Tanja Martell '04

Written by Thatcher '22
Tanja Martell came to Neuchâtel Junior College to be a part of the 2004 class for the first semester. Her time at NJC allowed her to grow and become more independent. Afterwards she went to Western University and majored in business management. Tanja believes her time at Neuchâtel Junior College prepped her educationally, and her experiences helped her grow into who she is today.
During her semester in Neuchâtel, she lived with two roommates, Jill and Melony. Furthermore, these relationships have remained today as she continues to hold a close bond with the two. Additionally Jill even was her Maid of Honour at her wedding. Before coming, Tanja was intimated and nervous about making friends. But within orientation week she knew he had met her best friends. Which caused leaving for the second semester to be very hard, wishing she could stay the full year. 

Some influential parts of her year were through travel. Unlike people back home she was traveling solo at 17, which gave her space to grow through freedom. Some of her favourite trips were Zermatt, Paris, and Burgundy. Alongside the alps of Switzerland Tanja celebrated her birthday in Zermatt with all of her friends from NJC. Another rememberable memory was the optional trip to Burgundy where they biked 25km a day through wineries and vineyards. During these trips she made great friendships and had amazing times. The NJC experience brought Tanja full of life experiences, new memories, and friendships.

Tanja explains that coming to Neuchâtel helped her grow as a person and made her very mature. She grew up in Oakville Ontario and attended Iroquois Ridge high school before coming to NJC. Through being in a French immersion school, she was prepared to live in a French-speaking town. Tanja heard about NJC while attending Iroquois; she came across an old DVD player that had an advertising campaign on it. She instantly knew that she wanted to attend NJC and a year and a half later she was on her way. Her time in Neuchâtel was also amazing due to her pension and she still keeps in contact, always wishing each other happy holidays. By being able to live with a family in Switzerland Tanja believes she got to be immersed in the culture much more. This allowed her to grow and preserve herself on her own, preparing her more than staying home ever could. By knowing she could survive in a foreign environment, her love for travel did not stop at NJC. Consequently, at Western, she went abroad to Grenoble France. 

In conclusion, Tanja believes that being at Neuchâtel Junior College positively influenced her in many ways. Today she looks back at her experience smiling at the lessons she learned, the people she met, and the places she went. 
Neuchâtel Junior College offers the unique opportunity to study Canadian curriculum abroad. While living in Switzerland in a French community, students enjoy an international education through travel and experiential learning in Europe. Gap year and Grade 12  high school students gain international experience and develop independence and life skills that prepare them for university and the global workplace.

A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap