Exchange student<br />addresses Rotarians

Exchange student
addresses Rotarians The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, April 29, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President David Hussey opened the meeting and also gave the invocation. This was followed by a round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests. President Hussey then introduced Thania Faria as our speaker for the day. Thania is a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Brazil and has been in Vermillion for almost a year. She is an excellent student and we have been proud to have her with us this year. Thania��?s presentation concerned her impressions of her time with us. She arrived here from Brazil last July and has stayed with four different host families. She stated that Rotary Youth Exchange student are from many different countries. She began her presentation by stating the question: Why Youth Exchange? She expressed five reasons. The first is to assist the student in becoming globally minded. We all take our own country for granted. The program allows students to become more aware of other countries and cultures. The cultural experience helps the student to better understand how others live and think. Youth Exchange allows students to learn a new language or become more proficient in a second language. These experiences also allow the student to understand oneself better. And, last but not least, to have fun by meeting new people and new cultures. She talked about her own large family and showed a video of many of them accompanied by Brazilian music. She also talked about how important sports are to her. For example, she showed pictures of her high school volleyball team, which came in third in national competition. She also talked about the uncertainty she felt when she first arrived. She found the landscape very different from her home in Brazil. She said that she spoke English but had to acclimatize to the speech patterns and idioms. She wondered about what the coming year would be like and if she would find new friends. However, she made new friends, enjoyed her host families, and became very involved in high school here in Vermillion, and was able to participate in many sports activities. She also had opportunities for touring which she enjoyed. The transition back to her home brings other anxieties. She will have to say her goodbyes and she will miss the people here. Her family and friends will have changed in the past year. She is also thinking about her future. She is determined to go on to college. At present she is contemplating entering a program for a degree in exercise physiology. Her closing comment was that this year in Vermillion was everything she hoped it would be.

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