Outbounds 2022-2023

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Outbound Students

2022-2023

Hometown: Lake City, Florida
School: Homeschool
Sponsor District : District 6940
Sponsor Club:
Host District: 2080
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Sassari

My Bio: Vanessa, Italy

My Bio

Ciao!! My name is Vanessa and I am going to spend my Sophomore year in Italy!! I really love learning languages and have always wanted to travel the world, so I am extremely excited and grateful to have this opportunity given to me. I just turned 15 and I am a dual enrollment student at home. In my free time I like listening to music and spending time with my family. Being the oldest of seven kids, I really love my siblings and parents very much, and am so glad that they are supporting my decisions and desires. A hobby of mine is long distance running. I have been running Cross Country and Track since I was in fifth grade.

The reason that I decided to become an exchange student was so I could get to experience different cultures and how people live in other parts of the world. Having the wonderful opportunity to do an exchange through Rotary Youth Exchange has already been really amazing. I have gotten to meet so many great people and it is only the beginning. I look forward to the next few years and can not wait to make lifelong friends and family along the way.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
School: North Atlanta High
Sponsor District : District 6900
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Buckhead, Georgia
Host District: 2320
Host Club: Rotary Club of Umeå

My Bio: Dante, Sweden

My Bio

Hi there!

My family consists of my Mum-Christine, Dad-Steve, and my two brothers-Nelson and Amadeus. I also have a cat- Freddie Mercury, and a dog-Picasso.

I was born in Australia, and have travelled some of Europe, all at a young age. It is because of this that I have a great love for travel and seeing new sights.

I play the French horn, and have played several other instruments from a young age. I participate in my school’s music performances, and attend regular after-school rehearsals.

After school, and homework, I enjoy cooking dinner, riding my bicycle, and reading. I love to read books. My favourite authors so far include Cassandra Claire, Rick Riordan, and Brandon Sanderson.

I also enjoy playing board games and videogames with my brothers. We play the card game Unstable Unicorns together, and Super Smash Bros. on our Nintendo Switch.

i hope that when I travel to Sweden I will learn more about Swedish culture, history, and geography. I also hope that I become more, if not completely, fluent in the Swedish language. With my experiences learning about Swedish culture, I also hope to gain some new Swedish friends that I can continue to talk with in the future when I return home.

I look forwards to meeting you!

 

Journals: Dante-Sweden Blog 2022-23

  • Dante, Outbound to Sweden

This past month has been crazy! After the many long hours flying, meeting my host family was very comforting and relaxing. So far, they seem to be very relaxed people. In fact, That can be said for the wide majority of the people I’ve met here in Umeå. The first 2 weeks of my exchange were very eye-opening. They were the last 2 weeks of true summer, where the sun took ages to set, and the morning air was warm to my touch when I woke up. The food is also great and very unique, despite my first dinner being a homemade lasagna. When it comes to breakfast, toast with butter and cheese is a go-to, if it’s not on knäckebröd, or crisp-bread. Fika, or a coffee break consisting of coffee(of course) and a snack, is also something I have come to enjoy greatly. Lunch is typically the same as breakfast, and I’m not disappointed about that, mostly because the cheese is very good here. Dinner is where it gets interesting. I have had a variety of different meals over the past 6 weeks, ranging from smash-burgers to salmon pie. It has been nothing but a treat to try everything I can get my hands on.

On my third week of exchange I traveled alone on a 3 hour train ride to Sundsvall for my Inbound Orientation. Meeting other exchange students was absolutely amazing; I did not realize just how much fun it would be, nor did I expect we would all bond so much. I have met so many amazing people, and my only regret is not being able to spend more time with them during the course of my exchange, as I am 1 of 2 exchange students in my Rotary district. We have made many fun memories, and we have our own anthem: the Swedish Fika song, which I have discovered many a Swede here also know about. The camp itself was also very informative, teaching us Swedish, Swedish Traditions, and some important events that have lead to the creation of the country we are living in right now. Our group as a whole has decided that one of us will become king, for the soul purpose of changing the structure of the Swedish language to no longer include the word “ett”, which is an article like the words “a” and “an” but doesn’t follow any strict rules for when it is used, and has earned its right as the most hated word to try and use in our group.

