Life as an "International student" in our school

Life as an "International student" in our school

  Jennifer (Chaeeun) @Glashan Public School

“Ottawa is quiet and peaceful, and the people are really friendly. I especially like that you can walk out your door and you are in ‘nature’.”
- Jennifer, international student from South Korea

An international student from South Korea who has attended Glashan Public School for the past two years, Jennifer loves being in Grade 8 in her Canadian school. She was excited to come to study in Ottawa and finds learning here ‘fun’ while appreciating the chance to improve her English. One of the initial challenges was making friends with students from Ottawa who had grown up together from kindergarten, but with her outgoing personality, she soon made Canadian friends and felt welcome and very comfortable at her new school. She describes her Grade 8 class and her homeroom teacher as being “great.” Jennifer is very involved in school life at Glashan, and joined the dance club, the volleyball team and participated in a multicultural fashion show. She misses her family in South Korea and regularly stays in contact with her old friends. Jennifer looks forward to continuing her education in Ottawa in Grade 9.


 Maria @A.Y. Jackson Secondary School


“I knew things would be very different...the key is to be open to new experiences.”
- Maria, international student from Spain


Maria is from the city of Zaragoza in northeastern Spain. She arrived in Canada in time to start the second semester in Grade 9 at A.Y. Jackson in Kanata. Her subjects this semester included English, science, math and gym, and she really liked just having four courses to focus upon as in Spain she would have had 11 subjects throughout the whole school year. Maria saw the opportunity to come to Canada as a great way for her to improve her English speaking skills. While she was anxious at first about being away from family and friends, Maria feels that she is a much more independent and confident person as a result of studying in Ottawa. She found the staff and students at A.Y. Jackson to be friendly and helpful with making the adjustment to life in Canada. She really liked the Canadian winter and took advantage of the opportunity to try a variety of winter sports. Some of her most memorable experiences included trips to Toronto and Montreal. Maria highly recommends the international student experience!

  Nana @Bell High School


“ parents and I chose Ottawa because there are not as many international students here as there are in Toronto or Vancouver.”
- Nana, international student from Japan


From the coastal city of Nagoya in Japan, Nana enjoys being an international student at Bell High School. She especially appreciates the opportunities available at Bell High school to pursue her keen interest in the arts. Initially she wanted to learn English to assist with becoming a radio DJ in Japan, but her experience in Ottawa has led her to consider exploring a career in set design. Nana is appreciative that she has made friends from around the world. She has become close friends with Canadian students and enjoys the company of her Ottawa host family. As an international student, Nana knows that she has, in her words: “a bigger view of the world.” While improving her English has been a challenge, she feels she has made significant improvements with her English language skills. She enjoys winter in Canada and likes snowboarding and skating. Her advice to other international students is to take every opportunity to connect with Canadians.

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