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Christmas in Nova Scotia-it's the best time of the year


Hi everyone,
my last month in Nova Scotia has gone by, which was December and that meant: Christmas!

I always loved Christmas when it gets dark and you can see the christmas trees through every house's window with its lights
or when you can just get cozy on the couch with a hot drink, a christmas movie and friends. This year Christmas was different than to what I'm used to tough. In Germany Christmas is celebrated on the 24th, in the night, which is different from the Canadian tradition. In Canada the 24th is Christmas Eve and in the morning of the 25th is Christmas Morning on which you open your present and usually a Christmas Dinner is following, later that day. This wasn't the only difference to the past years that I celebrated Christmas. This year was the first year I spent apart from my family around that time, but my second family here in Nova Scotia made us such a nice Christmas, so that we missed our families a little bit less.

Snow, snow ... and snow
Right at the beginning of December it started to snow a lot. It was so much that we had no school, because the snow would have made it too hard and unsafe for all the students to come to school. My host sister and I took advantage of that obviously and spent most of the day outside, being in the snow, making a snowman. In the following days it snowed more and more and it got colder with each day. Two weeks after the first snowday my host sister and I woke up and heard the sentense, which all students like to hear: "You have no school today" On this day it was -19 degrees cold outside and a storm was expected to come, so the school board decided to not have us go to school, again. We spent the day at home drinking hot chocolate and watching a christmas movie to get into the christmas mood. I never have had snowdays before, in Germany and I really liked it, I mean who wouldn't ? I have always loved snow and how everything looks so pretty with freshly fallen snow that's why I really enjoyed it. I never had this much snow at home, just when I would go somewhere on holidays so I was really excited to have a lot snow.

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Christmas in Canada
Our Christmas preperations started with decorating the house, and let me tell you, we had a lot to decorate. I really liked to do it,
since I never really decorated my house in Germany for Christmas. I was really surprised about how many people change thier gardens to little "winter wonderands" with lights, Santas, Reindeers and ornaments and I enjoyed looking at all the houses when it got dark and everyone turned on the lights.
Christmas isn't Christmas without the tree, so we went to our neighbour's tree farm, cut a tree and decorated it with many nice little ornaments. My host mother could tell us something to every ornament, either from who she got it from, from where it is or when she made them herself, which was really nice because almost every ornament on the tree had a little story. Now that our home looked prepared for Christmas it was about us to get into the christmas mood. We watched a lot of christmas movies with hot chocolate and blankets on the couch, baked four kinds of cookies and went to christmas parties.
On Christmas Eve we didn't do much, because my host mother had to work unfortunately, so we stayed at home, watched movies and put all of our presents under the tree, whilst our hostfather prepared the dinner for the next day. On Christmas Morning we had a little gift giving over at our host mom's mothers house and went to our house afterwards to open our presents there. It was a lot of fun and my host sister and I got so many great presents. My host parents' daughter came over with her partner and son, later that day. We had our Christmas Dinner on the 26th with crackers and a big turkey with stuffing, carrots, peas, mashed potatoes and more, ate until we were totally full and just had a little bit of family time, just how the christmas time is supposed to be.

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Our Christmas tree with the presents underneath and the Christmas Dinner table

Two of the Christmas parties we went to, of course with ugly christmas sweaters ;-)

Now Canadian Christmas has become one of my many "Nova Scotia memories".
I am really grateful that I could spend this celebration with my host family and
I am trying to push away the thought, that I have to leave in some days.

A belated Merry Christmas from me, I hope you had some nice days that you spent with your loved ones.

Bye, Merle

Posted by NSISPFC 12:51 Archived in Canada Tagged students nova_scotia hostfamily #canada #nsispfc #nsisp #novascotia nsisp nsispfc highschool studyabroad novascotia nova_sotia #international #student Comments (0)

November - being really Canadian!

