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International students from France wrap up stay at EDHS


by Sylene Argent

For the past few months, Essex District High School (EDHS) has been home to two international students from France.

  The two students studying abroad arrived in Canada in April, and are wrapping up their Canadian studies.

  “We are thrilled to have two kids at Essex,” Michelle Marcuz, International Student Program Lead for the GECDSB, said, adding this was the first time EDHS has had international students through this program.

  EDHS Principal Dave Scaddan said having the two international students was a great experience for the visitors and or the rest of the student body. He was impressed with how the students immersed themselves into the culture at the school, with both getting involved in the classroom and in sports. He was also pleased to see how the domestic students welcomed the international students.

  Grade nine student Edgar Plovier and grade ten student Louna Aude thoroughly enjoyed their short stay in Essex, taking advantage of the opportunity to experience Canadian culture and improve their ability to speak English.

  Both played soccer at EDHS. Aude said she had not been involved in competitive soccer in France, but thought she would give it a try. She enjoyed being on the team and never experienced that sense of team spirit before.

  “Everyone was so nice and welcoming,” Aude said.

  While at EDHS, Plovier also played tennis, which is something he plays back home. He enjoyed playing the game with a new set of athletes.

Aude said she wanted to come to Canada to study as it is recognized as a good country of friendly people back home. Plovier said his older brothers have studied abroad and he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

  Both said learning in Canada is a lot more relaxed than what they experienced in France. School days in France are also longer than what is offered in Canada. Both were grateful to their teachers who ensured they were on track and were available to offer assistance if they needed it.

  Both were in awe of the size of local homes, and were able to enjoy outings to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Plovier also got to experience Cedar Point.

  The duo enjoyed their stay, noting their experience exceeded their expectations.

  Due to the pandemic, Marcuz said, the international student program has been slower than it has in the past, but the program is picking up. Currently, there are 19 international students studying in the Windsor-Essex region.

  “We are working with a new partner, which recruits and has partnerships in France,” Marcuz said of GECDSB’s partner on the program, YES (Youth Educational Services) Canada, which also arranges the housing for the participating students.

  Participating students enjoy a short-term stay in the region, somewhere around two-and-a-half and three months.

  The program brings in international students twice during the school year, in November and April.

  Those who want to participate in the program need to have an interest and willingness to learn a new culture and perfect language skills. 

  “They are looking for a cultural experience,” Marcuz said, noting the students will be able to apply the school work they complete in Canada to their credits back home.

  The international student program is not only beneficial to the visiting students, but also to the local youths. By meeting the international students, local youths get a chance to learn about their culture, learn a different view on world matters, and it may spark an interest in participating in a international study program.  

  Marcuz plans to develop a program one day that would send interested local youths to study abroad. 

  Those interested in housing international students can contact Scott Baird at YES Canada by calling 416-453-3092 or emailing scott@youthedservices.ca

  To learn more, log onto youthedservices.ca