A Travellerspoint blog

The first month of the year

Experiences and impressions along with the hardships

all seasons in one day

Hello, everyone, I am Evrim from Turkey. I am one of nine ''foreign correspondent'' of the Nova Scotia International Student Program. I am currently in Sydney, Nova Scotia and I will be spending the 2017-18 school year in Sydney at Sydney Academy. Sydney is a beautiful city in Cape Breton Island which is north of Nova Scotia. I have experienced being a boarding student before, however; being in a different country all by myself is a whole lot different experience for me. Personally, I believe this is something that every student must experience at least once in their lifetime. I am so happy to be given this opportunity to spend a year with people from different countries and cultures, and additionally, experience such a different environment. As I spend my time here, I want to inform you with where I stay, people I stay with, and the concept of being an international student in Canada.

My first two, three days in Canada was at a camp in Truro. As nine correspondents from different countries around the world, we had lectures of our duty here. Truro was a beautiful city and I managed to make some friends even though I have just arrived. We also had the chance to meet the ''Ambassadors'' who are chosen to help international students in each school.

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After the Camp in Truro, everyone took a bus to their city, to their home. Safe to say, I feel lucky to have such great houseparents. They are helpful and caring to me and my Chinese host brother Leo.

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I am attending to Sydney Academy. The school offers IB education along with the national program, which fits me perfectly because graduating from the IB program has always been my goal.

Sydney Academy

Sydney Academy



This school is a great one with a history full of success and wonderful students.
Now, as a Foreign Correspondent, the activities I do are as much important as my grades. This is why I try to be a social student and attend to activities, teams, and clubs. Here is a picture of me and another Foreign Correspondent before a soccer match. My school's official colors are blue and white so you can tell which one I am.
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Hockey is one of the most popular sports here in Canada (maybe the most popular), and I've seen my first real-life hockey game here in Sydney. It was the home opener for Cape Breton Screaming Eagles which is the local team here in Cape Breton. They tied in the normal game duration but managed to come out on top through the end of the tie-breaker.
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Even though hockey is a great sport and a whole lot of fun, I do not think I will ever be able to skate well enough to be able to play hockey.

I would like to talk about the city. Sydney is a harbor city with stunning land views and its amazing location. It is a bit small compared to my home city in Turkey but I do not have difficulty getting used to it since people are helpful, kind and friendly. There are people from every culture around the globe. For example, this statue of a fiddle is one of the representers of Irish and Gaelic Culture.
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But the ''Fiddle'' is not the only thing that is worth to see around hear. Here are some beautiful views all around Sydneybaille-ard-nature-trail

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Posted by NSISPFC 15:45 Archived in Canada Tagged #nsispfc #nsisp Comments (0)

The first month with my host parents

People say that the first impression something or someone makes to you is vital for whether you are going to enjoy it or not. In this blog, you'll read about how I enjoyed my first month and what I do when I don't have school. -Ewout

Now that the social media camp was finished, it was time to start with the great journey I planned on doing this half year. To live with my host parents. On Monday the 28th of august, I left Truro by bus and it drove me to Sydney, a city at the far east of Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island. The drive would be a long one, but the time went on real quick due to the astonishing nature and the nice people I talked with.
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I arrived way after supper time (it was already 6:40!!) and I met Mike and Michelle Finigan(M&M from now on), my host parents and the ones who will do anything within their reach to make myself feel comfortable during my stay. From the moment I left the bus and said hi to them, they succeeded in their mission. They’re very warm and caring people, who are host parents for a couple of years now. The first hour, I gave a lecture about how to pronounce my name and we discussed the fact that my name sounds completely different than when you write it (You write Ewout, but in the opinion of my host parents, it should be Avout). We went to a restaurant where I tried the fish and chips. It was very good. The most surprising thing that night was that my host mother ordered chicken fingers and she got one that has quite a familiar shape.
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My first day at the Finigan’s, M&M gave me a lot space to land. I unpacked my bags and we went to downtown Sydney, famous of its harbour and the big fiddle. In the harbour, there was a ship that came from Rotterdam, which happens to be the city where I live in the Netherlands. We came to the conclusion that it was a positive sign.
In the evening, Michelle’s parents, Michael and Cecilia, came over to have supper and to meet me. They are very kind and nice people. Again, we started with a lesson in how to pronounce my name and after a minute of exercising, Cecilia decided to call me buddy, because that was easier.
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Until Friday, the day my host brother would arrive, we had some highlights. On Wednesday, we went to the famous Cabot Trail. It was a 2,5 hour drive, but it was it all worth. I can’t describe the beauty of the nature we saw that day, but the best way I can express it is with this small anecdote:
Mike and I went for a hike to the top of a mountain, Michelle had a meeting and couldn’t be there. When we arrived, the view was so overwhelming that Mike asked me if I was okey, because I was so quiet.
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Cabot trail

