Former Student Luqman Ali Discusses Cultural Exchange Experience
Traveling from the land of sun in Mogadishu, Somalia, Luqman Ali arrived in Canada in 2014 thanks to his sister’s sponsorship. It wasn’t long before Luqman noticed that what was “normal to him was no longer normal to others”. “There is a lot of differences in Somalian culture and Canadian culture – like something in Somalia that used to be normal, if you do this here people say: ‘Oh, what is going on here?’”
A former student and friend of Luqman’s introduced him to CCI-LEX and soon afterwards Luqman enrolled in his first class. “CCI-LEX is one of those places you can experience the Canadian environment. They will tell you what you can do, what you can’t do; what’s good in places, and what’s not good in certain places.”
Taken with the welcoming environment and patient assistance of teachers, Luqman studied his way through the Low Intermediate and Intermediate levels of the LEX program. Initially, it was challenging for Luqman to pronounce words or to communicate verbally, but “the staff, the volunteers, they are helpful. Even though they are not understanding you, they try to understand you – and I used to have a very difficult accent.” His studies developed his “speaking, reading, writing, listening – everything” and prepared him for his future at NorQuest College, where he is now studying English 30-1 in pursuit of a future career in the field of nursing.
“That’s the thing I like about CCI-LEX: the volunteer teachers. If I pointed out something, they are trying to understand me and try to explain to me more.”