To move away from the comforts of home and embrace the challenge of boarding school, with all its associated academic, athletic and artistic rigours, requires determination and courage. Students who take this experience “on the road” to another country, school and home setting take this challenge to another level. However, with this challenge comes the opportunity to engage in an enriching experience that will stay with students long after they have graduated.
Participating on an exchange program allows students not only to immerse themselves in a different culture and language, but also to learn more about how their own cultures and countries are viewed by others. Integrating into a different culture, engaging with host families and reaching out to form new relationships takes courage, perseverance and determination, along with an openness of heart and a willingness to learn. Students returning from an exchange bring with them an expanded sense of global community, renewed self-confidence and many fond memories.
In an individual exchange, students who leave Shawnigan to go to another school will be paired up with a student who will, in turn, return to Shawnigan later in the same year.
On the exchange, Shawnigan students may live with a family at their homes or they may be placed in a boarding house at the school. This depends on whether the reciprocal student is a day or boarding student.
Exchange students coming to Shawnigan as part of the reciprocal exchange will be placed in a boarding house. However, it must be pointed out that during our school breaks the Shawnigan student who has been on the exchange would be expected to host the reciprocal exchange student at his or her home.
Contact Mr. Samuel for an application form and questionnaire.
On completion of the form and if parental consent has been given, an interview will be conducted. All applicants will require strong support from their House Director and teachers.
The expectation is that all students applying for an exchange will keep up with their academic work at Shawnigan. Wi-Fi and the support of a Shawnigan study buddy should make this straightforward to manage.
Shawnigan offers three to four positions each year to gap students from all over the world. Gap students are usually 17- or 18-year-olds who are taking a year out between high school and post-secondary education. Gap programs at Shawnigan usually run from September to the following June, though shorter placements may be possible.
Typically, gap students live in a boarding house and are fully involved in the day-to-day, evening and weekend activities of Shawnigan’s co-ed boarding school environment, including residential duties and athletics and fine arts programs. In return, they are provided with board and lodging.
To apply for a gap position, please send a letter of application, resume and at least two reference letters to Mr. Rhodri Samuel.
Shawnigan offers three to four intern positions each year. Interns are individuals with a university degree who wish to explore career options and gain specific work experience. Experience working at a school as an intern can be particularly valuable for those who intend to progress to formal teacher training. Internships at Shawnigan usually run from September to the following June.
Interns are fully involved in a supporting role at Shawnigan, whether that role is residential, in the classroom or Learning Centre, on the sports field or in another department of the school. In addition to providing teaching and learning support, past interns at Shawnigan have been involved in event planning, communications, fundraising, data input and management, athletic therapy and drama productions. In return, interns are provided with board, lodging and a stipend.
To apply for an internship position, please send a letter of application, resume and at least two reference letters to Mr. Rhodri Samuel.
Nothing can replace the active and immersive adventure afforded by undertaking an international exchange. It is a unique opportunity that we encourage all interested students to pursue.
Originally from a coal mining village in Wales, Rhodri completed his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University, Wales, and his post graduate teaching degree at Exeter University, England. He taught biology and chemistry in England and in Wales before emigrating to Canada in 1984. His first eight years in Canada were at St Michael's University School, Victoria, where he was a housemaster and a science teacher. Rhod and his family came to Shawnigan in 1993 where he very happily ran Ripley's House for 17 years. During his tenure at Ripley's, he taught science and ran the rugby program. After house directing he moved into administration where he oversaw tone and discipline at the school. Rhod is now involved with the gap and intern program, Alumni Relations and Admissions. He is married to his childhood sweetheart Gaynor, who runs the Admissions team at the school. They have two sons, Dafydd (Ripley's '08) and Owain (Ripley's '09). In his spare time, Rhod enjoys hiking and pottering around the garden.
Shawnigan Lake School is a co-educational boarding school on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The school is home to nationally-ranked academics, arts and athletics, with 100 per cent of graduates accepted to university.