The well-established exchange program between Riverside and Die Kundamanngasse, school in Austria, has been running for twenty years. This year, students came and stayed in Port Coquitlam over September 14 to September 25 with host families to experience Canadian life. Students from Riverside will also have an opportunity to travel to Austria in the Spring to learn about Austrian culture and education, likewise staying with host families. The program is a way for students to explore different parts of the world and different cultures.

The Austrian group that traveled to Canada this year consists of 14 students. During their day activities students got to travel to many places: a day trip included riding the transit skytain to Gastown, located in down town Vancouver. Dragon boating took place at Rocky Point. And touring around Stanley park, the Aquarium, Rogers Arena and Granville Island also took place. These planned activities were a way to show the Austrian students about the culture in Canada.

Katharina Festerer and Martina Schmidt, Teachers who traveled from Austria.

Every year students from the Austrian school, Die Kundamanngasse, look forward to their grade eleven year for their own chance to come to Canada. “I have looked forward to coming since grade five, for my own chance to see Canadian culture,” said Julien Behringer. Staying in a Canadian home with a host family from Riverside allowed for Austrian students to experience a different educational system, and what it is like to live here in Canada. On September 18, all individuals from the Austrian group shadowed their own Riverside hosts in each of their classes to learn about a different education system other than their own.

On September 19, students toured Simon Fraser University. They were very interested in the modern architectural design of Arthur Erickson, which is a stark contrast from the traditional buildings in Austria. “They toured the campus and briefly witnessed a class in session,” said Chee. Riverside students are eager to experience their trip in the spring.