Natalia, outbound to Denmark

Things are about to change. You’ve guessed it, I am switching host families in less than 24 hours. The thing about having to live with a family for about 4 months is that you make connections with the people you are living with and in turn you get pretty close with them in a short amount of time. What I have really liked about all of my host families is that I really feel like I’m part of the family. Everything isn’t perfect all the time, but that’s what makes it feel real. That’s something that tourists that go to foreign countries never really experience.With that being said, I believe I’m one of the lucky ones to really be integrated into the family life here which I feel is a big part of the whole cultural immersion. Very soon I will go through the phase of getting adjusted to living with a new family and everything that entails, but I’m also really excited to live with this next host family, and if things couldn’t get better, I’ll be living right next to one of my best friends that goes to the same school as me.

Things are going just swell here and I am absolutely enjoying every moment I have here. This upcoming Wednesday I will be singing my school’s spring concert and I am honestly so grateful for the opportunity and really excited to be a part of it. Next Friday starts Easter Break and I’m excited to have adventures with my friends and my new host family.

Last weekend I got the chance to visit Gram Slot and it was a great experience because the owner gave a private tour to me and my host family since my host mom knows the owner. It was really interesting to hear the history and stories about Gram Slot. Slot in danish means castle and this castle actually has many organic gardens and produces a lot of milk, vegetables, and other goods you would find in local stores in Denmark. They sell to Rema 1000 (which is a Danish grocery store) I believe.

If you’re reading this not having gone on exchange and are still able to do so, please take the chance and do it. Get worked out whatever needs to get worked out because trust me, it is one of the best experiences of my life and you find out so much about yourself, the world and more about your home and host country.

If you’re reading this as a parent of an exchange student, THANK YOU for whatever support you are giving your child, because you are making a huge impact in your child’s life.

If you’re just interested in Rotary Youth Exchange and reading this, spread the word, because letting this generation experience a life abroad and having their lives changed will, in my opinion, transform the world for the better.

For my dear exchange students, you know what I’m talking about when I say that it’s one of the best experiences of my life. Keep up the good work, because you are making an impact in the world no matter how small it may seem now.

Another big thanks to Rotary, for making this possible for me and everyone else that has been on exchange, currently on exchange, and will be going on exchange. Rotary is an amazing organization and I’m so happy to be a part of it.