2005-06 Inbound from Belgium
Date of Birth: May 8, 1987
Hometown: Slins, Belgium
Sponsor: Herstal Rotary Club, District 1630,
Host: Mandarin Rotary Club, District 6970, Florida USA
School: Mandarin High School
September 20 Journal - "I met a lot of
friends in school and I really like it! It is so different from Belgium!
The school contains the same number of people as my village! It is
December 10 Journal - "I
was dreaming the whole weekend! It was like when I was 6 years old... seeing
these rides and all the Disney characters made me feel like when I was a little
February 8 Journal - "We could see
better through the water. Maybe even too well…people in my group saw a
shark!! I jumped out of the water and I didn’t go back in it that day!"
name is Carole. I’m eighteen years old and I’m from Belgium. I live
in a little village in the country, called Slins. I live there with my
parents. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. I’m said to be friendly, and
I like to listen to others! I try to help as much as possible when they have
I decided to become an exchange student because I wanted
to discover another culture of mine and to meet a lot of new people from all
over the world. I think that I’ll have more maturity during this year, which
is a really good thing. I hope this year will help me, first of all, to
improve my English, but also to be more self-confident and to learn a lot of
things about life, America, and American people.
In Belgium, I like to spend time with my friends. We often
go to the cinema or we do shopping. I like different sports like swimming,
running, the bicycle or to go for a walk and have a good time with my
boyfriend, Benjamin. I need to be with friends all the time. I don’t like to
be alone. I think this experience will be a social experience too, with the
others exchange students for example. I’m a “cool girl”, I don’t like to be
stressed or to be under some pressure.
I finish this little bio to say that I’m very grateful to
my parents, and to the Rotary Club of Mandarin, of course, for giving me
this chance to realize my dream!!!!
September 20 Journal
I have been here for almost two months now. I am living an
AMAZING experience! I have a lot to tell you! So I will begin with my
arrival… I arrived on July, 25th 2005 at the airport of Jacksonville. I
traveled with another exchange student from Belgium, Amelie. We first flew
to the JFK International Airport of New York. Our flight was very good,
eight hours, and we had to wait during four hours at the airport for our
second flight. We could already discover there some “little aspects” of the
American culture, like the huge glasses of Coke or the little fountains to
drink water...Yes we were already surprised about that!!;) After four more
hours of plane we arrived at Jacksonville, where our host families were to
welcome us with some members of the Rotary Club! It was “crazy”, everybody
was excited and we received a lot of hugs!!!! We were so tired but so happy
to arrive and to meet these people who will share our adventure!
I was also surprised of their English…I couldn’t
understand anything at first! Their accent is totally different that the one
I learned at school, in Belgium!
This night, I went to my new home…I will never forget my
impressions when I was on the way! The cars were so big outside! I couldn’t
realize that I was in Florida, a place where I wanted to come at least once
on holiday!! It was very hot outside, too! And the roads were amazing, like
in the movies, with palm trees and lights everywhere!!! It was so cool!
(even if it was the night ;) )! I was so tired that I went to sleep very
early this day. I spoke just a little with my new parents, enough to know
that they were very nice people!!
Before school starts, I did a lot of things to discover
the country and its habitants! I met a lot of people and did many
activities!! I had already discovered the American Food…
I had also the opportunity to spend some time with my
second host family. I spent a night in their “beach house” and I had a
really good time with them! They are very nice, too!!
School started on August, 8th, very early for me! If I was
in Belgium, I would have started on the end of September. It was a little
hard for me at the beginning because of the language and all the different
accents that people have! But now I can almost understand everybody and they
can understand me almost all the time, too! So it is a challenge that I have
accomplished! The classes are not too difficult. I have only four classes a
day and school starts at 7.15a.m to 2.15p.m. My classes are: Child
development, Biology (which is actually “Forensic Science”) it is a very
interesting class and the most “crazy and amazing” class I have never
taken!! I also take Spanish and English. I met a lot of friends there and I
really like it! It is so different from Belgium! The school contains the
same number of people as my village! It is incredible!!!
I went to an orientation weekend, to meet all the exchange
students of Florida. It was so good for me to know all these people! We had
the same dream and we are living the same experience, so we can understand
each other very well They are all very nice and we are already good friends!
I often see some of them for the weekend… It is very cool!!!
I also went to see the most Crazy and Exciting event I
have never seen! An American football game!! It was so incredible! I
couldn’t imagine the atmosphere of the stadium!! It was at the University of
Florida and I went to see the team of the Gators, against the Bulldogs, from
Louisiana. People here are totally crazy about their football teams!! I can
see Gators t-shirts, flags, cups etc. everywhere!!!
I only realize now how important will this year be for me!
I would like to thank my host family who is GREAT with me!!! There make me
discover all the things I need to know about the country and their culture.
I really appreciate to be with them!! Thanks to them, I don’t feel homesick
very often! I wish every exchange student could have such a nice family!!!
