Blog

August 5th, 2019

Holly in Campbell River

Hi, my name is Holly Norwegian. I live in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories; originally from a small town called Jean Marie River. I am a participant in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad Canadian Program. Big thanks to all who have supported and helped me with fundraising ; especially my home community, to be apart of this program. 

I was placed in Campbell River, British Columbia. Population of approximately 35,000 people. I am volunteering at the Laichwiltach Family Life Society. I started at their Head Start, and had so much fun working with the staff and children. The Head Start was only a three week long Program, so I was recently moved to the Little Fry daycare, which I also enjoy. 

My host parents’ name is Debbie, Debbie Weir. She’s brought me almost everywhere on Vancouver Island; Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Duncan, Cowichan Bay, And Victoria.

I have been exploring a lot of Campbell River on my own time, and it certainly has some very beautiful sites. My favourite place to go would probably be the pier and shoppers row. The pier has very good ice cream, and shoppers row has lots of stores to browse around. 

I am so glad to have been placed here, the people are very friendly. My host parent is very kind and generous. The people I work with are very kind and easy to get a long with, and the kids have brought so much joy over the month. I am also very very glad that I applied and was selected to be apart of Northern Youth Abroad. This is an experience that I will never forget. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Sincerely, Holly Norwegian

August 2nd, 2019

Marina in Castlegar

Hi, my name is Marina.

I’m from Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut. I am a participant in the NYA Canadian Program 2019. My work placement is at Doukhobor Museum.

I’ve met kind people there they’re so welcoming. I love it when they show me how lovely they are. When I learned about Doukhonor’s it makes me want to keep my culture alive. My host parents are amazing to be around. I had a lot of fun going to other places and go hiking, swimming and many more.


I can’t thank enough to Northern Youth Abroad for giving us this opportunity to experience here in down south with amazing people.


~Marina

August 1st, 2019

Jeremiah visiting the local markets in Costa Rica

Hola, mi nombre es Jeremiah Nakashuk.

I am a participant of the International program and I will be sharing about the markets we have visited here in Costa Rica. The first market we visited was an organic market which is the biggest market that sells the most organic food in the country, they had smoked trout, local coffee, all kinds of fruits and vegetables.

The second supermarket we visited was the central market which I think is the oldest market. It’s indoors and everything was kinda compact, so the halls we walked to different stalls were a bit narrow so it was easy to get lost. We had our lunch in that market, I had Olla De Carne, it’s one of the traditional foods in Costa Rica. It is prepared with beef, potatoes, and other vegetables.

The third market we went to was more of a souvenir market, like I said, it’s more of a souvenir market so they had a lot of things like shirts, stuffed animals, keychains, arts and crafts. The shop keepers that spoke English were kind of intimidating, they were really good at pulling you in and trying to sell you what they have.

The last market we visited was smaller than the rest that we visited. It is near the college where we are staying. Most of the stalls were local farmers with different types of fruits and vegetables. That’s all I have to talk about the markets we visited.

Thanks for reading

August 1st, 2019

Lutie’s placement in Nepean

Hello. My name is Lutie Kaviok and I’d like to thank my mentor Ryan Bauer and my community for helping me have this opportunity.


I had a blast past these few weeks, I did a lot of stuff that I wanted to do I went to the mall to shop, I went to Canadas wonderland, I finally played video games with fast internet, going to the CN Tower, go to a zoo, and I went to Toronto for the weekend.


My host parent is Cindy Dunning. She has 2 awesome boys, their names are clem and saul they are really fun to hang out with, I went to a escape room with saul, Nathan, Greg, and Cindy and we escaped it. Clem is really easy to get along with, he plays games a lot just like me. We went to the cottage, we went canoeing and swimming. Cindy is really welcoming, she has a lot of love going towards everybody she meets, her cooking is the best and I’ll never get tired of it and finally, she will never get tired of you.
I would like to thank everybody for helping me get to this point. Especially Nathan, Cindy, Jillian, And my Family.


My work placement is in Ottawa, the building is called Nepean creative arts. I did claymation, helped kids paint, and supervised the kids. I am enjoying the work placement because I made new friends and I am getting along with the workers there. There’s also a gym there so I can work out during lunch so I really like my work placement.


I really hope to get into another program like this so I can experience more things just like Northern Youth Abroad.


Thank you for reading my Blog
Sincerely Lutie.

August 1st, 2019

Betsy’s time in Halifax

Hi, my name is Betsy Appaqaq and I am from Sanikiluaq, Nu. In 2016, the population was 882 and in 2019 the population is a little bit over 1000 people. I am a Participant in the 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Canadian Program. Thank you to everyone who supported NYA. With your support, my experience with NYA would not be possible. 


