Rotary exchange, a chance of a life time
January marks the half-way point for students involved in the Rotary International exchange program. Marina Leimgruber of Neyruz, Switzerland, is having a hard time believing that her year is half over.
The 17-year-old has long had aspirations of becoming a Rotary exchange student. “My family hosted a boy from Arkansas two years ago,” she explained.
“I had thought about being an exchange student before that, but meeting him, and seeing how the program worked made me more sure.”
She visited Canada three years ago on a family vacation, and decided then that she wanted to see more of our country. “I love the mountains and the people are so nice,” she says. Leimgruber is pleased with how her exchange has gone so far, and is excited for the next six months.
Leimgruber, who started grade 11 at MSS in September, is enjoying her new school. One of her goals for this year of exchange was to try new sports, which led her to the senior girls basketball team. Not only is she learning a new sport, she is playing on a team with the two students selected to go out on exchange next year. Both Melissa Newell and Jessica Sulz will be embarking on a year abroad this coming summer. Newell is heading to India, while Sulz will be spending her year near Leimbruber’s home in Switzerland.
Hi my name is Jessica Sulz.
Switzerland has always been a destination I’ve been craving to go to. After all the interviews with Rotary members, I was starting to get very anxious. Finally, when Jill called me and asked if I was ready to go away to Switzerland, I was shaking with excitement!
Thanks to Rotary, I am able to fulfill one of my dreams.
I am ecstatic at the things that I will be able to do. Ski the Alps, get a glimpse of the Matterhorn and travel to the surrounding countries.
It is such a fantastic opportunity and I am so grateful to be chosen to represent Merritt.
This is a once in a lifetime chance and I cannot wait to start my journey.
I am very excited to meet my host families and get a taste of the Swiss culture first hand. Thanks to Marina, I had already gotten a few interesting facts about Switzerland, and it makes me that much more eager for my trip!
Only a couple more months and I will live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Thanks again to the Merritt Rotary Club and the Merritt Sunrise Rotary Club for this amazing opportunity.
My name is Melissa Newell, and I am currently in grade 12at Merritt Secondary School.
I was recently sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm to attend the 2011-2012 Rotary Youth Exchange.
Around Aug. 2011, I will be flying to India for a year of new cultural experiences, a new school, new family, friends, and a totally foreign living experience.
I am extremely excited and very thankful that I have been given the fantastic opportunity to represent Canada overseas.
Although I know I will miss Merritt, and also my great family and friends, I realize that this exchange will make me grow as a person, and give me a better understanding of the world outside my back door.
I look forward to what this new year will bring!