• Justin (Taiwan) & Gerard (Mexico)

    Justin (Taiwan) & Gerard (Mexico)

    “Back home it is so hard, there is so much testing and the teachers are very strict. It is easier here, there is  less pressure and you have more free time to do whatever you want, like reading and piano. I would tell other students, ‘Yes, you should come. This is a really good experience that makes you more independent. You have to be prepared to miss your parents.’” 

    “You must make the effort to meet new friends. I have several Canadian friends and they really help me. My teacher also showed me what there is to do here and at home I joined in the family things. Also, you can go out and walk in the streets here without being afraid.” 

  • Mark (Hong Kong)

    Mark (Hong Kong)

    When Marc first arrived in Saanich from Hong Kong, he joined a local fencing club. “I’m glad I can continue  with my fencing and get this amount of practice time here.” Marc is also enjoying school life in Saanich. “The teaching and learning here is much more interactive; not so much sitting and listening as in Hong Kong schools. The semester system is more relaxing because we only have to focus on four courses at a time rather than the thirteen I am used to in Hong Kong. “Also, the weather is more comfortable—not so hot and sticky as back home so it just makes it easier to do things.”

  • Michiyo (Japan)

    Michiyo (Japan)

    “The school is good, the students are so nice, they help me with my English. The teachers are so friendly and  funny here and always help me.”

  • Markus (Germany)

    Markus (Germany)

    “It’s a great experience to live alone in an unfamilar environment where you have to adapt to the different culture. The challenge to become self confident and independent is incredible and the fact that you can say that you’ve had the time of your life at the end makes everthing perfect.”

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International Student Training for Triathlon

In November, 2009, Gabriela, a Triathlete from Guatemala was very happy to have chosen Claremont School due to its close proximity to the Pacific Sport Institute where she trained every day.  “I go to the pool for swim practice every morning from 7:30-9:30, then after school we go for a run on one of the many routes in this area. On weekends we train on our bicycles.”

Gabriela is currently ranked in the top 30 in world Junior Women’s Triathlon after strong performances in the Pan American Championships in Edmonton, Canada and the World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, last summer. “I have 3 more years left in this age bracket and hope to be number one before I’m finished.” Gabriela decided to attend school in Canada so she could pursue her studies while training with the world-class Triathlon Program at Pacific Sport Institute located at Commonwealth Place in the Saanich School District.

She was able to take 3 courses at Claremont a semester and 2 more through the nearby South Island Distance Education School which allowed Gabriela to balance her education plan with the training schedule. Gabriela enjoyed her busy but productive life here in Canada. “I really like my school and my homestay family. I have been well-accepted at Pacific Sport because of my Triathlon results and all the good contacts I have made.”  One of her goals was to improve her running time so she joined the Claremont Cross-Country Team which helped her focus more on that element in the Triathlon training program by competing in the regular school meets.  Gabriela says that this is a perfect place for Triathlon. She appreciates the top quality coaches and serious athletes at  and enjoyed all the opportunities for training. “There are so many good roads and trails for running and biking. The Commonwealth Pool is excellent and I’m looking forward to swimming in the local lakes in the spring. The air is so clean and the weather is just right for training all year round.”

Gabriela participated in the World Championships in Vancouver in June, 2008 and believes that training in this environment was a real advantage for her. Gabriela expects to win the Gold Medal for Women’s Triathlon by 2016. The Saanich International Student Program offers students opportunities to attend first class high schools while enjoying other lifestyle interests.