My host community is in Nova Scotia, Halifax. The population is over 40,000. There are so many things you can do around the city. We don’t have that kind of things in our town, so I’m trying so hard to explore the Halifax before going home. It would take me about half an hour to my work placement through bus, and about an hour to my host mother’s house but I didn’t mind because I got used to it fast.


All summer, I have volunteered at the Discovery Centre. When I getting started, I was trained first before taking it serious. And I get to explore the centre first and see how the staff handle with visitors. On July 9th, I was trained STEAM Facilitor Assistant. I started helping with Ocean Tech Camp on July 22nd. Some of my work placement responsibilities were to support the staff members, following the schedule and help with the materials for activities. At my work placement, I have learned a lot of things like; being more patient and being open-minded.


I liked staying with my host mother Michelle Martin over the summer. She is great, loving, funny person and first of all protecting us. She have been so welcoming towards us, not trying to let us feel homesick so that we can continue our volunteer work.


Some of the fun things I did over the summer was going on a road trip to Prince Edward Island (PEI), Cape Breton and New Brunswick. We got to go Royal NS International Tattoo show, one of my favourite show was when USA Military showed up. It was like half an hour which it was 3-4 hours. We got to go Pride Parade and the weather was so HOT, it was like we could not make it because we were out for like 3 hours. We got to go different beaches and pool’s. One of my favourite activities was going to laser tag and cliff hanger in PEI.


Being a Participant for NYA has been a lot of fun. The program has helped me with things like; being more open to everyone, learning how to work as a team, learning how to speak in public and getting to know more the city of Halifax.


Thank you for reading my blog!

July 31st, 2019

Tonya’s summer in Alma

Hi my name is Tonya. I am from Baker Lake. I’m 16. I’m placed in Alma, New Brunswick, known for lobsters. I work at Fundy National Park.

I have gotten to try lots of new things in the south: sushi and octopus. My favourite things so far on NYA have been travelling to new places, meeting new people, going to the park, drinking blueberries smoothies, and going to the bakery for cinnamon sticky buns. I have learned that I’m not a morning person, but I am working on it. I also went horseback riding for the first time. It was fun and kinda scary!

I want to thank the NYA staff, my host family, my mom, my mentor, and my work placement for making this experience possible.

Ma’na for reading. 
Tonya Kenalogak

July 31st, 2019

David Junior’s summer in Beamsville

Hello, my name is David Junior Watsko and I am from Grise Fiord, Nunavut. I am 15 years old and I am a participant of Northern Youth Abroad’s 2019 Canadian program with my buddy, Brandon Iyyiraq. I would like to thank everyone so much for their support, help and time that I came down here. Especially my mentor who helped me so much.

We are placed here in Beamsville, Ontario. I am volunteering at the Lincoln Public Library which is about a 20-30 minute walk depending on how fast you walk. This walk I take everyday from home to work is like walking the whole small town of Grise Fiord. Most of the time I was working with kids doing programs such as book reading clubs, crafts, experiments, story time. I have loved every bit of this job, everyone is so kind and helpful. I have opened so much more and I never thought I would like working with kids, until I got comfortable. I also had done stuff to do at the library like shelving books, and bringing books to the other libraries.

My host parents Amanda and Vaughn, are so nice and open. They have two dogs and one cat which Brandon likes a lot. They have let us explore so much places, we have gone to Niagra Falls 3 times, and for my third time Sean and Bec took us out for Sean’s first time! We went up the CN tower and on the glass floor without fear, we went sailing in Lake Ontario which was a very cool experience for both me and Brandon. I was helping with the sails release and pulling back in which was fun. We went to Canada’s Wonderland and rode all of the scariest and fastest rides they have with a smile and our hands up. We went to the flying squirrel which is the biggest trampoline place in all of Canada and finished the night with some ice cream

There is a lot of big changes we have down here compared to home, I see a lot of fresh foods at a lower cost. The heat is a whole lot warmer down here which we had to adapt to, the trees are everywhere you go, the bugs are so annoying, traffic, the wildlife. But who am I to complain to when I love it here. At least the people are nice.

In one of Canada’s most scariest haunted house of over 100,000 chickened out, me and the Brave Brandon who lead me through most of everything when my eyes were closed had made it through the whole thing in one piece. 

As being a participant I have learned how to manage my budgeting, how to talk publicly without being shy about it, how city life can be, met so many amazing people and had a lot of fun.

My experience with NYA was amazing and I totally recommend for the youth to apply in this cool program.

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed.

Sincerely, 

David Junior Watsko

July 31st, 2019

James volunteers in Costa Rica to help save the turtles

Hola a todos, mi nombre es James Evaluarjuk, I’m going to be telling you about one of the best and heartwarming memories I had in Costa Rica. One night we were able to participate in a Tortuga patrol (Turtle). Turtle patrols happen every-day usually after dark between 7-12 at night. We were told no loud noises or bright coloured clothes. You use a Red light and be quiet and bring lots of water.

