Lea from Berlin:
It was the best time of my life! I have made many new friends and have improved my English. Of course I have also become much more independent, as I had to make many decidions myself. All in all it was just great. Thanks so much for everything!
Mia from Wolfsburg:
Bennet from Hamburg:
If I had to give one advice to future international students I would say that it is important to look for hobbies right at the beginning. I have met many nice Canadians doing Tae kwon do. I also enjoyed our excursions to Victoria and Whistler. and I will stay in contact with my japanese host brother. We want to visit each other in the future.
I am glad that everything worked out well with my courses and wanted to thank Kanadaplus for helping me to have a great time in Nanaimo.
Jesse from Berlin:
I am really happy I did this year in Canada. At first I did not really want to do it because of my friends in Germany, but now I am so happy I did it. It is so different herre and the whole year was so much fun. I got so much experience and I can speak Englisch now. And getting to know all the people here and having so many new friends is great. I really liked the outdoor program and the club was also fun. And going skiing in the winter was amazing. I have never skied that much in one year. I like my host family too. They are always nice, helping me and giving me rides. To new students I would say: don’t be afraid to do the year, just do it because it’s way better than you think it would be before. Once you do it you don’t even want to go back. And you gain so much self-confidence!
Zino from Hannover:
It was great because I met a lot of other people, Canadians and students from all over the world. I have friends in many places now and that’s really good. My host family was really nice too. Through them I got to know how Canadians live. The biggest difference is that people here are more open to other strangers than in Germany. The teachers also are more interested in each student. They are not so distant. Everyone is so nice here!
Sebastian from Berlin:
The most memorable time for me here was Christmas. It’s totally different as it is on the 25th of December. I liked it because you have the whole day ahead of you still. I also liked meeting all my new friends and I have friends now in many countries. I hope to visit them one day in the future… Teachers here are different than in Germany. Here they are more friendly and open. It’s a whole new world at school and teachers take an interest in you. My host family was so nice. They kind of have the same interests I have: photography and sports. They made me feel completely at home already when I met them at the airport. I really feel like this is my home. I think I have become much more independent here. This year has made me want to do work and travel after school.
Lena from Erfurt:
It was a great and exciting year! I learnt a lot and have become much more independent. And I have made many new friends and have now got a second home. It was great to have Kanadaplus to help me when I had issues. If I came for one semester only I would have chosen the second semester because the weather is better and I could do more outdoors. The whole year was good but the second half was even more fun. On the whole I had more time here and school was less stressful. I specifically enjoyed foods and ceramics. It is freat to have such a great choice of electives and the opportunity to try new things. Most teachers are really nice. English class was very interesting and at my school, Carson Graham, we also learnt a lot about the native peoples. They showed us how to make jewellery and a camp fire and how to live in harmony with nature, how to use herbs. I have used my free time to do a lot of sports and have also done many activities with my host family. I also went shopping a lot and met friends. My advice to new international students would be that initially there are always things to get used to and that it is important to be patient. And Kanadaplus is always there should it be too difficult to resolve problems alone. The whole experience is definitely worth it!
Tom from Berlin:
Getting out of your comfort zone is really important to succeed. You have to risk something …. People are super nice here and the weather is awesome in Victoria. There is a lot to do. The ocean is close by and you can go swimming every day. It’s really beautiful here!
Mette from north of Lübeck:
It was worth really coming here because it’s like a new life, and you get a lot of new friends. And I think I changed, I have more self-confidence and I built a new life here and I realise I won’t have this life again in Germany. That’s why I am a bit sad. I am looking forward to see my family but I would like to come back to school here after the summer! I also liked that everything is so close, the town, the mountains, the ocean. I like the school because everyone is so nice. Everybody knows everybody. And I really like my host family and they picked me up when I needed them. I played with my younger siblings here, and they helped me bake things and I showed them ways to bake things better. I had a really, really nice host family.
Clemens from Jena:
I came to Canada to learn English but much more important is the life experience I gained. You think that you are already quite independent before, but when you get here you realise that you are still relying on your parents a lot and that now you have to stand on your own two feet more, without being able to ask your parents all the time. Apart from becoming more independent, I realised that here, people do things differently and it is important to wait and see how things are done here and not assume too much. In order to adapt to this life style, you have to observe and understand how people communicate here. What’s normal at home is not necessarily normal here at all. It was so worth learning to cope on my own and I can only recommend this to others!
Roman from Kassel:
One decision I was not really sure about was the decision of staying with another homestay student at the same house, but yes it was the best decision of the whole exchange! I was lucky and he was really nice but I tell you the real advantages now: You have someone for whom the situation being away from home is the same and for two it’s always easier. You also always have someone to do something with because particularly in the beginning it is hard to make friends.
The school is also important because it is from 8:30 am until 3:10 pm, 5 days a week. I went to Oak Bay … a great school because the teachers are really nice and there are lots of different subjects. I took the standard classes plus some computer classes because I am interested in it and it was worth it. Concerning sport activities in school, you have to be there for specific times of the year….I played in their Oak Bay tennis team because the season started February so I was lucky. Playing at a school is really cool because you meet new people and you really have to meet a lot because it is hard to make friends if they know that you will leave in 4 months again.
