Four of the international students enrolled at NSS smile as the enjoy a walk along the waterfront. From left to right: Bill

Students studying abroad

International students and their experiences in Nakusp

Moving to a new place and starting at a new school can be a challenge. What can make it even more difficult is when that school is on the other side of the world. Nakusp Secondary School (NSS) is hosting five such students as part of the school district’s international education program.

Three of the students, Bill, Oliver, and Andrew, are from China. Maria is from Spain, and Sahya is from Japan.

The program for SD 10 is slightly different than other international programs. Because the students are in such a small community, the district can personalize the program and the experience for the students, something that might not happen in a larger area.

“If you go to high school in Vancouver as an international student, they’ll put you in an ESL class, and you can’t go to a regular class,” said Oliver. “In that class, the international students might not speak good English, so your English won’t improve so fast. Here, we can go to English class with local people, native speakers, and that makes our English improve faster.”

To help the students better acclimate to their new school surroundings, the district has an English Language Learning (ELL) instructor.

“I try to venture into each of their classrooms, wherever the need seems to be the most, and assist them in their learning,” said Jesse Law, the district’s ELL instructor. “In doing so, I work closely with the classroom teacher.”

Law is only able to make it up to Nakusp on Thursdays, but keeps in contact with the instructors at NSS.

“In working with the classroom teacher closely via email, and trying to keep up with what they’re doing in their studies and in their homework, we’re able to collaboratively work toward an education program that tries to suit and fit the students best, looking for any areas of difficulty or challenge.”

Students are also assigned a buddy to show them around and help them get used to everything.

“Everybody in the school, they really accept us,” said Maria. “They want to meet you, it’s really nice.”

The international program also has a home stay program to house the students while they’re here.

Because the area has such a small population, some residents feel they might not be qualified to house international students because they themselves might not have children.

“If they have a room, and wish to learn about other cultures and help an international student learn English and the Canadian culture, they are fully qualified to be homestays,” says Ryoko Kobayashi, vice-principal at NSS. “They can contact us at the school district, or the individual schools anytime, and I have homestay information meetings.”

Kobayashi added she has one such meeting coming up on April 13, at the NSS library, and is hoping that will bring people out to learn more about it, and to sign up.

An interesting aspect to the homestay part of the program is parents sometimes come with their children.

Oliver and Andrew are brothers, and their mother is also with them here in Nakusp. They live in a separate house on the property of the homestay parents. Oliver said having their mother here has been a comfort, and has made moving to a new place easier.

For some of the students, this isn’t their first time taking part in the international program.

Last year, Bill lived in New Denver, going to Lucerne Elementary Secondary School, and living with his aunts. His family felt he needed a change, so he was enrolled at NSS for the 2015/2016 school year.

Kobayashi said having the international students at NSS has been a great influence on the student population.

“There are a lot of comments from various teachers saying how nice it is to have international students here,” she said. “They add a unique flavour to our local population.”

 

Just Posted

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

By-election date set for Nakusp village council

Voters will be turning out to choose a replacement for Janis Neufeld

NSS Track team members headed to provincials

Nakusp Secondary School students do well at track meet

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Most Read