June 3, 2012

And she's off....

Danielle is officially finished with high school. The system is different here in Quebec. I've written about it before....high school for Quebecers goes through grade 11. From there students go to a two year program at a community college-type program called CEGEP and then they go to university. The only way to attend university in Quebec (for example McGill) is to attend the two year pre-college program. Danielle was all set to go to this type of program last fall, but due to conflicting information from each and every government employee or attorney we spoke with unforseen immigration issues, we were forced at the last minute to enroll Danielle into a pre-university program at a school called Lower Canada College (which is also a K-11 co-ed school). Since the pre-U students enrolled in this particular program and not CEGEP, they are not eligible to attend most programs in Quebec (there are a few exceptions). So....that meant Danielle was taking herself out of the running for attending a Quebec school, which turned out to be okay as we are moving anyway.
Her class this year included 39 students from 13 different high schools. All but a few will be attending schools outside of Quebec...Australia, Scotland, England, France, prestigious schools in the U.S., including our Danielle who will be attending Saint Louis University.
The school (LCC) put on a nice graduation ceremony for the students with wonderful speakers and a nice tribute to each student and their accomplishments as they picked up their certificate. We were thrilled that the ceremony was live streamed on the web so out-of-town relatives could watch. Following the ceremony we had one of those "things we wouldn't have in the U.S." experiences when we all attended a champagne reception.
Yes, Danielle is taller than her mom...but she is wearing very high heels!
After the champagne reception the graduates went to a very nice dinner with their teachers and administrators....again another one of those unique experiences we would not necessarily have had in the U.S....certainly not the wine served at such a dinner.

The next day the majority of the graduates headed out to a classmate's country home for a weekend of fun in the sun, boating, campfires, eating...and things we don't want to know about...because...we were once that age.

We're so pleased with Danielle's high school education in Quebec and the friends she has made in the last four years. She certainly had a different experience than she would have had in Naperville...with friends who will stay in Montreal and some who will leave for places all over the world. Not that it's necessarily any better, just different. Her favorite class this year was Political Science and her teacher appreciated her American perspective in discussions. He told us that she was not afraid of a debate and added "this girl could be President of your country someday." I told him that she's been campaigning for something since she was two.

So, it's off to University next year. One element of her education she missed out on (besides drivers education as she still does not have a license) is U.S. History. She has some catching up to do this summer before heading back to the U.S. Although, she does entertain her Canadian friends with her "Nifty Fifty United States" song she learned back in elementary states. We're wondering if her U.S. classmates can name the ten provinces and three territories of Canada?

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