By: 9520 Committee | Sunday, 22 March 2015
My Rotary Youth Exchange to Finland in 2009 was one of the best experiences of my life. I will never forget sitting in the car with my new host family driving home for the very first time.
I looked out the window, saw everything covered in a sparkling blanket of white snow and thought to myself “Welcome to the next year of your life!“
That year was simply unbelievable, the opportunities I was presented with from my host Rotary club and host families were once-in-a-lifetime chances that I will remember forever. The trips I went on, not only within Finland, but also through Europe with other exchange students from all over the globe, were some of the best moments from my exchange year.
Saying goodbye after 12 months to the people that had become my family and friends was probably the most difficult and worst part of the year, but I was taking with me the skills of speaking and understanding another language, seeing and understanding the world from a different culture and life-long friendships and relationships.
I can’t thank Rotary enough for the opportunity of a lifetime, and for all of the consequent things that I have been able to do because of the time I have spent on exchange.
My advice, for anyone even contemplating going on a Rotary Youth Exchange; Do it! It will be one of the best decisions you ever make!