Engaging Exchange at St. Peter's

Engaging Exchange at St. Peter's
Posted on 12/04/2017
Cooking the French way!Written by Emily Thouless, Student Journalist

For many students at St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School in Barrie, juggling communication can sometimes be challenging. With four classes a semester, four teachers to report to, several projects on the run each and every week, plus a teenage social life to handle, life in high school can sometimes be a little chaotic. Now imagine being in this situation while also trying to communicate in a language you only have a limited understanding of. Seems a little daunting doesn’t it? In only three short months in Canada Grade 11 student Tristan from Paris, France, has became an integral part of the St Peter’s Jungle.

Tristan arrived in Canada in September with his Canadian exchange partner Paul, with two goals. One, gain a better understanding of the English language, and two, have a cultural experience that he would never forget. It seems his goals have been met!

the gang!Going through the International Student Exchange corporation (ISE), Tristan could have chosen any number of places to study. He picked Canada, saying, “it’s a huge, beautiful, and amazing country,” and that he “met a lot of kind people that are now friends… Canada is wonderful.”

As excited as Tristan was to come to Canada, there was a definite possibility that he wouldn’t adapt well to his new environment, as trying to understand a language that is not your own can be quite a harrowing task. However, Tristan, as well as the rest of the St. Peter’s students and staff, were up to the challenge, helping him become an essential part of the school community like so many students before him.

In his short time here, Tristan has participated in many of St. Peter’s special events. In our annual Clash of Colours, he performed in the Clash of Talents showing off his awesome piano skills. He also plays several different school sports. And students in his hospitality class have learned the proper way to create the colourful French “macaron”, an incredibly difficult pastry, thanks to Tristan’s teaching. Tristan even took part in drama class, learning how to act in a completely different language.

Tristan said that he enjoyed every single moment of his time in Canada, and was thankful for the support of so many incredibly kind people. The St. Peter’s community is definitely sad to see such an awesome student like Tristan go home, but is grateful for the short time we had him at our school. He not only opened the eyes of many students to a different culture halfway around the world, but also showed everyone how effective an exchange opportunity can be. Mrs. Ansdell, a French teacher at St. Peter’s, summed it up best when she said, “Exchange opportunities allow students to become more independent and open minded, allow for them to step out of their comfort zone and experience something new, and most importantly, to discover more about themselves than they knew before they left, and to have an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.”