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Alumni Series - Melody Xu

The Alumni Series features testimonials and interviews given by recent graduates of WillowWood School. In this post, Melody discusses how her time at WillowWood School helped her develop her English skills and gain admission to the University of Toronto's Math and Physical Science Program.

1. How did WillowWood help you achieve your goals?

My experience at WillowWood broadened my horizons and enabled me to think critically. Although I do not have specific goals, I have always wanted to acquire as many skills as possible and become a versatile person, and WillowWood helps me to develop a broad range of skills. Now I can do video editing, coding, and designing, I can also enjoy sports such as curling and frisbee.


2. How was your English when you first started in Grade 10?

I was only able to do basic communication in English, my grammar was not good, and I could not write essays properly.


3. How did the teachers at WillowWood help you improve your English language skills?

For the first two years in WillowWood, I took ESL courses, which focused on listening, speaking, reading, and writing. I would say I have made a huge improvement in understanding English through reading articles, writing academic essays, and doing presentations. There was also a lot of reading, researching, and presenting going on in other courses, and I had many opportunities to practice my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.


4. Did you make friends with international students?

Yes, I made friends with students from China, Japan, and South Korea.


5. Did you make friends with domestic (Canadian) students?

Yes, I made friends by joining school clubs like a soccer club and a frisbee club.


6. How did the teachers help/make you feel during your time at WillowWood?

I really appreciate the teachers at WillowWood because, unlike the schools I used to go to, teachers never force you to do tasks, they always accommodate students’ needs and preferences accordingly, and are always there to help.


7. What school are you going to in September?

I am going to be a first-year student in Mathematics and Physical Science at the University of Toronto.


8. Is there anything else you want people to know about WillowWood?

As an international student, I felt welcomed at WillowWood. I got to learn many skills that I knew nothing about like video editing, coding, designing, etc. I also got to try different sports like curling, frisbee, yoga, etc.


9. List of your accomplishments and achievements. List any entrance scholarships and certificates here.

Certificate of Distinction (ranked in the top twenty-five percent of contestants in the Fermat Contest in the year 2021)

MacMaster University entrance scholarship of $1000

University of Toronto Victoria College admission scholarship of $5,000 for outstanding achievements.


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