The Nova Scotia International Student Program
The Nova Scotia International
Halifax Regional School Board
V O L U ME
We’re on the Web
I S S UE
J U NE
A Semester to Celebrate!
Hello Students, Families,
School and Program Staff
and other supporters of
Despite what you may think
after all the rain we have had
this spring, summer is indeed
coming very close. This
means that unfortunately the
conclusion of a wonderful
experience with our international students is nearing. We
have about 4 weeks before
they will board a plane to
return home. I am sure that
produces many bittersweet
feelings mixed with excitement and sadness.
This semester has seen tremendous growth in our program. We have a second semester increase of 24 more
students than last year; for a
total of 152 students in the
long term program from
countries all over the world,
including Kenya and France.
In addition we also have 27
elementary students from
China and 10 students from
Colombia in our short term
I hope you will enjoy reading
about the many activities and
accomplishments of our students this semester. Some
participated in ski trips or the
overnight camp in Bayside
during the month of February. Others went on trips to
Quebec City, Montreal and
Students also participated in
bowling parties, cooking
lessons and sleigh rides at
Hatfield farms. T hey
watched a hockey game and
atte nd ed t he mu s ical
Westside Story. There is even
more to come this month.
On May 30 we will have our
year-end BBQ with an
Awards Ceremony to recognize the successes of students
in our program. On June 11
we will celebrate our semester with the annual NSISP
Year End Event in Truro, NS
with our first ever Nova Scotia Idol! Our board has three
groups of students entering
this competition; congratulations to all! We are very
proud of you!
all the best. We hope to hear
from you with news of how
you are doing in the next
stage of your life.
On behalf of the Halifax
Regional School Board, I
would like to extend a special thank you to our host
families for their support and
commitment to our program.
Many thanks as well to our
staff and everyone involved
for their support and commitment to our students. I
wish all students a wonderful
final few weeks in Nova
Scotia and a safe return
home in June. Have a wonderful and relaxing summer
Halifax Regional School Board
Congratulations as well to
our graduates. It is very rewarding to see international
students walk across the
stage and receive their NS
high school diploma. We are
grateful for their confidence
in the quality of our education system. We wish them
In Early February HRSB was excited to welcome our second semester
students. Excited host parents and program staff anxiously waited to greet
students and get the semester started.
New Student Orientation
HRSB welcomed a record setting group of 50+ new students second semester. Orientation for students arriving to our province was held on February 6th and 7th and began
with a program orientation at the Holiday Inn in Dartmouth. Students stayed overnight
and got up early the next morning for a ski day at Martock. For many, it was their first
time on skis. Others tried snowboarding for the first time. A few hung back at the lodge a
little nervous of the chair lift. Most whizzed down the ski hill like they had skied every
day of their lives. It is amazing how quickly a group of 50 can create friendships. It was
like the group had been together for a semester already. It was the beginning of a great
Halifax was proud to host the 2011
Canada Winter Games this year from
February 11 to 27. The city was filled
with fun activities, spectacular athletes
and magic in the air. Students enjoyed a
two week break from school . This gave
many students the opportunity to volunteer at the Canada Games Center and to
attend some of the great sports events
Winter at Bayside Camp...
Four different events
were organized and
chaperoned by coordinators during the two week
February break for students to enjoy during
time off from classes.
Once again we enjoyed
taking the students to
Bayside Youth Camp but
this time with snow related activities.
The students traveled by
School Bus to Sambro
and stayed overnight in
the beautiful cottages.
The students enjoyed
many Games, a dance,
getting toasty around the
campfire, playing table
tennis and hanging out
with friends. They especially loved sliding down
the hill with the tubes!
Students were going so
fast and didn’t mind the
cold weather at all. They
also tried playing broomball on the ice and a Survival game where we
learned many interesting
things. It was great time for
P A G E
School to School Exchange with Italy
23 Canadian students from Sir John A
Macdonald and Dartmouth High School set
off to Cles during February Break where
they enjoyed a two week stay in the
beautiful region of Northern Italy. Students
were reunited with friends they had hosted
in September and experienced life as an
Italian student; living in a homestay, going
to school and enjoying weekends with new
friends. Day trips took them to see the
sights in Milan, Venice, Verona and
Bolzano. This was more than a school
exchange; it was an exchange of culture and
More February Fun...