After my Orientation, I returned home to find that my host parents had returned to their jobs, and that school had started for my host brother. This left me home alone for a whole week. This left me with only one thing to do: figure out the lay of the land. I spent everyday going on walks, leaving me sometimes lost, and sometimes leaving me to enjoy the atmosphere. It is so much quieter up here than it is back in the US, and I have loved how at any point I can choose to sit down and listen the the sounds of nature without having to drive a hour or two first to find the nearest quiet space.

The next week I started school. Everything is completely different. First off, the school here is much smaller, and the schedules are much less packed with classes. Some days I only have 1 class. Others I have 3 classes. My classes don’t even start at the same times every day. On Monday I start school at 11:00, whereas on Thursdays I start school at 8:30. The meals here are superior, with a variety of different dishes being served each day. Everything from the stereotypical potatoes and meatballs to rice with curry, in addition to having a 3 hour break to eat said lunch and socialize. The teachers give us 20-30 minute breaks in our classes so we can focus better. To top it all off, everyone, the teachers, other staff, students, are all so kind. We call all of the adults by their first names, and we make jokes together during class with the teachers. It feels so casual, and that everyone that is attending actively wants to be there. The atmosphere is so casual, so much so that swearing, while not overused, is perfectly acceptable in a normal conversation.

There are so many other things I want to say, but for the purpose of not being too verbose I will summarize my final point: for all of the differences and similarities I have said above, they are nothing compared to what my everyday life is like now, when it comes to all of the finer details. Restaurants have either no straws or paper straws, fast-food places serve you using a ticket number system, and the complete lack of cash and loose money is astounding. I look forward to the many other details I discover in the coming weeks.

October 6, 2022

Hello there dear readers,

I’ve been gone for a while, so let’s get straight to the point, and cover the things that I have done and learned over during the course of the last three months.

Starting with some big news, I’m fluent in Swedish(Yay!) and have been since around the fifteenth of November of last year. It’s made speaking and thinking and learning new words much easier for the last two and a half(ish) months, but I have made some discoveries in what it means to be fluent in a language. Firstly, being fluent has its many levels, as is to be expected, but they have less to do with one’s vocabulary, and more to do with how well you can command and use the language. Being fluent in a language means that you need not only an understanding of the grammar and nuances of the language itself, but also a level of cultural understanding. This is so that you know how the language can be manipulated in a way that makes sense in the culture. This idea is best demonstrated in situations where people will “invent” new words or grammatical inconsistencies to help better explain an idea or to make jokes. For example, many people have come across the English idea of the word “funner”, which is something that makes sense in theory but doesn’t work in practice due to a discrepancy in how the grammar of the language and the culture behind the language come together. It’s why when people ask why “funner” is grammatically incorrect most people will reply with either an “It’s just wrong” or an “it sounds funny”; “funner” is culturally incorrect.
With a potential existential crisis averted, it is undeniable that learning Swedish is an absolute joy and that while I am progressing very quickly, I still have much more to understand and learn when it comes to trying – and failing – to make jokes in Swedish.

Moving on from the antics of speech, November and December were very busy with many concerts and rehearsals for school,but by far the most exciting day was Christmas Eve, as it was my first time having a large Christmas with extended family – Swedes celebrate Christmas on the 24th, not the 25th. We gathered around the TV to chat, watch “Kalle Anka” – better known as Donald Duck in English – and drink small mugs of warm “glögg”, which is similar to mulled wine, although the Swedish version usually has the alcohol removed. Christmas dinner consisted of a wide range of foods; Swedish Christmas ham, meatballs, potatoes, deviled eggs, and beetroot salad, just to name a few. After Julbord(Swedish for Christmas dinner – better known as Yule table in English), we split up and opened our gifts, had fika(Swedish coffee break), and went home.

