YMCA EXCHANGES

connect . exchange . discover.|créez des liens. échangez. découvrez.


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Heroes of History: Roch Carrier| Heros de l’histore: Roch Carrier

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Roch Carrier (right).

Look on the reverse side of a $5 bill, and you might see a picture of children playing hockeys—our national pastime—and the following quote describing what they’re doing:

“The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places — the school, the church and the skating rink — but our life was on the skating rink.”

Five dollar bill

The lines written on the back of the $5 bill are from one of Canada’s most famous and well-loved authors. The Hockey Sweater is a very famous story written by novelist, playwright, lecturer and children’s writer Roch Carrier. Carrier was born in Sainte-Justine de Dorchester (a small town in Quebec), on a spring day in 1937. Carrier inspired himself from childhood memories and experiences and used them to create imaginative stories that everyone could relate to.

Carrier wrote over 30 novels, plays and short stories during the course of his literary career, including La guerre, yes sir! (1967) , Jolis deuils (1964) The Basketball Player (1996) and Les enfants du bonhomme dans la lune (1979), where the famous story The Hockey Sweater made its appearance into the hearts of Canadians everywhere.  Carrier’s work often talked about what it means to be Canadian and the conflicts between French and English Canadians; no matter what, the voices of the characters of his books were always those of young people, as his stories were always written with their perspective in mind.

When he wasn’t writing books, poetry, plays or stories, Carrier was very active in the Canadian literature community, always making sure that Canadian voices (whether French or English) were heard through the literary arts. His career was a very busy one, having been a teacher, scholar and lecturer. He also served as Director for the Canada Council for the Arts, and was Canada’s last National Librarian until 2004.

Roch Carrier is our Hero of History for December (the last of this year!) because his stories have captured Canadian life in its many forms, while standing the test of time, despite many of the works being over 30 years old.

Bonus: The Hockey Sweater was made into a short animated film–check it out via the link!

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Regardez au verso d’un billet de 5 $, et vous verrez peut-etre une image d’enfants jouant au hockey—notre passe-temps national­— ainsi que la citation suivante décrivant ce qu’ils font:

«Les hivers de mon enfance étaient des saisons longues, longues. Nous vivions en trois lieux: l’école, l’église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.»

Les lignes sur le dos du billet de 5 $ sont ecrites par l’un des auteurs les plus célèbres et bien appreciés du Canada, Roch Carrier. Il est un romancier, dramaturge, conférencier et écrivain pour enfants né en 1937 à Sainte-Justine de Dorchester (une petite ville au Québec). Pour écrir ses œuvres, Carrier s’inspirait de souvenirs et d’expériences infantiles et les utilisaient pour créer des histoires imaginatives, auquelles tout le monde pouvait s’identifier.

Carrier a écrit plus de 30 romans, pièces de théâtre et histoires courtes au cours de sa carrière littéraire, y compris La guerre, yes sir! (1967), Jolis deuils (1964), Le Joueur de basket-ball (1996), Les enfants du bonhomme dans la lune (1979), ainsi que la célèbre histoire Le Chandail de hockey (1979), qui a trouvé sa place dans le cœur de plusieurs Canadiens. Les œuvres de Carrier parlent souvent de ce que signifie être Canadien et des conflits entre les Canadiens français et anglais. Quoi qu’il en soit, les voix des personnages de ses livres ont toujours été celles de jeunes, vu que ses histoires étaient toujours écrites avec leur point de vue à l’esprit.

Quand il n’écrivait pas de livres, de la poésie, des pièces de théâtre ou des histoires, Carrier était très actif dans la communauté littéraire du Canada, et s’assurait toujours que les voix canadiennes (françaises ou anglaises) étaient entendues à travers les arts littéraires. Sa carrière a été très occupé, ayant été un enseignant, un chercheur et un conférencier. Il a également servi comme directeur du Conseil des Arts du Canada, et a été le dernier Bibliothécaire National du Canada, jusqu’en 2004.

