OCENET Rebounds

OCENET rebounds following the worst of the pandemic
Posted on 01/18/2023

Red Arrow Students participating in the OCDSB’s Aix-en Provence exchange enjoying their experiences in the Ottawa area at the Museum of History with the iconic view of Parliament Hill in the background across the Ottawa River.

Following the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, OCENET is pleased to see the return of in-person student groups and teacher training programs.

Ottawa-Provence student exchange back on track

Since 2018-2019, with the exception of the pandemic hiatus, OCDSB secondary schools and partner schools from the Provence and Nice region in southern France have participated in an international student exchange program. This exchange program is facilitated by OCENET International Education Coordinator, Sean Oussoren.

The program has grown from 15 local participants in its initial stages to 40 students now in the exchange program representing 13 OCDSB secondary schools. These students and their families hosted French students for 5 weeks this Fall and the Canadian students will be travelling to the Provence area from March 25 – April 29 for the reciprocal part of the exchange.

While in Canada the French students saw many aspects of life in Ottawa as well as experiencing Canadian culture by living with a local family and attending an OCDSB school. They saw a Senators hockey game and enjoyed 5-pin bowling as well as trips to visit Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, and Montreal.

Students on the Aix Provence exchange received new t-shirts at South Carleton HS

On a beautiful day in late October, students on the exchange learned new skills including cooking hot dogs over a fire and making S’mores at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre

There are many benefits of this type of international student exchange. The students are learning to apply their language skills with much more confidence in real world settings as well as learning to problem-solve and experience a new culture over a prolonged period. Along with all of these attributes of the exchange, the students and their families develop intercultural connections that endure for many years.

Teacher training returns to in-person educator visits

The first of two groups of 45 teachers from Gallicia, Spain, arrived in October and are shown here taking a short rest to pose on the steps of the East Block on Parliament Hill following a walking tour of the downtown area. These teachers are assigned to observe OCDSB teachers and their classes to study Canadian teaching practices with a particular focus on ways to enhance their English language teaching with their students in Spain. The second group of Gallician teachers arrived in November. OCENET is pleased to see the return of teacher training groups.
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