Student Development

CIC Students Leave Their Mark in Ecuador

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On December 8, 2018, 16 CIC students and 2 staff members, Columbia International College embarked on a ME to WE overseas trip to Quito, Ecuador.

The purpose of the trip was to give students an immersive cultural experience abroad that will help them learn how their privilege (by coming from developed areas) can help others who are not as fortunate. Whilst helping improve the quality of life of the locals of the communities they visited, the students who participated were able to earn around 30 hours of community service hours.

Each day, the students participated in leadership initiatives, cultural activities, and community service (they may help build a school, dig a well, or work on an irrigation project).

Here are updates we received from the very passionate students/participants while they were in Ecuador:

December 10, 2018

Last night we arrived at Quito, a great city to explore. This morning we started with a walking tour through the old town, wandering around the colonial streets and exploring the squares. We learnt a lot about the story of the place and even tried “dog’s poop”, a traditional treat with a funny name!

Then we had lunch at Itchimbia park, located in one of the surrounding hills.
Later this afternoon we visited the equator museum, where we learnt by many fun activities some interesting facts of the equator and this country.
Tomorrow we’ll be heading to the Amazon to start our service portion of the trip.


December 10, 2018

On Monday we enjoyed an amazing road trip across the Ecuadorian highlands and then down to the Amazon basin, in our way we enjoyed beautiful views of constantly changing landscapes. After a day on the road we finally reached out destination, located in Mondaña ( Napo province). Minga Lodge will be our home for the coming week.

On our first day of volunteer work, we finally meet the community that we will be collaborating with. The community is called Kanambu, and the name means the palm that is commonly used for traditional constructions. We had the chance to walk around the school,  meet some kids, and the foreman who will support us during the week. We will be working in the foundation for a water project there. We carried some rocks, we mix some cement but mainly we had a lot of fun sharing with our friends during the day. Attached is a photo of us on the build site. We had a great day on Tuesday and after dinner we celebrated Bruce’s birthday, we got some cake and fun night! We will keep you updated on our adventures!


December 13, 2018

We continue our adventure in the Amazon !! We visited a very interesting farm named Agricultural Learning Center, there the WE organization runs a program to train local farmers and volunteers about better practices, focused on diversity and quality of the crops by connecting the activity with the surrounding environment. There we visited a few areas of the farm and learnt about the different crops they cultivate, but mainly about the cacao plantation. Then we came back to Minga Lodge to put in practice what we learned about cacao and made our own artisan chocolate! It was absolutely tasty!

We also had the chance to explore the jungle a little bit more. We went on a hike looking for a giant Kapok tree. We saw some birds and local plants used to different purposes, like medicines, traditional construction, cosmetic and others. We attached some pics to share a little bit about our amazing hike.

Friday after working super hard in the build site of Kanambu, the community that we have been working this week,  we had the chance to visit “Flor Bonita”, an artisanal group of women that works and sell handicrafts as an extra income for their families. They taught us to make a bracelet and also showed us some  great dance steps 😊.


We at CIC are incredibly proud of these students for doing their part in changing the world.

2nd Annual “Arts in Unison” Showcase

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On Friday, November 16th, Columbia presented its second annual “Arts in Unison” showcase, composed of dramas, music performances and digital shorts.

This acclaimed project is a collaboration amongst students from Grade 11 and 12 drama and vocal classes, as well as the school band. All props and backdrops were designed by volunteers from the visual arts class.

The showcase featured:

  • Solo Performances from Mr. Lawlis’ Music Class
  • Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Grade 11 Drama Class
  • “The Scientist” & “California Dreamin’” by Grade 11 Vocal Class
  • “Night Train” by School Band
  • “Threshold”, a silent film by The Six Productions
  • “Tracking Mr. Hand”, a silent film by The Detective Company
  • Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Grade 12 Drama Class

Columbia has long been committed to character building and has also woven positive values into interest development. Arts in Unison not only showcases our students’ talents, but also helps boost their confidence and expand their career opportunities.

We’d thank all those involved in the production process.


