ILAC Hosts 35 Universities, Colleges And High Schools From Across Canada

ILAC hosted one of the largest higher education fairs for international students this week at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel in beautiful Coal Harbour.

Students and agents from around the world were able to meet with representatives from over 35 colleges and universities across Canada.

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Over 35 colleges and universities attended ILAC’s higher education fair.

Post-secondary education in Canada is among the best in the world due to the variety and quality of programs and instructors, its affordability and the country’s high standards of living.

Every year hundreds of students graduate from ILAC’s Pre-Degree Program and go on to complete their post-secondary education at one of these great institutions.


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Former ILAC Pathway Student Alex Lukyanenko

One of these students is Alex Lukyanenko from Ukraine. Mr. Lukyanenko graduated two years ago from ILAC’s Pre-Degree Program. In two weeks he will be graduating from Niagara College’s two-year Hospitality Management Program. During his time at Niagara College Mr. Lukyanenko was on the President’s Honour Roll in 2012 and for both Fall and Winter terms of 2013. He also earned a $500 academic award from the college for his impressive academic performance in 2013.

“I would like to express my gratitude to ILAC for the best pre-degree program in Canada,” says Mr. Lukyanenko. “You are doing a great job and I always recommend ILAC to all my friends.”

ILAC wishes Mr. Lukyanenko all the best in his future endeavors as well as thanks everyone who attended our 2013 education fair. If you are interested in learning more about studying at university or college in Canada and ILAC’s award-winning Pathway Program, please watch the video or email a representative today:

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ILAC Pathway Staff Hannah Dang & Julia Potapova. ILAC hosted over 80 agents from Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Colombia, China, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Thailand, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Turkey!



5 Ways to Break Up With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend in English

brokenheartBreaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend can be a difficult situation. Here are some expressions that you can say if your boyfriend or girlfriend is an English-speaker.

1) It’s not you, it’s me.
This is a common North American expression that means it’s not the other person’s fault . We say this in order to hurt their feelings as little as possible.
ex. “I’m sorry Joel, you’re a great guy, it’s not you, it’s me.”

2) I think we should see other people.
This expression means that you are not ready to be serious with just one person and that you would like to date other people.
ex. “Cristina, you’re a great girl but I think we should see other people.”

sadsanti3) It’s over.
In this expression “it’s (= it + is) refers to the relationship.
This expression is used when the other person wants to be a bit more firm. For example, if you found out your boyfriend was cheating, you could say this to him.
ex. “Mark, I saw you kissing Christina, it’s over.”

4) We’re done/finished/through.
This is similar to “it’s over” – again we usually use this expression when we’re angry.
ex. “You forgot my birthday three years in a row, we’re done!

5) Our relationship has run its course.
When something has run its course, this means it’s finished. Maybe you’re no longer in love with the person, maybe you don’t like the way they brush their teeth, whatever the reason, this means you’re ready to move on.
ex. “Sara, I think our relationship has run its course.

Whatever you say, try to be as gentle with the other person as possible. And remember to try to have the courage to break up with someone face-to-face (which means in person) and not by email, text or phone.

Good luck!



ILAC Thanks Students for Voting Them BEST LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN CANADA!

ILAC is pleased to have received two awards this month, both determined by student voting.

ILAC Toronto was voted “Best Language School in Canada 2013” and ranks among the top 5 International Language Schools in the world, according to EducationStars, an independent Swiss Rating Agency. ILAC Vancouver came in 2nd place and received the top score for Vancouver Language Schools. Both ILAC Toronto and Vancouver previously won the EducationStars Award in 2012.


“The EducationStars Award shows that your educational services, quality and customer satisfaction are recognized by your students. At the same time potential clients can see the emphasis your school is placing on these points.” – EducationStars

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ILAC awarded Best School of Toronto 2014

ILAC is also thrilled to have won this year’s award for Best School of Toronto for 2014 and Best Teacher of Toronto for teacher Jaimie Moore. The award is from a Japanese Agency that asks students studying at language schools across Canada to vote for their favorite schools on the website CanadaStudy!.

ILAC’s Directors wish to thank the agencies and all their students who voted for this recognition, as well as congratulate its staff and teachers who provide such great customer service to their clients.

Japanese award

ILAC staff receive the awards for Best School of Toronto 2014 and Best Teacher of Toronto.