Hey everyone!
November flew by and is already over.
Sometimes when I think back to when I came and I'm so surprised for how long I'm already here
because it seems like yesterday that I arrived on the plane, being super excited for the coming months.
And so far those months were even better than expected!

Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a day dedicated to all the fallen soldiers in the past two world wars and current wars.
When I came here I didn't know that Remembrance Day would be celebrated that much and would be taken this serious,
which I think is really great! The Remembrance Day is on the 11th of November, which was a Friday in this year.
On Thursday we had a Celebration in school, where poems were read out loud, and the band played a variety of songs.
It was the band's first performance in this school year and we were a little bit nervous but we all managed to play our best and we got a lot of really nice responses, of people saying they were touched by our performance.
Everybody wears a little stick pin poppy, to show their respect to the fallen soldiers, which I think is a really nice and thoughtful gesture.
On Friday, we had no school, so we went to the Ceremony in town.
Soldiers gave speeches and every family in town laid a wreath down to the stature in town, which is dedicated to the fallen soldiers.

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Christmas Parade in New Glasgow
The Christmas Parade is an annual celebration where all the clubs, companies and schools of the town decorate floats with pretty and colorful lights and show their floats in the parade. My school being one of the schools in the area of New Glasgow, took part too. We had a really big float, which was decorated pretty and which had place for around 20 to 25 people to sit on and that's how many people really sat on it in the end, including me and my friends. We were dressed in our schools colors plus having Christmas themed clothes on. We had antlers, bells, christmas hats and much more. All the people that came didn't fit on the float so there were some people walking next to it and handing out candy canes to the people watching the parade. We sang chants and rang our bells because we had to defend "The Spirit Award", which my school got last year and we succeeded and won it again!!

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Hockey Game
On the 20th of November all of the Internationals and Ambassadors of the CCRSB school board went to Halifax to watch a hockey game.
The Mooseheads played against Bathurst. It was nice to see some of the Foreign Correspondent girls again! The game was really exciting but the Mooseheads lost unfortunately after a really nerve wracking end.
Bathurst scored the determining goal in the last 15 seconds after the Mooseheads scored a draw in the last 40 seconds.
We were disappointed but it didn't reduce our fun! We drove to another school, where we had a dinner, including lobster,
salmon and really good cupcakes. It was a great day and an amazing experience I won't forget!

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My host sister is leaving
My host sister left in the last week of November. Just the weekend before she left we threw her a surprise party, and she had no clue! We drove "home" from the movies and instead on going home we went into another direction but we kept her talking and talking and so she didn't ask us why we weren't going home. When we stopped in front of her friends house she got confused and asked a lot of questions but we pretended to not know anything. When we cam into her friend's house and she saw everyone with the cake she was so shocked and surprised! It was really nice for her to spend a last time with all of her friends together. The day she left we all cried and we will definitely miss her!


I feel like I got to know this country even more than before this month! I got to experience the most Canadian thing - Hockey! Not just in a schools game, but a really professional game. I felt really included in my school, playing in the band and being on the float at the Christmas Parade! I just love it here and I don't want to think about having only one month left.

Bye, Merle

Posted by NSISPFC 10:07 Archived in Canada Tagged students nova_scotia hostfamily #nsispfc #nsisp nsisp nsispfc highschool studyabroad novascotia nova_sotia Comments (0)

October in Nova Scotia

Hey everyone!
It's me, Merle. Another month has gone by and a lot has happened.
I travelled from the north of Nova Scotia to the very south in less than 3 days, got to enjoy the beautiful fall,
which is even prettier than I was told and the friends I made here make my stay even better.

Thanksgiving was on the 10th of October, the first Monday of the month.
We didn't follow the rules and had our Thanksgiving Dinner already on Sunday.
We left in the morning to drive to Halifax, where my host father's family lives. The day we spent there was great!
I was really happy to have my host sisters with me because were a lot of new people there and with them no one of us was alone.
We sat outside, because of the great weather that day and many people talked to us, interested to learn something about our home country and our experience in Canada so far. Around noon we had the big dinner, of course including the famous turkey, stuffing and so on.
All in all it was a really great first Thanksgiving, on which I got to know my host parent's family better.

