My Week at International House Vancouver

Jessica McNeil from Windermere Secondary

This week, January 30 to February 3, 2012 I have had the pleasure of working at International House through my high school’s Career Prep program, as an intern. I was placed here due to my love of languages and aspiration to be a teacher.

At first I was timid to work here because it’s unlike any work experience I’ve ever had. As the hours progressed, I was happy to meet kind staff and students who were quick to welcome me. My nervousness disappeared as I was shown the place and introduced to the daily routine. I was awed by the student’s responsibility, as they would frequently ask questions and try their best to speak in English. I have been in the same situation when I went to Quebec for five weeks. I know it’s challenging to live in a new place, and to get accustomed to a new way of life and speech, so the students’ effort is inspiring.

International House is filled with dedicated teachers, who make learning amusing and advantageous for the students. The students’ passion to succeed is a reflection on the hard-working teachers and staff who make IH a positive and educational place to be. Sitting behind the desk and hearing the students laugh in class brightens my day, because I can’t wait until it’s my turn to inspire students- rewarding them and myself. The office staff were so inclusive and generous. They each brought a smile to my face on several occasions, and it was such a delight to get to know and work with them.

Another remarkable moment for me here was going to Grouse Mountain with the Brazilian class. I had the chance to learn about a new culture, make new friends, and to help them with their English. I found the differences hilarious; such as the imitated sounds of animals in Canada versus the imitated sounds of animals in Brazil. Interviewing our ‘Student of the Month’, Eduardo Camargos, surprised me at how quickly someone from an entirely different background can learn a new language and excel. Every day at IH is a new learning experience.


Through this work experience, I have learned what it’s like to be a teacher and a secretary here at IH—both are time consuming, yet beneficial jobs. It has brought me one step closer to grasping my dream and making a difference in children’s lives, as I have seen the staff do here. I am thankful for this career molding experience, it has taught me a great deal and I have met very wonderful people.


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