ILAC Helps Make Student’s Dream of Studying English in Canada Come True

Laetitia’s winning photo.

Laetitia Ropp from Paris, France had always dreamed of studying English in Canada.

She just wasn’t sure how she’d make it happen.

Fortunately for the talented student, she entered a national Facebook Photo Contest sponsored by ILAC, Air Canada, the Canadian Embassy, Le Parisien and Voyage Langue and was shocked when her picture received the most Likes, making her one of 10 finalists out of 2,000 entries.

As a finalist she had to demonstrate why she was the best candidate to study English in Canada. So she wrote a story and created a video on Youtube and ended up being the proud winner of the contest (watch the video on YouTube).

“I was so happy to win,” says Ms. Ropp, a twenty-three year old photographer.

Not only did she receive a free one-year scholarship, she also gets to blog weekly about her experience for the popular Le Parisien, an online and print newspaper in France.

“I love to travel and share my experiences with others,” she says, “and show why Canada is a great place to travel and study.”

Quebec's Ice Hotel

Quebec’s Ice Hotel

Ms. Ropp will be blogging about her experiences living in Toronto, traveling around Canada, what’s happening in her daily life and her overall experience studying in a foreign country.

One of her favourite activities that she blogged about was a trip to Quebec City and their famous ice hotel. She’s also enjoyed visiting beautiful Niagara Falls and plans on visiting New York and taking other trips in the area.

When asked what her impressions of Canada are she is quick to comment on how friendly the people here are.

“Every morning in the subway, the man working there talks to me and other people,” she smiles, “he always says hello and good morning and it’s surprising because it’s very different from France. I love this and am always in a good mood after.”


Scholarship winner Laetitia Ropp outside of ILAC Toronto’s Yorkville Campus

Ms. Ropp is deeply appreciative of the whole experience and hopes to improve her English while she’s here. She’s not sure what the future holds but has advice for students who want to study English in Canada.

“ILAC is a very good experience because you learn English with good teachers and it’s very interactive. It’s not the same as learning English at university in your home country. Here, you meet friends from all over the world. I would recommend any student wanting to study English to come to ILAC.”

Read Laetitia’s blog: A Year in Canada and listen to the live interview Friday, March 21st on ILAC Radio 1, one part airing every 15 minutes.

- Alisha Sevigny


ILAC School of Customer Service Opens Doors

It’s been two months since ILAC College’s School of Customer Service opened its doors and so far the program has been seriously impressing its students.

Gabriela practices her customer service skills as her class serves free coffee to all ILAC students!

Gabriela practices her customer service skills as her class serves free coffee to all ILAC students!

“It’s a very good program,” says Gabriela Alcina of Venezuela. Alcina notes that the program curriculum includes a lot of interactive events where students get to practice their customer service skills, such as greeting and welcoming new students at orientation.

Gabriela Jandova, a student from the Czech Republic, wants to be an event planner and remarks that what she’s learning at ILAC “can’t be learned from a book,” and that she anticipates the program will “open doors for the future.”

Echoing her classmate’s sentiment, is Slovakian Jana Karkoshova, “It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about customer service in Canada. The relationships and attitudes are different in my culture and here there are many cultures, it’s important to be able to work with all of them.”

Program Director Arda Aridasir is also extremely pleased with how the program is shaping up. “It’s going well, students are very happy.”

Experience the ILAC way of service excellence.

Experience the ILAC way of service excellence.

Students received a scholarship for this 48-week program, which involves 24 weeks of study and 24 weeks of work placement in fields such as tourism, hospitality, retail and event management.

During this innovative program students will learn essential customer service skills and receive a diploma in Customer Service, which they can then apply to their preferred industry.


Carmen Isabell Beck-Sharman shares her experience with the students.

Not only are students enjoying themselves but so are the teachers and guest speakers who come to share their impressive knowledge and insights with the class. Students look to these speakers as role models and get to see first-hand what the future might hold for them.

Carmen Isabell Beck-Sharman from Mercedes Benz was herself a student from Germany who worked her way from an entry-level position to that of a manager. Students got to hear how excellent customer service skills can make all the difference in today’s competitive work force.

