Sharon Kennedy Cabrera

A memorable year in Toronto

By: Robert Toscani | Posted on: 8 Apr 2020

Imagine leaving the comfort of your home at just 23 years of age, to spend an entire year alone in a foreign country in which you don’t speak the language or know the culture. Does that sound frightening? This is exactly what Sharon did when she left her comfortable home in Mexico in the fall of 2019, to travel to Toronto, Canada. She explains that in her native Mexico, becoming fluent in English opens many opportunities for career advancement. So, she thought, what faster and more exciting way to learn English, than to fully immerse herself in an English-speaking culture. Sharon chose Toronto, Canada, for a few reasons. First, because it offers the entertainment and excitement of a big cosmopolitan city, but is still relatively safe, when compared to most other big English-speaking cities. Second, Toronto is the most ethnically diverse city in the world, being home to over 200 ethnic groups, and where over 180 languages and dialects are spoken.

She also chose CareerQuest College for a number of reasons. Located in the upscale Yorkville neighbourhood, the school is in the epicentre of the city’s fashion, culture and entertainment. Also, because CareerQuest College is a private high school, Sharon was able to get an Ontario high school credit in English as a Second Language. Moreover, the College’s program was comprehensive in that it provided various supports to help Sharon quickly adapt and integrate into Canadian life. They found a wonderful family that hosted her and took great care of her. When Sharon arrived, she was unable to communicate in English, but through her program at the College, and her thirst for adventure, she looked for every opportunity to learn the language and absorb the culture. After all, what is the point of learning English in an English-speaking city, if you don’t get out and meet people and see things; fully immerse yourself? Sharon is an example of what you can achieve when you’re not afraid to take a chance; when you are resilient, persistent and determined. After one year, Sharon returned home to Mexico, having learned English, had lots of incredible experiences, made lots of wonderful memories, and with a second family in Toronto that welcomes her back anytime. Not bad for taking a chance.

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