Korean students fly home with Albertan perspective | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 12 Jul 2024 11pm

Korean students fly home with Albertan perspective

    Korean students who had been attending class at Drumheller Valley Secondary School and working in local hotels and salons have flown home as of December 22 with a new, Albertan, education.
    The students came to Drumheller to learn English and gain new insight into the fields of hospitality and cosmotology. They will be taking their new skills home with the hopes of advancing their careers.
    “This was a new venture for us,” said Curtis Lapierre, principal of DVSS. “Overall, this program was successful.”
    The students attended class at DVSS until December and then matched, based on their skills and interests, to local businesses. Some were sent to hotels to learn the ins and outs, others spent time doing aesthetic services.
    “When they first were going around asking us to take students, I wasn’t enthusiastic. But, we agreed to take a student, and they picked Emily, who had done cosmotology and had experience in a spa,” said Patrice Wolf, owner of the Heartwood Inn and Spa. “Oh my god we loved her. She was the best worker I’ve ever had here.”
    “It was interesting to have them. They were pleasant young people, and for the most part willing,” said Theresa Vyvey, manager of the Ramada Inn.
    There were some difficulties however.
    “The language barrier was hard on them and us too, because there’s a lot more you’d like to share with them or to help them with,” said Vyvey.
    “Despite that hurdle, the program was successful. For all of the students, their English did improve, especially their comprehension, but where they struggled was their ability to speak it,” said Lapierre.
    Lapierre explained that next year the program will be far better. There will be more time to develop courses and hire staff. Potential students may also be given coursework to help them learn English prior to coming. One initiative might be to host a workshop for participating businesses in how to communicate through a language barrier.
    No new students will be coming to Drumheller in January, but the DVSS may be welcoming a new crew of Korean students in September.
    “I would get involved in the program again,” said Vyvey.
    “It was a really good learning experience. I think the international students they bring in is great for Drumheller. Mr. Lapierre and the rest of the teachers really took it seriously and made sure those kids had a great Canadian experience,” said Wolf. “I would be the first person in line to take another student.”
    Some of the students have hinted they might return to Canada in the future.
    “The students had a wonderful experience, they would absolutely love to come back,” said Lapierre.
    “If Emily ever came back to Canada, I would hire her in a minute,” said Wolf.

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