Ana Lena Ladwig arrived in Invermere only recently as part of the International Student Program.
The 14-year-old student originally hails from Hamburg, Germany, and has been attending David Thompson Secondary (DTSS) for just under two months.
While she knew a bit of English before attending school in Invermere, Ladwig said she still has some difficulties with the language.
“I understand it more, but speaking is still hard,” she said (very well though, despite that). “Pronunciation, ‘finding’ words…I always forget.”
“Her favourite word is ‘perhaps’, she always says it,” laughed Yolande Dolman, who is housing Ladwig for her stay.
Ladwig is enjoying her schooling in Invermere, especially the variety of classes there are to choose from, such as textiles, cooking, and photography.
“The lessons are longer, but the teachers are more relaxed,” she explained, in comparison to her German schooling experience.
When asked what she found to be the most different from Hamburg, Ladwig said it was the mountains and her new school.
“In Hamburg, everything is flat,” she explained. “It’s colder here as well, but school is the biggest difference.”
Since coming to Invermere, Ladwig has had the chance to try snow-shoeing, which she enjoyed, but has yet to try or find a new food she likes, she said.
Aside from deer frequently being spotted on Invermere’s streets, Ladwig says the strangest thing she’s noticed about her new location versus her home in Hamburg is, once again, something that takes place in the classroom.
“In Germany, we always raise our hands in class to ask questions,” said Ladwig, who explained that she does not have to do that in her classes at DTSS.
“It’s lots of fun,” Dolman said of having an international student. “It gives you a chance to look at your community through new eyes.”
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, visit www.sd6.bc.ca/international.php