Jose Andre’s from Mexico and Kevin from China are enjoying their grade 8 year at Bayside Middle School in Saanich. Both boys appreciate the differences between their schools back home and what they are experiencing at Bayside. “School is simpler here, we only have four blocks a day and the classes are easier. We don’t have to wear uniforms, we can just wear ordinary clothes.” They also like the approach to learning at Bayside. “Our teachers are very nice, they help us a lot and take the time to answer our questions. We go on field trips and sometimes the teachers show movies that help us learn. That is better than listening to the teacher all the time. There is not so much homework here and it is more interesting. We do projects like biographies or posters so it is more enjoyable.”
Life outside of school is also easier in Saanich. Jose likes his homestay but Kevin lives with his mother who has also come to Canada. “My homestay family is really nice, we have a dog and I have two “brothers” to talk with. My family never says what I can’t do, they just want me to tell them what I am doing.” (Jose) “People are really kind here, when my mother goes shopping, people help her with the money and how to buy things.” (Kevin) Both boys feel very safe when they go out. “Security is good here, I can take a bus at any time and people will always help you if you don’t know where to go.” (Jose) “Back home you always have to be careful on the subway that someone will steal your money, but it’s not like that here in Canada.” (Kevin) The fresh, clean environment is also an advantage of living in Saanich.