The Adventurer AFS Interculture Canadaâ€™s newsletter - Autumn 2011 edition
Students hosted at Ozias-Leduc High School, in Mont Saint-Hilaire. From top to bottom; Frances Blakeley (New Zealand), Joao Azenha (Brazil), Maria Luisa Barbosa (Mexico), Anna Paola Bossi (Italy), Kiratika Poonsombudlert (Thailand), Rahel Marti (Switzerland), Sophia Baumann et Kilian Steinpass (Germany). Picture by Gabriel PitreTraversy (AFS volunteer and future AFS participant in Norway)
AFS Interculture Canada national office AFS Interculture Canada’s team outing at the Montreal Botanical Garden for the event «The Magic of Lanterns».
A little celebration before the maternity leave of Jennifer Hille and Myriam Bérubé.
On Monday, December 5th, two staff members, Katie Broad and Julie Plaisance, and two volunteers, Daniel Bellerose and Elisa Pentilla, attended the Volunteer Bureau of Montreal’s 75th birthday festivities launch party. They had the chance to share with volunteers from various Montreal organizations and to explain what the AFS mission is. The AFS team wishes you wonderful Holiday Season
Abitibi Chapter Hosted students pictured on the top of Mount Kekeko
The students in their Halloween costumes
Beauce Chapter Here is our Beauce Chapter, from left to right: Kevin (former participant and facilitator), Carole (President), Louise (Treasurer and Counselor), Isabelle (Activities and Counselor), Elise (Sending/School Promotion and Counselor), Lucie (CounselorCoordinator), Marielle (Counselor Coordinator), Myriam Bérubé (staff) , Sonia and Yoland (Hosting Coordinator and Counselor). The picture on the right is an AFS kiosk in a local school with Camila (Chile), Maria (Colombia), Kevin, Carole and Natsuko (Japon).
‘‘ We, the AFS Beauce Chapter, for the Fall Camp, have brought together training and pleasure... First, there was an opportunity to introduce the 2011-2012 group of students, parents, and counselors. The morning was more technical with workshops. After a good lunch, the Vaho “TreeGo”activity awaited the most daring attendees... ‘‘ The Beauce Chapter
Bois-Francs Chapter ‘‘ Two Chapters, Sherbrooke and Bois-Francs,. paired for the Fall Camp, on Sunday, October 16th, 2011. We would like to thank, with all our hearts, Mr. Miklos Fulop for his attendance on this day as the Honorary President. This was an activity full of pleasant encounters and hard work done by the host parents, the host brothers and sisters, as well as the AFS students who, with the help of modeling clay, had to show their experience in their host family and country since their arrival...a new activity! At the end of the day, the students presented a show describing their home country. The Optimist Club, once again, offered us an excellent meal and offered even more to our AFS students (a diploma attesting their stay in our area and a sweet surprise). ‘‘ The Bois-Francs Chapter
Deux-Monts Chapter ‘‘ Deux-Monts chapter held a Halloween party and is very happy that 25 students and their families participated. Here are pictures of the costume contest winners, the whole group and the pumpkins carving contest winners. ‘‘ The Deux-Monts Chapter
Drummondville Chapter For their arrival camp, the Drummondville Chapter took its 4 students from Austria, Germany, Japan and Norway kayaking.
