By Augusto La Colla, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Villa Regina, Argentina, to Muenster, Germany
Through my Interact club in Argentina, I learned of an opportunity last year to go on a Rotary Youth Exchange to Muenster, Germany. I want to echo what others have said on this blog, that Youth Exchange is an unforgettable experience.
I had the pleasure of staying with two families in Germany — the Kirchhoffs and Beikers — and I consider both part of my family. Getting to know the German culture, to be a part of it, and to be immersed in it, I developed a new appreciation for my home country, and the world beyond. It made me realize just how amazing this world is, and gave me a desire to work to make the world a better place.
I grew so much during the year. I experienced different lifestyles, a different language, and a great deal of new emotions. I allowed myself to explore different ideas and behaviors, and they helped shape my character. The year helped define who I am.
Because I belonged to an Interact club back home, I spent time with Rotaract in my host country, and took part in many enriching activities. It even confirmed my choice of profession. In Argentina, I go to a technical school with a speciality in architecture. During the last month of my exchange, I spent two weeks learning from German architects and engineers, visiting their work.
In October, I traveled around Germany for two weeks with 50 other exchange students, and spent three weeks in Europe in April. I enjoyed Christmas in Germany with my host family, and a wonderful New Years in Switzerland.
One of my newfound German brothers accompanied me on my return trip to Argentina, and I spent time together with both my German and Argentinian families in Buenos Aires.
Because of all these experiences, I am more confident in my ability to make a difference in the world and I believe we can build peace. Anything is possible, if we work for it.
I thank Rotary for this incredible experience. If you have an opportunity, go on a Rotary Youth Exchange. It will change your life.
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