Student Exchange: Beach Hopping And Waterparks

Ella_Waxman3After three weeks of almost nonstop rain, the weather finally got better. We were able to go outside a lot this week, which allowed me to see so many more things. On Friday, we had FRESH, the church youth group, and we went to Darling Harbour to get gelato. While we were there, we went into a mini water park that’s set up in a green space at the Harbour. It was a lot of fun and, after the religious part of the group, we went to get gelato.

This past weekend, I didn’t get to sleep in, but that allowed us to do more during the day. On Saturday, we took a ferry to Manly Beach and got a great view of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Once at Manly Beach, we walked around the water and then to another beach nearby. The water was so clear that I could see little fish swimming around just a foot away from me. Because of the heat, we decided to get something to drink so I got a whole coconut from a cafe nearby and Sarah got an iced chocolate drink. We drank them while sitting on a mini rock cliff looking over the ocean. The view was amazing. We then went to a small market and had burgers before heading back towards the ferry.

The weather was even better the next day. Sarah and I spent most of the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild, a water park, and had a great time. When we got into the park, we were given bracelets that allowed us to do something called Tap ‘n’ Play, where we got to reserve our spots on a ride with a long line, while we did something else. After we spent the day tanning, going on water rides and swimming, we went to Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some marsupials. The park was filled with different types of animals, like koalas, dingos, wombats, Tasmanian devils, quokkas, and I got to pet and feed wallabies and kangaroos. The wallabies and kangaroos were very friendly and super soft. I got to see some animals that I’ve never heard of before, and it was a great experience.

On Monday, we had school, and since the forecast for Tuesday looked very good we planned to go to Bondi Beach. Although it was overcast, we still went down to the coast and had a great time. Sarah and I did the Coogee to Bondi beach walk along the coast and got to see some amazing views and really nice beaches. Since it was a weekday, we had the beaches to ourselves and even though it wasn’t super hot, I went in the water. Along the coast walk, we stopped to have a snack on a few cliffs looking over the ocean. We recorded our day, took lots of pictures and then got a giant thing of chips. Sarah brought bread with her to the beach and made me something called a chip butty, which is a piece of white bread with butter and fries. I did not like it, but apparently it’s an Australian delicacy. I tried eating some more chips, but as a North American I was missing ketchup. I asked Sarah where I could get some ketchup, which is actually called tomato sauce here and it’s sweeter. It turns out that in Australia there are no free ketchup packets anywhere. I had to pay a dollar for three mini packages of tomato sauce and I was shocked. Besides the super sweet dollar ketchup, I had an amazing time. We ended the day by getting some gelato from Gelatomessina, which was amazing, and then headed back to Sarah’s house.

Australia is an amazing place and I highly recommend it to anyone. Just bring your own ketchup. I only have a week and a half left here, and I already know that I’m going to miss the country and all of the friends I have made. I have seen and done so much and can’t wait to experience new things in the next week. – Ella Waxman ’19, Student Exchange at Methodist Ladies’ College

Lors d’une prise de décision, en cas de surcharge d’informations suivez votre instinct!

DecisionsAujourd’hui, nous allons vous parler de la confiture.

Et oui! La confiture… Plus spécifiquement, une expérience qui a été conduite par une Américaine nommée Sheena Iyengar. Son expérience s’est déroulée comme suit : elle a installé deux présentoirs différents de confitures dans un supermarché en Californie. Le premier étalage offrait six choix de confiture et l’autre en avait vingt-quatre. Le but de l’expérience était de déterminer si le nombre de confitures offertes aux clients changeait le nombre de confiture vendue.

Comme résultat, Mme Iyengar a constaté que les gens qui sont allés au présentoir contenant les six choix de confiture ont acheté la confiture 30 % du temps, tandis que, seulement 3 % des clients ont acheté la confiture provenant du présentoir qui contenait vingt-quatre saveurs. Ceci s’explique simplement : lorsqu’on est donné trop de choix, notre cerveau devient trop rempli d’information et nous paralyse!

