The English Montreal School Board rolled out the red carpet in honour of a group from China consisting of five students and their principal who, for a period of three days, joined the EMSB family and received a first-hand glimpse of school life in Montreal.
Students, who range in age from 12 to 14 years old and their principal spent two days of their visit at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary school in Ahuntsic and then wrapped up their trip with one day at John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel.
In honour of the delegation’s visit, an official ceremony was held at Our Lady of Pompei School where Regional Directors Marzia Michielli and Claude Dansereau, Principals Anna Pecora and Joseph Marra, as well as Commissioner Joseph Petraglia welcomed the guests with various presentations and a breakfast.
“It’s always a pleasure to welcome students from another country who are interested to come here and study, said Claude Dansereau, Regional Director (Region 2). “They will have a very short exposure to the EMSB now, but the plan is for these students to come back next year and spend the entire year in our system. Their overall priority is to experience the North American way of schooling and to learn the English language.”
Over the course of their three day trip, the students were paired up with peers who guided them while at each school. Gracious EMSB parents also opened up their homes to give the delegation a true taste of family life in Montreal as well as ease apprehensions that the students might have felt in a foreign country and city.
“I think this visit will definitely set the stage for next year. When they come back, they will be equally excited and challenged by the whole experience,” added Dansereau. “I think that just the fact that they will be immersed in English, while taking French courses, which could be a third or fourth for many of them, will be very different and exciting.”