Blog

August 3rd, 2017

Branden gives us an update on his experience with the NYA Next program

Hi, my name is Branden Hardisty and I am 17 years old. I completed the Canadian phase of NYA back in 2016 and this year I am in the Next program. In the Next Program we stay at Algonquin Collage in Ottawa where we learn all sorts of things including construction and building. During the construction class I learned how to use tool and machines and built a dog house. We also got to learn about healthy living, nutrition and physical activity. Also in a few weeks we’ll be going to Montreal for sigh seeing before we head back to re-orientation. We have engaged as volunteer doing a service learning project, participated in fun activates around Ottawa, and competed a personal learning project which is based on our career interests. I’m really excited for my personal learning project as I am going to take Spanish lesson as it has always been a goal for me to learn another language. We also went camping which I had a great time at. The program has really helped me prepare for the next steps after high school. I am glad I got the chance to be apart of the NYA program again this year and I hope the rest of my summer goes well.

August 3rd, 2017

Check out how Kat has been finding her time in Costa Rica

Hi everyone, my name is Kat and I am currently with on the International phase of the NYA in Costa Rica which is so beautiful and pure. The saying of Pura Vida is really true to its word “pure life” “good life” which is a beautiful saying here in Costa Rica. The adventures that we go on are always different and new which makes this experience so much fun. The other day we did a presentation to the Canadian embassy in Costa Rica everything went really well.
The first week we were here it was pretty hard to believe that we were actually in Costa Rica as it took awhile to actually feel like I’m in a different country.

This week the group is going to be volunteering our time with an non-profit organization called “lifting hands”. It was a lot of fun working there as we go to help with the kids and played some soccer with the locals. It was very interesting because the boys only spoke Spanish but we eventually understood what was going on. I’m looking forward spending more of my time volunteering.
It’s been about 3 weeks since we got here in the next few days we’re going to be on a 13 day hike which is going to be intense although I’m excited to be more connected to the land.
Being here in Costa Rica makes me want to fully learn how to speak in Spanish.I’m looking forward on finishing this international program with everyone that’s on the team and have a memorable experiencing to look back on!
Pura Vida.

August 3rd, 2017

Hear all about Sadeedi’s experience in Belleville

Hi my name is Sadeedi Gargan. I am from Fort Providence and I am 16 years old. I am a 2017 NYA participant in the Canadian program. My experience down south has been awesome. I get to do stuff that I don’t really get to do in my community.

My host family is so awesome! They take good care of Matt and I, and ask if we are ok! There so sweet! I am having such a great time with them. They always have some fun activities to do in Belleville. I am so grateful that Billy and Maggie took Matt and I into their beautiful home! You da best!

My work placement is in a thrift store called Salvation Army. My work placement has been great so far, I met some interesting new people. At my work, I help sort clothes and other stuff. Some days I go upstairs and help the lady’s in the kitchen by cutting up vegetables and clean up for them!
My co workers have been really great to me asking if I’m ok and if I had my breaks! They are all so nice!

The activities I mostly do in Belleville include walks with Billy, Maggie and Monty, going skateboarding, going shopping at the mall, and working outI try to go out as much as possible and this Saturday I am going to a foam fest which I am so excited!

I am loving it here in Belleville and I am also really enjoying myself this summer, making new friends and memories! I am having a great experience so far and I can’t wait to here about everyone else’s!

August 3rd, 2017

Patti fills us in on her experience in Costa Rica

Hi, my name is Patricia Wedawin and I am in the International phase of Northern Youth Abroad. This year we are in Costa Rica and it is beautiful. The trip from Ottawa to Costa Rica was very long, but worth it as we saw San Jose from above and it was breath taking. We seen waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing shores, miles and miles of big green trees and mountains. We met our tour guide, Jimmy, at the San Jose airport and he showed us a little part of San Jose shortly after settling into our place at United World College.  The next day we had to leave to CIRENAS which is a centre that creates transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration and innovation. We travelled by a ferry, then walked on a beach to CIRENAS for an hour and a half while a vehicle had our luggage. You could imagine what we felt, mesmerized by the waves and salt-tasting air. When we arrived at CIRENAS, we were welcomed with loads of food and water and a natural kind of juice with electrolytes in it. Then the group spilt up into cabins, one for the boys, another for the girls, and all three chaperones in another. We then had an introduction to the center and a lecture about Costa Ricans, who are called “Ticos”. Then we ended our night at the beach watching the sunset while swimming, which was my first time swimming in an ocean. The sunset was the most beautiful one I have ever seen. We had a horseback riding tour the next day through Hacienda Ario to explore the sabanero way of llife at Nicoya Peninsula. We’re having a great time learning so many new things about Costa Rica and also about each other. Some are already fearing the goodbyes we’re going to have to endure at the end of the program. But we’re looking forward to our next adventures at United World College.