Cosmic Bowling @ Fairlanes
Cooking @ The Superstore
Winter Break Trip to Quebec City
Cultural Trip to Montreal/Ottawa
On March 13th, 50 international students and 5 chaperones were excited to participate
in a cultural trip to Montreal/
Ottawa. Some students knew
each other and some were there
to meet new friends. It did not
take long before everyone knew
each other. The excitement
level was high anticipating the
“I am only one, but I
am one. I cannot do
everything, but I can
~Edward Everett Hale
We were up at 6:30am each day
to start adventures, filled with
stories, laughs, camera flashes,
yawns and little sleep. The first
stop was Ottawa. Daily breakfast was served at the circling
restaurant at The Marriott Hotel; where the group enjoyed a
spectacular view of the city 28
floors above. Students enjoyed
a walking tour of Ottawa to see
the Currency museum, the Parliament Buildings, the Prime
Minister’s house and shopping
at The Rideau Center. The
group also visited sites like
the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Canadian Postal
Museum, the Canadian Mint
and enjoyed a fun night of
laser tag. One of the biggest
highlights was attending an
NHL game; Ottawa Senators
vs Pittsburgh Penguins. We
ended the hockey evening
celebrating a birthday with
mini cupcakes for our lead
chaperone Patricia Nicholson.
Next was a bus ride to Montreal. Students were amazed
to see Notre Dame Basilica,
the Botanical Gardens and the
Olympic Stadium. On Saint
Patrick’s Day, chaperones
dressed up in green shirts and
students in green hats. The visit
to the Maple Sugar Shack was
unforgettable. We took a wagon ride, learned the history of
maple syrup, ate a delicious
meal of maple bread, maple
beans, maple bacon, maple
ham, and maple eggs. Students
learned how to use wooden
spoons and danced the dose
The morning of departure everyone was sad that the trip was
ending. The five days flew by.
Students met new friends, saw
new places and experienced
new things. The trip was over,
but what remains is great memories. Pictures, emails and new
facebook friends will always be
the reminder of the fun we all
Coming Together for Japan
On March 11th, we awoke
to hear news that would
shock the world; an 8.9
Earthquake and tsunami hit
the Eastern Coast of Japan. It
killed and injured thousands
and left many people homeless. It was mind boggling
for Canadians, so how would
our Japanese students feel?
Did they have family there?
Was everyone safe? What
about previous students?
NSISP spent the weekend
ensuring our Japanese students were ok and that they
were able to get in touch
with family members back
home. Schools broke the
news to many of our Japanese
students. Students were in
shock. Most of us felt helpless
and hopeless. We didn’t know
what to do or how to help. We
only knew we had to support
our Japanese friends. Counseling was set up for students.
That following Thursday, we
held a meeting with our Japanese students to show support
and give them an arena to
express their feelings. Students expressed a passion to
raise money to help their
home country. We were all
anxious to help. NSISP helped
students put together a raffle
and asked for donations from
our host families. We received
so many items that we were
able to put together 5 great
prizes. Students raised a total
of $1071.00. They were
overjoyed to donate their
earnings to the Red Cross.
The great thing is that this
has not stopped. Many
schools and families are still
holding individual fundraisers in their communities.
This tragedy has brought us
closer together and helped us
to realize just how precious
Hockey Night in Halifax
On March 18th, over
100 enthusiastic internat i o nal
st u de nt s
cheered on the Halifax
Team at the Halifax Metro Center.
The Mooseheads played the Bathurst Titans from New Brunswick.
