I desperately wanted to do this exchange since I was going to discover a new part of Canada. I also think that this type of exchange is a good opportunity to practice your English and make meaningful connections with new people! Ever since the announcement, I couldn’t wait to live such a beautiful experience, but once the trip started, I realized just how lucky I was. If I had the opportunity to redo it tomorrow morning, I would 100% no hesitations!

In total, we were twenty grade eight and nine students from École Jesus-Marie de Beauceville. We’re all from Beauce, a small corner in the administrative region of Chaudière-Appalaches in the big province of Quebec. We’re about an hour from Québec. For a few of us including me, it was the first time we would be flying. At the beginning, it was stressful, but then I got used to it and it went well.

In my opinion, Alberta is similar to Quebec because the people there are very respectful and thankful and they really appreciate what they have. In terms of the landscape, there were a lot more farms in Alberta than in Quebec, and it was impressive to see how many there were. The fauna and flora of the Rockies also blew me away, and I quickly fell in love with the magnificent landscape of the mountains that had snowy summits and light blue lakes! It was impressive to see how Alberta has a flat landscape all the way to the Rockies, whereas in Beauce, we have more of a hilly landscape. I think that Alberta is a beautiful corner of the world, very calm, maybe even calmer than Quebec.

The thing that was the most surprising to me during the exchange is without a doubt the West Edmonton Mall. I told myself that it was big, and I imagined that it was maybe similar to the ones we have in Quebec, maybe a little bit bigger. When we arrieved, I realized that it was ENORMOUS and that I never imagined it to be that big! After all, it’s the third biggest shopping centre in the WORLD!

After the exchange, I would say that I’m more open to other cultures and that I’m not as much of a picky eater, I try and taste more new things. I would really like to do a second exchange because I loved that our twins got to stay with us and we got to stay with them! I would love to redo the exchange because it allows you to discover a new corner of your country and create new friendships! At the beginning of my stay at my twin’s house, I found adapting to a new bed, a new house… just being out of my comfort zone difficult! However, my twin’s family was so welcoming that I didn’t feel nervous at all, I felt like I was at home. I really liked my twin! He took very good care of me, assured me that I was fine and that I hadn’t forgotten anything for the day’s activity. Basically, it was like he was my big brother. I strongly recommend doing an exchange like the one I lived, and I guarantee that you won’t regret it.

Finally, I have so many memories from the exchange, notably new friendships, some super beautiful photos and some really funny moments that I’ll never forget! It made me step out of my comfort zone and open myself up to other cultures. I’m really going to miss Alberta! It’s really something you should do in your lifetime!

By Samuel Boutin

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