Newsletter

Life as an “international student” in high school

 

  Ricarda @Sir Robert Borden High School

   

“One of the best ways to avoid being homesick is to get fully involved in school life and make lots of new friends.”

- Ricarda, international student from Germany

 


From the city of Hanover in Germany, Grade 11 student Ricarda wanted to experience an education away from home. While arriving in Canada with excellent English language skills, she feels she has greatly improved her spoken and written English as she now speaks with more confidence and has an expanded vocabulary. She enjoys her Homestay and did not find adapting to the Canadian lifestyle too challenging. In fact, she has been teaching German to her Homestay family. Ricarda thinks the key to success as an international student is getting involved in school life, and she has certainly followed her own advice by joining school teams including rugby, tennis, cross-country running, cross-country skiing, and Ski Club. She even went winter camping in -35ºC with her Outdoor Education classmates. Ricarda also participates in OCENET trips and social events. In the future, Ricarda intends to study medicine or engineering.


 Sunny @Glebe Collegiate Institute

   

“I like that I can make many choices in choosing my own educational path, unlike many of my friends in South Korea.”

- Sunny, international student from South Korea 

 


Having attended Glebe Collegiate Institute for the past 1.5 years, Sunny really likes her school and the city of Ottawa. She chose to study in Canada because of its multicultural and diverse population and the opportunity to learn about different languages and cultures. Upon first arriving in Ottawa, Sunny faced many challenges. She worried about making mistakes when speaking and writing in English, found it difficult to deal with Ottawa’s winter, and had some trouble adapting to being away from home in Homestay. While Sunny acknowledges that being an international student can be difficult at first, Sunny successfully overcame those challenges and feels the benefits of her success have made her more independent and mature. She frequently uses Skype to communicate with family and friends, and appreciates the free time she feels she has compared to many of her peers in Korea who are constantly stressed by pressures to study all of the time. After graduation, Sunny plans to attend a Canadian university to pursue a Business degree.


  Summer @Sir Robert Borden High School

   

“In Canada, the teachers give students lots of respect and treat you in an adult way with high expectations. Students learn to take responsibility.”

- Summer, international student from Vietnam

 


Summer is now in Grade 12, having been an international student in OCDSB schools for the last 3 years. From Vietnam, Summer wanted to study in Ottawa because it is a capital city, and its public schools were highly recommended by other friends who had studied here. She really enjoys school in Canada and finds Ottawa to be a very peaceful and safe city. She also likes that Ottawa is bilingual which enabled her to continue her study of French. When she arrived in Grade 10 she struggled with communicating in English, but by listening carefully to everyone she met, she improved immensely and now is very confident with English language skills. Summer has played on a SRB sports team and is co-president of two school clubs, the Interact and Multicultural Clubs. During her time as an international student, she has lived in two different homes and has enjoyed being a part of both Homestays. Summer will be attending the University of Ottawa to study Biotechnology.

 

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