Student Exchange: Adelaide, an Amazing City

2015_2016_StudExchange_Westminster_AFata_01It’s my third week in Australia and I’m having a great time! Each day, I’m learning more about this country and enjoying it very much.

Last weekend, my exchange family and I went for a long bike ride around Adelaide. I don’t really bike a lot in Montreal but they thought this would be a great way to see the city.

Just like Montreal, Adelaide has a few bike paths throughout the city. Some of these paths are very long, almost 9 km, and run through the forests and parks and at some points through the city itself, which was quite busy. The neighbourhoods in Adelaide are a lot like Montreal but the area along the beach is very different and very nice. There are restaurants and stores along the beach and the feeling is very relaxed. I especially enjoy the ice cream shop, which we have gone to a few times already!

At first, I thought that Adelaide was much smaller than Montreal, but I now think they are about the same size. In fact, the stadium where professional cricket and Aussie Rules Football, also called Footy, are played, can hold about 53,000 seats, almost three times the number of seats in the Bell Centre! We rode our bikes for about three hours and I really had a chance to see a lot.

On the weekends, we have also spent quite a bit of time at the beach, which I really enjoy. It has been extremely hot here, sometimes as high as 40 degrees, and the water is actually very warm for swimming. I have been having a great time with Phoenix and his family!

At school, I have been making new friends and enjoying my experience at Westminster. I have been learning a lot about Australia and the other countries in the Pacific. For example, I have learned about the Maori people, who are an indigenous group in New Zealand. Their dance, the Haka, is still used by the New Zealand Rugby team before each game to intimidate their opponents. We also learned about Ned Kelly, an important folk hero to the Australians. He was an outlaw who fought the police and became known for his courage to stand up to the British. Even over 100 years later, they are still learning about his life.

I have also been practicing cricket and volleyball every week with Phoenix. In the first volleyball game I played, we actually defeated St. John School!  I was supposed to play my first cricket game last Saturday but unfortunately the weather was 39 degrees and the coaches decided that it was too hot to play. It was a shame because our team hasn’t won a game this season and we actually thought that we were able to win this game.

I’m having such a great time in Australia and will remember this for the rest of my life! — Anthony Fata ’18


Duke of Ed Gold Trip Colombia: Day 2 of the Hike

The day started off with an early wake up at 7 am, followed by breakfast. We were told that we would have the opportunity to hike 2 hours to Stone City and to pack our day packs. Not knowing what to expect we set off on our adventure.

The hike itself was not particularly easy but worth it in the end. We stopped at the top of the mountain where the view was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. It was truly amazing! We then continued walking to Stone City. I had a clear image of what I thought we were going to see but the reality was so much better. Stone City which is also known as the Lost City, is a place made entirely of rock. We walked through this incredible place with walls of rock all around us.

For the last part of our day, all of us had a choice to make, we could either hike all the way back to camp or continue the hike up Eagle Mountain. Personally I chose to go up Eagle Mountain. I was a little nervous because our tour guide told us that this particular mountain was a lot harder than what we had done so far. However I was up for the challenge. Eight of us plus our tour guide and Mr. Weiland hiked the entire mountain in a total of twelve minutes, which is apparently incredibly fast. Although the hike was tiring and at some points we had a lack of oxygen because we were at an altitude of 4,100 meters, we all felt relieved and extremely happy to reach the top but most of all accomplished. We had a perfect 360 degree view of the páramo. On the way back down we watched the beautiful sunset. At the end of the night our tour guides sang Colombian songs before we went to bed. Overall this day was lots of fun and we learned a lot of new things about Colombian culture. –Rebecca Ross ’16

Duke of Ed Gold Trip to Colombia: Acclimatization Hike

DoEGold_AccimatizationHike_Mar2016Leaving the small town of Mongui, we all felt quite nervous about what lay ahead. The hike we were about to embark on was not going to be easy and that was made very clear from the beginning. Living at sea level in Montreal and climbing to an outstanding 3,200 meters would bring the expression “physically draining” to a new level. Many of us didn’t know what to expect and I can speak for the majority when I say we were all surprised.

The hike consisted of extensive segments of uphill trekking with minimal flats to regain our energy. Considering the drastic change in altitude, we all felt out of breath very quickly. After the first 15 minutes we knew what was in store for the next three hours.

Having 19 other peers at my side provided a sense of comfort as well as support throughout the hike. In my opinion, the practice hike was the first real bonding experience of the trip. Everyone felt the same way and we knew that all we had to do was keep encouraging one another.