Hockey Game
My first Hockey Game was our school's Home Opener Hockey Game, which means it was the first game for our school's team
to play at their "home ice rink" in this hockey season. A lot of people came, dressed in their school sweaters and face paint to support our team.
It was obviously really cold at the ice rink and so everyone brought blankets, scarfs and gloves to stay warm whilst watching the game.
It was an intense game and even though I knew hockey is a tougher sport than soccer I was surprised by all the fights. There were two fights in the audience, which led to the police coming to watch the audience for the rest of the game, and a hard fight on the rink,
so that one player was send off the rink. I had a lot of fun and was glad to spent the game with my friends, cheering on our team.


Cross Country Regionals and Provincial Championship
With my school's Cross Country team, I attended the Cross Country Regionals in Amherst. We all did a really good job with setting new records for ourselves. Our Girls Intermediate team came in 2nd and the Boys Intermediate 1st and earned us a really cool banner for our school. The Senior Girls, with me on the team, came in 5th and with that the just were good enough to qualify for the Provincials too.
One week later we met at 7am at the school to start our trip to the Provincial Championships. We drove 5 hours down to Yarmouth, where the Provincials took place. The race was on a golf course and had some steep hills, we had to enforce. It was a really hard race and unlike the other races a lot of us were feeling totally whacked and felt dizzy from trying so hard. We did not place but we were still really proud of us and we accomplished our goal, to just have fun on that day. On the way back we stopped at Big Stop and had a great supper together, before we continued our trip, back to the school.

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Trip to the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton
On the morning of the 22nd October it was raining, so we first decided not to take our trip to Cape Breton,
but when it stopped raining we all hopped into the car, with popcorn and apples, books and my camera.
We drove for around 3 hours to the Cabot Trail, stopping by an antique shop and a nice little decoration shop.
The Cabot Trail is an amazing trail along the water front, which looks absolutely beautiful in fall with all these colourful trees on both sides of the road. Because we didn't leave in the morning and it stated to get dark earlier, we soon were driving through the dark.
It started raining really hard and suddenly it got foggy on the streets too. You could barely see the road in front of us whilst on the left side it went down the hill and on the right side the hill went up. In some moments it was a bit scary, when the fog got thicker or another car passed us, but we all made it back safely and could tell everyone from our little adventurous trip to Cape Breton afterwards.

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Halloween Dance and Squawktoberfest
The Halloween dance at my school was on the last Wednesday in this month. After school I went to my friend's house where we got ready for the dance. I dressed up as a scarecrow (unfortunately without a straw hat) and she as a cat.
Everyone was dressed up at the dance too and we didn't even stand out. We danced the whole time to classical Halloween music like "Thriller" and "Ghost Busters".
Squawktobrfestwas on the following Thursday, which started with our school bell was replaced with Halloween music. At the lunch break we had a pep rally, where all of the sport teams had to present themselves on the stage in our cafeteria, including me with the Cross Country team. After that we had the next two periods free to do stuff like doing a lip sync performance, playing bubble soccer, carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, getting an air brush tattoo or just eating cotton candy. It was really fun to watch people perform Hannah Montanna on stage, to eat the blue cotton candy and to see the bubble soccer players bump into each other.

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I really hope my left two month will turn out just as great as these two past months did!
It is getting colder now and the colorful leaves start falling off the trees.
I love fall, but this time I don't like seeing this progress, which means time isn't stopping and I get less and less time to spend here,
where I found a second home.

Bye, Merle

Posted by NSISPFC 12:15 Tagged nova_scotia hostfamily #nsispfc #nsisp nsisp nsispfc highschool studyabroad novascotia nova_sotia Comments (0)

Home of the Nighthawks!

