Here's the testimonial I wrote for the new NSISP website. I don't know when it'll be on there, but you guys can read it now :D
My name is Julia, I’m 15 years old and I’m from Germany. I spent ten months in Nova Scotia from September 2012 to June 2013 and I had the time of my life. I lived in Digby, which is in the South-West of the province and the NSISP did a great job finding the right host family for me.
I had two amazing host parents, a little dog and a cat and over the past months they became my second family.
I went to the Digby Regional High School and quickly became a part of it. Canadian school is so different from German school. Everybody is really friendly, the courses are great and the relationship between students and teachers is amazing. We were about twenty internationals from all over the world and we all quickly became friends. It is amazing to be part of such a group with so many cultures and personalities but everybody understands each other and wants to be friends. Two of my best friends that I found in Canada are Internationals and who would have thought that I have friends all over the world now that will always have an open door for me ?
After a few weeks in school I found my first Canadian friends. Of course everything was really new and friendship has to develop and grow but as time passed by some of them became really close friends. Because DRHS is such a small school you quickly know lots of faces and I was able to say hi to lots of people in the hallway. With the new classes in the second semester I found lots more friends and my best friend here in Canada.
If you have trouble deciding if you want to go for one or two semester, go for two. It’s definitely worth it. In the second semester you are used to everything, have friends and a second family and you can enjoy everything a lot more. The second semester also flies by, I don’t even know where the time went.
Outside of school I enjoyed being part of the local Digby Dance Studio and taking classes in hip hop. I also did zumba and tried out for the school softball team. We sadly didn’t have a softball team, because we weren’t enough people trying out, but softball is definitely an awesome sport and if you get the chance you should try it. Doing stuff outside of school is definitely a good and valuable part of being an exchange student, because you get to know lots more people and it’s really fun too.
Obviously I also really enjoyed hanging out with my friends and doing trips with my host family. I was so lucky that I was able to see lots of Nova Scotia with my family.
Another thing that is a very big and fun part of being an exchange student in Nova Scotia is the trips that the coordinators organize once a month. All the Internationals of your area come together, for me it was Digby, Weymouth and Westport, and do a day trip. We did an arrival camp in September, we went skiing, curling, to Halifax, to Peggy’s Cove, had an International supper and lots more. They were always really fun and a great way to exchange little cultural things and learn other languages. Being part of that group of Internationals changed my opinion and view of lots of countries and the world. It made me become a different and better person. I’m more open-minded, have less prejudices and I have friends all over the world.
The NSISP also allowed me to see more of Canada. They offer two one week long trips in the fall and in the spring. I went to Toronto & The Niagara Falls in October 2012 and to Montréal & Ottawa in March 2013. Both trips were really fun and I got to meet so many more people from all over the world. We had a great program and got to see so many nice places.
You see an exchange in Nova Scotia is so much more than just learning English. It’s living away from home for a year, but finding a second home in one of the most beautiful places in the world, finding a second family that will always have you in their heart, making friendships that will last a lifetime. I had the time of my life here in Nova Scotia and leaving this place just breaks my heart. I hope that one day I’ll come back to visit this wonderful place and my second home.
Thank you to the NSISP for making my year what it was! Thank you to my Canadian family and friends for making this place my home! Thank you to my International friends for being what they are and making me to the person that I am today! And last but not least thank you to my German family and friends for making this possible and not forgetting about me!
I hope this gave you an impression of what an exchange in Nova Scotia can look like and to everyone that’s still coming here: I’m a little jealous but I wish you the best of luck and lots of fun!
Hope to see you soon Nova Scotia!
I have lots planned for this week since it is my last one! I'll tell you later :)