Cette expérience est expliquée en détail dans le livre Blink de Malcolm Gladwell. Dans ce livre, il parle de ce phénomène qu’il nomme « Paralyse d’analyse. »

Gladwell énonce que notre génération croit que la qualité de notre travail sera améliorée si nous prenons notre temps et recevons plus d’informations au sujet d’une certaine situation. Par contre, ceci est totalement FAUX. Plutôt, les jugements instantanés peuvent parfois être beaucoup mieux.

Alors pourquoi est-ce que nous avons choisi de partager ceci avec vous ?

Parce que vous êtes tous concernés par cette théorie de la « paralyse d’analyse ». Que vous soyez en Middle School avec les opportunités variées dans les sports et les clubs offerts, en neuvième année avec l’idée d’un échange scolaire, en dixième en train de remplir les applications pour une position de Grad pride pour l’an prochain ou, même encore, en onzième avec la décision troublante de choisir entre Pre-U vs le Cégep, vous êtes TOUS dans une situation où vous devez faire des choix et prendre une décision. Alors que faire? Prendre son temps, analyser tous les faits, les pours et les contres? Ou écouter ses instincts? Ce qu’on espère avoir prouvé avec l’exemple de la confiture c’est que, quand nous prenons ces décisions, il ne faut pas trop se poser de questions. Au lieu de rechercher infiniment des informations, de vous remettre en question et de vous questionner si vous êtes assez bon ou pas (en obsédant sur votre SAT ou votre moyenne) pourquoi, plutôt, ne pas vous poser simplement une question : qu’est-ce que je souhaite faire ?

Ceci pourrait aussi vous aider dans vos travaux. Quand un professeur vous donne un projet, ne le bombardez pas avec toutes vos questions jusqu’à la taille des lettres et
« calmez-vous ! » Ne limitez pas votre créativité avec des contraintes de style ou de forme. Laissez-vous aller ! En fait, le livre Blink propose même l’extrême et suggère que les médecins ne devraient rien savoir au sujet de leurs patients afin d’avoir un esprit ouvert, des idées nouvelles sans être influencés par des informations inutiles et préjudiciables.

Bon! Un peu extrême… On ne sait pas si cela est un bon choix! Enfin si vous ne voulez pas suivre les conseils de M. Gladwell, nous pouvons vous dire qu’au moins, cela vous aidera beaucoup la prochaine fois que vous achèterez de la confiture… – Abby Shine ’17 and Laurence Troquet ’17

Student Exchange: Discovery in Johannesburg

Constitution Hill 2I have been in Johannesburg for a little over a month and this exchange is going by so fast! I wish I could stay longer but sadly I only have two weeks left. I have experienced so many new things and discovered the history of their beautiful country.

In the past month, I was lucky enough to go on two community service days. We visited two different schools and they were both amazing experiences. The first school we visited was one for refugee children. These children have gone through so much in their lifetimes but they are all happy and so interested. The second school was for children with learning disabilities. This school surprised me because there are only three classes. It was so nice to meet all the kids.

I visited Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum and learned about the history of the Apartheid government and their oppression of coloured people that ended only in 1994.

We went to Cape Town for the weekend and I got to visit so many different places such as Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years), Two Oceans Aquarium, the Cape Wheel, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Camps Bay Beach and a market with local vendors. I met a man who was put in Robben Island Prison as a political prisoner for standing up to the Apartheid government. I heard his story of the horrible treatment of prisoners and the way that they were forced to live. I was surprised to learn that many former political prisoners still live on the island! Cape Town is a beautiful and historic city and I would love to go back someday.

Saints is very different from LCC in many ways. With their extra-curricular activities, people often finish school around 10 pm even though classes end at 2:40 pm. Their sports are also different. I have tried new sports such as netball and diving. They are both fun and popular here. Also, some sports that are popular in Montreal, such as ice hockey and basketball, are not popular here. Lastly, their campus is huge compared to LCC, with a labyrinth of boarding houses, a chapel, two field hockey turf fields, a dam, three pools, tennis courts, netball courts, seven separate schools, as well as countless sports fields.

