Some of Carihi’s exchange students enjoy a Campbell River Storm game earlier this season. Photo by Jocelyn Diemer/Carihi Mirror

The benefits of being an exchange student

Sure, it’s a daunting prospect, but being an exchange student has huge rewards

Jocelyn Diemer

Carihi Mirror

Living abroad for a year is a challenging adventure, according to Carihi exchange and international students, but it’s also well worth it.

Carihi hosts over 50 international and exchange students each year, with many others leaving from Carihi to study abroad.

The thought of leaving friends and family behind may be daunting, but Lucía Caso Moreno, an international student who has been attending Carihi for the past few months, says that it’s normal to have misgivings, but in the end it’s an unforgettable experience.

“I know it might seem scary,” Caso Moreno says. “I know it because I’ve lived it, but you’ll never regret it.”

There’s no doubt that the opportunity to go on exchange is an exciting one, as it allows students to completely immerse themselves in a different culture. Victoria Hall, who attended school in Japan two years ago, says that her time away from Campbell River allowed her to learn more than just a new language.

“I spent time learning how to cook traditional Japanese foods and how to do a traditional Japanese tea ceremony,” Hall says. “I also learned that it’s good to take risks and that trying new things isn’t as scary as it seems.”

In fact, there are some international students who enjoy their time on exchange so much that they decide that just one year isn’t enough. Klara Kopeinigg is currently in her second year at Carihi, and says that the fine arts programs at the school were a major factor in her decision to return.

“During my time in Campbell River, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in the fine arts, hopefully in theatre and writing,” she says. “For me, personally, Carihi offers the best education in these areas with the drama and writing departments.”

Carihi’s annual musical was an especially attractive factor to Kopeinigg as she considered her options.

“It’s one of the things I am most passionate about this year as well,” said Kopeinigg.

Students also say that living abroad helps them to discover on things about themselves that they’ve never realized before.

“Accepting that I don’t know everything about everything has been rough because I alway think that I’m right,” says Chloe Dobrinsky, a Carihi student who has been living in Brazil since August.

For many students, living abroad provides a boost in self-confidence that they wouldn’t have received had they stayed at home.

“The most important thing that I think I’ve learned in all this time is to trust in myself, and believe that I am enough, and to show to the world my real me, no matter they like it or not,” says Caso Moreno. “People come and go, but you’ll have to be with yourself for your entire life, so you’d better be the one you most love, or else it won’t work.”

Students wanting more information on international exchange can visit the Campbell River International School website at

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP arrest violent offender

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Former Campbell Riverite reaches Everest summit

Clayton Matthews’ team got to the top of the world earlier this week

Strathcona Regional District fiscal health gradually improving, staff say

Tax and service revenue was up for the SRD in 2018, while grant money was down

VIDEO: Campbell River highschool event marks Canadian human rights milestone

50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality

Blaney plan helps seniors late with taxes

Simple solution to important issue: North Island-Powell River MP

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read