Arriving at the top we were quick to take a seat and enjoy the view. After many pictures, snacks and applications of sunscreen we were ready to head back down and enjoy lunch. Many memories and jokes were formed on our descent. From where we ate lunch it took us around an hour to head back to our hotel in the centre of town. We were overcome with a profound sense of self-accomplishment and excitement when the main square was in site. Having pain in our legs, slight sunburns, and blisters, we had accomplished something we had all been dreading, together. –Viv Tellier ’17

Student Exchange Australia: Coastal Discoveries

2015_2016_TXiao_StudExchange_AUS_01I can’t believe that it’s already my fourth week in Australia. This has been an amazing journey that I will never forget. I have already been to many different places along the coast of Victoria and it has been quite eventful. Last weekend, Tom’s family and I went to Inverloch, a small town on the beach. Since they have a beach house there, we stayed for one night and we spent a lot of time relaxing. The Australian coast is very different from North America. It seems to be a lot more natural with fewer people and more wildlife such as sea grass and marine organisms. Also, there aren’t many buildings on the shore, which is great.

Tom and I spent a lot of time together on the beach and it turns out that he is huge NFL fan just like me, so we threw a football around on the sand. In addition, we visited an area called “Eagles Nest,” which is a very rocky area on the shore. I enjoyed going there and we were able to see some crabs and even a scorpion!

This week, Tomas and I went to The Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic and historical areas on earth. In fact, it was the Australian WWI veterans who built this highway after they returned home. The drive was just amazing and we saw many beaches, the ocean, and some hills. The water seamed clear and turquoise and I really wanted to stop and jump in. However we weren’t able to because we wanted to leave enough time to see the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles were beautiful even if there are only eight left. The reason why four are missing is because the apostles are actually limestone stacks in the ocean so they are eroding quickly due to the waves. In fact, if I come back in a few years, some of them might be completely gone.

This trip is going by very quickly and I’m enjoying all of the experiences and adventures so far. We are going to Sydney and the Eureka Tower next! –Terry Xiao ’18


Procès simulé du 13 janvier 2016 : Palais de justice de Montréal

P9990126Mercredi 13 janvier 2016, les classes de droit de 10 et de 11 années sont allées au Palais de justice de Montréal afin de faire un procès criminel simulé. Nous avons eu la chance d’être accueillis par le Juge André Perreault et son adjointe, madame Masson.

Nous remercions aussi Me. Shadley ainsi que Catherine Goyette et Arianne Vanasse, deux étudiantes en droit qui ont travaillé avec les élèves lors de la   préparation du procès en leur offrant de précieux conseils.

Je tiens aussi à remercier les familles qui sont venues écouter et encourager les élèves. Ceci est toujours très apprécié.

Voici quelques commentaires :

Il y a quelques jours, les classes de 10e et de 11e années, dirigées par M. Maurice, ont eu l’opportunité de prendre part à un procès simulé au Palais de justice au centre-ville. C’était une expérience spectaculaire et une belle occasion d’apprentissage. Non seulement nous étions debout dans une vraie cour, mais nous plaidions également devant un vrai juge. I really enjoyed playing the role of the accused. It was nerve racking at times during cross- examinations, but the experience ultimately made it a lot of fun. – Ryan Hawa ’16

It was very educational to be in a real courtroom as opposed to just being in class. It gave me a better perspective on what it is like to be a lawyer. J’ai trouvé que cette expérience était très amusante et j’aimerais le refaire. – Evelyne Renzi ’16

Mercredi dernier, notre classe de droit a passé une demi-journée au Palais de justice. Cette expérience avec un vrai juge et une visite du bâtiment était informative ainsi qu’amusante. À la fin du procès, le juge nous a parlé des conséquences d’envoyer des gens en prison. L’expérience a été très intéressante. – Christina Papageorgakopoulos ’16

Mon expérience au Palais de justice s’est très bien passée. C’était très impressionnant et amusant de voir tous les différents aspects du palais de justice qui m’on fait penser au droit comme emploi dans le futur. – Adam Mahrouse ’17

I really enjoyed going to the Palais de justice and thought it was a worthwhile experience. It’s one thing to memorize facts, but it’s totally different when the judge starts asking you questions and you have to think on your feet. It really makes you feel like you’re in a real trial and I think I learned a lot from it. – Andrew Black ’17

Mon experience au Palais de justice était très excitante. J’ai appris énormément, j’ai eu le privilège de rentrer dans une salle de cours, et prétendre être un avocat! C’était incroyable d’avoir la chance de rencontrer un vrai juge et de participer à un procès avec lui. – Ryan Garber ’17

J’ai beaucoup aimé l’expérience au Palais de justice et je l’ai trouvé très intéressant. J’ai appris beaucoup de nouvelles choses sur le fonctionnement de notre système judicaire et sur ce qu’on doit faire pour être avocat, ça n’a rien à voir avec la télé! – Guiliano Latella ’17