Share your culture, embrace a new one with Rotary exchangeFriday, September 20, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
Rotary Youth Exchange is the opportunity of a lifetime for the more than 8,000 students who participate each year.
By sharing your own culture and embracing a new one, you help foster global understanding - and learn a great deal about yourself and your home country in the process.
But don’t take our word for it, Holly Drew spent a year in Lima, Peru.
“I was part of a group of 42 inbound students from 10 different countries. We started as collection of foreigners and at the end of the year none of us had any doubt in our minds that we were a family. We traveled to every corner of Peru together and visited every place in between, as well as a few other countries, Chile and Ecuador. We also volunteered at a few various Rotary events, such as the Rotary Club Olympics, which was a lot of fun to do together.
"Outside of that, I went to the Navy High School in the beginning of the year, and then after summer break I went to U.S.I.L. university. Being able to get both experiences of Peruvian High school and university was really interesting. However, just like life in the Sault, I feel I learned more outside of the classroom.
"After school and during the break, my friends and I explored Lima together, which is a city of 8 million and full of diversity and unique areas broken up as districts. We practiced our Spanish by putting what we had learned into practice and by interacting with people we met. We made some unbelievable memories trying everything new and scratching items off our exchange bucket lists.
"For the year I only had one host family, the Tennisons', who are very close to my heart. It was a true gift and privilege to have been able to live with them for the entire year. I was really lucky to have such a loving family to support me while I was in Peru, who really took me into their hearts. Right from the beginning, I was a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter and a cousin. We still keep in contact and dream of a time when we can reunite."
IS AN EXCHANGE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Exchanges are for people ages 15–19 who:
- Have demonstrated leadership in their school and community
- Are flexible and willing to try new things
- Are open to cultural differences
- Can serve as an ambassador for their own country
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Costs vary from country to country. Local Rotary clubs generously host students and provide room and board with a host family and a small monthly allowance. Participants are generally responsible for:
- Round-trip airfare
- Travel documents (such as passports and visas)
- Spending money, additional travel, and tour fees
HOW CAN I APPLY?
See student’s services at your nearest high school for application forms
Visit us at the parent/student information meeting is set for Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 at the Biggings Room at City Hall.
Deadline for applications is to be 4:30 on Friday, September 27 at the Rotary Office.
For more information Contact
About The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie
The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie has been an active part of the community since 1918.
Its primary charitable mandate is to offer support to children with physical disabilities.
This is done in close partnership with Easter Seals Ontario through fundraising projects such as the Take Your Pick Car Draw, Snowarama, TD Canada Trust Change for Change, Easter Seals Telethon and Battle of the Sections.
The Club also supports community building events like ROTARYFEST, Student Exchange Programs, Bell Celebrity Skate and Swim, District Science Fair and the Sault Ste. Marie Sports Awards program.