The snow-covered landscape fascinates exchange students from Paraná who arrived in Canada this Thursday and Friday (10th and 11th). They are from several counties across the state and this is their first time away from home.
“Everything is so beautiful here. The snow… White, soft and very cold. Soon I will make a snowman”, says Kaio Vitor Santos, from Andirá, a city of 20,000 that has summer temperatures at home. 30°C.
He is one of 100 students participating in the Gaining the World exchange program, which is promoted by the State Department of Education and Sports (Seed-PR). The students left Paraná on Wednesday (9).
Kaio has met his “host family”, the family he will be hosting for the six-month exchange, and is excited to start his classes at Madill Middle School, in the province of Ontario. “I will start on Monday. I am very anxious and excited, but also a little scared. There, everything will be new”, he said. “I hope I make some friends, dedicate myself completely and enjoy every detail of the new experience I’m having here.”
Gustavo Henrique de Oliveira, from Umuarama, has also arrived at his adoptive family’s home, in the province of Ontario. “Lots of snow, guys. There is snow to give and sell,” he joked. “The experience is one of great gratitude in my heart. This is a dream come true for me.”
Student Ana Maria Hobold de Oliveira, from Francisco Beltrão, is still at the Montreal airport, waiting to board the provinces of Terra Nova and Labrador, where she will spend the semester. He and other students went outside the airport to touch the snow and take pictures.
“It’s amazingly cold in Canada. I love winter, so I really enjoy it”, said the student. Before traveling, students receive equipment to prepare them for the cold, with boots and two outerwear (windbreaker and sweater), in addition to backpacks and a t-shirt.
Along with Ana is Eduarda Caroline Coutinho, from Barraco. The student enjoys being able to communicate well in English — a language he has practiced since the flight, when ordering food and talking to other passengers. “It’s strange to arrive at a place where people communicate in a completely different language than what we are used to, because here they speak both English and French. But everything went very well and we were able to communicate clearly in English”, he said.
He reports that both colleagues who have traveled to their Canadian city and those waiting for connections at the airport are excited to experience Canadian culture (and schools) on a day-to-day basis. “We are happy with everything that happened. It has been an amazing experience”, he said.
“It’s like living in a movie”, added Ana. “We are literally taking over the world.”
WIN THE WORLD – The Gaining the World international exchange program was created by the Secretary of State for Education and Sport to offer training of secondary school students in foreign educational institutions that have courses equivalent to secondary schools in Brazil. Young people are selected based on the ranking of the best grades among public schools.
Students were originally due to travel in August 2021, but still in the first semester, their trip was postponed until earlier this year due to health measures imposed by the pandemic. Because of this, the destination changed from New Zealand to Canada.
The selection of exchange students is based on grade point average and frequency. The criteria are an average greater than or equal to seven (7.0) in all subjects, and a frequency greater than or equal to 85%. To reach the final grade, the average of all subjects from the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC) taken in 2020 in grade 9 is added up.
To improve the language, by 2021, those selected have access to English language courses via application, which are offered in partnership with public universities associated with the General Oversight of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
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