So about a year ago I would have never thought of even considering being an exchange student. The idea of traveling away from my family, friends, home, and everything I have grown up with, would have seemed crazy to me! I don't know what changed my mindset on the whole situation but here I am now just four more months and I am off to Chile.
Back in August 2010 I had to take a foreighn language class, which was something I was reluctant to do, but it was better than my other options, so I did it. I sighned up for Spanish because it is the most common of the minor languages here. My spanish teacher, Mrs. Robinson, is the best I could have had, and I ended up being one of her top students, and I loved her class. She is also in charge of my schools Interact Club and encouraged everyone to join. Interact Club is a club sponsored by Rotary and its main purpose is too get teens involved in the local and worldwide comunity. This club, as I already have said, is sponsored by Rotary, and therefore at one of the Interact meetings they announced that Rotary would be presenting on the youth exchange program. After attending that meeting I had made a huge decision, I wanted to be in this program!
I spent from the begining of september all through the begining of november meeting with Rotarians, revising my application, and getting interviewed. Finaly at the very beggining of November I was finished and within a week of the having everything turned in I was informed that I had been accepted into the program. Then it was time to wait...and wait...and wait!
In early January 2011, I finaly recieved the call that I had been waiting for! I finaly knew what country I was going to be living in, Chile! After learning for sure where I would be going I began to research my country, and study further into the spanish language. I used books and programs that are available at my local library and are very helpful. Of course I still expect to sound like an idiot when I first arrive in Chile XD but hopefully after a few months I will start to sound more like a native speaker.
Rotary has done alot to help everyone get ready for next year. They arrange funweekends where all the inbounds and outbounds get together and have fun. These are great because I get to meet with other students who are currently on their exchange, those are the inbounds, and with students that will be exchange students to diffrent countries next year, these are the outbounds. These funweekends not only help me to get ready for next year, but also I have made some of the most amazing friends from all over the world and these are the kinds of friendships that will last a lifetime :D it will be so hard when they go back home this summer, but this just means that it's time for me to leave for my year abroad.
Rotary also has us do other things for the exchange, such as prepare a 10 minute speach that we will be able to use next year to give to our host Rotary Club and introduce ourselves, and talk about where we come from. They also have us get a Blazer and make a pin that we can trade with other students and collect pins from other students that we meet from around the world, and then we place them on our blazers. This is to give us something that we can always have to look back and remember our exchange. here is an example, but obviously not mine, since i have not done my exchange yet:
Right now I am in the process of waiting for a call from Rotary to inform me exactly what city I will live in next year, and some information on my host family. I realy can't wait to know this! :)