Life as an international student

Life as an international student in Ottawa
OCENET international students

OCENET international students (l-r) Irene, Ana, Hugo and Clara enjoy attending AY Jackson SS because of the warm welcome they received from the students and staff at the school. They also really appreciate the many opportunities to participate in a wide variety of lunch time and after school extra-curricular activities, clubs and sports. Each of the students highly recommend participating in an international learning experience to learn about a different language and culture and to become more independent.

  • Irene

    In Grade 9, Irene is from Zaragoza, Spain, and wanted to come to Canada because she is interested in other cultures and in improving her English. Also, Irene had briefly visited Ottawa four years ago and really liked the city. She really enjoys being a student at AY Jackson and has made many new friends. Irene is very appreciative of her Canadian host family and has become close friends with her host sister who welcomed her and introduced her to friends, and they often bake together. While Irene has learned lots of new English expressions, she finds reading Shakespeare to be a challenge. She would encourage others to be an international student.

  • Ana

    Like Irene, Ana is also from Zaragoza and in Grade 9. Her older sister was also an international student and attended AY Jackson. At first she was a little nervous about living with a new family, but has been amazed at how her Canadian host family has become like a second family to her. She does miss some of her favourite foods from home, especially Spanish bread with olive oil. She likes all of the course options that are available to Ontario students. She really, really enjoyed Halloween. Ana feels she has become more independent and that studying abroad has been the best decision ever for her.

  • Hugo

    Hugo is on a one year scholarship and is in Grade 11. He is from a city near Madrid. Hugo figured out very early on that the way to avoid any feelings of homesickness was to get involved in school activities to make new friends. He enjoys AY Jackson because it offers a wide variety of clubs and sports both at lunchtime and after school. This experience has helped him realize how appreciative he is of his family and friends in Spain, and he is excited to be an international student because he views each day as a new experience. He is thinking of eventually pursuing a career in law.

  • Clara

    From near Dusseldorf Germany, Clara is in Grade 11 and was inspired to study abroad by family and friends who have also been international students. At first she found the many differences in the Canadian school system to be a challenge, but she has come to like many aspects of school life at AY Jackson, including the online school calendar, Google classroom, the school “spirit” that sports teams and activities help create, as well as “AY Jackson” school clothing. Clara feels this learning experience has made her a more independent and confident person.

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