Columbia News

CIC grad awarded scholarship to prestigious Yale-NUS College

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Please join CIC teachers and staff in celebrating Sara Haghani on her remarkable academic and personal achievements. Sara has accepted an offer to attend the prestigious Yale-NUS College in Singapore on a first-year scholarship, valued at S$49,700.

Yale-NUS praised Sara in their offer letter, stating that amongst the many who applied to Yale-NUS, you stand out as one of the most energetic, intellectually curious and talented students worldwide.”

According to Quartz Magazine, Yale-NUS’s global acceptance rate of 5% makes it harder to get into than any of the US’s exclusive Ivy League schools.

Yale-NUS went on to appreciate Sara as someone who thrives on challenge, excellence and making a difference in the world.” During her CIC valedictory address in December 2016, Sara called on her fellow graduates to champion their diversity and embrace global citizenship, reminding them that our similarities far outweigh our differences”.

Sara’s commitment to community service helped her stand out in Yale-NUS’s talented applicant pool. During her time at CIC, Sara accumulated a total of 425 community service hours, supporting initiatives such as the 30 Hour Famine for World Vision and fundraisers for the Canadian Cancer Society. She devoted herself to student life, earning a position on each of CIC’s Executive Student Leadership Teams, and winning the Outstanding Leadership Award on each of those teams.

Congratulations, Sara! We wish you the very best on your next adventure.

Guided Tours of Universities

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The University Placement Office (UPO) has been running a number of trips to take students on guided tours of York University, Western University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto (Mississauga), and Brock University. These trips started during the March Break and will run into early April.

The trips offer our students the opportunity to learn about the programs while gaining information about the admission process. Students also get the chance to talk to current students, professors and admission staff about their interests and concerns. It is a great opportunity for students to see if this is a university they would like to attend in the future.

English proficiency requirements from the University of Waterloo

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Recently, many of our students from regions in Africa have received an email from the University of Waterloo asking them to prove their English Proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Submit their previous school transcript or a letter from their previous school principal stating how long they attended that school and that the education was entirely in English.
  • Submit an English Proficiency Test result such as IELTS, TOEFL, MELAB or CAEL. If a student received this request, they will likely need to write a test and submit it right away.

If a student receives the email or if they see the request in their Quest account, they should follow the instructions in the email

  • If despite doing so, Waterloo or any other university still requires proof of English Proficiency, the students will need to write an English Proficiency test


  • March 31, 2017 for Engineering programs
  • April 7, 2017 for most other programs
  • Columbia International College is a testing centre for the IELTS, TOEFL, MELAB and CAEL tests. Students should register as soon as possible if the need to write a test.


After learning about the policy, the University Placement Counselor Team:

  • Emailed potentially impacted students to advise them to check their email and Quest account with Waterloo and explain what the request means
  • Held a meeting with potentially impacted students to explain the request in detail and provide next steps

The University Placement Office is working with students to:

  • Help them review their application to ensure no errors were made
  • Help liaise with the University of Waterloo if students will have difficulty fulfilling the request
  • Help students understand any similar requests from other universities that may require a different solution
  • Help students understand the English Proficiency Tests available and how to register to write one at CIC if required

Students with concerns about the new policy of the University of Waterloo should come meet their University Placement Counsellor IMMEDIATELY.

Live video – Celebrating the graduates of December 2016

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Welcome parents, teachers, friends, and families.

Our warmest congratulations to the class of December 2016!

Join us at 11:00am EDT through a live stream of the event.

The video will be available a few minutes prior to the start of the ceremony at the following link:

See you soon!

CIC advances to CBC Music’s shortlist

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Columbia International College has advanced to a shortlist of finalists in the CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge. The Challenge, hosted by CBC Music and in association with MusiCounts, is “looking for Canada’s best music program.” Schools from across Canada were invited to submit a rendition of an iconic Canadian song selected from a list provided by CBC. Encouraging musical diversity, the CBC is eager “to hear everything from jazz bands, kazoo classes and guitar clubs, to hip-hop programs, symphonies and choirs.”

Led by music teacher Jim Lawlis, students in CIC’s “Rockestra” performed a powerful, full-band rendition of “Bobcaygeon” by The Tragically Hip.

This year’s panel of judges includes musicians Marie-Josée Lord, Zach Sutton, Scott Helman, and CBC Tempo host Julie Nesrallah.

Out of hundreds of submissions, the judges selected the top ten performances across six categories of different ages and arrangements. CIC’s Rockestra was placed in the “High School Vocal/Choral (a cappella or with band)” category.

CBC Music will announce the winners on December 16th. CIC would like to wish all participants good luck!

Watch CIC’s performance here:

See all the High School Vocal/Choral shortlist performances:

All of the shortlist performances and other videos are available on CBC Music’s YouTube channel

More information on the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge can be found here and here.

CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge

UPO hosts exciting tours of top universities

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The University Placement Office (UPO) has been running a number of trips to take students to visit the University of Toronto (Mississauga), University of Waterloo, York University, Brock University, Western University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Ryerson University. These trips are run on Saturday or Sunday, and run annually October through the end of November.

The trips offer our students opportunities to learn about university programs, admission processes, and study life. They also create time to talk to current students, professors, and admission staff about their interests and concerns, and allow the students to explore whether these are universities they like to attend in the future. 

CIC is the best pathway to top universities. These trips offer valuable experiences to the students, and remain a vital component of the Total Care Education System.



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CIC – Canada’s Largest Boarding High School








The OSSLT goes online on October 20th

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On October 20th, students at Columbia International College will write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

“The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.”

As part of the EQAO Online project, October 20th marks the first time the OSSLT will be conducted online.

Lots of useful information is available via the EQAO website. We encourage students and parents to learn about the new format, and contact the CIC Academic Office with any questions they may have.

EQAO have also published a Student Handout, which outlines three advantages to taking this year’s test online.


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test


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2016年9月20日,哥伦比亚国际学院前教师Geoffrey Burnet因涉嫌犯罪受到警方指控。目前,哥伦比亚国际学院已经解雇Burnet,并正在配合警方调查。

  • Burnet受到指控的犯罪行为发生在2007-2008期间
  • Burnet于2014年11月开始担任哥伦比亚国际学院合约教师,受聘之前通过了无犯罪调查与高危界别审查
  • 警方表示, Burnet所受指控与哥伦比亚国际学院及其学生无任何关系


Steven Saunders | Principal
Columbia International College
1003 Main Street West | Hamilton Ontario L8S 4P3
P:905-572-7883 Ex: 2909

警方报告:Press Release – Hamilton Police