International Education in Action

Posted On Wednesday May 11, 2022

Course credits are now being offered to international students through an immersive activities program that allows youth to get a true Canadiana experience during their time in Kamloops.

This year, the District’s vibrant International Student Program (ISP) is hosting 300 students in seven schools from 19 different countries and, through the Language Acquisition through Community and Physical Activity course, is offering students an opportunity to participate in an array of local activities. Thus far, students have enjoyed trips to Tofino, the BC Wildlife Park, Blazers games, various lakes and hiking trails around the area, and have tried their hand at gold panning, skiing, snowshoeing, and skating, to name a few outings.

Activities and English Language Learning Teacher Tom Beeke told the Board of Education at their regular meeting on May 9 that the course was developed to support and encourage ISP students to authentically advance their English language acquisition through community-based activities, enhance global intercultural awareness, and to compare their native country to the richness and diversity of Canada through these defined activities, as well as interaction within the Kamloops region.

“This course will allow students to become more aware of Canadian culture, inclusive of Indigenous culture and history,” said Beeke. “Through this learning, ISP students will focus on building reading comprehension, compositional skills, and speaking and listening skills. Physical activity and student wellness are also essential components of this course.”

Using the First Peoples Principles of Learning, this Board/Authority Authorized (BAA) course provides the framework for interculturalization with a goal to prepare students to be citizens in a globally diverse society: “Many cultures are brought together and understanding is created through shared experiences and relationships. No one in this course can claim they are the dominant culture and English is often the only commonality,” continued Beeke.

“It’s wonderful knowing that these kinds of opportunities exist for international students within our District,” said Board Chair Heather Grieve following the presentation that included a discussion with a group of current international students representing Mexico, Taiwan, Belgium, and Brazil.

When asked about one thing ISP students have learned about themselves during this process, posed by Superintendent Rhonda Nixon, students responded with various answers:

  • “I learned about being independent.”
  • “I felt I actually learned about myself more after I got here from different aspects, different cultures, and from different people.”
  • “I learned about where I want to be and where I want to go.”
  • “I learned how to manage my own money.”
  • “I found out I’m stronger than I thought I was going to be.”
  • “It’s a part of growing up and being more mature.”

Following their replies, Superintendent Nixon noted, “I feel like this program is changing lives and that’s what we do as educators.” 

Contact Us