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Canada Study Tour & Leadership Exchange Program (7th edition)
4th November – 19th November 2023

Canada Study Tour is organized by the Polish Academy of Canada in association with Carla Cuglietta from Young Leaders. World (Alberta Canada), and YLCC (Ontario, Canada) known also as Peregrine Leadership. During the tour students learn about themselves and self-leadership, sightsee 2 main Canadian provinces, explore Canadian cultures and current issues of Canada through their visits to the major Canadian universities, governmental and environmental institutions of Canada, and take part in the leadership programs and conferences (Ontario Student Leadership Conference). Canada Study Tour revolves around the concept of Canadian LEADERSHIP WITH HEART.

The 7th edition of Canada Study Tour  started on 4th of November 2023 and 12 chosen participants from all over Poland flew first to London in Ontario where they took part in the 3 day conference Ontario Student Leadership Summit with other Canadian students, and teachers. This edition of Canada Study Tour was proud to welcome the position of Team Spirit Leader, and Oliwia Sagan, who participated in CST in November 2022, took the role. Oliwia Sagan was a great leader for the participants as she was the perfect example of self-learning leader, and motivated the youth to learn and do their best.

The conference took place in Niagara Falls and started with a small market place, where students exchanged their views with different universities in Canada and leaders, as well as took part in some leadership activities. So after the arrival there was no time for boredom but the students had to emerge into Canadian cultures immediately.  The students could also exchange their viewpoints with other Canadian teachers, lectures ad could listen to many distnigued personalities who in their keynote speakers reflected on our willingness to try to be the best versions of ourselves both in professional and private life. These are not the easiest things to understand, let alone design for oneself, because they are associated with great emotions.  After rthe conference the student were sightseeing Toronto, went to try the famous “Beaver’s Tail” –and later they also met with Prof. Helen Bajorek MacDonald and Jean Komarnicki to discuss Polish, Ukrainian and Canadian cultures, as well as other interesting personal issues in Oshawa. They also wrote postcards with messages of support to Ukraine’s Defenders. All rose to the challenge to write in Ukrainian – with a little help from a handy sheet of translations. The same day the students left for the Leadership Camp Experience in Scugog and took part in 3-day Leadership Training, went canoing and kayaking, as well as devoted their all time to learn to THINK like a leader and why it is so important.

Finally on the 10th of November  2023 the participants flew to Vancouver and Vancouver Island where they took part in another leadership training at the Victoria University and listened to the lecture about leading with empathy delivered by the Dean of Social Sciences - Dr Lois Harder. What is more, at Victoria university, Dr Curtis Clarke provided insight on how to best prepare for future through learning. On Vancouver Island the students also met with Ian Paul Campbell Thomas from Endangered Ecosystem Alliance Organization, which works with First Nations and Organizations to support Indigenous Protected and Conserved areas, who showed to us the Avatar Grove and ‘Canada’s Gnarliest Tree.’ On Vancouver Island the students also enjoyed the hospitality of Melissa Hoffort and Sheldon Saywell – Canadian family with whom they took part in lots of Canadian fun activities. The students also took part in the Kindness and Empathy course led by Melissa Hoffort, who is also one of the important keynote speakers in CST and helps us to  organize Canada Study Tour part in British Columbia. Melissa’s Kindness Course is always the most liked course as students really learn a lot about themselves, and how to love yourself and understand the others. The students enjoyed the course so much that it was prolonged for another 2 hours and finished with many private discussions.  They also met with Melania Ziabska, our CST participants in 2022 who is now spending her whole year in Canada. Together, they went ice skating and bowling, as well as they went to the High School in Nanaimo.

In addition to the leadership sessions, the students also visited some of the most breathtaking and majestic places in Canada, enjoyed the hospitality of many Canadians at their homes and simply also made lifelong Canadian friendships. The tour was 17 day long and the students came back to Poland on 19th of November 2023 and they couldn’t say good-bye to each other