Canadian Exchange - October 2017
On Wednesday, 11 October a group of twelve students from Invicta departed for a 10-day exchange with Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal, Canada. The visit reinforced a long-standing connection between the two schools and gave the students an opportunity to make new lifelong friends. As the only French-speaking state in Canada, the girls’ time in Quebec provided them with opportunities to step out of their comfort zone, practice their foreign language skills and partake in lessons in French. Invicta students were amazed at the size of Trafalgar - 120 students in total; less than one year group at Invicta!
The students were spoilt with the weather while they were there. They prepared for cold and rain and were greeted with warmth and sun! So much so that they were able to visit Mount Royal Park on two occasions on the trip. Although a long walk and a steep incline, the view overlooking the whole of Montreal made the effort getting there worth it! Equally, the unseasonal weather meant a visit to Sherbrook Street to view the interesting art sculptures marking the 375th Anniversary of the city, turned into a photography competition.
Also included was a day visiting Canada’s capital, Ottawa. First stop was the Canadian History Museum and the students’ competitive nature emerged again, this time making documentaries on Canadian History. This was followed by a visit to the Houses of Parliament and a guided tour of Rideau Hall, the home of the Queen’s representative in Canada. Also on the agenda was a visit to the 1976 Olympic Park, now transformed into botanical gardens and a biodome containing native species such as beavers as well as animals from around the world.
One very picturesque (and, again, sunny) day was spent in Old Montreal, the original city. The tour began in the Centre d’histoire de Montreal and the girls completed paired challenges around the old city, racing against each other. Lunch break included an essential visit to get a ‘beaver tail,’ an iconic dessert available at selected parts of the city. The afternoon was spent at the Notre Dame Basilica, admiring the fantastic architecture and craftsmanship.
To close a busy and rewarding trip, the students had a tour of McGill University and a unique chance to experience Homecoming celebrations at Trafalgar. Alumni students return each year to ‘lecture’ on an educational topic usually related to their careers. However, this time the theme ‘one friendship, two paths’ saw actress and comedienne, Carolyn Taylor, and International Editor, Jen Moroz.
It was hard to say goodbye at the airport – 10 days had flown by and some firm friendships had been made. However, luckily it is not long until the students return to the UK for their turn to experience some British culture.