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Canada has about 35 million inhabitants making it one of the least populated country in the world (3.3 inhabitants per km ²). Indeed, this country that spans 9,984,670 km ² consists of both large modern cities, where is living more than half of its population, and vast areas untouched by human presence. This constitutional monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II is represented by a general governor, consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories. It is impossible to understand Canada without addressing its provinces which are larger than any of the European countries! European settlers first arrived from the east, it was New France between 1604 and 1763, until the British took possession. The French founded Quebec, Montreal ... and their presence is still alive, the province of Quebec is still speaking French. Following the English arrival and especially after the peace treaty of 1783 between the Americans and the British, new settlers speaking English, swept over Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (still bilingual Province today). During the 18th century, immigration was mostly British, Irish and Scottish but it slowly progressed towards the great prairies of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta where only indigenous and French trappers ventured. In 1857, Ottawa was chosen as capital, in an English-speaking area located surrounded by a strong French presence. From 1880, immigration accelerated, 3 million immigrants arrived in the late twentieth century. The government provided new land in the meadows and the colonization of northwestern Canada is launched. Aboriginal people were removed, the railroad crossing the country in all its length is developed. New population arriving speak neither English nor French. They come from the Netherlands, Germany and Central Europe. At the end of the century there are more than one million people in the Great Plains. In British Columbia, Asians immigrated in numbers in search for gold but also to build the Pacific railroad or work as fishermen or minors in Vancouver. During the first three decades of the 20th century, 4.5 million migrants flew in again, still predominantly from Europe. However, after the Great Depression and the war, grasslands were again emptied. Then the population remained largely composed of British, French and Aboriginal! Since then, new waves of immigrants came from Italy, Balkan countries, China and Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Philippines, South America and countries affected by conflicts such as Somalia and Rwanda... This is nothing to say that Canada owes its specificity to its landscapes, wild nature and varied spaces but also derives much of its European cultural heritage. Today its great ethnic variety constitutes its wealth and makes it a great welcoming land.
Canada is a country with open minded ideas , types of families are so varied, more often in free union than married, stepfamilies, singles, religious (mainly Christian) or without religious belief or even of same-sex ... They are marked by a lifestyle inherited from their European origin and belonging to the North American world. Today, many of them come from around the world and offer you an even more exciting difference. In Canada, thanks to the proximity of nature everywhere, you can enjoy the outdoors. In winter, even if it is very cold, it is a season like any other, you can enjoy the most of what it has to offer. We go to a cottage for the weekend or on vacation. You can ski in the Rockies , go snowshoeing, curling, fishing on frozen lakes, ice skating ( ice rinks are everywhere in city parks ) ... Winter is the season of ice hockey , the national sport. In every family there is a potential professional hockey player, we go training, we look at games on TV or in the many arenas in the country ! Nothing beats much as a good brunch on Sunday morning with the family , bacon, fried potatoes , baked beans , pancakes and maple syrup are in the game, all this after a good walk some ice skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa for example, or after a good shopping session in an indoor shopping center please! When spring comes, it's time for sugar shacks , snow is leaving very soon replaced by a vegetation that explodes, lush in summer. Moreover, spring is short, summer is here very soon and this is an opportunity, for biking (rental bikes are everywhere in cities) , we go family camping in the many national parks , swim in lakes or at the seashore ... in autumn, the trees put on their clothes with bright colors , you can enjoy forests to stroll, winter will be back soon ! While Canadian families love nature, they also like to enjoy various cultural activities offered by the communities or cities. After London (GB), Toronto is the second richest English theatrical scenes while Montreal offers an impressive number of festivals , jazz, just for laughs , francofolies ...
In Canada, you will attend an English or a French speaking high school depending on your choice. You will most likely go to school with the yellow school bus… yes the same one as seen on TV... School usually starts around 8am and ends around 3pm. The afternoon is an opportunity to devote oneself to the sport or participate in one of the many clubs that animate the lives of Canadian schools (music, sports , chess , theater...) The curriculum consists of an academic program with English or French , history , mathematics ... and an optional part that can be varied depending on the school . You can also follow a course in technical writing novels, learning pottery, Aboriginal art or craft or improving everything related to new technologies... You will of course do exams and grading is from A to D. As everywhere else, you are expected to be serious about your work in the classroom or at home, you have to be punctual and respectful with your surroundings and with teachers and students. Teachers are often very close to their students even quite familiar what is often a difference with what you are experiencing with your country. They will help you integrate your school work and as long as you ask for their help. Other students welcome you easily. Canadians in general are open to other cultures and like to be helpful. Enjoy the many clubs in your school to make new friends. All students attend some whether sporting or cultural events. For your lunch, your host family is not required to provide it, there is always a cafeteria which will offer you a multiple choice of menus.
STS Canada gives you the opportunity to participate in three trips which will be unforgettable for you. They are an opportunity to travel, and to learn more about Canada, North America and its culture and they are a unique opportunity to meet other exchange students like you, from around the world!
The first trip takes place at the end of August, it is a Preparation course to your new life in Canada. Courses will help you to better understand life and habits of Canadians and that will make your life in your host families and in your school easier. But it is also the opportunity to visit the capital of Canada, Ottawa, and its parliament as well as nearby Montreal.
The second trip, Christmas Shopping, held at the beginning of December and will take you to New York. You will visit central park, the Empire State building, Ground zero, Museums, Times Square… You will even have time to attend a Broadway show or go shopping in one of the many department stores in this capital of fashion...
Finally, the last trip will be held in May and will allow you to meet one of the great symbols of Canada, the Niagara Falls. You live in Toronto and it is also an opportunity for you to discover the greatest, modern, pluralistic and cultural metropolis in Canada.