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 :)
Yesterday, Sunday June 16th, my Mexican friend and I went whale watching. Yes it's my second try after we had a disaster in September. You might remember it: Rain, rain and more rain, wind and no whales. Well I got a free pass so now on a beautiful sunny summer day we tried again. It was the perfect day to go out on the zodiac and after a nice drive down to Brier Island, we had to take two ferries and because my dad knew one of the captains we got to sit in the driver's cabin on top of the ferry, we arrived in Westport. It's a nice little town and after registering and getting our orange wetsuits we drove to the wharf and got on the zodiac. With us there were another older couple and three adults, the captain and his wife and a biologist. We headed out, a zodiac drives really fast and jumps over the waves, it was really fun and after about an hour or so of looking the captain saw a sprout and there it was. A huge humpback whale! Until you see a whale yourself you don't believe how big they actually are! They are huge! After seeing it a few times from farther away it came up to the surface about two to three meters next to my side of the boat! It was amazing and unbelievable! We saw another fin whale from farther away and when we met another whale watching boat we saw another humpback whale. He had a funny name and they said he comes back every year. We and the other boat followed him around for a while and finally he showed his tail! I didn't get a good picture of it cause it was too exciting but some other people did! It was funny because you could always hear us and the people on the other boat go like woooow or ahhhh when the whale showed himself and the tail. After a while he got interested in the other boat and stuck his head out a few times to say hello. He did that right next to the other boat! When he swam away he even got under the other boat that was funny to see. We spent about an hour following him around and then we headed back. It was just amazing and I got some good pictures and I made a video, I'll upload it later. Because it was such a sunny day and the wind was blowing hard in our faces I got a nice sun/windburn on my cheeks and my nose. But it'll be a nice tan after a while :)
Last week plus today was my last week of regular classes at DRHS. It was so hard to believe and I still don't believe it. This week is exam week I have my Math exam tomorrow and my English exam on Friday. Then I have to come on Friday, June 28th, to get my report card and that's it. I can't believe it and probably won't be able to believe it until it actually happened.
Last Wednesday in the first period one of the teachers, he was my French teacher in the first semester, had his annual concert. He has a little band and they play all kinds of country, rock'n'roll, blues music etc. It was really funny and fun and we had a great time there! In the second period my Child Studies course went to the childcare center here, it's like a kindergarten and we spent about an hour and a half visiting the children and playing with them. It was a fun time and the children were so cute! The last two periods after lunch were the award ceremony. Everybody that participated acitvely in extra-curricular activities and earned points for that or was the most valuable player or the coache's pick to get an award got one. It was great to see that all the kids are happy and proud about what they do for their school and that they are recognized by the school and the coaches for what they do.
They also gave the international students their certificate for being and studying in Nova Scotia and at Digby High. Every International Student in Nova Scotia gets that, but our school included it in the Awards Ceremony. That means every international was called to the front by their real name, which resulted in lots of laughter when all of us were called, especially the Asian students. It was just funny because our principal wasn't able to say any of our names right :) That was cool and now the whole school knows us, because we went in front of the whole school to get our certificate. They even filmed the whole ceremony, but I'm not sure for what purpose and where it'll be able to be seen.
That's about everything I can tell you. I'll go now and enjoy my last two weeks!
Well I'm back faster than I thought. On Saturday, June 8th, was the DRHS Prom 2013. My best friends and I had a sleepover Friday night. We stayed up until 3 in the morning and didn't get more than 6 hours of sleep, but the excitement and all the sugar we had made it possible to get up Saturday morning. After some pancakes we started to get ready. Showers, make up and hair followed and finally we all put our dresses and shoes on. We were so excited and couldn't wait so we started taking pictures in the house. Because we had a tropical storm that day (I mean who has a tropical storm on their prom day?) the power went out in town, which luckily didn't affect us, and it was just pouring. At 2:30 all the boys came over and at 3:30 we started our long day. First we went to the Mountain Gap and we had professional pictures taken, after that we went back to the house to re-do our hair, because the rain had had its impact on it and after that we went to the Pines, which is an expensive Golf Resort and Hotel in Digby. It's really pretty on the inside and when we came there lots of other girls and boys, especially the grads were there and it was unbelievable to see all the gorgeous dresses and the guys in their suits. The grads had the prettiest dresses of course, but we still felt like princesses. The one time it stopped raining we went outside and took a few pictures, but we felt like we had already taken about 500 pictures that day and it was a little after 6, so we decided to drive to the high school to get good spots for the grad march. Because of the rain it was in the theatre, but it was still set up really nice. The theme was "Under the Sea" and they had a nice arch and it said Prom 2013 above it and all the grads and their dates were called and walked under it. That was the grad march. In the hall they had a little fountain and the gym was set up beautifully, with lights, round tables, a photo booth, which was like a ship wrack, and of course lots of food. The food was really, really good they had cupcakes, fruit with a chocolate fountain, punch, cake etc. It was delicious! After the parents and everybody else left the party got started. It was a nice dance although lots of the grads and their dates left to go to the prom party. My best friend, our dates and me stayed there and enjoyed an almost empty dance floor. It was almost 11 until we left and we were so tired. It was a great dance and we had so much fun! Back at my best friends house we sat down and almost fell asleep so after checking facebook for a while we just fell in the bed and slept for 10 hours. It was a great weekend with unforgettable memories and great pictures and it just made me realize even more how lucky I am to have such good friends, and especially such an amazing best friend (She's in the picture with me)! I'm so happy to have her and the times with her are always awesome and I'll miss her so incredibly much! I never thought I would find such a good best friend here, but now I'm even happier! :D
On Thursday after lunch the Internationals went to Camp Peniel again. You might remember me talking about it in September when we had our Orientation days. It was the same camp, but this time we just came together for games and stuff like that. We played soccer, it was just awesome to play soccer with kids from all over the world, we had bbq for supper and after that we had time to talk and for a camp fire with smores. It was a great day and I was really happy to see the other kids from the Tri-County School Board again and it was just really fun. My coordinator chose me to do a testimonial for the NSISP, which is like a write up about my experiences. I will be on the new NSISP website and I will also post it here when I'm done.
Also I will be on the Nova Scotia page in the new 2014/15 Stepin brochure, so make sure to order it on their website for free and see me in it ;)
On Friday we got our DRHS 2012/13 yearbooks. They are so cool and my friends already started signing it. I also started having my friends sign a huge Canadian flag and I will bring it back to Germany and hang it up in my room. It looks pretty amazing.
This week will be the last week of regular classes, the week after will be exams and the week after that is my last week in Canada. We don't have school that week, only one day to get our report cards, and then I have one weekend and Canada day and I'll leave Digby. It's crazy and I have so many things and plans that I still want to do. Some of my exchange student friends leave even earlier so I'll have to start saying goodbyes in about two weeks. It's just incredible and I really don't want to do that. I mean I'm really looking forward to see my mom and go back to Germany, but I do not want to leave my second home!
Anyway, I will write again soon, because there will be news for sure! The last month is full of stuff to do, but I probably won't always find time to tell you what I'm doing. I'm sorry for that, but I'm sure you understand.
See you soon,