Our patrol was from 8:00- 10:00PM and there was about twenty-three people. It was warm but a cool night. The first responders went out on electric bikes to move faster than the group to search. We began walking from Cirenas and headed toward the hatchery. There are markers on the beach to know where we are on the beach and to show miles. We walked in a straight line parallel to each other, looking back and forth on the ground for signs of turtles coming on the beach. It was important to use the red light at this time. The normal white light hurts their eyes and might scare them off. We stopped at the nursery and continued on to markers numbered 19-20. We waited for about 30 minutes to get a text from the first responders if there was a turtle sighted. After 30 minutes we were told that we had to head back to Cirenas. We weren’t going to see a turtle that night. As we were walking back to the nursery there was a text saying TORTUGA. Hurry!

So, Vamos! James (a volunteer) and I started running to the first responders. We were the first to get there. We had to walk around and wait for the signal that we could come see the turtle in small groups.  The turtle laid ninety-six eggs that were collected by the first responders and we all walked back to the nursery.  They were put in a hole how the turtle would make it for the eggs. They will hatch in about one month. It was very rare for a person to see a turtle their first patrol. Some people were there for one month and had not seen any turtles. I felt very honoured to be a part of what they do to help the turtle species survive. 

Thanks for reading my blog y’all this was one of the best times I had in Costa Rica. Pure Vida/live life.

July 29th, 2019

Victoria’s summer with Next

Greetings! My name is Victoria Piryuaq I’m from Baker Lake, Nunavut I did my Canadian Phase two years ago, I was placed in London, Ontario working at a daycare centre, which I sort of enjoyed, I was placed in the toddler room and shadow job one of the workers there.

This year I decided to do NYA Next Program because I recently graduated and wanted to see what programs they have at Algonquin College, what the program does is to help you get ready for college or university. Life on campus is active, busy, lively, full, bustling, and energetic the dorms at Algonquin College are neat, you share a living area but you have your own rooms, to get into the residence and your room you would need a room key ALWAYS keep the key with you at all times. You can talk to your roommate if you want to know them better, when you have assignments do finish them as soon as possible if you want free time without worrying about the deadline, ask for help when you are stuck, have perseverance and hope you can get through it.

For my experience here it’s like going back to school, but I’m the one who picks the courses I want to do and what I want to do with it and pass down some knowledge that I’ve learned. During the weekdays are busy which is a good thing in the morning we go to construction class, in the afternoon we go to presentations, classes, activities, in the evenings we do group meetings, catching up on assignments that we missed of skipped.

We do have free time between those busy days either to relax or shopping or other various activities that helps relax, in construction we made a double sided picture frame, we are putting together a miniature picnic table, we went to many different places of Ottawa such as to museums, downtown tour, beaches, Rideau Mall, Parliament Hill, Ottawa Mission, visited other college or university and many more to come.

Each one of us have our own personal learning projects (PLP), to explore what we like to do or following our passion(s) for me I did pottery and sewing, the pottery class was fun! But not as easy it looks in videos that I watched. There’s so much I want to do here in Ottawa with such little time, the highlight here in Ottawa would be going to the beach, going to the movie theatre, going to the festival, Rideau Mall, the college itself, going to museums, camping and many more.

July 29th, 2019

Hayley’s time in Costa Rica

In the past 4 weeks I’ve experience a lot of new things and changes. Working in a completely different environment, with so many foreign scenes, tastes, smells and sounds, it really gave me a different perspective of the world that we live in.

Coming from such a small community to exploring Times Square in NYC to being in the tropics and planting trees in the span of two weeks was an overwhelming change to me. In Cirenas we learned a lot about permaculture and got hands on experience. We planted rice, 114 trees and made a “lasagna” out of natural materials to make a compost heap. We also did beach cleaning along the shores. I was really surprised as to how much plastic there was. After a hard day of work we always got the chance to dip into the ocean and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets. We rode horses, learned how to make traditional tortillas and did some traditional dancing as well.

Here at the United World College we recently did a three-session course called “The Agents of Change” where we talked about issues around the globe while coming up with strategies to work against them. We are currently taking Spanish classes, which isn’t the easiest thing for me but learning this new language really helps me to communicate with locals.

In the time of being in Santa Ana we went to an organic market where we tried fresh local fruits and bought some homemade souvenirs to bring back home. We also gave the Canadian embassy a presentation about who we are and where we come from, we talked lot about our culture and language. The other week the group and I got a tour of an old historical town called “Sarchi” we had the chance to check out one of the oxcart factories which still runs without electricity and is run only by hydroelectricity.

I’m exploring a lot and learning new things every day. Northern Youth Abroad is a great program that really helps you to grow as a young adult. Not only am I learning about different cultures but really getting to embrace mine as well. Getting to travel internationally has given me a great understanding of how I can have an impact on the world.