Getting Ready for a New Start
By Sophie Angel
Have you ever thought about embarking on a whole new life?
It’s a choice over 8,000 high school students take every year.
Sophomore Jennifer Reynoso has decided to leave WHB for an unknown, exciting new country. “I have always wanted to discover a different school system and in a whole different language.”
Jennifer chose the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, a renowned organization to fulfill her dream to go to Brazil for 10 months.
Jennifer first heard about the program in her freshman year, when her French teacher told the class about it. But she only decided to sign up this year, when local Rotarians came into her language class.
The next step was convincing her parents to let her go. “My parents have always encouraged me to experience new things, but an exchange was definitely something new to them. I showed them the website (www.rotary.org) and some videos and they both agreed on letting me do long-term exchange. Now I can say that I’m the happiest girl having my parents on board and I can’t wait to go !”
No more demanding parents and no more loud younger siblings seem to be a dream for many teenagers. Yet, being an exchange student implies having to deal with homesickness, and missing your family is a major part of the challenge. “I’ll feel sad about leaving my family, friends and home, but it was my decision, and I will take responsibility for it,” Jennifer said.
However, she will stay with three different host families that will “give (her) food and shelter, which is nice about Rotary because you don’t have to spend extra money.” Speaking from my own experience, it is also a chance to live with different local families and discover their real way of life… A big shock culture but over all a great experience!
Jennifer says that she “would definitely encourage people to do exchange because you’ll learn so much about both your host country and your own. You get the chance to become fluent in a whole new language, which is great when looking for a job in the future. Overall, I would say that if you are really interested then just do it and don’t let anybody change your mind.”
“Our program is one of the cheapest, since all Rotarians are volunteers,” says Linda Kerr, the Outbound chair. All you will need to pay is the airline ticket, insurance and personal expenses.
Also note that scholarships are an option, “If you think there is no hope, there will always be a rotary club to help you”” adds Linda Kerr.
You are curious about other cultures and like travelling?
Get more informations: please contact Linda Kerr: email@example.com