Alina Krüssel, 16, of Düsseldorf, Germany, has been attending school in Invermere at David Thompson Secondary School for several months as part of the international student program.
Krüssel explained that she knew some English before attending the program.
“We learn English in school since Grade 3, and now we learn it from Grade 1,” she said.
When asked why English language learning was such a big part of early German schooling, Krüssel explained that English was an important language.
“It’s the international language,” she said. “When you go somewhere, everyone or at least some people know English.”
This isn’t Krüssel’s first visit to North America, though.
Her father is a doctor, and her family lived in California for two years when she was young while he was practising medicine there.
Krüssel is enjoying school in Invermere, saying that she “likes it way better”, and is enjoying the variety of subjects to learn.
However, she does find it odd that high school students are working part-time jobs.
“Students are working here, but they don’t in Germany,” she explained.
Krüssel is enjoying the bountiful nature of the Columbia Valley, and finds the residents more “open”.
“People don’t lock their doors when they leave,” she laughed. “And everyone has a car. And it’s colder!”
Of the new foods to try in Invermere, Krüssel has given poutine a taste – and likes it!
There was a small shaky experience to overcome since being in the Columbia Valley, however.
“I saw a bear while on a bus, from Invermere to Radium,” Krüssel explained.
Apparently the bear was in plain sight, on the side of the road as the bus passed by, and gave Krüssel a bit of a scare.
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 about the program, visit www.sd6.bc.ca/international.php