August 3rd, 2017

Laila updates us on her time in Glencoe, ON

Laila at Orientation in Ottawa, on Nunavut Night

Hi, my name is Laila Onalik and I am from Kimmirut, Nunavut.

I am placed in Glencoe, Ontario. I work at a daycare centre called the ELM Children Centre. This work placement is so much fun. To be honest I didn’t want to work with children, but I’m glad I was placed here, working with children. They enjoy me working here, I love them and the children and workers love having me here. I enjoy throat singing and singing for the children in Inuktitut although they don’t know what I’m saying. It’s fun. My co-workers are very heart warming and welcoming, we all have built a great relationship together.

My host family is very welcoming and comforting. I have 2 host siblings, Danielle who is 11 and Michael who is 10. They enjoy that I am staying with them. My host parents are awesome and fun, they treat me like their own. They have hosted students from Europe and France before, to learn English, and this is their first year hosting for NYA. They are very generous and amazingly kind!

Things here in Glencoe are very different from my home town. The price of food is lower, the weather is overwhelming – the humidity, the rain and thunderstorms. Glencoe is a small community. It’s quiet and the people all know each other, but the population is way different than home. There is about 2000 people in Glencoe.

I have done so many things so far. The week I arrived here my friend picked me up for shopping and we went to London, Ontario. I loved it! About 2 weeks ago we all went to the Toronto Zoo for the day! I had so much fun, I got to see some animals I have never seen before. My favourite animal there were the Pandas!! After the zoo we picked up a student in Toronto. Her name is Marie, she is here in Canada to learn English.

At my workplace I made some bannock for the staff and children. They all loved it, only because I made it like my aunt does (lol). It was their first time and they enjoyed every bite of the it; made me feel great!

We did a road trip too, to Niagara Falls! It was amazing to see one of the world wonders, I love it there. Those falls are a must see, it’s so beautiful and overwhelming. I had so much fun. We also went to this place called ‘Ripley’s believe it or not’ it had odd things but it was fun. We ate at a rainforest café, it was cool, felt like a real rainforest! I also went to the best place for chicken wings in St. Catherine’s, the wings were amazing!

My time down south has been a roller coaster, an amazing opportunity and life experience. This program opened my eyes, I can say I have stepped out of my comfort zone. I made it this far and I’m not giving up! I hope to be joining the NYA next program, next year. I encourage other Nunavummiut to apply – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you for taking your time to read!

August 2nd, 2017

Dallas tells us all about his time in Squamish, BC

Dallas posing in Squamish

My name is Dallas Sassie and I am from Fort Liard, Northwest Territories. I am 16 years old, and I am a participant of NYA Canadian program, where I get to experience life in southern Canada for five weeks.

My host family is Ken who watches us and his son Justin. They have two cats and a really nice house. The view is really beautiful where we stay and they are fun to talk to, caring and supportive when we are homesick, they take good care of too. Sometimes we have wild raccoons come by, the mother and her four little cubs when they are hungry.

I am placed in Squamish BC, and my workplace is at Greg Gardner Motors, where I volunteer and gain experience on how to repair vehicles. I sometimes work in the parts department where I stack parts that get delivered and watch technicians repair vehicles. The best part is that I got to meet everyone working in the shop and some of them were soccer players, so we get along well.

It gets dark around 10 here but it’s twenty-four hour daylight in my hometown. Squamish is a good place to get a good experience about life because they have a lot of shops, cafes, and services where people could get jobs and the people are friendly here too.

The people in Squamish aren’t to different from the North, we all respect each other, and we all love our family and friends. We both have strong ties to the native culture, and Squamish is strongly influenced by Vancouver.

When we arrived to Squamish we went to the restaurant A&W. Then we went to Whistler which is 40min drive, to watch a movie at the theater. We watched the new Spider-Man movie in 3D, and I got a chance to see my friend in Whistler, we hung out for a while, and went to the swimming pool.

This is the first time I’ve worked at a car dealership. I have worked in the parts and services departments and learned how to deal with professional people. I am grateful that I participated in the NYA program, and that I get to meet so many people along the way and make many friends like Delainea, Matt, and Seth. I also have got to learn about other people’s culture and this is a great opportunity to get experience on living south. It has been the best summer.

