JMS Participation in the Rotary Club of Ancaster Spelling Bee Contest

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Congratulations to our Junior-Middle School students who participated in the annual Rotary Club of Ancaster Spelling Bee on November 17th. This event took place at Mohawk College, with our JMS students competing against various public and private schools from Hamilton.

Danielle Beepot Pryce represented CIC in the grade 4-6 division. Damir Khaipov, Meng Xiaoyu, Lebron Beepot Pryce, Woleolu Peters and Adam Abdel Bassit represented CIC in the grade 7-8 division.

Our JMS students were cheered on at the event by their English teacher Ms. Aldea, the Head of JMS Ms. Garell-Teti, and their classmates and houseparents.

Junior Middle School (JMS) Students Participate in Telus’ #AntiBullying Event in Toronto

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On November 12th the JMS class travelled to Toronto to the WE Schools Global Learning Centre to participate in a program on the power of words to end Cyberbullying.

Part of a week-long Anti-bullying event, the students participated in programming with other schools from Toronto and the surrounding area.

They listened to a special performance by Vancouver-based rapper SonReal, participated in a dance-off, and were interviewed on their thoughts to end bullying by members of the WE School team as well as the founder of WE, Craig Kielburger.

Watch a video of the event, please check here!

The 2nd Annual CIC Model United Nations Conference

By | CICMUN, Student Development | No Comments

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


Fashion Show – A Celebration of Cultural Diversity

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Welcome to the Spirit Week at Columbia International College, the most diverse private school in Canada! It’s one of the many events celebrating multiculturalism and diversity at Columbia.

At the annual Fashion Show held on Sep 28, Students and staff of all different races walked down the runway and showed off colorful outfits representing their countries of origin and unique identity.

The Cedar Building Student Garden Blossoms

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This year students at Cedar building, with the lead of Ms. Keylin (Student Development ESL coordinator) and the help of teachers and staff, planted, maintained and harvested vegetables and herbs that were not only used for various class activities and lunch time activities but also to support our community.

Ms. Keylin contacted Wellwood Home, a neighboring charity organization, and offered to donate the produce collected from the garden beds.

Students not only learned in class about Wellwood Home and their various programs to support Cancer patients and their families but also were given a fun and interactive tour by Tsehay Said (Manager of Volunteers), who expressed their gratitude to all the students and staff from Cedar Building.

We are all so proud of the work of all the classes and the staff members involved in the process. From preparing the garden bed in the spring to harvesting, everyone played an important role and they should be proud of themselves as well.


2018 JMS End of Year Award Ceremony

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Today (June 21), the annual Junior Middle School (JMS) ‘End of Year Award Ceremony’ was held @ The Grill located in the Ainsliewood Building of Columbia International College.

The ceremony, which began promptly at 10:00am, kicked off in style with the beautiful melodies of Mr. Lawlis’ soon-to-be graduating Vocal Music Class’ rendition of the Canadian Anthem, ‘O Canada.’

Shortly after, Mrs. Denice Garell-Teti, Head of CIC’s Junior Middle School program took the stage to deliver the opening remarks.

With the ceremony in full swing, the Principal of Columbia International College, Mr. Bill Ironside, gave the Keynote address to a very pleased, very entertained audience.

During his address, Mr. Ironside shared with the audience his dreams whilst in middle school. Then referred to as Billy, he dreamt of becoming a tennis player, just like Serena Williams.

Facing the JMS students, he asked ‘What are YOUR plans?’ As, the future, he said, “was in their hands.” Mr. Ironside then proceeded to surveying the JMS students, asking which of them would become a doctor, an engineer, or get into the arts. For every question, at least one JMS student stood proudly, as the crowd showed them love by clapping.

Mr. Ironside offered some words of advice to the graduating JMS class. Here are the five little habits / choices he shared:

  1. Heart – Have a big heart
  2. Effort – Always make the big effort. “Just do it,” like the Nike Brand. Take it a bit further and “Just do it well.”
  3. Attitude – Maintain a positive attitude. “I can is better than IQ.
  4. Relationships – Establish strong relationships.
  5. Time Time is precious, live in the moment. Enjoy the moment that you’re in.

Mr. Ironside ended his address thanking the parents in attendance (and those who couldn’t make it), as well as the teachers who have and continue to guide and educate the students. To the teachers, he said: “Thank you so much for not just standing in front of the class and lecturing, because you’re knowledgable.” he said. Adding, “Thank you for believing in the students and doing a great job with student-centered teaching.”

Mr. Ironside’s address was followed by an address by an alumni of the JMS Program. This year, the JMS alumni selected for the address was Miss. Elizaveta G.  Originally from Russia, Miss Elizaveta began her CIC journey in 2013. Two years after arrival, she concluded her run as a JMS student, moving on to high school in CIC.

