German student living in Canada
Tell us about your experience
Interview with Clara from Germany
Why did you want to come to Canada for five months?
I wanted to come to Canada because I did not want to miss the exchange experience. Canada is completely different from Germany. Example; nature. In Germany there are not so many lakes around, the Ocean is not so close and the forests are completely different too. I heard from my sister who came to do an International Homestay in Powell River, that it is a lot of fun living in Canada. For her it was a very good time. She met so many new people. She ended up more confident using English after the experience.
I also wanted to practice the English with other students who are learning. I wanted to be around native speakers, of course, but also to make friends with International Students going to my new school. There are many International Students here. It is a very popular destination.
What is your favourite thing about Canada?
I love being so close to nature. You can walk through the neighbourhood and end up in a forest, or walk around a lake with bald eagles above your head. They say you have to watch for bears and cougars, although I have never seen one, well except when I went with the school to the Rocky Mountains. There I saw a black bear.
What kind of food do you like eating in Canada?
I really like instant Macaroni and Cheese. I know it is so sad, but we do not have this in Germany. My host brother and sister make it for me sometimes for lunch. My host mother buys Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, so it is a little bit better. It is so good.
Surprisingly, I am not a big fan of poutine. Of course, I love cheese burgers especially when my host father makes them on the BBQ, but we have this in Germany too. Oh, I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. My host sister and I walk down to the gas station sometimes and we buy ice-cream. She loves Rocky Road and I always get either the Half and Half or the Chocolate Brownie! Best ice cream in the world.
Bannock is good too. It is a deep fried bread dough with cinnamon, sugar, or jam. You can put anything on it really. There are lots of things to try in Canada.
What do you like about the school?
I really like my Food Studies Class because we learn about food from Canada, food from all over the world, food safe, and how to make food that is better for the environment with less waste. “To only buy what you need”, it is a very good lesson to learn. Of course we get to eat what we make too!
Teachers are so nice and open minded in Canada. They always ask you how we are doing, or how your day is going. Back home they are strict and not interested in who we are; it is very academic. Here, in class you can use your phone for research or translations, you always have Wifi, and you can talk to your classmates while you learn. They are relaxed, and the classes are far easier than in Germany. It is easy to learn English without so much stress.
How will your English language help you in the future?
Of course it will help me in my English class back home. Also I want to travel after I finish school, and with a higher level of English it makes it easier to ask for help and to talk with locals.
The English language is becoming more and more important in Germany. More things are posted in English like signs and even newspaper articles with lots of English subtitles. It is becoming crucial to learn the language at a high level. I often find myself translating the newspaper for my grandparents.
Would you recommend Nanaimo for other International Students?
Yes! Nanaimo is not so big. It is safe, so you know your way around quickly and you will get to know lots of people. After a few months, the seasons change, and there are lots of things to see. Many exchange students come here, and they are super open to other exchange students. Your network stretched across the world. It is amazing. You make connections fast.
Westwood Lake with all the trees, the harbour with all the boats, or Neck point with lots of wildlife; everything is pretty and very close. Also in Nanaimo you can choose between lots of types of sports; volleyball, cheerleading, soccer, and lacrosse among others. If you are interested in sports, Canada is the place for you.
What is your host family like?
My host family is very open and positive. They often go for walks, and cook healthy, good food. I have a host brother and sister. My host sister goes to the same school, and we often do things together. Sometimes, on the weekends we go as a family to see sites like Victoria, The Sky Walk, Port Renfrew… They also have a very cute kitten which I love. His name is Cash. They like music and he is named after Johnny Cash. Also, the view from the house is amazing. We can see the harbour, the mainland, and the mountains. We see the sunrise and sunset everyday. The house is big and modern with a beautiful garden around.
The experience was great!