Successful past participants
My name is Blake Woolley and I am a promotion agent for the Explore and Odyssey programs for Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region.
I participated in the Explore program through l’Université Sainte-Anne and the Centre Linguistique du Collège de Jonquière, and these experiences have helped me to pursue multiple opportunities that would not have been possible if I were not able to communicate in our country’s two official languages.
Going into the Explore program for the first time, the only experience I had studying in a second language was in a high-school classroom. I was placed at the intermediate level and quickly noticed my skills improving on a daily basis. Participating in Explore inspired me to return to l’Université Sainte-Anne, finish the immersion program, and then take the entirety of my university studies in French.
I currently work for the Nova Scotia Department of Education as a promotion agent for the program and travel the Atlantic provinces sharing this program in high schools, colleges, and universities. I am also going into my third year as a staff member of the Explore program run out of Dalhousie University in Halifax, this year filling the role of assistant coordinator. Being on the other side of the Explore program is equally as rewarding because I can now use my past experiences to give new Explore students a five-week experience similar to my own.
Apart from the academic aspect, I met so many amazing people while doing Explore. My current roommate was one of the staff members from l’Université Sainte-Anne’s Explore program, a francophone from Senegal, with whom I can practise my French at home every day. And he is not the only lasting friend made from this program; I have met so many people through this great program who come from all over the world.
I can honestly say that without the Explore program showing me the importance of learning a second language and of appreciating a multitude of cultures here in Canada, none of these opportunities would have presented themselves. I would recommend this program to anyone – learning a second language through the Explore program was the best decision I’ve ever made.