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OCDSB schools host visiting groups of international students

Xingwan School teacher Ms. Cathy Bao with two of her students following the farewell ceremony hosted by Principal Heather Lawson with students and staff at Terry Fox ES

Henry Munro MS teacher Ms Barb Gorman with Miss Sally Li, teacher from Xingwan School in Suzhou, China


While many OCDSB schools host international students on an individual basis, there are some schools that host larger groups of students. These groups of international students attend our schools to enhance their English skills and to experience Canadian culture. Often these students stay for several months, attending a local school and living with a Canadian family through Homestay.

This past March a group of twenty students from Xingwan School in Suzhou, China, arrived in Ottawa. Half of the students were in Grade 5 and attended Terry Fox ES and the other half, in Grade 7, were hosted by Henry Munro MS. In both schools the administration and staff extended a warm welcome to the Chinese students and their accompanying teachers. Preparations to accommodate the students both in the schools and with their local Homestay families were made long in advance of arrival in Canada.

These types of cross-cultural educational opportunities benefit all involved. Both the Chinese and Canadian students and staff learn from each other and understand more about each other’s cultures. As to be expected, there were “growing pains” but soon the Canadian and Chinese students were playing basketball at recess, and by the end of the three month stay in June, there were hugs and tears at the schools, which each held special ceremonies to bid their new friends and classmates a safe trip home.

This past year the staff and students of Fisher Park PS had similar positive cross-cultural learning experiences by hosting a group from Ninghai, China.

 

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