Roch Carrier est notre héros de l’histoire pour le mois de Décembre (le dernier de cette année!) parce que ses histoires ont capturé la vie canadienne sous toutes ses formes, tout en résistant à l’épreuve du temps, malgré le fait que de nombreuses œuvres aient plus de 30 ans.

Bonus: Le Chandail de hockey a son propre court métrage- jetez-y un coup d’œil en cliquant sur le lien!


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My SWSE Summer Experience: Jao (Second Go)| Mon experience EEEE: Jao (Deuxième chance)

As every milestone in your life, you would always be excited to do it all over again! This summer, I had this very opportunity by becoming the Local Coordinator of the Langley, BC community for SWSE 2014. Two years ago, I was a 17-year-old student heading to Laval, Quebec and now I had another chance for a second go! The summer has been a blast in every way and I wish that it could last longer. Being a coordinator opposed to a participant changed a lot of aspects of the exchange but I can confidently say that this time was as remarkable as the first.

I received 10 beautiful students from St-Jean, Boisbriand and St-Eustache, all small towns in the province of Quebec. These 10 people were what made the summer particularly amazing for me. The past 6 weeks were filled with memories, challenges and many inside jokes. My personal favourite memory was our Dragon Boating activity in Fort Langley. For many different reasons, this event allowed us to discover the community and build friendships. As one of our first activities, it was a good chance to build teamwork as one community and as one dragon boat. None of us had tried dragon boating before and it was awesome to see my students putting themselves out there! As a bonus, we visited the area of Fort Langley itself. With all its eccentric and old-fashioned beauty, the neighbourhood showed another side of the city. We dined at the famous Java’s 50 Café in the heart of downtown Fort Langley. My students enjoyed the lively atmosphere, decor, and creamy milkshakes.

With the program now at its end, I want to send a small message to my students.I hope that you have had the summer of a lifetime. Keep our memories and friendships together with you forever. Live life trying to achieve whatever you want, and know that I will be supporting you every step of the way. À la prochaine!

 

 

Comme pour chaque étape importante de sa vie, on est très excité à l’idée de devoir le faire de nouveau! Cet été, j’ai eu la possibilité de devenir le coordonnateur local à Langley pour le programme Emploi d’été Échanges étudiants de 2014. Il y a deux ans, j’étais un étudiant qui se dirigeait à Laval (Québec) et maintenant, voilà qu’une deuxième chance se présente à moi! L’été a vraiment été génial dans tous les sens du terme et j’aurais aimé qu’il dure plus longtemps. Être un coordonnateur et non un participant a changé de nombreux aspects de l’échange, mais je peux dire en toute honnêteté que cette expérience a été aussi remarquable que la première.

J’étais le coordonnateur pour le groupe de Langley (C.-B.) cette année. J’ai reçu 10 beaux étudiants de Saint-Jean, Boisbriand et Saint-Eustache. C’est grâce à ces 10 personnes que l’été a été particulièrement génial. Les 6 dernières semaines ont été remplies de souvenirs, de défis et de nombreuses blagues d’initiés. Selon moi, mon souvenir préféré était notre activité sur des bateaux-dragons à Fort Langley. Pour de nombreuses raisons différentes, cet événement nous a permis de découvrir la communauté et de créer des amitiés. Il s’agissait d’une de nos premières activités et d’une bonne occasion de travailler en équipe en tant que communauté à bord d’un bateau-dragon. Aucun d’entre nous n’avait essayé le bateau-dragon auparavant et c’était formidable de voir mes étudiants jouer le jeu! Nous avons visité la région de Fort Langley en guise de récompense. La beauté excentrique et démodée du quartier nous a permis de voir une autre facette de la ville. Nous avons soupé au fameux Java’s 50 Café au cœur du centre-ville de Fort Langley. Mes étudiants ont beaucoup aimé l’atmosphère dynamique, le décor et les laits frappés crémeux.

Le programme touche maintenant à sa fin et j’aimerais envoyer un petit message à mes étudiants. Pour conclure, j’espère que vous avez passé le meilleur été de votre vie. Conservez les souvenirs et les amitiés que nous avons créées ensemble jusqu’à la fin de votre vie. Vivez votre vie en essayant d’accomplir ce que vous souhaitez et sachez que je vous soutiendrai tout le temps. À la prochaine!


