Emily Matishak, Sherwood Park, AB, RCMP 2014
“This was an amazing experience and I am so thankful that I was able to be here. I really enjoyed getting to see the horses and the RCMP officers in the Musical Ride. It was really neat to see all of the work that goes into the well-known performance. The officers were all such amazing people and their stories were incredible. This week has provided me with many memories that I will never forget, not to mention all of the amazing people I will never forget.”
Louise Cameron, Calgary, AB, Arts & Culture 2014
"My experience at Encounters with Canada is incredible! It would rank high in my top weeks - possibly number one! It was more amazing and intriguing then I thought. Every day, every moment was something new. Connections, friendships were made - from people in BC all the way to people in Nova Scotia. It’ll be months before the smile on my face leaves!"
Jennifer Tucker, St.Philip's, NL, Medicine & Health 2014
"I've been planning to enter the medical field for quite some time and I believe the program helped to solidify my intentions. I learned a lot about the many ways a medical degree can be used. I now know more about who I want to be and how to achieve that goal. I also met many new people who I believe will have life long effects on my life."
Geertje VandenBroek, Olds, AB, Sports and Fitness 2014
"I participated in the Encounters with Canada program and I LOVED IT! I was privileged to meet some of the most amazing people I am now blessed to call friends. We got to take part in lots of exciting activities such as yoga, jogging, African dancing, boot camp, snowboarding, snowshoeing, rock wall climbing, and many more activities. I had one of the most amazing weeks of my life! This is a program every kid in Canada deserves to attend!"
Angel Lee, Surrey, BC, Medicine and Health 2014
"Encounters with Canada had been a wonderful experience. A tangled ball of memory knitted together a priceless present. From the rat races to the cafeteria to the meet and greets with different provinces, I have learnt about different provinces and have matured into an independent individual. The impact EWC have had on me is so powerful that it is impossible to be written down; rather, it is for other teens to come and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity."
Lesley Hansen, Terrace, BC, Canada Remembers 2013
"During this week it has been the time of my life! I really enjoyed the workshop of the Remembrance Slam Poetry, and also all the tours we went on. This once in a lifetime chance has been outstanding. It was a wonderful week of amazing opportunities, experiences and getting to know people you have never met before!"
Dominique Hibbert, Fredericton, NB, Law 2013
"It was the most interesting and pleasant weeks of my life. It enforced my future career choice and allowed me to create strong friendships. I am leaving with a sad heart, thinking that I will have to leave my Encounters family. EWC truly is an investment in our youth's development."
Mikayla McGuirk, Vernon River, PEI, Sports and Fitness 2013
"Encounters with Canada is an awesome experience! You get to do many things you normally don’t get to do and meet people from all over Canada with the same interests as you do. We got to experience life without our parents watching over us and doing things for us, which was a big learning experience as well. Encounters with Canada is really helping people like me to shape our futures!"
Pauline Correa, North Vancouver, BC, Journalism & Communications 2013
"My week at Encounters has been one of the most amazing weeks I have ever experienced. Coming to Ottawa was an amazing decision! I feel like I have seen all of Canada through all the people I have met from different provinces. I have a greater appreciation for Canada now. Before, I never really felt a GREAT pride of being Canadian, but after Encounters, I have definitely been impacted in a good way. I have met amazing people that have taught me so much! I hope that I can go visit the friends that I have made in different provinces so I can see more of Canada!"
Kelsey Kent, Churchill Falls, NL, Arts & Culture 2013
"Encounters with Canada is an amazing program! The week I have spent here has been one of the most eye-opening and thought-provoking weeks of my life. Being from such a small and isolated community, Encounters has given me friends and experiences that I would never have otherwise."
Emilie Dow, Rothesay, New-Brunswick, International Affairs 2013
"This week, we were able to broaden our knowledge on Canada's culture, confederation, and what it truly means to be a proud Canadian. It is an excellent leadership program that allowed me to meet new people from all across Canada, and create lifelong friendships. The program is also bilingual, so I was able to practice my French. The International Affairs theme let me explore career possibilities that interest me. It was definitely a week I will never forget!"
