Bonjour! Je m'appelle Olivia. I am a sixteen year old Rotary Youth Exchange
student about to spend the year of 2011–2012 (my junior year of high school)
in France! The last time I was this excited for something was when I was
four years old and I saw my dog Daisy running towards me for the first time
on Christmas Day.
I live in Tavares, Florida (America’s Seaplane City), a
small town about an hour from Orlando and attend Tavares High School. I am
in the tenth grade and I am on the swim team and soccer team for the school.
My favorite classes are drafting and art. Tavares is golf cart friendly so I
drive a golf cart to school, which I love to do.
I come from a large family. I have a mother, father,
step-father, brother, three sisters, and a dog. My sisters and brothers
range from three to twenty years old. I love having a big family because I
am surrounded with lots of different personalities and lots of love. I can’t
wait to meet the French families that will be hosting me – my new extended
If I had to describe myself in four words I would say:
adventurous, athletic, artistic, and humorous.
As for being adventurous, I love to travel and try new
things. I have visited many different places in the United States and
Canada. My favorite place in North America so far is the Grand Canyon. Most
recently, I spent ten days exploring Milan, Italy with the family of an
Italian exchange student that we hosted this summer. I love meeting new
people, hearing foreign languages, and experiencing the diversity of other
cultures. My dream is to travel, study, and work in as many places around
the world as possible.
As for being athletic, I love being active and being
outdoors. I like to camp, hike, snowboard, dance and swim, but my favorite
sport is soccer. In addition to playing for my high school team, I play on a
Florida Regional Cup team that travels around the State. I hope to continue
playing soccer while in France and eventually earn a scholarship to play for
a college. I am open to try any new activity or sport and had fun doing so
this Christmas, playing “pond hockey” for the first time in Vermont.
As for being artistic, I love to draw, paint, and take
photos. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I prefer to tell
my stories through photographs rather than with words and plan to keep a
photo “journal” of my time in France. While in Italy I took approximately
1,000 photos of Milan, which I am putting into a power point presentation. I
do something artistic almost every day.
As for being humorous, I love to laugh and make others
laugh. I am the type of person who is always looking at the positive side of
things. My mother says that I take after my great grandmother who wore “rose
colored glasses”. My motto is - why be upset about something if you can’t
change it, just smile, and learn from it.
I love the idea of learning languages. I dream of
speaking French, Italian, and Spanish fluently someday. My grandmother, who
speaks several languages, has been teaching me French and Italian words. One
of the first things that came to my mind when I found out that I was going
to France was how wonderful it would be to return home and be able to
participate in the French conversations between my aunts and grandmother,
who are all fluent in French.
After high school, I hope to attend the Savannah
College of Art and Design (SCAD). I plan to major in architecture and
interior design and minor in business. This university has campuses in
Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia as well as Hong Kong, and a study abroad
program in Lacoste, France. I hope that I have the opportunity to study at
all of these locations. After college, I plan to eventually open my own
I want to thank Rotary for the privilege of
participating in the RYE program and for the opportunity to pursue my
dreams! I would also like to thank my friends and family who believe in me,
and encourage me every day!