Jeffery Bower '01

Written by Aaron '22
For Mr. Jeffery Bower, his one semester spent at NJC during 2000-01 opened his eyes to what was possible in the world, and started him on the international path he has followed all his life since.
Originally from Toronto, Mr. Bower had not previously really experienced or considered living outside Canada. Older family members such as his cousin and brother, as well as friends, attended NJC and informed him of the opportunity, with the number of Bower family members attending totalling six. 

While at NJC, he took full advantage of the traveling experiences offered, visiting a different place in Europe every single weekend during his semester there for 13th grade. He spent significant time in Berlin, as well as going outside of Europe, such as the school trip to Thailand over winter break. “I used to get on the train Friday afternoon, go to sleep, and wake up in a different country,” he remembers fondly. These varied experiences, the good along with the bad, opened his eyes to what was possible and made him realize there was a life waiting for him beyond the established path in suburban North America. It truly was his first “step outside.”

 Not only traveling, but also meeting individuals such as UN delegates in Geneva, further piqued his interest and led him to study International Relations at Western. Since his time at NJC, he has lived and studied in various nations across the globe, currently working for the World Bank, the UN’s private sector investing arm, in Mexico City. Previously, he studied in Hong Kong and lived in places such as Rwanda, where he worked with the UN to fight poverty. The incredibly dynamic career choice Mr. Bower has made, leading him all over the world and introducing him to people who work in all types of jobs and places, is a direct result of the concepts introduced to him at NJC 21 years ago. The school made it clear to him that he wanted to see as much of the world as he could, and do what he could to help others along the way. Not just to take occasional vacations to well-known places but to really know what it was like to live in little-known towns and cities across the globe, mirroring the way in which he traveled to obscure destinations while at NJC. 

The language skills he picked up while in Neuchatel have also followed him throughout his life, and he has used his ability to speak French to get certain job postings in French-speaking nations with the UN. This second-language foundation has also been helpful as he has learned other languages during his travels, such as Spanish. Mr. Bower has also kept in touch with his Poncion family, who hosted not only him but also his older and younger brothers. They have become close family friends and he has visited them back in Neuchatel, as well as hosting them in various cities he has lived in throughout his life. 

If a young Mr. Bower was told what his life ended up looking like and all the experiences he ended up having, he would not have believed it. NJC truly opened his eyes and allowed him to see the potential life held, and since then he has taken full advantage of what is on offer. 
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