is noteworthy that the person responsible for collecting the student has the responsibility to wait for 1 hour unless he receives notification of delays by the school.
Is there any contact to call once I arrive to the country?
The school provide contact numbers so it is possible to call them upon arrival to solve any issue. Additionally, Language Experience is available to help you solve any relevant problems.
If I have a problem with my homestay or residence, Can I change to another?
Yes, you can but you must inform Language Experience to communicate with the school and you will be asked to report what are the valid reasons for the change you want. Changes depends on accommodation availability as well.
Do I have a schedule to arrive to my homestay?
Yes, depending on the student’s age, a minor must arrive before 10 pm , as minors doesn’t have keys of their homestay. For adults above 18 years old usually there is noproblem with time of arrival but communication and courtesy with the host family is advised.
It is important to note that in homestay some families may have a schedule for take a shower or to eat.
Can I cook in my homestay or residence?
Depending on the homestay it may be possible; however, we recommend that, in case you want to cook,you specify it in the formswhen applying for accommodation. In case of residence, the students can cook their own food.
Do I have internet in my homestay or residence? Is it free or should I pay an extrafee?
All residences and homestays have internet service, however,there may be extra fees to use it. We recommend to clarify this question when booking your accommodation.
Do I have a TV in my room in homestay o residences?
Some homestays may have it, and others may have tv on common areas like the living room. It is also possible that your homestay does not have tv. We recommend to clarify this before you arrive; in the case of residences the TV should be in the common area.
Do I have a single room or I share my room in the homestay?
You can ask for a private room or a shared room. It is necessary to clarify this when booking, since share and double rooms are cheaper than single ones.however,it depends on every student needs.
Can I receive visitors in my homestay or in the residence?
It depends on the homestay or residence rules; we recommend to ask before invitingany family or friend to visit;usually residences allow some short visits.
Does the family guide me on how to get around in the city on my first day?
It is the duty of the homestay family to show you the transport system of the city, to move on your own, and how you get to the school on the first day.
What is the difference between a closer or farther residence?
The prices may vary, usually the closer to the school the more expensive the residence, the farther the cheaper.Also, accommodation may be more expensive closer to downtown. We recommend to considertransportation costs.
Can I wash my clothes in the homestay?
It depends on the homestay, most of them allow the student to do the laundry however, we recommend to clarify this before you travel.