Carys Baker '14

By Meg '22
Carys Baker '14 holds great memories of NJC - a place that allowed her to flourish on her own throughout her year there. 
Carys Baker went to Neuchâtel Junior College in 2014 and has since graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Political Science. She explains that NJC allowed her to flourish on her own throughout her year at the school. Through the amazing travel experiences that the school had to offer, Carys still holds on to great memories. Even after the years since Carys graduation she still supports NJC by being on a subcommittee of the CAC.  

Two school-planned trips that stood out to her were the trips to Poland, Krakow and Zermatt. Furthermore, the educational trip to Poland included seeing the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial. Carys defines the trip as powerful and incredibly sad. The second trip she enjoyed was to Zermatt, something she was able to experience again when her brother attended NJC in 2018. The trip brought her and her family fond memories. Travelling independent of the school, Carys and her friends went to Venice, a beautiful place which she still remembers fondly. 

Her time in Switzerland taught her many things but overall brought many important friends into her life. A lesson that remains with her is the open-mindedness and curiosity she gained at Neuchatel. Additionally, her work ethic and efficiency grew throughout the year. In school, she began the year quietly and focused on her studies. As the year went on she learned to step outside of her comfort zone and become more outgoing. This taught her how to balance friendships and schooling. 

After her first year of University, Carys got an internship with the Ontario Government in the Ministry of Energy. This was a job she loved and worked there for 3 years. Now she is a Government Relations Consultant, advising clients on how to navigate government. One of her good friends from Neuchatel, Jonathan, ‘14 works with her. During Carys’ time at NJC, she grew forever friendships. She believes this is due to seeing so much of each other through the bad and great times. Moreover, she continues to travel with her NJC friends. Years after they graduated, Carys and her NJC friends went on a reunion trip to Paris. This is fitting as her name is pronounced Carys like Paris with c. She is also going to New York City with her NJC friends in June and looks forward to all the adventures ahead.

Carys lived with her charming pension madame in Hauterive. The woman-owned a tea shop close to NJC and Carys savoured a cup every morning before school. Afterwards, while walking over a bridge to get to school, she would reflect on how grateful she was to be enjoying her senior year in Switzerland. Looking at the Alps in the distance, she had a hard time believing this was her life.

Overall, Carys time at Neuchâtel taught her lessons she still uses today. By becoming a better and more improved version of herself she is grateful for her experience. She recommends NJC to anyone who can come and claims that it will be a year they will never forget. 
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