My Rotary Youth Exchange year in Canada

By Rotary International

2014-15 Rotary Youth Exchange students.

2014-15 Rotary Youth Exchange students.

By Gabriela Vessani

I spent a year in Canada as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and I can’t believe how fast the year went by. On my flight back to Brazil a few months ago, I reflected on the experience, and had so many thoughts.

I remembered arriving with anxiety, and yes, even a little fear. The experience is never entirely what you expect and you can never totally prepare for it. I think that few students go in with a full understanding of how intense and deep the experience will be, and how hard it can be to do something different from what you have been used to doing every day of your life.

But then there is the freedom. Being an exchange student gives you a chance to create a new life and become whatever you want to be. You learn to value what you have and take care of yourself on your own. Without the sheltering arms of your birth family around you, you have the freedom to spread your wings and grow a bit on your own, with the help of your host families.

It is not just a difference between cultures or countries, but it’s …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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