[dropcap]A[/dropcap]re you interested in learning a new language or meeting new people? Is there a young person in your life that could benefit from going on exchange? 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 who could explain the experience better than a participant of the Rotary Youth Exchange? This is what Liam, a local exchange student, had to say about his experience abroad:
“I am an exchange student. I always will be. I did not merely go on exchange; it was not a passive activity, and it was not a vacation. To be an exchange student is something that runs far deeper than your year abroad, and it stretches beyond the geographical borders by which we define our globe.
To become an exchange student is to challenge who you are. The experience of leaving a life you know behind, to plunge headfirst into a foreign one will penetrate the fabric of what makes you, you. The journey is luminous, it is lined with breathtaking vistas, strangers who become family, euphoria, heartache, deafening silences, and moments of lucid reflection.
To be an exchange student is to open yourself up to new possibilities and to new experiences. My journey took me to the jungles of Peru, to the highlands and peaks of the Andes mountains, through endless dunes, and to the beaches of the north coast. I lived, breathed, spoke, tasted, smelled, and touched South American culture. Not as an observer, but as a part of it.
To be an exchange student is to be curious of all things that are new, adventurous in the face of new opportunity, penitent in the heart of a culture that is not yet your own. It is to become a wanderer, an explorer, and a student of the world.
‘Not all those who wander are lost’ – J.R.R. Tolkien”
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.
Deadline for applications is to be 4:30 on Friday, September 26th at the Rotary Office.
For more information:
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 in the Lives of Easter Seals Children, 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 Presented by Agero, District Science Fair presented by Tenaris Algoma Tubes and the Sault Ste. Marie Sports Awards dinner.