by LEANNE MACDONALD
Every July and August, VGC runs a special English summer camp just for high school students. This summer, we had an amazing group of teenagers from all over the world, including Italy, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Japan, Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia! Not only did our students have the chance to improve their English and prepare for high school, but also to have fun with new friends from around the world while exploring Vancouver and experiencing Canadian culture. Here are some reasons why VGC’s Summer Teen Experience Program is so special.
During the week, students learned in classrooms with other teens from around the world, with lessons designed to prepare students for their high school studies. Every Tuesday and Thursday, teachers accompanied their students on academic activities outside of the classroom. Whether learning about space at the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium, or about various animals and reptiles right in VGC’s student lounge, these activities allowed students to take their learning beyond the classroom and practice their English in everyday situations while having fun!
Activities After School
In addition to their academic activities, students also participated in a wide variety of activities after class. We went sight-seeing at some of Vancouver’s main tourist attractions, like Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, and FlyOver Canada. We tasted both strange and delicious flavours of gelato, rode rollercoasters, and had some epic games of dodgeball at a trampoline park! One unique activity we tried this summer was Bubble Soccer. Students loved trying to knock each other over! Students also had the chance to try a truly Canadian activity – ice hockey! Though many students had never ice skated before, they had the chance to learn on a private rink before challenging other students in Canada’s national sport.
The fun continued on the weekends, when students had the chance to leave the city and discover more of beautiful British Columbia! We had a Canadian BBQ on the beach, tried waterskiing and whitewater rafting, and explored Whistler and Victoria. While all these day trips were amazing, most students agreed that the highlight of their stay in Canada was our weekend-long summer camp adventure at Manning Park. On this trip, students stayed in cabins, hiked mountain trails, canoed on pristine lakes, and cooked their first s’more over a Canadian campfire! This was also a perfect weekend for building new friendships and making memories with other classmates.