Ecole Heritage student gets an appreciation for Chinese culture

The family she stayed with. Photos courtesy of Meera Sylvain.

Mac Olsen
Express Staff

Meera Sylvain embarked on a great adventure during the summer, as she travelled to China to learn about their culture and meet other students.

“I was excited to go,” says Sylvain. “I really liked meeting the students and they were so impressed with Canada. It was really fun.”

Sylvain was one of 20 students from Alberta to travel to China for two weeks in early August.

Their first stop was in Beijing, where they saw the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Then they travelled to Qingdao, which is a port city in China’s eastern Shandong province, for the rest of their trip.

While there, Sylvain stayed with a family and went to two schools. She took language classes and several arts classes at the schools, and made a lot of friends there too, which are among the memories she will always treasure.

Principal Nicole Walisser is pleased that Sylvain represented Ecole Heritage for this journey and that she experienced another culture, thereby giving her a bigger sense of the world.

“Part of the student education at École Héritage consists of strengthening French-cultural identity; there is no greater learning tool than travelling to a foreign country to experience first-hand its culture,” says Walisser.

“This helps our students develop a sense of appreciation of their culture. People who travel and seek to learn from other cultures always return with a deeper sense of global citizenship. Meera was so fortunate to live such an experience in China.”

Sylvain’s trip was arranged between Alberta Education, the Confucius Institute in Edmonton and their headquarters in Beijing.

To be accepted into the program, Alberta Education requires the student:

. To be enrolled in a Middle, Junior High, or Senior High school in Alberta;
. To be 14 – 18 years old (as of July 31, 2018);
. Be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident; and
. Currently enrolled or will be enrolled in a Chinese language and culture course.

Students not enrolled in a Chinese program of studies but are involved in Chinese language and/or extra-curricular activities outside of school will be considered.

As per the Confucius Institute’s website:

“Made possible by funding through Hanban and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Confucius Institute in Edmonton (CIE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the educational, cultural and economic ties between China and Canada.”

Meera Sylvain with two students.


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