Life as an International Student

In their own words: Life as an International Student
Posted on 07/12/2022

Most issues of Global Connections highlight the experiences of OCENET international students studying in OCDSB schools. This issue profiles international students from Vietnam, Brazil and Austria.

Thu from Vietnam


Thu came from Vietnam to attend Gloucester High School when she was in Grade 10, and now, three years later, she is in Grade 12 and looking forward to graduation. Thu wanted to become an international student because of her sense of adventure and wish to be independent, and to experience new cultures, a new country and new people. She feels that her experiences have made her more adaptable, and overcoming inevitable challenges has enabled her to succeed as an international student. Thu also became involved in school activities and is enrolled in the International Certificate Program. Thu really loves her teachers at GHS. She plans to attend a 2 year program in Commerce at Algonquin College and then transfer to a university.

“I wanted to experience life independently, and wanted to learn about new cultures, a new country and new people.”
- Thu, International student from Vietnam

Davi from Brazil


From São Sebastião, a coastal city in Brazil, Davi attends Nepean High School and is in Grade 12. He has come here to study for one semester and chose Ottawa because it is considered a safe place and there is lots of freedom. He feels his English skills are improving a great deal because of his school classes and because he only speaks English with his host family. Before coming to Ottawa Davi researched the weather, food and the local culture, but the reality is still different than what he initially expected. Because there are fewer courses to study at one time, he finds there is less pressure on him in school here than at his Brazilian school. During his free time, Davi plays guitar, reads and exercises, and has started writing as a new hobby. He intends to go to university in Brazil to study music or arts.

“It is important to live with a host family that speaks English because I have to speak English with them to communicate, and my English improves every time we talk.”
- Davi, international student from Brazil

Amelie from Austria


Currently attending A.Y. Jackson S.S. in Grade11 for one semester, Amelie is from Vienna, the capital city of Austria. She loves the English language and appreciates the opportunities to develop her English language communications skills. Before coming to Canada, she researched interesting things to do in the Ottawa area and finds Canadian people to be very pleasant. While studying here she has developed a new interest in learning about peoples from other cultures. When she is not at school,, she spends spare time going to the gym or hanging out with her host family sisters. Her best experiences include snow-boarding at Mont Tremblant, watching an ice hockey game, and visiting a cottage in Calabogie. After graduating from high school in Austria next year, Amelie plans to attend university there or in Canada.

“I highly recommend being an international student. Even if it seems to be hard, it is totally worth it; you will have the best experiences of your life.”
- Amelie, international student from Australia

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