What we're about

Improve English & Make Friends

STUDY ENGLISH in CANADA

* Membership & events are FREE for this group (forever), except for your own orders and expenses.

• Very often we hold major meetups (either language or social) at a food court near subway (downtown Toronto or North York) so that it is ABSOLUTE FREE for you. Free bottled spring water will be provided to attendees as long as I can buy it from a shop nearby.

Want to practice your English for free? Meet friends from the international community in Toronto? Learn and practice multiple languages (besides English) for free? Get valuable info/assistance/resources or attend activities of interests together? Understand the diverse cultures all over the world? JOIN US--

A Free & Friendly Community for English Learning, Practice & Peer Supports

This is a community of international students, newcomers to Canada, people interested in improving their English, people interested in another language or culture, and English-speaking locals who'd like to help out or make friends. We are Not-for-Profit and not associated with any (private) English schools or immigration companies etc.

• What motivated us to do this? It's a happy thing to serve, meet friends from all over the world, and we like international students/visitors or newcomers to blend in, enjoy what the city has to offer, and get a wonderful impression when you first come to Toronto or leave an unforgettable memory when you return to your home country--we are all in it creating invaluable friendship across the boundary or barrier of nationalities, languages, races, cultures, and distance--isn't it something nice:)

All ages and levels of proficiency are welcome! Have fun and learn in a relaxed atmosphere. If you are native or advanced English speakers, welcome to join us, make friends, and help out!

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Events and Classes to be offered in Downtown Toronto and/or North York.

• Live in Toronto--Youtube tips for immigrants, foreigners and newcomers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trweNRkEXD4

Recommendation for a Fun Meetup with Lots of Activities (esp., in Spring & Summer):

Global Friends (5,000+ friends) (http://www.meetup.com/Toronto_Friends/)

* A global chain of non-profits that serve the international communities (for FREE) at major cities worldwide

Other Recommended Groups:

20 & 30 somethings in Toronto (3,000+ international friends)

DISCOVER TORONTO--The Adventures & Travel Meetup Group (3,000+ adventurers)

TORONTO NEWCOMERS (4,000+ members) #1 in Canada

http://www.meetup.com/Canada-Newcomers/

Sister Groups Internationally:

Tokyo Friends (http://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Friends/)

20 & 30 somethings in Tokyo

Paris Friends

London Friends

New York Friends (3,500+ members)

San Francisco Friends (8,500+ members)

LA Friends

Chicago Friends (8,500+ members)

Shanghai Friends (3,500+ members) (http://www.meetup.com/Shanghai-Friend/)

Hong Kong Friends (5,000 members) (http://www.meetup.com/HongKong-International/)

*** BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE ***

THE TORONTO LEARNING NETWORK--Learning, Sharing, Friendship & Fun Are Supposed to Be FREE ^_^

* We are 10,000+ members that enjoy learning new things & meeting new friends in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

Study in Canada (5,000+ friends) (http://www.meetup.com/Study-in-Canada/)

Toronto Language Exchange (4,000+ members) (http://www.meetup.com/Social-Networks/)

Toronto Artists & Art Lovers (1,500+ members) (http://www.meetup.com/artist/)

Career, Business & Dream Builders (3,000+ members)

Ontario University, College & Graduate Students Meet Up (1,500+ members) (http://www.meetup.com/Social-Networks/)

Toronto Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (TYPE) 2,400+ members (http://www.meetup.com/Global-Young-Professionals/)

** EVERYONE IS WELCOME ** Every group (in the above list) & their events and service are free (except for your own orders or expenses)

Upcoming events (5)

COVID-19 - What you do and not do (to protect yourself & others)

