For Youth

Why should YOU register for EWC?

Yes, it’s a week off school. But get this. EWC is also a chance to:

  • hang out with 120 to 148 teens from across Canada and represent your province
  • have your voice be heard and valued
  • visit our nation’s capital as a VIP
  • open your eyes to new career experiences and opportunities
  • meet famous and/or accomplished Canadians
  • take part in unique, fun and exclusive events and activities
  • explore your Canadian identity
  • make memories that will last a lifetime!

What are you waiting for? Register TODAY!


FAQ


Q. What is My Encounters?

My Encounters is a special website for EWC participants. Designed with you in mind, it is where you will go to register for our program, get important participant information from us, and stay in touch with your EWC friends after your week with us is over (when you are a member of our EWC Alumni Community). The following FAQs are meant to help you decide whether EWC is for you! Once you register for the program, EWC will send you ongoing information and updates through your My Encounters page to help you prepare.

Q. Who can apply to attend EWC?

To participate in the Encounters with Canada program, you must:

  • be 14-17 years of age when you take part
  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  • be enrolled in an educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education in your province or territory
  • obtain authorization from a parent or guardian
  • obtain a recommendation from your school

Selection of participants in each region is made on the recommendation of school authorities in every province and territory. Space is limited due to heavy demand, so don't put off registration! EWC strives to have youth reps from every province and territory each week, therefore the number of participants eligible for each area is set on a pro-rata basis.

Q. What does it cost to participate in the EWC program?

Participation costs $675, which covers all program supplies/activities, meals, accommodation, site visits/tours, travel in Ottawa, etc. Some provincial governments provide funds to students who wish to attend the program, therefore your fee may be reduced. (Your local EWC regional coordinator will inform you of the final cost.) Your travel to and from the Centre is generously paid for by Canadian Heritage!

All prices are in Canadian funds.

Refund Policy: Once payment is received, the Encounters with Canada program offers no refunds.

Q. How much "pocket money" do I need?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on you. Once a week, participants attend an evening cultural event in the capital, so you should plan for this. There are several options for you to choose from, which range in cost from $8-$22. On the Friday, students have a half-day in downtown Ottawa for personal shopping. Bob's Canteen, located at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre, sells snack food and a variety of EWC souvenirs (shirts, bags, etc.). There is an ATM on site should you need it!

Q. Can I fundraise for the participation fee?

Certainly! Your local EWC regional coordinator can provide you with a "How To" guide for raising the needed funds.

Q. How do I travel to and from the Centre?

EWC has an on-site travel agency, which books the appropriate travel tickets for all participants who have registered for the program on My Encounters. Depending on where you live, you may travel by bus, train or airplane. NOTE: When selecting your departure point, please ensure that the closest airport/train or bus station is selected, because once the tickets are booked, they are final. You will be notified of your travel arrangements through your My Encounters page.

Also don't forget to check out our website's Promo section. View our video - Encounters with Canada: Live the Experience. Follow a group of participants as they engage in typical activities during their week’s stay in Ottawa. Hear testimonials from students just like you.

Q. Will I be travelling alone?

There may be other EWC participants travelling with you. However, you might have to travel on your own. Don't worry! We will be there to greet you immediately upon your arrival in Ottawa. An EWC rep will be at the baggage pick-up with an "Encounters with Canada" sign, and you will be bused to the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre. It is located in an eastern Ottawa residential suburb, not far from the airport. Once there, you will be assigned your place in the dormitories.

Q. Where will I be staying? What is it like?

You will be staying at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa. Click here to learn all about our Centre!

Also don't forget to check out our website's Promo section. View our video - Encounters with Canada: Live the Experience. Follow a group of participants as they engage in typical activities during their week’s stay in Ottawa. Hear testimonials from students just like you.

Q. What will I do once there?

Our interactive program is jam-packed with workshops, site visits/tours, speakers, and group activities. See the Our Youth Program for more information!

Also don't forget to check out our website's Promo section. View our video - Encounters with Canada: Live the Experience. Follow a group of participants as they engage in typical activities during their week’s stay in Ottawa. Hear testimonials from students just like you.

Q. How can I ensure I get in on the theme week I really want?

Only a certain number of males and females from each Canadian province can attend each week, because we try to ensure a "mini-Canada representation." When registering, you will be asked to choose your top 3 theme weeks. Attendance is first-come, first-serve - so register early!

Q. How much time is devoted to my theme (e.g., Science & Technology, Law, etc.)?

Approximately 1.5 to 2 days are spent directly on activities related to your theme.