Maria Torres, Manager of Customer Service, TD

Maria Torres, Manager of Customer Service, TD Bank

Gabriela Alcina was particularly encouraged by Brazilian Maria Torres of TD Bank. Torres told students that when she first started at TD she was so excited that she would “eat, breathe, and sleep customer service”. Out of 168 branches her branch was ranked second for best customer service. “You have to read each customer as an individual, each one requires a different approach and has different needs,” advises Torres.

Turkish student Baris Tekne felt he shared a lot in common with guest speaker David Vander Voet from Royal Bank of Canada. “I’m interested in finance,” Tekne explains, “when they share their experience, it makes you feel like you can do what they do.”

The students also had a great time with guest speaker Mathew Rosenblatt, owner of hot new restaurant El Catrin in Toronto’s famous Distillery District. Mr. Rosenblatt invited the students to visit his popular restaurant, where they got to see the hospitality industry up close.


Toronto’s Mexican hot spot – El Catrin

“It was a great experience,” says Spaniard Daniel Ramos. “I hope to get a job maybe working there,” he adds with a smile.

Not only do the guest speakers get a chance to share their experiences with the students, the students also get the opportunity to impress the speakers as potential employees, opening up additional doors to possible future employment.

For their part, the speakers seem equally impressed by the program and its students. “My tours and lectures are normally reserved for foreign dignitaries, journalists and VIP’s visiting Toronto,” says Mr. Rosenblatt. “After touring the exceptional students at ILAC’s Customer Service College I can now say I am also touring tomorrow’s leaders and influencers.”

Study Break - ILAC's first class of the School of Customer Service.

Study Break – ILAC’s first class of the School of Customer Service.

Read more on the Customer Service Program offered by ILAC College or for more information please email or check out their Facebook page.carmenquote







ILAC Director Wins Excellence Award

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ILAC Director Bernardo Riveros accepts the award along with his family.

The International Language Academy of Canada is pleased to announce that its Executive Director Bernardo Riveros has won the International Award for Excellence for 2013 by popular vote. The award was given by Colombia Exterior and recognizes professionalism across a variety of industries.

Mr. Riveros wishes to express his sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who voted for him and for the support of the ILAC community.

Presented to Mr. Bernardo Riveros

                        Presented to Mr. Bernardo Riveros by Colombia Exterior

ILAC Radio Launches Second Station – Listen to Win a $10 iTunes Card!

ILAC Radio is launching a second station due to popular demand from listeners around the world.

ILAC Radio 1 will play International hits all day long from artists like Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Eminem, Avicii, Radio Dragons and more. The station will also air original ILAC shows featuring the latest updates on school news and events, English tips, student interviews, contests and prizes.

ILAC Radio 2 will continue to play music 24/7, including chill, lounge and house.

To celebrate our launch listeners can win a $10 iTunes gift card. All they have to do is listen to ILAC Radio 1 and email the name of the song and the time they hear it to when they tune in. Winners will be posted on our Facebook page Friday at 12pm (Toronto time).

“We were getting a lot of requests for top 40 hits from around the world. Listeners were also asking for more tips on learning English and more information on what’s going on at ILAC and in Toronto and Vancouver,” says ILAC Radio’s DJ Fever, “So we thought why not have two stations? One with 24-hour chill and house music and another station with top 40 and lots of original ILAC shows. So far feedback has been excellent.”

Whether you prefer station 1 or 2, there’s something for everyone on ILAC Radio!

An ILAC Romance: Ana and Jimmy’s Story – A Valentine’s Day Special

When Ana Karina Montilla arrived in Canada in 2010 to learn English at ILAC, she was put in touch with a fellow Venezuelan working in the school’s internship department. The pretty brunette, who was placed in Beginner 2, had very little English and was glad to meet someone who could answer all her questions in this new country.

“We became friends,” she recalls with a smile. The Venezuelan was Jimmy Battaglia, who arrived in Canada in 2009 to complete ILAC’s general English program and then went on to attend Humber College in Toronto.


November 2010 – The new couple spend Ana’s last three weeks in Toronto together before she has to return to Venezuela.

During those eight months Jimmy was busy with school and Ana had fun making new friends and exploring Toronto, a city she quickly grew to love. Just three weeks before her program finished and she was due to go back to Venezuela; she met some friends at the Madison, a popular local pub for students.

To her surprise Jimmy was also there and the two hit it off as they realized there was an attraction between them. They spent Ana’s last three weeks together, often going to their favourite restaurant, The Friendly Thai, for Thai food and learning as much as possible about each other.