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My SWSE Summer Experience: Camilla|Mon expérience Emplois d’été Échanges étudiants: Camilla

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I’m continually surprised by how one SWSE summer can create lasting connections. As a past participant, I know that this exchange doesn’t end when you return home – I still keep in touch with the people I travelled to Quebec with, my host family and my twin! My exchange trip is still one of the best summers I’ve ever had. It was so much fun exploring new places, trying new things and meeting new people. by the end of the six weeks, I had also fallen in love with Quebec! So when I applied to work with the YMCA as a Local Coordinator, I wanted to give a new group of students the chance to explore and enjoy another part of Canada like I did (and have the time of their lives to boot!).

Setting myself with the goal of creating a memorable summer was challenging sometimes; as Local Coordinators (LCs), we want to make sure that everyone has a great exchange no matter what their interests are. This means balancing oil painting with a night out line dancing, and weekend camping with city sightseeing. I was also excited about showcasing a side of my community, Brampton, ON, that not many people know about such as the vibrancy and small town charm of downtown Brampton on a Farmer’s Market Saturday! I wanted to give the incoming participants a summer of exciting adventures, lasting friendships and new perspectives. However, I was so preoccupied with what I could give, I didn’t realize how much my participants would give me.

I have learned so much about patience, laughter and fearlessness from my participants during my time as an LC. My participants brought so much honesty, energy and their individual experiences that I was always learning something new about them, myself, and being part of a team. Despite being incredibly different, we grew respect and developed trust. That’s not to say there were no tense moments, or that there were no tears (there were!) – we just learned to be honest about our feelings and remember that for six weeks, we were family.

I am most grateful for having the opportunity to meet such a dynamic and thoughtful group of individuals two summers in a row.  And really, as much as we LCs get excited planning for big activities, the best memories are always the small moments you can never plan for: it’s pouring rain but we’re singing camp songs and radio hits while cycling around the Toronto Islands; it’s 8:00am but a small group of early risers from Brampton West, Markham and Richmond Hill are sharing conversation, muffins and peaches at our camping trip until the others wake up; it’s a long drive to Tree Top Trekking or Niagara Falls, but our car becomes the best dance party on four wheels. Pancakes for dinner, Hide and Seek in the park, Pachamama…too many to list!

I couldn’t have anticipated how meaningful my SWSE summers would be as an LC. The truth is, LCs will be crying alongside participants at the end of the summer. So, on behalf of LCs past and present, thank you to you, the participants – for your laughter, your kindness and positive attitude. It means a lot to us.

 

 

Je ne cesse de m’étonner de la façon dont une expérience Emplois d’été Échanges étudiants peut créer des relations durables. Ayant moi-même participé à un échange, je sais que celui-ci ne se termine pas lorsque vous retournez à la maison; je suis toujours en contact avec des gens avec qui j’ai voyagé au Québec, avec ma famille d’accueil et avec mon jumeau! Mon voyage d’échange demeure l’un des meilleurs étés que j’ai jamais vécu. C’était tellement amusant de découvrir de nouveaux endroits, d’essayer de nouvelles choses et de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes. À la fin des six semaines, j’étais aussi tombée amoureuse du Québec! C’est pourquoi, lorsque j’ai posé ma candidature pour travailler au YMCA à titre de coordonnatrice régionale, je voulais donner la chance à un nouveau groupe d’élèves de découvrir et d’apprécier une autre région du Canada comme j’ai pu le faire (et de vivre la meilleure expérience de leur vie au maximum!).

