The latest student exchange through the Wolf Creek International Learning Program (WCILP) had a unique twist, as it was the first to be a reciprocal exchange.
Students from Liwan, China stayed with host families in central Alberta in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) from Nov. 10 to 21, and those students were among the families that had previously hosted WCPS students during a Wolf Creek student exchange to China this past March.
“Many of the students from Liwan hosted our students when they were in China so the friendships that were created during our trip to China continue to grow,” said Sean Lougheed, WCPS director of learning services. “Our trip in March was an amazing and life altering experience for our students. The connections that they made and continue to have with students across the world will remain with them for a lifetime.”
During their stay in Wolf Creek Public Schools, Liwan students visited and experienced various programming available throughout schools in the Division, including robotics, woodworking, art, drama, and music. They also toured parts of the province, but it was the connection with their homestay students that continues to resonate.
“I was excited to have the opportunity to see my homestay sister again, this time in Canada,” said Betty, a student from Liwan. “I felt more comfortable knowing I was staying with someone I had already met. I felt that we were able to continue to build our friendship because I had already met her.”
For Betty’s host family in Wolf Creek, it has been a tremendous opportunity to welcome her into their home.
“It's been lovely to have Betty in our home and be able to reciprocate the care and hospitality her family showed to my daughter Amy when she was in China. I have very much enjoyed meeting and getting to know the family Amy stayed with,” said Karyn McNeill, a WCPS Homestay parent.
"Wolf Creek appreciates the host families and schools that support the International Learning Program as it creates amazing opportunities for sharing culture and collaboration between students,” said Mark McWhinnie, assistant superintendent. “The reciprocal program allows for exposure to other cultures and the sharing of ideas between our youth and staff."
To learn more about being a homestay family, please call 403.506.6558, or visit: https://www.wolfcreekinternational.ca/hosting.html
“It is a great opportunity for your family to learn firsthand about different cultures and customs of the students,” said McNeill.
The WCILP has additional exchanges planned for the year, including a trip to China made available to grades 9 to 12 WCPS students in March 2020. Additionally international student recruitment for in-bound students is taking place with other countries including Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain and more. Follow the program on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to find out more details.