July 31st, 2017

Hayley shares some stories from NYA Next

Hayley and Laila at NYA Orientation Camp

Hi, my name is Hayley Totalik and I’m from Taloyoak, Nunavut. This is my second year with Northern Youth Abroad. I completed the Canadian phase last year and I was placed in Truro, Nova Scotia. This year I’m taking the NEXT program along with 13 other participants from across Nunavut and The Northwest Territories. The NEXT program offers many great opportunities and our placement is for about 6 weeks. Currently we are staying at the Algonquin College and taking a construction trades class. We learned how to build picture frames and are now starting on dog houses. As simple as these projects sound, the picture frame was far more different than I thought, but I love the learning experience and getting comfortable with tools.

It’s been three weeks since I left home and I’ve gotten to do so many fun activities. For Nunavut day we took a bus to explore a little bit of downtown Ottawa and saw an Inuk artist perform. Last weekend we took a two day camping trip and I got to swim in a river for the first time. We also have sessions with “Let’s Talk Science” and learn cools things about different topics based on science. As a group we did a presentation to children between the ages of 5 to 13 where we talked about the northern life and its rich cultures; language, traditions, art, and climate.

In the next three weeks I’m looking forward to travelling to Montreal, seeing The Jerry Cans, and getting my first tattoo.

NYA has given me the opportunity to grow as a person in many ways I wouldn’t have imagined, including building my confidence, independence and self-motivation. Thanks to the staff and my mentor Lauren McFAdden for helping me get to where I am. Quyannamiik.

July 28th, 2017

Rachelle updates us on her experience in Kitchener, ON

Hello my name is Rachelle MacCauley and I am a 2017 participant in NYA’s Canadian program. My placement is in Kitchener, Ontario, where I have been working at the Queen Street Commons Cafe. This work experience has been a great opportunity for me as I would like to have a career working in a bakery or cafe. The cafe offers a vegetarian menu with homemade meals, snacks, desserts, fresh roasted coffee, and has a unique gift shop. My host family are very kind and nice to me. They brought my host buddy and I to Niagara Falls which was so much fun. The experience being in the south is different coming from a small community of around 500 people. It has been unbelievably great having the opportunity to explore the south and experiencing the culture differences. This past week I have got the opportunity to work at the bakery and greenhouse where they prepare most of the food for the cafe which was awesome to be a part of. I have learned a lot of new things along the way and I look forward to seeing what else comes my way!

July 28th, 2017

Richard talks about what he’s learned at NYA Next

Richard in carpentry class

Hello NYA Program Participants, sponsors, future NYA participants and alumni. My name is Richard Tungilik and I am 21 years old. I started off with the Northern Youth Abroad in 2015 as a Canadian Program Participant, and this year I am participating in the NYA Next Program. This has been a busy but exciting year for me as I prepared myself for the program.

I have come to discover my career interests are either working in the Canadian Armed Forces, working in an environmental or wildlife job, or working in carpentry. I’m currently taking courses in carpentry at Algonquin Collage and have been learning a lot from the instructor. We work with a partner on class projects and are currently making a dog house.

I really respect our instructor as he owns his own business and I hope one day to have my own business in my home community. I still have a lot of learning to do before I can start my own business but the program has been a great start for me to gain experience. I’ve been able to set goals during the program which has helped me focus a lot on what I need to do next. Having the experience of living on a college campus has been really cool. Overall this experience has been really rewarding and I can’t wait put into action what I have learned.

July 27th, 2017

James fills us in on his experience with the NYA NEXT Program

Hi my name is Jame Duncan and I’m from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. I am currently 18 years old and am doing the NYA NEXT Program!

In this program I have had the opportunity to see a lot of the beautiful city of Ottawa and particularly have enjoying visiting Parliament Hill. Our group is currently living on residence at Algonquin Collage and we have been taking a lot interesting classes including construction class. In this class I learned how to make a picture frame and am currently working towards completing a dog house. I’m really enjoying these classes and learning a lot from them.

One of my favorite things I’ve done while in Ottawa is enjoy a beaver tail which is a delicious pastry with different toppings on it depending on which kind you get. I got the Oreo flavored beaver tail and strongly recommend it.

One weekend we went camping and got the chance to go canoeing and swimming which was a lot of fun. My friend DJ and I also played volleyball on the trip with a group of people that were already playing and let us join. Both of us really enjoyed playing and the people we played with were super nice.

I’m looking forward to visiting Montreal and going back to camp for re-orientation to see all the other participants in the NYA program. I am also looking forward to completing the program and going home to share all my experience with friends and family.