Sarah Morgenstern '85

Written by: Tralee '22
Sarah Morgenstern graduated from Neuchatel Junior College (NJC) with the class of 1985. She currently serves as a board member on the Canadian Advisory Council for NJC, remaining actively involved in and connected to the NJC community.
Sarah learned about NJC from a family friend who inspired her to apply to the school. After completing her final year of IB high school in Alberta, she decided to attend NJC with the same family friend. Sarah’s family friend had gone to NJC before and recommended it highly to her. The idea of traveling and learning appealed to Sarah, and she was thankful for her parent’s support with the dream.

Sarah started her career as a business management consultant. After 15 years in this position, Sarah ventured off into the entrepreneurial stream of digital media start-up companies for nine years. Currently, Sarah lives in Toronto and works as an advisor to other start-up companies as a strategic advisor and helps them grow their business.  

Sarah’s time at NJC prepared her for her career as it taught her how to be independent and navigate the new world. She obtained experience from going away from home and traveling to different places without a lot of guidance and supervision. The school allowed Sarah to go out and learn about the different cultures and experience the countries that she visited as part of her independent travel. These travel excursions were planned by the students independently and then approved by the school. Eventually, after Sarah graduated from university, she went backpacking in South East Asia for just under one year and her success in her travels was well attributed to the traveling skills she developed through her experience at NJC.

One of Sarah’s favourite memories from NJC would have to be her first trip at NJC in October to Sas Fee in Switzerland for skiing where she got to make new friends and enjoy the early ski season. Sarah also had the pleasure of spending Christmas in Spain and New Year’s in Morocco. Sarah recalled that the previous year she had spent her new years simply sitting at home with her family watching the ball drop on television. Being able to experience New Year’s in a different country was a very exciting opportunity for her. Another one of Sarah’s favourite memories was her trip to Italy in the spring, which she described as being so beautiful with plenty of flowers and trees. She visited Florence and Venice and was able to see the famous sites that she had previously learned about in class at NJC. 

Learning the skills to figure things out for yourself is instrumental to being successful in the start-up career world as there is a lot of finding your own way and building your own path. Sarah emphasized that, in her job, each project is different and situational.
 Over the years Sarah has stayed in contact with her friends from NJC and still has lunches and dinners with her old colleagues. Sarah’s biggest takeaway from NJC was independence. She learned to open up to new experiences and take advantage of her time. She learned to let go of her past experiences and be open to the new and unfamiliar. Sarah’s best advice to future students at NJC would be: do everything, see everything, try everything.
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