Greater Victoria SD – Shaping Students into Global Citizens (ENG/日本語 Subs)

Greater Victoria SD – Shaping Students into Global Citizens (ENG/日本語 Subs)


My name’s Jeff Davis. I’m the Director
of International Education For the Greater Victoria School District. I’ve been with the International Education
Department for 13 years. Prior to being in the Victoria School District,
I was a PE and Social Studies teacher. I also worked in Japan for five years where I was working at a university and also at a high school. Talking a bit more about the location of Victoria, In Victoria, we get about 50% less rain than
the city of Vancouver. Vancouver of course is a beautiful city as
well. And like Vancouver, we have beautiful mountains,
we’re very close to the ocean. From the middle of the city to the ocean,
is 15 minutes max by car. We have four seasons, but all seasons are
warm. We don’t have any snow. Perhaps maybe once
a year. But it melts quickly. Another thing I noticed about Victoria is people
are always exercising Because the weather is nice. We tend to get a lot of students who are
very interested in recreational opportunities. We would be one of the larger school districts
in the province of BC, We have 20,000 students in our school district
from kindergarten to Grade 12. The international program, International Education
Department within the school district Is one of the oldest in Canada. We have students from over 30 countries in
the school district, And we invite new students and welcome new
students every year. Well, I really think there’s three areas
that are lending to our success. Our history. Again, we’re one of the first
international student programs in the province of BC. We started in 1992. It doesn’t sound like
a long time ago in terms of history, But it’s a long time for an international
education program. Also, our support team. We have one of the
largest support teams in Canada Where we have a large homestay department
that’s in house with eight members. We have a strong admissions team, a strong
management team, and a great accounting department. So our support for students, for partners,
for schools, is, in my opinion, the best in Canada. And then finally, one area where we’re very
fortunate is our location. Our location in the capital city of BC, Victoria. Our population is 370,000 so a fairly large
city, from a Canadian perspective. But not too large. So a comfortable place for high school students
or middle school students or even elementary school aged students to
come and learn alongside Canadian peers. Well, the early days of the international
program in Victoria, we had very few students. Some of our first students coming to Canada
were coming from Japan and also from Hong Kong. They always left such a positive impression
at the schools they attended. The educators and support staff within Victoria always hoped that we’d have more international students. And slowly, other countries began to have
an interest in having students come in to BC and also to Victoria. So we grew very slowly and at the same time
as we grew, we put systems in place to support students. So when students were having good experiences
in Victoria, by word of mouth, more students came to Victoria. Every year we find a new country where a student
may enter the Victoria school district from. Recently we’ve been having a lot of students
come from Italy, Vietnam, and Spain, which is new for us. And we’re developing new methods to support
students Because students come in from each country, They come from a different education system,
different culture and We always look for ways to make them feel
welcome and comfortable in Victoria In their new schools and new homestay
families. I mean I have so many memorable moments. That’s
a tough one. Probably my first day on the job where a group
of students from Yokohama, Japan came And I went on all the activities with them
and rode the bus and got to do the activities myself. That was great. I also think about memorable moments every
time new students arrive for our new student orientation Which is in September and February, and I
get the chance to speak with them and Connect with parents and connect with partners. That’s always very memorable. One of the things that has been most impactful
for me is meeting students after they complete their program. So often we do alumni events where we bring
students together Sometimes a year after after they’ve graduated,
sometimes two or three. And they’re working and moving on with their
lives. And I find, meeting these students, it’s
very inspiring because it’s so interesting. They have two perspectives. They’re bi-cultural, They’ve learned about life in Canada and
obviously they are well aware of life at home. They’re very well-rounded, and very interesting,
globalized people. So I find that for me, those three areas,
probably the… You know, my best memories. Not one, but many memories.

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