Kaitlyn "Katie" Morris
2008-09 Outbound to Switzerland
Hometown: Winter Park, Florida
School: Orangewood Christian School, Maitland, Florida
Sponsor: Maitland Rotary Club, District 6980, Florida
Host: Üetliberg Rotary Club, District 2000, Switzerland

Katie's Bio

 Hi, my name is Kaitlyn Morris. I like to be called Katie. I am excited about the opportunity to be part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program!

I will be the first person to participate in a youth exchange from my school, Orangewood Christian School. in Maitland, Florida. I love to play soccer and have played on my high school’s varsity team for the past two years. I am very involved in my church’s youth group and my school’s student council.

I love spending time with my friends. We enjoy going to the movies, the mall, and just spending time together. I also enjoy listening to music and spending time in the kitchen with my mom.

I have always wanted to go on a youth exchange and I am looking forward to the coming year. I would like to thank Rotary Youth Exchange for helping make this dream come true. I would also like to thank my friends and family for their support and encouragement during this very exciting time in my life.

September 17 Journal

 WOW! I cannot believe that I have been here 6 weeks! It feels like just yesterday I was saying <<Only 4 months till I leave!>>. But now I have already lived here more than a month! So let me start at the beginning.

The day of departure was really hard. It was hard to say good-bye to all my friends and family, yet I had a weird calmness about it all. I was very scared, nervous, and excited, but it seemed like I was strangely calm as I entered the Orlando Airport. So I said my good-byes and I was off. When I arrived in Zürich, I was greeted by my host families welcoming arms! It was almost as if they already knew me and I was just arriving home. So the first few days are just a blur in my mind. Everything was so new and there was so much information being thrown at me that I cannot remember anything very clearly.

The first 2 weeks I was here I did not have school and my host sisters did not either. So my host-family took me around to all the tourist attractions in Zürich. We went to Üetliberg (It has a breathtaking view over the city of Zürich and Zürich lake), we took a tour of Zürich, and went shopping in Zürich. It was all fun, but life here became real when I started school. I had a 4 week language school that I started the third week I was here. It was with all the other exchange students that live in or around Zürich. It was so much fun to hang out with all the exchange students everyday. Then I started real school on Monday, Kantonsschule Enge. I really miss everyone at the language school, but all the kids at Kantonsschule Enge are really nice too. The Kantonsschule is really different than my school at home. It has about 900 students. There are 17 in my class, and I have almost every class with the same kids. They are all really nice and funny! The Kantonsschule also gives the students a lot more freedom. If you do not have a class, then you go wherever you want until your next class. It is really strange to have 2 hours for lunch break, but I like it!

The language is still really hard. I thought that I knew quite a bit of German when I arrived in Switzerland, but I quickly realized that I did not. Not only did I not study enough German, but Swiss German is completely different than high German. But since I have been here I have learned so much German from my family and language school. It is frustrating sometimes not being able to communicate in German, but I know that soon I will be able to.