Naroa Ferrero Ballesteros has changed classes at IES Valverde de Lucerna, in Puebla de Sanabria, this year for Northeast Kings Education Center, in Kentville, Nova Scotia. The cold of Canada was not an obstacle for her, but the language was in the first weeks that she has a scholarship from the Amancio Ortega Foundation, thanks to which she lives this experience abroad. “I learned a lot of things, not only English, which also improved me a lot, but I met incredible people and, most importantly, got to know myself better, appreciate the things that I have and that will not always be there,” he sums up his first experiences.
Thanks to this immersion, in no time I was thinking in English. “It’s an incredible feeling, you realize that without even realizing it, you’ve learned a lot,” he appreciates. Another thing is the lifestyle, which is very different from that of Spain, where locals and shops close later and plans differ with friends. “Another thing that changes a lot is that here you need to use the car for everything, because there is a great distance between the houses and they don’t have as much public transportation as we do,” he compares.
The foster family was an important part of the integration, which made the woman from Zamora feel very comfortable from the first moment. “They showed me that I was another person for them, we have many plans and I am very grateful. In addition, they are interested in me and my culture and show me their culture. I feel that with them I can be myself and with them the daughter who is my age and I really consider her one of the best My friends, and I have a great relationship with it.”
Kentville is a small town of 6,000 inhabitants, which a woman from Zamora compares to Puebla, although “it has many things, like an ice rink, many shops, but they are similar in the amount of large vegetation,” she describes, Although she maintains that she is still “in love” with Snapperia “and I now appreciate her so much more”.
He shares this experience of living abroad for a full course with 15 other students from different countries who are also in the same institute. There is representation from Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand and Korea, as well as Spain. “Several of them are my best friends here and I am so grateful to have them, we are in great contact because we are going through the same situation and we understand each other,” she justifies.
Nine to three is his school schedule, and after meeting some friends in the afternoon, he devotes himself to studying, watching something on TV with the family, and resting for a new day. “On the weekends, if I don’t have a hockey game to go to, I usually skate with my friends and then go to a coffee shop,” she says. At school there, apart from studies, many sports are practiced, such as volleyball, basketball, hockey and even rugby, and clubs with different themes multiply, in addition to the well-known high school dances. “Here we live a lot in high school, not like in Spain, where we only go to study. That would change it, we have to do more activities, and so surely many will not hate going to class so much,” he jokes.
Aside from the center’s aesthetics, including the lockers, he finds it most amusing that it is the students, not the teachers, who change classes with each subject. “There can also be people with higher or lower grades in the same class, because they can choose those subjects,” he explains. Among her favorite subjects, biology and dance stand out. She has always liked the first and the second, new to her, and she considers that it encourages creativity and helps to meet a lot of people.
On the flip side is mathematics, which because of the way it is taught, is very different to Spain’ and can be very confusing. He considers that the Canadian educational system is “much better” than the Spanish one “because everything is more practical, projects and work are of more value, not just exams. It is a more fun way of learning, and it is not only about memorization, because it is forgotten in three days.”
Kindness is what stands out most in Canadians. He appreciates this by saying, “I also like that it is a country with a very mixed culture, many people of different nationalities live here and you can learn a little bit from each of these cultures.”
Although he still has several weeks to go, Naroa learns from this experience “not just English, but life. It’s something all people should experience if given the chance, because it makes you suddenly mature, when you see outside and far from Your comfort zone. You see everything from a different perspective and learn to take better care of yourself, appreciate the little details and feel like the luckiest person in the world,” he sums up. He concludes, “I realized ‘home’ isn’t four walls, it’s people. Now that I have two homes on different continents where they will always welcome me with open arms.”