Life as an "International student"

Life as an "International student" in our school

  Miao @Gloucester High School

“I love Canada...I live with the best Homestay family I could imagine.”
- Miao, international student originally from Taiwan

A Grade 11 international student originally from Taipei, Taiwan, who grew up in northern China, Miao has attended OCDSB schools for almost 5 years. She adores her Homestay family and participates in many social activities with them, such as skating, taking art classes, and learning how to cook. One of the things that surprised her most upon first arriving in Canada was the large number of Chinese-Canadians in Ottawa. Miao loves Gloucester High School and enjoys group work projects and making presentations to her classmates. After studying in Ottawa for many years, she is a proficient, confident English speaker. Her passion is art, especially acrylic painting, and she is an accomplished artist who sells her artwork online. A large display case in the foyer of GHS (she is standing in front of some of her art in her photo) is filled with examples of her paintings. Miao is considering post-secondary studies in fashion design.


 Maria @Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School


“I know that this experience will be a memory I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

- Maria, international student from Mexico


Maria is from Mexico City and is currently in Grade 8 at Longfields Davidson Heights SS. She is studying in Ottawa to enhance her English language skills and to learn about living in another culture. After the initial challenges of arriving in Canada last fall and not knowing anybody and not feeling confident with her spoken English, Maria now has many new Canadian friends and feels very comfortable with her Homestay family and her new school. She finds the teachers at LDHSS to be very knowledgeable and friendly. She participates in school life as a member of the Better World Projects Club, and she tried out for the basketball team. One thing she didn't expect was to find at her new Canadian school was so many students from so many different cultures. Another surprise was learning that it is not always cold in Canada! On weekends she enjoys going with friends to the movies. Maria keeps in touch with her friends in Mexico and usually Skypes with family on weekends. In the future, Maria thinks that she might be interested in studying law.

  Zixiang @Gloucester High School


“...the best part about studying here is the education system itself because I have lots of choices which enable me to explore my own interests.”

- Zixiang, international student from China


From northwest China, Zixiang has attended Gloucester HS for three years. As a child, his family business put him in contact with people from many countries, and both he and his family saw the opportunity to study in Canada as a beneficial experience. Initially there were many challenges from adapting to living in Homestay to trying new foods to adjusting to a very different style of teaching. Zixiang listened to You Tube and the radio to practice his English and now is a fluent and articulate English speaker. He was most pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of classes he could take in Ontario, and has completed courses ranging from technological design to philosophy. Zixiang is enrolled in the OCDSB International Certificate Program and spent last summer in South Africa volunteering as an assistant “ranger” focused on wildlife protection. He is passionate about landscape photography and plans to continue post-secondary studies at an Ontario art college.

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