Q. What if I have special medical or dietary needs?

When registering on the My Encounters site, please be sure to list any special medical considerations. EWC's professional staff will work with you to ensure your safety and well-being. Our chef and kitchen staff can also plan menus for you, which take into consideration any dietary restrictions and allergies you may have.

Q. Will I be able to access my bank account/money?

There is an ATM at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre.

Q. Can I make personal calls to my parents or others? Are cell phones allowed?

The Centre has public pay phones for your use. Cell phones are allowed in the building, however use is restricted to during your free time.

Q. How do we get around the city?

EWC rents school buses and owns a fully accessible van. These are used to transport participants to and from activities, site visits and tours.

Also don't forget to check out our website's Promo section. View our video - Encounters with Canada: Live the Experience. Follow a group of participants as they engage in typical activities during their week’s stay in Ottawa. Hear testimonials from students just like you.

Q. Will I have access to email?

Yes! Our Centre features a "Café Internet" for use during your free time.

Q. Will I have free time?

Yes! While your week will be jam-packed with EWC fun, and there is also free time scheduled into the week's agenda.

Q. Can I visit my family/friends in Ottawa?

Our experience has been that participants very quickly become fully involved in the program, and find visits away from the Centre inconvenient. However, should you wish to visit with family and friends, you have the option of doing so on the Monday night. You need to fill out the permission form on your My Encounters page and have it signed by your parents.

Q. What if I need to go home early?

In the event that you must return home early, you will need to discuss your request with EWC's programming team. We will assess the situation, contact your parents for their approval, and look at possible travel arrangements. It is important for you to be aware that any changes to your itinerary will incur additional costs, which will be paid for by your parents.

Q. Do I need to speak both official languages?

No, you do not need to speak both French and English fluently. However, efforts to speak the other language are always appreciated and treated with a good dose of cheerful respect and understanding. Activities are conducted in both French and English, and all staff members are bilingual.

Q. Can I find out more about the EWC experience from former participants?

Certainly! Check out the Encounters with Canada group on Facebook.

Also don't forget to check out our website's Promo section. View our video - Encounters with Canada: Live the Experience. Follow a group of participants as they engage in typical activities during their week’s stay in Ottawa. Hear testimonials from students just like you.

Q. Who at my school can give me a recommendation?

Start by visiting with your school's guidance counsellor. Most are familiar with EWC, and will work with you, and with us, to get the process started.

Q. How do I register for the EWC program?

How to Register

Q. Why can’t I use a Hotmail account as my email address contact?

Sometimes very important information we send to participants with Hotmail accounts gets missed, because Hotmail often sends EWC's emails to the Junk folder. This can be disastrous, as people may not be notified of their departure date, or may not get their electronic travel tickets. Thus, to ensure there are no problems, please don't use Hotmail accounts with us.

Q. I’ve lost my username or password for My Encounters. Could you send it back to me?

If you lose your username or password, please go to the Encounters with Canada website - to the Register section. Enter your email address and we will reply, providing this information.

Q. When will I receive my confirmation letter?

You will receive a confirmation letter once you've sent your registration form, signed by your parents and school authorities, and you have paid your admission fee.

Q. After my application has been accepted, when will I know which theme week I will be attending and on what date?

You will receive a notification on your My Encounters page. Check it often, as you may be assigned to a theme week soon after registration.

Q. When will I receive my travel information, tickets and itinerary?

Remember - when selecting your departure point, please ensure that the closest  airport/train or bus station is selected, because once your tickets are booked, they are final. You will receive email notification with your travel details three to four weeks prior to your departure.

Air:  Once your travel has been booked, you will receive an email asking you to log onto your "My Encounters" page. Under the travel section, you will be able to view/print your travel itinerary. All air travel is now issued electronically, which means the only travel information you will receive is what is found on your "My Encounters" page. Please print your confirmation, because you must bring it to the airport with you (as well as your photo ID) to check in with the airline.

Train:  Once your travel has been booked, you will receive an email asking you to log onto your "My Encounters" page. Under the travel section, you will be able to view/print your travel itinerary. Please print this confirmation and bring it to a VIA Rail train station to be exchanged for your real train tickets. You will receive both your ticket to and from Ottawa.

Bus:  Once your travel has been booked, you will receive an email asking you to log onto your "My Encounters" page. Under the travel section, you will be able to view/print your travel itinerary. Please print your bus confirmation and bring it to the closest bus station to be exchanged for tickets to and from Ottawa. There are times when we might have to mail the actual bus ticket to you. In either case, we will send you an email giving you all the instructions you need to obtain your bus ticket.

Q. What should I bring with me?

Once you have received your online registration confirmation from EWC, you will receive detailed information on your My Encounters page, which will provide you with a complete list of items to bring to Ottawa.

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