A true life experience rather than a simple student exchange
Before going on my exchange to France I had a lot of misgivings – would the family be nice, would I get on with my partner and would I understand a word they were saying? Honestly, I just didn’t know. Going to Irish college – as I had done for three summers running – is one thing, but going to a completely different country and staying with a family that you have never meet before, can be quite a daunting experience.
However, with the Rotary Club’s help I was able to get in contact with my exchange partner well before the trip and we built up a strong friendship through e-mail and Facebook. Having this option made sure that we had things in common and knew something about each other, other than the usual details…….where they live, what they like and what they dislike, have they any pets. You actually felt like you knew the person before ever meeting them face-to-face.
My experience with this Rotary exchange was worlds better than I ever could have imagined. My partner, Lea, and I had so much in common and we got on so well that it seemed as if we had known each other for years. Also, her family were some of the nicest people I have ever met – they made me feel so at ease and welcome in their home that returning back to Ireland was as hard as it had been to leave.
I had been to France numerous times before on holidays with my family but my two weeks with the exchange programme was a completely different experience. I saw a part of France that I had never seen before. I got to fully experience the French way of life, meet new people and taste foods that I had never even heard of.
This experience would never have been possible without the help of Rotary. My time in France was the best two weeks of my 17 years and I have made friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life. The Rotary Club were so helpful and generous with their time and efforts and I have to say that I am so grateful I was able to do my exchange with them. It left me with a true life experience rather than a simple student exchange.
There is a world waiting to be explored
My exchange not only allowed me to learn much but I also learned that there is so much I do not know. I now understand that in order for me to learn and grow I have to be open minded and accepting. The exchange has aided me in discovering more about myself. STEP is definitely something that I will recommend to others. It is enriching and enabled me to realise that there is a diverse world waiting to be explored.
Thank you so much
It was an amazing opportunity
I just got back about a week ago from France… and the absolute time of my life – hands down. I feel so fortunate to have been matched with a girl that I got along with so well and a family that I felt so comfortable with. I have memories that I’ll never forget and a second family that I will always keep in touch with. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I have nothing bad to say that can help you better this programme because for me, I found it perfect. My only complaint is that I felt like time passed too quickly, but there’s nothing anyone can do about that! I was thankful for every moment Kendall was here with me and every moment I was in France with Kendall’s family. I knew some French before I arrived, but boy, now I feel like a professional! It feels good to put myself in the “fluent” category now!
At this point, I do not have any pictures on my computer, but as soon as I have time to sit down and do that, I will send you another email with pictures attached!
Thank you for providing me with this amazing opportunity, and the best time I have had in my entire life.
Thank You Rotary
I just wanted to write to you to tell you that I am now safely back home after my month in Spain. I had a great time, and I want to thank you and everyone else involved in making my trip go smoothly. My family was great, and although my “sister” was not able to return with me this summer, she may come at Christmas or next summer. I know it took a lot of extra effort on your part to get everything arranged with Spain, and I just wanted you to know that I am very grateful for everything that you did.
I had the best time of my life
I just wanted to let you know that I am now back home after my one month trip to Taipei, Taiwan. I just wanted to thank you for everything that you did for me! Thank you so much for the amazing opportunity to take part in this exchange. I can honestly say that I had the best time of my life in Taiwan, made a lot of new friends, and made a lot of great memories. I could not have done anything without you! Thank you so much! I am really going to miss Taipei as well as Stephanie and her family. Stephanie became my best friend this summer and I will never forget her or the fun I had. I definitely will do my best to spread the word about this programme. I want others to experience what I did-making new friends, seeing a new place, and having the time of their life. I just wanted to say thanks for all the work you put into this, and thank you for your encouragement along the way. I realized I was worried over nothing because absolutely nothing went wrong. It was so amazing! It also made me realize I want to learn Chinese and someday go back to Taipei again. I really love it there.
Thanks SO MUCH for everything.