Amrit Rai, Surrey, BC, Medicine and Health 2013
"This experience was very unique and I felt privilege to be able to attend, as not only my knowledge expanded, but I personally benefitted from this program as I was able to gain independence - having to live away from my family. Coming into this program only knowing that I want to go into sciences, I have now come away being able to narrow my career choice down - given the presentations and helpful advice from guest speakers. My overall experience was phenomenal, and I've made friendships that are very valuable to me and made memories that I will cherish forever."
Lingzi Gao, Delta, BC, Medicine and Health, 2013
"The highlight of my week in Ottawa was meeting so many different and phenomenal people from different provinces; I will be friends with some of them for a long time. This week has really impacted me and has changed my view of Canada as well as taught me a great deal about health, cancer and medicine and made me realize how important and how much courage it takes to step up and be a leader. This program receives the highest regards from me and I would recommend it to all my friends!"
Deanna Di Vito, Mississauga, ON, Science and Technology 2013
"This past week was one of the best weeks in my life. I met people from all over Canada, and I now have friends from coast to coast, in every provinces. Attending Encounters with Canada in Ottawa allowed me to explore Ottawa and enrich my knowledge about Canada, the capital city, and the parliament. I learnt about many cultures and heard many people's different experiences in life. My only wish is that this program lasted longer, so I could learn more about science and technology, and spend more time with my new friends!"
Carmen Cao, Vancouver, BC, Arts & Culture 2013
"I enjoyed a lovely week in Ottawa with youth from all over Canada. I am not a very artsy person, Arts and Culture was a lovely week of knowledge and friendships that I will forever treasure. We started with a tour of Parliament, listened to a live marimba band, and visited the National Gallery of Canada. Through all these events and activities, I found a passion for Culture within me. This may be what I will hope to pursue and allow culture to flourish in an already multicultural country. Coming here, I was greeted with such enthusiasm that even the kitchen staff and canteen cashier are glowing! They were understanding of what youth go through and I appreciate them enormously."
Caitlin Mullaley, Mount Pearl, NL, Experience Canada 2013
“This week has really made me grow a new appreciation for Canada. Visiting the War Museum, doing the Peace Module, and listening to all of the guest speakers really opened my eyes to all the opportunities that I am offered in Canada. Not only did I enjoy the educational aspect of this week, but I also made many friends. I particularly enjoyed this week’s theme, because I got to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. I got to bond with people who are different from myself, and truly understand the concept of unity within Canada.”
Ashly Alfeche, Victoria, BC, Experience Canada 2013
“This one of a kind experience was the best – it helped me to understand more about Canada, especially its history and culture. I was able to do things for the first time. This experience helped me on how to be Canadian and how to adjust. Also, EWC helped me appreciate Canada and accept my new home. I met a lot of people here, they were very nice and very friendly. And because of them, I understand about other regions of Canada. I had such a good week and I know those people who were with me had too.”
Maja Suzic, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Experience Canada 2013
"Throughout the week, I saw and experienced things that I thought that I never would. Originally from Croatia, I moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan at the age of 7. If you would have asked me at age 7 if I ever thought I would get a chance to have all these experiences, I would have said “never in a million years!”
These past six days have honestly been the best 6 days of my life. I have learned so many things about different languages and cultures. These are things you simply cannot learn out of a textbook. Because of the bilingual nature of the program, I have learned more French in one week than I have in years of taking French classes at school.
Encounters with Canada has allowed me to meet the greatest people. These people will all be lifelong friends. I feel connected to everyone here because we all have similar stories. If I ever decide to take a road trip across Canada, I know I’ll have friends to visit in every province."
Janae Langer, Riverhurst, SK, Ecology and Environment, 2013
"This last week has been amazing! I've met friends from British Columbia to Quebec and all the way up to Nunavut. This is such an educational and inspiring program and I'd suggest everyone to go to it. This program opens doors to new careers and informs you on issues in our world. I couldn't have even imagined how complex something like recycling could be until my Ecology and Environment week here!"
