April 10th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 15
CCHS Welcomes Finnish Exchange Students
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
9 students from Kitee Finland made the journey to the Crowsnest Pass for as part of a weeklong exchange program. The students toured sites like the Bellevue Underground Mine and Frank Slide Interpretive Center and spent time with their host families as well. The second part of the exchange will see students form CCHS travel to Finland in the fall.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Nine students and two teachers from Finland had the opportunity to experience life in the Crowsnest Pass.

The group from Kitee Finland arrived on March 30th and have been spending time with their host families and have also gone on day trips around southern Alberta.

Teacher Krysta Macdonald says that one of the main ideas behind this exchange is to really give these students a chance to learn about a different culture.

“Part of the focus is living integrated into a family. It’s been a really great experience for the students.”

So far, the students have made trips to Fernie and Lethbridge as well as the Bellevue Mine, Frank Slide, Coleman Museum and Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump.

Macdonald says it’s not just the Finnish students that benefit from these day trips.

“When our students host, they get to show off their home and they have a bit of a greater appreciation for it as well. When we were talking to our students, most of them have been to the Frank Slide but by showing it off and getting to play that tour guide they actually had a little more pride in it.”
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The students are also working on a couple different projects as well.

“Every cycle of the exchange the students have a different focus. Last time it was Canada's 150th and Finland's Centennial. This time we wanted to focus on literacy and community. We have these little free libraries around town and they didn't know what they were about. So they built one for here and they will be putting one in Kitee as well. The students have also been collecting photographs while we were on our trips and they are going to be self-publishing three picture books telling the stories and they'll be in both English and Finnish and written by the students themselves.”

CCHS student Alice Murray says that this experience has been beneficial for her.

“It's ben a lot of fun and really cool getting to meet the Finnish kids. Then coming over here and telling us what's all different from Finland has been cool to hear. It's been really educational learning from them too.”
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As for the Finnish students, their experience as also been enjoyable and one student says one particular aspect of Canadians was difficult to adjust to.

“The trip has been great. It’s been interesting. It is different from Finland. I think the scenery is the most beautiful thing about this trip. I think learning to deal with people being more loud and more extroverted than in Finland has been the most difficult thing to adjust to.”

Macdonald says that another benefit for these students is that connections are made during the process and how it teaches the students something.

“It’s nice to see the connections being made between students. These are kids who aren’t necessarily friends at the start but get to work together and share things with students from the other side of the world who are pretty much exactly the same. It’s just they speak a different language.”

The group from Finland left the Pass on Sunday April 7th.

The second part of the exchange will see students from CCHS go to Finland in the fall.
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April 10th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 15
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