Here are just a few of the International students currently attending Seven Summits Learning Center in 2016 – 17:

Alvise – Grade 12

Born and raised in Torino, Italy, Alvise was inspired to travel to improve his English, while maintaining his competitive skiing. The Red Mountain Academy, Rossland and Seven Summits struck the perfect balance of maximum snow time and being immersed in an English-speaking community with a quality academic curriculum.

The flexible, self-managed schedule allows more time on hill, training and competing. His host family has been a home away from home giving him a solid family life; social media and almost daily digital communication with friends and family in Italy keeps the home fires burning brightly for him.

As for the highly independent and online style curriculum, he seems to have adapted well. He advances ahead in subjects that are easy peasy for him, like math, then focuses more time on English, which is a challenge to speak in everyday life versus just as a second language. He figures he’ll be dreaming in English in a few months! After graduating in the summer of 2017, Alvise plans to return to Italy to complete his grade 13, a prerequisite for university entrance.

He hopes to study law and has a keen interest in politics and current global events. We hope the Red Mountain Academy, Seven Summits and Rossland leave an indelible impression on him. He will certainly be remembered fondly by the local Seven Summits kids for his warm personality, chillability and spectacular hair.

Morgan  Grade 11

Morgan is an international man of mystery, coming to Seven Summits from somewhere nebulous, “near Winchester” in the UK. He is multi-lingual, able to speak a smattering of European languages including German, Italian and French. Morgan spent a few months in Rossland a few years ago and as of September 2016, we’re able to say he’s part of the community. Not only was the access to premium skiing an appeal, an absence of gruelling lift lines he was subjected to in Europe was an easy sell. He is currently in grade 11 and plans to graduate grade 12 here as well. He is an alpine racer, favouring slalom, with Super G a close second, specifically a few hundredths of a second.

Morgan did some adjusting to get accustomed to the 7S online curriculum but has found his stride and appreciates the mentors’ in-person support. The online delivery also allows him to stay on track during the busy competition months with time taken for travel reducing school time. Another adjustment was getting used to the size of the student body. There were about 1,400 at his UK school compared to approximately 40 at 7S.

Academically, he gets enthused about practical subjects like robotics, design and technology. Sounds like he’s going to have to find a place that can offer him a technical career and primo skiing…hmmmm…but where?

Sacha  Grade 9

Sacha, 14, hails from Brighton, UK but has lived in Rossland on and off since he was just two years old. His dad, an avid snowboarder who defected from skiing, saw a picture of a school bus with tons of snow on it and always wanted to visit. Once they arrived, he found the actual school bus that was in the photo. Sacha has followed his dad’s tracks and used skateboarding as the gateway to snowboarding. In the UK, the closest resort for them to play in the snow was Scotland, so easy access to hit the slopes here was a huge draw. Sacha arrived to stay for the long haul in June of this year after a two-year absence and has applied for landed immigrant status, so get used to him.

Though he doesn’t compete in his sport, he is passionate about boarding and wants maximum snow time. This is his first academic year in Rossland and the Seven Summits learning program gives him more time and flexibility to pursue his passion. He is greatly benefiting from the lower student to teacher ratio and feels like he has more access to one on one instruction. The result is higher marks and increased engagement. He enjoys English, science and not surprisingly, P.E. He was already accustomed to an online learning model as there was a similar learning environment back home, so the leap to the 7S model was not that drastic for him. The benefit here, he says, is that access to the mentors has made all the difference to his success as a student and his parents are very pleased with his progress.

He has two siblings back home in Brighton; an older brother and younger sister. He Snapchats to keep in touch. He also keeps in touch with a couple of friends back home though he seems to have no shortage of social circles here and found it easy to make friends. Anyone who knows him will find this very easy to believe! Since the school population here is a fraction of most traditional schools, so he tends to hang out with the older kids. The lifestyle and values are something he finds differs from back home because people here tend to be more active recreationally which isn’t as prevalent with his former social group.

Sacha is also an avid mountain biker, something he did back in the UK, so he is taking advantage of the year-round playground that is now his newfound home. The lakes and other summer methods of goofing off are also on the menu so he has no shortage of ways to

Since putting down roots here, Sacha plans to graduate from Seven Summits and may pursue a job here afterwards to earn some income. He has some time to figure out what he would like to do after graduation and 7S is a great place to allow interests develop naturally.

Arda  Grade 11

Arda, The Spontaneous, barely made it to Rossland for the start of the 2016 school year. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, his family was searching online for a place for him to ski race and attend school in Canada. They happened upon Seven Summits, Rossland, and Red Mountain and a couple of weeks later, he was here. Typical ski racer – down to the second. His story is an unlikely one, but he is here so you’ll have to believe it.

Turkey is better known for its exotic, bustling marketplace and rich history than it is for skiing. Skiing never even crossed Arda’s mind until his gymnastics coach, former national ski coach for Turkey, suggested that Arda’s athleticism would translate well to skiing. His parents were supportive from the start.

He was eight when he first tried skiing at the Kartalkaya resort, a one hour drive from Istanbul. It translates to “eagle on a rock” and is bigger than Red Mountain. It was not love at first run. During his first alpine skiing experience, he was far more interested in playing in the snow, making snowmen, and having snowball fights with his sister. He was not thrilled with all the preparation and fussing with the gear and early on his coach made the kids hike up part of the hill before skiing down.

So, his story is unlike many of the skiers we know in Canada in that his was not an instant passion. It took a couple of years and he only started racing at the age of 14. He caught on quick though and is quick to answer that slalom is his discipline of choice. He also races GS and super G, but nothing beats the rush he gets when he smacks the slalom gates. He started competing in his local Turkish club east of Istanbul which meant flying there every weekend. That sounds like a huge commitment and cost but apparently, it’s very common in Turkey to fly to ski resorts over the weekend.

Arda has adjusted to the 7S online learning model though he had a more traditional learning model in Turkey. He is successfully managing his school schedule, being focused and disciplined, and looks forward to his first ski season in Rossland. He enjoys math and physics and is a diligent student.

On the home front, he has a supportive homestay family, though he misses his mother’s cooking, especially crepes with Nutella, banana, strawberry, kiwi. He stays connected with his family and friend via internet. Arda plans on graduating from 7S and plans to visit Austria and home during the summer but has made a home away from home in our alpine paradise.