The performances will be available on our YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, check out photos from the festivities below!

Posted by Columbia International College on Tuesday, November 20, 2018


The 2nd Annual CIC Model United Nations Conference

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This past weekend (November 2-4), we hosted the second annual Columbia International College Model United Nations Conference. We were very honoured to have The United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) co-organize this conference for the Columbia International College students and for our partner school Columbia International School from Taiwan. Eight students from our partner school in Taiwan came to participate in this event. This conference was an great opportunity for the Model United Nations Team to experience hands on learning and to further develop their situational skills.

The conference was very successful, the UNAC members had only positive words to say about Columbia International College and our students. This conference could have not been so successful if it wasn’t for the hard work of the many departments of the school. I would like to thank Raymond and his team, Maintenance Department, Housekeeping staff, I.T. Department, Campus Security, Procurement, and Chartwells for making it a successful conference.

During the conference the participants were divided into two small committees. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discussed the The Rohingya Crisis and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs discussed the legal regime of outer space and global space governance.

All the participants displayed great passion while trying to resolve these two important global issues. Among the students there were a number of students from each committee that stood out and were awarded for their contribution to resolution of the topics.

United Nations Security Council
Best Delegate – Yi-Shu Tseng (Vicky)
Most Outstanding Delegate – Mariano Garcia Duenas Carrion
Honorable Mention – Anton Kudriashov

United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs
Best Delegate – Dameli Mambetalinova (Emily)
Most Outstanding Delegate – Chi-Chun Lin (from Columbia International School from Tiawan student)
Honourable Mention – Nazarii Shershun
Honourable Mention – Ilya Zaets

Additionally to these awards the all the participants had to write a short position paper about their country’s views on the topics. The top papers got awarded.

Best Position Paper – Si Yan Meng (Sophia)
Most Outstanding Position Paper – Nguyen Gia Hien Tu (Hein)
Honourable Mention – Carmen Li

Another highlight of the conference was the Saturday Night Social/Networking Event where we had 21 Model United Nations Alumni come back to the school to share their experience and wisdom with the current team. Alumni came from all over Southern Ontario and one even flew in from Amsterdam for this event.

This conference was a very valuable experience for the Model United Nations Team in their preparation for the Change the World Model U.N. Conference that is being held in March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Furthermore, this is a excited step on making this conference a global conference. We are hoping the continued growth of this conference will help our students understand the global issues of the world and develop many skills and attributes for them to be successful in life.

This was another exciting step in the developing a strong relationship between Columbia International College and The United Nations Association of Canada.


On November 2nd through November 4, we hosted the second annual Columbia International College Model United Nations…

Posted by Columbia International College on Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Leadership BBQ hosted in honour of Executive Student Leaders

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Last night (April 24), Student Development hosted an appreciation dinner for all the hard work the executive student leaders put into this past winter semester. The evening started with appetizers and mingling as the students were able to enjoy the food from Sodexo.

Before dinner, the students were presented the nominees for valedictorian and had the responsibility of voting.

An excellent dinner was next, where the staff served the students their selection of drinks.

At the end of the night, student development thanked the students for all their hard work and wished those of them graduating, best of luck as they move on to university.

Check out photos from the Leadership BBQ below!

Best Things To Do In March

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March is coming! It could be warm and breezy today and bone-chilling tomorrow. So, we’d remind all the students to dress for the weather, eat well and keep fit. Aside form your regular routines, the Student Development Office is offering a slew of exciting activities in March – community service, sports, special meals, movies… Each day will be packed full of fun!