It is now 2018 and Miss Elizaveta is on her way to university, having maintained an average of over 95, garnering over 400 community service hours, admission offers from some of Canada’s Top Universities (Rotman Commerce, McMaster University, etc.) and being awarded $77,000 in University Entrance Scholarships.

During her address, Miss Elizaveta used her own experiences as a CIC student to encourage her former peers! “I was not a stranger to the school,” she said. To the graduating Grade 8 students, she gave amazing advice having had to transition from JMS to High School. “I want you to dream and I want you to dare.” She continued: “I want you to try new things everywhere. Whether it is to sit with new people at lunch or go skydiving. I want you to make mistakes and not be frightened by them because I know you will stand up and keep going, just like everyone else. Beautifully ending her address, she told the students to live their lives to the fullest and be the “card dealer” in their lives.

At this junction of the ceremony, several awards were given to the students for their endless months of hardwork through the semester.  Some students walked away from the ceremony having received over five (5) awards, whether it be academic or residence awards.

Anchored by the Vocal Music Class, The JMS Band, led by Mr. Lawlis, showcased their ukulele skills, playing several notes as the Vocal Music Class sang the classic ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow.’ The performance, thereafter, was followed by a little goodbye song by a JMS student to his fellow students.

Though there were many memorable moments during the ceremony, a video of the Bridging program (Grade 5 – 6), put together by Ms. Jennifer Oraham was definitely the most memorable. Needless to say, here is a video of the JMS Bridging Program that will make your day:

With the ceremony coming to an end, Miss Assol B. (one of the graduating Grade 8 students) took the mic for the Vote of Thanks. While on stage, an emotional Miss Assol thanked everyone who so much as said hello to her while she was a JMS student here at CIC.

She thanked the residence staff for looking after her. She also thanked her “astonishing” teachers for helping her out whenever she needed help, thus made her succeed through her journey as a JMS student. Notable, Miss Britiviva spoke about the small classes here at CIC, referring to them “convenient” as being in small class helped her and her fellow peers build a much closer relationship with their teachers. 

Mrs. Denice Garrell-Teti, the Head of the JMS program also got a shoutout during the vote of thanks. Looking towards Mrs. Garrell-Teti, Miss Assol said: “She is a great leader and an even better listener. She has always listened to any problem I had and tried her best to solve them.”

After thanking her parents (and wishing her Dad a Happy Birthday), she thanked her “lovely” friends and fellow JMS students for always making her days better and changing her as a person. “Overall my experience at CIC was a rewarding journey that I would never forget.” Here, I learned to be more independent, respectful, responsible, and strong.” She continued: “I also learned that it is important to make my voice heard and share all of my opinions, even those I thought I should never [share].”  A very bold and intelligent Miss Assol concluded her speech by thanking CIC for opening a “new path to a bright future”  and providing her with exactly what she needed to step into the next season of her life. “Goodluck and congratulations,” she said, as she walked off the stage.

Ending the ceremony on a high note, Mr. Lawlis’ Vocal Music Class belted out their rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”

Rewatch the entire award ceremony below!

JMS Students Put On Alice In Wonderland Jr

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After four months of preparations and rehearsals, the Junior Middle School at Columbia International College held a performance called Alice In Wonderland Jr on June 8th.

Head of Junior Middle School Denice Garell-Teti could barely contain her excitement when she introduced the play to the audience including parents flying from overseas to attend the JMS graduation ceremony on June 21st.

Alice in Wonderland Jr. has been adapted for young performers and is a fast paced version of the original story.

JMS teacher Mark Jackson is the director of the play. He said “The JMS department edited the script to accommodate the number of students we have and to allow them to reach their full potential. We explored 6 musical numbers that have been transposed into keys appropriate for young voices.”

The school play included 100% participation from all students in the JMS department.

The play includes such wonderfully wacky characters that there is plenty of opportunity to showcase students of all different skill levels, including musical talent. In addition to dramatic arts as a subject, students also take Visual Arts and Music.

Not only do students learn about stage direction and blocking, but theater provides the opportunity for students to be creative, work collaboratively, problem solve and gain confidence in their English speaking abilities.”

Maria Zheng is the leading actress playing Alice. She’s also a talented Ballet dancer and owns her Youtube channel on children’s book reviews.

At CIC,JMS students are fostered under the unique YAA (Young Academic Achievers) Program which provides them with great opportunities to thrive not just academically, but also socially, emotionally and physically. Student talents are showcased in an annual JMS art gallery and school-wide talent shows.

600 Graduates Turn The Tassels At CIC May Graduation

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Video: CIC 2018 May Graduation Ceremony

  • 21:50 Processional and Choir
  • 33:50 Principal’s Address
  • 43:50 Keynote Speech
  • 54:55 Diploma Presentation
  • 1:53:20 Awards and Scholarships
  • 2:15:55 The Valedictory Address
  • 2:28:50 Vote of Thanks
  • 2:38:35 Remarks from Executive Director
  • 2:48:45 Cap Tossing
  • 2:51:30 Recessional

On Thursday, May 16th, Columbia International College (CIC) celebrated over 600 May graduates with a grand ceremony held at the FirstOntario Concert Hall. This event was live streamed over social media and amassed thousands of views from all over the world.

