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Rainbow District School Board celebrates International Education Week

Mayor Bigger with international students
Mayor Brian Bigger welcomes, from left, Bokai Shang, Henry Feng, Yixi Ren, Hank Tong and Tom Zhang to Greater Sudbury. The students from China are enrolled in full-time studies at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School as part of Rainbow District School Board’s Rainbow International Program.

International Education Week is being celebrated from November 13 to 17, 2017. It’s an opportune time to shine the spotlight on students from around the world who are studying in Rainbow Schools. It’s also an opportune time to recognize the value of student exchanges for students abroad and here at home.

Since launching Rainbow International, Rainbow District School Board has welcomed students from Vietnam, China and India. The students are enthusiastic about living and learning in Greater Sudbury and look forward to continuing their education in Canada.

“I have had a great two years, making many friends and coming to school here,” says Grade 12 student Yixi Ren at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. “This year, I joined the Robotics Team because I get to build things and I want to be an engineer. I plan to apply to an Ontario university this December.”

Tom Zhang adds: “I have been here since Grade 9, and am a member of the Robotics Team and Jazz Band. These clubs have helped me to be more outgoing.”

Grade 9 student Henry Feng speaks highly of his new community. “Sudbury is a beautiful city because of the many trees and lakes.” He adds: “My favourite class is math, but I really like tech too because using the machines is fun.”

Rainbow District School Board hosted its first student exchange as part of its new international education program last spring. A delegation from Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School’s Sister School in Shanghai, China arrived on May 24, 2017. They returned home on June 5, 2017.

Eight students, a teacher and a principal from South Dongchang Middle School explored learning opportunities and experienced our Canadian lifestyle alongside their host families.

During their two-week stay, they participated in classes, watched a robotics demonstration, enjoyed a school musical, experienced a barbecue and campfire, and visited local attractions. They also toured Manitoulin Island and the nation’s capital, learning about history, geography and native studies.

Five students from Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School visited Shanghai from October 17 to 29, 2017. During the two-week cultural and educational exchange, they stayed with host families, went to classes and visited various sites in and around Shanghai. Some of the cultural highlights included the Oriental Pearl Tower, a river cruise along the Huangpu River and a visit to the historical Yu Garden. They learned tai chi and attended Chinese art classes and English classes.

“One of the goals of Ontario’s strategy for international education is to engage in academic and cultural exchanges to develop the intercultural competencies and global perspectives of our students,” says Director of Education Norm Blaseg.

He adds: “Through Rainbow International, we are not only welcoming students from other countries, we are also building global citizens who understand and appreciate different cultures. Other schools will be encouraged to form sister school partnerships as the program evolves.”

To learn more about Rainbow International, click here:

To learn more about International Education Week, click here:


Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171, ext. 7217.