NJC is proud to be part of a family tradition for many families that can span multiple generations. It is not unusual for new students to be the children, siblings, or extended family members of NJC alumni. This year, we are fortunate to have four students at NJC in the Class of 2022, whose parents are part of the NJC graduating class of 1991.
After graduating, these alumni live in different places across North America: Toronto, Kingston, Nelson, BC and Minnesota, but they still share the same wonderful memories of their time at NJC. We recently brought together the parents of NJC’22 students, who are alumni of the Class of 1991, to talk about how the NJC experience impacted their lives and the decision to give their children the same opportunity for the 2021-22 academic year.
The love of travel and the incredible destinations that the Class of 1991 got to explore were definitely a highlight for the group. But as Sean’91 shared: “Seeing [the places visited] was one thing, but it was really meaningful being with these people that you share this bond with for your whole life”.
Alex’ 91 highlighted the importance of the incredible friendships developed at NJC and “the pension family, who welcomed me into their life, taught me French and about Swiss culture”. She shared that being in Switzerland really introduced her to the idea that there is much to learn from experiencing a different culture. “It opened my eyes; there are lots of fascinating different perspectives in the world and [my experience at NJC] made me more open to understanding that.”
Jenn’ 91 recognized that the impact of the beauty of Switzerland ultimately influenced her decision to relocate to British Columbia from Toronto. “Being in the mountains and by the lake inspired me to have a family out West.”
They all agreed that the NJC experience is like no other; unlike any other exchange or travel program. Sean’91 shared: “There is not a year where I grew up and matured more. [NJC] changed me as a person to be more confident and open-minded.” The opportunity prepares you for university as a transitional step. As Sean put it, “It is like going away to university, but with the guard rails on.”
Doug ’91 decided to send his daughter Natalie to NJC this year because he saw a lot of himself in her and wanted her to have the same experience he enjoyed. “A chance to branch out a little bit. A much needed change after the social isolation that students experienced during the past year due to COVID”. The advice he gave to Natalie was to “Just say yes, to all new experiences”.
Jenn’91 wanted Dylan to attend NJC because she: “Wanted him to go out in the world, to mature, and see the world. Meet more people and see art and culture”.
The NJC '22 parents from the Class of 1991 find that their children are enjoying their experience fully and have already made some wonderful connections. They also found that NJC is different, but very much the same in many ways to the school that they attended years ago.” The spirit of the school is still the same. Evolving where it needs to, but the essential spirit and core is true to what it was 30 years ago”.