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Word TravELS 011 July - December 2017

ELS - No Capes Necessary

ELS - No Capes Necessary Edmonton’s the veterans felt important. The activity was very well Food Bank, received.” and wrapping Christ- The most impactful project that Barbara took on this term, however, was the 3rd Annual Food Drive. While mas gifts for this endeavour involved many students and staff, the Christmas Bureau there is no argument that Barbara’s efforts at the helm really drove the food drive home. You can find Charity at out more about the food drive in our article, “Yes! We Bonnie Doon can.” Mall. Hats off to Barbara for making our world a better Barbara also place. helped bring the community to ELS. We will be featuring more ELS heroes in “No Capes Necessary.” So stay tuned! Of course, without knowing, you might very well be sitting next to a super, or For the weekly Conversation Club that preceded Remembrance Day, she invited veterans from different taking classes from one, or having lunch everyday legions as special guests to talk to students. “The students and veterans engaged in meaningful conversa- Or maybe you are one. with one. tions about the significance of Remembrance Day,” And if you are, and you’re wondering, here’s what comments Barbara. “The students were fascinated and we’d say: no capes. W o r d T r a v E L S | 20

ELS Travels 新 潟 の4 日 間 4 Days in Niigata by Greg Sowak A bout a two-hour train ride from Tokyo and situated on the North coast of Honshu, the largest of the four main islands in Japan, Niigata Prefecture is a picturesque region nestled between sprawling tree-lined mountains to the east and the raging Sea of Japan to the north and west. Boasting a thriving rice industry and famous for Japan’s best Sake, the prefecture is also home to Niigata University of International and Information Studies (NUIS), a long time UAlberta partner institution and close friend to the English Language School (ELS). In fact, ELS has been receiving NUIS students since 2000 to study English and experience Canada in the English Language and Cultural Seminar (ELCS). While in Edmonton in August, NUIS representative and chaperone Dr. Satoshi Abe, aka “Abe Sensei” (“sensei” in Japanese means teacher), shared some exciting news with ELS. For the second time, NUIS was kindly inviting an ELS delegation to visit them in Niigata! The invitation was accepted, the trip was planned, and a group of 5 ELS delegates headed to Japan on November 19. The team included Mark Bell, Special Program Coordinator; Rebecca Antonakis, Miso Kim, and Jesslyn Rosanna , all UAlberta students and ELS Seminar Assistants; and me, Greg Sowak, Associate Director. After nearly 20 hours in transit (2 flights + 2 train rides), we were warmly greeted at the Niigata terminal late on the evening of November 20 by the kind NUIS officer, Mr. Ayumi Sekikawa, who delivered us safely to the splendid Hotel Niko Niigata. After a good night’s sleep, we awoke to a stunning view of Niigata Harbour and the Sea of Japan to begin an activity-filled four-day itinerary along with delegates from Russia, South Korea, and China. W o r d T r a v E L S | 21