International Student Program
School District 47 - Powell River
Tips for Success and Happiness

​Advice from International Students

 Making Canadian Friends

  • When you make a new relationship with people, the first impression is really important.  However, international students cannot express themselves very well.  If you cannot speak very well, use body language.  It will be funny and make them curious about you.  Do not worry about your pronunciation.  Try to understand Canadian culture and respect each other.   – Inho
  • If you have many smiles, you can make friends.  When you smile, your mind becomes positive and looks friendly.   – Taiki
  • International students had better try making Canadian friends.  If you have local friends, it is possible to learn Canadian culture from them, and homesickness will be alleviated.   – Miki
  • Join in any clubs at Brooks.  It is easy to make Canadian friends if you join in a club. – Miki
  • Be brave to speak. – Arisa
  • Always initiate talking to people! - Marcus

Improving Your English

  • If you want to get good speaking and listening skills, I recommend that you try activities. It is a very good way to talk to meet people.  It is also fun.  For example, I suggest you try sports.  One of my friends tried curling and she liked it.  She said, β€œit is a team sport so you have to ask team mates when you are playing.”  I think that having conversations is good for listening and speaking. – Ichika
  • You cannot improve English skills without effort.  You could study English with English movies, songs and TV shows.   – Miki
  • You should try not to speak your own language. - KiTaek

Adjusting to Culture

  • The clothes that Canadian students wear are really different.   Canadian students usually wear really simple clothes such as T-shirts and a pair of jeans. – Thao
  • Learn as many things as you can (not only things in a text book, but from people and Canada). – Alex
  • Don’t complain!  Try to accept! Be confident! – Alex
  • Be bold! Be friendly. Be determined.  Wherever you are, think positively. – Top
  • See your life with optimistic eyes. - Yuki
  • To show polite manners you should:
    • Always say please and thank you for everything
    • Say sorry or excuse me if you bump into someone
    • Always say good morning and good night
    • Always phone to ask permission to go somewhere and what time to be home
    • Say hello to everybody
    • When walking in a group, move to allow others to pass by you easily
    • In Canada there is a lot of space so Canadians move to allow people to walk by and they don’t stand too close when talking.  
    • Give people space.
    • Try not to answer questions with one word answers.

Success at School

  • For me, when I came to Canada, I was feeling very bewildered and confused.  But do not worry; do not be afraid.  When you have questions, you have to ask the teacher.  Do not wait for the teacher to ask you. – Nathalie
  • When I first came to Canada, I was really surprised by how relaxed and easy-going Canadian teachers are.  However, in Canada, showing respect is the best way to make your teachers like you.  Don’t talk while your teacher is speaking.  Do your class work and assignments.  Asking your teachers questions when you don’t understand something is a smart thing to do.  - Katie 
  • One Korean said, β€œI can speak my opinions any time in class.  It’s not rude.  Even if my idea is wrong, it is accepted.  My teacher will correct me in a polite way.” - Katie
  • International students should make Canadian friends, study hard, and do activities. – Miki
  • Some academic courses have a provincial exam.  You have to pass the exam.  You had better study special terms that are used in science and math courses. – Thao
  • I have some advice for your effective use of class time.  Get up early.  Reading in the morning is a good choice. If in school you should pay attention to your class.  Do your homework when your brain is fresh. – Marcus
  • There are many courses you can take at Brooks that you have never taken before.  For example, there is a fun class called Drama.  In Drama, we play games, have fun with Canadians, and act.  You have to speak and listen to English a lot.  The students also perform in the Brooks theater  and lots of students and parents come to watch! – Arisa
  • In Canada you can choose your favourite courses but there are also academic courses that you must take.   - Miho
  • Study hard! – Joe
  • Ask if you struggle.  Take people’s advice. – Alex

Heath and Happiness

  • Happiness is a simple thing for me.  For happiness, cherish the people and things around; smile at life. - Yuki
  • There are a lot of beautiful place in Powell River.  My favourite place is the Beach Trail.  You should walk there when the weather is nice.  You can see beautiful trees, ocean, birds, and squirrels there. – Erika
  • To have success in Powell River is change your personality.  Students cannot be shy anymore, if so how can they make new friends?  BE INDEPENDENT, BRAVE, AND FRIENDLY. – Kate
  • Ignore the things that make you unhappy. – Joe
  • When you fly to a new country, you might feel homesick and not want to eat anything.  Doing activities can make you feel better.  It can make you relax and forget your homesickness. It will also help you get a good sleep. – Andrew
  • Being healthy is the most important thing! – Joe


  • Activity is important to keep your body healthy.  It is better not to shut yourself up in the house on the weekend.  You could go to the complex for exercise.  The complex has a swimming pool, a weight room, a hockey rink, and some exercise classes.  – Miki
  • What can you do when you fly to a new country?  You have to try to find something you might be interested in and enjoy yourself.  Hockey is one of the famous activities in Powell River.  If foreigners want to learn some culture about Canada, they had better watch and play hockey.   - Andrew.  
  • Relax on the weekend.  Get a balance between relaxing and work. – Kate
  • Recommended Activities:
    • Curling - I got a chance to talk with Canadians.  It is a good experience.  Miki
    • Ping Pong – It is a good choice, its fun and exciting. – Andrew
    • Mountain Biking – You will feel close to nature and I promise you will like it. – Marcus
    • Swimming – Swimming at the pool is a simple activity but it is good for relaxing. – Hie
    • Zumba Exercies - It is not a good sport but it is a good chance to talk to people. – Miho
    • Choir – I love to sing.  Its good for pronunciation. – Miho
    • Skating – It was the first time for me! – Miho
    • Dance – When at dance, I can relax and feel happy. – Yuki
    • ESL Trips – They see all the good places in Powell River. - Erika 


  • In order to be successful in Powell River, the first step is to change your attitude about food.  Students should not be surprised at their common lunch (sandwiches).  Students need a couple of months to get used to Canadian food.  Each student may not love Canadian food, but they have to show respect for it. – Kate
  • for school lunch, students usually bring an apple, some fruit, sandwiches and granola bars.  You can also go to the Brooks cafeteria to buy lunch. – Arisa
  • Students usually eat lunch at school. – Luna
  • Food will be different from what you are accustomed to.  For example, Western people will not eat meat in the morning.   – Luna


  • Breakfast is a very informal meal of the day.  Your homestay will not sit together because they need to prepare for their day.  Your homestay might make lunch for you or you have to make your own lunch.  Your homestay will cook and you should stay home and eat together at supper time.  While your homestay does the cooking, you should help them clean the dishes or se the table.  If you like a snack or beverage that the family does not use, you may want to buy it by yourself.  – Luna
  • Don’t always stay in your room and look at your computer.  You should go out and go for a walk or do some fun activities with your homestay. – Natalie
  • The more you stay in your room, the worse health you get.  Sometimes your school, classes and your homestay may organize some trips for you.  You should join them!  - Hien
  • β€œFor me, I think the main point is to be happy when you stay with a homestay family.  Therefore, you should try your best to get along with them, such as talking with them more.  I believe that they would be glad when you actively talk about your school life and your friends with them.” – Alex