CIC began with a dream… a dream to make things better for international students living and studying abroad. In 1979, the dream took flight in a small building on Mohawk Road West with just 9 students and 6 staff. It evolved each and every year, and grew to become Canada’s largest private boarding, junior middle, and university preparatory school.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, CIC students contributed 39,105 hours of community services. In a warm letter of congratulations to the graduates, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger highly recognizes the accomplishments of Columbia’s Total Care Education and the positive impact the students have made on the local community.

The Orchestra Hall was packed with proud friends, families, staff and guests from all over the world, enthusiastically watching the graduates bring this chapter of their life to a close and step into the future with great confidence.

Representatives from many Ontario universities were invited to the ceremony. They were on behalf of Brock University, Guelph University, OUIT, University of Ottawa, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Wilfred Laurier University, York University.

School band and choir performed the national anthem “O Canada”.

Principal Steve Saunders offered his welcome to the audience. He encouraged all the graduates to be resilient in the face of failures and rebound back from challenges.

Professor Edward Sargent, Vice-President, International of the University of Toronto, delivered an inspiring keynote speech, urging the graduates to take some risks in the future since risking the safety of comfort will propel them forward and excel.

“When we’re mentally imprisoned, we’re acting as our own jailers.” He said: “therefore, we have the power to be our own liberators.”

He spoke of his own experiences, attributing his academic, professional, business achievements and even a  happy marriage to risk taking.

This is undoubtedly the most cheerful moment of the ceremony – graduates were called onto the stage and received their diplomas and scholarships.  Applause erupted from the crowd as they walked across the stage and waved to the families.

Darius Mwesigwa offered words of wisdom in the valedictory speech. Since he came to Columbia in 2014, Darius has been on multiple executive leadership teams, growing as a leader throughout his time, culminating in him being an inaugural member of the Residence Life Prefect team, receiving the top honor of being nominated the Residence Life Prefect of the semester by his peers.

Darius described his four years at CIC as “an amazing journey” and this graduating class as “one of the most successful that CIC has produced.”

He urged the fellow graduates to push boundaries and “enlarge your comfort zone”.

“Seek opportunities, strive to obtain them and, in the end, reap success.”

“You have the potential to build a legacy for yourselves and build a community from poverty,” he exhorted his classmates.

Madina Usserbayavas delivered a heartfelt Vote of Thanks. During her time at Columbia, Madina found the time to complete her Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh, accumulated over 250 community service hours while being involved in many athletic clubs.

Madina shared her personal stories that resonated with all graduates and thanked CIC staff and teachers for helping her develop academic and social skills for future success. . She credited the Total Care Education® for providing students with unique opportunities to make smooth transition into the new life and grow holistically.

In his closing remarks, Executive Director Clement Chan thanked parents for entrusting their children to CIC. He stressed that Total Care Education is very unique and, over the past 39 years, CIC’s various departments have teamed together to help students to achieve great accomplishments.

As the ceremony drew to a close, graduates tossed their caps high into the air and let out a great whoop. Congratulations to the 2018 May graduating class and we wish you the best in the future!

                                                                                                           Graduation Photos

Watch more videos on our Youtube Channel:

Columbia International College hosts ICEF Agents in Hamilton

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On Monday (May 1, 2018), Columbia International College (CIC) had the pleasure of hosting over 35 ICEF agents from 18 different countries.

In collaboration with Mohawk College and with the support of the City of Hamilton, the agents were gladly welcomed to Hamilton (“The Education City”), discovering the best our city has to offer international students.

During their FAMiliarization Tour, the agents visited Hamilton landmarks and were greeted by the Mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger. Over the course of their visit, they also had a chance to explore CIC and Mohawk campuses and residence facilities.

It’s always great when our agents get to meet our staff to get first-hand information on our programs and unique Total Care Education System®. It’s also important for them to see and talk to current students and experience life at Columbia International College!

We look forward to continuing working with our partner agents and welcoming students from all over the world to CIC!

Check out some of our favourite photos from their visit below!

Columbia Celebrates Student Achievements In A Big Way

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At Columbia International College (CIC), student achievements are celebrated in a big way. On April 25th, Columbia held an award ceremony to recognize those who truly excel in extracurricular activities and character building.

Hosted by Student Development, the ceremony is a bi-annual tradition that highlights the exceptional contribution of our students to the CIC and Hamilton community.

Character building through out-of-class activities has been the core of Columbia’s Total Care Education since its inception in 1979. We are pleased to have developed numerous students into global citizens and made a great difference in the world around us.

Congratulations to all of the winners! Keep shining!

Check out pictures from the ceremony below!

For more photos, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here!