Lac St-Jean Chapter ‘‘ The first picture was taken at the arrival camp. We had rented two cabins where we could take a walk after our brief meeting with the students, play a few games, and have a fire during the evening. In the second, we went to TreeGo in St-Félicien where all of the students made it through very well, in high style :) In the last one, we are at the Fall Camp and everyone is happy to be together.’’ Jenny Gosselin, Activity Coordinator
Lanaudière Chapter ‘‘ AFS volunteers can expect anything, even receiving an invitation from an ambassador! And yes, that’s what happened to Uzay and me last October. This adventure began in September when we received a letter from the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, based in Ottawa. What a surprise! The ambassador, Dr. Rafet Akgünay, thanked us for offering such generous hospitality to Idil Uzay as a host family with the AFS Interculture program. As well, we were invited to contact the embassy if a problem arose, and the ambassador wished us a good school year! My family and I have been involved with AFS for almost 10 years...but this is the very first time an embassy has taken the time to write to us! Long live Turkey! And, as Uzay says so well: “My country is different, I told you! That’s Turkey!” Afterwards, the stunning news continued as the embassy sent us an invitation to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey! We therefore left for Ottawa on October 28th to participate in the festivities. (The Republic Day of Turkey is October 29th.) A buffet supper at the ambassador’s residence brought together a large number of Turkish people. We met His Excellency Mr. Akgünay as well as his family and a few dignitaries, including a woman in her fifties who had had an AFS experience in Italy! It’s a small world after all! The ambassador was very friendly and spoke with Uzay for several minutes; in Turkish, of course! But he showed that he also knows a few words of French...and he chatted a little in English with the young AFS student from Hungary who came along with us. AFS is one big family; everyone knows that! Uzay and I had been invited to stay in Gatineau with Nicole and Jacques, the host parents of Adrienn Simon, a young Hungarian girl who had become friends with Uzay...on Facebook! (The practical and wonderful side of this social network…) We had a fantastic time, spending hours chatting about interculturalism and international development, among other topics, and we would like to thank them publicly! In short, our visit to the Outaouais region and to the national capital was memorable and full of wonderful encounters… ‘‘ Uzay Uzun (Turkey) and Francine Pratte, Uzay’s host mother
Adrienn and Uzay
Laval Chapter Corn Roast
Pumpkins carving activity
Maniwaki - Mont-Laurier Chapter ‘‘ Here is the MANIWAKI-MONT-LAURIER Chapter, which this year includes 8 students from different countries, with 8 counselors and 8 families, plus our President Richmond Plouffe and our Hosting Coordinator, Roger, as well as our temporary host family. For our arrival camp, we had an official meeting followed by an evening of bowling where everyone could get to know each other and have fun. There were around forty of us all together for this activity. LONG LIVE AFS CANADA! ‘‘ Francine Richard, Counselor Coordinator
Outaouais Chapter On November 19th, Till Schmid (Germany) attended the 53rd Viennese Ball of Montreal, organized every year by The Austrian Society of Montreal. The event took place at the Marriott Château Champlain, in Montreal.
Quebec Chapter Fall Camp, October 16th, 2011
Outing at the Ghost Tours of Quebec, in old Quebec, October 22nd, 2011
Sherbrooke Chapter ‘‘ It’s with a nod to the beginning of the ‘’Quebec fall season’’ that the AFS Sherbrooke Chapter invited the families, counselors, and AFS students to join them on Saturday, September 17th, 2011, for a fu activity. This activity was apple picking in one of our beautiful Estrie region orchards, namely the Ferland Orchard in Compton. The sun was out and the temperature was slightly brisk... This picture shows us the joy that everyone felt being out in nature picking apples, pears, and plums. ‘‘ The Sherbrooke Chapter
Trois-Rivières Chapter ‘‘ The 2011-2012 year immerses us once again in a wonderful cultural adventure. In fact, 25 students from 13 nationalities share the daily lives of 23 families in the region. Just a few days after the arrival of the students, there is some anxiety in the air as they meet the families. The counselors’ breakfast was on Saturday, September 17th. In a good mood, the students and their counselors took advantage of the occasion to get to know each other better. The Fall Camp proved to be a day rich in learning. The 4 Thai students (Patra, Nicharee, OnNibha, and Pornploy) show us their beautiful country. Carla from Chile, accompanied by her host brother, Steven, and by Jose from Columbia in a folk dance. On November 6th, 2011, AFS Trois-Rivières organized its traditional «Culinary Discovery» activity. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and lent a hand to please our palates. ‘‘ Hélène Bourassa, Promotion coordinator
Vancouver Chapter ‘‘ On November 5th, Magalie went surfing on North Beach with the local surfing club, as they were offering lessons. Here are a few pictures of her surfing. I find it hard to believe, but she said she was actually HOT in the wetsuit! Keep in mind we are close to Alaska up here in Haida Gwaii, and she was out in the water! She had lots of fun and made several new friends. ‘‘ Zoe Sikora, Magalie’s host mother
Yellowknife Chapter ‘‘ Here is a recent photo from a Pumpkin Carvings that Claire, Karin and Rebecca participated in, at Sir John Franklin High School with some of their classmates. The other picture is from when the 3 exchange girls got together at Claire’s host family’s house to carve pumpkins for Halloween. ‘‘ Debora Eben, President
Personal, professional and social benefits of youth international students exchanges programs by Beatriz Rojas Guiza
‘‘Student exchange programs promote tolerance, maturity and independence”1 We live in an increasingly multicultural society, where tolerance, understanding and mutual comprehension are a must. Around the world, there are multiple associations that promote international student exchanges and, each year, hundreds of young people participate in their programs. As more and more research is being done in this field, the anlysis of various sources confirmed that youth international exchange programs are beneficial on a personal, professional and social level. PERSONAL BENEFITS Personality development According to a study made at Regensburg University, intercultural exchange experiences (ages 1620) have an ‘‘unparalleled sustained effect on the participants’personality development”2, since its foundations are being laid out. Vital aspects of one’s character are still developing, like value system, emotional independence, personal identity and preparation for the future professional and family life3. However, reflecting on the experience seems to be very important to assess one’s evolution. Furthermore, exchange students experience several adjustment periods throughout their stay abroad, and there is no doubt that going through this adaptation process helps forge one’s character, since it is not always easy to adapt oneself to a new environment. 1.Arrival
3. Superficial adaptation
6.Anxiety of returning home
Competence in intercultural relations The competence in intercultural relations is treated separately from the benefits on personality development since it is a major contribution of youth exchange experiences. It comprises acceptance, interest, comprehension and respect toward cultural difference, as well as the desire to live in multicultural communities, as reported by the Hansel study4. It is not the least to mention that an important part of the increase in this competence is achieved through being accepted and loved by a host family as another one of theirs sons/daughters, as mentioned by 91% of the particpants in the Venezuelan study5.