Hey everyone,

it's me, Merle and some days ago I realized, that I'm already here for one month!
Unbelievable how the time flies!!
Now, that I have been in school for some weeks,
I thought I will tell you a bit about my school.

Home of the Nighthawks

My school is the Northumberland Regional High School.
Our maskot is a Nighthawk, named Squawk and whose birthday is celebrated on June 6.
Our school colours are red, black and white and the school has a guiding principle called:


This helps us students and teachers to live in a safe and respectful learning environment.
A variety of sports and clubs are offered, after school and in the lunch break, like basketball, soccer, volleyball, art club, band, and community events.
Other than in Germany, a lot of homework and so on is possible to see with the Google Classroom and to check your grades and marks for tests you can just go onto Powerschool.
And the best of all, we got a geofilter for Snapchat last week, isn't that amazing ?! ;-)


A day at the Northumberland Regional High School (NRHS)

My hostsisters and I go to school by bus, the yellow schoolbus. The ride to the school is about 45 minutes and gives us a possibility to do forgotten homework ;-). When we arrive at school the foyer is already packed with students.
When the bell rings at 9 o'clock, everybody goes to their classes. We have different "pods", parts of the school for different subjects, like the math pod, the social studies pod and the fench pod.
As soon as everybody is in the right class the announcement asks us to stand up for "O Canada", the national anthem. After that, we sit down again and watch the "morning announcements", which are projected on every classe's board and where students tell us everything important for the day. For example what meetings are in the lunch break or who won the yesterday's soccer game and so on.
Every period is one hour long and we have two breaks. The second one is 45 minutes, where we can buy a meal in the cafeteria, go to the clubs or just hang out with our friends. Then we have two periods, until the bell rings and the schoolday ends. Everybody rushes out to find their bus and with all the students, busses and cars it get's really full in front of the school.
I go home with my hostsisters or I stay at school to have Cross Country practise.
We always have a short meeting, talk about our goal for the practise, warm up and start running. The regular goal is 3 to 5 kilometers, which was very hard for me at the beginning, but I feel how I'm getting better and better. Every week we have a race, 2 weeks ago in Trenton, last week in Truro, next week in Antigonish. Running in a team is really great because you can celebrate wins and I met many great people.
Races are always very hard for me but when I finish, no matter which place I am really proud.
Go Nighthawks!!!!

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Academic Award Celebration

The Academic Award Celebration is an event in September to honor all the students that had good grades in the last year.
There are two levels, distinction and excellent. Which determine, how good your grades were. My friend and my hostsister were both nominated,
so I had the possibility to go to the celebration, and it was really great. There were a lot of students and the whole school was decorated, and they even had a red carpet and a cake with the school logo!! The event was very formal, everybody was dressed well and I like that it was taken so seriously.
We ate the cake (soo delicious) at the buffet after the show and talked a bit with the other students, parents and teachers.


International Buddies

The international buddies are a club, like Art Club or Dance Club, to meet canadian students, and for the canadian students, to meet the international students. Everybody is welcomed and together we have a lot of fun, like we had last week when we had a "Games Night".
We all met in the school, brought a lot of board games, chips and pop, and started to play. We played many games like Twister, Monopoly and we all got to know each other even more.
Some days ago we went together to the movies, to "Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children".
We were about 17 people, and it was really great to see everybody having fun and liking the movie.

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Spirit Week

The Spirit Week is organized by the Spirit Club, and the week was so much fun.

Monday: Ice-Cone Day, you could have ice cones in the lunch break
Tuesday: Twin Day, dress the same as your friend or your group of friends
Wenesday: Tie-dye day, bring a white t-shirt and tie dye it in the lunch break
Thursday: Spirit day, come dressed in the school colors
Thursday Night: Spirit Dance, bring your dance moves and wear black, red, white
Friday: Compfy Day, you can come in your pyjama, sweatpants or just in comfortable clothes

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Especially the Spirit Dance was great, to see everybody taking part in the dance showed me how much the school community supports the school,
and I really love this school spirit here.
School in gerneral is so much more interesting and fun, compared to the German schools!!