Il était parfois difficile d’atteindre mon objectif de créer un été mémorable; en tant que coordonnateurs régionaux (CR), nous voulons nous assurer que tous vivent un excellent échange, peu importe leurs intérêts, ce qui signifie qu’il faut trouver un équilibre entre la peinture à l’huile et une soirée de danse en ligne et entre une fin de semaine en camping et une visite touristique de la ville. J’étais aussi enthousiaste à l’idée de présenter un aspect de ma communauté (Brampton, en Ontario) que peu de gens connaissent, notamment le charme et la capacité d’adaptation du centre-ville de Brampton, un samedi pendant le Marché des fermiers! Je voulais offrir un été rempli d’aventures excitantes, d’amitiés durables et de nouveaux points de vue aux participants d’ailleurs. Cependant, j’étais si préoccupée par ce que je pouvais donner que je ne me suis pas rendu compte de tout de ce que les participants pouvaient m’offrir.

J’ai tellement appris relativement à la patience, au rire et à l’audace grâce à mes participants lorsque j’étais CR. Ils m’ont apporté honnêteté, énergie et expériences individuelles, et ce qui m’a amené à sans cesse apprendre quelque chose de nouveau à propos d’eux, de moi-même et du travail d’équipe. Même si nous étions incroyablement différents, nous avons appris à nous respecter et à nous faire confiance. Je ne dis pas qu’il n’y a pas eu de tensions ni de larmes (il y en a eu!); nous avons simplement appris à être francs quant à nos émotions et à nous rappeler que pour six semaines, nous étions une famille.

Je suis d’autant plus reconnaissante d’avoir eu l’occasion de rencontrer un groupe d’individus aussi dynamiques et attentionnés deux étés d’affilée.  Et, honnêtement, autant nous, les CR, sommes enthousiastes lorsque nous planifions de grosses activités, les meilleurs souvenirs sont toujours ceux des petits moments imprévisibles : il pleut des cordes, mais nous chantons des chansons de camp et des tubes tournés à la radio en faisant du vélo dans les îles de Toronto; nous sommes en camping, il est 8 h et un petit groupe de lève-tôt de Brampton Ouest, Markham et Richmond Hill discutent entre eux en mangeant des muffins et des pêches en attendant que les autres se lèvent; le voyage est long vers Tree Top Trekking ou vers les chutes Niagara, mais notre voiture devient la meilleure fête dansante à quatre roues. Des crêpes pour diner, des parties de cache-cache dans le parc, la Pachamama… il y a tant de choses à énumérer!

Je n’aurais pu prévoir à quel point mes étés dans le cadre du programme Emplois d’été Échanges étudiants seraient importants en tant que CR. La vérité c’est que les CR pleureront en chœur avec les participants à la fin de l’été. Je tiens à remercier les participants, de la part des CR précédents et actuels. Merci pour vos rires, votre gentillesse et votre attitude positive. Cela signifie beaucoup pour nous.


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My SWSE Summer Experience: Sabrina |Mon experience d’ete avec l’EEEE: Sabrina

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Sabrina (right) with SWSE Gatineau LC Amelie.

 

Hi! My name is Sabrina and I had the chance to participate in the SWSE exchange this summer in Gatineau, Quebec. This was an amazing opportunity to meet new friends and improve my second language (French). It certainly was all that and so much more. I got to meet some really genuine friends that I laughed so hard with that if we were at a restaurant, we’d cause a scene and the waiter had to ask if we were okay. I stayed with a family who I quickly learned was soccer-crazy: soccer games, soccer practice and FIFA World Cup games–don’t forget recreational soccer too! Because of them, I have a new found appreciation for the sport.

All jokes aside, I got to meet the most dedicated father I’ve ever met and some pretty great kids too. I couldn’t have imagined a better family to fit in with, be it going for hikes with my host dad or playing some pretty intense games of Mario Kart (a racing video game), I always felt at home. Everything was pretty great, even the things I wasn’t used to, like milk in a bag, eating shawarma, or the dog’s hair EVERYWHERE in the house. The one thing that made my experience a little different was halfway through the exchange, when I broke my ankle.  I tend to (unintentionally) make everything 100 times harder for myself: I had to get surgery in Quebec, and then there were complications and all that jazz all while getting constant checkups from my mom back home in Saskatchewan. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but I learned a lot; I learned how determined I am to get things accomplished, even while on crutches. I also learned how much I dislike hospitals in Quebec since i had to make so many visits during my recovery.

