The journey began at Schiphol on a cool May morning. Twenty high-spirited TTO3 and VWO4 students and three teachers, awaiting their transatlantic adventure of a lifetime.
We were Canada bound…
After a handful of anxious-looking parents had waved us off, we boarded and the mood on the plane became exuberant and the excited chatter more intense- who would we meet, what would we see, what could learn about Canadian culture?
Once in Toronto we were warmly welcomed and a genuine Canadian yellow school bus whisked us off to meet up with our exchange partners. The opportunity to stay with host families gave our students the chance to really immerse themselves in some Canadian culture. On our first weekend some of our students were lucky enough to experience time at the lake, as many Ontarians have a holiday cottage at one of the many famous lakes. The students that remained in Oakville immediately started the action packed programme on offer. Our exchange partners took us from Toronto island to the CN Tower , and from Canada’s Wonderland to Fort Erie. We travelled by bus, boat and train to see the sights of Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world. We explored the Ripley’s Aquarium, the harbour, the islands and the gigantic Eaton shopping mall that left even our most arduous shoppers in awe. The literal highlight being an ascent of the CN tower and marvelling at the beautiful panorama. However, without a doubt, everyone’s favourite activity was our spectacular visit to one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, the Niagara Falls. We all enjoyed getting soaked from the spray aboard the Hornblower boat. We marvelled for a long time whilst the thunderous sound of the water overwhelmed us and a million bathtubs full of water per minute flowed over the falls.
Unfortunately, after a week of exploring Canada in all its glory, and getting so much opportunity to speak and improve our English, we also discovered a downside. It’s far away from the Netherlands… We waved our tearful goodbyes, knowing that we were all lucky to have met such friendly people who it would be so incredibly hard to say goodbye to.
A long, sleepy plane ride ensued and the next morning our exhausted but jubilant students were delivered safely into the arms of their awaiting parents.
Our trip was at its end, but the memories and friendships we made along the way will be the highlight of our Marnix school career for many of us.
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