Q&A with Michelle Ronback, new Center Director at St Giles Vancouver!
You may already know that our beloved Director of St Giles Vancouver, Frances Seaton, has left St Giles after 6 wonderful years.
However, we are pleased to say that Vancouver is in safe hands with its new Director, Michelle Ronback! We sat down for a short Q&A session with Michelle to get to know her a bit better…
– Congratulations on your appointment as Director of St Giles Vancouver! How have you settled in so far? What were your first impressions of St Giles?
I am settling in well. I have been impressed by what a great and supportive family atmosphere Frances and the staff have created at St. Giles Vancouver. You can tell that the staff here love working here. The students are fantastic! It has been interesting to see where our students are coming from and what their goals are.
– Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What were you doing before you joined St Giles?
Before joining St. Giles, I was with Kaplan International for 6 years, but I have been working in international education for over 20 years. I have worked as an instructor, activity coordinator, program coordinator, director of studies and school director at various schools in Montreal, India and Vancouver. I have a passion for language and culture so I am in the perfect profession!
– What are you most looking forward to working at St Giles?
I am very much looking forward to helping students achieve their goals. Coming to another country to improve your English is a big step to take and I understand just how important it is that students get the support they need to be successful in their plans for their future.
– Do you have any suggestions of what Vancouver students “must see” or “must do”?
British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places on earth! I highly recommend visiting Lynn Canyon, the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain – where you can see the resident grizzly bears! We also have an excellent tour company who can arrange affordable, longer trips to places like the Rocky Mountains.
– From your years of experience working in education, what advice do you have for students travelling to Vancouver?
It is so important for students to maximize their time in Vancouver – they should get involved in using English every opportunity they can, not just in the classroom. Participating in school activities will help students improve their fluency in English. Students should make sure to let their teachers or staff know right away if they need help or have any concerns. It is also important that students become comfortable making mistakes as they are bound to happen and they will learn from them!
At St. Giles students can expect personalized support on their language journey. Staff in Vancouver really get to know students on an individual level and are always available to assist. It is important to us that students have a rewarding, successful and enjoyable experience at St. Giles Vancouver.
Michelle (left) is pictured with former St Giles Vancouver Centre Director, Frances