École St.-Jean Baptiste welcomes exchange students from New Brunswick



By Ron Giofu


A group of 23 exchange students from New Brunswick were in Amherstburg over the past week learning about the town and area.

The students from École commmunautaire L’Etincelle in the small village of Ste-Marie-St-Raphaël, New Brunswick were in Amherstburg for nine days as part of an exchange program with École St.-Jean Baptiste. The students from New Brunswick stayed with the students from Amherstburg and that relationship is expected to be reciprocated in June.

The New Brunswick students went home last Friday.

“It’s very neat,” said Shane McGraw, a Grade 7 student at École St.-Jean Baptiste. “You get to learn about another culture and learn new things. You get to find out about them.”

Students went to Pointe Pelee National Historic Site, Niagara Falls and Fort Malden National Historic Site as part of exchange program.

“We learned a lot about the War of 1812,” said Rosalie Larocque, a Grade 8 student at École commmunautaire L’Etincelle.

Students from École St.-Jean Baptist gather with exchange students from École commmunautaire L’Etincelle for a group photo. (Submitted photo)

Frédéric Thériault, a teacher at the New Brunswick elementary school, said the cost of the trip was about $400 per student. The two schools participated in an exchange program and were paired up together.

Larocque said they have been welcomed into the families of the Amherstburg students.

“We follow them everywhere we go,” she said. “We learn how they live.”

The New Brunswick town is small, Larocque added, and has a lot more snow on the ground than in Amherstburg. About four inches of snow was still on the ground out east when they came to Amherstburg.

“That’s the biggest difference – no snow,” said Thériault.

Lewis Lapointe, Shane McGraw, Rosalie Larocque and teacher Frédéric Thériault stand beside the sign at École St.-Jean Baptiste April 18.

Thériault added that the schools in New Brunswick also have cafeterias and they were surprised not to find one at École St.-Jean Baptiste.

Amherstburg and surrounding areas are also a lot bigger than what the students are used to.

“It’s small where we live,” added Larocque. “It’s really big (here) and there’s a lot of people around.”

The students from New Brunswick enjoyed their stay and Larocque said she would like to participate in an exchange program again.

“It’s fun,” added Lewis Lapointe, a Grade 6 student.

McGraw added the local students are looking forward to heading east later this year.

“I’m looking forward to learning about another culture,” said McGraw.

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