Because of my injury, I missed out on work, the cool activities with the group and just the chance to have responsibility and be active with my family while exploring the city. But i definitely didn’t want to leave–no way José–so I found the perks of being at home like hanging out with my cool little host siblings, baking cookies and most importantly, becoming super-close friends with my coordinator, Amelie. I don’t know what I would have done without her this summer, from her comic relief with the (slightly aloof) doctors, her being there with me during almost every hospital trip, and even helping me figure out that there was an alarm coming from my fridge because I left it open (I didn’t know that was even a thing!).

I’d like to say there was nothing I would change about this summer…but I am just so thankful that I didn’t think too much about doing this exchange, I just did it. Best decision of my life. So many stories to tell. I could not have asked for better people to share my summer with.

 

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Sabrina in good spirits with her broken ankle.


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Communities in Focus: YMCA Montréal and Community Youth Network Corner Brook/YMCA Bay of Islands

In spring 2014, two youth groups from Montreal, Quebec and Corner Brook, Newfoundland discovered Canada in ways they never thought possible through the Youth Exchange Canada Program. We sat down with YMCA Montreal group leader (and YMCA Alternative Suspension Program coordinator) Valérie Dagenais to talk about how her group had the experience of a lifetime.

 

YMCA Exchanges: How did you get involved with the program and get the process started in terms of getting youth together?

Valerie: We recruited students who were available during the proposed date (April 2014). Many were excited to hear that the trip was to Newfoundland, but were a little hesitant to commit to the process when the found out that the trip would actually be an exchange trip and that some financial commitment/fundraising would be involved, including the obligation to participate in volunteer and community projects.  In total, we had 12 youth who participated in the exchange from Montreal, made up of individuals from various YMCA Montreal programs (Alternate Suspension, Passeport, YIP)  We had several meetings to plan out the exchange and also to figure out how we were going to raise money.  There were several fundraising activities that the youth decided to do themselves, such as bake sales (the kids baked treats to sell using the kitchen at YMCA du Parc), and a 50/50 draw. All of the activities raised money towards the cost of group outings during our hosting part of the exchange.

YMCA Exchanges: Did the youth make contact before the exchange started?

V: Yes. They had a couple of Skype conversations, where they asked each other questions to find out more about where they were going, like “are there stores in Corner Brook?” and “what’s the weather like there?”. They also used Facebook and email to connect and talk before and after the exchange.

YMCA Exchanges: Were there any cultural shocks experienced by the students?

V: Definitely.  We went to a Montreal Alouettes (CFL) game with our twins, and they were quite overwhelmed and impressed at the sheer about of people and the atmosphere of the stadium–it was nothing like they had ever seen before. To give you a comparison: the stadium seats 20,000 people. The total population of Corner Brook is 10,000 people. Little things like taking the subway/public transit around Montreal was a new experience for them as well.

As for our own students, most of them had only heard of Newfoundland from school and had seen a few pictures; they were surprised that such a different place from what they know could exist within the same country. At first, they complained that “there’s nothing to do!” or “there’s so many babies!”, but eventually they learned to appreciate the slowed down pace of life, and the very pleasant natural environment. They even marveled at the fact that complete strangers would say hello as they walked by.  I also think that the aspect of getting out of the big city was a big factor for some of the youth since they don’t always have the opportunity to do that.  They realized that though Corner Brook is very different from Montreal, it’s a beautiful place to live in, and young people who live there are just like them; they experience many of the same situations and feelings.

YMCA Exchanges: Did the youth learn anything new about Canada? 

V: For sure! Most of the students in both groups were immersed in an English-only or French-only speaking environment for the first time in their lives, so there was definitely a language exchange happening as they interacted. For the Montreal students seeing Newfoundland–and the Atlantic Ocean–for the first time was a live geography lesson for them, especially since we all realized just how FAR Newfoundland is from Quebec (we took two planes to get there). We also had some great cultural experiences, like the famous traditional Kitchen Party, where traditional music is played and those who are brave enough “kiss the cod”.

YMCA Exchanges: What types of community service projects did you do during your exchange?

