Over the years, the language students have participated in a myriad of volunteer activities. These include making eco-cleaners, hosting kiosks, promoting recycling door-to-door, writing blog posts, and the list goes on.

For the student, it is an opportunity to learn new vocabulary while doing what are usually new tasks for them. I can absolutely relate to their experience. When I first started my job at the Eco-quartier, I quickly realized that as I had done my studies in English, I did not know all of the French terms for the ecological concepts that I had studied. Unfortunately, I came up with some ridiculous literal translations to try to get by, but after no Francophone had any idea what I was talking about, I made myself a list of terms that I share with all new staff and volunteers. Whether Anglophone or Francophone, the list works for both!

An obvious benefit for the Eco-quartier NDG is that the students help us accomplish so much more than we could do without them. As they accompany us to activities, they might take pictures for our archives; they might inform residents about recycling, or help a child at an eco-craft activity while we are busy with another child.

The other benefit for the Eco-quartier NDG staff is that they get to meet people from all over the world.

By Nikki Schiebel