School District 71 hosts exchange students

School District 71 will host two groups of international exchange students over the next few months.

VISITING JAPANESE STUDENTS are in the Comox Valley until March 18.

School District 71 will host two groups of international exchange students over the next few months.

Six students from Vanier’s sister school in Japan, Koza-Kushimoto High School, are in the Comox Valley until March 18. An additional 14 students from Chang Mai, Thailand will arrive March 16 for two months.

These students will participate in regular classes as well as ESL/cultural classes. They will partake in a variety of world-class activities that the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island has to offer, including winter sports at Mount Washington, fossil hunting, and kayaking, as well as visits to Hornby Island and Victoria.

Volunteer students from each school will act as school guides to help the visiting students navigate the schools and connect to a larger social network. The Koza group will be based out of G.P. Vanier High School, while the Thai group will be distributed among Mark. R. Isfeld Secondary School, G.P. Vanier High School, and Lake Trail Middle School.

The International Student Program has launched several successful short-term group exchanges in addition to the more traditional medium-length, full year, multi-year student exchanges and summer programs that are offered. There are 135 full-time international students representing 22 countries from around the world studying in School District 71.

Vice-principal Brian McAskill strongly supports the international program.

“The G.P. Vanier students, staff and administration are extremely excited to host a group of students from our sister school, Koza, in Japan. In today’s global society it is vitally important to expose our students to aspects of the various cultures around the world.”

Short-term group exchanges offer a condensed glimpse of our school system, intensive experience- based ESL learning, “best of” sights and activities package as well as an opportunity to make new social connections and share culture.

James Spruit, an international student program teacher, notes benefits to everyone involved, including host families and school guides.

“Students make remarkable strides in their English and confidence, but the real benefits are the long-term international friendships that result.”

The International Student Program has worked hard to build relationships with schools in several countries, including the Kasiga School in India. Two years ago, Isfeld students were able to visit students and teachers from Dehradun, India with whom they had formed relationships while the Indian students were studying in the Comox Valley.

“Two years ago we were very fortunate to host teachers and students from Kasogi School in Dehradun, northern India,” says Gerald Fussell, vice-principal of Mark R. Isfeld. “With the leadership of our International Student Program and Isfeld teachers Jodie Zuccato, Leah Baron, and Jon Bos, our students and families had an incredibly positive and richly rewarding experience.

“This year, we have a very vibrant and friendly group coming from Thailand and we are very excited to have them in our school district.”

If you are interested being a host family for an international students in the future for a short, medium, or long-term exchange contact the International Student Program office at 250-703-2904 or visit www.studyinbritishcolumbia.com for more information.

— School District 71

Just Posted

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Comox Valley teen with autism a spectacular guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Seventh annual Campagnolo Lecture coming to Courtenay

Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Most Read