Kanadaplus really helped out a lot because my room I stayed in was not cleaned in the beginning but with help of Saskia Volkmann (who came over to Victoria to see how things were working out for me) it got cleaned really fast. I also received a call every 3 weeks from her to check if everything is alright so I really had the feeling that they care about their students and want to make the stay in a different country pleasant.
Renata aus Leipzig:
Canada was a great experience! When I came here everything was different and new. The first few months were the most exciting ones. After a while I felt the daily routine, but it wasn’t bad at all. I could see my new friends on a daily basis. I loved going to school and learn something about Canada’s history or visiting the drama class. Especially because I never had the change to have this type of classes.In my second semester I also had the chance to go to other classes like Foods, English or Psychology. I learned about the human brain and how it is working and why. In foods we went once to the beach to cook in traditional ways. This was one of my best classes in Canada. After the first semester some students left Canada and went back home and others came and I was among the „old international Students“. I showed the new students how the school is working or where the classes are. We had really great weather after Spring break. During the winter time it was of course rainy and cold, but I had the mountain to go skiing or snowshoeing. In the second semester the weather was warm and we could jump in the ocean. After school when I didn’t hang out with my friends or go to one of the school clubs, I had time with my host family. We often played games and went on trips or cooked together. I had the chance to see a lot of Vancouver Island. I am very thankful. Canada was definitely one of the best years of my life.
Kristian aus Gifhorn:
Different of better? – Half a year atthe West Coast of Canada
(summary from the Kristian’s German essay)
About one and a half years ago I decided to spend one school year in Canada and quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to be in Vancouver….
If you are looking for friendly people Vancouver is the right place to go. My parents always tell the story of their own experience. They say it is impossible to get lost as there are always many Canadiens ready to help you find the way…..
After a long flight I could finally get to know my host family. I had only exchanged a few emails with them before I left. My family turned out to be great and my time with them was not only pleasant but also exciting… There are three kids (15, 17, 22) and the parents – the mother originally from Russia, and the father originally from Slovakia – all of them musical and interested in games and movies. It could not have been a better fit. Even the food was good, especially the pan cakes.
I think school in Canada is better than at home simply because it is much more fun and the things we had to learn are much more important… Courses like Music Composition, Film & Television and Drama are much more useful to me than mathematics…. And these are only a few of the electives I could have chosen at my school in Vancouver. Teachers seemed to be calmer and friendlier than at home. They are more helpful and more accessible….
To me Vancouver is the second most beautiful city in the world – straight after Hamburg. It is a city with a skyline… and for those who like nature it does not take long by bus to experience it. In fact, it is very much part of the experience here. The city also has a lot to offer culturally: beautiful architecture, the main library, many interesting shops and the athmosphere of a big city. There also is a big city park with an aquarium. Vancovuer is a big city but it is not too loud. not too big. And there is ocean everywhere and that makes everything more beautiful….
I think it is enough to conclude that my time in Vancouver was simply remarkable. Since I have been back I have been asked many times who I liked it…. Everyone … really everyone should experience a year abroad….
I would not want to miss that experience for anything in the world… and this was definitely not my last visit to Vancouver!
Henrike from Hamburg:
In Canada, British-Columbia, I have had experiences which are difficult to describe to people who have not experienced the same. I will never forget this time in Canada and will benefit from my experiences for a long time still. To live life in a foreign country, in a different country and with a different language, a new family, a new school and new friends is very special. I can recommend it to all students my age. I took part in a sightseeing tour in Vancouver, went camping on the beach, visited Whistler and shared many more great experiences. The special support from Kanadaplus was very helpful. It was great to The fact that I met the person who was going to visit me in Victoria during my stay made this whole adventure possibel. Thank you to my host family who could not have been any better. Thanks also to my new friends and to all who made this memorable time possible for me.
Christophe from Hamburg:
I spent five months in Victoria on Vancovuer Island. had a great time and am still in contact with many of my friends there. When I first entered my home and saw my host family, I knew immediately that I was doing to have an unforgettable time.The familiy immediately made a very good impression on me. I was welcomed with city tour and a great dinner. The family took me on outings, especially in the beginning, and showed me around. I could easily adapt to the family and was able to make friends quickly. The support by Saskia from Kanadaplus made me feel good, as I always had someone to contact. She called every week to find out how I was doing. She came over several times to visit me in the family and wrote detailed accounts to my parents. It was also easy to get used to the new school and the flexible choice of subjects. I felt integrated and was welcomed by the Canadian students. There were also many extra-curricular activities like sports and other clubs. We also went to the town center after school and on weekends to meet friends. There was always something to do and my English improved a great deal. This experience has enabled me to meet many new people and develop personally. When my stay came to an end, everything went so fast that I hardly had time to say good bye to ma friends. To sum up my time in Victoria I can only say that it was the right decision to go there and that it will stay unforgettable.