Cultural exchange activity, as an important part of the international center for EAP's student activities, was held on May 13th between the Glace Bay elementary school and student representatives from different countries of ICEAP NS. The student service department participated in this activity as well and was acting as a language intermediate for the communication between those two when it is necessary.
During the activity, students from grade 3 to grade 6 of the elementary school showed strong interests and curiosity to the various cultural background of the student representatives—are all Chinese know Kung Fu? What Ukrainians usually eat? Why Saudi Arabia does not snow? Do Russians play games as well? Can those student representatives call our names in their own languages? These funny innocent questions kept our students and staff bursting into laughter all the time. The teachers of Glace Bay elementary school also expressed great interest to the wide range of different culture of our student representatives and popped out a lot of questions. Among various topics of the communications, the languages, religions, sports, entertainment types and food styles were the majority.
In the whole morning, our student representatives and those students from the Glace Bay elementary school were having animated and lively discussion about the differences between cultures and countries. Quite unawares, the time flies and it came to the end of the activity. Everyone was very happy as the cultural exchange event was not only going smoothly in an easy-going air but also promoted variety of cultures to the students and the staff of the school. At the time we were leaving, a grade-four student came into us with her special thank you to us because she felt so happy and satisfied with the interesting conversations with the ICEAP NS student representatives and this activity has rose her curiosity of exploring different countries in her future.
The success of this cultural exchange activity let the students of ICEAP NS gained a better understanding of Canada while allowing the local Canadian young generation to get to know diverse countries and their cultural types. At the ending of the event, the elementary school of Glace Bay gave International Center for EAP their special thanks and hoping there will be more and more similar cultural communication events held by ICEAP NS in the future. Also, the student representatives of ICEAP NS who joined this activity said that they found themselves speaking English and talking to the locals were surprisingly well. Although our student representatives felt little bit nervous at the beginning, they think it is such a good chance for them to challenge themselves and enhance their English expression abilities while improving the confidence of speaking English.