V: We did a few projects during both parts of the exchange in Montreal and Corner Brook. In Montreal, we worked in a community centre helping to sort books and second-hand clothing for those in need.  In Corner Brook, we helped to clean up a local nature hike and bike trail, and we painted a colourful mural in the youth ward of a local psychiatric institute. Everyone enjoyed the work we did, and found way to have fun while doing it.

YMCA Exchanges: Would you recommend this program to others? 

Yes! For youth, it’s a way to see how other young people in Canada can live in different ways, yet share the same experiences. They witness different styles of communities, interact with people from different walks of life and also get to see parts of Canada they never would have otherwise.

 


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My SWSE Summer Experience: Yiwei|Mon expérience EEEE: Yiwei

Many of you have shared your experiences with us (keep them coming!), and just this week, we got a short and sweet testimony from Yiwei, who travelled across the country from Edmonton, Alberta to Gatineau, Quebec with SWSE this summer and had the experience of a lifetime. | Plusieurs des participants one déjà partage leurs mémoires avec nous (continuez, SVP!); cette semaine, nous avons reçu deux petits histoires de Yiwei Chen, qui a voyage à travers le Canada de Edmonton, AB à Gatineau, QC avec l’EEEE cet été et a eu l’expérience d’une vie.

 

 

Though so much has happened during my time with SWSE this summer, there are certain events that will be forever rooted in my memory. I’d like to share two of my personal stories with you.

1. Along with the awesome experiences I’ve had and life-long friendships I’ve made, I’ve also changed for the better. For example, I hated camping since….I cannot even remember since when. However, since this summer, I learned to slow down my pace, put down my busy school work, and enjoy what nature offers to us.  I opened my heart and immersed myself in the great outdoors and the sunshine!

2. August 9th, 2014. Saying goodbye to my host family in Gatineau, QC. For a moment, time just stopped…

It was a complex feeling, like a cruet, ups and downs, all in one. As my host mother quietly wept, she gently patted me on the back and said, “One day, we will meet again.” I couldn’t resist recollecting those happy days of summer 2014, as tears streamed down my face.

Thank you YMCA SWSE for such an amazing summer! And yes, we will meet again!

#YMCASWSE2014

 

 

Bien que j’aie éprouvé beaucoup pendant l’été avec l’EEEE, il y a deux évènements que je voudrai partager avec vous.

1.  J’ai eu des expériences étonnants et créée des amitiés pour la vie, mais en plus, j’ai change moi-même pour la meilleure.  Par exemple, je n’ai jamais aimé le camping. Graca au programme, j’ai appris d’aller plus lentement, de ralentissez ma rythme de vie, et d’apprécier le monde naturelle.  J’ai ouvert mon cœur et passe beaucoup de temps dans la nature et sous le soleil!

 

2.  9 août 2014. Je suis en train à dire au revoir à ma famille d’accueil, et le temps s’est arrêté….

J’avais des sentiments mitigés.  J’étais heureuse, triste, tout ce qu’on peut sentir en ce moment.  Ma mère d’accueil pleurait tout tranquille; elle m’a donné des petits tapes sur le dos et m’a dit: “on va se revoir encore”.  J’ai rappelé tous les mémoires heureux de l’été passe pendant que les larmes tombaient de mes yeux.

 

Merci beaucoup, YMCA, pour un été incroyable. Bien sûr, nous nous renconterons encore un jour!


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My SWSE Summer Experience: Ajay’s job at the Canadian Railway Museum |Mon expérience EéÉé : Le travail d’Ajay au Musée ferroviaire canadien

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Ajay at the Exporail Museum, summer 2014.|Ajay au Musee ferroviaire canadien, ete 2014

 

