International students have become an important business for Langley School District, with more than 800 students from abroad enrolled at Langley schools in the coming year.
About 100 of these students, from Asia, South America and Europe, are registered at Aldergrove Secondary school for the coming school year.
It’s all part of expanding horizons for students, both from abroad and locally, as it provides an opportunity for students to learn more about lifestyles and customs outside their hometown communities.
However, a new “sister schools” agreement between Aldergrove Secondary and Saijo-Shisui high school in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan, is another aspect of the international programs.
“It enables the two schools to work together, share information and encourages visits between the schools,” says Barry Bunyan, Langley’s International School Program director.
“We have other partnerships with schools in China and D.W. Poppy Secondary has a partnership with another school in Hiroshima.”
Saijo-Shisui school principal Hirofumi Yamamoto said their school was small — only 84 students — and in a remote part of north Hiroshima in the mountains. He said his goal was also to expand the educational opportunities for their students.
Arianne Qanbery, who is graduating from Aldergrove Secondary this month, said she was among a group which travelled to Belize this past school year to assist in building a playground for youngsters there. She said it was an eye-opener as, “we got to appreciate their culture and everyday lives.”
Qanbary noted that Aldergrove students also participated in field trips, helped tutor middle school students, and “learned how to look for jobs and resources in our community,” as part of being well-rounded citizens of their community.