Despite the fantastic crowd support,
the popular Halifax team lost 4-2;
but even the loss couldn’t stop the
“Hockey is as
Canadian as the
Did you know?
in the early 1800s
in Windsor, Nova Scotia
My Canadian Experience
As my exchange program
comes to an end, I can really
reflect on how much of an incredible time I have had. Of
course there have been some
particularly rough experiences,
but I suppose it is just part of
the package. However, these
rough experiences are definitely
outnumbered by the amazing
ones. During my 9 months here,
I had the chance to discover a
new country, different customs
and many wonderful people.
Before my trip, I thought that I
would only need a couple of
months to become bilingual and
to be completely integrated with
my family and my school. I was
wrong. I’m learning ways to
improve my English every day.
How do I say
Hello in ...
Because I have now overcome
the obstacles of the beginning
difficulties to find the right
words), I learn daily how to
engage in a conversation.
I had the chance to be in a
friendly and generous host family. From the start, I wasn’t
afraid to express myself and
speak in their presence. They
quickly took the role of a real
second family. Thanks to them,
it was easy to be confident in
my poor English and also very
easy to be me. It is this confidence that allowed me to meet
and hang out with other people
and I’m proud to count on them
today as my closest friends.
German... Guten Tag
By Johanne Rasir (Germany)
I will always remember my experience in Canada as an incredible
year. I think that becoming an
exchange student is an exciting
way to enhance a life in another
exciting way to
life in another
Korean... 안녕[An nyoung ]
Chinese... 你好 [nǐ hǎo]
Student is an
Thai... Sawadeecaap [สวัสดี ]
It was an amazing opportunity to
participate with 10 other NSISP
Coordinator’s from around the
province in the April Homestay
Tour to Mexico. For 11 days I
stayed with host families and visited past students in Merida, Campeche and Cancun. The purpose
of this tour is so Homestay Coordinators can experience what it's
like for our students when they
come to Nova Scotia.
My host families were incredible
and extremely hospitable. I will
never forget them! I learned so
much about their culture. More
importantly, I learned how easily
a miscommunication can happen.
I know that sometimes families
and students can get frustrated
when they don’t understand. It
takes time, patience and constant
communication to build a successful relationship. Every student
and every family is different. We
need to embrace the differences
and try to learn from each other.
I was fortunate because I love trying new food and I have no allergies. However, I can see how that
can be difficult when you arrive to
a new country. The food was very
different but so delicious.
The weather was also different. It
was 40 degrees every day; sometimes hotter. Even many of the
Mexican people found the temperature too hot. Personally, I loved
it! Our host families were worried
that we would get a sunburn. If we
got a little colour they would offer
some sort of remedy and they constantly remind us to wear a hat and
bring water with us. It's basically
the same way we give advice to
students in Canada; however we
are encouraging them to dress
for the cold; not the heat.
Living with locals is honestly the
best experience one could have. I
tried the local foods, visited several schools, went to an orphanage, shopped in the market, tried
to communicate things with my
very limited Spanish and learned
a few customs like how to greet
I loved the overall experience
and I now have a new appreciation for what our students go
through when they come here. It
was an opportunity of a lifetime
and I encourage any host families who have an opportunity to
visit students in their home
countries to do it!
in HRSB this semester
Brazil, Belgium, Czech
France, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Spain, Slovakia,
Luisa Wahnschaffe (Germany) and
Mr. Walker, Principal of Halifax
West High School at Academic
Recognition Evening. Luisa was on
the honor role this semester with an
average of over 80% Luisa says
that this was the first time she was
honoured for school results and
was so proud to attend and be recognized on this special evening.
“ When you’re a Jet, You’re a Jet all the way…”
Magic at Neptune Theatre
It was a magical night at Neptune Theater on April 27th for
the 125 students who went to see “Westside Story” It was a
tale of teenage love, culture, acceptance and understanding.
Much of the international group of students in attendance
included our Spanish speaking friends. You would hear giggles roar through the audience when the actors on stage
would say “Hola” or “Como Estas” in poor Spanish accents.
The dancing and singing was great and everyone really enjoyed the live theatre.