Julia Weder, Vancouver, BC, Politics in Canada, 2013
“My goal before the trip was to become a more informed Canadian citizen so I could more easily participate in class discussions and debates. My experience with this program has given me this and more; it has completely exceed my expectations. I’m now very excited and motivated to get involved in my city and volunteer. There were amazing guest speakers on this trip that have really inspired me. It would be extraordinary if more kids like me had the opportunity to participate in Encounters with Canada.”
Mara McLaughlin, Coldstream, BC, Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age 2013
“It’s been an amazing experience that I’ll never forget! I met so many great people from all across Canada that I never would have met otherwise. I learned a lot about making friends and how to cope living away from home for a week. I also found out all about Canada’s roles in the wars and why the Battle of Vimy Ridge is considered “Canada’s Coming of Age”. I never knew that Canada completely turned the battle around. Ottawa is such a beautiful place and I really enjoyed visiting all the historic sites. The War Museum, the Vimy Memorial Service, and the candlelight ceremony were all very touching and emotional and truly made me appreciate all the sacrifices made by the soldiers.”
Audrey Gunn, Bayfield, NS, Arts and Culture 2013
“My experience here at Encounters with Canada has been an unforgettable one. It is such an enriching program for the youth of Canada. It has managed to create one of the best weeks of my life. The experiences I have had here are ones that I will value forever. Seeing a ballet for the first time, visiting the National Art Gallery, dancing to live French music, learning about spoken word, making all kinds of new best friends, and being exposed to the heart of Canadians cultures; these are just a few of many of these life-changing experiences.”
Tiffany Lai, Richmond, BC, International Affairs 2013
“It was an amazing experience! I visited the Parliament Buildings and even got to attend a questioning period at the House of Commons! Touring Ottawa was a privilege and I was able to dive deep into Canadian history and culture when visiting the Museum of civilisations. Some ambassadors came and taught us about requirements and benefits of working in the Foreign Affairs Department; it was informative, interesting and entertaining to listen to their speeches. In addition to all these activities, I was also exposed to Canada’s bilingual culture when I met francophone and befriended them. This week has been absolutely incredible!”
Megan Lowe, Port Coquitlam, BC, Medicine and Health 2013
“I have just spent a week exploring and getting to know the capital city of Canada - for the first time. I’ve met and learn so much about myself and others. Knowing that I am going off to University next year, I didn’t know if I could handle living on my own. During my Encounters program I learned to trust myself and give myself confidence in a situation like this – going across the country and not knowing anyone. This was out of my comfort zone and Encounters with Canada gave me this opportunity to explore my country and the different people that live within it.”
Samantha Hoddinott, Corner Brook, NL, Arts and Culture 2013
“My time here in Ottawa, at the Terry Fox Center, has been a true look on all of Canadian culture. I have met people from Nunavut, Alberta, Yukon and son many other provinces. The diversity was something you can only find here in Canada. Encounters with Canada is an amazing program that will help benefit the youth of Canada. I can personally say that this has inspired me to not only strive to be true Canadian, but to care more for our diverse culture. I have made many new friends and learned the value of every Canadian being a family which is Canada.”
Kaitlyn M. Gorman, Maple Ridge, BC, Journalism & Communications 2013
“Over the past week, I have been happier than I have ever been in my life. I’ve seen parts of Canada that have left me speechless, made friends who have make me laugh – and cry, in a good way – and have been touched by a truly enriching experience. The monitors here are caring and more considerate than I could ever ask for. I would especially like to thank my own group monitor, Muriel McGee, for being so kind to me. The trips to the museums and to the Parliament Buildings truly have opened my eyes and shown – and touched – me so much about my country. The friends I have made truly are ones I love sincerely and will never forget, no matter how far apart we are. I really do believe this is something no student should miss out on.”