When Ana left the country she wasn’t sure she’d ever be back. The two kept in touch, talking every day on Skype. Several months later Ana knew she had to get back to Canada, and to one person in particular. She came back to ILAC in April 2011 to finish its English program and then got an internship with the school’s accounting department.

Jimmy was there to pick her up at the airport and the two were inseparable that spring, summer and fall. Jimmy was finishing up his education at Humber and in December, both decided to go back to Venezuela to be with their families for the holidays; Ana to Puerto Ordaz in the South and Jimmy to Caracas. The two were saddened at the thought of being apart over Christmas.


The cards Jimmy gave to Ana for her Christmas present and proposal!

The night before they left Jimmy took Ana to the CN Tower for a romantic dinner. She gave him his present and he gave her hers – a big box – which he placed on the table. Inside the box was a smaller box and beautiful card he’d designed that told Ana his first gift to her was his time. She opened the second box and inside was another box with a card that said his second gift was his goals and dreams. Each time Ana opened a box there was another card and box with a promise from Jimmy. For the last box Jimmy told Ana that it was too nice to put in a box so he gave it to her in a designer bag. Inside was a beautiful diamond ring with a tiny card that read, “Will you marry me?”

Ana was in shock, “I don’t think I replied for ten minutes,” she laughs, but eventually, (and much to Jimmy’s relief), she accepted and they toasted their engagement high above the city lights.

The next day they each went home and Ana had to explain to her family and friends that she just got engaged to a guy nobody knew. As expected, her mother had a lot of questions. These were answered when Jimmy came to visit her family after New Year’s and spent some time with them. Ana also met Jimmy’s family on their way back to Toronto, as they flew through Caracas.


The happy couple’s civil service in Toronto, August 31st, 2013

The couple planned their civil wedding service in Toronto 2012, which was attended by their friends in Canada, with Ana’s mother flying in for the special event.

Ana stayed on at ILAC in Accounting, (eventually becoming the Homestay Director in February 2013) and Jimmy finished college and interviewed with ILAC in October 2012, and became the Marketing Director for Latin America.

Although the two had a wonderful civil service in Canada, they wanted to celebrate their marriage with all their friends and families back home, so they decided to have a traditional wedding back in Venezuela on August 31st, 2013.


The wedding on Margarita Island, Venezuela December 2013.

They chose to be married on Margarita Island, halfway between both of their towns, to make it easier for their families and friends to come together.

This January the happy couple went on their honeymoon in Malaysia and Thailand, in honour of all their time eating together at their favourite Thai restaurant in Toronto.

When asked what she loves about Jimmy, Ana lights up, “He always tries to make me happy and I really admire his commitment to family.” (She also adds that she thinks he’s extremely good-looking).

She says she was surprised at how quickly things progressed because though she talked about marriage, Jimmy was always very focused on school and didn’t seem the type to take on commitment so quickly.

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Thailand! The couple head to South-East Asia for their honeymoon January 2014.

She also wasn’t sure about marriage in general because she heard it could be tough, especially the first year, and after hearing about high divorce rates, was a little apprehensive about the whole thing. However she is happy to report that she’s been nothing but pleasantly surprised. “Being married is fantastic, you wake up next to your best friend every day.”

The couple is working hard in their careers at ILAC and has applied for their Permanent Residency. They would like to stay in Canada because they both love the quality of life, their friends and their work.

“ILAC taught me English, then gave me a job, then I got my husband,” Ana says, eyes sparkling, “everything I have in Canada is because of ILAC, I can’t thank them enough.”

So to all those students out there, you never know who you will meet at ILAC. Your future husband or wife might even be sitting beside you in your classroom.

Turn your head to the right or left and take a look.

By Alisha Sevigny

Beating the Winter Blahs in Vancouver

With very little sunlight and a lot of rain, people begin to feel the winter blahs, which is a combination of boredom, sadness and not being sure about what to do with yourself. So here are some ideas to help you out in Vancouver.

snowboarding1. Learn a Winter Sport
With Cypress, Seymour and Grouse Mountains only a bus ride away in North Vancouver, bring your friends on an ILAC trip and learn how to ski or snowboard with an instructor. Playing in the snow is fun, and so are the snowball fights and making snow angels! Skating at Robson square is free if you have your own skates or $4.00 to rent.

