Richelieu International Week: the officers cadets’ point of view

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The students visiting the Fort Saint-Jean museum. (Photo: Mario Poirier – RMC Saint-Jean)

Officer Cadet Noémie Pelletier, RMC Saint-Jean

From October 16 to 19, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) had the honour of hosting 16 officer-cadets from Colombia, South Korea, Georgia, Greece, the Netherlands, the United-States, and Sweden for the occasion of International Richelieu Week. Accompanied by students from the RMC Saint-Jean, the visitors participated in a multitude of activities highlighting Canadian heritage.

For most, the week began on Monday evening with a meet-and-greet at the Saint-Maurice Mess. The following morning students attended the official commencement with a presentation of the different military academies. In the afternoon, they visited the Fort Saint-Jean Museum, which was followed by a ''Quebec Reception'' at the Saint-Maurice Mess: an incredible opportunity for students to compare and contrast military life in their respective countries. Later, the officer-cadets participated in a student symposium addressing the most important security issues which their countries will face in the coming years.

''It was really interesting! It is clear that some issues, cyber-threats for example, are global and challenging for everyone. Still, many of the more individual ‘close to home’ threats are much more diverse and maybe even more complex, since they have often developed for a longer period of time. It was a very good experience to share with cadets from other countries'', stated Ocdt Johan Olsson from Karlberg Military Academy in Sweden.

Later that day. The group had the occasion to visit the Stewart Museum's warehouse arsenal, in addition to seeing the architectural charm of Old Montreal and the Old Port.

“The visit to the Steward museum was interesting in many ways. Not only because of the military relevance, but it also gave us a better understanding of the shared history between Europe and North America. One of the best things about the exchange was of course meeting cadets from all over the world and getting to know each other. The visit to Old Montreal was a perfect way to do this in a casual setting. The city was the perfect place to shop for some Canadian souvenirs and to have some coffee together. We also enjoyed the beauty of the Old City by walking through it and watching it from the top of the ferris wheel at night. What an amazing sight!” declared Ocdt Ricardo Timmermans from Koninklijke Militaire Academie in the Netherlands.

The very next day, the officer cadets were introduced to a typically Canadian sport: broomball.
''It was very fascinating, it looked like half ice hockey and half soccer! The offside rules really kept me moving, so I felt like it was a very dynamic sport. Also, it was very hard to keep my balance and run at the same time, so I had fun sliding around the ice rink!'' exclaimed Ocdt Hyunil Kim, from the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy.

In addition to the activities organized par the RMC Saint-Jean personnel, the Corporation du Fort Saint-Jean offered, all week long, a special menu at the Dextraze in honour of five Canadian authors from different cultural backgrounds, including Margaret Atwood, Dany Laferrière, Mordecai Richler, Naomi Fontaine and Michel Tremblay. Later, students took part in a bilingualism competition.


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