Unfortunately my memories of New Year’s are quite fuzzy, but we had dinner with family friends, made some fun explosions and then quickly ran inside to watch the speech for the New Year on TV. So far I can say that the New Year is going very well, because 3 days later I changed host families.

The new family is very different from my first one, and I’m still working out all of the kinks to how I fit in with them. My new family has a dog named Jambo who is a joy to walk with, and we live much closer to the center of the city, so now I cycle to school. Which is now part of my daily struggle, because I have to cycle through snow, which is not the best. I do, however, enjoy that I feel a lot closer to all of my school friends, and I will be taking advantage of that soon by organizing some of my own hangouts, but for the time being the largest benefit is that I can get to the local library much, much quicker than before.

I am running out of things to say, so for now I will leave you with my most important lesson from my time living in the Swedish Winter : Cross Country Skiing is just walking made more difficult, which means that everyone should do it at least 5 times.

Jan. 31, 2023​

 

Hello there dear readers,

I’ve been gone for a while, so let’s get straight to the point, and cover the things that I have done and learned over during the course of the last three months.

Starting with some big news, I’m fluent in Swedish(Yay!) and have been since around the fifteenth of November of last year. It’s made speaking and thinking and learning new words much easier for the last two and a half(ish) months, but I have made some discoveries in what it means to be fluent in a language. Firstly, being fluent has its many levels, as is to be expected, but they have less to do with one’s vocabulary, and more to do with how well you can command and use the language. Being fluent in a language means that you need not only an understanding of the grammar and nuances of the language itself, but also a level of cultural understanding. This is so that you know how the language can be manipulated in a way that makes sense in the culture. This idea is best demonstrated in situations where people will “invent” new words or grammatical inconsistencies to help better explain an idea or to make jokes. For example, many people have come across the English idea of the word “funner”, which is something that makes sense in theory but doesn’t work in practice due to a discrepancy in how the grammar of the language and the culture behind the language come together. It’s why when people ask why “funner” is grammatically incorrect most people will reply with either an “It’s just wrong” or an “it sounds funny”; “funner” is culturally incorrect.
With a potential existential crisis averted, it is undeniable that learning Swedish is an absolute joy and that while I am progressing very quickly, I still have much more to understand and learn when it comes to trying – and failing – to make jokes in Swedish.

Moving on from the antics of speech, November and December were very busy with many concerts and rehearsals for school,but by far the most exciting day was Christmas Eve, as it was my first time having a large Christmas with extended family – Swedes celebrate Christmas on the 24th, not the 25th. We gathered around the TV to chat, watch “Kalle Anka” – better known as Donald Duck in English – and drink small mugs of warm “glögg”, which is similar to mulled wine, although the Swedish version usually has the alcohol removed. Christmas dinner consisted of a wide range of foods; Swedish Christmas ham, meatballs, potatoes, deviled eggs, and beetroot salad, just to name a few. After Julbord(Swedish for Christmas dinner – better known as Yule table in English), we split up and opened our gifts, had fika(Swedish coffee break), and went home.

Unfortunately my memories of New Year’s are quite fuzzy, but we had dinner with family friends, made some fun explosions and then quickly ran inside to watch the speech for the New Year on TV. So far I can say that the New Year is going very well, because 3 days later I changed host families.

The new family is very different from my first one, and I’m still working out all of the kinks to how I fit in with them. My new family has a dog named Jambo who is a joy to walk with, and we live much closer to the center of the city, so now I cycle to school. Which is now part of my daily struggle, because I have to cycle through snow, which is not the best. I do, however, enjoy that I feel a lot closer to all of my school friends, and I will be taking advantage of that soon by organizing some of my own hangouts, but for the time being the largest benefit is that I can get to the local library much, much quicker than before.

I am running out of things to say, so for now I will leave you with my most important lesson from my time living in the Swedish Winter : Cross Country Skiing is just walking made more difficult, which means that everyone should do it at least 5 times.