Personal, professional and social benefits of youth international students exchanges programs (continuation) by Beatriz Rojas Guiza
PROFESSIONAL BENEFITS Regarding the professional benefits of an exchange experience, we can mention the skills and maturity gained in fields such as conflict resolution, human relationships and communication. Concerning working opportunities after the exchange program, the Venezuelan study mentions that the first job of 73% of the participants was a result of their intercultural experience, mainly because of the newly acquired language 6. SOCIAL BENEFITS One of the biggest international student exchange organizations is AFS Intercultural Programs, which was created after World War II in an attempt to avoid wars and promote world peace. Though other organizations’ goals might seem more individualistic, the benefits of the intercultural experience are always favourable for the whole society in different ways, such as: o “…A clear outcome of this experience was an understanding that the world is one commu7 nity…” o Less cultural anxiety, an expanded intercultural network and more friends upon returning home 8. o 87.3% of the particpants of the Venezuelan study agreed that AFS is fulfilling its mission, which they related to world peace, understanding, brotherhood, communication and intercultural relations 9. As we can see, student exchange programs have a positive influence in young people’s personal, professional and social development, broaden their worldview and are a rich experience that encourages learning in general. Hopefully, “international youth exchange will be recognised and appreciated as an important resource to develop our society’s human capital”10. In fact, these programs are a powerful tool to help the world become a better place through the promotion mutual understanding, while nourishing the dreams of youth related to peace, freedom and justice. A text written by Beatriz Rojas Guiza, counselor in the Abitibi chapter. References and integral text available via the following link : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1 T1yOean90FJGivDVBzrF0v0QTdB0ViEkTJSH4TnOlxg/edit
Testimony from a returnee; Jonathan Grignon, Soccer program in Brazil ‘‘ Why AFS? Simply because, up to now, I’ve lived the most wonderful experience of my life! My stay in Brazil with the soccer program allowed me to obtain a spot among a well-known team for years to come, l’America Futebol Club! I got to know wonderful friends and an extraordinary family! To resume my experience, I decided to share with you a story which says a lot about everything that I learned during my month long exchange in Brazil. One morning, I woke up to go to soccer practice at the Rio training center and I noticed a boy playing with his kite, it would have been around 8 in the morning. He had a smile on his face. When I came back from my training, at 7 o’clock at night, I saw the same boy playing in my street playing with his kite, and once again, he had a smile on his face. I asked him he had played with his kite all day and he nodded that yes, still with his beautiful smile. I went home and I understood at that moment that we don’t need much to be happy in life. I shared this story with you because it helped me become a new person and I believe it to be important to partake in another exchange with AFS. For the second time in one year, I will be leaving in the summer of 2012 to India for 6 months and lend a hand to kids in an orphanage. Why? Simply because AFS opened my eyes to the world! What could be more wonderful than to make someone happy? Thank you very much AFS! ‘‘ Jonathan Grignon
Spot the 5 differences
Bruna Salermo, language program in Spain, summer 2011
Associate the country with its folk dance Bharata Natyam
Argentinea Brazil, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Russia and Spain
Solutions Spot the 5 differences
Associate the country with its folk dance Bharata Natyam - India Flamenco - Spain
Samba - Brazil Tango - Argentina
Haka - New Zealand
Tarantella - Italy
Legong - Indonesia
Troika - Russia