- Host Club:
- Caledonia RC, Hamilton, Ontario
- Home Town:
- Lower Hutt
My year away:
The year I have spent in Canada in 2008 was an unforgettable experience. I have lived with three completely different and all equally amazing host families and have had a close relationship with the less than fifteen members of Caledonia’s Rotary club. I learned a lot about Rotary International, the service Rotary provides and the kindness of many people’s hearts.
My experience in the Canadian public high school system was a big change from my private school in New Zealand, but I made a number of very close friends who I am finding it very difficult to leave. However, I know that we will never forget each other, and hopefully some day not too far away I will see them again.
I have been very lucky to have travelled all across North America, seeing a significant portion of the diverse landscapes Canada offers, as well as New York City and Florida. Some of these places I would never have been able to visit were it not for the kindness of my host families who took me on their vacations.
Although I did not have the struggle of learning another language while on my exchange, it was definitely worthwhile. The culture of Canada has a number of differences to New Zealand, but I feel as though I am partially Canadian now, as so many important things have happened to me while living in Canada. I have learned a lot about myself and other people. I have learned how to survive in an unfamiliar environment and I have also learned about relating to adults and people I wouldn’t usually be involved with.
I am very grateful to Rotary for offering me this once in a lifetime opportunity.