Being an international student, I think it was crucial how I started my education in Canada. Small classes, laid-back atmosphere and cheerful people are the factors that made Columbia College a perfect starting point for me. With that said, the college also offers a great academic program, which allowed me to continue my studies on a more advanced university level without losing my time or money on foundation programs. Finally, participating in a number of clubs I learnt how to organize serious events and became a better team player, not mentioning how many interesting people I met. Once again, I believe Columbia College is a perfect starting point for an international student
"When I first came to Canada – Vancouver specifically- I was not entirely sure how the tertiary education looked like. Fortunately, I started my post-secondary education career in Columbia College (CC). It was the right decision to do so because CC gave me a conducive environment to adapt to Canadian culture at large and Vancouverite lifestyle more specifically. Not only was I able to learn for the sake of learning with the help of the friendly instructors I had (whom I still keep in touch with today), CC also gave me the opportunity to explore my non-academic interests. All in all, CC had given me a chance to develop holistically and provided me the framework for UBC’s academic rigour."
Columbia College has been a great experience for me so far. The classes are small, which means, every student gets his fair share of attendance to do well in their respective courses. The professors and the staff are friendly, and easy to approach when help is needed which makes life a lot easier. All the courses you take are transferrable, so its basically studying the same thing you’ll study at UBC or SFU but with the opportunity to get better grades and transfer out if you do well enough.
I like the fact that the classes are small and that the instructors are friendly. They are always willing to help, and are very flexible in meeting to help students. Columbia College offers students a wide choice of social activities. The environment here is sociable and many of my classmates have become friends. I also like the fact that Vancouver is a pretty safe place to study and live.
I like the instructors here. They take the time to explain course subjects and are very supportive to students who require extra help. I like the fact that in our classrooms, there is a lot of interaction between the instructors and students. When I previously attended a university in New Brunswick, I often found myself in large auditorium-sized classrooms - sometimes with over 200 students - making it very difficult to get feedback from instructors. Sometimes, I had to wait for a long time just to get an appointment to see a professor. This, luckily, hasn't been the case at Columbia College.
Paul (Moussa) Cissé
I enrolled in the summer of 2005 under the University Transfer Program concentrating on engineering studies. I then transferred to UBC engineering school, and graduated with my degree in engineering. I was lucky to get a job offer with Rio Tinto Alcan as a junior electrical engineer.
My favourite part about Columbia College was the fact that the instructors were receptive to helping students after classes, and encouraged many of us to ask questions. They were very patient and always willing to help.
Outside of class, I was involved in many of the school's social and sporting activities, such as basketball tournaments, camping trips and the annual dragon boat festival. I also enjoyed working out in the school gym.
Xin (Sam) Zhang
A lot of our students are away from home for the first time in their lives. We pay close attention to students, and I’d say the environment is a cross between high school and college. While they’re at the College, our students get great exposure to the North American education system — how courses are taught, how to study for exams, what a North American classroom is like. When our students leave the College, they’re fully prepared for university life.
Helena Chen, Admissions Officer
As an English as a Second Language teacher I get to meet students right at the start of their English language studies. It is always enriching to see a student with almost no English ability taking their first steps towards graduating with Associate Degrees from Columbia College, and then watch them move on to university to finish their degrees or post graduate studies. Providing a foundation for academic success is one of the key rewards of being a teacher at Columbia College. I always look forward to meeting new students from various countries and keeping in touch with those who have moved on.
Dean of the ELC/Instructor
I enjoy opening students' eyes and ears to how media actually works, who makes it, who profits from it, and who loses. I like to teach how media organizes politics, economics, culture and personality. I also enjoy teaching students from different cultures. From what I hear, students want to understand how media influences mind, body, soul, society, culture, economics and politics.
Working at Columbia College is like being part of a family with a common goal. We work together as we strive to bring out each student’s potential to succeed in their current and future academic studies. I am often intrigued by the progress that a student can make while studying here. As an instructor, sometimes a simple word of encouragement can have significant effects on the students. I always come to work with a smile on my face because I know that I will be greeted by confident students who are ready to make a difference.
Instructor, English Language Centre
Having worked for the past two years as the Student Activities Coordinator for Columbia, I can share that the experience has been by far the most special and positive of my work roles thus far. Working here has combined my interests in sports and work with young people, however both students and staff here follow a long standing culture to be on first name terms and without a feeling of hierarchy. I’ve greatly enjoyed how open and welcoming everybody is, and how this friendliness lends towards a strong community feeling around the College.
Student Activities Coordinator
The student body at Columbia College is truly a model of global integration. It is a unique place for students to launch into a University Degree Program. Being away from home, students learn to be more responsible and gain an adaptable outlook on life. For me it is an exceptional place to teach Mathematics as I always see students enthusiastic about the learning process. I like to bring out the fountain of knowledge from within so that students have a sense of appreciation for the ideas and can make connections to other branches of knowledge.
Dr. Sam Ekambaram Ph. D
Dean of Math/Science Division