BC students (PC years 35 and 36) at RaceRocks, taken by Mark Kelsey. Spring 2010.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wanna vacation? Near Pearson?

Miraculously came across this great website, it includes an awesome article by the Times Colonist - http://www.victorialodging.com/rooms/pearson-college-accommodations

"Pearson College of the Pacific Accommodation

Bed and Breakfast and vacation rental accommodations near Pearson College of the Pacific in Metchosin 35 minutes from downtown Victoria. Birds of a Feather accommodations in Colwood is situated on the waterfront half way between downtown Victoria and the College. The B&B is ideal for family or friends visiting students or faculty for short periods. Stays of 1 week or more can be arranged in our Vacation Rental offerings.


Some fascinating facts about Pearson:

Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific is located just outside Victoria, British Columbia. It’s campus is located in Metchosin on the beautiful west coast surrounded by the B.C. forest with canoeing, kayaking, scuba-diving, hiking, available right on campus to students. The campus facilities also include a complete library, computer labs, a lecture theatre, an indoor swimming pool, an observatory, and much more. Pearson is home to 200 outstanding students from around the world each year. These students and many of the staff of Pearson reside on campus in dorm houses. Students share a comfortable room with 3 others and each house has complete washroom, shower and laundry, facilities, a mini kitchen, and a common room.


- Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific was established in 1974, the second of 10 United World Colleges established around the globe.

- The college was built two years after Pearson’s death.

- Each student in the two-year program is covered by a $32,000 annual scholarship for tuition, board and other costs.

- The scholarships are funded by a $50-million endowment, but the college must also raise $2 million each year to cover the shortfall.

- In honour of the 50th anniversary of Pearson winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the college is providing scholarships to students in countries in conflict, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, the U.S., Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland.

- Students are coming from countries never represented before, including East Timor, El Salvador, Haiti, Yemen and Angola. ➤ Every student in Canada can apply to attend Pearson College for the two-year program that begins with Grade 12.

- Former Pearson student Peter Sands, now CEO of the Standard Chartered Bank, has spearheaded a campaign to eradicate blindness in the world. The bank has committed to pay for 10-million operations to save people’s vision.

- Top U.S. colleges and universities court Pearson (and other United World College) graduates and typically offer full scholarships paid for by American philanthropist Shelby Davis.


Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific brings the world’s students togetherBY SANDRA MCCULLOCH Times Colonist staff December 16, 2007 (reprinted with permission)Fifty years ago, Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for defusing an international dispute over the Suez canal.

The Metchosin college that bears the former prime minister’s name is celebrating the Nobel anniversary by fostering friendship between young people from all over the world, sowing seeds of peace for the future.

The college’s current focus, with the help of non-governmental organizations, is to bring together students from war-torn countries or those who live in refugee camps and have no country to call home.

“I think Mr. Pearson would be extremely proud of what we are doing and what the students are endeavouring to do,” said David Hawley, director of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, on the shores of Pedder Bay. “Across Canada there could be no more important example of Canada at its best than this college.”

Hawley is a boyish 49-year-old dressed casually this day in a sweater, black jeans and Blundstone boots. He speaks enthusiastically about the college and its direction.

“Our hope is that when they are in positions of power and leadership, they will have a much deeper and richer understanding of each other and respect for each other and we hope not try to resolve conflicts and problems through violent means.”

The students and staff are on a firstname basis, which can be an adjustment for teenagers coming from countries where calling an adult by a first name is considered disrespectful.

Fifty of the 200 students at Pearson College are Canadian, while the others come from 100 countries all over the world.

The $32,000-a-year cost for tuition and board is covered by scholarships, and sometimes the college even picks up the tab for students who can’t afford to fly here, or to buy a coat to wear once they get off the plane, since they come from all socio-economic backgrounds. The college is funded through contributions from governments and charitable donations, as well as the earnings of an endowment fund, according to its website.

Students, typically 16- to 17-year-olds, are supposed to have completed the equivalent of 11 years of Canadian schooling, attaining “first-class standing” in over half their subjects, before they arrive at the college. They also need a working knowledge of English.

The teens are housed in shared accommodations, in groups of four students where each individual represents a different continent and speaks a different language.

“I’m used to managing my life alone but this is the first time I’ve been far from everything I’ve ever known,” said Luisa Daniela Marin, 17, from Santa Tecla, El Salvador.

She came in September and adapted quickly: “Now I feel I’ve grown a lot as a person and I really love this place.

“It’s incredible how many things you can learn from everybody.”

Marin’s roommates are from Canada, Yemen and Germany. Not only are there cultural differences, there are religious differences as well.

Marin is Catholic while the student from Yemen is Muslim.

“When we have differences about God, each of us has to be flexible. In the end, it’s the same God. Many of our values are based on the same thing.”

Marin has joined the Yemeni girl in learning about Muslim worship and there are plans for both of them to go to a Catholic service to see and appreciate the differences.

It’s all about respect, said Marin, who says she came to Canada for an education so she can return armed with knowledge to improve the lives of her family and friends in El Salvador.
“I need the tools first,” said Marin. “I can’t change the world but I can change my reality and help people who have been in the same situation that I have been in.”

Victor Alvarez, 19, from Nicaragua calls his time at the college “a golden opportunity … because Canada is a very good example of peace — you can walk safely on the street.

“To be living with 200 different people from 100 different countries, it’s unique. It couldn’t happen anywhere else.”

Mathematics teacher Andrew Spray has seen the college grow and develop during his 33-year career there.

“There are not many places where you can find students from 100 countries. You get to know a pretty high percentage of those people pretty well.

“I often find reasons to get in touch with alumni from many years ago and it doesn’t take any time at all to re-establish the relationships.”

Usually half the students from each class travel from around the world to attend reunions.

© Copyright 2007 Times Colonist (Victoria) "

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