National and International Excursions 2018-2019

One-fifth of our YHS Senior School students participated in national and international excursions this academic year. 

  • 47 Grade 8 students travelled to Quebec City for a francophone adventure.
  • 10 Grade 9 and 10 students travelled to Australia, Mexico, and England on exchange. 
  • 13 students travelled to Cuba and explored music and dance with music partners.
  • 14 Grade 11 and 12 students travelled to Poland. 
Students in Cuba

At an April Learning Exhibition, some students shared their learning through these experiences and there was a great buzz. An aim of the international excursions at YHS is to help students learn about themselves, investigate the world, and connect with people of diverse perspectives and experiences, and adventure together in the company of friends and mentors. 

Grade 8s in Quebec City

In February, forty-seven students joined the Modern Languages team for a trip to Quebec City in the heart of winter and Carnaval. A few weeks later, a team of YHS musicians, including Dawn Haylett, Ellie Froese, and Kathy Kealey travelled to Cuba and joined with local musicians and dancers to experience music in a host of lively ways. Ten exchange students had a host of varied experiences in England, Mexico, and Australia with their partners and families and our Aussie partner students will attend school at YHS this coming fall. 

Senior students in France

In March, a group headed to France as part of our long-term partnership with Saint-Louis Saint-Bruno in Lyon, France. As Alexis Lum, expressed, “We take a team of 14 Senior students to Lyon, France every second year and host a team of students from Lyon in between. The aim of the program is to immerse our students in French culture and language and build bridges among teenagers through meaningful, authentic experiences.” With Madame Jensen and Monsieur Lum as the animated leads, the students stayed with an exchange partner and family and participated in a host of activities including a visit with Monsieur Lum’s grandmother for tea. Thank you to Monsieur Lum and Madame Jensen for accompanying the group on this adventure this year. 

Senior students in Poland

Finally, fourteen students, Ms. Baldissera, and Ms. McInnis travelled to Poland and Germany in March. Reflecting on the trip, Ms. Baldissera expressed this about the excursion: “There is one thing to read about history; it is another to be in the place where it took place and see it, touch it, and feel it. What an extraordinary trip this was to share with such a fabulous group of students! We enjoyed so many moments: learning about the history as we visited incredible sites and museums, experiencing the culture through sampling the delicious food and wandering the old town squares, getting to know the Polish families who welcomed us into their homes, and the many silly conversations on trains and van rides. It was a trip of laughter, smiles, and tears.” 

We thank students, families, and teachers, and partners who made this possible. 

Sophie, Annika, Taylor, and Michelle with their exchange partners on Halloween

Voyage à Québec 2019

In February 2019, 46 students along with six chaperones spent a fun-filled week immersed in the Francophone culture in both Montreal and Quebec City. The trip was originally planned only for Quebec City, but due to unforeseen wintery weather conditions, we were able to spend a whole day touring the centre of Montreal and played in the fresh of snow that had fallen the previous day. Montreal is considered the cultural capital of Canada, and is a very cosmopolitan city. During the day, we visited the beautiful Basilica of Notre Dame, then had a tour of the Old Town on foot, spent a couple of hours at the Musée des Beaux Arts, and as a final treat, we were able to go skating very close to the St. Lawrence River!

The following day, we boarded a small airplane and flew to Quebec City. From then on it was one fun activity after another for a total of seven days. During our time in and around this absolutely beautiful, historically-rich city, we managed to luge, toboggan, jump, slide, tour, visit, eat, and enjoy ourselves to our hearts’ content! Quebec City happens to be one of Canada’s oldest settlements, and its picturesque Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Around the centre of the city, we toured the Old Town, went tobogganing on the Dufferin Terrace (by the Chateau Frontenac), toured the Morrin Centre (former jail), and re-enacted the 1759 battle at the Plains of Abraham Museum. We also watched the Winter Carnival Night Parade, and took a ferry to the other side of the St. Lawrence River to admire the view of the city from the river, which in the winter, was covered in ice! We should also mention that we ate very well. The restaurants were amazing, serving a variety of nutritious and delicious dishes throughout our stay. We even went to one that was bee-friendly, with their very own beehives on the roof, and some tasty honey to try directly from the frames!

Outside of the city we visited a private school and interacted with some of its students for a couple of hours. We played some games, asked lots of questions (en français, bien sûr!), and toured the school. We also visited the Ice Hotel and went tubing at the Valcartier Winter Park. We went dog-sledding (we loved the dogs!) and snowshoeing, and at the end of one day, had a pretty filling lumberjack meal at a sugar shack, accompanied by some singing and dancing to various Quebecois folk songs. Just before leaving, we indulged in a stick..or perhaps two or three…of the famous maple taffy! We also visited the Montmorency Falls, which were covered in ice at this time of year, and a Copper Museum, where we left with our own handmade souvenir.

During our last evening in the city, we took part in a Circus Workshop at the École de Cirque de Québec. It was fabulous! The girls jumped, skipped, twisted, and turned in delight under the supervision of some very skilled instructors. It was the perfect activity to end this very special trip. Au revoir Québec, et merci!

Carmelita Carlberg-Nangle
Senior French Teacher