I have gotten used to the girls-only school but it is very different from LCC. Even though the boys and girls are on the same campus, they are very separate and boys and girls rarely see each other. I think that coed is a nicer way to go to school.

My host family has been so nice and welcoming and has worked hard to make sure that I enjoy my time here. I will be sad to leave all my new friends who have made me feel like South Africa is my home. I will miss South Africa and I hope that I can come back one day.– Natasha Ryan ’19, Exchange Student at St Stithians Girls’ College

Student Exchange: A Canadian’s Survival Guide to Life in Australia

As my time in Adelaide, Australia comes to an end, I reflect back on everything this trip has taught me. It taught me to be independent, how to step further out of my comfort zone than I could ever imagine and, most importantly, it taught me how to be a better version of myself. I learnt about new people, cultures and traditions. Over these past six weeks, I became immersed in Australian culture, although Bronwyn’s (my exchange) parents are American.

Let’s make a few things clear. First of all, you will NOT see kangaroos and koalas roaming the streets (unfortunately). Secondly, not all Aussies surf. Some do, but unless they tell you about it, don’t assume! The word “thongs” will most likely be used often and it doesn’t mean what you think it means… It means flip-flops! (Kind of confusing, I know.) There is, apparently, a HUGE difference between chips and hot chips (I’m still not quite sure what the difference is but I know it’s there.) Australians do not spend every minute of every day idolizing Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, and lastly, not once did I hear anyone say anything about putting shrimps on the barbie!

During my time here, I experienced a lot of different things. I had the opportunity to visit Sydney and see famous sites like the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I had heard so much about both those places and it was amazing to see them in person. School in Adelaide is very different from LCC. Not only is it completely foreign territory but everything’s outside! You catch some sun just walking from one class to another. I was lucky enough to participate in Westminster’s swimming carnival. They have houses like we do at LCC and students in each house swam different races and did relays. It was nice and interesting to see a somewhat familiar activity where houses were competing against each other all the way across the world.

It took awhile for me to adjust to all the changes but that’s okay. As hard as it was to adjust to things like the 15-hour time change and making new friends, going on an international exchange has been a worthwhile experience and has changed me for the better. I was able to form bonds that will hopefully last a lifetime and I hope I’ll be able to visit my Aussie friends soon! – Sophie Levy ’19, Student Exchange at Westminster School

Student Exchange: The Sights of Bogota

I have been in Bogota, Colombia for one month now and I’m having the time of my life. I have made really close friendships and many memories. I have gotten used to the different style of life and also how different the school is. I have been catching up with schoolwork from LCC even though it’s hard sometimes and I’ve also been doing schoolwork for the school here. I have classes that I don’t have at LCC, like physics. I have learnt a lot and I feel more independent when it comes to doing schoolwork.

Every weekend I go somewhere with my host family. I’m so lucky that they know so much about Colombia and are willing to take me to places and do things I have never done before. I went to Villa de Leyva on my second weekend and we went zip lining, riding in the desert and explored the town. I have taken so many photos and videos and have bought many typical Colombian things to bring back home to my family. I have also gone on many hikes and climbed all the way up to an altitude of 3,600m. I have learnt about Colombian culture and, as I am from South America, I think it is really good to know. I talk Spanish almost at all times, which I’m really happy about, and I’m now starting to use Colombian words.

Andrea has arrived and I’m so happy to be back with her. She has been a great host and has basically become like a sister to me. I have met many of her friends from her grade and they are all so welcoming.

This whole experience is better than I could have imagined. I know that I will never forget this and I’m going to keep my friends forever. All that I have experienced is making me a better person. I’m so excited to spend my birthday in Cartagena during my last week here. I’m going to enjoy my last weeks and make the most out of them. – Sofia Araya Meier ’19, Student Exchange at Colegio Anglo Colombiano