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Student Stories

 

 

 

 

Arancha, Grade 11

Spain

One of the best things about studying here has been the people! l have made so many new friends and my host family and teachers are simply incredible.  Even the bus drivers are friendly… I don’t know how I am going to say good-bye!  I’ve come to love and appreciate the diversity here…now I am more open-minded, more confident in myself, more independent, calm and resilient.  I’ve tried so many new things beyond academics like mechanics, rock climbing, concert choir, curling and skating, performance drama!  The teaching style is more open and authentic; the relationship between teacher and student is much more informal and interactive.

I have had the best year and I would like to be able to stay and graduate here! 

 

 

 

 

 

Francesca, Grade 11

Philippines

My experience here in Edmonton has been exciting. It has been a very big leap for me, one that I never thought I would do. This program helped me start pursuing my dream to fly, by giving me the opportunity to join Air Cadets. I made friends in and out of classes both international and Canadian. One of the biggest things that I learned was how to be independent. I have always wanted to try living on my own, away from my family, and it has taught me a lot about myself. My biggest advice to anyone thinking of coming to study in Edmonton is do it now rather than wait for it to happen later.

 

 

 

Javier, Grade 11

 Spain

The two biggest lessons that I have learned during this experience is the value of the people and things I have left back home and how to be on my own. I really liked how different the classes are in comparison to Spain. We get a choice in what we want to take and it is very practical knowledge rather than pure memorization. Seeing these differences has opened my eyes and given me new perspectives in life. I made so many friends through the different sports that I participated in – swimming and rugby. The best way to meet people is if you join a sport or club. It makes it easier to make friends especially since you know you have something in common already. It will be difficult going home now that I have made a life here in Edmonton.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacopo, Grade 11

Italy

A huge highlight of my experience here in Canada is the people. The friendliness and the fact that here in Edmonton, despite it being a big city, it feels like a small one because of how community-oriented it is. You can feel very close to people, which made the transition easier. I found that the teachers here are all very accommodating. I broke my thumb, on my writing hand, in Rugby, which made it difficult to write in class. All my teachers would make sure I had a Chromebook to type on to make it easier to take notes and participate in class. This experience has helped me understand that I want to continue travelling as much as possible and learning more languages.

 

 

 

 

 

Silva, Grade 12

Iran

My overall experience has been good. I liked that I did not have to worry about any entrance exams and that I learned not to focus everything on academics. It helped lift some stress off my shoulders. There were two things that I found extremely challenging when I got here – communicating and cultural differences. It is tough when you are not able to express yourself in the same way you can in your native tongue. However, as the year went on, I started to see my English improve and realize that I was thinking more in English rather than Persian. I thought that was cool. I also had the opportunity to join the leadership club and we were able to volunteer at places like the homeless shelter. A piece of advice I would give future international students is to do your research before coming. Do not just come and do nothing, take advantage of this opportunity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gala, Grade 11

Spain

I made such amazing friends here in Edmonton and at my school. It was not easy at the beginning to make them and if I had known any better, I would have participated in different school activities sooner. I got the chance to participate in both Rugby and Drumline, which I enjoyed. I highly recommend joining clubs and sports as soon as you arrive and do not be scared to speak English. The more you speak the better you will get and the less shy and more confident you become. I really liked the Canadian education system and the options it has to offer. I took a foods class and found it surprisingly challenging because I had to use vocabulary I had never heard before. It was an amazing way to learn more things, especially about the English language.  

 

 

 

 

 

Juliette, Grade 12

Belgium

It is not that I was not independent before coming to Canada but I learned a type of independence here that I do not think I would have otherwise. Another thing that I really enjoyed during my year abroad was the flexibility in schedule. Back in Belgium, our school schedule is very rigid but here you get choices on what courses you want to take or if you had like to take higher-level courses earlier. This gave me the opportunity to take options like legal studies, which I did not think I was going to enjoy as much as I did. I know when I return to Belgium, I will be seeing things differently and missing the life I created in Canada. It is not easy to leave your country to study abroad but it is also not easy to leave after you have done so.

 

 

 

 

Natsuki, Grade 11

Japan

I am glad that I came to Edmonton because I have had many good experiences. I was able to make friends and experience how nice the teachers were. I had the opportunity to take guitar class, which is not a class I can take back in Japan. I did more than just improve my English, I learned about both friendship and culture. Through this experience, I was able to gain confidence, and above all, I became interested in new things.

