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HELLO, POWELL RIVER

Ni hao, Principal Behan! BY ISABELLE SOUTHCOTT | isabelle@prliving.ca

I

t’s important that students from another country settle in when they come to Powell River. There are cultural differences, geographical differences, and differences in food and education. But international students here may experience fewer challenges settling in - thanks to some “newcomer” insight gleaned during Shannon Behan’s year in China. She was the principal of Sino Bright’s Beijing campus. Shannon, who is principal of School District 47’s international education programs, returned from China in June. She told Powell River Living her goal is to make it easier for all Sino Bright students to fit in here. By living in China and experiencing the culture and seeing how students live, she reported, she now has a better understanding of where the teens are coming from.

“The people [in Beijing] are so friendly and welcoming to foreigners.” – Shannon Behan “I want to make sure it is not such a big leap educationally to settle into our school system here,” she said. Shannon enjoyed her year in Beijing. “I loved my job of running the school and looking after all the students as well as the international teachers. I loved navigating the city and meeting the students and their families and picking up the language.” “Even though Beijing is huge and there are nearly as many people in Beijing (population 21 million) as in Canada (35 million), I felt safe there because the

RIDING A TREND: BC has certified 31 offshore schools in China; five in South Korea, and one each in Japan, Thailand, Qatar, Colombia and Egypt. people are so friendly and welcoming to foreigners.” Business is conducted differently in China. “It is done through relationships that you have to foster,” she says. It centers around social events like dinner par-

ties and it is there that relationships between business partners are cemented.” In May, Mayor Dave Formosa and SD47 Superintendent Jay Yule visited. “It was a privilege to show them the many campuses (11) of Sino Bright schools

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POWELL RIVER LIVING • august 2015 •

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1508 august 2015  

Powell River Living's August issue shares the winners of the "I Love Powell River" contest. Also read about trail running with Joseph McLean...

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