Ardenne hosts students from Quebec
For one week, 22 students from the Polyvalente La Samare High School in Quebec, Canada, are being infused with the 'Optima' spirit. The students are participating in an exchange programme that is exposing them to the school culture of Ardenne High. To ensure that they are also exposed to the Jamaican culture outside of the school setting, the students are spending the week living in the homes of Ardenne students.
Nadine Molloy, principal at Ardenne High, explained that she has been running the exchange programme with the Quebec school since her time at Buff Bay High.
Having been introduced to the possibility of forming linkages between the schools, Buff Bay hosted the Canadians on three visits, after which, funding was secured to send Buff Bay students to Quebec. In addition to spending a week at Buff Bay High this year, the students are also spending time at Ardenne High.
Danielle Beliveau, principal at Polyvalente La Samare, said the experience has been very good for her students.
"I think that the students can see both sides of Jamaica. Buff Bay is very different from when you come to Kingston, but I think that they have to see both ... they have to open their minds to the world and see different cultures," she told The Gleaner.
Beliveau pointed out that exposing her students to the simple way of life experienced in Buff Bay, made them more appreciative, while the Ardenne experience has shown them how warm and friendly Jamaicans are.
When The Gleaner visited Ardenne to check in on the Canadians, they were dispersed all over the school. Fully decked out in the Ardenne uniform, they seemed to blend right in with the local students as they shared classroom space. The Quebec students had nothing but praise for their Ardenne experience.
In characterising the differences between her experience at Ardenne and her school back in Quebec, Beliveau said: "Here, in Kingston, they are very serious about school. They have to study; they have to go to class and think. For them, it's a gift to come to school, in Quebec it's not like that ... students just log the time so they can leave. The culture is very different, so it exposes my students and opens their minds."
Store amended: Buff Bay hosted the Canadians on three different visits not after three years.