How to try basketball for Team Canada

My semester in Nanaimo, Canada

So there was almost always someone in the house when you came home from school, and you could always play something with my little host siblings if you didn't have any homework after school. On the weekends I did a lot with my family. My two host parents and my little host brother all three played ice hockey, so at least one of them had a game on the weekends that I also watched a few times. Otherwise, on the weekends, I would often go to a nearby mall with a few friends or my Brazilian host brother, go to the cinema there, or have dinner with them. When the weather was nice, you could also drive downtown to the waterfront, or to a small, stony, but very beautiful and quiet stretch of beach.

My host family's house was on a quiet street and had its own driveway and a relatively large front yard, which is nothing special in Canada. There were 2 floors in the house and a terrace. My Brazilian host brother and I had our rooms and also our own bathroom downstairs, while the other rooms like the kitchen, living room and other bedrooms were all upstairs. This is a difference to most German houses that I know, that most Canadians basically only live in the upper part of their house, and downstairs only a kind of hobby room or rooms for guests, as in my family for my host brother and me, are. From the house of my host family you could walk to the sea and also to a smaller mall. So there were a few things you could do or do on foot. There was also a bus stop just a few minutes' walk away from which other parts of the city could be reached, although the buses did not run that often. As a result, you were usually not dependent on your host parents for a ride, but could do a lot independently.

From 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the week, I attended Grade 11 at Wellington Secondary School, which was only about a 20-minute walk from my house. Nevertheless, my host brother, who went to the same school, and I mostly took the bus to school from November onwards, as the weather, as I said, was usually very rainy. When you come to Canada, you usually go to a secondary school, which for Canadians is the third school after elementary school and middle school. In my school you only had 4 subjects per semester, which you could usually choose yourself. You had these subjects every day for the whole semester, just in a different order. What is special about the range of subjects offered by many Canadian schools is that they also offer a large number of creative subjects that are unusual for us, such as marketing, video production or wood working.

In general, the lessons are more relaxed than in Germany and you have a very good, sometimes even friendly relationship with your teachers. At my school, however, it was the case that you had to achieve your grade solely from written work, which meant that almost everything, such as homework or assignments from the lesson, was collected and assessed. That sounds very exhausting at first, but collecting the tasks was always seen very loosely, and you always got enough time to finish everything.

In my semester, I had the subjects of socials (similar to social sciences in Germany), sports, French and biology. These weren't the creative or special subjects, but I also had a lot of fun with them. As for socials, you can say that you learn a lot about Canada. In Sports, some unusual sports such as archery, curling, or martial arts are also tried in addition to sports popular in Canada, such as baseball, lacrosse, and basketball. The French is also somewhat different from what you learn at school here in Germany, as the Canadian French teachers mostly speak “Québec French”, which is a bit different from the French from France. But you quickly get used to the somewhat different pronunciation. In biology in grade 11 you take a lot of things about the animal world, do a lot of experiments and sometimes watch a film.

After school you could then take part in various sports clubs or other groups. However, it was difficult to get into the big teams like the basketball or volleyball team because you had to be really good to be accepted. Then I decided to join the school's soccer team, which had no problems playing because people were still needed. With this team I had training twice a week and sometimes up to two games a week. The training was a lot of fun, as all of the team-mates were very open and friendly, and four Brazilian guest students also played in our team. Unfortunately we were eliminated in the first round of the Vancouver Island Playoffs, but it was still a lot of fun and participating in such a sports club or other group is really recommended, as you not only have a lot of fun, but also get to know a lot of Canadians .

The on-site organization organized my stay very well and even offered some excursions for the guest students in the school district, which had to be paid extra. At the beginning there were a few events in the school to make it easier for us to settle in in the host country. During the school term, too, there were more frequent meetings where you could meet up with the other guest students and go on trips to Vancouver or Victoria, for example. If there were any problems, several contacts were available at the school and at the Canadian organization.

So in Canada you can have really great experiences that you will remember for a lifetime. You also get to know new and very friendly people. By living in a new country for a longer period of time, you have two families, so to speak, and you feel at home in two countries. It's a great feeling that you can only have when you spend a long time in a foreign country, live with a host family there and experience all aspects of life in the foreign country.