On the Thursday, I went to my high school for the first time to choose the subjects for my semester. These are: English, Law, Music and Sociology. The idea is that you have four subjects in a semester, and that you have these every day.
Friday at 2 AM, we went to the airport to puck my host brother David from Spain up. We stayed awake with credits to Michelle’s friend Sharmaine and the beauty of the game Yahtzee, which we played about 5 times that night. David landed in Sydney after a 33 hour trip because of an unlucky 12 hour connection at Toronto, so we went home as quick as possible so that he could go to bed.
Welcome David

Welcome David

Now that David was arrived, our time together could finally started. We had our first family meeting, we prepared ourselves for school, we arranged our new phone numbers and David chose his subjects.
At Saturday, we went to John and Jaenette, family of Michelle, for supper. They live in the summer time in a cabin at the Myra River. Needless to say that this was one of the prettiest places I ever had supper in my life. John started with trying to pronounce my name, but after a couple of tries, he started to call me Awa and Awo. It took me a couple of times to realize that he was talking to me, which resulted in John repeatedly screaming Awo 5 or 6 times.
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On Thursday, we had our first day of school. This was a day full of firsts. First time in a school bus, first try-outs with the high school soccer team and the first time I had class in only English. It was a good day, even though I could not find my classrooms a couple of times. On these moments, I could ask any person in the hallway if they know where my classroom is and every time I got the response, “Sure, I’ll bring you there”. This showed me once again how kind and polite almost all the people are in here.
Picture with riverview grade 12
The first week of school was about trying to get used to all the habits that the Canadian high school has. Both David and I made it to the first team of soccer at our high school and we got our first homework and exercises. We started the soccer season almost perfect. So far, we won 4 of our 4 matches.
Ewout soccer

Ewout soccer

On the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September, we went with all the internationals who live in our region to an orientation weekend at the Gaelic College.
It started with a meeting in which someone told us the does and don’ts during our stay in Canada. This took a while, but it made everything very clear for us. After that, we played some ice breakers to get to know the other internationals. In the evening, we had a dance and a bonfire which was very good. The next day, we went to a museum that is dedicated to Alexander Graham Bell.
A picture of the orientation, the group one
The week after that, we had our first tests for school and our first practise for soccer.
On Friday, we went with the internationals to the Two Rivers Wildlife Park. I saw animals over there that I’ve never seen before. A moose, a coyote and the bears.
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If I would give a summary of my first month in Canada in a few words, I would say it is beautiful, kind and comfortable.
Beautiful due to all the nature I saw so far, kind because of all the nice and kind people I already met and comfortable since the way everybody lives here and the aura that it gives to us. Everybody at school, at my soccer team and when I’m for example in the mall wants to help me whenever I need it.
Even though I’m here for just a month now, everything feels like home to me.
I still have a lot to discover. From nature to food and from special days to sport events.
I will do as much as I can do over here and it is a pleasure to share everything that happens with you at home. Stay tuned:)
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Posted by NSISPFC 07:42 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Joining clubs

Working hard its important but there is something more important believing in yourself-Harry Potter
I decide it to star the blog with a quote from Harry Potter because I'm happy to say that I join the Harry Potter club, and I also join the drama club. In my school we had the opportunity to have an esto about all the clubs in my school and those were the ones that I choose I'm really excited to try the clubs because I know it's going to be fun and I'm going to meet more people.

My fist day of school was amazing, I got lost acomplejado of times but the embassadors helped me find my classes, at Lunch time I ate with the other international students and we talked about how different was the school from the one in our countries, like I'm Germane you just stay in one classroom all day or in Mexico you have to take uniforms. It's only been 3 days of school and I already love it!
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Since I got here three weeks ago everything its been like a dream my host family it's amazing they are kind and fun they even got me a cake for my birthday I couldn't ask for a better host family.

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Having to make changes hasn't been easy like getting used to the cold wether, the different food but with the help of my host family and friends everything it's been easier to get used to.

I'm really glad and happy to be her making memories and having fun I know the six months that I'm going to be here are going to be fanstatic.

Ximena

Posted by NSISPFC 17:21 Comments (0)

Nova Scotia: expectations, first impressions and surprises.

The beginning of our great adventure

After a year of waiting and dreaming about it, it was finally time to leave our homes and family to start this adventure. Expectations about the weather, the outstanding views, the high quality of life and the kind people filled our hearts with desire to life the life of a Canadian student.