This country is NOT in its "abnormal" time - (surrounded by) COVID-19 is the new norm. Bring your experience from your home country, and contribute your ideas and care for your neighborhood and communities. Being a (young) student in an unfamiliar country could be a challenge*, and now we have risk of COVID-19, and all the (immature) measures to incovenient us so as to protect us and residents in general... * And unique ones might include, for example, having no cars to get around (whether you were from a rich family/country or not) as a (language) student or newcomer. And very often I met members who just landed last week or month or for just couple days :) Compared to Facebook groups, we may know each other and meet in person. See what we may do more through this platform and initiative. ================================ Let me start here. The United States had been the strongest nation among all in most metrics for a long time, while to much of my surprise, it did worse* than Canada, and Canada did worse than some other countries or regions such as South Korea, Taiwan, perhaps Singapore or New Zealand as well. What distinguished them is NOT always the availability of masks (which we had criticized for months), but for a few other reasons. ------------------------------------ 1. Citizens in Canada** wait for their government to tell them what (not) to do. Authorities could issue that many oversimplied and generally applicable guidelines, and OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE NOT ENOUGH, and the responses had been WAY TOO SLOW. Shouldn't unions work out something for their specific sectors or industries - taking that responsibilities into one's own hand. Their function shall NOT be limited to getting more pay and spending less hours. Work space safety as well - to their (unionized) employees as well as customers/clients they'll be serving. * some political agenda (south of the border) attempts to attribute all that failure to one person, yet that's not my belief. Another "cultural defect***" is that people don't correct others - neighbors or customers - when they should. 10 years ago I asked passengers in Beijing Airport to get in line (for taxi - long queue amid a snow storm if I remember it right) and I survived; yet here I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO CORRECT or educate those with A BEHAVIOR THAT ENDANGERS OTHERS but I am around long enough to know it wouldn't go well... (I told or advised train personel multiple times for different matters yet mostly ignored - they only went catching the guy smoking in the toilet but that was the least of my concerns (and their problems) based on my experience with them after stage 3 reopening of many things.) (I told a dollar store staff two customers shouldn't be talking and talking and talking alk over the store and she only politely laught - it was not required for customers to wear a mask and I WAS THE WEIRD ONE wearing masks back then.) ** As a side note: people south of the border might NOT even listen to governance instructions - could that be why US did worse than Canada?🤔 *** There's also good things embedded in this culture - I am talking about it elsewhere. 2. Seniors. (Racial/gender bias??) --------------- People were (reportedly) left (waiting for) death while they've still got a chance. Ontario government is launching investigation on it, while (for children of those elderly) WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE TAKEN THEM HOME while that (nursing and caring) system failed?? 3. Schools reopening. ------------------------------- (Universities and for children as well. And) what's among the challenges (for you as an int'l student)? How was it done where you came from, and how did it go - either a successful example or an expensive lesson that you may share. (Some experts were out claiming for the health of children, school should be reopened, and that leadz to item #5 below...) 3a. For students who can't wear a mask (due to medical reasons) shouldn't they be asked to wear a face shield? And keep a distance from other students when possible. Parents and staff better take initiatives to protect their young and themselves. Parental perspectives (and precautions around the globe): https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/health/covid-kids-school-gupta-essay/index.html Update: 147 cases at University of Norte Dame (and 130 at another) with return-to-school - almost 100 new cases in a day (8/18). update2: 300+ at Norte Dame. 17 states reported college cluster cases. update3: 1,000+ at U. of South Carolina 25,000+ college students in 37 states (US) Update: students in a class (QC) are consideref a bubble - and that's a scary misconception~~~ ---------------------------------------- ******************************* Calling children in a class "A BUBBLE" is absolutely wrong. They go back home to their mom, and perhaps their grandma and a lot else... That' a "supernode"* in a network of humans - most likely connecting the majority of people in the world. * aka "a cluster of people". D.B. (Organizer) on Aug. 30, 2020 ************************************** ------------------------------------------------- 4. Commute. ------------------- Does the air-conditioning vent COMPLETELY by taking air outside of the train or bus Or the air circulate* in the vehicle over and over again? In the latter scenario do typical air-conditioners filter out COVID-19? If