Posted by Shona Dodd on Aug 21, 2018
In January this year District 9970 sent 3 very deserving students to the far flung corners of the world. Each is on a journey of a life time in the year they will be away.
The outbound students for the 2018/2019 year are:
  • Aofie (sponsor club Avonhead) - to Belgium
  • Charlie (sponsor club Christchurch) – to Denmark
  • Oliver (sponsor club Christchurch New Horizons) to Japan.
It would be fair to say that each has had their own personal challenges; learning the language, coping with school and learning to live with host families and in another culture on the other side of the word. It is very pleasing to note that these wonderful young people have all risen to the challenge and are making the most of a truly memorable experience.
As a scholastic exchange each student must attend school and meet the requirements of language. The latter includes making presentations at their host rotary clubs in the language of the country - that’s a pretty difficult task given that English is usually the only language our students can speak fluently when they depart New Zealand.
Some highlights from their monthly reports are:
Aoife - I am incredibly happy and settled in my new amazing family. My French improves with leaps and bounds each day, and with that my confidence to talk and interact improves. I visited Brussels for the National Day with my family and we saw the King, even though it was only for a second. The military parade included New Zealand which I was so proud of. Such a great month!!
Charlie – I am really beginning to settle in and am enjoying all of Denmark. I have been at a music festival for a week and I am volunteering for two days, its great as a fundraiser for Rotary, I am learning the language really fast having to speak to everyone who comes up to me. Its been one of the greatest experiences so far on exchange.
Oliver – Rotary speeches every month, improving rapidly. My first speech to my host rotary club went well, and was a big improvement on last month. Speech due soon at the district conference I have been on tour with the other exchange students and have been to Karaoke with my host family and friends.
The Rotary Youth Exchange programme is intended to equip some of tomorrow's leaders with the skills for building bridges to world peace and social equity. We have already chosen three more outbound students for the 2019/2020 year and look forward to doing so beyond that.