Just a short while ago, the shortest six weeks of my life came to a close. Even though this exchange was the longest I’ve ever been away from my family, the experiences I’ve had over the past few weeks have made me enjoy close to every second of it.
My name’s Ajay and I’m a 16-year-old French immersion student from Victoria, British Columbia. This summer, as part of the YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange, I got placed at an incredible job: A “public agent” at the Exporail Museum. Exporail, also known as the Canadian Railway Museum, is a train museum located near Montreal, Quebec. With over 50,000 yearly visitors, 160 trains, and over 250,000 artifacts, it is the largest train museum in Canada. As this was my first job, the lessons I learned at the museum were extremely valuable, both to my future in employment, and to my future in general. At the museum I learned how to operate a cash register, how to operate a movie theatre, and I also did a lot of site surveillance. I learned how to answer questions for people, and how to deal with discontent visitors, but, above all, this opportunity greatly improved my French. After just one week in Quebec, due to the fact that I was conversing in French with virtually everyone I interacted with, I became very comfortable in the French language, and began to correct grammatical errors I’ve been making for years. I even started having dreams in French!

I benefited greatly from this job, and the total immersion opportunity it provided me with. I learned so much during my time at Exporail, and I can’t believe it’s already over – part of me wants to stay behind and continue working for the museum. As for my fellow staff at Exporail, they were all hard-working and helpful people, and whenever I needed help or was confused, as I often was in my first few days, they never hesitated to help me. The museum also had a big sense of community between it’s staff, and, when the weather was nice, we’d all eat lunches together outside. Many of the employees were also each other’s best friends. The supervisors were all excellent as well, and I feel like I was working in a very relaxed – yet at the same time professional – environment.

Thanks so much to the YMCA and to Exporail for providing me with this opportunity; I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better job. I only wish I could have stayed a little longer.

 

 

Il a très peu de temps, les six semaines les plus courtes de ma vie se sont terminées. Même si l’échange constituait le moment où j’avais passé le plus de temps loin de ma famille, les expériences que j’ai vécues pendant les dernières semaines m’en ont fait apprécier presque chaque seconde.
Je m’appelle Ajay, j’ai 16 ans et je suis un étudiant en immersion française de Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique. Cet été, dans le cadre du programme Emplois d’été Échanges étudiants du YMCA, j’ai occupé un poste incroyable; celui de « fonctionnaire » au musée Exporail. Celui-ci, également connu sous le nom de  Musée ferroviaire canadien, est un musée ferroviaire situé près de Montréal. Comptant plus de 50 000 visiteurs chaque année, 160 trains et plus de 250 000 artéfacts, il s’agit du plus important musée sur les trains au Canada. Comme il s’agissait de mon tout premier emploi, les leçons que j’ai apprises au musée ont été très précieuses, tant pour mon emploi futur que pour mon avenir en général. Au musée, on m’a enseigné à utiliser une caisse enregistreuse, à faire fonctionner un cinéma et j’ai également beaucoup surveillé le site. J’ai appris à répondre aux questions des gens et à gérer des visiteurs mécontents, mais cette occasion m’a surtout permis d’améliorer grandement mon français. Après seulement une semaine au Québec, je suis devenu très à l’aise avec la langue française puisque je devais converser en français avec presque tout le monde avec qui j’interagissais. En outre, j’ai commencé à corriger des erreurs grammaticales que je faisais depuis des années. J’ai même commencé à rêver en français!

J’ai grandement tiré profit de cet emploi et de l’occasion d’immersion complète qu’il m’a offerte. J’ai tellement appris pendant mon séjour au musée Exporail. Je peine à croire que c’est déjà terminé; une partie de moi souhaite y rester et continuer à travailler au musée. Pour ce qui est de mes collègues de l’Exporail, ils étaient tous très travaillants et aidants. Peu importe si j’avais besoin d’aide ou si j’étais confus, comme je l’ai été dans les premiers jours, ils n’ont jamais hésité à m’aider. Le personnel du musée avait aussi un grand sens de la communauté; quand il faisait beau dehors, nous mangions tous ensemble à l’extérieur. Bon nombre d’employés étaient aussi de meilleurs amis. Les superviseurs étaient également tous très bons. J’ai l’impression que je travaillais dans un environnement très détendu, tout en étant professionnel.

Je remercie grandement le YMCA et Exporail de m’avoir offert cette occasion. En toute honnêteté, je n’aurais pu demander un meilleur emploi. J’aurais seulement souhaité pouvoir rester plus longtemps.