For an entire month, 23 students along with 3 teacher chaperones from Jiaxing Nanhu International Experimental School lived in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada. The students were placed in classrooms at different elementary schools across the city and studied alongside local students, fully immersed in the English language. Classmates and teachers at their new school welcomed them with enthusiasm. They were able to participate in school assemblies, field trips, and a variety of fun school-wide activities.
The three teacher chaperones visited nine different schools throughout the month and had the opportunity to talk to principals, vice-principals, the students’ teachers, and other school staff. They were able to see first-hand a Canadian school and classroom environment. They were even invited to a celebration of Canada’s 150 years at David Livingstone Elementary School, where students and staff had photos and descriptions about their ancestors displayed around the school. Everyone was even dressed up in clothes from their family heritage. To end the special day, a quartet of elderly musicians treated us to beautiful jazz music.
The students lived with Canadian homestay families during their stay in Vancouver. The families were very hospitable and took great care of our students. During some evenings and weekends, the students were able to experience many activities of an average family living in Canada, such as eating out, shopping, going to the park, swimming, playing boardgames, among many other things.
Every Saturday, the students and teachers along with CINEC staff, visited different attractions around the city. They went to Gastown, which was featured in last month’s newsletter; Canada Place; Stanley Park; the University of British Columbia; Peace Arch Park; Butchart Gardens and the Parliament Buildings in Victoria; Lynn Canyon; and Granville Island. The trip to Butchart Gardens was especially noteworthy because many varieties of tulips were in full bloom and the weather was absolutely beautiful. This was cause for many stunning pictures and a nice walk around the Gardens.
On the final day before departure, the students had a closing ceremony at the Vancouver School Board office building. They received a certificate of completion and shared some meaningful stories they experienced in the past month. The students had a wonderful time and many wanted to stay in Vancouver even longer.