Aya Nishiyama, High School Program Coordinator

Aya Nishiyama, High School Program Coordinator

I was born in Osaka and have lived in Kyoto, Tokyo, New Jersey, Ohio, and Toronto. I graduated from International Christian University and University of Toronto, and I majored in language and literacy education during those years. I have taught English to elementary school students, high school students, and adult learners (up to 69 years old!)

I love music, nature, cooking, and travelling! I’ve been to several places --- 17 countries/areas in total. As an avid baker, I enjoy baking sweets. I have played the flute for more than 10 years (since high school) and now I play it at a local church. I love listening to live music as well.

Moving back and forth between North America and Japan, I struggled a lot with language barriers and cultural clashes. In fact, when I moved to Ohio, I started going to a local school and I spoke NOTHING, out of fear of making mistakes. This didn’t help me at all, so I made the decision to put away my fear and shame. From then on, I started to hang out with my American classmates. They helped me with my homework and school projects. They patiently supported me, and by the end I adapted to the local culture and confidently spoke English.

The key to your success in Canada, in my opinion, is to put away the fear of making mistakes (most Canadians are very generous to the new comers!) and to take care of yourselves by doing what you enjoy. A little courage changes your world! I’m looking forward to hearing your stories and experiences. Please remember that I am there for you to support your life in Canada.

What I like about MLI:  MLI is very inclusive, professional, and understanding to various cultures. I can see our staff genuinely caring about the students.

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