In­ter­na­tional pro­gram show­ing great re­sults

Fam­i­lies in the re­gion host Brazil­ian stu­dents to learn English and ex­pe­ri­ence cul­ture


An in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram that was dis­con­tin­ued by the for­mer East­ern School Board has been re­ju­ve­nated.

The homes­tay por­tion of the New­found­land In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram (NISEP) sees stu­dents from all over the world at­tend school and live with a host fam­ily in New­found­land for five months of the school year — ei­ther Septem­ber to Jan­uary, or Fe­bru­ary to June. It gives stu­dents the chance to in­te­grate with a fam­ily and learn English in a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, while tak­ing in the cul­ture of this prov­ince and shar­ing cul­ture from their home coun­tries.

Stu­dents in the pro­gram come from Ger­many, Brazil, China, Korea and many more for­eign coun­tries.

This pro­grams does not have an ex­change com­po­nent, where other stu­dents trade places, so it does not re­quire a spe­cific num­ber of par­tic­i­pants. Trin­ity, Con­cep­tion and Pla­cen­tia Twenty-Two Level II stu­dents ar­rived late Au­gust to New­found­land from Brazil to take part in the homes­tay pro­gram in the Trin­ity, Con­cep­tion and Pla­cen­tia bay ar­eas.

They are cur­rently at­tend­ing school at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate (Bay Roberts), Bac­calieu Col­le­giate (Old Per­li­can), Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate, Cres­cent Col­le­giate (Blake­town) and Laval High (Pla­cen­tia) un­til Jan­uary.

Car­bon­ear res­i­dent Chris­tine Power is the co-or­di­na­tor for the re­gion, and has also taken in stu­dents for many years be­cause of her pas­sion for the pro­gram.

The stu­dents meet once-a-month to cel­e­brate and con­nect with each other. It also al­lowed host fam­i­lies to talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Brazil does not cel­e­brate Hal­loween, so the Oc­to­ber event con­sisted of a Hal­loween party and dance for the stu­dents, host fam­i­lies and their chil­dren.

The stu­dents dressed in cos­tumes, were sur­rounded by tra­di­tional dé­cor — in­clud­ing spi­der webs and ghoul­ish fig­urines — and snacked on Hal­loween treats. Be­com­ing part of the pro­gram Tra­di­tion­ally, stu­dents who are in the pro­gram have to pay to take part, re­sult­ing in wealth­ier fam­i­lies hav­ing an ad­van­tage for their chil­dren to take part in the pro­gram.

The stu­dents from Brazil are quite dif­fer­ent. The Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment spon­sors un­der­priv­i­leged and lower in­come stu­dents to at­tend the pro­gram in At­lantic Canada, said Power. The stu­dents are also se­lected on aca­demic per­for­mance.

“It is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for th­ese stu­dents to take part in some­thing they nor­mally wouldn’t have the op­por­tu­nity to,” Power said. “And the goal is for them to speak and un­der­stand English.”

Many of the stu­dents at the Hal­loween party spoke their na­tive lan­guage, Por­tuguese, while spend­ing time with those from Brazil, but would re­vert to English while speak­ing with host fam­i­lies. Growth of the pro­gram “It has gained pop­u­lar­ity,” Power said. “There were seven stu­dents this time last year, and there are 22 this year.”

There have been sev­eral new fam­i­lies join the pro­gram this year, and each one was ec­static when they stopped to chat with Power for a few min­utes dur­ing the party, many of them say­ing they will be do­ing it again.

“We have never lost a (host) fam­ily be­cause they did not en­joy (the pro­gram),” Power said, “And we have never sent a stu­dent home.”

Power de­scribed the stu­dents as well-man­nered and well-be­haved with a keen in­ter­est in learn­ing, while the fam­i­lies ex­claimed their want to con­tinue host­ing chil­dren.

The pro­gram is, how­ever, look­ing for sev­eral more host fam­i­lies for the Fe­bru­ary to June months in the Pla­cen­tia area for Laval, and on the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay for stu­dents that will at­tend Bac­calieu.

The NISEP web­site in­cludes de­tails on how to be­come a host fam­ily.

“Host fam­i­lies are cho­sen for their in­ter­est in in­ter­na­tional stu­dents and their will­ing­ness to in­clude stu­dents in daily fam­ily life. Not only are they will­ing to help stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence the Cana­dian cul­ture, they are in­ter­ested in learn­ing about the cul­ture of the stu­dent’s home coun­try as well.”

Fam­i­lies that may be in­ter­ested can con­tact Chris­tine Power (596-3659 or 573-1442).

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/spe­cial to The Com­pass

Twenty-two Brazil­ian stu­dents are at­tend­ing high school in the Trin­ity, Con­cep­tion and Pla­cen­tia re­gions un­til Jan­uary to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent cul­ture and learn the English lan­guage. Those stu­dents are (by school) Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate — Deover­spm Reinan, Ahedja Gal­vao, Igor Da Silva, Priscila De Bar­rros Moura, Ro­drigo De lira and Thais De Lima; Cres­cent Col­le­giate — Em­manuel Lopes, Maria De melo ilva, An­der­son Bezzerra, Daniele Lima, Ed­uarda Araujo and Laumer Silva; As­cen­sion Col­le­giate — Re­nata Fer­reira, Ariely Cari­cio, Is­abela Gomes, Jhonatas da Silva, Re­nan Da Silva and Thayna Oliveira; Laval High School — Vanessa Da Silva Souzza; and Bac­calieu Col­le­giate — Anaina De Souza, Isis Mor­eir and Yolanda Ribeiro.

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