Every year Riverside students have the chance to take part in the Encounters with Canada trip. The program invites high school students ages 14-17 from across Canada to take part in a unique experience to visit important Canadian institutions, meet famous and accomplished Canadians, and develop social and leadership skills. The students have 13 different themes to choses from that they focus on through the trip, such as Arts and Culture, Law and Canadian Justice System, Science and Technology, etc. The program’s mission is to expose Canadian students to different passions, careers and interest areas while discovering Canada.

This year’s Riverside’s very own grade 12 student Kalum Lau embarked on a great opportunity to venture out to our nation’s capital, Ottawa, to partake in Encounters with parliment-two-doneCanada. Lau chose International Communications as her theme and the trip was action packed with debates and many speakers throughout the day. One of her highlights from the trip was visiting parliament, sitting in on parliament’s question period and getting the chance to meet Justin Trudeau as well as many different ambassadors from all other the world. “The trip was a cool opportunity to meet like-minded teens from across Canada and talk about their school experiences and differences to mine in BC,” said Lau. “Overall the most important lesson I learned on the trip was how unaware I was to world issues and that I really need to open my eyes to the world around me.”

Riverside hasn’t had every many students enrolled on the trip this year, but Lau hopes that the opportunity gets promoted more around the school because the more students Riversides sends, the better deal students will get for their stay. In order to qualify for the trip, one must be a high school student, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, be enrolled in an educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education and have a written consent from a parent or guardian and receive a recommendation from their school. For more information about the program visit https://www.ewc-rdc.ca/pub/en.