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Friday May 18th was a very emotional day, as one of our most social and entertaining characters graduated from Eurocentres Vancouver. Jaufret had been at the heart of many activities at the school over the past five months, like inviting other students to go out with him, cooking ratatouille for his classmates or creating a Facebook page for his class. He was a big guy, but had a bigger heart for people.

What really impressed me was that Jaufret never let barriers stand in the way of making friends. Often, as I roam the hallways of the school, I constantly see groups of students of the same nationality huddled together. I understand that it is to feel safe and familiar, but by doing this, these students create barriers between themselves and students of other countries, and therefore miss the point of being here. Jaufret understood that studying at our school is to experience the unfamiliar and to step outside your comfort zone. If you do not try, then you will never know what rewards are waiting at the end.

It is now late spring. The sun is out longer. Don’t just get outside…get out! Outside of your comfort zone. Try new things. Meet new people (and not just ones that share your language). Go to new places. You will be surprised at what you discover about yourself!