Azusa Nakada, 17, from Osaka, Japan, has been attending school at David Thompson Secondary for half a year as part of the International Student program.
Nakada says she knew “a little” English before coming to British Columbia.
However, since attending school here, she doesn’t feel her English has greatly improved just yet.
According to Nakada, “just remembering English” is the trickiest part about speaking the second language.
While she is enjoying school in Invermere, she finds it very different than school back home in Japan.
“We have school uniforms in Japan, but not here,” said Nakada.
In addition to the strict uniform policies, she also said that hair curling, hair dye, and excessive piercing (nose, lips, eyebrows, etc.) are not allowed in Japanese schools.
Since coming to British Columbia, Nakada has had the chance to try snowboarding and new, “Canadian” food – both of which she quite enjoys.
However, like another international student, Nakada has also had a bear-scare while living in the Columbia Valley.
“I haven’t seen a bear in Japan, but I’ve seen one here,” Nakada said. “I was so scared. It was in the garden, we saw it there. Everyone was called inside.”
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 offers an International Student Program that has been in operation since 1987.
Since its start, the program offered in the communities of Golden, Invermere and Kimberley has hosted full-time and short-term students from throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, the United States and Australia.
For more information about the program, visit http://www.sd6.bc.ca/international.php