HRSB is always
happy to welcome
Miriam Osorno with Melina and
Diana chaperone teachers
Study Union (Medellin, Colombia)
from around the
St. Andrews School (Osaka Japan)
Intercultural (Florianopolis, Brazil)
Short Term Program
This spring HRSB welcomed 27 Grade 5 students from Suzhou, China
for 3 months. They were
hosted at Portland Estates
Elementary and Colby
In early April, HRSB welcomed 10 students in grades 5-8 from Medellin,
Colombia. Students came from two schools in Colombia; San Luis Gonzaga
School stayed for 6 weeks and Horizontes School stayed for 8 weeks. They
were hosted by Tantallon Elementary, Five Bridges Junior High School and
East Saint Margaret’s Elementary.
Get Involved, Get Active!
Did you know that many of our International Students are actively participating in our communities?
We have students who have joined musical theatre, dance, sports teams, school clubs, fundraising, and volunteered at public events.
NSISP encourages all students to get involved. This is important for a number of reasons: students get to practice English in a nonschool setting, busy students are happy students, and they are interacting with Canadians and experiencing our culture.
Gianluca Pozzatti of Italy
(left) is shown winning the
Aquathlon at 14 Wing
Greenwood. He excelled at
the 750m swim followed
immediately by a 5km run.
Gianluca came first with a
time of 29:19; winning by
over 4 minutes from the
Ryugo Tanaka of Japan (above) was a valuable athlete
on the Lockview High 2011 Championship Rugby Team
is proud of Elisabeth
Fischer of Germany (pictured above)
for being active in a variety of extra
curricular activities. Elisabeth
volunteered at the Canada Winter
Games, played on the Halifax West
Ice Hockey team, and joined her
school Cross-Country and Basketball
Finding Friends at Neptune Theatre...
One of the main things I really
planned on doing during the time
of my year abroad was starring in a
Musical Theatre production but
when I found out that my school
wouldn’t do one I already gave my
hopes up that this would ever happen.
In December however, my school
Drama Teacher told me that the
Neptune Theatre in Halifax is offering different acting classes all
throughout the year and also Musical classes. When I heard that I
went online and I found out that
they were offering Musical classes
for students aged 13-18 starting in
March. After I checked with my
host family I applied.
Because my classes started at
10.30am I had to get up really early. I didn’t mind at all because
was far too excited. In my class
there were eight girls and from the
very beginning we had a lot of
fun together and we were all a
talented bunch of girls. Our
teachers really encouraged us and
by the end of the first day I was
totally sure that I did exactly the
right thing by signing up.
Over the following weeks we
practiced dancing, singing and
acting for the songs “You can’t
stop the beat” from the musical
“Hairspray” as well as the song
“A new world” from the musical
“Songs for a new world” so that
we could perform them in a
showcase in April. During those
weeks us girls grew together really closely and we are still hanging out even though my classes
I’m really happy that I took the
step to apply for an activity because I could meet completely
new, amazing people who share
the same passion as I do and I’m pretty sure that
those classes have been one of the best experiences I
have had during the my time here and I have found
seven of the best friends I could have ever imagined.
Jennifer Kuniewicz (Germany)
Prince Andrew High School presented a delightful
performance of “Grease” in March.
Congratulations to Antonio Herrero (Mexico)
who played the role of Sonny exceptionally well.
And also a big hand to
Roman Mac-Gregor (Mexico)
and Pauline Saive (Belgium)
who sang and danced in the chorus.
“You Can Make a Difference!”
Sir John A Macdonald High School students, Yosuke and Satoshi
from Japan, independently organized a successful fundraiser to help
support Japan relief efforts after the earthquake disaster.
They raised over $1100 for the Red Cross.
Pictured to the right with Ismael Aquino, Provincial Director of the
Nova Scotia Canadian Red Cross.
“Hosting a student teaches the importance
and awareness of other cultures.”
Life Long Friends…
Embracing a New Culture…
My reasons for enjoying being a homestay parent are
numerous and varied but they mostly stem from growing up outside of Canada myself. I know what Canada
looks like from the outside and how it feels to a newcomer; a teenage newcomer at that.