Linda Worden, Penticton, BC, Science & Technology 2013
"Encounters with Canada is the best experience of my entire life. Never have I felt so proud to be a Canadian and a British Columbian and I’ve never been so proud to speak French as a second language. I have learned about very interesting topics as engineering and psychology, biodiversity and advancements in Canadian technology. I also learned a tremendous amount of information about Canadian history, government and culture. I feel inspired to work my hardest in my studies when I return and I will give my all into making my country and my province a better place to be for young Canadians. Nothing has changed my life the way that Encounters with Canada has, and I am extremely grateful to have participated in this program. I’ve made friends and connections for my entire lifetime and I’ve become a happier person. I will never, ever forget this experience."
Amelia Haines, Peel, NB, Sports and Fitness 2013
"The program is an amazing and extremely enriching opportunity for youth. We have had the opportunity to meet fellow teenagers from different backgrounds and cultures. We also have had the chance to grow in knowledge of the history of Canada. I would recommend Encounters with Canada to my friends and others because of the great learning experience it offers. I feel that during my stay in Ottawa, I grew in my appreciation for different cultures. My life has changed for the best because I travelled to Ontario and managed to step outside of my comfort zone."
Hilary Ralph, Glenwood, NL, Medicine and Health 2013
"It was the best week of my life! I met so many long lasting friends that I will never forget. Also, we have done many activities that have clarified and eliminated what I want to do in the future workplace. I wish everyone could attend and have one amazing week!"
Shaylyn Johnson, Baldur, MB, Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2013
“I would like to thank the RCMP for putting on such a great program for the Encounters with Canada participants. This has been a truly life-changing experience that has provided me with the chance to see all of what the RCMP has to offer. Throughout the week, I was given the chance to talk to several RCMP officers that could share information with me and answer many of my questions. As a female, I was inspired by the many other women on the force. I would also like to thank Cst. Audrey Soucy and Cpl. Craig Kennedy for guiding the group all week. I hope to have a chance to join the RCMP one day and be a positive influence on the lives of other youth in the country, as well as inspire more female members to join!”
Tessa Wilson, Red Deer, AB, Arts & Culture 2013
"My experience at the Centre has been very positive and eye-opening; it has allowed me to meet students from all provinces and territories of Canada. This week was very fun and extremely educational. Exploring our nation's capital and going to cultural activities were also a highlight of the trip."
Roxanne Yarn, Paradise, NL, Teacher-monitor 2013
"The Peace Module …what can I say. Major McCulloch is a very dynamic speaker and captured the attention of his audience and kept it. The participants were all very interested in what he had to say and loved his little stories. For me personally, any ceremony centered around the Canadian Armed Forces, or any ceremonies involving acts of remembrance, have taken on a whole new meaning…My eldest son (a graduate of Encounters and also a in one of the cemetery slides from the Major’s slide show) is now a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and may very well be asked to ‘make the ultimate sacrifice’ some day …Very powerful presentation. I cried! Absolutely beautiful and Beechwood Cemetery is definitely a place I plan to revisit again."
Rudi Ingenhorst, Salmon Arm, BC, Teacher-monitor 2013
"I can’t think of a better place to spend a week (or two) than being surrounded by 100 positive, enthusiastic and excited kids having a good time, while learning about their country. My hat goes off to all the people who make this happen, week after week, and still look enthusiastic at every new incoming group. Bravo to the chef and kitchen staff, who work so hard to cater to us monitors, while trying to please all the teens."
Teri, Parent, Delta, BC, January 2013
"It's taken me far too long to write this note, but I have to send a great big thank you to everyone involved with the Encounters Program. From a parent's perspective, you are the best! Information was so well conveyed and your staff always had time to take phone calls. Your packing lists, your detailed flight itinerary were touches that assured me my daughter was in good hands.
My daughter attended the Health & Medicine week in November and three months later, her week in Ottawa continues to come up in our conversations. She talks about the regions of Canada, the friends she met and was so inspired by the activities and tours.
I'm sending this email to say thank you but also to let you know that you've really opened up the mind of a young person on the other side of the country. I see it every day.
Thanks for offering an inclusive program that brings Canadian kids together, because they are curious and want to learn and explore. The students at the top of the class will always find their way - your program is igniting sparks in all young people! Thanks so much!"