Student Amanda Annett is on the trip of a lifetime – she is living in Ecuador while attending school on a Rotary Youth Exchange.
The Youth Exchange is a yearlong exchange program, where a student in Grade 10, 11 or 12 goes and lives with a family in a different country, attends school, is immersed in a different language, and gets the rare gift of truly learning and appreciating a different culture. “When I first heard about this program the main thing that stopped me was the terrifying, yearlong commitment,” Annett says. “But I want to urge families and young people to search past those words and find out what Rotary Youth Exchange is really about. I am 17 and am honoured to be a Rotary Youth Exchange Student this year in Ecuador. So far this experience has been a rollercoaster, I have been challenged, pushed, stretched in so many ways and have learned and grown so much already in these past few weeks. I have so many friends and connections from all around the world and am having so much fun!” If this sounds like something you or someone you know might be interested in, keep your ears open for announcements at school or visit your local rotary club website.
You don’t need to make a commitment to the program to find out more about it, if you have any questions or curiosities, simply attend the information sessions.
If perhaps being a Rotary Youth Exchange Student is not for you, you can reach out to the exchange students from different countries in your town.
“It can be scary entering a school of unknown language, rules and people, please be welcoming and help show these students what our beautiful part of the world has to offer,” Annett says. “I am so thankful that out of all the exchange organizations, that I am with Rotary, this program is truly unique and unbelievable!”