I moved to Canada (Ottawa) just before my 15th birthday. It was a strange new land where I experienced
cold (like I had never imagined) hot humid summers
(as if I were in the tropics) breath taking scenery and
kind friendly people everywhere.
The extremes of the weather didn’t seem to deter Canadians, so I decided to embrace it too. In the winters
I learned to skate, cross-country ski and snow shoe. In
the summers I used my swimming and life guarding
skills to work at summer camps and enjoy all that Canadian summers have to offer; campfires, cook outs,
canoeing and camping out on islands on the lake.
Being a host family is a wonderful experience. You not
only gain a new family member but learn about different
cultures, values, traditions, language, food and much
Having a foreign student in your home teaches your own
children the importance and awareness of other cultures.
It also provides an opportunity to gain a new life long
friend. Its such a pleasure to see the progress our student
has made from speaking and understanding English,
meeting new friends, doing really well in school, and
learning our culture. The relationship our family has built
with Victor is a relationship that we will cherish the rest
of our lives.
Tim & Nancy Blackmore
Host Parents of Victor Jorge (Brazil)
BECOMING A HOST FAMILY
We love to welcome new host families to our
program. We have opportunities throughout
the school year for hosting International Students. Students stay from one to ten months
and come from a variety of countries around
If you know of anyone who may be interested in
hosting an International Student:
have them contact International Services or the
Homestay Coordinator in their area.
These seasonal activities may seem like Canadian
cliche, but they play right into the great Canadian
sense of humour. No country parody’s their own culture quite like Canada (You just have to think of the
last “roll up the rim” commercials or the Olympic
In the years that I have lived in Canada, nearly 30
now, I have learned that those images of Canada that
outsiders imagine, are in fact just like Canada (except
not everyone is a lumberjack! )The people are indeed
friendly, hockey is the Nation’s passion and the
weather - while it might have its extremes - is perfectly manageable if you embrace it.
I love meeting young people from around the world
and showing them my new land; showing them that
Canada is everything they imagined it to be - and so
Sarah Jane Wood,
Host Parent of Gianluca Pozzatti (Italy)
And the Award Goes to…...
NSISP is happy to recognize the following students
for their outstanding contribution this semester in their school, home and community...
Students were presented with certificates on Awards Night, May 30 2011..
Congratulations on a very successful semester!
Best of luck in your future endeavours.
International Student Of the Year
Younjee Choi (Korea)
Younjee has had a very successful high school experience at Millwood High School and is looking forward to
graduating in June after three years in the program.
Younjee has worked hard academically, has made many
friends and has been a mentor and support for new international students.
International Student Of the Year
Prisicila Domenice (Brazil)
Prisicila has worked hard at Sir John A Macdonald
High School and has maintained a 91% average. She
joined the soccer, badminton, ski, yoga, tennis and
dance teams at school. She participated in the school
musical, fashion shows, fundraisers and yearbook committee. She is excited to perform at NSISP Idol in June.
Most Improved English
Xiaoya Purple Jin (China)
Purple has progressed by leaps and bounds since her arrival. She has taken it upon herself to succeed and has
worked hard with her academics and language learning.
Lu Lui (China)
Lu demonstrates a positive attitude and has used this to
improve his language. Lu has demonstrated what a student can accomplish in a short period of time if he puts
his mind to it.
Jennifer Kuniewicz (Germany)
Jennifer has shown how participating in a variety of
activities can enrich the experience of an international
student. She has been involved with musical programs
at Auburn Drive High School, joined Neptune Theatre,
Student Council, tried out for her school softball team,
participated in talent and drama shows and took musical
vocal lessons. Jennifer is excited to show her talents at
the upcoming NSISP Idol
Hsi-Ting Chaing (Tawian)
Azusa Nakayama (Japan)
Han Bee Cho (Korea)
Note Parndejpong (Thailand)
Anjie Huang (China)
Nica Zlonicky (Germany)
Nica has been with the program since September and
has excelled at school. She earned outstanding grades in
all her classes and finishes the year with a commendable
Canuk Award– Daniel Perdomo (Colombia)
Daniel has embraced Canadian culture and took advantage of every opportunity offered to him. He was an active student at Sir John A Macdonald High School and volunteered his time to the Grad Committee. His positive attitude and
willingness to participate in everything Canadian has earned him this special recognition.