 

 

 

 

 

Naoma, Grade 11

Japan

Studying abroad has affected my life in more ways than one. I am more interested in Canadian life and learning new languages. I like the people, nature and my school. When I compare Japan to Canada, I cannot help but notice how much space there is here in comparison to my home. Whenever I walk around I can see the sky all around me and it is very beautiful. My English teacher has helped me a lot, from aiding me when I struggled, to assisting me in applying for the IELTS exam. I also joined the swimming club and was able to win 3 medals! I was happy that I joined the team and if I were staying another year, I would do it again! I wish I could stay here for a second year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arian, Grade 10

Iran

It is good to feel that Edmonton Public Schools' International Programs cares about us. I like that there is a google classroom so that we can talk with the advisors and ask questions. The education system here is very different from Iran, so everything is interesting to me. The teachers are accessible and responsible and they are willing to help us even after school. I feel that my English is getting better because native speakers surround me every day. Also, in Edmonton, we have students from all over the world so it is very multicultural which allows you to learn a lot about the world. Here in Canada, there are many opportunities for companies to hire you, even if you are not a native English speaker.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose, Grade 12

China

All the teachers are really nice. I do not struggle much with academics, but English is one of the things I need to improve on. I usually go to tutorials every Thursday and after school. My teacher helps me with strategies on how to improve my reading abilities. I took IB art so I could do assignments that are more individual. This allowed me to participate in an art festival where I had my art on display. It was the first time I painted on such a big canvas. The way teachers teach is different from my home country. I feel like studying here is more about independent studying. Teachers may not teach you everything, but the sources are available to you so that you can find the answer. I feel like studying abroad is a very big decision to consider. Self-management and time management are one of the most important qualities for an international student. Your parents are not with you and you have to have self-control, so take it seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara, Grade 12

Germany

It is a very interesting experience to step out of your comfort zone. You learn how to adapt to different situations and you also appreciate home a lot more. If you are away, you realize what you find important in your own country. I like that Edmonton is more authentic than in other Canadian cities. It is easy to communicate with Edmonton citizens. I feel that most people have a story behind their lives here because there are so many different cultures and it is so diverse. It is insane how everything works together in Edmonton. So many people with different experiences and beliefs and it all works out. Studying abroad has definitely changed me. I appreciate things more and I do not have a problem speaking English anymore. I speak without thinking and that is a big thing for me. I feel like I am more open to different experiences and different perspectives.   

 

 

 

 

 

Tyah, Grade 11

Iran

Canada and my home country are very different. We have freedom here – we can speak freely, wear whatever we want, and go safely outside. This is what I like. The teachers care about their students and go above and beyond to help by using different methods so everyone understands the material in class. I love my school, friends and teachers. For all of these reasons, I actually care about my studies because I know I can have a future here. I found that the multiculturalism here in Canada is good because everyone is accepting of other cultures. This experience has changed my life and especially how I see the world.

 

 

 

Peter, Grade 12

Vietnam

Edmonton is nice because it is not crowded, so the lifestyle is a lot calmer than in my city. The air quality is great and the environment is very clean. Studying in Edmonton has helped me be more open to people. Before, I did not like asking questions, but I found it is better to solve problems by asking people since people here are more open to questions, even the teachers. My teachers have helped me out a lot and they showed me how I can improve my written English.

 

 

 

 

 
Berktan, Grade 11,
 
Turkey


In general, I've been happy studying in Edmonton. I think I am able to learn a lot more effectively than in Turkey. The teachers here care about the students and their progress. I'm in IB classes, and the teachers are always willing to help me and foster different viewpoints. Edmonton's air is really clean, and there's not much pollution. The citizens here are also very friendly, and the city is a lot safer to be in compared with many other countries. As for how this program impacted me, I would say I was open to different cultures before coming to Edmonton, but here it's a lot more fitting for someone with my ideas. In terms of learning, it's not as stressful as back home. The most important thing is to learn and see yourself succeeding and developing.

 

 

 

Harry, Grade 10

China

To graduate at my high school, you need 50 volunteer hours. I am taking photography and video courses at my school, so I volunteer at the farmers market and take pictures. It's very fun! I have my own website which I upload photos to, and many students know about it. Many people can see Edmonton's scenery and sites through it. I've also made lots of friends here. They talk me how to snowboard and skate, and we're going on a snowboarding trip soon.

I like Edmonton because of the environment and atmosphere. It's very quiet here and gives you time to think about your future and life. There are a lot of teachers who understand students well at my school. It doesn't matter if you're international or Canadian, they will do their best to help you. Some teacher's doors are open until 7 PM! I really respect those teachers.