not, as I would guess can you go for the former way of operation?? And can you educate passengers to talk no more than necessary? Especially in restaurants, movies and other closed areas. Tips: When taking a uber or taxi, (ask to) open the window (better if on both sides) - enabling droplets to frush out quickly. (Community) Feedback: Use disposable covers for seats where people may sit (as well as on tables etc. and) Replace them for each passenger. Altetnatively, you may offer "COVID-19 prevention" kit and ask them to do it themselves (Especially when you have your masks off - e.g., while drinking of eating) DO NOT TALK (more than necessary). Last time the train was delayed for THREE HOURS and passengers began to take off their masks, smoking (YES!! SMOKING IN A TRAIN) CHATTING over the phone for tens of minutes WITH THEIR MASKS OFF While the personel I talked to was afraid that passengers got too angry or frustrated and refused to rectify their false behaviors that were endangering themselves and others, and the crew. WHEN EAT, DONT TALK! (That was when most everyone took off their mask - synchronized to facilitate the transmission, or further apread, of the disease.) IT'S ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND OUR LIVES - not time to succumb to your fear.. or desires (to connect, eat.....) I won't (want to) forbit people drinking water on a train, while "encouraging" people to eat there is very stupid - unless in an emergency like low blood sugar (for those with a condition). Update: an ER doctor (River Hospital) said similar things while commenting on Tenet in air (CBC) - in a theater with masks off (and eating popcorn), the setting increases risk of pandemic transmission. Some movie theaters are openning in MA, while selling of popcorns and beverage is not permitted. Commute - com MUTE. Period. 5. Can't you wait!? If effective vaccines are expected by end of this year... Is it wise to rush (high) school kids back to pack together? (and on what base...) For children's benefits, education urgency, or schools are to act as babysitters?? Who's lying? "Again"?? Update: next summer ~ US official 6. Etiquette amid pandemics a. Have a "comfortable mask" and wear it indoors even when (currently) no one's around. b. Put on a face shield (it's $5 - get one!!) while eating in a crowded area like airplanes, or trains - esp. when it's something some people CANNOT avoid. (That's different from a restaurant or bar where a cautious person might choose to avoid.) 7. Travel. SARS was not as highly contagious as SARS2, yet a reported case got infected through hotel pillows - though the cover(s) were changed. What's the CDC standard/guidelines (plus precautions being taken by the hospitality industry) Ambassador (some city): extra plastic bag Hilton: UltraClean program (desktop, switches...) Holiday Inn: check sheet for cleanliness or inspection (hourly or timely) A warning sign: I noticed..... Airlines - domestic & int'l ones. Cabin crew do not wear protective glasses - that probably means glasses are useless. Probably. (I am not an expert.) **** Undue Hardship vs DUE DILIGENCE **** 8. If you have to EAT out... (like many others) Food preparers should wear a mask - even if they serve outdoors. And esp. when it's a food stand where water (for hand-washing) might not be abundant or even accessible - sanitary standards need better enforced amid pandemics. At "New York fries" or something, food preparers were chatting among themselves with masks off - was that increasing the risk of spreading disease or not?? In the past experts came out to say food wouldn't transmit Covid-19, and politians/officials like to wear their masks in front of camera - which is a right thing to do as the general public might mimic them... and TOOK THEIR MASKS OFF WHILE TALKING - wouldn't that be a bad example of demonstrating when to wear and not wear a mask? 9. About Social DISTANCING. "Distancing" shouldn't be in "spacial distance" alone, but in "temporal distance" (time) as well - if someone coughed or sneezed in a washroom and you immediately get in (after it is vacated), the chance for you to breathe in his or her droplets is high. If someone walks ahead of you, and you tail them (and the wind is not on your side...) even if you are outdoors and keep a 2m distance from others, you are not immune to breathing in virus from them... (These are supposed to be "common sense" yet it appears people just don't care.) With school reopening, smaller children in general wouldn't understand these paths of transmissions. 10. Others. If students wear a mask and do exercise, it might harm them depending on a few factors.

FREE English Classes & Workshops
Needs a date and time

Needs a location

To be facilitated soon! Space is limited. Around 15 students for a group. Detailed to be updated. Stay tuned:)

Free English Mentors: Student List
Needs a date and time

Needs a location

We have quite a few volunteering English mentors who sign up already. Space is limited. RSVP only if you are really interested. Happy Holidays!

FREE Partnership Program for English Learning: Mentor List

We will facilitate this free language mentorship project. Stay tuned. Note that this list is for native English speakers. For ESL learners, please sign up at the counterpart list http://www.meetup.com/Study-in-Canada/events/83492102/ .

Past events (351)

Photos (178)

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