International Student Support (Canadian student)
Amy Follett (Prince Andrew High School)
Amy has been the go-to-person for international students
at PA for the past three years. Amy helped with school
tours, prepared welcome parties, organized extra curricular activities, supported students needing help when lost,
had questions or just needed a new friend.
Thank you Amy!!
International Student Support (School Staff)
Lori Brown (Guidance, Millwood High School)
Ms. Brown has demonstrated great support for students
in the NSISP program. She shows dedication and care
for every student that comes through her office. She has
helped start a Buddy Program and has organized outings
for the international community at Millwood.
Thank you Ms. Brown!!
P A G E
Congratulations to our 17 Graduates. Best of luck as your
continue your post secondary education.
Woon Young Cho (Korea) of Auburn
Drive High School
Han Bee Cho (Korea) of Auburn High
School. Han Bee will study Hotel Management in the USA or Switzerland
Ziyuan/Ivy Li (China) of Auburn High
School. Ivy will go on to study a Bachelor of Commerce at SMU
Ying-Chun/Edward Liao (Taiwan) of
Auburn High School. Edward is accepted
to study Hotel Management in Vancouver
Tahir Deniz Ozdemir (Turkey) of Auburn High School. Deniz will study
business in Ottawa
Julia Oliveira De Creddo (Brazil) of Sir
John A Macdonald High School. Julia
was on the school soccer team and enjoyed dance and guitar lessons
Gabriel Gomez Garcia (Mexico) of
Citadel High School. Gabriel has studied in NSISP since Grade 10
Ryugo Tanaka (Japan) of Lockview
High School. Ryugo has held a 96% average over the past three years.
Xiaojun Shen (China) of Cole Harbor
High School. Xiaojun will go on to
study Business Management at SMU
Yurie Kushigami (Japan) of Lockview
High School. She will return to Japan to
Reina Inoue (Japan) of Dartmouth
High School. Reina has studied in
NSISP since Grade 10. She will continue her studies at SMU
YounJee Choi (Korea) of Millwood High
School. YounJee has been in NSISP since
Hsi-Ting/Janet Chiang (Taiwan) of
Dartmouth High School. Janet has been
with NSISP for two years. She will go
on to study Commerce
Daniel Perdomo (Colombia) of Halifax
West High School. Daniel will return
home to study Law.
Roman Alberto Mac-Gregor (Mexico)
of Prince Andrew High School
Elif Cemen (Turkey) of Prince Andrew
YanLi Zhu (China) of Charles P Allen
High School. Yan Li has been with
NSISP and plans to go to university in
A time for looking back on lessons learned, adventures shared, bright moments filled with special meaning
A time for saying goodbye to old friends and good times ; a time for packing away memories, treasures for tomorrow
A time for looking forward, a time to set goals, to dream new dreams, to try your wings and see what lies beyond
Memories of Nova Scotia
NSISP STAFF at the Halifax Regional School Board
would like to extend our thanks to everyone for their support and commitment to the success of the program
Dan Walsh —Program Manager
Charity Semple—Assistant Program Manager
Marilyn Hurst—Administration Assistant
We will be saying goodbye to our
2010/2011 international students in June.
We wish you all a safe travel home and
best of luck in your future studies. We
hope that you have made many great
memories in Nova Scotia and will come
back to visit us soon.
Don’t leave packing until night before- Plan ahead!
Arrange your drive to the airport ahead of time.
Make sure your host parents know your schedule
Bring home only items what you will use
Donate items that you no longer need
Check baggage restrictions before you start packing.
Air Canada information:
Pack liquids in checked baggage
Weigh baggage before you leave home. This can save
you time having to find out your bag is too heavy at
the airport and needing to re-pack there
Don’t forget your passport!
Halifax Regional School Board International Student Program
33 Spectacle Lake Drive
Dartmouth Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-464-2000 ext 2548