November 13, 2015

In September, LDSS welcomed11 international students into our building and I am dedicating this Principal’s Corner to sharing some of their experiences they have had while here in Perth County. Nine of the international students are from Brazil, one is from Spain, and we have one student from Japan. Our students are living with host families in places such as Listowel, Trowbridge, Atwood, and Gorrie.

Most of the students hope to improve their English skills. When asked why he came to Canada, Diego Villarejo from Spain replied, “Because I wanted to learn English, make new friends and visit new places.” Andreia Silva Gomes from Brazil elaborated and explained the program they are involved with, “I came to Canada because I was selected by a Brazilian project that sends students to other English speaking countries to learn English and know the culture of the country.”

The Avon Maitland District School Board has arranged trips to Toronto and Niagara Falls for international students across the board and according to Izadora Da Silva from Brazil, “Niagara Falls was awesome!” Gildean Araujo from Brazil enjoyed a trip to Ottawa, “My host family took me to Ottawa. It was awesome because I went to the Parliament building, the governor’s house, police memorial, etc.” Ryo Sudo from Japan has enjoyed meeting new people and his trip to Blue Mountain. He also liked “giving the children many snacks at Hallowee’en.”

Food has another new experience for these students. So far pasta seems to be a favourite for the Brazilian students. Cecilia Luna loves macaroni and cheese; Isaac Braga is a fan of pork with pasta and cheese; Monic De Souza Silva savours spaghetti, and Andreia Gomes feels lasagna is the best food Canada has to offer. However, Ryo Sudo (Japan) appreciates our Canadian poutine, but thinks our sweets are way too sweet!

Life at LDSS is also different for these students. The students have participated in many social activities, extra-curricular activities, and of course academics. The best thing for Monic De Souza Silva (Brazil) so far was “the dance; it was very cool!” Joyce Lima, Cecila Luna, and Izadora Da Silva (all from Brazil) enjoyed our version of The Amazing Race. Paulo Dos Santos Cruz, from Brazil thinks playing soccer is the great and Isaac Braga (Brazil) thinks futsal is the best thing LDSS has to offer. Paulo Dos Santos Cruz and Ryo Sudo have also joined the LDSS choir. Andreia Gomes and Gildean Araujo (Brazil) are both experiencing success in our drama program.

According to the students, school in Ontario differs greatly from their schools at home. “I spend all day at school in Brazil. I have nine classes everyday and 18 classes annually,” stated Joyce Lima. Gildean Araujo explained, “Ontario’s school has good classroom stuff like technology (iPads, smartboards, etc.). But in Brazil we study hard; we have to study all the subjects. My classes start at 7:30am and finish at 5:00pm.” Some students were also surprised by how big LDSS is and it is their first time using lockers.

All of the international students recommend that students travel to foreign countries, “because it is a very good experience,” exclaims Marianne Nascimento (Brazil). The students agree that it is important to learn about new cultures. According to Paulo Dos Santos Cruz (Brazil), “It is good to know new cultures and meet new people.” The students are grateful to be here in Canada because “you learn more languages, see new places, meet new people” said Diego Villarejo (Spain). Our staff and students are delighted to share the LDSS experience with these international students.

Back row L-R: Gildean Araujo, Izadora Da Silva, Andreia Gomes, Isaac Braga, Cecilia Luna, and Diego Villarejo
Front row L-R : Ryo Sudo, Paulo Dos Santos Cruz, Monic De Souza Silva, Joyce Lima, Marianne Nascimento