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Student bursary program makes a significant difference

Paige @ Castor Valley Elementary School
- "This trip has opened a completely new door to my life"

 

 Paige (right) with Chinese host

As part of an innovative cultural exchange at Castor Valley, Paige along with 10 other students and 3 teachers participated in a study tour to China in April 2018. Paige is in Grade 8 and enjoyed learning about Chinese culture during several days in both Beijing and in Chengdu. For Paige, the most interesting part of the study tour was living with a Chinese student of a similar age and her family. Paige noted the long school hours and the amount of homework required of her Chinese friend. She found her host family “open-armed and welcoming” and she was adventuresome in trying very different foods that were very spicy. Neither Paige nor her host family could communicate easily through a common language so there were some humourous interactions and lots of hand gestures and pointing. Paige had never travelled outside of Canada before and noted that the OCENET Student Bursary program made a big difference in allowing her to participate in the trip to China. When she enters high school this September, Paige is definitely going to consider enrolling in the OCDSB International Certificate Program to pursue her interest in culture and global citizenship.


Kieran @ Osgoode Township High School
- "This has been a life changing event for me."

 

 Balancing an egg on the Equator!

A Grade 11 student, Kieran along with 12 other students, 2 teacher chaperones, and a facilitator from Insight Global Education travelled to Ecuador during March Break 2018. The group visited several parts of Ecuador including the capital city, Quito, as well as a wildlife sanctuary in the Amazon basin and a rural community in the mountains. Even though Kieran has travelled internationally before, he views this study tour a “life-changing” experience. One aspect of the trip he found fascinating was staying with an Ecuadorian host family. He noted that the culture seemed to work as a sustainable community where people bartered for goods and he perceived the people were less materialistic and happier in comparison to North American society. Kieran received an OCENET Student Bursary in the amount of $1000 and emphasized that this support helped a great deal. He learned about the bursary from the school’s OCDSB International Certificate Advisor and trip leader Ms. Lafond; Kieran found the application process very straight-forward. In part because of his international travel, Kieran is considering the possibility of a semester studying abroad or a gap year during his post-secondary learning.


Bethany @ Canterbury High School
- "There is more to the world than just where I live."

 

 Bethany (foreground) works on building a new classroom

Bethany heard about a “Me to We” study tour to India from her Ancient Civilizations teacher. Bethany is a Grade 12 Student in the Dance Program at Canterbury and she has a keen interest in being globally aware. Along with 10 other Canterbury students, 2 teacher chaperones and Me to We facilitators, Bethany travelled to India during March Break 2018 to participate in a combined cultural and service education experience. The students worked half-days on building the foundations for new classrooms destroyed by monsoon floods and for the rest of the day participated in various cultural activities. One of the experiences that had the most impact on Bethany was spending a day following the daily routines of an Indian woman in a village community. The students assisted in preparing food for the family and doing a “water walk” to collect water from a well. Bethany commented that it was exhausting to carry the water and that she didn’t have much water to show for all the effort she put into collecting the daily water supply. Bethany received a $500 OCENET Bursary to assist with expenses of the study tour. She indicated that the bursary application process was easy to complete and that she received a response within a couple of weeks. Along with other fund-raising events, the bursary made a significant impact on her being able to participate. . In the future, Bethany plans to attend York University and sees herself as being involved in international development.


STUDENTS: OCDSB/OCENET International Study Abroad Bursaries for Application Forms, FAQ's, Application Deadlines, Contact Information, etc.

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