2. Watch a hockey game or even better go to a LIVE game! The Canucks are Vancouver’s NHL team and the Giants are in the Western Hockey League. Both are team favourites in Vancouver, and ILAC has options for going to both games.

IMG_09463. Go See a Show
In Vancouver, there are a lot of different venues to watch a movie, and there are also places to go watch plays and live theatre. Theatre Sports on Granville Island has comedy as well as the Comedy Mix downtown. There is also the Queen Elizabeth Theatre that has musicals, plays and ballet depending on the season. During the summer there are lots of free outdoor music events and in the winter there are lots of concerts, live music, and clubs to dance in.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 3.31.00 PM4. Exercise
Vancouver is best known for its Yoga and we have MANY yoga studios, pilates studios, we offer Zumba classes at ILAC, and there are bikes to rent for a ride around the seawall. You also have running, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skiing, skating, walking, and hiking to enjoy. It may be cold but as long as you dress well, getting outside and being active is good!

5. Throw a Dinner Party
With all of your new friends from around the world, why not have a dinner party? It could be a potluck where everyone brings a dish to share. What a great way to learn about cultures and make new friends…or you can always go to a bar (as long as you are 19 years old of course).

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 3.33.06 PM6. Go Shopping or Treat Yourself
One of my favourite ways to beat the blues is to do some cheap shopping. We have many second-hand stores like Value Village & Salvation Army as well as Dollar stores to rummage through. We have great shopping areas in Gastown, Yaletown, Metrotown and on Robson street if you are just window shopping or looking for something specific.

There always things to do in the winter, you just have to be creative, be open and get out there to enjoy the rain and chill in the air.

Written by Jordi ZImmer

Beating the Winter Blahs in Toronto

Winter is cold, the days are short and there isn’t a lot of sunlight. I know this can be a depressing and boring time but winter can be fun. Here are some ideas to help you beat the winter blahs.

iceskating 09.01 (8) 1. Learn a Winter Sport
With Blue Mountain, St Louis Moonstone and Horseshoe Valley only a bus ride away, you can learn to ski or snowboard. You can either join ILAC activities or arrange your own transportation. If skiing or snowboarding doesn’t interest you, try having a snowball fight, making a snowman or making snow angels. Lastly, go skating at the many ice rinks available in Toronto.  Some rinks have skate rentals, others you must have your own skates. You can purchase a cheap pair at Canadian Tire or WalMart.

HockeyGame 13.01 (21)2. Watch a Hockey Game
Torontonians go crazy for hockey. Whether our team the Maple Leafs are winning or losing, in winter watching hockey is an event. Watch a game at the Real Sports Bar or buy tickets.  Hockey tickets can be very expensive, but if you are okay with standing for a couple of hours, there are standing room tickets available for much cheaper. ILAC Activities also has tickets to Marlies, which is our junior hockey team.
IMG_09673. Go See a Show
In Toronto, there are a lot of different places to watch movies, comedy shows, dance performances and plays. For movies visit: Scotiabank theatre, Yonge and Dundas theatre, Silvercity or Rainbow cinemas. For comedy shows visit: Second City, Yuk Yuks or Absolute Comedy.
For plays visit: Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre, Panasonic Theatre or Royal Alexandra Theatre. For dance performances visit: the Toronto Centre for Arts. Also check NOW newspaper and for a full list of events, concerts, festivals and shows in Toronto.

photo 1[1]- ILAC


4. Exercise
It’s easy to be lazy in winter but the best way to feel better is to be active. Join a gym, go to a yoga studio, skate, ski, snowboard, or go for a winter walk. As long as you dress appropriately you should get out and make the most of winter.

5. Delicious Eats
Winterlicious is January 31 – Feb 16. This annual food event allows Torontonians an opportunity to eat at expensive restaurants for a much cheaper price. Over 200 restaurants are participating this year. These restaurants offer a three course meal for a fixed price. You must make a reservation to secure a spot at some of the most popular restaurants like Canoe and North 44. Choose a restaurant here. (*Please note Winterlicious may be over by the time you read this blog post. Don’t worry there are still plenty of options to eat cheap in Toronto!)

There are things to do in the winter, you just have to have an open mind and learn to enjoy the Canadian winter.

Written by Erin Casper