Making peace, one exchange student at a time

By Rotary International

Belgian Exchange Student Marcellin Niset in Alaska

Belgian Exchange Student Marcellin Niset in Alaska

By Marcellin Niset, Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Belgium to Alaska

The Italian-American author and actress Vanna Bonta wrote, “There’s no hospitality like understanding.” That quote stuck with me as a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Alaska in 2015-16. I arrived in Alaska, a wilderness filled with beauty and love, determined to make my exchange purposeful and beneficial for myself, my host community, and the world.

An exchange is not only about a student going abroad, it is about all the people that make this exchange possible, and the ones that are impacted, directly and indirectly.

Niset is using his exchange year as an opportunity to promote tolerance and respect.

I come from a small village in rural Belgium and the exchange is a unique chance to accomplish something bigger than myself. To be selected as an ambassador for Rotary and my country meant being the custodian of national values and beliefs.

Sometimes, the mission was easy. I brought happiness to people by making countless Belgian waffles. I presented facts about my homeland to my host club and community. But going deeper, and sharing what makes people from my country unique, explaining why we think and behave differently, without …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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