Lena Bergman, 16, of Bavaria, Germany, is attending school at David Thompson Secondary in Invermere as part of the international student program.
Bergman finds school in British Columbia different than school in her home country because the school days are longer, and there are fewer subjects to take per semester.
Bergman knew some English before coming to Canada, as English is taught along with German in German schools.
Since coming to British Columbia, though, Bergman has made a big change: before leaving Bavaria, Bergman was a vegetarian.
“I was a vegetarian in Germany,” Bergman said. “I really wanted to go to Canada, but I was told that vegetarian was ‘no good’ in Canada by others.”
So Bergman changed her eating habits, only to discover that Canada was a vegetarian-friendly country after all. Bergman says she would like to go back to being a vegetarian, but at the moment it is not a “big deal”.
“In Germany, everything is close. I live in a big city,” Bergman explained.
She went on to say how different living in the Columbia Valley was with everything so far away from each other.
Another big difference Bergman finds between British Columbia and Bavaria is that, in school in Invermere, she is “allowed to listen to music and chew gum”. In her school in Germany, both these actions were against the rules even while not in class.
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 offers an International Student Program that has been in operation since 1987.
For more information about the program, visit http://www.sd6.bc.ca/international.php