Fifteen exchange students from Guangdong, China have arrived in chilly conditions to attend Wolf Creek Public Schools in Lacombe and Blackfalds.
This is part of the Wolf Creek International Learning Program that gives students from other countries a chance to experience a different culture.
Assistant Superintendent, Mark McWhinnie says the students have settled in well so far.
“They’re certainly enjoying their first experience here. They’ve never experienced snow before so they’re very intrigued by the weather and experiencing things outdoors in this kind of temperature.”
McWhinnie explains what the program entails and what the students will be learning in Canada.
“Students are matched with a student ambassador at Wolf Creek Public Schools and are attending one of three schools in Lacombe and Blackfalds. They’re attending regular classes and their goal is to integrates some language learning activities, learn about culture and what Alberta has to offer.
“They’re very excited about the choice in diversity in our educational programs such as options and career and technology foundations that our students have access to on a daily basis.”
McWhinnie says these exchange students will also attend events at the 2019 Canada Winters Games, and other seasonal activities in Alberta.
This program is part of an agreement between the Guangdong Province in China and the Province of Alberta.
“It’s a sister school partnership and Wolf Creek Public Schools is one of the first K to 12 school divisions in the province of Alberta to act on this partnership,” McWhinnie explains. “We hosted 65 students this past summer and now we’re starting into five-month and 10-month programs.”
There’s also benefits for local students and families impacted by this program, McWhinnie says.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our own students to experience culture and diversity and to be connected with another student from another country. The (exchange) students live with host families and it creates an opportunity for the host family to build a relationship and our students to be able to understand how different people live, work and play from other parts of the world.”
The fifteen exchange students attending classes are in grades 6, 7 and 8.
The schools involved in the program are École Lacombe Junior High School and Terrace Ridge School in Lacombe, as well as Iron Ridge Junior Campus in Blackfalds.
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