Toma T., Grade 10, Japan
What I like about learning at school in North Vancouver is being surrounded by native English speakers all the time, so I can hear the proper pronunciation of words. In my school in Japan, there were so many different teachers with different accents from the US, Australia and even the Philippines. My favourite accent was from Canada because I found it was the easiest to understand and therefore learn.
Sabina K., Grade 12, Sweden
From sea to sky, whether it was school, extracurricular activities, socializing with new Canadian and international friends, or hanging out with my homestay family, I have loved everything about my stay in North Vancouver.
I enjoyed playing on the soccer team. To play on a school sports team was a new experience for me and so much fun because sports in Sweden are offered in the community and not at the schools.
Relationships with teachers here are friendlier or not as strict. The teachers in Sweden are nice as well, but they’re very nice and funny in North Vancouver… maybe because they’re not as old!
My two favourite subjects were World History 12, especially when I learned about WWI and WWII. The facts were mostly the same, but it was very interesting learning about the wars from a Canadian perspective. I could never get that in Sweden!
Another thing I love here is the sea bus. I’m in love with the sea bus and one of my favourite things to do is to take the sea bus from Lonsdale Quay to downtown Vancouver. Especially at dusk, I can see the beautiful downtown skyline, the sun setting over the Burrard Inlet, and the lights on Lions Gate Bridge. It’s so relaxing. We don’t have sea busses in Sweden.
Junwoo, Grade 6-8, Korea
The thing I like most about North Vancouver is nature. There are lots of trees and parks… and here there are crows. The crows are HUGE. I love the crows.
In school we learned to acknowledge the ancestral lands of the Indigenous people here. We learned in Grade 6 and 7 about the history of the Indigenous cultures and then [in June of 2021], I was so sad to hear about the Kamloops Residential School and the children that were killed. In Korea, we’ve always just been Koreans and we have no other ancestors. Over the past three years I’ve attended school here, it was an experience to see people remembering and celebrating the Indigenous people on Orange Shirt Day.
I like the funny names “toonie” and “loonie,” for Canadian currency for the two dollar and one dollar coins. They are not serious names that I think usually are given to money.
When I first came here, my English was horrible, but people could usually still understand me. If they didn’t, they would try very hard to listen and not ignore me.
Nannapat L., Grade 12, Thailand
I love the fact that the school I attended offered a lot of different course choices such as guitar, choir, textiles, and marketing. I also like that the teachers here are very nice and kind and they want me to ask questions in class when I don’t understand!
On the weekends, I like going downtown. Getting there is very convenient. Traffic sometimes is bad, but not as bad as in Bangkok! I like Robson Street, one of Vancouver’s main shopping streets. There are so many food, dessert and clothing stores. Aberdeen Centre mall in Richmond is also a favourite place to go because it reminds me of home: the stores, the atmosphere, the décor—even the furniture-- remind me of home and that’s where I go if I feel a little home sick.
I like the weather here: the wind, the beautiful sunny weather, and especially the snow because in Thailand we don’t have snow. Recommendations: don’t be scared of trying new things. Be courageous and if you’re not sure, just ask! Try everything before you go home!
Le Hong AN, Grade 10, Vietnam
I have met a lot of new friends from different countries, and it is a pleasure to exchange and learn from different cultures. The teachers are very kind and funny and they teach me how to learn and work according to my individual skills. The teachers don’t just teach us how to study, but they also organize after-hours activities such as sightseeing and socializing and eating together to create teamwork.
Everyone at the school helped me a lot when I first entered the school and I also learned from that. I believe that Canada and North Vancouver was the right choice for me and I believe it will be for lots of other international students, too.
North Vancouver has a wonderful environment and climate. The streets in North Van are very clean and lined with many trees and the air is always so fresh. Transportation for international students is also very convenient and there are always buses and sky trains here. The parks and beaches in North Vancouver have always been a good choice for jogging, picnicking with friends & family, studying, and even painting on the lawn.
I also really like North Vancouver City Library: this is a good choice for me and other students to have a quiet place full of books, computers, and librarians to help us study.
Kamilla, Grade 11-12, Russia
I came from Russia to North Vancouver right before the pandemic, however it didn’t interfere with my ability to appreciate Canadian culture, develop strong communication skills and change my perspective on many controversial and challenging subjects.
I took a lot of social studies courses, which helped me to achieve a better understanding on the importance of critical thinking; I took Marketing, Economics and E-commerce, which encouraged me to choose my post-secondary education for the next two years; I took English courses including Language Strategies 11 and English 11&12, which allowed me to get acquainted with the world of short fiction, provocative novels and Shakespeare; and finally, I took Law 12 course, which helped me realize how my future career can potentially develop. I also had the opportunity to participate in VMUN conference in Downtown and take a closer look at politics and oratory.
I am extremely grateful for the chance to learn about Indigenous culture, as well as many others, because North Vancouver School District admits students from all over the world, each with their unique mentality and views.
Simon, Grade 11, Germany
The teachers here made a very big impression on me on my first day because they are so friendly. They say things like, “nice shoes!” or “nice jacket!” and “how are you today?!” It’s so weird and I’m just not used to it. You see the teachers in the hall and they say hello and give you compliments. In Earth Science 11, Mr. Bond was so excited about his own subject that we all got excited and it was fun. Every class, we each had a dinosaur or insect to keep on our desks for the period. I had a trilobite (made in Germany, just like me!)
Rugby was also so good. If anyone comes here, they should join a sport, even if it’s just to meet people. You get a bonding over a sport and friendships happen quickly. We don’t have ruby in Germany, so I didn’t know anything about the game. But people don’t make fun of you. They are all open and helpful. You can ask them anything and they help you—students and coaches. Ms. Allan gave me a pair of rugby cleats and I bought nice rugby clothes. There’s no school sports in Germany. We have PE, but most sports are in the community. Here, you meet a lot of people and it’s so fun trying something totally new—playing a new sport with new people at a new school. I’ve never touched a rugby ball before, but I hope to again one day.
Kristýna D., Grade 12, Czech Republic
I fell in love with my host family the very moment I saw them. They were supportive and helpful; we laughed all the time. They also told me many good things about the school I would be attending, so when I stepped into the building for the first time, I felt familiar with it already. At school, I met the most incredible people. My goal was to make friends here in Canada, but I managed to become close with people from all around the world. It’s not hard to start talking to international students, because they’re here for the same purpose; but even among Canadians, I have found people that I can’t imagine my life without.