Get­ting their ed­u­ca­tion right here

Com­mend New­found­land ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

To help rec­og­nize World Peace Day, the Clarke’s Beach chap­ter of the In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship League wel­comed a pair of for­eign ex­change stu­dents cur­rently at­tend­ing school at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts. Both stu­dents of­fered some feed­back about what they’re get­ting out of at­tend­ing school in New­found­land.

CLARKE’S BEACH, NL — Two for­eign stu­dents from Spain and Ger­many were in­vited to take part in an an­nual World Peace Day cel­e­bra­tion.

Canada’s only In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship League chap­ter, based in Clarke’s Beach, got a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion from the stu­dents, Sofia Gar­cia, and Emma Viener­ius, at the event, held in the Clarke’s Beach town hall.

The Gather­ing saw the ma­jor­ity of the League’s mem­bers present for a be­lated cel­e­bra­tion of World Peace Day, which was on Sept. 21. The group joined to­gether last Wed­nes­day in cel­e­bra­tion of world­wide peace and friend­ship in the town hall, which was adorned with home­made dec­o­ra­tions, along­side posters dot­ted with pho­tos from pre­vi­ous in­ter­na­tional trips the League has taken to places like Africa and Europe.

Gar­cia and Viener­ius spoke about their homes, why they de­cided to come and live in New­found­land, and the ma­jor dif­fer­ences they see be­tween

the two coun­tries.

Ch­eryl Smith of Bay Roberts is host­ing the two girls.

“I’ve had nine dif­fer­ent stu­dents liv­ing with me over the years,” Smith ex­plained. “Each time is dif­fer­ent, but each one has been such a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. They learn so much while they’re here, but you also learn so much from them, so it’s re­ally re­ward­ing that way.”

Smith also de­scribed some

of the dif­fi­cul­ties that come with a lan­guage bar­rier, not­ing that al­though both Gar­cia and Viener­ius have a firm grasp on the Eng­lish lan­guage, Smith has used Google trans­late to com­mu­ni­cate with stu­dents in the past.

Gar­cia and Viener­ius are fans of New­found­land’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. In com­par­ing Cana­dian school struc­ture to that of their home coun­tries of Spain and Ger­many, both noted the free­dom they felt in school here as op­posed to home.

“It’s like the teach­ers re­ally care about you, and what you’re do­ing, who you are. They don’t just worry about your grades,” Gar­cia ex­plained. “Of course, they still teach us, and make sure we un­der­stand, but it doesn’t feel like they’re just there for their job, they’re there be­cause they want to be, and they want to help you.”

As­pir­ing to be an ed­u­ca­tor her­self, Gar­cia said she chose to come to Canada to ex­pe­ri­ence the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, not­ing that she felt it was one of the best.

Viener­ius, who came from Ger­many, agreed. She said one of the ma­jor dif­fer­ences she’s seen is the em­pha­sis on prac­ti­cal work, rather than the­o­ret­i­cal.

“In Ger­many, it is not like this,” she ex­plained. “We do mostly the­ory over there. It is a very dif­fer­ent sys­tem than here, and I feel a lot more free­dom to fo­cus on things that I like. When I first came here, I was like, ‘wow.’ I could pick and choose dif­fer­ent classes. That was awe­some.”

Last Wed­nes­day’s event raised $365 for the An­der­son Me­mo­rial Or­phan­age in India.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Ch­eryl Smith (left) has of­fered her home to both Sofia Gar­cia (mid­dle) and Emma Viener­ius – for­eign stu­dents look­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence New­found­land for a year. The three made pre­sen­ta­tions to the In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship League in Clarke’s Beach.

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