Mar 2nd (Fri):

Mapleview Shopping

Mar 3rd(Sat):

30 Hour Famine

Mar 4th(Sun):

  • Toronto Raptors
  • HSBC Chilly1/2 Marathon & Frosty 5K

March 5-6(Mon、Tue):

March Orientation

March 7(Wed):

ICS South America

March 10-12(Sat – Mon):

  • Duke of Edinburgh at Bark Lake
  • Niagara Falls

March 12(Mon):

Ontario Gleaners

March 12-16(Mon – Fri):

March Break

March 15-20(Thu – Sun):

Model UN trip in NYC

March 16-17(Fri、Sat):

Wizard World

March 21(Wed):

ICS Mexico lunch

March 23(Fri):

Movie: Tomb Raider

March 24(Sat):

Leadership Retreat

March 29(Thu):

International Fashion Show

March 30(Fri):

Good Friday Holiday

March 31(Sat):

  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Afro Fest
  • Buttons and Bows

Any questions, please visit the Student Development Office at S244.

Campus Tours Help With Your University Decisions

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It’s late February now and university offers are arriving in a matter of just weeks! Many students will be facing a pleasant challenge: to pick one from multiple offers. In order to help them make the final choice, the University Placement Office (UPO) have arranged an array of university tours in March and April.

  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology,Saturday, March3,Sign up by Friday, February 23
  • Western University,Saturday, March 10,Sign up by Friday, March 2
  • University of Waterloo,Saturday, March 10,Sign up by Friday, March 2
  • University of Toronto (St. George Campus),Saturday, March17,Sign up by Friday, March 9
  • University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus),Saturday, March24,Sign up by Friday, March 16
  • York University,Saturday, March 24,Sign up by Friday, March 16
  • University of Toronto (Mississauga Campus),Sunday, March 25,Sign up by Friday, March 16
  • University of Guelph,Sunday, March 25,Sign up by Friday, March 16
  • Brock University,Sunday, April 8,Sign up by Friday, March 30

Campus tour is a great way to explore your university and program options. Admission Officers and student ambassadors will be on site to give walking tours and get your questions answered one-on-one.

Ready to sign up?  For each tour, there’s a $10 fee to be paid at the College Store and you’re also required to sign up at the UPO.  There are limited spots for each tour, so register as early as possible. 

2017  University Tours Videos

University of Toronto, St. George Campus

McMaster University

York University

Happy Halloween CIC!

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Halloween Costume Contest

CIC staff and students embraced the Halloween spirit by dressing in costumes for the day!  Students were not afraid to show off their creativity with their costumes, as they bravely competed in the Halloween Contest.  Results will be posted by the student council next week.

Take a look at the pictures below to judge for yourself!  What was your favorite costume CIC?

Read More

Model United Nations Conference

By | Events, Photos, Student Development | One Comment

A note from Steve Saunders (Principal, Columbia International College):

This past weekend (October 28), we hosted the first ever Columbia International College Model United Nations Conference.  We were very honoured to have The United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) organize this conference exclusively for Columbia International College students.  This conference was an great opportunity for the Model United Nations Team to experience hands on learning and to further develop their situational skills.

The conference was very successful, the UNAC members had only positive words to say about Columbia International College and our students.
Read More

Halloween Dance Photos!

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Halloween Dance: October 27

The annual CIC Halloween Dance hosted by Student Development, took place on Friday October 27th in the Ainsliewood Gym.  Students showed up in full costume to dance the night away!  This was a great opportunity for students to get in the Halloween spirit and make new friends in a fun environment.

Halloween Pictures from the Photo Booth are now Available!

CIC students proved to be extremely photogenic, taking full advantage of the free pictures and props provided by Mardi Gras Photo Booth.  Students are encouraged to find themselves in the pictures below!

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Pumpkin Carving Contest

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Pumpkins have arrived and are ready for pick up!

Pumpkins are now available for the homeroom classrooms interested in participating the pumpkin carving competition!  Pick up your pumpkin today at the main office.  Pumpkins are to be carved and ready for display at the Student Development office by Friday October 27th.   The top 3 homeroom classes will receive a prize for the best carved pumpkin!

Carving Creativity

Every year the Student Development department hosts the annual CIC Pumpkin Carving Contest.  It is completed school wide and is always labelled as a huge success from both staff and students alike.  Staff and students take this great opportunity to creatively come together and showcase their talents and cultures, as well as showing their appreciation for the fall season and Halloween.