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived in Halifax and drove to Truro, the city where our social media camp took place, was the fresh air we breathed. Something that’s missing in the countries we live. We saw a lot of beautiful nature and mesmerizing views on the road to Truro. There were moments we saw nothing else but forests or lakes around us and for a brief moment, it was like we were the only people alive within miles. According to the Canadian people we spoke at the campus in Truro, there’ll be far more beautiful landscapes waiting for us.

A thing that we were a bit surprised about is the nice weather. When you think about Canada, most people will say that the weather is very cold and not pleasant to live in.
Our first days in Canada were the opposite actually. Not a single breeze of wind, sunny days and about comfortable 22 °C. Almost the perfect circumstances to make a city trip through Halifax.

In Halifax, we met with the Canadian culture for the first time. We were a notable company with 9 people from all across the world. Everywhere in the city, whether we were on the harbour hopper, in the citadel or at a restaurant, people asked us where we all come from and they were always very interesting in the stories we all have to tell and why we are here. This shows the open minded culture and the friendly people that makes Canada the country as we know it.

We also noticed that with a trash bin on every street corner, the streets and the city were very clean, which makes Halifax a nice place to live. This shows how much the Haligonians (the people from Halifax) care about the environment and the high quality of life.
The clean streets and the absence of any form of poverty in downtown Halifax gives the city a caring appearance.

A small anecdote that shows how caring the Canadians are.
When we drove to Halifax, there was a bridge where you need to pay a fee to pass it. Normally, there’s someone at the toll or a barrier to make sure that everyone pays the fee. Here, there was none of those. Everyone just pays the fee, because you’re supposed to.

The thing we were the most surprised about is the sort of food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the time dinner takes place.
Breakfast for example consists of ham, baked potatoes and pancakes.
For lunch, we have fries with a hamburger and cooked vegetables.
These are a bit strange but I’m sure we will get used to it real fast; however, the most surprising thing for us the first days in Canada is the time we eat dinner. 5pm is dinner time here. That is 5 hours earlier than they do in Italy.

All things combined, our expectations of Canada have been surpassed. The weather is nice, the people are kind, and the nature is beautiful. The perfect setting for what is about to be the greatest time of our life.

Mindy, Lorenzo and Ewout
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Posted by NSISPFC 06:41 Comments (0)

New home

16 °C

Leaving our home and families behind, we arrived in our new home which is full of love and respect. we are going to start our new journey in Canada as members of Canadian societies. We are for sure really happy to spend time with our host families and friends.
Hi everyone, we are Evrim, Chan, Tony and we would love to share our experience and feelings of being foreign correspondents.
First of all it is such a huge honor and pleasure to represent the whole program and our countries. We are really happy to be able to share our memories and introduce the Canadian culture to those of you who are really interested in joining our program. It is only our third day in Nova Scotia; however, we have made a lot of friends and unforgettable memories. We have been respected more than we expected and deserve. People here are extremely polite and nice.

We have met a lot of Canadian Ambassadors, we have done so many fun activities together as well as with other international students. Even though we are from different countries and cultures, we could get along with each other without any problem . We got to know each other better by being curious of each other and showing each other respect.

On the first day, we left our hotel in Truro to visit downtown Halifax. We went on a boat trip, went up to the Halifax Citadel Fortress and had supper at McKelvie's. It was one of the best days we had in our lives. It would've even be the best if we were not jetlagged. The view of downtown Halifax and Harbours from the Citadel Hill was brilliant and stunning. Also the food we had at the restaurant was awesome. It was typical Nova Scotian seafood. After supper, we went for a walk to the waterfront and had beavertail which is one of our favorite snack now.

Second day, we made videos about our culture with Canadian ambassadors interviewing us. It was a really good opportunity to share our culture with others. After that we visited Victoria Park which was wonderful enough to blow our minds. We could see the real Canadian nature. After we arrived at the hotel we headed to Bubba Ray's to have traditional Canadian Christmas meal. We went back to the cafeteria where we have lunch and breakfast to have fun activites with all the ambassadors and international students. We did the mannequin challenge and made our own comedy shows. Chan was the funniest in that and he got the prize as well as Samuel. We brought our tired bodies back to hotel and got good sleep.

We can't believe that today is our last day, the time has flown even faster than we expected. Everyone is really sad to leave because we might not be able to see each other forever in our lives. But at some point, we are really happy to see our host families and looking forward to making precious memories that we will carry forever in our lives.

Posted by NSISPFC 06:36 Archived in Canada Tagged #nsispfc #nsisp #novascotia Comments (0)

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