That’s all for the moment…
I hope you enjoyed reading from me ;)
Hi to all the students!!!! I love you all!!!! See you all
December 10 Journal
I want to talk a little about the BEST TIME
I have had since I’ve been here!!!
Last weekend, all the exchange students met
at Disney World, in Orlando, for a great weekend!!!!!!
We spent four days there,
from Thursday to Sunday. We had the chance to visit the 4 parks of Disney: MGM
Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Animal Kingdom. It was simply Magic!!!! I
was dreaming the whole weekend!! It was like when I was 6 years old... seeing
these rides and all the Disney characters made me feel like when I was a little
And the Best thing was that I was with some people that I love!!! The
exchange students!! This trip made us becoming more close again, we had A LOT of
fun together!!!!At that’s not it! Because we could meet some more exchange
students there, from another district. I met some new wonderful people and we
had so much fun together!!!! Everybody was so excited!!!
I was really impressed
by the beauty of the parks. It was so huge (like everything here ;)), and
didn’t even have enough time to do all of Epcot park on Saturday (okay, we had
decided to sleep in that day...lol).
The 1st park, MGM studios, was very nice
because of the beautiful “Indiana Jones show”, and the rides were Great!! My
favorites were the Rock Roller Coaster, with Aerosmith, and the Tower of Terror.
I was freaking out!!!! Lol!!
The Magic Kingdom was Great, too! We had the chance
to go “backstage” to see how the roller coasters were made...it was very
interesting!! We made some experiments with our 2 guides. The best was to go in
the “Moutain Train” with a glass of water...and we had to keep as much water as
possible in our glass. It was sooooooo funny!!!!!!!! My favorite ride was the
Space Mountain!! It was really Great!!!
Then we went to Epcot. There were not many
rides but it was very good! There was a huge park with a lot of countries that
we could go and visit! It was very well done!! We went to France with some of my
friends and ate some “crepes”, and we had a chance to speak A LITTLE French with
one of the cast members. We just wanted to know if the people who worked there
came from the country, And Yes they did! ;)
The last day, when everybody was
really tired, we went to the Animal Kingdom. The weather was very nice and we
did a “water ride”...it was very funny!! We came out all wet but we decided to do
it a second time! We had so much fun in it!!!! And at the end of the day, our
weekend was already over...:(
We were so sad because time had passed so fast
when we were there!!!! So that’s a little summary of our Wonderful trip to
Disney World, that I will never forget!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE ROTARY MEMBERS, in particular Al
and Lawrene (but everybody else also) for all the wonderful things and
chances that they give us. Thanks to you all, our year of exchange student
is a real Dream!!!!
THANK YOU to all my friends, the exchange students! You
all are some GREAT persons!!! I will never forget you!!! I hope to see you
February 8 Journal
Hello!!!! I wanted to talk about one of our experience with the
exchange students: Seacamp!!! We went to the Florida Keys, from January 26
to 29th. That was a great weekend!!!!!! On the way to go to Seacamp, we stopped
at the Dolphin Plus park, and we had a chance to see some dolphins from very
close and some people had a chance to swim with them! That was pretty cool!!!
After that we drove to Seacamp, at Big Pine Key. The road to
go there was gorgeous! It was a very long bridge above the water, and the
view was awesome!!!!! The first night at Seacamp was around a fire camp. We
were around 68 students. We had a chance to see the students from the
district of Miami, which we met at Disney, and there were some students from
Michigan with us. We played some games and we met the animators of the
On Friday, get up at 7.00…:S We went snorkeling in the
afternoon. That was a lot of fun!! But it was very windy and we were
“freezing” on the boats! lol! On the evening, we had a dance in the camp! We
had a lot of fun altogether!! That was a great night!!!
On Saturday morning, we went snorkeling again. The weather
was much better and we could see better through the water. Maybe even too
well…people in my group saw a shark!! I jumped out of the water and I didn’t
go back in it that day!!! lol!! In the afternoon, we made some presentations
about the subject that we had learned with our group. Mine was “Marine
Fisheries”. That was interesting and we had a good time doing our poster
etc…! The goal of these presentations was to participate at a big round
table discussion with all the exchange students, that evening. It was very
good! We learned a lot, we decided some solutions together concerning some
problems in the world, and we discussed our subjects from 7 pm to almost
On Sunday, our last day…we had to say goodbye to the
students from Michigan…it was hard because we already became friends with
them! We drove to Key West in the morning, to see a beautiful area and to do
some shopping!! That was beautiful!!!! I really enjoyed that time!!!!!!
And after lunch, it was already time to go back!!!! It
went so fast!! Like every weekend we spend together!! I have a lot of great
memories of this weekend and a lot of pictures that I will post on the
Thank you to the Rotary to let us travel and discover such
Bye everybody, I hope you enjoyed it...