Jan. 31, 2023

Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
School: Leon High School
Sponsor District : District 6940
Sponsor Club:
Host District: TBA
Host Club: TBA

My Bio: Wren, Netherlands

I’m a 5’1 gal who wants to see the world. In my quest to travel to different countries, see new places, and experience new cultures and activities, I am working hard to achieve this goal. I know that traveling the world is no easy task and definitely is something that doesn’t just happen without working for it. Because of this I have had my mind set on making this a reality by pushing myself to the best I can be. I am working to graduate in three years instead of four, and as well taking classes at the community college to get my associates degree early. Pushing myself academically has been tough but worth the work seeing that I’m almost graduated! Not only do I work hard in school but I have been working to pay for this rather expensive dream of mine. I got my first job at the ripe old age of 14 working as a tutor for younger kids at the business called Kumon. My time there has been nothing but great memories. My time there fortunately didn’t go unnoticed and I was moved to the “ Head of the early learners section. This for a 15 year old was amazing and quite a bit of work. I was now a manager with more hours and responsibilities, taking 9 classes at school instead of 6, all while trying to have a social life. Work and school are very important to me but so is my family and friends. They keep me grounded while going through all of this. My best friend and my sisters have been my biggest support system through my journey this far. I doubt I would be here today without them. They truly are the ones that make me the Wren I am today.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
School: Druid Hills High School
Sponsor District : District 6900
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Decatur, Georgia
Host District: 2130
Host Club: The Rotary Club of  Jemmppe-sur-Sambre

My Bio: Chayce, Belgium

Bonjour and hello! I am an IB senior at Druid Hills High School and beyond thrilled to live in Belgium in the upcoming year.

I spend a lot of my time trying to get to know myself, from going on hikes at Sweetwater Creek to reading a new book (right now, my favorite is “All About Love” by Bell Hooks).

When I’m not picking up a new hobby or random fascination, I often spend my time at school! I serve as Student Body President and plan a lot of school spirit-related events and programming to better my school and our neighboring communities. I also spend my time playing Lacrosse, running the IB student committee, or working at my local YMCA!

I spend a lot of my time learning French at school, from my IB French course to the various French cultural clubs where I’m active. So, I am incredibly excited for the chance to go to Belgium, a francophone country. However, I don’t know much Dutch or German, so navigating a country with various languages will be incredibly interesting.

I haven’t left Atlanta very much in my life, and this will be one of my first chances to become so deeply ingrained into a different culture. In exchange, I am excited for the perspective and awareness that I will gain from the various lifestyles and experiences that I will come across.

In college, I plan to study Philosophy and International Relations with a minor in Computer Science or French, and there is nowhere better to explore these interests than Belgium, a country known for its dedication and appreciation to the arts and sciences and the birthplace of some of the most influential philosophers of all time.

Adieu!

Hometown: Roswell, Georgia
School: Roswell High School
Sponsor District : District 6900
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Roswell, Georgia
Host District: 1790
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Nancy Majorelle

My Bio: Revie, France

Bonjour everyone!

My name is Revie Pierce and I live in Roswell, Georgia with my parents, five younger siblings, and two dogs. I am a freshman at Roswell High School and my favorite subjects are Literature and Art.

Outside of school, I love to draw, read far too many fantasy books, and write poetry. I also enjoy playing soccer, spending time with my friends and family, and participating in musical theatre with two of my siblings.

Last year I went to boarding school in North Carolina, which sparked my ever-growing sense of adventure. After coming home from an amazing school year there, I decided I wanted to become a foreign exchange student.

I have always loved learning foreign languages and as soon as I started learning French I fell in love with it. I am really enjoying my studies as I become comfortable with the language.

I am ecstatic and thankful to be representing Rotary and the USA as an outbound student to France next year. I hope that my year in France will teach me important lessons about myself and grow my confidence in a completely new environment, while also broadening my view and perspective of the world around me. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am sure I will cherish it forever.