|TWO EMSB INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS EXPERIENCE FIRST-EVER CANADIENS HOCKEY GAME|
MONTREAL, JANUARY 11, 2016 – Two international students from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), one from China and the other from Libya, had the opportunity to see their first ever professional hockey game on January 6, when the Canadiens hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre.
Manqi Liang and Monder Alzidani are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Marymount Academy International in NDG in Grades 10 and 11 respectively.
Both students admitted that they never followed hockey in their respective native countries because it was a sport that was not played there. However, after they saw for the first time the fast-paced excitement that goes with an NHL hockey game, which the Canadiens won by a score of 2-1, they quickly became fans of the team, and would like to go to more Habs games at the Bell Centre in the future. “I loved watching the power plays,” said Monder. “I like the team in general, but a lot of people tell me that P.K. Subban is its best player.”
“The loud spirit of the fans was amazing. I was also amazed by how large the Bell Centre is. I have never seen a sports arena like this before,” added Manqui.
The two students attended the game with their teacher Michael Bunn courtesy of CTV Montreal, which provided the tickets in the Club Desjardins section. Before the game, Manqui, Monder and Mr. Bunn got the chance to personally meet CTV News sportscaster Brian Wilde, and watched him do one of his live pre-game reports for the supper hour newscast.
“Doing fields trips like these in Montreal and Quebec City as part of the IB program gives the international students the opportunity to experience and appreciate what their adopted place of residence is all about,” said Mr. Bunn, who has been a teacher at Marymount for the past 12 years, and teaches physical education., ethics, biology and runs the school’s leadership program. “They really enjoy it and get a unique experience like they never had before.”
Throughout the game, Mr. Bunn, an avid hockey fan himself, taught the two students the finer points of the game of professional ice hockey and how it’s played.
Monder, a native of Tripoli, has been in Montreal for the past two years, and lives here with his father, mother and his three brothers and three sisters. When he graduates from Marymount Academy International, he plans to move to Toronto, and wants to pursue post-secondary studies in health sciences.
Manqui comes from the southern part of China near Hong Kong, and lives in Montreal with her mother. She applied for the IB program on the recommendation of her father, and likes the fact that Marymount Academy International has a great deal of international students there. “Because the majority of the international students do not speak English as their first language, we like to get together and help each other with our English-speaking skills,” she said.
Upon graduation from Marymount Academy International, Manqui plans on staying in Montreal until 2020, and plans to go to CEGEP to study chemistry, and wants to pursue a career in the chemical industry.
Michael J. Cohen