I just can't believe that I'm here, already for a month.
I already experienced so much new and still it feels like I arrived a week ago!
I hope you liked now read about my school here.


Posted by NSISPFC 06:21 Archived in Canada Tagged students nova_scotia nsisp nsispfc highschool novascotia nova_sotia Comments (0)

My first week in my hostfamily and school

Hello everyone,
It's me, Merle, again. I will tell you about my first week at my hostfamily and the first days at school.
Everything is still exciting and new and I am so happy to be here in Nova Scotia.

The first days at my hostfamily -everything is new

The first days were very exciting, everything was new, looked different and is used differently than it is in Germany.
Even the fridge is something new, it makes ice cubes itself, how cool is that !?
On my first days I got to know my hostfamily, the house and the area we live in.
We had a little surprise party for my hostsister on her birthday. We went to the beach and even tough it wasn't warm, we went into the sea !!
It was freezing cold but my hostsister, hostmother and I had a lot of fun.
On the next day we all drove to Halifax to pick up my second hostsister from Italy.
In the next couple of days I met more family members and we all went canoeing together. We put the canoes on the back of the truck and drove to a very beautiful lake, we even found an isle on the middle of the lake and explored it. In the evening we made a little bonfire in the back of the garden, and ate marshmallows.
On the day before school started our hostparents took us to the Pictou Colchester Exhibition. We walked through the stables, saw and pet goats, ducks, cows and horses. We watched the firemen’s competition and the horse barrels show.
In the end we went home, a bit disappointed but with a lot of popcorn.

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7th of September -School Orientation

To let us not go unpreparedly to school on the 8th, my school’s ambassadors, invited all the internationals to school on the 7th. We played some games to get to know the other exchange students and afterwards we made a tour through the school. The ambassadors told us a lot about our school and made sure we are not totally lost, the next morning at school.


8th-9th of September -Fist days of school

We went by bus to school, that was my fist time ever driving in one of the famous „yellow school busses“.
The schoolday was very chaotic for me. We got our schedules and I had to change two of my classes and couldn’t find the classrooms.
But all in all it was a great day, and very different to the school in Germany. Instead of having 11 classes, I only had 4 classes and the majority of homework the teachers give us is online, with the „Google Classroom“.
On the second day I went to a cross country meeting in the break. And…I signed up for being in the Cross Country Team!!! The second day of school was on a friday so, after these first days of school we already had weekend, and we were really tired from learning and experiencing so much new.

10th of September -Runaway Run and Multicultural Fusion Festival

On Saturday we woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning and met the other internationals at 6 o’clock to drive with two busses to Halifax, because we all would participate in The Runway Run. The Runway Run is organized by the Lung Assosiation (http://www.ns.lung.ca/site/) and took place at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The purpose of this run is to raise money for The Lung Assosiation, to help those with lung diseases.
After we arrived, we prepared to run and then the run started. We all ran 5 kilometers, it was hard, because only a few of us internationals were used to run long distances. But we all did it!!! We were tired but at the same time really proud of us!
After the run we drove to the Multicultural Fusion Festival in Pictou (http://commmapc.wixsite.com/fusion-festival).
You could find food and meals from all over the world, like India and Japan. At the same time there were little music performances on a little stage. It was a great atmosphere and we enjoyed staying there for some hours.
It was a great day, we had a lot of fun and were really proud of what we achived on this day.

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That's my little update about my last week here.
I look forward to the next school week, my first cross country practise and an orientation for the internationals in some days.
I will tell you about it in the next post.

Bye, Merle

Posted by NSISPFC 16:05 Archived in Canada Tagged students nova_scotia nsisp nsispfc studyabroad Comments (0)

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